Thursday, 11 November 2010


There's a very good programme on Channel 4 (of all places) that is very honestly and bluntly stating the huge level of debt in this country, and what it means for future generations. It also teaches a number of lessons about the public/private sector balance and the dishonesty of those who claim that reducing public expendture takes money out of the economy. It doesn't: quite the opposite, in fact.

The ninety-minute programme (81 minutes without commercial breaks), presented by Martin Durkin and titled Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story, is a must-watch for everyone in Britain.


  1. Having seen this programme, I agree with many of its conclusions.

    However, it fails to recognise the basic truth: state spending levels in the UK are a product of univeral sufferage.

    While only landowners had power, the people were subjected into serfdom. Once that franchise was widened into homeowners, head of households, we had low spending and high growth but also a growing level of philanthropy and charity.The Victorian era was (as the programme suggests) the age of Britain's great boom. In the main, power rested only with the wealth creators.

    However, once the mass popualation are given the vote, huge numbers of people who had little to lose could vote for a party which promised to take from the wealth creators what they rightfully thought should be theirs. They did not relaise that wealth creation is not a zero sum game and that all they were doing was reducing the size of the cake with their envy.

    Politicians realised that there would always be more people who were working class than middle class, more labour than entrepeneurs, and that they needed this vote to secure power.

    So the mechanism is created where a large group of people vote themseves a slice of the earnings of a smaller group of people. Except in reality, the balance always continues to shift downwards, most people become net losers, and eventually the money runs out.

    Those creators with any sense leave, those who can't become demotivated and those who can still live off what is left purely by voting themseves a livng will continue to grow, because it becomes obvious that endevour no longer pays.

    This is how the west will potentially fall into the post democratic age - the age when redistribution of wealth has collapsed because there is so little wealth left to distribute. Then potentially dictatorship answers the call of the people for strength and leadership, and the whole process starts again - serfdom, sufferage, collapse.

  2. Thank you for your excellent analysis, Tony E, and welcome to my 'umble blog!

    I suspect you are just about on the money here, but what do we do about it? Does the government of the day just give up, play a holding game and accept the inevitable, or at least try to play the numerous variables in the governmental equation in a way that reduces the negatives as far as is reasonable practicable?

    I don't know the best answer: perhaps it is better to accelerate to the next stage and get it over with, rather than prolonging the period before the next collapse.

    It must be heart-rendingly difficult for any government who is/are no longer a true world-class player to find a genuinely good way to play their part well, for the best outcome for their people and for the world. It all seems so hopeless and demoralising when one looks at it in such a "big picture" manner!

  3. The EU is an attempt to move gently into the post democratic age, but without learning the lessons of statism. It thinks that by slowly draining political power from the people, that they will slowly become accustomed to a form of sustained serfdom under the large corporations which in the end will finance the state. A comfortable socialist superstate, where eventually the people will give up on democracy because the machine is far too large and complex to dismantle. Apathy is what they need, and so far it seems to be working.

    However, on their model, the story of most western countries will just continue on a grander scale. More spending, more state, more regulation and less enterprise - a kind of soft soviet condition. They are looking for a way to halt this cycle with the least physical bloodshed (and with their own kind positioned at the top of the pyramid).

    Either of the initial two options that you describe are just a management of decline - an acceptance that decline is inevitable because too many people want the kind of state that we have and believe that they are (in the immediate term) net recipients from it. The turkeys vote for Christmas, but for next Christmas, or a Christmas sometime down the line that they can leave their children to worry about.

    I think that the most likely outcome is the second, that national governments will always look to the short term and try to manage as best they can while knowing that the march towards federal Europeanism is probably now impossible to halt and might create an economic & structural plateau that outlives their political careers.

    I still think that collapse on some scale is inevitable, because history teaches us that eventually, when the state has grown to the proportion where it strangles everything else, then it's only option to remain in place is force and suppression. Force eventually fails because you can only push people so far then they revolt, and there are always more serfs than masters.

    Despite this, I still hope for better, and vote for smaller government, against the EU, for less regulation and for more freedom because there is still a small chance that if enough people realise that there is a better alternative then Britain might be revitalised and the collapse might be avoided.

  4. I have to say that all this is somewhat depressing. I tried to be realistic, but hoped it wouldn't come across as overly negative. I just hope I haven't opened a can of worms!

    Getting out of the EU needs to be a high priority, and we shall need the likes of Hannan and Carswell to make it happen (UKIP is going nowhere, so it must be Conservative-led).

    We could then float free of what will inevitably happen to the other EU nations, and that will make a big difference, not not a complete one. The world of influence extends beyond the EU!

    I do hope that we could act as a corner of sanity in the world, and not only ride out the worst of what is to come globally, but also to act as a guide and mentor to others to help them come out of it again.

    Where all this well end I do not know; but we do need to be best prepared for whatever the future holds, using our foreknowledge and experience of centuries to become possibly the one and only power able to cope and to guide others in the post-apocalyptic times ahead.