Does anybody know where the words of this can be copied and pasted? I would hate to have to type it all out – or maybe that should be ‘in’ – myself, but somebody definitely should, and if I or any commenter does find it, I will maybe add it to the bottom of this posting. As Peter Hoskin of the Spectator’s Coffee House blog says, Dan Hannan “absolutely skewers” the PM. (Can you kick someone with a skewer? Never mind.) Guido also piles in.
As my fellow scribes here say from time to time: I love the internet. In fact I love it even more than I hate Gordon Brown, and that’s saying something.
ADDENDUM Monday morning: Here it is. Thank you commenter Simon Collis, and blogger Stuart Sharpe.
Prime Minister, I see you’ve already mastered the essential craft of this Parliament – that being to say one thing in this chamber, and a very different thing to your home electorate. You’ve spoken here about free trade, and amen to that; who would have guessed, listening to you just now, that you were the author of the phrase ‘British Jobs for British Workers’, and that you have subsidised – where you have not nationalised outright – swathes of our economy, including the car industry and many of the banks.
Perhaps you would have more moral authority in this house if your actions matched your words. Perhaps you would have more legitimacy in the councils of the world if the United Kingdom were not going into this recession in the worst condition of any G20 country.
The truth, Prime Minister, is that you have run out of our money. The country as a whole is now in negative equity. Every British child is born owing around £20,000. Servicing the interest on that debt is going to cost more than educating the child.
Now once again today you tried to spread the blame around, you spoke about an international recession; an international crisis. Well, it is true that we are all sailing together into the squall – but not every vessel in the convoy is in the same dilapidated condition. Other ships used the good years to caulk their hulls and clear up their rigging – in other words, to pay off debt – but you used the good years to raise borrowing yet further. As a consequence, under your captaincy, our hull is pressed deep into the water line, under the accumulated weight of your debt. We are now running a deficit that touches almost 10% of GDP – an unbelievable figure. More than Pakistan, more than Hungary – countries where the IMF has already been called in.
Now, it’s not that you’re not apologising – like everyone else, I’ve long accepted that you’re pathologically incapable of accepting responsibility for these things these things – it’s that you’re carrying on, wilfully worsening the situation, wantonly spending what little we have left. Last year, in the last twelve months, 125,000 private sector jobs have been lost – and yet you’ve created 30,000 public sector jobs. Prime Minister you cannot go on forever squeezing the productive bit of the economy in order to fund an unprecedented engorging of the unproductive bit.
You cannot spend your way out of recession or borrow your way out of debt. And when you repeat, in that wooden and perfunctory way, that our situation is better than others, that we’re well place to weather the storm, I have to tell you, you sound like a Brezhnev-era Apparatchik giving the party line. You know, and we know, and you know that we know that it’s nonsense. Everyone knows that Britain is the worst placed to go into these hard times. The IMF has said so. The European Commission has said so. The markets have said so, which is why our currency has devalued by 30% – and soon the voters, too, will get their chance to say so.
They can see what the markets have already seen: that you are a devalued Prime Minister, of a devalued Government.
It will be interesting to see what Britain’s mainstream media make of this. My guess is that the blogosphere will be all over this speech not just today but for a longish time, with constant links back, and that many newspapers will also refer to it during the next day or two. But how will the BBC respond? They are in a lose-lose situation, I think. Mention it, eventually, they lose. Ignore it, they look like Soviet-era buffoons, just as Hannan said Brown is. A bit like the US MSM and those tea parties.
Presumably, by the time the BBC do mention it, the story will be that the Conservatives are divided. Divided, that is to say, in that some of them think the Prime Minister is mad and evil and believe in saying so, while others merely think it.