We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata unintended joke-line of the day

“The irony is that no other leader could have led Britain so skilfully through financial crisis. Without him, the banks might have collapsed, and the G20 would never have happened. His work on development ensured that thousands of children did not starve and did not die because the rich world deemed them worthless.”

Mary Riddell, in the Daily Telegraph.

So tell me, Ms Riddell, can you perhaps explain why the financial crisis, that has sent many British banks into the arms of the UK taxpayer, has not had a comparable impact on say, Canada, which shares a rather large landed border with the country at the centre of the credit crunch, namely, the US?

And why do you think that the government that presided over this disaster, that allowed public finances to run into the red, and massively so, before the credit crunch, can claim merit for what has happened since?

Does she not think that the way the Bank of England sets interest rates, or how banks have relied on the “too big to fail” assurance of public support, might not have had a teensy-weensy bit to do with foolish lending, for example?

Just asking, Mary.

12 comments to Samizdata unintended joke-line of the day

  • Nothing wrong (so far) with our Australian banks. Then again, we had a nasty, brutish right wing despotism to thank for that.


  • Kevin B

    Johnathan, this bit of straightfaced humour had me holding my sides as well.

    Europe matters. The EU is far from perfect, but our greatest problems – climate change, terror, migration, international security, protectionism – can only be solved collectively.

    Some news for you Mary.

    Climate change cannot be solved by the EU or any international organisation. Climate changes, get used to it.

    Has the EU as a body done anything to abate the terrorism of the last twenty or thirty years? Anything?

    Migration can be turned from a net negative to a net positive by the reform of the welfare state, a change to more liberal business regulation and a reduction in personal taxation. Is the EU going to bring in these reforms?

    International security is a matter of treaties with allies and the ability and resolution to back those treaties with action. The EU tactic of ‘bleat loudly and hide behind America’ may not work for much longer.

    And finally we come to protectionism. Ha-Ha. Ha-Ha. Ha-Ha. The EU is going to help solve protectionism? What a sick joke.

  • John K

    The continued employment of Mary Riddell is one of the odder things the sinister twins have done. You only have to read the online comments to see that she winds up the Telegraph’s readers something rotten. She is so obviously a Guardian or Independent writer, it is hard to think why they brought her on to the Telegraph. I can only wonder that at one stage they wanted to suck up to Gordon Brown, but surely even from their command bunker they can see that he’s a political corpse. It sickens me to think of the decent writers who don’t get a chance, when vapid airheads like Riddell collect the big bucks.

  • M

    Migration can be turned from a net negative to a net positive by the reform of the welfare state, a change to more liberal business regulation and a reduction in personal taxation. Is the EU going to bring in these reforms?

    To be fair, the German and French governments are opposed to letting Turkey into the EU, while the supposedly ‘Euroskeptic’ Tory Party over here are for Turkish entry. Letting Turkey into the EU will trigger a large wave of Islamic immigration into Europe.

  • Nick

    I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry reading Riddell’s piece today – sounds just like the Toynbee of two years ago.

    As for, “the rich world deemed them worthless.” – I wonder if she has a villa in Tuscany?

  • michael

    The Telegraph has a track record on people like Mary Riddell that predates The Brothers. What was that bloke’s name? Simon something, went on to become a labour MP. I regard them as a cathartic experience over breakfast.

  • MarkE


    I think you are thinking of Sion Simon (sorry if I’ve missed some sort of accent), and thanks for reminding me of him. I had started thinking Mary Riddell (any relation of Jiimmy?) et al were a result of Brown’s bail out of the print media (all those expensive government ads telling us, at vast cost, things we already knew, or never wanted to know must help the papers’ finances) but Simon pre dates that. Maybe it’s just the Telegraph showing how broad minded (or gullible) it is? Or softening us up for when Cameron is following the same policies and Riddell and Toynbee are singing his praises?

  • John K

    Yes, Sion Simon, a complete and utter tool. Obviously, Gordon Brown made him a minister, where he has proved to be…a complete and utter tool.

  • Michael Taylor

    Leave it, Jonathan, she’s not worth it. . . .

  • Chris H

    Just a thought, maybe the papers employ really brainless columnists because they know that lots of readers just love to get onto the comment threads to flame them. Lets face it it’s much more fun than posting to agree with someone who talks sense.

  • Paul Marks

    Some 70% of Canadian exports do indeed go to the (collapsing) United States. Yet the Canadian government has not gone in for the orgy of government deficit spending that America and Britain have.

    Canadian government deficit – about 2% of G.D.P.

    British and American government deficits – between 13% and 14% of G.D.P.

    As for Australia – the new Prime Minister (the man I was told not to be upset about last year) has indeed spread money about (although not on the scale of Britain or the U.S. even as a proportion of the economy).

    But this was not on the basis of how this was “needed” to “save the financial system” or other such nonsense. It was a political stunt – to say “look at me I am just like the big boys Brown and Obama”.

    Prime Minister John Howard left Australia left in good shape to survive the coming hard times – and those who did not support him last year should be ashamed of themselves.

    On the general question of the “good” government spending does (“saving banks” and other such).

    “What is seen and what is unseen” Mary Riddell.

    The costs of these rescues is not paid by space aliens from the planet Zog.

    And the cost will wreak the British and American economies.

  • steve-roberts

    I take heart from the way she is getting a beasting in the comments. This is a clear example of the zombie status of the former gatekeepers Brian referred to in his ‘burden of proof’ post.