Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Quite a Week

Typical. A string of big news stories break this week and I’m snowed under with work and unable to blog. Never mind, I’m here now to comment on the major moves made this week: moves the scale of which haven’t been seen for many years, and which have followed growing international concern about how a system that many of us had taken for granted had broken down.

Yes, Terry Wogan is leaving Eurovision.

In other news ….

The “Why Bother?” Comment: Another bail-out at the expense of those of us who have taken the trouble to be careful with our finances is on the cards. Brown has promised a two year mortgage payment holiday for those who have seen a big drop in income or have lost their jobs. Well, fair enough if you have taken every precaution against such misfortune, but does this mean that those who took out a 100% mortgage without protection will get bailed out with my money? Heck,  Mrs R and I could have gone for a bigger mortgage and got somewhere larger where I didn’t bang my head on the under-stairs cupboard, but we naively cling on to the quaint notion of not over-stretching yourselves in case things go pear-shaped.

“At least”, say the (current) Government, “we are trying to do something, unlike the evil Tories who were a ‘do-nothing’ government”. If only we Conservatives had been a do-nothing government then perhaps we wouldn’t have exacerbated the last recession by being in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. To be frank, though, I’d rather have a do-nothing government than one that puts the country up to its ears in debt to achieve very little.

Reagan had it in one with his advice to politicians: “Don’t just do something – stand there.”

The “Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth” Comment: I’m not going to turn down another mortgage rate cut from my lender, feeling smug as I do that I let my fixed rate end in mid October the day before the 1.5% base rate drop.

Even so, am I the only one that thinks 1.5% was too much, and another 1% is just plain silly? Aren’t we overreacting and failing to see that by now, it’s not the lack or cost of credit that is stopping people spending – it’s the thought that they might not have a job in six months. I’m not convinced that pushing the pound down, and the price of imports up is going to help inflation, especially when added to the rise in fuel costs announced by the Chancellor in the pre-budget report last week. Once the deep discounting of the Christmas and New Year sales is over, what is inflation, and the low base rate, going to look like?

The Teaser: I’m not ignoring the whole Damien Green thing, which in time honoured tradition has been brushed under the carpet for a few news cycles while the inevitable inquiries take place. I will blog about it shortly.

And finally this week, the Queen went to Parliament and gave a speech. Nothing to get excited about.

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