Sunday, 16 November 2008

Osborne upsets Gordon Brown show

One of those things that irks me is the way that much of the media in this country will get bound up in just a few of the aspects of a multi faceted problem and almost ignore some other very valid points. This has happened with the really massive depreciation of the pound sterling, not only against the dollar but against a basket of other currencies including the Euro. Now our Prime Minister has been saying that we are better prepared to deal with the downturn than other developed countries. So how come the pound is slipping so fast; in America one of their largest firms and a real icon to their people 'General Motors' is perilously close to bankruptcy yet the dollar is doing well against sterling.

Gordon Brown has been at the G20 meeting on the other side of the pond doing his international statesman thing. When over there he gave his reaction to the comments made by Shadow Chancellor George Osborne to 'The Times': he attacked Osborne over his "partisan talk" in criticising the government over its policies whereby he (Osborne) stated that there could be a collapse of sterling if the government kept trying to borrow its way out of trouble. The Labour reaction is all about politics - no doubt the Tories would behave in a similar way if there was a role reversal - but Brown is 100% wrong in thinking that the opposition should meekly say nothing. The sterling situation is a very serious matter surely but you can be certain that Labour will be hounding Osborne if the pound goes downhill tomorrow when the markets reopen.

I'm not an economist but I do appreciate that there are winners and losers when the comparative value of your currency changes. It's the same argument of course when interest rates alter. Bearing in mind that oil is paid for in dollars and that our contribution to the EU is paid in Euros then it is quite evident that these two items are costing us far more as a result of the pound's weakness. The Opposition have a great opportunity to really get at the occupant of No 10 on this issue and I don't see how Brown can pin the problems with the pound on some other third party.

Although it might seem that I'm a supporter of the Tories that's not necessarily the case. They have been strangely mute in the last few weeks and it's quite possible that they would have 'messed up' if they had been in power for the past 11 years. But they do have a duty to speak up when dire events are happening around us and I'm pleased that George Osborne has now found his voice.

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