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Sunday 27 December 2015

Toby Young - Euro Bashing Bellend

At a time when not everyone is enjoying Christmas cheer, one right-leaning pundit can be guaranteed to raise a festive laugh by sneering before engaging brain and bothering to do a few minutes’ research. Yes, he was bunged industrial quantities of taxpayers’ money to set up his own Free School, but when it comes to the basics of economics, the loathsome Toby Young is even more clueless than usual.
More grown up debate from Tobes. Or maybe not

On Boxing Day, Tobes took to Twitter to regale his adoring fans (whomsoever they be) with his latest discovery in the promotion of his own particular anti-EU cause. “The problem with Europe's socialist parties is that they refuse to recognise this problem” he declared. What problem could this be? Why, the Eurozone percentage of debt to GDP had risen from 84% in 2010 to 92% last year, which clearly proved something.
Sadly for Tobes, it proved nothing about socialism: the motor of the Eurozone economy, Germany, has been led by a centre-right Chancellor since 2005, either as part of a centre-right coalition, or as part of a “grand coalition” with the centre-left. Given that Angela Merkel has been Chancellor throughout that period, it can only be assumed that the centre-right was at all times the dominant coalition force.
Other Eurozone countries have had centre-right Governments throughout that period, such as the Netherlands. France, Italy, Spain and Portugal have had centre-right Governments for part of that period. Perhaps Tobes would like to show how centre-left parties have “refused to recognise” the problem of an increasing percentage of debt to GDP? But his fans will be waiting a long time for that one, because he can’t.

And it gets worse: while Tobes instructs his followers to “look over there” at a rise in the percentage of debt to GDP across the Eurozone from 84% to 92% between 2010 and 2014 - a whole 8% - what he is not telling is that the same percentage in the UK went from 78.4% in 2010 to 89.4% in 2014. Not only is the UK very close behind the Eurozone on this one, its rise on this one indicator has been 37.5% greater.
Worse, once again Tobes looks at an indicator of debt and proclaims that is is something about which we should be concerned. This is weapons grade bullshit on three counts. One, the percentage of debt to GDP has in the past been far higher - in the wake of World War 2 it was in excess of 230%. Two, other developed nations sustain far higher debt percentages - Japan’s is well over 200% - and nobody sneers at them.

And three, it is not just about debt, but the country’s ability to service it, that matters, along with the confidence that outside investors have in the country’s ability to repay that debt. None of this concerns Toby Young, because he is doing no more than indulging in a cheap exercise in partisan posturing. That exercise has unravelled because he is economically illiterate and cannot be bothered checking his facts first.

Is someone like that a fit person to be bunged all that money to start a Free School? That’s another case of “you might wish to ask that, I couldn’t possibly comment”.


Anonymous said...

That'll be the same TobyJug who supported deliberate tory deindustrialisation of the country. And thus, through earned revenues, an ability to repay debt at a faster rate. Instead, we have an economy based on money laundering and crooked deals through a corrupt banking system in London - euphemistically this is called "financial services"......you know, like a mafia "protection" racket.

Nobody should expect that kind of twisted neofascist mentality to even remotely understand economics, let alone a definition of socialism.

The fellow is a moronic tin drummer and should be dealt with as such.

Jeff said...

In fact as the issuer of its own currency on a free floating exchange rate the UK will never have a problem servicing or repaying 'debt'. The only constraints are labour availability and physical resources (and the former you can solve by importing more workers through immigration). We can never run out of Sterling, ever.

Progressives need to stop repeating neoliberal talking points and doing the Conservatives work for them and begin to reframe the argument around the reality of how the world actually works, regardless of how hard or difficult that may be.