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Tuesday 30 June 2020

Bozo Is Not Franklin Roosevelt

Reinvention of history: something that seems so easy to do, given that those intimately involved lived a long way away, and are now dead. Sadly, that history was more than adequately enough recorded to defeat those attempting to reinvent it. Thus the Tories’ latest confidence trick: back to the 1930s, bringing us FDR’s New Deal all over again.
FDR: the greatest of Presidents

So it is that the Murdoch Times has told readers “‘New Deal’ spending spree to boost Britain’s recovery … Johnson echoes Roosevelt with pledge of cash for hospitals, roads, rail and schools”. The Guardian has also led on this “news”, telling “First Churchill, then Roosevelt: Johnson promises ‘UK New Deal’ … PM to lay claim to vision on par with US President during Great Depression”. It sounds magnificent. But it is mere PR hokum.

Leaving aside the inconvenient fact that the administration on whose watch the Great Crash of 1929 occurred, and the Great Depression took hold, was not that of FDR, but of Herbert Hoover, who was dispatched in a landslide in the 1932 Presidential election, there are three very obvious shortcomings in the proposals reported today.
One, the amount to be committed to this “spending spree” is £5 billion. That’s for the whole country, to cover improvements in “hospitals, roads, rail and schools”. The impression that this is mere spin is inescapable. Two, the sudden reinvention of the Tories as modern-day New Dealers has come as a result of one of their number misreading history.

To no surprise at all, that individual is Michael “Oiky” Gove, who has been waxing lyrical about the “Forgotten Man”, and reshaping the machinery of Government in order to deal with the post-pandemic challenge. His problem is that chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings is not reshaping Government in order to face new challenges, but because, in his delusional state, he thinks he knows more about it than all others.
And Three, the Tories and their media hangers-on fail totally to understand that FDR, for all his good intentions, did not cure the ills of the Great Depression overnight; indeed, he made little impact on the crippling levels of unemployment in his first term, hampered as he was by his advisors, who were instilled with the orthodox economics of the day.

At the height of the Depression, US unemployment was 25%. By 1939, this had only declined to 17%. Keynes urged action as early as 1933, telling FDR “I lay overwhelming emphasis on the increase of national purchasing power resulting from Government expenditure which is financed by loans”. But their meeting did not convince FDR to change tack. Kenyes “supposed the President was more literate, economically speaking”.
Beware the deception of a false prophet

What finally brought recovery from the Depression was World War 2. And of that route out of mass unemployment we need say no more. Why, then, was FDR reelected as President? Simples. His opponents had nothing convincing to offer the electorate. He was, at least, trying to alleviate the effects of the Depression.

But today’s Labour Party is, increasingly, convincing the voters, and hence this PR initiative, for that is all it is. Gove read a book on FDR, reinvented it to fit the mayhem being wreaked by his pal Dom, briefed Johnson, then span it to the press.

But Johnson was not Churchill, and he is not FDR. This is more wicked deception.
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Steve Woods said...

First Churchill, now Roosevelt.

The next stop will be Stalin, whose great pre-war achievements included purging one-third of the officers in the Red Army.

How many thousands has Butcher Johnson purged with his incompetent handling of the pandemic?

The Toffee (597) said...

"But today’s Labour Party is, increasingly, convincing the voters"

Are you shitting me? If anything, the ONLY reason SOME MIGHT think of voting labour is because this current bunch of toerags are so utterly shite.

Most people I know cannot tell the difference. I certainly can't.

The Toffee (597) said...

£5bn eh?

That'll provide the nation with about 3 miles of your precious HS2 track, Tim.

Blancmange Workout said...

Bozo: New Doe (sic) for Tory donors. Old Dole, ZHC for the rest.

Rosie said...

"Nothing to fear except fear itself" said FDR. He had not met Cummings and Johnson.

grim northerner said...


Anonymous said...

er...New Deal didn't work, WW2 saved the economy, attack China, sorted.

Unknown said...

Lard Bladder dePfeffel - not sure I can endure another week, much less another four years. Can we organise the New Swine flu for him and Coffey A.S.A.P ?

Starbuck said...

the New Deal was more than shovel-ready jobs for the unemployed.
it involved rejuvenating and expanding the transport infrastructures and public services all over America.
it was estimated that the spending totalled around 40% of the US GDP over almost 3 years.
in today's UK context, that would mean spending north of 800 billions pounds of new, extra cash, rather than 5 billions already committed.

for comparisons, that's 5 billions for 64 millions brits.
in the EU, just at the supranational level (ECB and Commission), they are planning to spend 750 billions for 440+ millions citizens. in addition to everything that will be spent at a national and regional level

Best regards,

Anonymous said...

"Right ladies and gentlemen. I need some Rooseveltian ideas for our New Deal. Projects that inspire our illustrious peasantry."

"We could borrow from Orson Welles and get Sam Mendes to do an all-black version of The Tempest starring only minority actors from Birmingham?"


"How about paying kids to write songs?"

"I think not."

"What about environmental technology. Push the limits. Thousand foot high wind turbines in the sea with horizontal rotors made of coated aerogel?"

"Have you been spending time with Corbyn again? I need some ideas we can sell to the public. Big roads. Big construction, that sort of lark."

"So more like Hitler than Roosevelt?"

"NO. More Eisenhower. He built big roads and he was a very good military leader, almost as good as Kenneth More."

"Prime Minister, Eisenhower threw enormous sums of money at colleges. And the CIA used to covertly fund anti-establishment art. Jackson Pollock-type creations."

"I am not spending money on lefty Pollocks. Cummings, have you any ideas?"

"Was just leaving Prime Minister. But yes. I think we can do some artistic projects that will keep the Red Wall voters happy."

"Go on."

"Well the newspapers are in decline and they're our chums. We could pay them money to keep them afloat and in return they could produce free educational guides for the British people."

"Impressive. Give me examples."

"Well for instance the Daily Express could do a Brexit colouring book for kids. The Times a guide to the various types of Antifa extremists, and the Sun could do a politics primer showing their readers the difference between Richard Marx, Karl Marx and the Marx Brothers."

"Splendid! Write me a report and I'll catch up with you soon."

"Thank you Prime Minister. I'm going to my local wildlife park to have a stare-out contest with the Owls."

"Keeping that eyesight in tip-top condition. Bravo!"

Anonymous said...

Odd how few people want to remember the US Nazi plot to overthrow Roosevelt.

It might have succeeded if it hadn't been exposed by General Smedley Butler.

However, the gory details can be found still in The Plot To Seize The White House by Jules Archer. Useful companion tomes are Wall Street And The Rise Of Hitler by Antony Sutton, and The Anglo American Establishment by Carroll Quigley. All of them are impeccably sourced.

But the takeover coup was only delayed by less than a generation. Today, we have the mufti equivalent of too-obvious Ernst Roehm on both sides of the Atlantic, both of whom will be removed - but by less physically drastic measures. Their replacements will ensure the coup remains intact.

There will, of course, be no "New Deal". But there will be plenty of platitudinous lying pr slogans from whichever far right replacements hold the bag. All of it underpinned by the usual gutless jobsworth media clerks.

Pity the poor people.