Monday, 21 May 2012


21 May 2012.

Politicians, economists, commentators, journalists and Jeremy Paxman endlessly go on and on about “GROWTH”, a term which glides smoothly over 99% of their audiences’ heads, leaving no trace, impression or illumination.

The concept is quite simple. In the 1950’s many “slum” houses did not have bathrooms and had solid, outdoor lavatories, (whence came the phrase “Built like a brick-shit-house” to describe a hulking rugby forward), a dank cubicle furnished with lashings of cold fresh-air and yesterday’s newspaper torn into convenient squares. Economic growth, stimulated by government grants and delivered by the great British building and plumbing industry, gave all homes a bathroom and indoor WC. The activity created jobs, plumbing apprenticeships, soft-tissue-toilet-rolls and higher living standards; and was, incidentally, the beginning of the end of the British Empire. We had - Growth!

The problem today is having no easily identified cause that can fire the politico-industrial imagination and indignation as did non-absorbent, lead-printed newspaper squares, threaded on a string, hanging on the back of a damp brick-shed door. Bankers, civil servants and politicians could really get behind that issue.
To stimulate the US and UK economies now, needs similarly robust, clear vision and actions. And, to scotch any scurrilous rumours that I am a dyed in the wool socialist or communist or economic-anarchist, let me explain that all such stimuli require:

(A) A shared vision from our leaders

(B) 10% government grant to get it going, and

(C) 90% private sector funding (the High Street banks) to deliver.

Sadly, we have no leaders, no vision, no bankers and no trained plumbers. All we have are terrified off-shore hoarders, too dim, frightened, selfish and paralyzed to stimulate anything – in case they inadvertently improve anyone’s life but their own. They might be stirred into action by a ressurgence of the Guillotine Industry.

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