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Jewish World Review
April 2, 2009
/ 8 Nisan 5769
Political Courage British-Style
The Republicans finally found a leader. Too bad he's a Brit.
Daniel Hannan, who represents South East England in the European
Parliament, stood up in that chamber and forcefully addressed Prime
Minister Gordon Brown.
"Prime Minister," MEP Hannan said, "I see you've already mastered the
essential craft of the European politician, namely the ability to say
one thing in this chamber and a very different thing to your home
electorate. You've spoken here about free trade, and amen to that. Who
would have guessed, listening to you just now, that you were the author
of the phrase 'British jobs for British workers' and that you have
subsidized, where you have not nationalized outright, swathes of our
economy, including the car industry and many of the banks? Perhaps you
would have more moral authority in this house if your actions matched
your words. Perhaps you would have more legitimacy in the councils of
the world if the United Kingdom were not going into this recession in
the worst condition of any G-20 country.
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"The truth, Prime Minister, is that you have run out of our money. The
country as a whole is now in negative equity. Every British child is
born owing around 20,000 pounds. Servicing the interest on that debt is
going to cost more than educating the child. Now, once again today you
try to spread the blame around; you spoke about an international
recession, international crisis. Well, it is true that we are all
sailing together into the squalls. But not every vessel in the convoy is
in the same dilapidated condition. Other ships used the good years to
caulk their hulls and clear their rigging in other words, to pay off
debt. But you used the good years to raise borrowing yet further. As a
consequence, under your captaincy, our hull is pressed deep into the
waterline under the accumulated weight of your debt. We are now running
a deficit that touches 10 percent of GDP, an almost unbelievable figure
more than Pakistan, more than Hungary, countries where the IMF have
already been called in. Now, it's not that you're not apologizing; like
everyone else, I have long accepted that you're pathologically incapable
of accepting responsibility for these things. It's that you're carrying
on, willfully worsening our situation, wantonly spending what little we
have left. . In the last 12 months, 100,000 private-sector jobs have
been lost, and yet you created 30,000 public-sector jobs.
"Prime Minister, you cannot carry on forever squeezing the productive
bit of the economy in order to fund an unprecedented engorgement of the
unproductive bit. You cannot spend your way out of recession or borrow
your way out of debt. And when you repeat, in that wooden and
perfunctory way, that our situation is better than others, that we're
'well-placed to weather the storm,' I have to tell you (that) you sound
like a Brezhnev-era apparatchik giving the party line. You know and we
know and you know that we know that it's nonsense!"
The British prime minister's "solutions" resemble those of President
Barack Obama, the Democrats and some Republicans solving a spending
and borrowing crisis by spending and borrowing. Yet Obama brazenly calls
his budget "A New Era of Responsibility."
Obama believes that merely raising taxes on the so-called rich will be
sufficient to fund all of his programs. He believes that the behavior of
the so-called rich will be unaffected by the fact that they will keep a
lot less than what they make. He believes that the same government of
unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare the same
government that runs the now-broke post office and "managed" disaster
relief after Katrina can "create" and "invest" in health care,
"green" jobs and education. He does not pay the slightest attention to
the founding principles of this country a limited government and a
maximum of responsibility by its citizens.
On a recent cable newscast, a pundit actually said that "capitalism" no
longer works. And he was a former top aide to then-Republican House
Majority Leader Newt Gingrich! The future of this country, at least in
my lifetime, has never seemed more frightening and uncertain.
While President Obama busies himself changing the very foundation that
made America great, he might sign an executive order granting
immediate citizenship to Daniel Hannan.
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