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October 30, 2012

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Cameron-olopulous and Milibandakis on the Parthenon to Doom

English: David Cameron's picture on the 10 Dow...
David Cameron (credit: Wikipedia)
(Comparing the crisis in the UK to that of the crisis in Greece)

"Hubris is the word used to describe when someone’s extreme arrogance leads to them losing touch with the world around them. An increasingly arrogant and out of touch political system and a population appeased by apparent prosperity …Cheap money papered over the cracks, the results of years of political, economic and institutional failure.

(Greek) Socialists and Conservatives alternated in power. The two-party system that had dominated, and enjoyed roughly 80 percent of the vote in elections, engaged in a longstanding exchange of favours that involved public sector jobs and contracts being handed to party supporters. These political parties had become the main channels through which business was conducted. Their cronyism stretched its tentacles into the judiciary, the police, the armed forces and most other significant institutions.

Efforts to introduce structural reforms, such as an overhaul of the pension system, were repeatedly abandoned by politicians unwilling to confront the monsters they’d created.

Worse still, extra income was largely going towards boosting consumption. The housing market also enjoyed a boom. To compound the problem, more money was being spent on imported goods ….’

It’s all there: the arrogance of Blair, Brown and Cameron; the complete misfit between the political world and the real one; the appeasement of a banking system lending without restraint; the inflexible political duopoly, and its turn by turn infection of (and by) police, media and the Law; resistance on the Left to the slaughter of sacred cows; resistance on the Right to economic restructuring designed to boost exports; and the credit-card fest that exacerbated the problem by hoovering up hi-tech imports.

It is, in fact, a masterly summary. Of Greece’s demise. All the above extracts are from a speech delivered to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs recently by Nick Malkoutzis. An address titled The Flight of Icarus, its primary theme is the lunacy of Greece being in the eurozone – and being granted entrance in the first place – in the light of recent Greek history. But replace that with ‘the lunacy of Britain staying in the EU’, and it would still be a perfect description of Britain’s post-war decline at the hands of corrupt power freaks dazzled by the false promises of The Common Market.

Hahahahahahahaaaa, but we are not Greece.

Correct.

We (the Brits) are in a far, far worse position than the Greeks:

1. There will be nobody to bail us out.

2. We have a population in terms of size and expectation that is a much bigger burden than Greece’s.

3. Our agricultural self-sufficiency and exports are minimal compared to that of Athens.

4. The Greek national debt is €300.8 billion, the UK's is almost six times bigger – at £1.8 trillion, not including public sector pension liabilities.

5. The Greeks have had austerity imposed upon them. It might not be enough for the headcases of Berlin-am-Brussels, but it is massive compared to our piddling efforts.

6. The Greek banking system is a basket case of known quantity. The British banking system is a mental case of unknown dimensions operating on a global scale second only to the US and China.

An eerie silence has settled upon EC-Athens-Troika communications over the last 24 hours. This is, I’m sure, to do with stalling until the US election is over and done with. Once the Americans have decided between Butterfingers and Sticky Fingers, the brakes will be off.

Hands up all those who think it will be worse for the Greeks than for us.

TheSlog
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