Most of the officials in this country don’t remember what inflation looks like. I can. And that scares me.
I experienced two major fights. The first wave of the 1970s stranded my parents, who in the summer of 1963 had sold the family home and invested the money (wisely, I might say, by knowledge of the time) after my father , a former naval officer, took a job with an attached house.
Our modest semi in a pleasant suburb of Portsmouth sold for £ 4,500. I suspect it would go now for around 100 times over. They never got back on the housing ladder. In fact, at the time, most people didn’t realize it was a ladder. By the time they realized the mistake they had made, it was too late.
My father, who passed away in 1987, pretty much survived retirement with two declining pensions and a part-time job, but it was a closed business.
Most of the officials in this country don’t remember what inflation looks like. I can. And that scares me. (Above, children playing with German banknotes – worthless currency – in 1923)
It is people like him who are hitting inflation, the hardworking, thrifty and responsible foundation of the country. You really don’t want such people in the pipeline. It is not only cruel and false. It is very bad for stability and order.
For me, starting work in 1973, the astonishing reduction in change was a bit of a lark. I had no savings and my small salary tended to catch up with inflation quite quickly. But things quickly changed.
Trying to buy my own apartment in the early Thatcher years was a race against the prices that seemed to go up every few minutes.
At the time, I had savings, but they couldn’t keep pace. I was amazed at how much debt I had to take on. Everyone said it was the right thing to do, but I almost fell when mortgage interest soared into the clouds in the late 1980s.
A little girl standing in the middle of a London council estate, circa 1985
I have expected inflation to come back for some time, since the government started printing money (“quantitative easing”) after the last big crash. It took a while to realize that it had already started, as the official rate was barely moving.
But the rate officially lies. This does not include (for example) the effect of minimal or no interest on savings, special inflation targeted at those of us who have been foolish enough to put something aside for a rainy day. .
If people want to demonstrate against Israel, as they did on Saturday outside our offices, that is their right.
But can they please stop using the slogan “Free Palestine”? If they ever get their heart’s desire, Palestine can be many things, but it will not be free.
There have not been, for example, elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council since 2006.
Actually, as far as I know, it does not include food, drinks, train fares, bus fares, council tax, electricity charges, gas charges, university fees and student rentals, all of which are growing much faster than the state. inflation index, which appears to be calculated from the prices of buttons, imported pants, clothespins and custard.
But after more than a year of leave and Rishinomics, when all reasonable rules have been sidelined, I think the doubling of the official rate last week is a warning of much worse to come.
The government, in a frenzy of panic, has spent impossible amounts of money that it does not have.
Outside of the two world wars (when we were, in fact, saved by the United States), nothing like this has been attempted before. The size of the economy has not grown to match the amount of money that is flowing.
So far, there has never been just one way out. Money shrinks, even dies. I suspect this is already being seen in the latest house price spike, as people struggle to swap money for real assets, before they lose value.
Why is it important? Everyone seems sure that we won’t be going the way of 1920s Germany with a pint of milk or a loaf of bread costing ten million pounds on Monday and 30 million the following Friday.
After all, we are a rich country, aren’t we? Where are we? Our debts are huge. Our business is in the red.
To what extent does this prosperity depend on our ability, to date, to borrow at reasonable interest rates? What if the world decides we’re not such a good risk after all?
I hope the people in charge know what they are doing. I really do.
Trying to buy my own apartment in the early Thatcher years was a race against the prices that seemed to go up every few minutes. At that time I had savings, but they couldn’t keep up
No BBC bias? Do not make me laugh
My former colleague Andrew Marr, raised to great fame and status by the BBC, complained about the Society’s rules against political prejudice. He is frustrated “not being able to speak in his own voice”.
How I laughed when I saw this. When he and I were both columnists in a certain national daily, he was the voice of the left and I of the right.
His sympathy for Blairism and the European project was as strong as my hostility towards these things. At the same time, he also writes for the Left-wing Observer (his Europhile and Blairite chronicles are still available).
My former colleague Andrew Marr, raised to great fame and status by the BBC, complained about the Society’s rules against political prejudice. He is frustrated “not being able to speak in his own voice”. How i laughed when i saw that
Yet the “impartial” BBC claims that Andrew has somehow gone neutral since. He therefore became a political editor and then a major animator. No such amnesty would ever be granted to me, even at a much lower level. These days I can barely access the BBC.
The reason for this is obvious. Andrew’s opinions are in line with the natural bias of the BBC, so they are not (officially) views. Andrew rightly described the BBC as “a publicly funded urban organization with an unusually high proportion of young people, people from ethnic minorities and almost certainly gay men, compared to the general population”.
All of this, he said, “creates an innate liberal bias within the BBC.” And he takes advantage of it. Do all of us a favor, Andrew, and don’t complain.
Welby says sorry … but not for his cruel mistake
Justin Welby, who to my astonishment is still Archbishop of Canterbury, chose Thursday evening, when the world was hijacked by the Martin Bashir affair, to offer a very strange apology.
Mr. Welby previously worked as a “dormitory officer” in evangelical Christian camps for public schoolchildren. These were run by a violent pervert and lawyer called John Smyth QC, now deceased.
Smyth liked to beat his accusations. A lot. Eight of the boys received a total of 14,000 lashes, and two of them received 8,000 lashes between them over three years.
Justin Welby (above), who to my astonishment is still Archbishop of Canterbury, chose Thursday night, as the world was hijacked by the Martin Bashir affair, to offer a very strange apology.
Now Mr. Welby says, “I want to issue a full personal apology. I’m sorry this was done in the name of Jesus Christ by a perverted version of spirituality and evangelism.
Well, we all are. But I don’t know exactly what he’s sorry about. The Archbishop says he had no knowledge of the abuse at the time, and I believe he is and is a true man. But he should consider himself lucky to be judged by people with a better sense of justice than he.
This is the same Welby who allowed and defended the nationwide publication of unproven and unsubstantiated anonymous claims that the great and courageous Bishop of Chichester, George Bell, had been a child molester, to the fury of his family. survivor and the many who had known, loved and admired him.
After a careful investigation by a prominent lawyer Lord Carlile erased George Bell, Welby will not accept that he blundered and sulkily proclaimed that a ‘significant cloud’ was still hovering on the name of Bishop Bell. Man has no respect for the presumption of innocence. Yet he himself is sheltered from it.
I think this fact should trouble him, as long as he refuses to admit his grave mistake.
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