The rise and rise of China

A few years ago the world’s four largest economies were the USA, Japan, Germany and the UK. We have long warned readers of the UK’s spectacular fall from grace, which is still continuing. The UK is now in seventh place and still declining. The sharp sell off in sterling last year, allied to the contraction in GDP, has propelled the UK below France and Italy.

The rise of China will also be familiar to visitors to this site. China has stormed up the league tables, to reach the second slot in a table of the world’s largest economies. This has mainly been achieved by growth rates of close to 10% per annum, based on her huge success as an exporter.

When I wrote Superpower Struggles in 2005 I forecast:

“A much more effective competitor to the US, potentially a major global player, is rising in the Far East. … It (the Chinese economy) has already overtaken Italy to become the world’s sixth largest economy, and will soon pass the size of France and the UK at market exchange rates. By the next decade it will be larger than Germany, in third place, poised to overtake Japan.”

The forecast was almost too cautious, as China only waited for three weeks of the new decade before announcing her second place.

Before the latest phase of China’s rise and the UK’s decline, the top four economies of the world had a certain balance. The US and UK were heavy borrowers. Their consumers sucked in imports from the successful exporters. Their banks and borrowers drew on capital from the savings of the successful exporting economies. In contrast, Germany and Japan were economies driven by savings and manufacture for export. It is true that the US was a lot bigger than the other three, but for a number of years it was a relatively stable system which let the Anglo Saxons borrow and spend, and the others save and sell overseas.

China’s rise now has an important impact on the world economy. China’s huge stimulus last year helped end the recession in many parts of the world. Now China’s early wish to rein in bank lending before the bubbles grow too big is sending shivers around world markets as changes in the Fed’s attitude always do. The arrival of another export led high savings economy at the top of the tables makes it even more competitive for Germany and Japan, struggling to handle the sharp downturn in demand triggered by the bursting of the borrowing bubble on both sides of the Atlantic.

Nor should we think China’s arrival in second slot marks an end to this period of rapid change. Whilst it is going to take a good few years for even China to catch up with the size of the US economy, we could well see India from just outside the top ten and Brazil from tenth slot advance up the rankings. Going in the opposite direction could well be Spain and Italy as well as the UK, as all suffer from economic weakness in an ever more competitive world.

What lessons should we draw from all this? The first is that this remains the age of the Pacific. Two of the largest economic gainers are and will be China and India. There is a decisive shift in economic power occurring from old world and western world, to new world and eastern world. It could have a lot further to go, as these emerging economies have many more people to shift from agriculture to more productive activities. They remain with low incomes per head, able to apply existing technology to catching up the west.

The second is that the big gulf between the exporters and the borrowers has become too large and is now a cause of instability. Adjustment hurts both sides. Indeed, Germany and Japan, the exporters, took a bigger hit than the leading borrower, the USA, during the last downturn. From here we think the borrowers are going into leaner times, as they have to rein in some of their excess consumption and borrowing.

The third is that there remains too much capacity around the world. The older and dearer exporting countries, like Germany and Japan, will probably struggle more to adjust than the newer and cheaper exporters like China.

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48 Comments

  1. Posted January 22, 2010 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Why oh why do we give them aid?

    • Posted January 23, 2010 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Ken from glos: "Why oh why do we give the aid?"

      I have yet to understand where a politician who is elected to represent the interests of a particular group of people in a given geographical area, obtains the authority to take money from the people he represents and pay it to people actually governments in foreign countries?

      It's not as if the British people aren't very generous of their own initiative, the list of once voluntary organizations is legion.

      And it is not as if there isn't areas of quite terrible deprivation in our own country, is it?

      ———–

      Mr Redwood. We have disagreed about the nature of the EU since the Lisbon treaty has come into force, would you comment on the story that the Foreign and commonwealth office is closing British Embassies around the world while the European Union – now it has legal personality – is opening Embassies?

      You and I disagreed that the EU was now considered a State having obtained legal personality post Lisbon. This has a bearing on your and Mr Cameron's assertion that the Tories will oppose any future European Union treaties. I and one or two others have asserted that this is a dishonest 'promise' by Cameron since there will be no European Union Treaties among the former independent constituent State as post Lisbon the European Union has gained Legal personality and the trappings of Statehood. To support this I cited the Montevideo Convention on The Rights and Duties of States 1933.

      I would be interested in your reply?

      Reply: As an opponent of Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon who voted against all 3 I am not sure we do disagree that much. Of course I object to the EU developing legal personality and establishing Embassies, and I wish to see the UK maintain its full range of Embassies. It surely is better to have a party in office which wishes to reverse some of the trasfer of power to the EU and will give the people a referendum on any future Treaty, than to carry on with a party which has been doing all the transferring. There is no evidence that the public are about to vote in a party which stands for immediate withdrawal which you would probably like. In the past such parties have failed to secure a single Parliamenatry seat at Westminster, but have often helped the federalist parties.

      • Posted January 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        JR: "As an opponent of Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon who voted against all 3 I am not sure we do disagree that much."

        Thank you for your reply. As far as I am concerned, your record is not the slightest in question..

        However you would have me deceive myself by encouraging me to think that a Tory party that has Kenneth Clarke in the shadow cabinet but not John Redwood is the political vehicle to further the cause I favor?

        I am afraid that is incredible!

        The issue I am trying to tease out is this. When Cameron says he will oppose further treaties [involving the UK negotiating with the EU] we know there will be no such treaties, the UK has been fully absorbed into the European Union. The European Union will through its own external embassies negotiating with prospective candidate countries agree their terms to accede to membership of the EU.

        It is disingenuous of Cameron to assert that he will oppose any further treaties as in the instance:

        1. where the UK would be involved there will be no such treaties.
        2. where new applicants to join the EU are involved the negotiations will be conducted between the EU 'high representative' and the EU foreign diplomatic service and the applicant nation.

        In short Cameron is being dishonest.

        • Posted January 25, 2010 at 12:35 am | Permalink

          Lisbon is self amending, no further treaties are necessary.
          The only things we can discuss in Parliament is stuff that Brussels has no interest in, like Snow for instance.
          We have been sold dopwn the river, Parliament is a charade.

  2. Posted January 22, 2010 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    The potential to overhaul our economy with new technologies and become world competitive is still there. We just need an end to the ruination of our finances, and our businesses through taxation and burdensome regulation.

    In my business no one wants to assume any responsibility. They admit they are frightened by the industrial tribunal system, as they've seen sacked criminals being rewarded with pay-offs too many times and don't want any more to do with it.

    Get these idiots off our backs. Close down the tribunals. They alone are destroying our manufacturing economy.

  3. Posted January 22, 2010 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    oh yes and lets see a post on india too please

  4. Posted January 22, 2010 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    phil woolas on radio 4 today programme again this morning

    yet again talking rubbish about immigration

    and yet again no opposition spokesman

    why are the bbc allowed to let him give his view unchallenged

    and why no conservative spokespeople trying to get on this show to discuss this issue?

    • Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Maybe the Conservatives have now finally given up on the BBC. After all, the gross and naked bias of the BBC does nothing to help the Conservatives put their message across.

      Perhaps the BBC will return to some semblance of neutrality if the Conservatives win the next election but, based on previous decades, I doubt it.

      The Internet has provided many more sources of news and information, anyway.

    • Posted January 22, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      I'd have rather seen Frank Field. He is conversant with the realities and prepared to discuss them openly in a way that doesn't raise hackles. Although Sir Christopher Soames is Field's co-chair of the Balanced Migration group, he lacks the same public profile. Conservative immigration policy is still in the formative stages. In essence, they've only announced changes to the visa regime for students, and an ill defined overall cap so far.

      reply Nicholas Soames!

      • Posted January 22, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        why is it left to frank field to table written questions re intra company transfer visas as he did yesterday

        the conservatives should be raising questions to highlight the abuse of these visas

        • Posted January 24, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink

          No One: "the conservatives should be raising questions to highlight the abuse of these visas"

          The Tories are spineless, they are petrified of the accusation of 'racism' that wouldl inevitably be levied by myriad BBC 'spokespersons' and left leaning media on any aspect of immigration.

          Yet Gorgon Brown is allowed carte Blanche to put forward his puerile and frankly dishonest 'British jobs for British people' drivel.

          Abolish the BBC license tax. Let the BBC executives figure out how to earn their keep. Hint: if SKY can do it so can the BBC.

  5. Posted January 22, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Your analysis is excellent but you ignore the effects of energy. For many decades the USA was the worlds largest producer of oil. That is the single most important reason for the huge economic success of America. Since 1970 oil production has declined continuously and that has eroded it's industrial capacity and balance of payments to the point that it relied of financial fraud and massive debt to maintain it's lifestyle and imperial ambitions.
    That will not continue much longer. Unfortunately China and India are coming to the party when the whole worlds oil production is set to decline. They will probably advance for a few more years but increasing shortages of energy and conflicts over the remaining supplies will mean their citizens will never enjoy the wealth that the west has had.
    This also has a large effect on the UK. We are now a net importer of energy and therefore are more reliant on fewer and fewer unstable countries just as China, India and the US will be. Look forward to relative and absolute declines in living standards here and across the world.
    It is a sad reflection on our political systems that our leaders are unable to acknowledge these facts without destroying their electoral chances.

  6. Posted January 22, 2010 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Yes interesting that those who are climbing up the league ladder are mainly from Country's with low cost labour, low cost power, low cost government, fewer regulations, lower borrowing by individuals, who have a lower standard of living, with less health care provision, fewer social benefit systems, less local government interference, and a lower life expectantcy.

    Is it a surprise that with all of the overheads, government regulations, high cost of power, business rates, premises and wages we cannot compete.

    Not really.

    Just depends what you value most, and where you prefer to live.

    I suggest the answer is something in the middle for a more balanced economy and way of life.

    • Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      The danger of standing in the middle of the road is clear. You get run over.

      • Posted January 22, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Robert

        Sometimes its best to have a little of both worlds.

        All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
        But a bit of independance and health care goes a long way.

        • Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. But our national overhead and attendant bureaucracy is out of control. One certain way to business failure is to love your bureaucracy. The same is true of States. We should try to get from an overhead of 50% to one of 10%.

        • Posted January 22, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          Lola

          Absolutely correct.

          The only people who love bureaucracy are those employed by it, seems to give many of them a feeling of power, they produce no wealth, in fact curtaill it, and we certainly have far too many of them.

  7. Posted January 22, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    John,

    Again you seem to be the best strategic thinker in Parliament. Whilst most politicans focus on benefits and their next term in office, your focus is clearly on the goal and not on running after the football.

    No politician wants to tell their electorate it will be tough in future. But it will be. Every politician wants to tell their electorate they will have lots of extra money to spend on them in future. They won't.

    Responsiblity, custodianship, sacrifice and hard work all seem distant concepts to politicians. Politicians are are not good role models. They think they are leaders but really want the power. The public all know they are either impotent back benchers or busy spinning on the front benches. Yet we are constantly told we are the hardest working nation in the EU. Why can't politicians offer rewards for hard work?

    Alot of people are saying on the trading floor that the "recession starts after the election". I'm more optimistic about human nature. I think there will be a period of hardship, but I think people, fundementally want to have a high standard of living and want to work hard to get it. If that means competing with China so be it. It's a pity politicians just want to offer us sweeties.

  8. Posted January 22, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    When the Soviet empire collapsed we learnt that most of what they claimed about their economy was untrue. They were, of course, communists and believed that the end justified the means. So they lied.

    Who runs China? Do you really have faith in the statistics they produce?

    • Posted January 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      You mean you trust the UK's statistics? Two months in a row we have had inflation numbers that look too convenient to be true. The same applied to GDP data when we went into recession (which was subsequently revised to show decline rather than growth). The BoE admits it can't trust statistics on trade (in part because of VAT carousel fraud) or much else too:
      http://neweconomist.blogs.com/new_economist/2006/

      Perhaps the untrustworthiness of our own statistics means the collapse of our own "communist system" is imminent. We can but hope.

  9. Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Please write something on Obama's latest announcement on US banks.

    I can't wait to read what you think

  10. Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Couple of points.

    Chinese growth "…based on her huge success as an exporter" based on protectionist and mercantilist policies. Essentially this is a begger my customer policy. It will in the end give China problems. I don't know when.

    The 'old' economies coud be seen as global pensioners. Aging and spending their capital on a National Annuity as they (we!) decline to senility and death.

    And in those economies what will the youthful and entrepreneurial say? "Sod that for a game of soldiers. I'm off." Accelarating the decline.

    So lads, it's choice time.

  11. Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    On the question of BBC bias why is David Dimbleby allowed to get away with being GB's mouthpiece on Question Time? Seemingly often with a pro-left audience.

    His pre-prepared harangue of Tory guests often parrotting the Labour LTT is a disgrace!

    Time to kick these sand-in-face confrontations into touch and to only appear on 'friendly' shows. Tony learned this lesson and it is time Mr Cameron did too.

  12. Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I don't think China is any different to most economies. The statistics can be taken with a pinch of salt. Much like the US and UK employment statistics, that gloss over the 'inactive' people. They'll have booms and big busts, but I think they'll slowly ratchet up. Where the UK goes from here? Oil and Finance seem to be running out or in the later case, being run out.

    It seems a bit odd that at a time of economic calamity, some people say: the best hope for the opposition seems to be the former chancellor and the best hope for the government seems to be the prospective chancellor.

  13. Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    John Redwood for Chancellor!

  14. Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    The effect of compound growth is unrelenting & in time spectacular. At this rate China will overtake the USA by the end of the decade.

    China, India & Brazil are experimental evidence of what works – increasing economic freedom. The EU & to a lesser extent the USA are experiments in what doesn't – increasing regulations.

    The good news is that the long term trend has been that the richest countries have grown faster than the poorer (this is why the disparity between us & Senegal is far greater than in the 18thC). This is because the most advanced technologies improve fastest (eg Moore's law in computing). That means that if we could just get government off our backs we could exceed China's growth rate, probably significantly exceed it.

  15. Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    My old dad told me that this country makes its money by selling stuff abroad, but that they won't buy ours if we don't buy theirs. He was a Chartered Mechanical Engineer who worked for companies which sold well designed and well made stuff. He was never out of a job but didn't earn a lot of money despite being very clever.
    It seems to me that the country is so tied up in knots that only lawyers and the money men are getting well paid. Even the medics and M.P.'s are falling behind in real terms. If we lived in a society that revered and rewarded engineering and technological ability then we could earn our keep and provide manufacturing jobs. Everyone would have a higher standard of living.
    The artsy inclined would be better off writing and producing plays and film, which could also generate income from abroard, rather than just churning in the parasitic legal profession. It comes back to education.
    Energy is the other very big issue. My teenage son told me that an area of desert the size of Austria could supply the whole world's energy needs if used for solar power. If there is any truth in this then why aren't we forging links with desert owning countries and planning a cable to transport the electricity here. Imagine a world where Africa looks after the rest of us?
    I have read that China is buying up all the metals needed for solar power and that the USA is buying up large water aquifers ie. strategic planning, but where is ours? If we carry on like this with a dumbed down, short term, rights driven society then we will be back to tilling the land, and after the way the farmers have been treated in the last few years don't expect any mercy!

    • Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Engineers are much more open minded and liberal than artists. Go to any university and the Engineering students mix in, despite their workloads, and go to arty stuff for fun. You won't see an arty student at an engineering event.

      Engineering is hugely creative, as is making a business. As a bloke who is both an Engineer and who has made a business in a different discipline I am in a position to say this.

      Georgie, put the Arts Council Quango on the list for closure and get out of all state payments of taxpayers money to the arts. It's a con job.

      • Posted January 22, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Lola

        Blimey I am agreeing with you again. Thats twice in a day !!!!!!

        Also a qualified Engineer who set up his business in another discipline.

      • Posted January 22, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Dead on Lola. A lot of our problems come from the fact that arts graduates run Britain, have little knowledge of the sciences & worse have little knowledge that they have little knowledge. Note, for excmple, that the BBC' s "environmental expert" Roger Harrabin's degree is, according to wiki, in English rather than anything related to science.

      • Posted January 22, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        Art is my passion and I have never, it is true been to an engineering exhibition (except model engineering and that doesn't count).
        Nevertheless, after many, many years of painting and drawing, I have simply given up trying to please or even sell. I just paint for myself now and stick the pictures up on the wall – unless anyone wants to take them home (and they do).
        The government ought to be there protecting national treasures – National Gallery, Old Tate, Science Museum etc. It most certainly ought not to be there subsidising modern rubbish (no names, no moderation!) that can safely be left to the market forces and the very few remaining rich!

    • Posted January 23, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      For a comprehensive and readable analysis of future energy needs and sources I recommend David MacKay: Sustainable Energy – without the hot air, which is available as a pdf free download http://www.withouthotair.com/

  16. Posted January 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I've never understood how China has got away with fixing the exchange rate with West rather than letting the Yuan float.

    It seems to me that this is the equivalent of protectionism. The long term result will be the destruction of the Western manufacturing base since we are able to buy pretty well everything from China at very low prices because of the artificial exchange rate.

    Then China rules the World.

    • Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      But who will it sell to if it has bankrupted us and its other global customers

      • Posted January 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        I suspect that World domination is their end plan and the Chinese are renowned for playing a long game. Once they have the West by the short and curlies they will rule the roost. They can then choose to sell to themselves – its a pretty big market. I can envisage a 'Chinese Empire' in the latter part of this century upon which 'the sun would never set'. They are making a pretty good start in Africa already.

  17. Posted January 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    A few thoughts – China – a conundrum
    An investment review understandably focuses on the world‟s largest economy, America. The current implicit assumption is that, although America may have problems, China as the world‟s number two power will provide rock-solid demand and growth. This premise is false. Almost without exception, discussions on the Chinese economy include a child-like suspension of disbelief, even though policy there is similar to – and as flawed as – the West and Japan. It may even be less sustainable. Why? Up to the beginning of 2009, China‟s banks were increasing their loans at a steady rate. Loan growth is determined by the Central Bank. Late in 2008, it decreed that the local form of quantitative easing would be to command private sector banks to lend to all-comers. By April, new bank loans had increased fivefold; if continued over a full year, they would have been equivalent to half of GDP. Yet this decision to use forced lending as a stimulus has produced a miserly result: GDP growth annualised for the year to September is 7.7%. Miserly? Why, because all but 0.7% of it was “investment”( buying stocks and commodities).
    China‟s statistics are notoriously inaccurate; many simply reflect pre-set government targets and quotas rather than the actual result. Even so, they prove how much of this investment has been pointless. It has been wasted in a surge of loans for stock market and property speculation and in increasing capacity for sectors already in chronic oversupply. For example, at the end of 2008 China had installed cement capacity of 1.3 billion tonnes p.a., and consumes more than the whole of the rest of the world put together. Surplus capacity is over 300 million tonnes. Loans have been earmarked to build more cement plants. There is much excitement about the surge in Chinese commodity imports, again a dubious proposition. Copper inventories (copper is the best yardstick for any real industrial activity, as it is used in virtually every product) year to-date have also increased fivefold; meanwhile, unsold manufactured goods across many industries using copper have also soared. In short, China‟s miraculous growth through the world‟s worst ever recession is to a large extent an illusion. It is probably no coincidence that, following the 60th anniversary of the communist party taking power, these largely useless stimuli were stopped. By the end of September, loan growth had fallen back by two thirds.

  18. Posted January 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    "Backofanenvelope", you don't need statistics, just go shopping, the chances are 85% of everything you see will have been made outside the UK, and probably in one of the new economies especially china. Most of it will have been made on machines which the original designs of were European or American, we have sold them or allowed them to steal the knowledge and experience that most Western countries took generations to develop, only to have it turned back on us. So that most factories in the west are now powered and tooled from factories in the east.
    It's exactly the same with our civilisation, the freedoms that took years of wars and strife to give us our open societies are now being used against us in a battle to take us over, which when complete will see those very same freedoms taken from us.

    • Posted January 22, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      First, in reply to an earlier comment, I think UK stats are probably honest – it is the governments interpretations that are dishonest.

      As far as China is concerned, we have no idea if the stats are honest. The 2-3000 elite in China are riding the tiger – they will lie and lie to avoid trying to dismount.

      In the end they will come a cropper and forecasts of China's rise will all be rubbish. We on the other hand have a system that has worked for 250 years.

      • Posted January 22, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately we have abandoned that system in the last 12 years.

        We had a system based on free markets – we abandoned that to 'save the banks' – who we were really saving were us, the taxpayer, and the government.

        We had a system based on personal freedom of choice – we have abandoned that to the greater good of the 'European Human Rights' Agenda and the 'International Terrorist' threat.

        We had a system based on risk vs reward – we have abandoned that for an 'equality' system where the successful are puntively taxed to serve the less successful.

        These may be sound socialist aims, but make no mistake, they are not the foundations upon which our small island people rose to become a world superpower.

      • Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

        I agree about the honesty of UK stats, at least I have faith in the civil servants basic honesty. Trouble is this government set out from outset to completely undermine them and to politicise the interpretation of the data.

    • Posted January 25, 2010 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      Totally Agree, Western civilisation is being dismantled by someones design, we have been sold out.

  19. Posted January 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I'm an Historian. I therefore believe that you cannot shake off your past. Our past is Christian and indeed Protestant. We believe that God created every person individually and that therefore everyone is equally important. We sort of reluctantly serve the State having suffered a Civil War over the Divine Monarch's place in the rule of Law. We also deeply believe in the individual's right to serve the truth, especially in science. OK, since the nineteenth century a lot of people rule God out, but they believe in the same ideals, nevertheless.
    The Chinese are not, and never have been, Christian. They do not believe in the individual. They do not believe in the rights of the individual to get to the truth. They are certain about the place of the State in their lives. They are obedient and solidly behind their very ancient civilization with its periodic Empire and periodic lapses into violent and callous regionalism. In no way do they believe in equality or the importance of the individual under God. why should they?
    This makes them (tough -ed) It will not be nice when they rule the world. Not nice at all. (cp the Imperial Japanese?)

  20. Posted January 23, 2010 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    People in China don't expect a whole house to themselves … nor a whole room for that matter.

    We have to get real in our expectations before we can even think about competing.

    But what we have in the way of 'getting real' is the terrible impression given by the chavs and the bankers (not much difference excepting money IMHO)

    When I lose my job (not if) I expect the State to give me what the layabouts in town get given: money to buy fags, mobile phones, whole days in the pubs, lairy dogs, a fully furnished flat, tattoos … (you've got my email – I'll gladly show you what I mean)

    Millions of hard working people think like me – how do you think we're going to react when our time comes and we're told 'computer says no.' ?

    You seem to concentrate a lot on economic issues. I think you have this about face. A civilised and disciplined society begets wealth – not the other way around. Over the past forty years (under Tories and Labour) discipline in this country has been totally diminished.

    I'd rather be poor in a civilised country than rich in a poor one. David Cameron is right to challenge labour over 'social recession' though I think he's fighting a new war using technology from past wars. The very last thing Britain needs now is a Blairist cover boy.

    Drop the image nonsense. Let's have pure substance.

  21. Posted January 23, 2010 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Further to my last:

    Instead of using 'green taxes' (insert motoring charges here) to bolster the married family ( in other words taxing married fathers trying to get to work so you can tax them less for being married) How about stopping mobile phones, pitbulls, tattoos, fags, beer … for chavs ?

    The Tories still don't geddit. They haven't the guts to do what needs to be done.

    Are you sure you're in the right party, Mr Redwood ?

    Reply: The Telegraph story was wrong as mr Osborne made very clear the same morning.

  22. Posted January 23, 2010 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    There is no reason why we have to carry on being one of the borrowing countries. We just have to get our public expenditure under control, and stop treating social protection, foreign aid, health and education as sacred cows.

    Meanwhile, China's property prices have increased by 50% in one year – another bubble about to burst?

    Don't worry long term about France and Italy. Corrupt countries with a dirigiste, protectionist spirit have their limitations.

    But do fear Germany. They are very competent and are prepared to buy power in Europe through bank rolling the EU.

  23. Posted January 23, 2010 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Nick robin was on Radio 4 Wednesday evening discussing if the BBC was in danger. On the show lord Birt oand David Melllor were saying how they used to plot (in an expensive restaraunt) how to keep the BBC. The argumment against the BBC was that it should move to a voluntary subscription model. It is currently a £12 a month tax, compared with a £32 a month sky subscription. Anyway Lort Birt said he would muster every force he could to fight any reduction in the fee. I think if the Tories are to help the BBC to become better they need to do three things

    1) just tell them out of the blue- no warning. They are a media outlet so don't give them any time or remit to talk about it either.

    2) split it into pieces. Break the multitude of news programs up and give half the money to local commercial news stations.

    3) move the BBC from west London to the countryside to give rural employment much needed regeneration.

    If you think the BBC will shift to the right because the conservatives will win think again. Another programme on radio 4 told if how even after Thatcher came in the unions were so powerful at the BBC they disrupted DR Who filming so much (because it was popular) the series had to be cancelled.

    The BBC needs reconstructing and helping. It has lost it's way and the directors are completely derranged. The BBC is on the sick bed and needs a lot of attention.

  24. Posted January 25, 2010 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Of course they are rising, we are giving all our jobs and technologies to them.

  25. Posted February 15, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Strange this post is totaly irrelevant to the search query I entered in google but it was listed on the first page. – On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done just as easily lying down. – Woody Allen Born 1935

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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