Friday, 22 January 2010

Has Labour been worth it?

The figures are out for December's public Debt. Once again we have a record!

Labour borrowed a mere £15.7 Billion in December. Just to give you a sense of scale around that, it's still over £500,000,000 a day and just under £6,000 a second.

Sure, once again I'm spouting figures that don't mean anything to anyone. Well, the average British male lasts 7.6 minutes during sex. So, assuming you have "average" sex (though I'm sure it's very satisfying for you) this country gets a further £2.7 Million pounds in debt. That's enough to buy your partner 8 large and perfect diamonds (like this one). That might even be more impressive than 7.6 minutes in the sack with you.

But anyway, on a serious note, this means that Public Debt has now risen to an all time high (shockingly) to £870 Billion. I thought I'd have a quick look at how public debt has risen over the last 13 years. Afterall, it's possible that those Evil Tories saddled this poor, sweet, innocent Labour Government with so much debt that they're still struggling to get the whole situation under control. Well, the graph below show how debt has varied since 1997 and makes quite interesting reading.

As we can see, initially Debt actually fell. This trend continued right up until 2001, when the then Chancellor, a Mr Brown (anyone know what happened to him?) decided that instead of following the Tory spending plans from the previous government, he would slightly increase spending on important things, like Laptops for Labour Voters (OK, OK, that bribe might have come a little bit later).

As soon as he abandoned sensible economic policies, the Debt began to rise, slowly at first, then picking up pace in recent years (the Bank Bailout). In 2010 we're expecting to have £1,015,000,000,000 of debt. That's only £658,000,000,000 more than when Labour came into power.

A few weeks ago I looked at what we could buy with the additional £500,000,000,000 of debt that Labour was building up over the next few years. 3,125 Boeing Jumbo Jets, 5 Apollo Programmes from scratch. That sort of thing.

But already over the last few years they've been in power, they've squandered more than that! Whilst my party piece is sizing massive numbers like these in simple easy to understand metrics I'm running out of things that I can think of that are expensive enough to give any sense of scale to the size of Labour's Debt!

OK, just for old times sake: A few years back the Queen Mary 2 was launched, one of the largest and most luxurious cruise liners ever built. She's capable of carrying over 3,000 passengers at a time. With Labour's current, not future debt, we could buy over 1,400 of these magnificent vessels. That's not a typo, that's really one thousand, four hundred QM2s. Those ships could carry simultaneously nearly 43 million passengers. Assuming we can train enough crew for all those ships, we'd be able to have the whole 60 million UK population heading out on a simultaneous cruise!

I'm not saying that buying enough hyper-luxury cruise ships (minimum of £9k for a round-the-world trip) would be a good use of all that money. I merely ask if we've had value for money fr this sheer spending. Is the NHS so much better? Are our schools producing better trained students? Do we have world-beating public transport?

I don't believe we have any of those. I know we have over 8 million "economically inactive" people (another record figure for Labour). I know that compared to other countries our education system is getting worse. I know that Labour have wasted billions on pointless and failed IT projects.

Over the last 13 years Labour has borrowed a amount. Because of their mis-management we've got nothing to show for this other than a population addicted to benefits and an ever-mounting interest bill.

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