East Dulwich (Mobile) Forum

Osborne dishonestly trying to rewrite his history

The Chancellor is reporting that he abandoned plans to balance the government's budget by the end of the decade, blaming uncertainty surrounding Britain's exit from the European Union. This is totally false - this plan had long ago failed.

In the 2015 Autumn Statement, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) published forecasts that allowed the Chancellor to declare his policies had been a huge success. The £27billion windfall that he reported appeares to have evaporated. These forecasts are long gone and of course Osborne is now looking to place blame elsewhere.

In April, before Brexit became a prospect, this year and every year of this parliament, growth was expected to be a lot lower and borrowing to be higher. Osborne then admitted he had broken his fiscal rule that debt as a share of GDP would fall this year, and admitted there would be a higher debt burden in every year of the forecast.

He expected to borrow £56billion in 2016-17 compared with £50billion that was forecast in November. £39billion in 2017-18, up from the £25billion forecast earlier and for 2018-19 £21billion, up from the £5billion originally forecast in November. The deficit was supposed to be zero by 2015.

On top of all this failure, Osborne took money from the disabled to fund tax cuts for the rich. Over half a million people with disabilities have lost over £1 billion in Personal Independence Payments, with Capital Gains Tax being cut – Osborne had raised raised this in 2010 saying it was necessary to create a fairer tax system. So he redefined his view of a fairer tax system, with a third of savings he finds coming from cuts to the disabled. I watched him during the debate on this and he was actually laughing openly - no gravitas, no compassion - disgraceful ! If this smug grinning carapace is allowed to continue the UK is doomed to failure.

His brand of austerity has resulted in deflation which has depressed the UK economy. Now we will have high unemployment, significant reduction in investment, spending, general level of priceS rising due to the purchasing power of currency-money falling, instead of price inflation due to a general increase in demand - this will develop into stagflation for which there are few levers available either to the Bank of England or the Exchequer to correct.

Now Osborne has found a convenient hook to hang his failures on. He is madly tweeting, twisting in the wind about how he factored all this into his plans and how he can lead us out of this unholy mess - this is total ****ocks ! This man has zero integrity, zero scruples to tell the truth to the UK population - dissimulation is his stock in trade. He has no shame and I sincerely hope he will not remain as Chancellor. In fact, I hope the new PM, whoever they might be will rule him out for any office of government as he has shown himself to be a sociopath devoid of any feelings, honesty or morality - a fitting fellow traveler for Gove, Johnson et al.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was 2016:07:03:15:59:04 by Lordship 516.

That's a superb summation of Osborne's failings and reads like a furious letter to The Times. Perhaps you should send it to them. Bravo.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2016:07:03:12:16:31 by Jah Lush.

*like*
Excellent analysis.

Lightweight that I am, I've always been uneasy about GO by association with the spoilt, selfish, profligate George Osborne of Vanity Fair. Hard to imagine why he chose to be called that over his real name; I understand not wanting to go by Gideon but he could have used his second name.
Jah Lush Wrote:

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> That's a superb summation of Osborne's failings
> and reads like a furious letter to The Times.
> Perhaps you should send it to them. Bravo.

I am an analyst - an econometrist and generally try to reflect reality from the facts & statistics that I am presented with. I dislike most economists as they invariably talk down to the rest of humanity and usually get their forecasts wrong but have all their reasoning finely polished as to why they got it wrong. I dislike most politicians as they usually confuse the connect between microeconomics & macroeconomics, usually in an effort to justify their ideology that is always as fluid as the wind that they cast their words into.

My work is always carried out dispassionately - if I do otherwise then I will get the wrong answer. Where my feelings & emotion come into it is when I see vulnerable lives devastated by cavalier politicians & the civil servants who implement uncaring policies and cause social divides in any country. If anyone wants to learn more about the rich & poor divide then read anything published by Thomas Piketty - he is not perfect but he is more rational than his detractors.

The poor have only their labour which is taxed always. The rich bury their savings/profits into forms of capital that are sheltered from taxes by various methodologies until they decide to cash it in, usually at a very low rate of tax. The tax on labour is high & the tax on capital is very low - so the rich get progressively richer & the poor standstill or get poorer. There is also the divide between the secure versus the poor - that is workers at various levels who have security of tenure in their employment as opposed to those who are in unstable contracts and account for a rising share of workers. This is the opportunity that Cameron, Osborne & Gove et al pontificate about. The opportunity they offer is merely for the poor to be more useful to the rich in order that the rich can work less & gain more & more.

There is an old economists joke - there are two types of statistics - "Those that you LOOK up & those that you MAKE up". GiddyGO belongs to the latter club.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit was 2016:07:03:15:12:52 by Lordship 516.

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Lordship 516 wrote: "The opportunity they offer is merely for the poor to be more useful to the rich in order that the rich can work less & gain more & more.

Twas ever thus.
He also critised Labour at the last election for suggesting that he was trying to cut too hard too fast, saying it would bankrupt the country if we attempted to bring the deficit down slightly more slowly (less slowly than he himself has done).
ok - hands up who voted for him.
Great OP.
So Georgy Porgy gets to edit the Evening Standard. I thought this particular rag couldn't get more Tory but it just has. Where's the impartiality? It's a bloody disgrace.

[www.bbc.co.uk]
Clearly being an MP is far from a full time job. How on earth this could be seen as anything other than a massive conflict of interest I don't know.
Will be interesting to see whether he tries to put the boot in to May though...
Photos and videos of his speech to the editorial room going around.

A few people especially one lady look horrified.
When one voice rules the nation
Just because they're on top of the pile
Doesn't mean their vision is the clearest
The voices of the people
Are falling on deaf ears
Our politicians all become careerists
They must declare their interests
But not their company cars
Is there more to a seat in parliament
Than sitting on your arse?
The best of all this bad bunch
Are shouting to be heard
Above the sound of ideologies clashing
Outside the patient millions
Who put them into power
Expect a little more back for their taxes
Like school books, beds in hospitals
And peace in our bloody time
All they get is old men grinding axes
Who've built their private fortunes
On the things they can rely
The courts, the secret handshake
The Stock Exchange and the old school tie
For God and Queen and Country
All things they justify
Above the sound of ideologies clashing...

Billy Bragg, Ideology



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was march 17, 05:12pm by rendelharris.

Otta Wrote:

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> Will be interesting to see whether he tries to put
> the boot in to May though...

He will. No doubt about it. Sadiq Khan will also get a regular bashing too.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was march 17, 07:53pm by Jah Lush.

"I dislike most politicians as they usually confuse the connect between microeconomics & macroeconomics, usually in an effort to justify their ideology that is always as fluid as the wind that they cast their words into.

My work is always carried out dispassionately - if I do otherwise then I will get the wrong answer."


Lordship, whilst I greatly appreciate your OP as satire, I doubt this can escape your own net.

viz an "ideology" of fact versus value (a distinction now generally thought to be unstainable), an assertion of the integrity of recent economic theory that "connects" the micro and the macro (well, in one sense for sure - there is only the micro!: but to make anything of the macro is then an impossible task as you will never pin down the initial conditions), the consistency of your own position as an econometrician that requires you to make all sorts of ideology-saturated assumptions about probability distributions (somehow known before the developing and unknowable action that gives rise to outcomes), the adoption of ultimately rectilinear models of process (for example if they involves matrix algebra), and assumptions about the nature of decision making (here you cannot escape the infantile models of atomistic and acosmic human action on which economics rests).



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit was march 17, 08:29pm by jaywalker.

jaywalker Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------
> "I dislike most politicians as they usually
> confuse the connect between microeconomics &
> macroeconomics, usually in an effort to justify
> their ideology that is always as fluid as the wind
> that they cast their words into.
>
> My work is always carried out dispassionately - if
> I do otherwise then I will get the wrong answer."
>
>
> Lordship, whilst I greatly appreciate your OP as
> satire, I doubt this can escape your own net.
>
> viz an "ideology" of fact versus value (a
> distinction now generally thought to be
> unstainable), an assertion of the integrity of
> recent economic theory that "connects" the micro
> and the macro (well, in one sense for sure - there
> is only the micro!: but to make anything of the
> macro is then an impossible task as you will never
> pin down the initial conditions), the consistency
> of your own position as an econometrician that
> requires you to make all sorts of
> ideology-saturated assumptions about probability
> distributions (somehow known before the developing
> and unknowable action that gives rise to
> outcomes), the adoption of ultimately rectilinear
> models of process (for example if they involves
> matrix algebra), and assumptions about the nature
> of decision making (here you cannot escape the
> infantile models of atomistic and acosmic human
> action on which economics rests).

I don't quite understand what is written here - trying to make out whether it was written from a Marxist or possibly a Bhuddist perspective....there is certainly a confusion [for me] of philosophy, religion & behavioural science connotations in the thought process behind the writing. [I would have thought that the first bracket ought to read "a distinction now generally thought to be sustainable]

Whoever wrote it hasn't practiced much econometrics recently [or ever]- much effort is exercised by practitioners to separate the science from the ideologies but we also must recognize social behaviour/conditions of the society that we find ourselves in. We mainly escape our prejudices by using agent based analysis that removes our personal perspectives & use various iterations to test our results before accepting the discrete analysis.

Your comment elsewhere re stagflation is in the economic runes but I haven't yet made a measurable sense of what is happening; I have some analysis but have thus far failed to ascertain what the dynamics are. All I do know is that the medium term doesn't look so rosy. We have to wait & see what all the actors might do.
This is a good read......

[www.theguardian.com]

Small extract below. What a phrase.

As for Lebedev, no appointment by him could really be regarded as eyebrow-raising – particularly when you’re as Botoxed as the nine circles of his friendship inferno are. A starfucker of thermonuclear pretensions, Lebedev is marginally more likely to dip-dye his horse’s mane for a W magazine feature than he is to appoint it features editor. But only marginally.

http://www.eastdulwichforum.co.uk/forum/file.php?20,file=253290



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit was march 18, 09:58am by Alan Medic.

Lordship, you say "I don't quite understand what is written here - trying to make out whether it was written from a Marxist or possibly a Bhuddist perspective....there is certainly a confusion [for me] of philosophy, religion & behavioural science connotations in the thought process behind the writing."

No none of those. Not the place to drag the topic off GO (on which we all seem to be agreed!) but I think it is now a mainstream philosophical idea that the fact/value distinction cannot be sustained (see particularly summaries by Putnam). It took an enormous amount of intellectual labour to see this point clearly, and it has by no means seeped through into non-specialised thinking (for example, the distinction is still taught in Economics as pretty much beyond dispute).

The case in point is the crystalline purity of econometric/AI modelling (I suspect from what you have said about your own work, and admirably, more of the latter than the traditional former). To hypostatise a 'science' here in which all values are given up for ever greater clarity simply won't do. Isn't laboratory science itself saturated with values (not to mention antagonistic social process)? This is true at the deep level of the metaphors and analogies on which any scientific thinking is constituted. It is also true of the appropriation by science of mathematics as a metaphorical resource (unless you think that the universe is made of mathematics!) This seems also to be orthodoxy - either in the philosophy of science (starting seminally with Hesse) or in the best sociological accounts of what scientists do (Knorr-Cetina) as opposed to what they may say they do.
There seems to be a lot of intellectual dick waving going on here
Pseuds Corner.
steveo Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------
> There seems to be a lot of intellectual dick
> waving going on here

..,to each his own;
Jah Lush Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------
> Pseuds Corner.


You're welcome...
@Jaywalker...

Hesse's writings are influential mainly in the physical sciences but could not be regarded as an influential figure in the wider social science context. Knorr Cetina on the other hand does have much value due to her studies in regard to the relationships between science, knowledge & society.

All that navel-gazing stuff is a bit lost on me.

I am more grounded in Descartes, Newton & Leibniz [who gave us analytical geometry, calculus & the binary system all of which I find use for every day] - the rationalists & mathematicians who embraced empiricism also though many empiricists have a lot of difficulty in embracing rationalism. I tend also to add tinctures of skepticism & pragmatism in my approach to my work. Each has their place.

Also - please don't confuse econometricists with classical economists. Quants are regularly at odds or at least uneasy with our classical cousins. Economists are good at big-picture thinking, usually good at talking [bullstuff] and are really really good at politics and influencing government, whereas on the other hand quants are not so good at this, mostly because we are too critical of our own short-comings and very aware of what criteria is missing from the mix - politicians prefer absolutes to conditional thought. Big picture 'blue-sky' thinking has been the cause of most economic failure as the people with the most clout are often people with very little experience of analytical objectivity. Science makes [some] knowledge, knowledge shapes the future. Quants merely try to make sense of the world around us today - we don't try to shape the future; we test hypotheses & attempt to forecast trends. Often we can see black holes but much of the time a suitable solution eludes us. Our successes are greater than our failures so we find ourselves still gainfully employed.
Jah Lush Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------
> Pseuds Corner.


Perhaps you are right. But then, specialised intellectual endeavour is condemned tout court (so, in this case, we just KNOW that the fact/value distinction is true because we KNOW the difference between (say) the objective and subjective in aesthetic judgement). I assume this is your position rather than saying the specialised language is itself pseudo (I'm open to arguments but you just moo). That people working very hard over extended periods of time have specialised a sense that this distinction is misplaced can then be ignored: they are just "pseuds", presumably because they recruit specialised signifiers (itself no doubt, from your regard, a "pseudish" thing to say).



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit was march 18, 08:30pm by jaywalker.

Lordship 516 Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------
> @Jaywalker...
>
> Hesse's writings are influential mainly in the
> physical sciences but could not be regarded as an
> influential figure in the wider social science
> context.

I think this is wrong. Her arguments are about the nature of enquiry - there is nothing to disqualify them from an interrogation of social science. That there is a profound imbrication of the tropic in any 'rational' 'objective' 'value-free' enquiry extends beyond the physical science she used as her evidence.


Knorr Cetina on the other hand does have
> much value due to her studies in regard to the
> relationships between science, knowledge &
> society.

I agree. I was blown away by her writing (see particularly the discussion of CERN in Epistemic Cultures).


> All that navel-gazing stuff is a bit lost on me.

But what else do we have? We cannot trust our everyday self-certainties - if we could, you would not bother with econometrics. And if you take THAT step, why stop there?


> I am more grounded in Descartes,

Descartes articulated radical doubt (he made the mistake of travelling in his youth - made him a bit postmodern). We do not have to take the cogito at face value.

Newton & Leibniz
> - the rationalists & mathematicians

well, Newton believed in magic, Lucifer, and all sorts of influential (and rubbish) metaphysics. And he was, of course, wrong (about the physics).

who embraced
> empiricism also though many empiricists have a lot
> of difficulty in embracing rationalism. I tend
> also to add tinctures of skepticism & pragmatism
> in my approach to my work. Each has their place.

I guess pragmatism was a philosophy directly aimed at positivism. How do you live under these two roofs??

> Also - please don't confuse econometricists with
> classical economists.

bien sur, but you said you were doing 'agent based modelling'. So how do you theorise that?

Quants are regularly at
> odds or at least uneasy with our classical
> cousins. Economists are good at big-picture
> thinking,

no they are not.

usually good at talking and are really
> really good at politics and influencing
> government,

I fear this is true

whereas on the other hand quants are
> not so good at this, mostly because we are too
> critical of our own short-comings and very aware
> of what criteria is missing from the mix -
> politicians prefer absolutes to conditional
> thought. Big picture 'blue-sky' thinking has been
> the cause of most economic failure as the people
> with the most clout are often people with very
> little experience of analytical objectivity.

ok

> Science makes knowledge, knowledge shapes the
> future.

there is no such thing as knowledge. there is only action in which sense is stabilised/de-stabilised. you need to update your agent based models to accommodate this. It is a fundamental pragmatist principle (e.g. see John Dewey).

Quants merely try to make sense of the
> world around us today - we don't try to shape the
> future; we test hypotheses & attempt to forecast
> trends. Often we can see black holes but much of
> the time a suitable solution eludes us. Our
> successes are greater than our failures so we find
> ourselves still gainfully employed.

well, beware of the poker players delusion. "I won several tournaments so I am a good poker player" (then look at Monte-Carlo simulations of poker tournaments).



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit was march 19, 07:56pm by jaywalker.

Alan Medic Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------
> This is a good read......
>
> [www.theguardian.com]
> /17/george-osborne-editor-substance-london-evening
> -standard?CMP=share_btn_tw
>
> Small extract below. What a phrase.
>
> As for Lebedev, no appointment by him could really
> be regarded as eyebrow-raising – particularly when
> you’re as Botoxed as the nine circles of his
> friendship inferno are. A starfucker of
> thermonuclear pretensions, Lebedev is marginally
> more likely to dip-dye his horse’s mane for a W
> magazine feature than he is to appoint it features
> editor. But only marginally.
>
> [www.eastdulwichforum.co.uk]
> 0,file=253290

Two cracking links AM.

I'd read the Guardian article and love the line "...starfucker of thermonuclear pretensions..."
Lowlander Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> I'd read the Guardian article and love the line
> "...starfucker of thermonuclear pretensions..."

That was the one which instantly caught my eye, I'm not the biggest fan of Ms.Hyde but that one definitely fell into the "wish I'd written that" category.
In 1997 when New Labour came to office the National Debt stood at 42% of GDP. Even though the government embarked on sorting out investment in the NHS & Education by 2002 this had dropped to 35%. From then to 2008 the ratio increased gradually to 47.4%. In the following two years it increased to 55% & 68% respectively for reasons the we all have come to understand.

Contrary to the propaganda of Cameron & Osborne, the labour Government left the economy & the fabric of the UK in reasonable good health. They had improved education, health & housing much of which has been/is being torn down by the coalition & the current mob. The real failure of all of labour since 2010 is allowing them to put the idea across that Labour left the country in an economic mess - the opposite is the truth; it is the coalition & the conservatives that have created the mess and created an imbalanced economy & a very divided society.

From 2010 to 2016 the UK national debt to GDP ratio steadily increased to 85%; it is now 84%, the same as 2015.

This is Gideon’s economic legacy.

He has taken from the poor, the disabled, the NHS, housing & education and given to the wealthy [both foreign & locals] - his own privileged friends, some of whom are rewarding him with jobs & substantial incomes. The current administration are carrying on his legacy. They will use the cover of Brexit to achieve their goals - to implement more austerity by abusing the co-operative spirit of the UK people, that surfaces in face of adversity, to enrich the already rich & privileged & to entrap the greater population in miserable circumstances for years to come. Let them eat cake.

Our real adversaries are not the EU - it is the enemy within - the Conservative changeling party that is in thrall to the lunatic fringe fringe to the right of bugger all. A bunch of 5th columnists that are set to subvert everything that this country has so painstakingly fought & worked for.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was march 19, 11:06pm by Lordship 516.

I love the objective, non-partisan and rational voice of our own EDF Economist. Jump the shark point on politics on here for me....

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