The Inchcape Rock
By Harry Russell | Mon, July 30, 2012 - 12:03 AM
A good friend, a woman over 80 years old, called me to say: “Wild Coot, why you supporting the B’s so; they promise you something? Your last article was laced with venom. I took a survey among my friends and they were singing ‘Harry is a B’. Wild Coot, defend yourself.”
What can I say? I helped to put this Government in power. I said that my vote was a casting vote, but they disappointed me from the first. Instead of righting the ills of the previous administration, they have sedulously heaped “plimplers” and thorns upon us.
Like Sir Ralph the Rover, having disdain for the Abbot of Aberbrothock and cut the bell, any time now we shall hear “Oh sh--ivers, it is the Inchcape Rock.”
For me, there is little to be served by pointing fingers at the Opposition. The Opposition does not control our destiny.
I said to the lady that my articles represent the disappointment about the administration that captured the goodwill of the country in 2008. Just check the acrobatics that the middle class have to perform in order to survive. If they are catching their royal, what about the poorer people – although I may be wrong, judging by the attendance at the medley of fetes.
The lady continued: “Anyway, Wild Coot, yuh slip showing – if you don’t understand that expression, pull up yuh zip.”
She said: “I went to Pages and read that wutless book you wrote – The Diary Of A Randy Old Coot. Imagine sex at five!”
My highlighting the measures taken by Government speaks of a crisis that it has not properly understood. It has nothing to do with whether I am taking sides or not. The effort to prop up wages and salaries, maintaining community this or community that, continuing free bus rides and education from the cradle to the grave has to take a new direction, just like the free medication summary execution. This would mean discarding many of the boasts.
Government either swallows the bitter pill, comes up with something outside the box or, if successful at the polls, takes the steps to cut expenditure as quickly as possible or maybe face a devaluation.
For example, I begged the Central Bank to increase the interest rate on savings instead of reducing it. This would have had the effect of dampening demand and building the savings effort.
Indeed, Government opted for draconian taxation to protect foreign exchange, but really to pay wages, followed by a reduced interest rate. See what the banks are now saying.
People poo-pooed my suggestion, but better brains than mine have endorsed this step.
Government boasts the liquidity in the system. If that is so, why not borrow from the banks – they have the liquidity – instead of approaching the National Insurance Scheme. My opinion is that the banks may be looking at the junk-bond status and taking orders from abroad, near and far. But if one is buying a car and has the deposit – sure, loans are available.
Growth involves foreign exchange, but wise use of it can get small enterprises going. Small business constitutes a large portion of our gross domestic product. Again, small businesses need access to capital and/or Government contracts. We abound in educational capital and human capital.
Our financial capital lay apparently useless in the banks, and above all our common sense capital does not seem to put the problem in its right perspective. Most of our economists are silent as to the way forward. Perhaps this is because the debate is still raging as to the path that leads to the pot of gold.
Still, I believe that our Central Bank is not using its power of persuasion – or if it is, the power is producing ineffective answers.
Notice how some big-up people are agreeing with me and backing out of decisions taken by Government?
Yes, Lowdown, Standard & Poor’s gave American Insurance Guarantee a triple “A” rating. I play pan every Saturday at the Croton Inn; you’re welcome to join.
• Harry Russell is a banker. Email email@example.com.
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