Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html en-gb 30 Thu 18 Dec 2014 08:46:45 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html lacerniagigante http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=99#comment101 Re 93. At 00:57am on 25 Jun 2010, Paul wrote:Thanks, Paul for explaining so clearly.I'm afraid though that the British government (any single one) makes it a point that big corporate welfare goes before the welfare of those citizens that vote them in.Big corporations can live with (in fact some of them profit from) different monetary systems within the EU.As long as the average British voter will be convinced (by the same corporations that profit from this situation, look at who owns/influences most media outlets in the UK) that the citizen's welfare passes through the welfare of big corporate business there will be no move on this from the British electorate and Sterling will stay king.It might seem paradoxical, the British people are in Europe the most able to take much misery, even pain, in the name of "patriotism" and refuse to understand the advantages of an individualistic approach to "standards". Sterling is not the only anomaly, Britain suffers a lot from having industrial standards out of line with the rest of Europe (and the world), yet does nothing at fixing the problem. I've already mentioned this in this forum, but if you look at electric health-and-safety provisions in the UK, they are in glaring contradiction with the TüV-CEE standards; piping (I've had many problems in my flat with that); trains (the only "modern" railway Britain has is the Folkstone--London Eurostar provided line, most lines still use inefficient Diesel powered tracks); Cars (for obvious reasons).The reasonings for resisting eurofication of the British economy are strikingly similar to those resiting "metrication" in industry. There is a basis of emotional patriotic attachment to the "Old and British" that is whipped up by economic currents into a frenzy that have an advantage in having the old system maintained (knowing that you will have to accept the new one anyway). Under the guise of "freedom" special interest groups crop up, to "protect the heritage" (as if measuring in metres or yards would be some kind of heritage... rather sad, but true, for some it is heritage).I heard it on the radio the other day, during an England game. Someone wondered whether the problem was in that Cappello used metres and Rooney understood yards :-)Let's see today the performance against Germany. Maybe Don Fabio has finally learned his Imperial measures? (But then again, the English, should they win, that is, will have to admit that their great personnel is better administered by a citizen of the PIIGS. Horror!) Sun 27 Jun 2010 12:23:10 GMT+1 lacerniagigante http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=98#comment100 Re 62. At 01:35am on 24 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII.Funny, yet you clearly fail to grasp British humour.If we did buy the lad a new suitcase, we'd have to do it every time the government changed hands...I hope you see what I mean. Sun 27 Jun 2010 11:50:24 GMT+1 lacerniagigante http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=97#comment99 29. At 09:11am on 23 Jun 2010, Benefactor wrote:"Nuclear weapons ensure no invading army on these shores for the foreseeable future, what do we use the Army, Navy, et al, for? Invading others?"Nuclear weapons have not prevented (and cannot) bombing British towns at the hand of Irish and Islamic groups.Last time someone attempted to go beyond terrorism and really invade Britain was for two reasons that have ceased to be true:1. Britain was still the holding seat of an "Empire" seen as a competitor by the would be invaders.2. The would be invaders were concerned that the USA would use Britain as an aircraft carrier to launch an attack on the western flank of the European territory it had acquired. Which in fact is what happened.While nukes made sense in the initial phase of the cold-war that ensued this bitter chapter of World history, i.e., in deterring the Soviets from gaining more ground in continental Europe. They are totally obsolete, unless you would want them to use as a pressure weapon.Why?Were the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and friends detterred by Trident?It doesn't seem to me so.Why waste the British hard-laboured taxes on such frivolous projects is really unclear to me (except that of feeding those who produce the Trident arsneal: mainly USA industrial groups). Sun 27 Jun 2010 11:42:48 GMT+1 generalissimofranco http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=96#comment98 @ 95 cool_brush_workThanks for the detailed comment.I agree that the secular part of the Turkish society really cannot compete with the strong pro-fundamentalist propaganda, which lately, more or less, enjoys the support of the present “moderate Islamic Turkish leadership”. But that fact does not necessarily mean that the EU is somehow obliged to invite Turkey to join its organization in order to help that country to restore its pro-European and secular orientation.Most of your arguments aimed at the demolishment of what you call a Paris-Brussels-Berlin “dictatorship” are more or less well founded given the present decision making practices in Brussels, where a bunch of deputies elect the central EU institutions, which (with many reserves) are believed to be the embodiment, on a higher (international) level,of the representative democracy. I also feel that there is something wrong in those procedures. The Europeans are not yet accustomed to that. They have more confidence in their national governments.However, I feel somehow obliged to convey to you my real concern over the eventuality of the adhesion of Turkey to the EU. I clearly understand that the entry of such big, 80 million nation will misbalance the present status quo in Brussels, and that the UK will have a very strong support from Ankara when some important decisions are to be taken. However, let us not forget that Turkey is a Muslim country which migrants in Europe prefer to live in closed communities and refuse to integrate. Besides, the bigger part of Turkey is in Minor Asia, not in Europe. If we add to that the gradual trend of restoring the previous Ottoman ambitions (hegemony in the eastern Mediterranean) and the open declaration of Ankara aimed at the support of the Hamas extremist movement and the Mollah governors of Tehran, we must agree that there is no reason to conclude that Turkey has already met the criteria for joining the EU. (I do not go into details about the numerous available proofs of discrimination of what has remained of the non Turkish ethicizes, of the prosecution of intellectuals, of the killing of journalists, of representatives of foreign authorities, etc.).As I said before, many of your comments concerning the lack of enough democratic approach when important decisions are being taken by the Brussels’ institutions are well founded. However, if we agree on that point, we certainly cannot ignore the fact that the free movement of labor/capitals/commodities/services is continuingly gaining speed with the enlargement of the EU, and that at a given stage of the integration, the old pre-Maastricht (1992) legal frame of ruling our community has proved to be obsolete, i.e. non working. That is what I meant when I developed the idea of the already cumulated critical mass which required change in the institutions in order to avoid an explosion. Of course, that irreversible process has got its pure human projection. Many Europeans left their native countries in search of a better place for working or living. We cannot stop that massive move which will have sooner or later its positive impact on the even closer coexistence and partnership of the Europeans (My own daughters are in France, and there is little hope that they shall return to Bulgaria; in the bloc of flats where I live with my wife, there are two families that came from western Europe, one is Danish, and the other is English /a retired RAF pilot with his wife.)If we have to describe the present situation in the mainland, say, as some big hall where classic musical performances are offered, we must agree that the public already includes not only admirers of Debussy, Beethoven, and to a less extend of Sir Hubert Parry and of Vivaldi, but also "fans" of Chopin, of List, of Dvorak, of Glinka and Tchaikovsky… (I shall appreciate if you can recollect me the name of some famous composer of Istanbul, or say, of Diyarbakir. Lately, I have a problem with the memory.)Regards Sat 26 Jun 2010 13:45:15 GMT+1 KingLeeRoySandersJr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=95#comment97 Where is Robin Hood when you need him. The government is rich and want more money. It doesn't matter what country your in they are all the same. The only difference is the geography and that which spawned from that area. John Lennon said it, there is no country. A one government world exist no matter what the propagandist of the government of that area say. Tourist traps best define the world and the economic budgets of the people are being taken from.Politicians spin their webs of deceit soothsaying the people subverting the truth and rallying the weak and desperate minds to think of life their way.. The truth is simple. Governments are liars and thieves. A world is presented the citizen and they are trained what to think the world and they are degenerating humanity creating false gods so they can not utilized their GOD given abilities. Sat 26 Jun 2010 06:17:20 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=94#comment96 Re #96Well, You would appreciate it: Afterall, sneering down at all 'English-speaking peoples' is Your daily pastime.Only even with all that practise You cannot manage to make a good job of it. Fri 25 Jun 2010 17:45:42 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=93#comment95 "Now, as has happened on numerous times - - I'm going to turn the page - - whatever Your response I'm not interested. I'm not normally this blunt, but frankly having my teeth pulled is preferable to the tedium of reading anymore of Your stuff."Class act, cbw. I think that if I was going to climb up on a big stage and sneer down my nose at folks, this is surely how I would do it.The only thing I don't understand is from where you obtain your pride. Is it a british thing, to presume your own grand intelligence?Tone down your high and mighty posturing, CBW. You are just one of the many who post here. You don't strike me as any more intelligent than the majority here. You don't have any objective grounds for casting yourself in this role of supremely intelligent commentator. I don't read any comments from new comers saying "Oh, great post CBW."Why don't you rather concentrate more on writing interesting ideas, and less on displaying your feelings of inherent superiority? You writing skills are not too bad. If you stopped marveling at your own navel, you could probably write some good stuff.But stiff upper lip, old chap. Ignore this advice if you feel it is not intended for your betterment. Fri 25 Jun 2010 13:34:14 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=92#comment94 generalissimofrancoRe #90Thanks for Your interesting contribution which at least had all the merits of being an effort at even-handedness & not simply rabid, random jottings of anti-Britishness.Must confess I do share the concerns about Turkey as some of my earlier comments on this debate & previous ones have indicated.My concern though is that it is the EU policy toward Turkey via the 'axis-of-ill-intent', namely France-Germany, fearing for their hegemony within the EU, that has pushed back a door to Islamic Fundamentalism in Turkey which its secular elements are struggling to overcome.By its very nature Islamic Fundamentalism feeds off ignorance & deception: What better one-liner for the extreme Fundamentalist argument than, *You see, followers of Islam are unwanted in the EUropean Union!*Fundamentalist Turkey's appeal is almost on a par with 1917 Lenin's proclamation of 'Peace! Land! Bread!' in its sweeping simplicity and utter divorce from reality.Nevertheless, it is a powerful slogan that secular Turkey cannot really compete with: E.g. Their's might be something along the lines of, *If we negotiate another 10 years on top of the 10 years Turkey has already negotiated then Brussels might grant us 'favourite nation status!* Somehow it doesn't have a ring of confidence, don't You think!?"..complex and dynamic relations between the member countries in the continuous and irreversible trend of the integration process..".Well, as You will know from many of my previous comments I simply do not accept the accuracy of that statement.There is nothing 'irreversible' about 'integration' of the British Isles with EUrope, or indeed within mainland EUrope. Historically the last 50 years have certainly shown a willingness for participation in combined activities among Nations & their Peoples. However, I would argue that post-Maastricht (1992) there has also historically been clear indication whenever EUropean Citizens have been given the opportunity to participate that they do not want the overwhelming over-rule of a Brussels entity to be their's & their children's fate/future. In 4 successive EU Parliament elections the Voter Turnout has been less than 50%; the proposed 'Constitution' was rejected by 2 Founding Nations. At which point the EU-Brussels elite became so terrified of the Citizens they decided no more 'Democratic' Citizen participation/consultation would take place; hence 1 of 27 EU Nations put the Lisbon Treaty to Public approval & only got it at the 2nd attempt after enormous pressure from the EU Leadership & by altering Lisbon for Eire (something which Brussels had said at the 1st Referenda was not needed as it was not a 'constitution by the back-door' - - well the Irish Protocols show it is - - Citizens across the EU know it). Then there's the ECJ which has only certain competencies: Such as the right of the ECJ to over-rule the 'policies' of Democratically Elected sovereign National Governments. To my mind it is a substantial 'competency' and negation of Democracy that does away with the Votes of millions of Citizens on the say of 3 to 15 unelected Judges!In my honest view: That is tyranny! Dress it up anyway the 'pro-EU' may wish, however when Citizens' opinions & wishes are disregarded on such a massive pan-National scale then anti-Democratic forces are in the ascendancy.I would argue Turkey should be supported in its application to join the EU precisely because it will concentrate the minds of Politicians & Citizens on what exactly do they want from their EUropean Union!?Afterall, we have Paris-Brussels-Berlin Leadership telling all 500 million the EU is about "ever closer union", but in the next breath it is not about that at all where Turkey is concerned! Well, why not? If this Political Integration is such an Economic-Fiscal-Social-Judicial-Military bonanza for the general Public then surely all the Turkish Citizens should be invited to join the wonderful, benificent 'Union'!?Or, is it, the EU, is it really as I & others have countless times sought to explain: A EUropean Union created solely for the purpose of serving 'big-Government/big-Business' that will enable and ensure Political Control & profit is always in the hands of an elite establishment? And Turkey with its 80+ millions would surely rock that gravy-train of exploitation by balancing up the Paris-Berlin core rule of the EU.I wrote earlier I'm not prepared to comment any further on the mad-greek: That particular page is not only turned it is glued shut. Fri 25 Jun 2010 11:56:17 GMT+1 generalissimofranco http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=91#comment93 @ 92 smroet“The worst was during WW-I - King Constantine I, being married to the Kaiser's sister, refused the British offer of Cyprus enosis…” but he took full advantage of that parental relation by asking the Kaiser to stop the successful advance of the Bulgarian troops in South Thrace in oct/nov 1915. (Bulgaria was a traditional ally of the Central forces due to the fact that the Austrian dynasty of Saxe Coburg-Gotha, ruled the country from the 1887 up to 1946.) Fri 25 Jun 2010 06:14:19 GMT+1 Paul http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=90#comment92 #23. At 08:12am on 23 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:"Having been an IT person specialising in accounting systems I have always failed to see where your added cost arrives. whether it's a straight like for like transfer of Euros or a Sterling-Euro transfer the banks still levy charges."The added costs are two fold for consumers and businesses:i) the cost of the actual Sterling-Euro conversion - banks do charge their customers for this. This isn't an issue if there is no conversion neeed.ii) the added cost of transferring money - the cost that a bank can charge its customers for a transfer within the Eurozone MUST be the same as what it would charge for a domestic transfer (as a result of an EU directive). This EU directive does NOT apply to transfers to/from non-Eurozone countries (i.e. the UK etc.). The result of this - to give a personal example - I made multiple bank transfers within the Eurozone where the total cost to me at one bank was EUR 0.51 per transfer with one particular bank. When I moved to another bank this reduced to EUR 0.00. By way, of contrast, when I recently wanted to make a transfer from the UK to a Eurozone state - the cost the bank wanted to charge was GBP 25.00 just for the transfer (i.e. currency conversion excluded). Charges such as that do add up - they do amount to an "added cost" for consumers and businesses.Lastly, as to your point - "You also seem to have conveniently overlooked the prime failing of the Euro in the Eurozone country's, in that they can no longer adjust interest rates to correct problems like those that exist today, and have to rely solely on taxation adjustment,".As I said, the UK is now having to make savage cuts and face tax rises just like the worst performing Eurozone states. Being able to "adjust interest rates to correct problems" has proved to be an illusory "advantage" for the UK. Thu 24 Jun 2010 23:57:56 GMT+1 smroet http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=89#comment91 #89 threnodio_II"As far as I can work out, the only country that has somehow managed to ... dispense with a perfectly serviceable constitutional monarchy, deliver itself into the hands of military junta...."I hope you meant this as a joke! Greece has never been very lucky with its monarchs. The worst was during WW-I - King Constantine I, being married to the Kaiser's sister, refused the British offer of Cyprus enosis with Greece in exchange for a naval base in Cephalonia -, and the 'rule' of Queen Frederika (the driving force behind King Paul) after WW-II does not cheer up any Greek citizen except diehard right-wing people. So 'perfectly servicable' ? In the service of whom, exactly ? There are American apologies in the late 90s (Nicholas Burns - then US ambassador to Greece; Bill Clinton - then US president) for its role in supporting the 1967-1974 junta.Dislike of Nik's arguments and the way he presents them is one thing. Not knowing much about Greek history is something else. Please do some homework! Thu 24 Jun 2010 22:28:24 GMT+1 MaxSceptic http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=88#comment90 Cassandra @67,Why should I be afraid of the EU? While I disapprove of the EU 'Project', they are neither the Gestapo or the KGB or the Stasi.(I am sure, however, that many ardent EUrofanatics wish that they could emulate these control freaks and adopt their surveillance techniques in order to further their 'ideal'). Thu 24 Jun 2010 21:00:56 GMT+1 generalissimofranco http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=87#comment89 @88 cool_brush_woodSorry to intervene in your continuous chatting with our fellow blogger from neighbour Greece. Of course, I am not in a position of a referee (Got keep me away of that delicate obligation), nor have I any particular desire to side with him in order to defend the evident omissions and fraud in the Greek fiscal policy that triggered the crisis of the single currency (however, I share many of his concerns of what is going on in Turkey, I mean its evident shift from a secular, pro-European state to a society which openly declares its attachment to the Sharia dogmas that have little to do with the code of values which is applied, more or less, by the European nations. Besides, Turkey tries successfully to fill the gap that opened after the collapse of the USSR and the following fiasco of the Russian policy in the Middle East. Its ambition to establish some kind of a political hegemony /much to the disappointment of Washington/Tel Aviv) over the Eastern Mediterranean and to become a close partner, if not a leader of the Arab countries is one of the main features of its present foreign policy).I certainly won’t comment your posts, though I appreciate your well founded critical comments of many acts of the British public authorities (a fact which proves your natural concern about the future of your nation). I would just allow myself to express my willingness to take a more active part in the discussions here that concern the complex and dynamic relations between the member countries in the continuous and irreversible trend of the integration process.P.S.: Your argument that "basically, IMO, is not in the marxist-leninist handbook of didactic-determinism” is right of course, but in this particular case, it is somehow obsolete. Nik is not at all an orthodox communist. Here in the East, the majority of the left wing parties joined the Socialist International /the British Labour party is a full member of which/ and abandoned the “Leninist theory of the proletarian dictatorship” which earlier served as a “scientific” foundation of the repressions that took place for nearly half a century.Regards Thu 24 Jun 2010 19:36:31 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=86#comment88 #88 - cool_brush_workAs far as I can work out, the only country that has somehow managed to have a communist uprising, a civil war, dispense with a perfectly serviceable constitutional monarchy, deliver itself into the hands of military junta. cook its books and almost go bankrupt all since the last war is Greece.By coincidence, Mr.Papandreou is giving an interview to Newsnight tonight. I wonder whether they will ask him if he can explain why, as the cradle of one of the great ancient civilisations, the only country which seems to have learned nothing from it is Greece. Thu 24 Jun 2010 17:52:13 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=85#comment87 Re #48, #49 & #51My apologies for the delay in replying to the 'mad greek'.Unfortunately there was a 'technical error' at the BBC end (Communities Team), however they have kindly rectified it and my compliments on their speed & efficiency.First, I have absolutely no idea what You refer to with, ".. my style is better than yours..": I suspect it's even more 'mad' than Your average contents!Second, it is not my fault You haven't read my comments over the last 2 years on the UK/England and the Economic Recession.In fact, it just serves to illustrate again how little knowledge, understanding, never mind the minimal intuition which You bring to each topic debate. Basically, IMO, if it's not in the marxist-leninist handbook of didactic-determinism You don't have a clue.Now, for the alleged, "..UK demise..": As nothing of the sort has or is happening it is difficult to decide on what course of reply to make. Nevertheless, I do intend to try to be helpful to You, and, let's face it, judging by Your many contributions upto now, You need all the help You can get on these Blogs!True, UK is in Economic-Fiscal dire straits like all EUrope and much of the World: It is not sudden or indeed news. G.B. had been in Recession for 5 successive quarters, but that is not a "..demise" especially as it has been out of Recession the last 2 quarters. The actual Economic downturn in some respects is not even that unusual given that these economic dips are a cyclical phenomena although some (the last being one) are clearly worse than others.IMO it seems likely the UK under the Con-Lib Coalition following hard-faced economic/fiscal policies is likely to continue its slow, painful Recovery from the effects of the last 2 years downturn. For G.B. these difficulties were very largely inflicted by the vast 'costs' of the Worldwide Financial Services sector collapse (with UK a core provider) and the follow-on Worldwide Economic Downturn then compounded matters.Sadly for You & Your outlandish theories the term "..demise" does not apply at all to the UK.Following on from Mr Hewitt & his predecessor's Articles I have consistently written about these matters as they relate to the UK, USA, EU, etc. Again, that You haven't read them is of no concern to me.Unlike You (about Greece), in my Comments I have apportioned blame to the UK Government's lax oversight systems, the UK Banking/Financial Services' greed/bonus-driven reckless/criminal risk-taking, the fallacy of 'one-size-fits-all' EU policies, and as previously mentioned to the basic Economic cyclical factor.You, on the other hand have for month after month drearily, erroneously and foolishly lashed out at all & sundry during Greece's crisis. In Your paucity of knowledge & understanding of the real World You allege everybody is picking on Greece: In various contributions You have blamed Germany, USA, UK, Turkey, Russia, Israel, the CIA, MI5, Mossad, KGB, old Uncle Tom Cobley & his distant cousin on the moon for Greece not having balanced its Accounts for 10+ EUro-zone years & all its Economic-Fiscal woes!And when not indulging in those fiscal-fantasies You go further and recite/rehash ancient 'geo-political' histories of how important Greece is to the World when apart from the Acropolis & Parthenon (occasional Elgin Marbles and/or Cyprus squabble) nobody has paid any attention to it for donkeys years! A fact that goes some way to explaining how Athen's Governments were for over a decade able to cook their Finances!It was sometime ago that many of us using these Blogs realised You had lost the thread of logic and it is now evident from the most recent couple of Blog debates You haven't got much plot either!I trust that this lengthy response has been enough and deals also with Your "..thingies.." - - especially as You also choose to write in Your Comments some "Quotes" (e.g. "..the monolithic continentals with their archaic system.." simply inconceivable that I would write such tosh & gibberish: Though You often do) in the pretence that the Quote are mine when they are not! Such deception goes hand-in-glove with Your unfortunate bouts of pseudo-history in which You endeavour to re-write entire chapters of the World to suit Your own taste for those downtrodden, oppressed, exploited, but on-so-plucky Greeks.I'm being condescending, I know: It is spectacularly unappetizing and if I thought there was another way to answer You then I would have used it.However, it was You who wrote how You "..felt sorry for me..", so, I don't really care that much how this response grabs You. Most especially, as under no circumstances will I ever reply to You again.Now, as has happened on numerous times - - I'm going to turn the page - - whatever Your response I'm not interested. I'm not normally this blunt, but frankly having my teeth pulled is preferable to the tedium of reading anymore of Your stuff. Thu 24 Jun 2010 15:48:18 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=84#comment86 #81 - torpareI suppose some of them could learn to play football. Thu 24 Jun 2010 15:16:06 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=83#comment85 #67 - Cassandra".... given that the EU authorities can monitor you at home via the computer every time you log onto this site. As I understand it the only way to circumvent the EU's spying software is to move your computer to somewhere outside the EU". I have no doubt that they have the technical competence to do this but they would certainly be breaking the law in at least one EU country by doing so. Unless the thought police are going to quietly take me to one side one night and beat the living daylights out of me for expressing my opinion, there is nothing they can do with this information. The issues of confidentiality and freedom of expression, important as they are, pale into insignificance compared with the massive waste of public money involved in gathering intelligence which would be inadmissible under any civilised jurisdiction and is therefore as much use as a chocolate teapot. Thu 24 Jun 2010 15:14:28 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=82#comment84 re Thu 24 Jun 2010 14:47:42 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=81#comment83 #62 - MarcusAureliusIIAlistair Darling, his predecessor had a nice shiny new one. I guess the new guy dug the old one out of the broom cupboard to make the 'austerity' point. Thu 24 Jun 2010 14:37:28 GMT+1 torpare http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=80#comment82 #80. mvr512 wrote:"Shame he is dead really, because he'd be a prime candidate for being tried in court for his crimes against the new generations."He would have mounted a spirited defence:-“It is the paramount duty of governments and of politicians to secure the well-being of the community under the case in the present, and not to run risks overmuch for the future”. He also (approvingly) quoted Edmund Burke as being hostile to “introducing present evils for the sake of future benefits.”What came to be called keynesianism was credited with having been the correct antidote to the Great Depression (as in Roosevelt's "New Deal"). However our present problems seem to have been caused by an excess of liquidity rather than (as was the G.D.) by its opposite, so perhaps not even Keynes (who was nothing if not pragmatic) would have prescribed a keynesian response - had he not unfortunately have been dead of course. Thu 24 Jun 2010 14:23:25 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=79#comment81 @80 mvr512"I refer to my comment about increasing debt and structural deficit. The only 'achievement' Keynes achieved, is that he gave governments an excuse to operate on structural deficit. The excuse being 'we have to invest now, we cannot cut the spending because it would mean recession'.Shame he is dead really, because he'd be a prime candidate for being tried in court for his crimes against the new generations."That was not what Keynes and his theories were all about.In a nutshell, what he propagated were debt-driven investments and interventions by the government during times of crisis in order to make the economy recover faster.His theory also included that governments would have to actually SAVE MONEY and cut deficits during times of economic stability and economic booms.Your judgement of Keynes is unjust. He was a very reasonable economist, albeit not infallible. For example, Keynes correctly predicted the hyperinflation as a result of the harsh Treaty of Versailles, which effectively wiped out most of Germans middle class and destabilized its society.He reasoned that the conditions of the treaty were way too harsh right after a costly war and resigned from the British treasury in 1919.And the IS-LM model, which is based upon the theories of Keynes, is still taught at university to this day as a very good short- to mid-term model.Keynesian economic policies were, after the stagflation of the oil-crisis, absolished. According to Keynes theories, the stagflation should not have occured. Some parts of his theory were proven wrong or at least partially incorrect (e.g. Phillips-curve) back then, so neo-monetarists such as Milton Friedman got their way.The Bretton-Woods system was also implemented not like Keynes wanted it to be and destroyed by an unsustainable increase in money supply which could not be backed by real value anoymore. It was, as we all know, abolished as well.And you cannot blame Keynes for what happened afterwards. He was a reasonable economist who did not believe in debt expansion.He propagated increased government spendings and investments during times of economic crisis, which would be payed back during times of economic stability and/or boom.He gave no government an excuse, but the governments just didn`t give a rat`s ass about the payback part.Therefore, I will have to kind of agree with Mathiasen for the first time:"Keynes is back, and contrary to the rubbish that has been written here in the blog, it is of course an element in the theory that states should bring down its debts when the economy recovers. Only, politicians do not always agree on when the moment has come, as the letter from Obama shows. There will be a great opportunity on the G20 to discuss theories and definition of moments." Thu 24 Jun 2010 14:17:07 GMT+1 torpare http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=78#comment80 How the other half lives:-http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/europe/10401929.stmMy heart really bleeds for those French public sector workers, who may at some stage be forced to have to go on working after age 55 before getting their 75% of final pay pension, index-linked, plus tax-breaks. Is there no justice? Shouldn't their brothers and sisters in all the other EU countries immediately come out on strike, so as to help them defend their privileges - sorry, rights? Collections ought to be raised with which to buy them new feather-beds to ease their pain in case their dastardly penny-pinching politicians persist with their evil plans to rescue the French economy from bankruptcy.Though I'm sure they won't... They've always backed-down before. Thu 24 Jun 2010 12:28:09 GMT+1 mvr512 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=77#comment79 58.generalissimofranco wrote: Lord John Keynes invented a theory that has been successfully applied almost by all west European governments ever since the 30s of the last century.Succesful in what? Creating structural deficits and ever increasing national debts? Some success, that.The works of Lord Keynes were carefully studied even in the countries of the eastern bloc. They are based on the continuous and detailed analysis of the cycled character of the economic growth and still represent a significant scientific achievement of the Iconomics.I refer to my comment about increasing debt and structural deficit. The only 'achievement' Keynes achieved, is that he gave governments an excuse to operate on structural deficit. The excuse being 'we have to invest now, we cannot cut the spending because it would mean recession'.Shame he is dead really, because he'd be a prime candidate for being tried in court for his crimes against the new generations. Thu 24 Jun 2010 11:14:17 GMT+1 opinion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=76#comment78 76. At 10:59am on 24 Jun 2010, HuaimekIt not only an economy and or political problem it is also a social problem. The main problem comes from the way of life that is promoted and encouraged. I remember 20 years ago in my home little village neighbors and families visiting each other almost every night and organizing big dinners every week with a lot of guests. People were so much happier. I went back there last year. neighbors and families do not visit each other any more, people do not share there food any more. Interesting enough their income these days is far higher than back 20 years ago, they have much more money to spend with family and friends but they do not. Why? Because now every member of the family has to have at least 1 car, they have to buy a new TV every 2 years, a new mobile every year, a new laptop every 2 years and so on. When they have some time they prefer to go somewhere far and live for a few days away from anyone else. I would like to be able to live today the life I had 20 years ago but I am afraid I cannot anymore because the society promotes now consumerism and I am afraid I do not consume enough to satisfy this thirst for more consumption. We have to look at ourselves and ask how we would like our way of life and our children way of life be. Thu 24 Jun 2010 10:45:46 GMT+1 opinion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=75#comment77 69. At 07:48am on 24 Jun 2010, Buzet23I do agree that EU is failing to create a social system (based on dictionary definition). If we have to live with EU we have to change the way it works. Provided that the majority are happy with that. Thu 24 Jun 2010 10:13:43 GMT+1 Huaimek http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=74#comment76 #67 CassandraThe EU authorities are much to arrogant to look into blogs like this .Some Good might come of Europe if Barosso and co. did read these blogs and took note of the many negative things said against the EU .They are R Souls , one and all . Thu 24 Jun 2010 10:10:42 GMT+1 Huaimek http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=73#comment75 #68 opinionThere is no doubt there is a diminution in the middle class standard of living . British standards of living have been reduced since WWII and even more so now . When I first went to Italy in the 1950s , to exchange with the son of the family ; everyone had servants in the house , the garden too , if there was one . Meals were served on a lavish scale , better than any restaurant . Today , it is all do it yourself or buy something ready cooked on the way home .Today in Italy , almost no Italians will do domestic or manual labouring work . Domestic staff come from the Philipines or Srilanka , labourers and roadmen come from Romania , Romanian women are marvellous at looking after the aged .The Financial markets industry has already proved itself dangerous , look at the mess the western world is in at present .As you say , it results in no general business creating jobs .In my view we were all better off in our own little countries , running our own businesses and political affares .Now that we are Global , you can buy from anywhere set up your factory anywhere . The world is like a card house or dominoes , if one falls , they all fall , like the banks and financial markets .I always had two minds about Mrs Thatcher . In the 1980s she let many businesses go to the wall , that were consistently insolvent and a drain on the national economy to continually subsidise . Many people were put out of work and without further training for new skills , were not likely to find new jobs , a lot of unemployment benefit to pay . There was a rise in the crime rate , a need to build more prisons . These factors coinsided and I wonder whether Britain was really better off , other than for the breaking of the unions . Thu 24 Jun 2010 09:59:47 GMT+1 Freeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=72#comment74 "25. At 08:30am on 23 Jun 2010, lacerniagigante wrote:" ...A whole load of words that seem to have forgotten what the word reality means"British contribution fo the EU budget is the lowest."We shall treat that with the utter contempt that such a lie deserves. Especially after the Great Blair Giveaway."Cameron's U-turn on his pseudo-belligerent stance"Pseudo-belligerent? Have you been paying attention? OK....that was rhetorical: Obviously not. He has been firm not belligerent due to his coalition allies. Even without them I cannot imagine him doing a Maggie. Unless by pseudo-belligerent you meant not willing to take anything and everything Brussels dishes out without complaint no matter how bad for Britain? Thu 24 Jun 2010 09:25:10 GMT+1 Freeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=71#comment73 #73 I would surmise from your quote Mathisen the answer to your questions are:- No.- Depends on the situation but in relation to the EU, Anger at being ignored for so long. Being angry does not mean we anti-EU types will turn to violence to solve our problems. It is one of my greatest fears that a small group will do exactly that one day. :( Thu 24 Jun 2010 09:13:14 GMT+1 Mathiasen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=70#comment72 Some of the things we can read here are stupid beyond most standards. That includes message #70.Please take a look at what someone wrote to me here in this blog:"We have to protest somewhere. Just be grateful that we are non-violent given what arrogant, anti-democratic, megalomaniac "EU"-lovers have done to us."Should I expect this man to start a fight if I meet him? What else should I expect from a person of that character?Have the courage to use your common sense. Thu 24 Jun 2010 08:52:34 GMT+1 Benefactor http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=69#comment71 @ 70 Buzet"Thankfully we're not yet in a Communist society although I'm sure that there are some pro-EU people who would like to exercise that level of control over dissenters."I'm sure some anti-EU would as well. Thu 24 Jun 2010 08:33:10 GMT+1 Benefactor http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=68#comment70 @ 67 CassandraDo you have a source for your claim? Thu 24 Jun 2010 08:18:52 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=67#comment69 #67. At 07:23am on 24 Jun 2010, Cassandra wrote:,Um, I'm not quite sure what your point is here but if you're thinking about the so called anti terrorism logging then it's not just this site but anything you do on the internet. Thankfully we're not yet in a Communist society although I'm sure that there are some pro-EU people who would like to exercise that level of control over dissenters. Thu 24 Jun 2010 07:41:11 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=66#comment68 #64. At 02:49am on 24 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:,"However, what people do not understand is that capitalism does not make anyone rich but few."One can say the same about Socialism as it only benefits the chosen few which in the case of Communism form of Socialism are the Party hack's. Most centre left/right politics has been more about levelling down than improving the populations lot for decades, with the EU's redistribution of wealth firm evidence of that. A few very rich got richer whilst most got poorer as a result of the ever increasing taxes the politicians on the gravy train continually impose. Consequently is it Capitalism or Socialism that is at fault, I consider them both to be equally as bad as they both end up benefiting a very small minority and their proponents think that tossing a few small carrots to the masses from time to time will keep them happy.PS. I make a distinction between the dictionary definition of Socialism and the way it is actually enacted which is quite different. The EU's claim to be creating a Social Europe is clearly failing as the poor, middle and even many rich are suffering. Thu 24 Jun 2010 06:48:21 GMT+1 opinion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=65#comment67 66. At 06:11am on 24 Jun 2010, HuaimekBy middle class I understand all people (independent of education and social background)that enjoy a decent standard of living (example may be any middle income person in UK, France, Germany etc). In many countries the standard of living for most of these individual appear that has decreased in the recent years. Otherwise I agree with your opinion. "The Stockmarket , banking , currency trading , derivatives , become a safer more certain alternative ." I do agree that that is what seems to happen, but, I would like to say that I think that this type of business may prove dangerous in long term. First, it creates jobs for few therefore very low employment rate in the private sector therefore the pressure on creating more government jobs and government social programs to keep the population at a minimum level of happiness. Second, this type of business can easily avoid taxes and responsibility towards governments and people and again the same problem only few will benefit out of it.So, I think that manufacturing, industry, research and innovation should be the base of a healthy economy with clever, socially responsible taxing and banking. Thu 24 Jun 2010 06:39:36 GMT+1 Cassandra http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=64#comment66 EU prisoner, Maxseptic and all you the anti EU posters - I do admire your courage .... given that the EU authorities can monitor you at home via the computer every time you log onto this site. As I understand it the only way to circumvent the EU's spying software is to move your computer to somewhere outside the EU. Thu 24 Jun 2010 06:23:46 GMT+1 Huaimek http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=63#comment65 #64 opinionI beg to differ on this subject . Class is not related to Capitalism or how rich one is . Class relates to a certain level of academic and social education , people who have a more refined style of life . People such as doctors and lawyers or businessmen and women , might fall into the middle class strata . In that context I do not see how the middle class is diminishing . You can be working class and very rich and upper class who are poor .In any circumstances only a few get rich . The problem today is the abuse of capitalism as shown in the banking and investment world ; where devious means are used to make people very rich , but the riches not used constructively to create industry or providing employment , to redistribute that wealth . Another problem in recent years has been a decline of industry in the western world . Asian countries like China have taken over productive industries and can market the goods more cheaply . Western entrepreneurs may be discouraged from undertaking a risky business that might not compete . The Stockmarket , banking , currency trading , derivatives , become a safer more certain alternative . Thu 24 Jun 2010 05:11:30 GMT+1 Mathiasen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=62#comment64 Prior to the G20 meeting in Canada President Obama has in a letter to the leaders of G20 called for easing of the public spending in order to support the economic recovery and increase the creation of jobs. He writes that it is not the right moment to give up the rescue action of the economy now that the intervention starts to show its effect.This is of course aimed at the cuts in public budgets in Europe, where the largest economies are making deep cuts, as we know, however with the interesting exception of France. The French government agrees with president Obama that the states should continue to support the recovery.The presidents of both countries, which also have that in common that consumption is a corner stone of the economy, are worried about the employment and further about their possibilities of getting elected at the next election. (Unemployment is of course not a good card in an election campaign, particularly not in the USA, where unemployment has severe consequences for those, who lose their job.)President Obama’s words land on stony ground in Europa. Germany’s chancellor has said to the president that Europe has no choice. Since Greece the leaders of the government, who all believe in the market, fear “the markets”, not least the rating institutes and their influence on the interest rates. In interesting dilemma.In the meantime the voters in Germany are reacting. Chancellor Merkel and her coalition government would be fired on the spot if there were general election next Sunday. The polls show a clear majority for the opposition.Keynes is back, and contrary to the rubbish that has been written here in the blog, it is of course an element in the theory that states should bring down its debts when the economy recovers. Only, politicians do not always agree on when the moment has come, as the letter from Obama shows. There will be a great opportunity on the G20 to discuss theories and definition of moments. Thu 24 Jun 2010 04:33:22 GMT+1 opinion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=61#comment63 61. At 00:27am on 24 Jun 2010, faeythInteresting. I do agree with you that the middle class is diminishing in all countries which have/had a middle class. However, interesting enough in during the last few years it looks like the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. I do not think that that is because socialism. That is because the peak of extreme capitalism past and now we see the down path with rich getting richer and poor getting poorer. The up path was when everyone was getting richer (though at different rate), the peak was when everyone enjoyed being rich and now on the down path everyone remembers that capitalism was the one that made them rich. However, what people do not understand is that capitalism does not make anyone rich but few. Thu 24 Jun 2010 01:49:01 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=60#comment62 54. At 4:57pm on 23 Jun 2010, margaret howard wrote:'"20 Opinion writes about #19 Europrisoner:"Strange are peoples ways, but yours are just weird."Maybe not so strange when you remember that he once applied for a job in the EU and got turned down. Some people manage to hold a grudge for a long time. 'EUpris: To Margaret Howard. I have explained to you before that I was anti-"EU" long before I applied for that job. I didn't really expect to get it.Your comment is along the lines of 'everybody who opposes the "EU" has a psychological problem.'Please could you confirm that you have seen this reply? Thu 24 Jun 2010 01:46:26 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=59#comment61 I know times are tough and money is tight but I think that somehow as deeply in debt as the UK is, it could scrape up enough money to get that man a new briefcase. Thu 24 Jun 2010 00:35:13 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=58#comment60 Money is a tool used to trade goods,invent new things,move people and ideas,etc..Whenever money is hoarded either by Banks/Corporations/Wealthy Individuals/or Governments it is a waste.The middle class is what drives an economy because having a middle class means movement of money,the money that was moved during late 90's-00s was fake and borrowed to the middle class,the real money was hoarded by Governments,Banks,Corporations,and Individuals.Larger a middle class larger amount of wealth,business,technology,Rich individuals,etc..The stimulus package released by U.S. government was wasted because the money was hoarded again by Corporations/Banks/Individuals,no money movement to the middle class.Our 2 political system fight over who get to steal from the middle class.It's sad because if the U.S. does better than so will everyone else.But it won't happen until money hoarding stops unfortunately everyone is still taking from the middle class , the Banks/Corporations/Individuals/and all levels of Governments through contracts,Corporate welfare,outsourcing to slave labor and in sourcing to slave labor(immigrants),Corporate handouts,tax evasions both Corporate and by individuals,foreign aid,military expenses and being over taxed with nothing to show for it in from our governments.Neither governments or Corporations can create jobs only the middle class can create jobs because of their skills and needs by being paid fair with benefits for costs of living standard.And pushing for world wide minimum wage standard to avoid slave wages taking over the globe. Wed 23 Jun 2010 23:27:39 GMT+1 opinion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=57#comment59 54. At 4:57pm on 23 Jun 2010, margaret howard wrote:"Maybe not so strange when you remember that he once applied for a job in the EU and got turned down. Some people manage to hold a grudge for a long time."I explained above why I made that affirmation. However, since I do not know him personally my affirmation is valid only for the case explained above. Any personal issues are far beyond my understanding and I do not intend to make any comets referring to anything else but what is stated on this blogs comment section. Wed 23 Jun 2010 23:04:03 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=56#comment58 #52. At 4:34pm on 23 Jun 2010, ChrisArta wrote:,"@Buzet23I hope you are not trying to tell me that there is no exchange rate costs for a company that does business both in the UK and the Eurozone!"No I'm not as we both know that there is a cost involved although it is not too significant a cost. What one also has to remember is that most UK company's will be using not just Sterling and Euro but also many other international currencies and even within the Eurozone an awful lot is sourced or manufactured outside the Eurozone which makes the concept of an interesting cost saving somewhat remote. Therefore for UK manufacturers they will be probably dealing with materials sourced from many locations both within and outside the EU, and therefore were the UK to join the Euro it would make little real difference to currency exchange costs.Thanks Threnodio_II, CBW and Torpare, for your comments regarding John_from_Hendon's abusive attack, it is a pity that people with so closed a mind are in a position whereby the survival of a company and peoples jobs can be so put at risk by fixed views. I remember the old consultancy adage that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink, for IT consultants that meant you can advise on best practice to achieve an objective but it's simply advice, and if the management team has fixed minds your consultancy firm just take the fees and laugh, as they make a fortune out of people with closed minds. Wed 23 Jun 2010 21:16:43 GMT+1 generalissimofranco http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=55#comment57 @56 mvr512“Keynesianism is the idiot's economic theory that basically creates its own recession.”Lord John Keynes invented a theory that has been successfully applied almost by all west European governments ever since the 30s of the last century. It is intended to curb the consequences of the recession. It does not create recession. The works of Lord Keynes were carefully studied even in the countries of the eastern bloc. They are based on the continuous and detailed analysis of the cycled character of the economic growth and still represent a significant scientific achievement of the Iconomics. Wed 23 Jun 2010 20:49:52 GMT+1 MaxSceptic http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=54#comment56 Cassandra @15,I am always pleased for a government to break a promise if that promise was stupid and never should have been given to begin with.As for "being swept up in the Olympic fever": it is evident that you know me not.If I am ever caught attending any Olympic (or other sporting) event, or waving any flag at such a sordid occasion, you have my express permission to burn me at the stake, Wed 23 Jun 2010 20:07:27 GMT+1 mvr512 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=53#comment55 The eminent economist Paul Krugman has written "what I do know is that economic policy around the world has taken a major wrong turn, and that the odds of a prolonged slump are rising by the day".Eminent economist? Misguided and deluded keynesian fool, that is more like it.Its all the keynesians fault in the first place with their constant advocating of borrowing more and more against the future for a little more prosperity today. Sooner or later you have to pay the bill, and that's what keynesian fools always forget. Keynesianism is the idiot's economic theory that basically creates its own recession. Because you are supposed to cut government spending when the going is good (but when the going IS good you never hear keynesians in the first palce).And since most western economies are crippled with debt already borrowing even more is decidedly a bad idea.Besides, even with the latest socalled 'austerity measures', there are still deficits, and debts are still increasing (in the UK, most debt was racked up by the reckless anti-future Labour party). Politicians are still banking on the return of 5% a year growth, which was unsustainable to begin with. Wed 23 Jun 2010 19:42:43 GMT+1 torpare http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=52#comment54 #51. Nik wrote:@NikI think you make a very valid point, and your view that there is criticism in France (which we seldom hear about in our francophobe media) of the French socialism-dominated approach is interesting.Britain's current problems (which are bad enough but not as bad as Greece's because our borrowings are longer-term) seem to stem mainly from the last government's decision to bail-out our banks and stave-off recession through "quantitative easing", so that the banks wouldn't stop lending. At the time this was seen as the "right" approach by many but in retrospect is seen as having been the "wrong" one. It seems it all depends on which economist you listen to.I think that the claim made on Britain's behalf (before the financial crisis hit in 2008) had been that ever since Margaret Thatcher's premiership monetarist/"supply-side" doctrines had prevailed (though not in the extreme form seen across the Atlantic) and this was favourably compared with the "European" approach which was seen as state-dominated and over-regulated, with supply-side bottlenecks (eg within the labour-market) and a bloated public sector.Monetarists in Britain might say that it's because the last government reverted to printing money instead of letting the banks go bust that we're now in the mess we're in. This seems to be exactly your own critique, so haven't you answered your own question? Furthermore, you surely must have noted the extreme contrast between the French and the British governments' responses to the crisis?Whether yours is the right (or only) answer is another matter. Again, it depends on which economist you listen to. Paul Krugman as quoted by Hewitt clearly doesn't think so, and he's not the only one (Obama doesn't either). Wed 23 Jun 2010 16:49:47 GMT+1 margaret howard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=51#comment53 20 Opinion writes about #19 Europrisoner:"Strange are peoples ways, but yours are just weird."Maybe not so strange when you remember that he once applied for a job in the EU and got turned down. Some people manage to hold a grudge for a long time. Wed 23 Jun 2010 15:57:14 GMT+1 torpare http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=50#comment52 #37. John_from_Hendon wrote(Stripping-out the gratuitous abuse):"Changing currencies always costs money"..."Foreign currency trading is a zero sum game where those who run the book (i.e. the banks who offer the service) ALWAYS win"Of course. Did anyone suggest otherwise? I think that what was suggested was that other costs/inefficiencies generated by EU membership were much more significant and that currency-conversion costs should be seen in that light. Furthermore that those costs have to be set against the advantage for a country which stays outside the euro of being able to manage its own currency, as an integral part of macroeconomic policy within its own borders.Your point was...? Wed 23 Jun 2010 15:48:47 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=50#comment51 @CBW,Yes she started it but NuLab finished it in style! The only thing we can export in real estate agents! That's were all the UK growth in the last 10 years came from! The problem we have is that we are not in the Euro to make the Germans pay our debts:))@Buzet23I hope you are not trying to tell me that there is no exchange rate costs for a company that does business both in the UK and the Eurozone! Wed 23 Jun 2010 15:34:06 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=49#comment50 I am disappointed in the above moderation, when the discussion became more interesting.CBW, far from fighting in the style "my opinion is better than yours", I am really interested in knowing what British people think of the financial problems of Britain.In France for example, people state:1) Unecessary pseudo-socialism, inflated state combined with archaic sector protectionism (eg. public & public-related private industries & services) which leads to deceleration in financial growth2) Corruption mainly in the form of tax evasion3) Unsuitable social welfare system combined with unecessary immigration of low skilled highly dependent people4) Weaking of the ability of France to defend its industries internationally and loss of power to Germany within EU5) Delocalisation to China and competition from it6) The EU expenditures... and other such partially explaining thingies. No1,2&3 are cited as primary reasons. Well at least they give it a go.But what is your view of Britain? Wed 23 Jun 2010 15:14:28 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=48#comment49 This post has been Removed Wed 23 Jun 2010 13:44:58 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=47#comment48 45. At 2:05pm on 23 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:""""Re #18 and #44Utter Aegean tosh & gibberish.""""Aegean gibberish but after 1000s of text here you haven't even given us a hint of what you believe about Britain's financial demise. As far as I had seen 3 months ago, most if not all Greeks had been quite revealing on the surface as well as root causes of the Greek demise even including the very details and the timeline.But you fail completely to say anything on the British financial demise:1) It can't be because of EU cos Britain is one of the countries least linked to it.2) It can't be because of too much socialism that France is accused since Britain proudly presents "another example".3) It can't be inner corruption & incompetency since 3 months ago we saw British openly accusing Club Med of corruption & incompetency thus at least having some - at least basic - faith in their own system.Well what is it CBW? Tell us. I am inherently interested to know what goes wrong in Britain - which for so many years have been used as an example of a country that "moves" and which "the monolithic continentals with their archaic systems" had to follow: well modern or monolithic it seems there was no big difference afterall between the likes of France and Britain. Don't you find it interesting? Tell us your real view. Wed 23 Jun 2010 13:36:45 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=46#comment47 33. At 10:47am on 23 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:...What I see here are nations queuing up to jump on the austerity bandwagon. What I do not see is the EU as an institution embracing it. Where are their cuts in wasteful bureaucracy, their freeze on recruitment and salaries?...Precise. But where does that stem? From the idiotic social-ities, motherTeresisms, tree-huggingisms, multi-culturalism & multilingualism complexes the EU managed to include in its agenda all that when it could just concentrate on the essential:1) 1 defense policy: the enemy of 1 is the enemy of all and the enemy of all is the enemy of 1.2) 1 energy policy: buy in bulk = buy cheaper3) 1 main financial policy aiming at normalisation of national economies - common currency or not. That is what the EEC was all about. EU went on further but forgot even this basic thingie... Wed 23 Jun 2010 13:28:14 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=45#comment46 ChrisArtaRe #26 & "..other other hand our great labour government in the last 10 years managed to de-industrialise us..".Well, true NuLab can be accused of many things and found guilty of quite a few Economic-Fiscal catastrophes, however, You are showing an incredibly convenient short memory to lay that particular accusation on Blair-Brown's No.10 policies!Step forward the grocer's daughter, chemist graduate and utterly dogma driven Margaret Thatcher, PM circa 1979-90, and without fear of contradiction the most rabid enemy of British Manufacturing industry since the Luftwaffe! Wed 23 Jun 2010 13:19:48 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=44#comment45 John_from_HendonRe #37Utterly OTT!If, You & Your indignant outburst (#31 & #37) at Buzet23 are an example of UK/England 'international' business management then no wonder companies go bust!Seldom seen a better example of a know-all in operation who clearly knows all he needs for his particular role but it totally escapes You how relevant are other's role in a business team! Also, for one who asked specific questions for Business Plans regarding UK staying out of the EUro-zone on the last topic You have remained remarkably quiet in response to those of us who answered that set of queries. Wed 23 Jun 2010 13:12:58 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=43#comment44 Re #18 and #44Utter Aegean tosh & gibberish. Wed 23 Jun 2010 13:05:55 GMT+1 Nik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=42#comment43 18. At 03:41am on 23 Jun 2010, Ellinas wrote:Britain joins the Austerity Club...wrong title."""Let me suggest some more accurate title:""""""...Britain joins the BIG PIGS Club: (new version of PIIGS)""""Hehe... I remember mentioning BIG PIGS 3 months ago here. But we have to put France (Gallia in Greek) into it. Now with the crisis we cut on Porto from Portugal (Portogalia in Greek) and we are left with Galia, i.e. a mispelled France thus BIG PIGS becomes BIG FIGS and everyone knows that fig (syko in Greek) is the fruit of deception in the sense that technically it is not even fruit but a closed flower (let alone the other funny connotations of "sykia" tree in Greek...)!Back in the ancient times, figs were considered luxury fruits and the production was heavily controlled & highly taxed and illegal trade was heavily fined, hence people who unmasked illegal traders - these were called "sycophantes" and were honoured and rewarded by the state as good citizens. However, naturally the term in the lapse of time took a negative meaning implying someone who unfairly accuses other pepole.Given the current situation, one must dispair in the lack of "sycophantes" that many modern European countries present. Leaders decided on politics and followed certain guidiles which included amazing spending levels that involved to a large percentage totally unecessary expenditures, wasting of money on non-profit projects while real projects were delayed, anti-social social benefits, cronyism, protectionism of certain sectors, lack of protection of industries of national importance and on top of that everything was covered with amazing levels of borrowing.... the list is long, very long. Yet, everything seems to had been done correctly, none is being fined, none is being judged, the problem is the "international situations", the crisis in US, the export production and rising energy consumption of China etc. Well I think it is time to start unmasking the figs and better accuse some innocent and let them prove their innocence than let everyone rule & decide in impunity."""...funny world we live. Remember! People who live in glass houses should not throw stones"""Indeed! And the issue is not saying to British "join the club"; I wish British people (whose working class has long been hit hard since the 70s) a quick recovery as I wish for us. The issue is elsewhere:If France reached its dispairing financial condition due to its social policies, protectionism and blah blah, what happened to Britain that had a wholy different example?Which is a similar question Greece reaching this dispairing financial level because of its immense black market, tax evasion and lack of productivity while Portugal seemingly shared only the lack of productivity (which alone does not explain anything as Greece has 10 times more corruption than Portugal but only 2-3 times the problem of Portugal... unless Greece's productivity is 5 times bigger than Portugal's which is not obviously).One must understand the root-cause of all these different countries socialist/less socialist, in or out of eurozone that in group are doing so bad. And above all we must ask ourselfs whether this situation was so "unpredictable 5,10,15 and 20 years back". Of course it was predictable. Even fairly cheap propagandas like the infamous "Protocols of the Wisemen of Zion" have accurately described the enslavement of nations to perpetual debt as the means the most certain to control the people on a global scale. You can't expect political leaders to have known less than that. Thus their politicies have been simply working actively or passively on it hiding the truth. Wed 23 Jun 2010 12:20:11 GMT+1 opinion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=41#comment42 @EUprisoner209456731 "Medium size businesses should move their headquarters to friendly non-"EU" countries e.g. Canada so that more tax is paid there rather than in the"EU"."I was referring to that sentence.How moving business from UK can help UK citizens?You move business, you move jobs, you move tax money. I cannot see any benefit for any UK citizen except the business owner. At least paying some tax money in EU part of these money will come back to UK citizens. And I do not think that UK has to lose more than to gain from being part of EU. Wed 23 Jun 2010 11:47:48 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=40#comment41 #31 - John_from_HendonJohn - that is an outrageously over the top attack on Buzet. It is the business of IT specialists to understand IT. It is the business of their clients and/or employers to understand what the want the technology to do and why.I am in a completely different field of IT. I develop websites. Are you suggesting that I should not build websites for clients of whose businesses I do not have a sophisticated understanding? I would starve in a month. Wed 23 Jun 2010 11:44:44 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=39#comment40 #37. At 11:43am on 23 Jun 2010, John_from_Hendon,You need to look in the mirror, it is you that are being delusional, of course the banks always win, whether it's operating a company's accounts, ordinary transactions, services, currencies etc. There is only one zero cost system and that's as old as the hills, i.e. cash with no banks involved. Thankfully I never came across someone like you during my years, all the corporate treasurers I worked with were very sharp and fully aware of what was needed to manage the currency function, and judging by the balance sheets I saw they knew very well how to minimise costs, unlike you it seems, as you seem to think the Euro is a magical currency that will solve all known problems, rol. Wed 23 Jun 2010 11:13:52 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=38#comment39 By the way:COME ON ENGLAND!!! Wed 23 Jun 2010 11:04:37 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=37#comment38 #37 so you can insult people but beware of even remotely saying anything non-PC. This is England. Wed 23 Jun 2010 11:04:07 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=36#comment37 #36. At 11:24am on 23 Jun 2010, ChrisArta wrote:,My belief that the Euro has an inherent weakness stems from the inability to use anything other than taxation measures to address a problem within an economy. When I worked at the implementation of the Euro, I spoke about this many times to the head of the central bank's accounting department where I worked and basically they were keeping their fingers crossed. It was always known that a problem would arrive since there are so many dissimilar country economies with opposite extremes like Germany and the club med country's. For me, and I live with the Euro, the only benefit is if I cross one of Belgium's borders to buy something in France, Luxembourg, Holland or Germany i.e. tourism.The ECB has proved itself to be somewhat of a failure, responding directly to political pressure from Paris or Bonn, especially with Trichet as head, and is politically incapable of using interest rates to help correct the current economic problems. Thus growth in club med is highly unlikely whilst they remain in the Euro. Should the UK join, or have joined, the Euro, there is no evidence to suggest that the UK recovery would be enhanced by that, to the contrary, there is more chance that being controlled by the ECB would damage the efforts to correct the debt as Osbourn would be in a similar situation to the club med country's with little means of encouraging growth. Wed 23 Jun 2010 10:52:37 GMT+1 John_from_Hendon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=35#comment36 This post has been Removed Wed 23 Jun 2010 10:43:28 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=34#comment35 #32. At 10:37am on 23 Jun 2010, Buzet23I'm not saying it can't be done, it is obvious that it can be done. All I'm saying is that there is no need for any business to have to deal with the currency exchange nonsense. Specially given that our growth prospects are not any better with us using GBP than the eurozone and seeing the huge loses in value we had in the last two years.So we all have the headache of the currency fluctuation for no benefit, lets get rid of the pound and use the euro, to make our live a little bit easier at least. Wed 23 Jun 2010 10:24:33 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=33#comment34 20. At 05:15am on 23 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:"19. At 04:05am on 23 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731Strange are peoples ways, but yours are just weird."About 82% of the British electorate wanted as referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. About 70% wanted to vote NO.So there are millions of Brits who agree with me in part.If you are a "citizen of the EU" , then maybe you should try to "free" yourself from these "weird" people by getting the UK thrown out of the "EU" and making sure that you don't live in the UK."EU"-lovers should expect constant trouble as long as the UK is in the "EU".Guess how much I care if you think or claim to think I am weird! Wed 23 Jun 2010 10:19:57 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=32#comment33 #31. At 10:15am on 23 Jun 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:,There are none so blind as those who can see, try actually opening your eyes about accounting practices instead of ranting off about techniques you obviously have never understood. You talk like a closeted employee with little real experience and rose tinted glasses rather than someone that has had real multinational experience within multiple country's, multiple industries and most importantly for this discussion, multiple currencies. Handling currency transactions is a piece of cake compared to following employment and taxation legislation, and when you add EU directives on top of that, where do you think the real negative costs to business lie, certainly not with currency differences. Wed 23 Jun 2010 10:00:04 GMT+1 threnodio_II http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=31#comment32 What I see here are nations queuing up to jump on the austerity bandwagon. What I do not see is the EU as an institution embracing it. Where are their cuts in wasteful bureaucracy, their freeze on recruitment and salaries?Perhaps they should try something different, reduce their retirement age to 18 and not replace the staff that leave as a result. That would save a bob or two. Wed 23 Jun 2010 09:47:09 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=30#comment31 #26. At 08:50am on 23 Jun 2010, ChrisArta wrote:,Have you never heard of using an average monthly rate for normal transactions or pricing? That is what is usually used.The actual exchange rate differences on transactions are summed and accounted for based on the daily rates with the gain/loss calculated as a monthly figure. Should there be a currency loss then obviously any half decent management team will react, that is the function of accurate management reporting systems. The cost accounting reporting will be concerned with the cost of currency exchange or transfers and I think you will find that any sensible company maintains accounts in both Sterling and Euro (plus Dollars), making the main decision making the responsibility of the corporate treasurer who moves their cash between the various currencies. Consequently, bearing in mind the treasury function, there is little that is tricky about using multiple currencies as most accounting systems handle multiple books very easily, with consolidation a simple reporting function. Which is why one central bank hired me to help in the implementation of the Euro and the running of multiple books in different currencies. Wed 23 Jun 2010 09:37:56 GMT+1 John_from_Hendon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=29#comment30 #23. Buzet23 wrote:"Having been an IT person specialising in accounting systems I have always failed to see where ... added cost arrives."I have seldom come across a less well informed and less business competent IT person. You should really not even be allowed out in the real world. Your accounting and financial ignorance is shocking! You are an absolute danger to commerce. If I ever see an IT person with such an inability to understand how trade works as you they would never get past the first stages of job selection and I really pity your employer and if they know how little you understand I wonder that you are not fired - I would certainly fire you, instantly! Wed 23 Jun 2010 09:15:54 GMT+1 John_from_Hendon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=28#comment29 #6. MaxSceptic wrote:"A pity we can't cancel the stupid Olympics too (Paris: is it too late to give you the Games?)"No Paris is I suspect not ready - but Athens may be, I suspect. (Just redefine Athens as a suburb of London and all will be fine!) Wed 23 Jun 2010 09:08:32 GMT+1 Benefactor http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=27#comment28 @ 25 lacerniagiganteNo, never scrap Trident, scrap every other part of the military first, but not Trident. Nuclear weapons ensure no invading army on these shores for the foreseeable future, what do we use the Army, Navy, et al, for? Invading others? Wed 23 Jun 2010 08:11:27 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=26#comment27 #25. At 08:30am on 23 Jun 2010, lacerniagigante wrote"For once, I agree with Hewitt, that all this austerity posturing are just gimmicks. Especially when it comes to Britain and the Conlibs: most of the cuts (especially the welfare and all) were on the agenda and the crisis is providing the best excuse to get rid of them."that's why I want my referendum!! They both promised no VAT increase they broke that promise.I demand a referendum:) Wed 23 Jun 2010 07:53:48 GMT+1 lacerniagigante http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=25#comment26 http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/may/20/trident-submarine-coalition-government-scrap(BBC robot removed the tinyurl from my previous post) Wed 23 Jun 2010 07:52:15 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=24#comment25 #23. At 08:12am on 23 Jun 2010, Buzet23I hope they hire you for you IT skills not for your accountancy skills:)The costs of doing business with two different currencies comes from the fact that it changes and it makes tricky to price finished goods in GBP when some of the components are sourced in Euro. Also on top of the bank fees that you mentioned, there is an exchange fee also. Those two costs are costs that companies that are based in France and Germany don't even have to think about.On the other hand our great labour government in the last 10 years managed to de-industialise us so maybe we don't have to think about how to source components and make and sell things:) Wed 23 Jun 2010 07:50:33 GMT+1 lacerniagigante http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=23#comment24 [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]Re 6. At 7:48pm on 22 Jun 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:"The British government missed two additional cuts:"Max, you are as always blinded by your own scepticism... British contribution fo the EU budget is the lowest.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8036097.stm#startEven if cutting it was possible (it is not unless Britain leaves the EU, but as you've seen with Cameron's U-turn on his pseudo-belligerent stance Britain needs the EU more, much more, than the EU needs Britain, so no leaving in sight), it wouldn't change much.On the other hand, an area where cuts could make the difference is so-called "defence". The money thrown on Afghanistan and Trident , has only a return: for the weaponry industry, which is basically more money in the hands of the shareholders, so not much effect on the UK economy.For once, I agree with Hewitt, that all this austerity posturing are just gimmicks. Especially when it comes to Britain and the Conlibs: most of the cuts (especially the welfare and all) were on the agenda and the crisis is providing the best excuse to get rid of them. Wed 23 Jun 2010 07:30:00 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=22#comment23 #18. At 03:41am on 23 Jun 2010, EllinasIn fact we are worse that PIIGS we are in a class of our own!Our total debt (Government & private) is far greater than what the other PIIGS have to show. However we are better at PR than the other PIIGS:))To make things worse for us we are not even in the Euro, so have both a devalued currency and same (low) growth prospects as the eurozone. But at least our super-rich got 18% richer in the last two years, so its not all bad:) Wed 23 Jun 2010 07:23:21 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=21#comment22 #13. At 10:34pm on 22 Jun 2010, Paul wrote:"In other words, the "benefit" in not being in the Euro boils down to having to make savage cut-backs like most of the Euro-zone member states after having to endure the added "cost" of the Sterling-Euro exchange for all UK trade with the Euro-zone member states."Having been an IT person specialising in accounting systems I have always failed to see where your added cost arrives. whether it's a straight like for like transfer of Euros or a Sterling-Euro transfer the banks still levy charges. As for the internal accounting of exchange rate differences, end of month reconciliation etc, that is a piece of cake and automated by most accounting systems.You also seem to have conveniently overlooked the prime failing of the Euro in the Eurozone country's, in that they can no longer adjust interest rates to correct problems like those that exist today, and have to rely solely on taxation adjustment, that is the advantage of being outside the Euro. Wed 23 Jun 2010 07:12:38 GMT+1 generalissimofranco http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=20#comment21 “The cult of austerity (as some people call it) is a recent arrival. It is being embraced out of fear - fear that what happened in Greece could occur elsewhere.”Mr.Hewitt, further to your analysis, I would allow myself to comment that many of the newly welcome countries of the East (the Baltic republics, Slovakia, the Czech rep., Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria have adopted austerity plans long before the Greek fiscal crisis became evident to everybody. Germany is still known as a country where the financial discipline is something usual. So are the Scandinavian member states. The present situation where every government takes quickly steps to curb the consequences of the recession is just another proof of the repetitive economic cycle that emerged at the dawn of the industrial society. Wed 23 Jun 2010 04:50:44 GMT+1 ninetofivegrind http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=19#comment20 LOL....I guess the French public will soon be striking more often than their Football team! Wed 23 Jun 2010 04:38:58 GMT+1 opinion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=18#comment19 19. At 04:05am on 23 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731Strange are peoples ways, but yours are just weird. Wed 23 Jun 2010 04:15:34 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=17#comment18 The UK is still paying for the wasteful, worse-than-useless rubbish called the "EU".We should stop it now.That isn't going to happen so ...as a protest we should all be looking to find legal ways of avoiding paying taxes.Medium size businesses should move their headquarters to friendly non-"EU" countries e.g. Canada so that more tax is paid there rather than in the"EU". Wed 23 Jun 2010 03:05:57 GMT+1 Ellinas http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=16#comment17 Britain joins the Austerity Club...wrong title.Let me suggest some more accurate title1) Britain joins the PIIGS Club (actually only British didn't knew that first class membership) 2) Britain joins the BIG PIGS Club: (new version of PIIGS)Britain Ireland - Great.......Portugal Italy Greece Spain 3) Britain joins the almost Bankrupt ClubThe British pot called for more than a year the Greek kettle black...funny world we live. Remember! People who live in glass houses should not throw stones Wed 23 Jun 2010 02:41:14 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=15#comment16 "It is a reminder, as someone once said, that economics is not a science but the politics of money. "I'm an economist. I always viewed economics as the quantification of how people behave with capital.Its psychology with respect to money. Wed 23 Jun 2010 00:02:15 GMT+1 opinion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=14#comment15 EU and Europe in general will face this problems forever unless some serious steps are taken towards fixing it.And I keep insisting that the problem resides in the simple fact that there are no growth regions in EU and Europe. Western Europe economies stagnate because they reached a level relative to the global economy from where on the growth is slow and very slow. Eastern Europe has high potential for growth because they are mostly underdeveloped but they do not have money to finance any growth. The only growth regions in the world are in Asia, South America, Australia and Canada. And believe that is gonna help everyone but EU and Europe.EU and Europe need their own growth regions so that money are spent and produced so that new jobs are continuously created. Now here, tomorrow there.If measures are not taken to establish some growth regions in EU and Europe in general all these austerity measure will lead to more austerity measures and poverty. I would like to know in one year from now if due to these austerity measures the standard of living of people has dropped. I am sure will do. First we drop in standard of living, second the level of poverty increases and third poverty becomes something like a daily talk. I hope I am wrong. Tue 22 Jun 2010 23:23:50 GMT+1 Cassandra http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=13#comment14 Maxseptic at #6 are you really advocating that the Government break its election promises. I thought one of the things you complained about on an almost daily basis was politicians breaking their promises.And I refuse to believe you will not be swept up in the Olympic fever. I can see you now feverishly waving your liittle Union Jack flag at the wrestling or the gymnastics. Tue 22 Jun 2010 22:51:32 GMT+1 Cassandra http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=12#comment13 The bulk of the budget deficit in the UK is (directly or indirectly) a result of the bail out of the banks. Seeems to me that the public sector and those on benefits are being punished for the cchampagne lifestyle of the bankers during the roaring noughties.In Europe - Greece, Spain, Portugal etc. are expected to embrace austerity to ensure that the debts their governments owe to northern European banks can be repaid.And still we can not get any EU (let alone Global) agreeement on mechanisms to ensure the bankers pay their fair share for the cureent mess and that the mistakes of the past are not repeated. Seems to me that is the real story! Tue 22 Jun 2010 22:21:37 GMT+1 Paul http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=11#comment12 In other words, the "benefit" in not being in the Euro boils down to having to make savage cut-backs like most of the Euro-zone member states after having to endure the added "cost" of the Sterling-Euro exchange for all UK trade with the Euro-zone member states.Still, if we all keep ignoring reality, the Euro-sceptics' economic nirvana might come true some day... Tue 22 Jun 2010 21:34:16 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=10#comment11 @#8 Jukka,You made some good points. i.e. I can't see why if we want to save money we don't scrap E.U. wide foreign offices and just keep the E.U. we have and it costs a fortune to have it, lets use it. Give aid only through the E.U. less need for each state to have its own "help" thingy. Have common defence, etc. Tue 22 Jun 2010 20:30:36 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=9#comment10 "Others argue that reining in tax and government spending will not stifle growth; rather it will free up the private sector and stimulate job creation."Who are those others and under what rock have they been hiding its not as if there are not enough people unemployed to work in the private sector if the private sector was "stimulating job creation"!!!! Please "others" give me a break here! Unless the private sector BIG job creation idea is for chimney cleaners at Victorian age wages! Tue 22 Jun 2010 20:20:12 GMT+1 ghostofsichuan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=8#comment9 With the bankers still extorting money from the world governments this is unlikely to have a happy ending. Bad economic decisions, counter to what has worked, an attack on the middle class by the wealthy and a global banking cabal that has no national interests having realized the greatest transfer of wealth upward in history. The bankers won big on a gamble that the governments would cover their losses and now they wish to continue to reap large benefits after robbing the treasuries. The politicans are spineless and have no understanding of what makes a good economy because a good economy benefits everyone and not the few. Shaping up to an uneasy time ahead and the ruling class are always the last to understand why the people refuse to suffer on their behalf. The media and academics will be defending these decisions until the wind blows in a different direction....talk-shows and book sales....revising their positions as they go along. Tue 22 Jun 2010 20:18:37 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=7#comment8 #8. At 8:16pm on 22 Jun 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:,"Austerity is good if it..."Does what Jukka, correct the inbred and inherent corruption and wastefulness of the EU, but then even a fool knows that most of these austerity measures will leave the corruption intact, the expense of the elite intact and simply penalise the voters who perpetually vote a bunch of muppets into power.The only way to increase efficiency is to dismantle the restrictive practices of your beloved EU and try and elect some EU politicians who can actually manage rather than just lining their pockets. Tue 22 Jun 2010 19:43:55 GMT+1 Jukka Rohila http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=6#comment7 Austerity is good if it...A) increases efficiency of the state functions, i.e. we get the same level of services, infrastructure, etc.. with less money.B) frees up resources that are then quickly taken into usage by the private sector.The downside of austerity is that badly implemented we might decrease government efficiency and get less services and infrastructure with money used.That said, I think that there is no alternative to austerity measures in Europe, because in the coming decade Europe will face large structural problems due to aging population and decreasing workforce. If we don't try to decrease spending and increase efficiency now, our problems will only become worser.Besides national austerity programs, member states and the Union should start to discuss on ways to increase efficiency of the European economy by deeper integration. We should speed up opening up regulated markets for competition, i.e. energy, create common market for services, and also we should start discussing other more deeper things as for example common foreign relations and common defense. By removing waste and becoming more efficient, we can crossover this recessions and become a much productive and stronger economy. Tue 22 Jun 2010 19:16:16 GMT+1 BluesBerry http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=5#comment6 President Obama has said that the world must learn from the "consequential mistakes of the past when stimulus was too quickly withdrawn and resulted in renewed economic hardships and recession". I’m not inclined to take any financial advice from the President of the United States whose economy is 1. totally unregulated, 2. shows no evidence of moving towards control legislation that even remotely resembles Glass-Steagall Act and3. up to its financial neck in negative swaps, CDOS and other convoluted financial instruments (which by the way, intelligent people are supposed to understand).The American way of finance is why it is essential that we seperate investment banks from regular banks so that we poor, stupid little people who cannot understand complex financial instruments can know when we might lose our savings and therefore move our sqavings from an investment bank to a regular bank.As for Paul Krugman: "what I do know is that economic policy around the world has taken a major wrong turn, and that the odds of a prolonged slump are rising by the day". I agree with Mr. Krugman the world has taken a wrong turn, but that's as far as it goes.I think the world has made a wrong turn in failing to analyse the sovereign debt(s) to ascertain the exact cause of escalation (e.g. Was it negative betting against the sovereign debt?). If the exact cause is not ascertained, you might as well take an axe to a boil; you’ll do a lot more damage than what the boil was causing.I agree with Martin Wolf, the economic editor of the Financial Times, s that you cannot compare 1980s or other eras, BUT you can ascertain that the financial problem began in the 1980s and they began with Reaganomics - rising inequality and fiscal irresponsibility. Reagan ushered in the era in which a small minority grew very rich, while working families saw less and less. He also broke with longstanding rules of fiscal responsibility. Financial deregulation was Reagan’s biggest legacy, and it’s one of those gifts that goes on giving especially when you never wanted it in the first place.Financial deregulation gave the financial industry — whose deposits were federally insured — a license to gamble with taxpayers’ money. This is why we must, MUST separate investment banks from regular banks. So, Reagonomics left the world with gambling investment houses, no regulations, high risk, and debts piling up everywhere.If the Americans will not regulate, if they insist on bundling entanglments and negative betting - like Germany, European countries must have the guts to block American trading like CDOs. Tue 22 Jun 2010 19:14:16 GMT+1 MaxSceptic http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=4#comment5 The British government missed two additional cuts:1) Reductions to the EU budget.2) Terminate the Department of International Development.A pity we can't cancel the stupid Olympics too(Paris: is it too late to give you the Games?) Tue 22 Jun 2010 18:48:42 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=3#comment4 #4. At 6:39pm on 22 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work,No doubt that now Sarko has not been able to successfully bribe the referee in the SA V France match and was unable to feed them French food the night before he will turn to his usual subject. The CAP needs more money and the UK must pay to support the incapable French management team, evidence of which was apparent at this afternoons football match. Time to recall that all the French are good at is turning yet another victory into a defeat, vis a vis the EU! Tue 22 Jun 2010 18:39:46 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=2#comment3 This Article should go some way toward salving the complaints of the 'pro-EU' about how wicked Mr Hewitt hadn't dealt with G.B. as a component of the EU whilst all the while publishing hard-hitting, factual accounts of the malaise among the other EU26.Then again, Britons all along knew this day was coming: It was sign-posted by Politicians, Journalists, Commentators etc.So, 'UK austerity-day' is hardly the crisis-management of the last 6 months witnessed amongst the spendthrift EUro-zone crowd.No, for really good value entertainment I shall await the France Economic-Fiscal austerity package.Oh wait! There isn't going to be one! France, unlike the UK >& 25 other EU Nations hasn't noticed a thing is wrong anywhere in its economy. Apparently, France is considering raising the Retirement age from 60 to 62 over the decade - - wooooahhhh, that'll have them shaking in their boots - - imagine a France employee having to now work only 3 to 6 Years LESS than any other EU Nation employable adult.Still, it is encouraging to see Paris is not entirely ducking those hard-hitting, cost-cutting measures that everyone else has/is in the process of announcing. Doubtless Pres Sarkozy will send a memo to all 26 other Heads of Government advising them on how France has managed to avoid any of the difficulties encountered in all the other National Economies.The memo will run to 6 words: Dummies! The EU belongs to France! Tue 22 Jun 2010 17:39:13 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/06/austerity_day.html?page=1#comment2 This post has been Removed Tue 22 Jun 2010 16:56:08 GMT+1