Sunday, August 17

Of Flags and Forgiveness

The Editor's Sunday Ramble around the newspapers.

Ignoring the lead story on the front page of The Sunday Telegraph (this blog is boycotting the Olympic Games - please scroll down) and thus not getting upset that Rebecca Aldington the double gold medal winner is holding the Union flag both upside down and inside out in her moment of undoubtedly deserved glory yesterday in Beijing the reader will note the posturing David Cameron getting a hammering for (once again) seriously missing the point. It is the same point that Peter Hitchins takes up in The Mail on Sunday: that Cameron in an amazing demonstration that he is not fit for office is supporting the ''Olympically corrupt'' Georgian President Mikheil Saakasvili. Additionally Mr Cameron wants Georgia to be allowed into Nato thus committing the UK to come to Georgia's defence (he also wants to do the same for Ukraine) quite crazy.

Moving on, the most important economic news of recent weeks, Irwin Stelzer tells us in today's edition of The Sunday Times is the recovery of the long-comatose dollar. But what is good news for the US economy seems to be bad news for the euro-zone. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reported earlier this week that the European Central Bank (ECB) was taking a hammering for making a serious error by raising interest rates a quarter point to 4.25pc last month. It seems that the ECB has misjudged the seriousness of the downturn in the euro-zone economy, which has seen a contraction of 0.2 percent in the second quarter, compared with the first three months of this year, with the economies of Germany, France and Italy probably now in full recession.

Simon Jenkins in The Sunday Times gets it absolutely right when he comments on the ''costly candy floss'' of regional development agencies which have contributed to collapsing the the enterprise culture on which renewal in the English 'regions' depends. As this blog has alluded to in many postings the expansion of the public sector and in particular regionalization and all the nonsense that goes with the current crassly stupid business support culture is infecting the engine room of the British economy, small and medium sized businesses.
As many activists in the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) have heard this blog editor repeat many times (and mostly to their annoyance) the most effective lobbying that small businesses can do is to plead to be left alone by government. The representatives of the engine room of our economy will, as an unintended consequence in true Orwellian style, become absorbed in the government machine at their peril. Government (particularly the present one) is the enemy of enterprise, not its savior.

Finally, an additional Sunday quote aimed at our politicians and their fellow travelers: ''Father forgive them for they know not what they do.'' (St.Luke Ch.23 v34). One could add that increasingly the electorate is becoming less forgiving with all politicians and that is becoming quite dangerous for all of us.

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