Sunday, February 04, 2007

Lib Dems: Are they all mentally retarded?

I've just listened again to the Today Programme from Saturday with Nick 'I know nothing about International Trade' Clegg and Nigel Farage.

Is there a Lib Dem out there who actually knows what they are talking about?

Clegg, for example, thinks that being one voice in 27 is good for British business because otherwise America and China 'won't listen to us'. Listen to us on what? If China want to subsidise cheaper goods for British consumer then bring it on. If countries in the developing world use their abundance of labour resources to get competitive priced primary products then who are we to tell them not to?

Nick Clegg has not quite grasped that this 'speaking with one voice' crap is not actually the combined voice of 27 countries. It is the voice of a few economically retarded countries who have failed to get to grips with globalisation, and who hold back countries such as Britain as a result. This is why the EU now have a Globalisation Adjustment Fund, which is basically you and I paying for other countries not to have productive or allocative efficiency.

Moreover, soon our trade with America will be screwed over because the EU want to ban the use of non metric measurements in EU exports. Now, whilst people in the EU seem to have forgotten that we Brits beat Napoleon, the Yanks haven't, and are still using a proper system of measurement. We have a $73,682,000,000 trade surplus with America: up to November 2006 they had bought $49,212,000,000 worth of UK imports. I think that's slightly more important to maintain than ensuring that some Greek shoe workers get their siesta at lunch time and people still buy their (consequently) over prices goods.

So what of that 'British Bulldog Confidence' that Nick Clegg talks of? Well, I think that the BBC (oh, the irony)would be shown in the best light by the British people realising how damaging the EU is to our everyday lives, to our jobs, our businesses, what our children are taught in schools, how much tax we pay, who can come into our country, how we produce electricity and dispose of our rubbish, and repealing the European Communities Act than by sticking their head in the sand and thinking that we need to be in the EU to combat climate change, or some other pink, suede elephant.

Alas, people like Clegg haven't realised that statements such as 'the EU is the single largest trading bloc' does not make it a good thing for people who have actually taken the chance to study international trade. Trading blocs are bad. They encourage protectionism and, particularly when they become political, non tariff barriers which people can't immediately see unless they are embroiled in the technical details of trade negotiations. We don't want retarded trade blocs, we want free international trade which exploits comparative and absolute advantage, shifts that global production possibility curve a large wedge to the right and which increases global parity. This does not happen with tariff barriers on shoes and health and safety rules imposed on barely above subsisitence level farmers in Africa.

Go listen for yourself, and if you can last more than 10 seconds without howling at the yellow peril, then you are a better woman than I.

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