Watching Question Time last night, particularly when I am a tired little bunny, was in hindsight a bad idea. Not only was I wound up by the fact that there were two from the world of arts when Nigel Farage had been shifted to this one because they wanted an economist on instead of him last time round:
UKIP leader Nigel Farage was supposed to be on QT this week, live from a church hall somewhere ghastly, I should imagine. But they called him up to say that they were moving him to another date because of the financial news and they wanted an economist...Note who they kept on, though:
David Dimbleby will be joined in Birmingham by Jacqui Smith MP, Charles Kennedy MP, Janet Street-Porter and two other guests to be confirmed.
But despite there being a Minister and a Shadow Minister the only person to actually come out with something constructive on President Elect Obama was the leader of a minor political party who gets dismissed as a one-trick pony.
Have a look for yourself and try not to scream when you realise the chap who rants about how bad global markets are is a) applauded and b) has a vote the same as someone who understands economics.
From a BBC report:
Mr Obama has pledged to renegotiate America's trade deals to include greater protection for workers and the environment, partly in order to level the playing field and reduce the flow of American jobs abroad.
The President of the European Council is Sarkozy who is a protectionist. The President-elect of the US is Obama who is a protectionist. The world is facing an economic slow down and yet no one seems to have learnt that the worst thing to do is to get all protectionist on your bad self, or whatever the kids are saying these days.
The severity and length of the Great Depression of the 1930s was exacerbated tremendously by import tariffs and other protectionist measures which were a response to domestic unemployment. This caused unemployment overseas so they imposed protectionist measures. This caused more unemployment in the countries they imported from and lo! Everyone is worse off.
Now, unemployment in the UK is rising, as in most other parts of the world. Economic growth is slowing down and our government is seeking to rectify this situation with meausres out of the Keynesian Demand Management textbook, despite the fact it's been proven not to work. It's like the 1970s never happened and maybe the reason for these cycles every 40 years or so is to do with generations not understanding what happened before and why.
Back to the point: Can we please stop treating Obama like the new Messiah. I know he's half Kenyan but we're all the same underneath and electing someone because of the colour of their skin is, I think, just as bad as not electing someone because of the colour of their skin.
The fact is, whether he be black, white, pink, purple or technicolour kitten coloured, he's a protectionist: bad enough during economic good times but cataclysmic during a slump. So can we all stop raving on and get a grip, because with him and Sarko, we look to be a lot worse off.