Jul. 20th, 2008

peterbirks: (Default)
Ear count of "Get In The Hole" shouts in one hour of the British Open -- Five (three of them from the same bloke, I think. I mean, how restrained must the person next to him be to not say "kindly shut the fuck up"?).

I had a tosspot standing behind me and a bit to the left at the Springsteen gig. You know the type. He wants to be PART of it. So he shouts a lot and then maintains an inane grin as he stares around to see if anyone is looking at him (curiously, most people seem to prefer watching Bruce Srpingsteen to watching a dork who turns up at a rock gig in an Arsenal shirt -- presumably because the concert is on at the Emirates stadium).

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I've been transferring some recently unearthed Jools Holland shows from 1995 to DVD. Curious to see Electronic, a New Order/Johnny Marr "supergroup" that lasted a short while. Also interesting to see Neneh Cherry, to whom I did not pay much attention at the time, but who in retrospect is remarkably similar to Portishead. Blur, Oasis and David Bowie were less surprising -- bascially being how I remembered them. I'm not quite sure when it was that Damon Albarn moved from being art-school tosser to repsected musician -- probably that Jools show where he did some stuff with genuine African instruments.

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It was nice to see the UK Government fulfilling the Birks prohecy (part one) on what to do about the budget deficit -- borrow more money, store up bigger problems for later. To call the current state of the UK finances as "parlous" is a bit like an estate agent describing the Twin Towers at 9.42am on Sept 11th 2001 as "in need of renovation (Central Heating not tested)".

The numbers are, to be blunt, horrific, with even the FT (and quite possibly the Economist, although I haven't read this week's edition yet) accepting that an increased deficit is unavoidable.

"It's OK", says Darling, "I can change the rules because it's the start of a new economic cycle". Look, sweetie, where we are in the "cycle" is an artificial construct. Where you are now is in the shit. No stamp duty coming in. Abandoned income tax change, abandoned petrol duty hike. And quite possibly rebellion against the air passenger duties and speed cameras. Eventually you either have to resort to putting up income tax -- which is political death, or borrowing shedloads of money from a market that is increasingly minded not to pay. In other words, there's an oversupply of gilts coming, which means higher rates on them have to be offered.

Step two, as you know, is that inflation ratchets up so that the government debt is inflationed away. The losers in this? The pension funds. Oh yes, that's people with pensions. But, well, that's for another day, isn't it? As Darling is probably saying "you can cross that bridge when you come to it. I'll be out of here".

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