Here we go again. No sooner do we reconcile ourselves to the fact that the country is still hopelessly in debt, Government borrowing is still at record levels and our children will lead miserable lives as tax slaves than our Glorious Politicians devise a way to ensure that the Status Quo is maintained.
“Jam tomorrow”, they declare, as if only Government can provide more than the very basic needs of the toiling citizen classes. New motorways, power stations, free wifi access, high speed trains to allow Scottish tramps to reach the capital 4 minutes quicker, all bought on the never, never, whilst grinning politicians snip the tape and demand we be thankful for being taxed till our eyes water to provide a rise in dividends for the “carefully selected” Corporations who will be building a new generation of white elephants for the public to admire.
We already pay taxes to pay for the infrastructure of our roads – why are they demanding yet more? Well, put simply, Politicians cannot resist it. Since the rebuilding of Britain after the Second World War, Politicians no longer have the courage to resist the opportunity to bathe in the limelight of “great public spending”. “It will be the greatest upgrade since the Victorian era”, they proudly boast, forgetting to mention that the Victorians funded the railways and canals by raising money on the free market and plenty of idiots lost their shirts after investing in Arbuthnots Steam powered patented Rotating Perambulators before the State nationalised the whole lot. Like the NHS, whatever needs to be spent will be spent regardless of the logic, practicality or market demand – just Carry On Spending.
Well, shiny new motorways and airports didn’t exactly help the Greeks – sure it provided a new wave of corruption as favoured building firms won lucrative contracts, the Germans shovelled the borrowed money into their bank accounts and the price of a coffee in Athens trebled, but the average Greek has been left holding the stinking nappy for a generation to come. No one bothered to ask why Greece needs the same infrastructure as Berlin, just spend it quick, plenty more where that came from.
Let the market build it. We don’t build airports anymore, private companies do (although Cardiff Council seems to think it needs one, along with more free wifi and no bus service, but that’s for another day). I don’t see a long line of investors waiting to fund a high-speed rail link to Budleigh Salterton, any new nuclear power stations will be built by the French/Germans using Finnish expertise anyway and our road fund licence and petrol duty combined already raises enough to tarmac these Isles top to bottom, twice, let alone fill in a few potholes.
The lie that infrastructure must be funded by Government borrowing is theft on a grand scale – it won’t bring sustainable jobs, only the market can do that – you may as well put the unemployed to work in turnip fields for all the good splashing a trillion quid on concrete will do. Grecians remain melon farmers despite watching a German registered Mercedes hurtle down the empty motorway towards the holiday villa or pristine but empty new marina.
Here’s the rub, George. Don’t spend it. Make do and mend for a generation or two. It’s no national disgrace that it takes two hours to get to Manchester on a train instead of one hour and fifty minutes. It’s no national disgrace that we don’t have a Millennium Dome in every village anymore than we have a statue to Lenin in every town square for the grateful peasants to idolise. It IS a national disgrace that our children are being sold to pay for your vanity projects that the market is more than happy to provide of it’s own accord if the real, 100% genuine demand exists. Put the chequebook down and go home, George; you’re drunk on power again.