Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bankrupt Britain - The Next Third World Country

There are few today that would argue with the fact that Britain is bankrupt. The bankers are undoubtedly to blame for that, but in truth UK was bankrupt before the infamous credit crunch. Years of pillaging by a previous governments have left the next generation with a mountain of debt to bear.
When I first arrived on the fair shores of England it soon became evident to me that the country was living far beyond its means. Now I'm certainly no clairvoyant but it didn't take rocket science. Debt was dead easy to get. I was inundated with credit card offers, many who were earning well below my level were taking two holidays a year, new cars, home improvements; it was obscene. Now the chickens have come home to roost.
Five years ago I made the statement that Britain was in danger of becoming the next third world country. Needless to say it was not very well received. However the truth does not cease to be the truth simply because it's unpalatable.
Now I have had the dubious honour of having lived in a country with a thriving economy that was systematically wrecked until it became one of the poorest nations in the world. There is an established blue print that most of Africa has followed on the road from prosperous to treacherous, and I can see the same slow but certain degradation in UK.
The first thing newly independent African nations do, almost without exception is to build a huge sports stadium as a statement to the world of their new found independence. I look at the millions being poured into the 2012 Olympics and wonder whether the same mindset is driving the decision-making process. I have nothing against the Olympics, and I wish our athletes well, but after the event we will be left with under utilised high maintenance facilities that will drain the public coffers for decades to come. This at a time when long-established sports facilities country-wide are being forced to close due to lack of Government funding. These facilities serve the wider community, not only helping to fight the national scourge of obesity, but keeping kids off the streets who would otherwise be up to mischief.
The second milestone on the road to third world status is corruption. Human greed kicks in. We need only look at our esteemed politicians and the ongoing expense scandal to confirm we are well into this phase. They have put UK Plc. into administration. How previous prime ministers who have presided over the destruction of a nation can tour the world getting paid huge fees for imparting the self-same formula to other leaders is beyond me. Why would anyone want to listen to them?
Then there are of course the bankers; another bunch of scoundrels who have seriously endangered the continued existence of UK Plc. with their reckless incompetence by playing with our money and getting paid six figure bonuses for their efforts. Last night I watched some bank chairman smilingly admitting that bankers are paid far too much, that most are really quite mediocre, yet the powers that be shrug their shoulders.
We're now entering the third phase. After corruption comes the collapse of public services, notably health. Now I haven't been following the ins and outs of the new NHS reforms, but it appears evident that it's a huge gamble; too much too quick with too little planning. Time will tell how it pans out. However with or without the reforms we still have super bugs and high hospital mortality.
The fourth phase is high inflation. Inflation is now on the rise; 3.7% and rising, driven up by the high price of essential commodities like oil and food.
The fifth phase, currency devaluation, follows hot on the heels of inflation. The euro is currently under severe threat and Europe wants Britain to use the pound to prop it up. The US dollar as a world currency is under threat.
Finally comes rampant unemployment. Unemployment, especially amongst the youth is now 20%. Where to from here? This leads to a disenchanted electorate and change inevitably follows. At this point in Africa leaders abandon democracy and turn into dictatorships as the only method by which they can retain power.

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