Peer Steinbrück on the Global Economic Crisis | Newsweek International Edition | Newsweek.com.
The whole British blogosphere is commenting on Minister Steinbrück's remarks, so I thought you might like to read the interview in full. In diplomatic terms it is almost incredible. Friendly nations simply don't speak about each other this way. I cannot imagine he gave this interview without clearing it with his Chancellor, so I think we may safely infer that the Prime Minister has not been winning friends and influencing people at international summits.
By way of reinforcing the German Finance Minister's view, here is some analysis from Citigroup on the true extent of Britain's debt (click through for explanation of the graph shown here) by way of the Spectator (h/t Old Holborn). I am not sure even "a whole generation" will pay this off.
I am not a swearblogger, but I find it hard to articulate how much of a mess we are in without saying we are ****ed. All the more so because it seems our fellow citizens, proving once again the wisdom of the young Paul Simon ("a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest"), are buying Brown's approach.
And not only his approach to economics. The Croydonian (click through for explanation of second graph), an urbane blogger whose elegant writing usually makes me smile whatever the topic, reduced me to despair yesterday. He extracted and analysed certain results from this poll
, which belied the "good news" headline under which it was published. It seems our fellow-citizens care as little for freedom of thought and expression as even Jacqui Smith would have us believe. In the absence of any charismatic leader to guide the nation back towards its values, it seems we are sliding towards tyranny.
Daft little busybodies from Sandwell and Paisley may believe you can spend your way out of debt and oppress your way to freedom. That's not surprising. These are people who still haven't noticed that their ideas were comprehensively tested on half of humanity during the 20th Century and failed. They haven't noticed that their "caring" alternative to the occasional harshness of the market led to the deaths of millions and the impoverishment of tens of millions wherever it was implemented. They have not grasped the truth in Mencken's famous witticism;
There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
So of course they don't grasp Herr Steinbrück's central (and similar) message;
It's the yearning for the Great Rescue Plan. It doesn't exist. It doesn't exist!
We know what their excuse is and we can pity them for it, but what's yours?