The Bickerstaffe Record

Being Labour

Lamont’s lie-based lament

01.16.09 | Comment?

 What is it with Lamont?  17 years on and still trying to clear his name.  Here he is in today’s Guardian letters page:

‘You refer to my speech in October 1991 about ‘green shoots’ and you describe it as ‘disastrously misplaced’.  It is true that it was much criticised at the time, but was the remark was so wrong?  Shoots are shoots, not bushes. Statistics now show the recovery began in the second quarter of 1992, after a broadly stable first quarter’.

Now I wouldn’t usually bother critiquing this kind of revisionist bollox, but as I already did my homework here, I thought I might as well.

The key indicator of an economy – how many people have (not)  got a job  (measured as rough proxy by the unemployment rate) shows that the unemployment continued to rise until April 1993, and did’nt get back to 1990 levels till 1997.  See here for the tables.

Yes, of course Lamont will be able to point to other statsistics such as the freeing up of credit, the decline in the house price downward trend etc., but in so doing he’s really missing the point about what Shriti Vadera said the other day; she said there were ‘green shoots’, realised she’d made a balls up, and then said she was sorry and that she was only talking about the liquidity of the markets. 

What she was accepting was that she had been talking bollox when she equated improved liquidity to economic recovery, and that the real measure of the economy was actually how people aoutside the fiancial world bubble experienced it.  Fair play to her, for accepting she’d made a mistake in using her finance-world language in the wrong place.


Lamnot is still stuck in his bubble – now a 17 year  and more old bubble –  of right wing economic mantra which puts greater store by ‘market optimism’ than it does by the lives of people at the sharp end of a downturn in the capitalist economy. He’s in bad company.

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