From top: Rock, paper,scissors; Tony Groves
I was in Great Britain yesterday. I thought it was Belfast, but the radio blokey-bloke assured me that it was, in fact, Great Britain. It struck me as odd that a local station might would talk in the language of empire.Perhaps, I mused, it was just my little islander mentality and natural dislike of colonialism.
There’s a difficult reconciliation between an economic education and life experiences. Brexit, thus far, has been a disaster. The UK has spent months saying they have a plan. They keep saying the ball is in the EU’s court. Someone might want to tell them that while they’re playing tennis, the EU negotiators are playing chess.
Eurostat, they of Irish Water fame/infamy, have Britain as the worst performing economy in the
EuroZone European Union. A GDP growth rate of just 0.2% has Britain rooted to the bottom of the 28 country league table. Even Greece is twice the UK’s rate, at 0.4%.
The OECD has also weighed in on the Britain bashing. They’ve predicted that while things are bad now, they’re likely to get worse. They’ve forecast that Britain will have the lowest growth levels of all the 47 countries they monitor in 2018. They conclude, worryingly, that “the UK faces long-standing decline”.
Even the Bank of England has waded into the mire. They announced yesterday that the rate of inflation, that has already reached 3%, hasn’t yet peaked. This in a country that has had five years of wage stagnation and an inflation target of 2%. Everyone is, in economic terms, poorer.
Throw in the decline in purchasing power of the £ Sterling and you have an economic broth that might kill the patient.
On my drive home yesterday I was listening to the radio. Knowing all of the above and understanding the effects economic decline had on our little country over the last decade, I was taken aback by what I was hearing.
Caller after caller said they were feeling the pinch, but that it was a price worth paying to “take back” their country. The phrase “make Britain great again” came up twice in one 2 minute segment.
An elderly lady, who started on the basis that her pension wasn’t enough to provide the basics anymore, concluded that “I’m very happy with how things are”. Talk about wrapping yourself in the flag!
Another rapscallion said that having just spent £103 to buy €100 that he felt he’d finally taking back his country. The satirists, as always, are our only hope!
Dan Snow quipped this morning that Great Britain was to stride “back onto the world stage by deploying more of our army at home”. This was in reference to UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd, saying troops might be deployed to protect the UK’s borders should no deal materialise.
Who speaks of no deal is better than a bad deal now?
If I was to make a prediction it would be that at the end of March 2019, we will all wake up to the biggest April Fool’s day joke ever. A complete Brexit omnishambles.
The game of Rock, Scissors, Paper is commonly known as Roshambo. We’ve all played it and we all have a strategy. But there’s another laddish version of the game, perhaps not as well known.
In the chest-thumping male version the participants kick each other in the balls and the loser is the guy who takes the longest to get to his feet. Brexit looks a lot like this Roshambo.
Except the EU is up and walking away in a muted and sad victory; while the UK is rolling on the ground, clutching their balls and yelling how this is a great victory for Great Britain.
I hope I’m wrong.
Tony Groves is a full-time financial consultant and part-time commentator. With over 18 years experience in the financial industry and a keen interest in politics, history and “being ornery”, he has published one book and writes regularly at Trickstersworld.