Anne Marie Waters
Tuesday October 20th 2020
The world economy is moving fast and it isn’t easy to keep up. Last week I gave you some detail on the latest scheme offered by the Chancellor to help those out of work as a result of these increasingly absurd COVID-19 government restrictions. (I will return to the Thomas Sowell book review when things are rather quieter).
This week, there is further COVID related economic news that must be shared: while we’re bickering over “tiers” and “lockdowns”, China is well on the way to recovery.
According to The Economist:
Officials reported that the economy expanded by 4.9% in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, just shy of its pre-pandemic pace. Whereas most other countries are mired in recession and grappling with a new wave of covid-19 cases, China has just about completed the upward leg of a V-shaped rebound.
The reason for this is placed at the feet of Chinese efficiency in controlling the virus.
China got one crucial thing right: by almost stamping out the virus, it was able to allow activity to resume with few restrictions. Schools are fully open, factories are humming and restaurants are buzzing.
What an incredible scenario. We are told (though many have serious doubts) that this virus began as a result of rather filthy Chinese food preparation practices i.e. at a ‘wet’ market.
We know that the Chinese government covered it up, delayed any response, lied, lied, and lied again, and yet, here we are: China is praised for bringing the virus under control while the rest of us are still stuck in economic no-man’s-land.
China caused this. Now it is laughing all the way to the bank.
Back home in the UK, our politicians are nothing short of a laughing stock. In the news this morning, the headlines tell us that the local leaders of Manchester are at loggerheads with the government over “Tier 3” restrictions being imposed on the city.
The BBC reports:
The government and local leaders – including mayors and MPs – have been embroiled in 10 days of talks over moving Greater Manchester’s 2.8m population from tier two to the highest restrictions.
Greater Manchester has been under local restrictions since July.
The “very high” alert level – also known as tier three – would mean closing pubs and bars which do not serve meals, and additional restrictions on households mixing.
How we got in to this mess is one question; the other is how we get out of it. We got in to it for two reasons – China, and our own inept government. China’s role has already been explained, and while it is responsible (and therefore should foot the bill) for starting this fiasco, it is not responsible for the UK government’s continued refusal to change direction.
Lockdown has been a disaster, and with more lockdowns, will come more disaster. Boris Johnson seems to have only one idea however. He is still listening to the same advisors, the same scientists, still excluding any new voices or views that may take us in a different direction. This is a complete lack of leadership.
What needs to happen now:
- End lockdowns and allow the economy to get back on its feet
- End unnecessary spending (like foreign aid) and pump that money in to tax cuts for local and small business
- Protect the elderly and vulnerable
- Listen to alternative voices in science and medicine and try new approaches, what we’ve been doing isn’t working
- Take any available legal action against China and recoup some of our lost earnings
Anything short of these measures will amount to yet more failure, more unemployment, more state dependency, more poverty.
What we need now is fearless leadership and an absolute commitment to put the interests of the British economy first. What we have are headless chickens, floundering from one bad idea back to the same bad idea, over and over again.
If we want new ideas, we need new leaders, and that is up to us. Every cloud does indeed have a silver lining. I sincerely hope political change is what emerges from this disaster. Only then can we truly get our country (and economy) back in to shape.
Anne Marie Waters
Text ‘Join’ to 60777