This is a great country and it’s pretty clear to me that our best is yet to come, says Mark Dolan
By Ben Chapman
Published: 17/03/2023- 21:06
The credibility of certain words has received something of a kicking in recent years – “the science”, “the experts”, “the modelling”.
With projections of up to half a million Covid deaths, courtesy of Imperial College at the start of the pandemic, Covid modelling was woeful throughout, adding to the governments in my view, disproportionate response to the virus.
Well financial modelling ain't much better, with the IMF and the Bank of England, having to do a wild U-turn in terms of their predictions for the UK economy, which they claimed – and don't forget, these are the terribly wise people – that Britain would be in recession at the end of last year, and for the entirety, that's right, the entirety of 2023.
How surprising, therefore that the experts should get it wrong, and whilst Germany is now mired in negative growth, the great United Kingdom, Brexit Britain, I hasten to add, ticks over nicely with modest growth.
Based upon the track record of financial models, whose work is about as reliable as a Nadhim Zahawi tax, if we play our cards right, with inflation nosediving, with job vacancies high and unemployment low with a country that delightfully has moved on from its bizarre experiment to stop a seasonal respiratory virus, the predicted modest growth could in fact be more robust than previously feared.
So whilst the outlook is far from sunny - millions of Brits are struggling with the cost of living crisis, high rents, higher mortgages, fuel, gas and electricity are through the roof and food prices are a shocker - there is unquestionably cause for hope and some optimism.
But you won't find that from the cervix free leader of the opposition, Keir Starmer, whose response to the chancellor’s budget on Wednesday, was to talk the country down.
After 13 years of this government our economy needed major surgery, but like millions across our country, this budget, leaves us stuck in the waiting room, with only a sticking plaster to hand.
A country set on a path of managed decline, falling behind our competitors; the sick man of Europe once again.
Now be clear, this government have a lot to answer for. In particular, the disastrous lockdowns, which is why we are here.
But it's interesting that Starmer chooses to attack this government, by attacking the country. His comments on Wednesday reflect the wider view of the champagne-swilling, North London Metropolitan media and political elite.
Which is that Britain is a crap country and a long-term failure, that Brexit was a national act of self harm, that our history is shameful, and that we should anticipate nothing more than decades of managed decline.
Well, I'm sorry, I beg to differ. This budget was NOT one to set your heart racing.
And the bookish, administerial Jeremy Hunt is no firebrand, but he's put a few fires out, including settling the nerves of the international bond markets, upon whose largesse we are now so reliant and I see this year's budget as the quiet before the storm.
A year from now, with rock-bottom inflation, with momentum in the economy, with growth, it's my view that Hunt will go from zero to hero with a flurry of tax cuts and growth measures that Liz Truss boldly try to do this year, but due to political and economic circumstances, and poor execution, was unable.
Trussonomics is coming, just not yet. But it will be worth the wait. My vision for this country is one of low tax, high growth, in which it pays to work and in which lean, efficient, public services work in tandem with the private sector to deliver taxpayers value for money and a better service.
And the way I see Brexit is a simple one – it's had a tough start. But like the ugly duckling from the children's stories, I believe it will get more attractive with every day, and will ultimately age better than Sophia Loren.
An independent, sovereign Britain can tackle illegal migration, indulge in lucrative international trade and pursue economic policies, exclusively in the national interest.
Now I do have a spanner in the works. Banks are closing down in The States and it will be a bumpy year. If America’s banking sector falls over, there will likely be another global recession, some form of credit crunch 2, the sequel and all bets are off.
But the fundamentals of the British economy are such, that we will get through anything, as we have proven to the financial modellers who got it so wrong about Britain this year.
There is now a cabal of commentators, attached to the idea that Britain is a failure, and wanting to see us go down. Bashing Britain has now become a national pastime, among the political and media class.
Well forgive me if I don't indulge. This is a great country, and in spite of the naysayers, it’s pretty clear to me that our best is yet to come. With a fair wind and a splash of good fortune, Brexit Britain will prove the lot of them wrong.