The Slate of the Nation

Wednesday, Jan 25 2012 by

The source of the term ‘put it on the slate’ probably comes from recording drinks bought in English pubs as chalk marks on slate boards. Rather than pay for drinks as they are bought, the practice was to record each drink purchased as a chalk mark on the slate and to pay for the drinks at the end of the night. This quaint practice has become the way we live our lives in Britain. It is as if we have become permanently drunk.

The slate is now SHOUTING back:

  • You have been grossly irresponsible.
  • Your debts are out of control
  • Without economic growth you are doomed to default and as there is no economic growth so you are doomed to default
  • Well before your children inherit this appalling debt you will be called to account
  • Excluding the great financial sector intervention debts UK public sector net debt is not over £1 trillion, or 64% t of GDP
  • Including the great financial sector intervention debts UK public sector net debt is £2.3 trillion, or 148% of GDP
  • Total private and public debts are trillions of pounds or 500% of GDP

“The writing is on the wall”."The writing is on the slate"


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8 Posts on this Thread show/hide all

Fangorn 25th Jan '12 1 of 8

Indeed, with the national debt so high it amazes me that people(aka Libdems and other's of a left wing persuasion) still seem to think it is morally right that one should pay more than 26,000 pounds a year in benefits to one family alone, just because they happen to not work, even though there are many who earn similar, or less a year, who put in a full days hard graft.

The fact that the government machine is only now just getting round to capping these ludicrous sums at 26,000 beggars belief. It also begs the question, so prior to the proposed cap, just how much were some out of work families getting?

No wonder this country is in the financial mess it is with the loons we have, and have had in charge, over the last twelve years.

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FlightoftheKiwi 25th Jan '12 2 of 8

Fangorn, thank you for your reply.

One of the core features of Christianity is the giving of alms, the giving of charity, to be merciful, to show pity towards those in need as an act of religious virtue. One of beautiful elements of this tradition is that it bonds society together by temporarily helping people get back on their feet. This tradition seems to have been forgotten and replaced by the abominable practice of weakening people by offering them life terms of welfare addiction.

The bishops amaze me when they say they are trying to stop the government from harming children (the innocent) whereas what they are really doing is supporting a regime that brings harm to not just these millions of welfare addicts but the whole nation.

All of the opponents to this initiative are misguided because their focus is in the wrong place. They need to adopt a different perspective that is concerned with what it is that fundamentally makes societies healthy; personal responsibility, hard work, risk taking, productivity, completion, accountability and the guts to take the hard decisions that result in a society being economically healthy.

Yes Fangorn it seems immoral that unproductive people should complain about not being able to be gifted more than £26,000 year. Western societies’ moral compasses have been corrupted, and moral corruption, like fraud will have one result – financial destruction.

We in the West are in a financial war with countries in the East, in particular China. They are currently taking our economies apart and all we can do is focus internally on issues that are financial madness. This war currently has one logical outcome, the destruction of the West and the rise and rise of China.

We must get things back to those things that make society sustainable. One of these is to make charity a temporary support not a life long addiction.

If we do not take this threat to our existence seriously we will remain, as the slate of the nation is SHOUTING, financially doomed.

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kenobi 25th Jan '12 3 of 8

we also need to consider this is 26k with no tax payable, so you would need to earn perhaps 40k to earn this much ? (as an aside, if one parent did earn this much working they would be close to loosing child benefit as of next year)

However, and I'm not suggesting that the 26k is the right amount, I find the idea that child benefit should be included in the cap worrying. This means that 2 famillies, one with maybe one child and the other with say 4 might have their benefits capped at the same amount.

Is this right ?
Well I imagine some would say it's good to remove the incentive to have more children. Though it's not the childrens fault that they are from a big familly. Perhaps a fairer system would be for benefits to be capped at an amount, and perhaps child benefit excluded or capped at 4 children (or another number ?) .

This seems fairer, because if a familly of 3 can live on x amount so we cap their benefits, is it right that a familly of 5 should have their benefits capped at the same level ?

what is the purpose of the cap ? presumably to stop people claiming every benefit going, and making it pay better than work ? These are my thoughts anyway,


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macroeconomix 25th Jan '12 4 of 8

When we have borrowed > £1 trillion to pay people to do nothing.
When we take more from people who produce, and give to those who produce nothing, or worse inhibit the means of production.

Don't you think it is time to change course?

How on earth is paying £26k to a family in any way sustainable - or indeed fair to those who receive it (encouraging dependency) and to those families on £26k though honest hard work who (also) have to pay for it?

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FlightoftheKiwi 26th Jan '12 5 of 8

What we are witnessing is the financial equivalent of a Malthusian catastrophe. Malthus foresaw a forced return to subsistence level living conditions when population growth outpaced agricultural production. We are in the midst of a process where the commodity in short supply is money not agricultural production. The imbalance between inadequate government revenues and unrestrained government expenditure has emptied the warehouses. The reality of this catastrophe is being delayed by borrowing. Any action that increases that deficit should be sharply criticised, whether that be a reduction in taxes or an increase in expenditure.

Malthusian theories predict that the imbalance between production and desired consumption will result in substance living conditions and that this situation will materialise over several generations. What is now being unleashed will occur over months and years not generations and if you countries names is Greece or Portugal (or Ireland) it is already too late. The UK still has a chance to avoid the worst of this impending catastrophe, but strong political guts will be required.

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emptyend 26th Jan '12 6 of 8

In reply to FlightoftheKiwi, post #5

Isn't that being "a touch" over-dramatic? ......

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extrader 26th Jan '12 7 of 8

Hi all,

One of the curious aspects of this thread is that it talks of 'putting things on the slate' in the context of an irresponsible credit culture/mindset.

And yet the reality is that it is in Germany that the tradition of 'putting things on the slate' still exists - your friendly publican marks in chalk on the counter or in biro on your beer-mat ......and you pay at the end of the evening !

Contrast that with the uncivilised UK approach, where it's strictly 'pay as you go' with each and every consumption - disrupting the conversation and the conviviality - and you have to wonder.

Everyone accepts the concept of 'cash on the nail' at the the 'house rules'....why do we expect anything different in other areas of our life ?


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freddythefish 26th Jan '12 8 of 8

Can these issues be considered in isolation?

One of the (many) poisonous legacies left behind by Gordon is the complexity of the benefits system - requiring an ever growing expensive army of civil servants to administer it.

A (relatively) simple cap on benefits should at least be reasonably easy to administer so although it may be a blunt instrument in some ways it should also help in reducing this army.

Chairman Mao famously said that the longest journey starts with a single step. We have a hell of a long journey ahead if we are to recreate a competitive economy. It's good to see a start being made even though (imo) such things should be happening faster than they are.


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