Thursday, 6 May 2010

Doctor's Mandate Is Not The Medicine We Need

Brian Reading (perhaps he should be called 'Brain' Reading), the economist who coined the term "stagflation" and popularised the Laffer Curve, has written a terrific piece for the Speccy on the history of the 1970 election, which turned for Heath at the last moment possibly because of a Reading speech. If you haven't already read it, then give it a look.

It's quite nice that no campaigning is allowed on election day and no political coverage is permitted in the media. It feels like I'm living next to an airport but all the planes have been grounded because of a phantom ash cloud: you hear noises you'd forgotten existed and the pace of life is altogether more sedate. I wish it could be election day every day. You also read and hear stuff that wouldn't ordinarily make it into the programme, but does because there's an awful lot of dead air and virtual column inches to fill while uz ordinary folk get their democratic duty over and done with. There were examples of these on the radio this morning, and now there's this wonderful article by Reading.

For instance, in it he says:
Like Gordon Brown, Harold Wilson wanted a doctor’s mandate. He claimed to have the best poop-scoop to clear up the mess the dog had made – the international dog, not his. I started the speech by blaming him for the mess – he had devalued before and would devalue again.
Among the many other magnificently, almost exquisitely efficient statements ("He asked whether his shadow chancellor, Iain Macleod, had approved it. He had not but did that day.") this one caught my eye. The main reason for that, I suppose, is the mention of the name "Gordon Brown", but there were others. Probably because I'm really a novice I'd never heard the term "doctor's mandate" before, and it, and the "poop scoop" for the "international dog" perfectly describes what Brown's game is and it's put more succinctly than anywhere else I've read. And I've been reading a lot lately.

Let's hope he hasn't been allowed to get away with it. His kind of medicine we don't need. We've already had 13 years of the Dr Brown treatment. I'm praying that we're not going to be killed off for good with five years more!

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