The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Report was all gloom and doom. First of all he confessed that despite the earlier promise that his government had made, he was now not able to say that they would eliminate the deficit by the end of this present Parliament. At least, that was honest. Certainly everything has being against the Chancellor since he took over. Not only was the economy In a far worse financial state than they had been led to believe but, in addition, he has had to cope with the weakness of the global economy, in particular the Euro. He has warned that if there was a default in the Eurozone , it would certainly reverberate on us but to what extent no one can predict.. I think the biggest worry is still Italy who had to pay 8% on its most recent borrowing to service its debt. Interest at this level is totally unsustainable and unless things turn round fairly quickly Italy could go bankrupt. If they did it could be the beginning of a domino effect followed by Spain and Portugal which I then suspect might cause a total collapse of the Euro. Clearly there is a limit to the extent that the strong German economy can, or will be willing to, continue to support these weak countries.
On the home front I picked up very little detail other than there will be more cuts in services, benefits etc although the old-age pensioners were be getting five pounds a week more in the New Year (hurray!) The biggest problem facing us at present is, how the strikes by the public services union’s against increasingly retirement age to 67 and making them pay a little more towards their pension, is going to turn out. The first of strikes took place today and I got the impression that the country did not grind to halt as the unions led us to believe it might. In fact only 29% of those balloted for strike action agreed to it. Out of those there will be a number of people who voted in favour of strike action but in the event went into work. Although the government claims that they are still in negotiation with the unions it is difficult to see how they can compromise on the key issue of the retirement age but I suppose maybe a little room to manoeuvre in the amount of additional contributions that they workers have to make. With all these things it seems important that when the strike action is over strikers are able to say they have won when clearly it is nothing of the sort.
Ironically in the face of all this gloom and doom the stock market seems to be holding up exceptionally well, settling above 5300 when I fully expected it to drop to something in the region of 3500. It must mean that those in the know consider that the underlying strength of our economy is not as bad as we are made to believe.
After I finished doing my blogging e-mails I then thought I would sort out my tickets to Lord’s this year. I was horrified to see that the application has to be in by 16 December as I had decided to write to all my regular guests offering to make an application for Rover tickets for any match they wish to go to, but for obvious reasons I could not guarantee that I will be there myself. What this meant was I had to e-mail all 14 of them asking them to let them know their preferred dates so that I can collate all of these requests and make one application say no later than 12 December
In searching through my files today I came across the following amazing pictures which can genuinely be described as awesome. Click here and judge for yourself.