Thursday, 5 November 2009

Up in smoke

Fireworks used to be a lot
more interesting

It's bonfire night! Tonight's the night we set light to our garden clippings and set off fireworks. Unless, that is, we are the Ilfracombe Rugby Club. These weekend warriors, who hurl themselves at each other every Sunday with scant regard to life and limb, are watching fireworks on a telly because of Health and Safety concerns. I'm with Stephen Fry; Health and Safety are the two worst words in the English language.

What happened to proper fireworks? Anyone remember Jumping jacks that used to chase you round the garden? Or those aeroplane things that used to fly up your Dad's leg?

So what can we burn in complete safety? I know; money. The Bank of England is extending it's Quantitative Easing policy by £25bn to £200bn. So two questions. What's £25bn? And what is Quantitative Easing?

£25bn is a LOT OF MONEY. We've got so used to seeing billions and zillions bandied around we've lost our sense of scale. So, £25bn is
  • About £180,000 for every doctor in the UK, or

  • About £830,000 for every school in the UK, or

  • About £417 for each of us, or

  • MPs' expenses for well over a year.
Yup, a lot.

As to Q2; what is Quantitative Easing? Well, it's printing money. Why don't we call it Printing Money then? Perhaps QE has come to mean 'trying desperately to recover from wretched excess'; and PM already means that, doesn't it Gordon? Or perhaps it's so that we can baffle the electorate with a piece of nifty jargon, so they think we know something they don't.

But surely printing money means it arrives out of thin air? Free cash for everyone? Er, no. QE just spreads thin the intrinsic wealth of the UK. The value of the pound stays depressed; have you noticed how expensive your foreign hols feel? And inflation is just around the corner. But that's OK, because the nasty Tories will have to deal with it.


  1. QE - Gordon finally admits that Mugabe's economic policies were right all along.

  2. And while you are on the subject of money Ubergrumpy, what about the bonuses banks are dishing out so soon after almost collapsing! It shouldn't be allowed....

  3. Argentum,radix malorum est

  4. or should that be: Radix malorum est cupiditas

  5. Gordon always said that he'd abolish boom and bust and he is a man of his word although I am not sure that I like the way he treated Prudence once he'd met Sarah (Prudence is now a crack whore in a secret location said to have been 'flipped' once or twice)
    BTW when I was young (not so long ago, actually) fireworks were resrved for November 5th - now it goes on for two weeks and we seem to use fireworks to celebrate any piddling event - why is that?