Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More Tory Economics 101: Philip Hammond (PPE, Oxon)

Unlike Fraser Kemp, GOO, Dave Cameron, Iain Dale and countless others who comment rather carelessly on the Economy the Tory shadowy first secretary Philip Hammond presumably does have at least a smidge of Economics in his PPE Degree?

But is a smidge really enough? Last night on Newsnight he was I felt shown up as yet another Tory lightweight by presenter Paxman and brainbox Ruth Kelly, who after two terms studying medicine spookily shifted to the very same PPE degree at the very same University. And inter alia became a First Secretary of the not so shadowy governmental type.

Difference being ... she understands the Economics as well as we must assume having a fistful of science A levels. Correct me if I'm wrong but is it really "Fiscal Stimulus" or "Automatic Fiscal Stimulus" Philip when we get falling tax revenues and increasing welfare costs?

These are "Automatic Fiscal Stabilizers" perhaps. Heading off everyone's-too-rich-now-pulling-prices-up inflation perhaps. But fiscal stimulus? Ruth Kelly did not have to say much to show him up as a heartless Tory sink-or-swim merchant.

While Ruthy has some strange social and political ideas she does have a brain the size of Bolton West at least. And that will be missed when she steps down.

TRIVIA: Mr Hammond apparently attended Shenfield High School in Brentwood, Essex. Which is a bit of a surprise. Was that the only school he attended? Or just his Sixth Form? Or has it changed ownership?

Now a state Business and Enterprise High School it was plain or rather perhaps not-so-plain Shenfield School back in the day. Former students include: actor Ross Kemp, presenter Richard Madeley, actor Russell Tovey and presenter/author/dj and former City Life/NME scribbler and Chorlton-ite Sarah Champion, appparently voted one of the sexiest women on radio by the erudite readers of FHM.

Any one of these probably knows more about fiscal stimulus than Philip Hammond who apparently thinks it means unemployment, falling tax revenue, big welfare bills.

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