“Inflation & Gold” by Paolo Camera is licensed under CC BY 2.0

From what this mendacious bunch of miscreants masquerading as a Government have been saying recently it seems that

  1. Government spending is out of control
  2. They are going to increase taxes massively to pay for the trillions they have spunked up the wall even though they claim don’t really want to
  3. The tone of the messages is starting to imply that we the people are responsible for all this fiscal irresponsibility.

As far as point 1 goes there is a chap called nik nak in number 11 Downing Street who claims to be the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This is the chap who is supposed to rule over Government spending and taxation.

Point 2 and the “don’t really want to” sentiment might have been true if we had a conservative rather than a Tory Government. This lot are commies and commies love taxing people.

Point 3 is the standard establishment response when a Government cocks up big time. If it wasn’t for you oiks we would not have had to do this.

Does anyone remember Maggie’s “War on Inflation” because I certainly do, in fact it seemed to me that it wasn’t all bad, I was better off when it died down. We all got the blame for that, greedy bastards we were demanding more and more in the way of wages because prices were going up like billy-oh. Even in those days there was a large body of opinion sticking to the “Governments cause and control inflation” theory but the Government was in denial.

The inflation kicked off during Heath’s tenure in Number 10. With an election approaching the Grocer needed to get a bit more money in peoples’ pockets. To achieve this he got his Chancellor Anthony Barber, soon to be known as the Demon Barber, to print lots of money and this resulted in the so-called “Barber Boom”. As was predicted inflation took off. When Heath lost the “who runs the country” election to Harold Wilson, the Unions thought they were running the place and it certainly looked that way as the Union leaders traipsed into Number 10 for weekly meetings with Wilson. Who could forget Private Eye’s Dear Bill articles referring to the “smelly socks brigade”.

Then came Sunny Jim Callaghan, probably best described as somewhat naïve. By then the Unions were demanding and getting regular large pay increases and it ended up in the Winter of Discontent. In 1979 Maggie won the election and set about stopping what Heath had started and yes, we got the blame.

The War on Inflation apparently consisted mainly of increasing interest rates and it was really difficult for me to square the circle of prices going up and money costing yet more every week or so it seemed. The abiding memory of those years was the number of companies going bust and every night the TV News bulletins gleefully reporting how many more thousand workers had been thrown on the scrapheap. These days are not the first time we have had fifth columnists working in the meejah though just like today, Al-Jabeeba was leading the celebrations.

In common with today’s inflation, the seventies/eighties version was initiated by the Tories. It was made even worse by Labour. All we need now is Keith Starmer in power at the next election to stoke the inflation fires even higher though he would have to go some to beat our present Chancellor.

My fondest prediction is that the interest rates will go up bigly but only for borrowers, for those with a few bob in the bank they will be kept at close to 0%. One can easily surmise that the financial institutions will be only too willing to show their appreciation to those who have engineered it, namely the fat Turkish spunker and nik nak (the numbers involved in this are eye watering).

TCV (that c— Vine) would immediately ask me what qualifications I have in economics to which the correct answer is “the same as you, none” but we have both lived through the madness of the seventies as have many many puffins and we remember it well.

Here is a little something I found about the origin of the demon Barber description. It may well have been puffin’s favourite John Enoch Powell who coined it.

Enoch Powell had refused to support the Conservatives at the first General Election of 1974, mainly on the issue of Europe – he was strongly opposed to British membership of the then European Common Market. As the Election approached, he attacked Heath and Barber over the economy and their failure to curb inflation. He said that the (Heath) Government had been reduced to printing money to balance the books and, “Every member of the cabinet is compromised for a generation and not one of them should have the effrontery to offer himself for re-election.” It has been suggested that it was Powell who first referred to the Anthony Barber as “the Demon Barber.” This was when Powell had to change to the Ulster Unionists and successfully stood for them in South Down, he had advocated voting Labour in 1974.

© well_chuffed 2021