The UK knows its place

Flattr this!

I know my place” was the title of a famous sketch on Eng­lish class sen­si­bil­i­ties from the 1960s, star­ring the very tall (Upper Class) John Cleese, the aver­age height (Mid­dle Class) Ron­nie Bark­er, and the very short (Low­er Class) Ron­nie Cor­bett.

The Upper Class Cleese gen­er­al­ly looked down on both Mid­dle Class Bark­er and Low­er Class Cor­bett; Bark­er looked up to Cleese and down on Cor­bett; and Cor­bett “knew his place”. That was at the bot­tom of the Eng­lish class sys­tem peck­ing order, and sur­viv­ing his place meant liv­ing life with low­ered expec­ta­tions.

This skit — and Corbett’s peren­ni­al state of acqui­es­cence — came to mind as I read UK media reports herald­ing the news that, accord­ing to the The Office of Mind Your Own Busi­ness (well, it’s for­mal name is the Office for Nation­al Sta­tis­tics, but you try find­ing any data there!), the UK econ­o­my grew by 1.9 per cent in 2013.

On his­tor­i­cal trends, this was a ‘Ron­nie Cor­bett’ rather than John Cleese rate of growth (see Fig­ure 1). But such was the lev­el of despon­den­cy over the UK’s per­for­mance since the glob­al finan­cial cri­sis began that it has received a John Cleese response from the UK pub­lic. The Oppo­si­tion Labour Party’s once sub­stan­tial lead over the rul­ing Con­ser­v­a­tives has evap­o­rat­ed, and the Con­ser­v­a­tives are now run­ning just one point below the Labour Par­ty in opin­ion polls.

Click here to read the rest of this post.

Bookmark the permalink.

About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.