I’ve just uploaded a post about Tory minister Damian Green’s shameless lie on last night’s ‘BBC Question Time’, when he stated that unemployment had fallen for 7 months in a row. That wasn’t the only Big Lie he told on the show.
Green rattled off the by-now-predictable Tory nonsense – sadly believed by too many people who don’t know better than to believe a word the Tories say on the economy (well, on just about anything, really) – about the ‘inherited mess’. But I’ve written about that before, so I won’t repeat it here.
But he did make one equally outrageous statement that is similar to others made my his colleagues, but different enough to merit separate attention:
“The reason the ‘animal spirit’ of the economy was destroyed was because we had the worst debt of any G20 country, because the previous government spent money like water, put debts up and left us bankrupt”
The statement ‘spent money like water’ is subjective, so while it’s patent nonsense I won’t call Green a liar for that one.
However, the 2 parts I’ve highlighted in bold text are factual statements, so they’re easily checked. We’ll deal with the 2nd one first: the UK is not bankrupt and was never bankrupt under the last Labour government (nor is it even now).
The ‘Oxford English Dictionary’ defines ‘bankrupt’ as:
“declared in law as unable to pay their debts”
Not only did Britain always maintain payments on its debts under the Labour government, and has continued to do so since the last election, but the country continues to be able to borrow – at interest rates which are at a 300-year low.
Usually, a bankrupt is completely unable to borrow money. If they can borrow at all, it’s at the penal rates charged by a back-street loan shark. Or Wonga.
So, without question, Labour did not leave the UK bankrupt by any meaningful definition of the word.
As for ‘the worst debt of any G20 country‘, let’s take a look. The G20 consists of the European Union and the following 19 individual nations:
You’ll notice a few countries in the list are highlighted. You’ll know why in just a moment. Take a look at the following table, which shows the OECD public debt figures of several nations, including the UK, in 2010 – the year that Labour’s last period in government ended:
The countries I highlighted in bold text are the G20 countries in the above extract with a higher level of public debt than the UK: Japan, France, and the US – in just this very limited extract of countries.
By no conceivable definition did Labour leave the worst level of debt of any G20 country. And yet, Damian Green was perfectly ready to state it as fact, on the record, in front of TV and studio audiences.
Please read part 1 of this post as well, and then see whether you agree with my conclusion:
To be prepared to stoop to such depths of blatant, provable dishonesty, this government must –
1) Have neither morals nor integrity
2) Know that its argument, stance and premise have no basis in fact
3) Be desperate to cover up no. 2
4) Have neither respect nor attention for the British people to whom it lies so freely.
5) Be utterly unworthy to run the country.