The man behind the mic: Do we spend, spend, spend?

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

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Now as you may know, I am no political analyst, but I have an inkling that an election is coming.

In the space of just one week we have been promised billions of pounds for hospitals, billions of pounds for flood defences and yet more billions to improve our decrepit road system. Just about the only thing the government didn`t promise was a Posh victory any time soon, but then again, only Simple Minds promise miracles.

The problem is that in order to spend, spend, spend, we have to borrow, borrow, borrow, even more, more, more - About £75b more than we were intending to lend already from “Billions R Us.”

As I said, I am no expert, but I am almost positive that we already have a sizable deficit to pay off and even with my average grasp of Maths (CSE, grade 2), I am sure that my calculations are correct here – Some billions, added to some more billions, makes even more billions.

Of course I am all for improving the A47 and our local hospital, but at what price?

Maybe spending now will get the economy moving and create some decent, well paid jobs in the city, but if we are going to add to the debt anyway, after four years of crippling austerity, why didn’t we just do that to begin with, as previously suggested by the financial wizard, that is Ed Balls?

Judging by the spending frenzies that were Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Wally Wednesday, the economy certainly appears to be on the up. Some folks seem to have wads of cash swilling around, with people prepared to trample on their grandma just to get 10% of a toaster they don’t even need. Everyday folk behaving like rabid dogs, desperate to gorge on the meatiest bargains, whatever the consequences. Like Madonna and her once again naked bosom, this was shameless marketing at its very best and boy did people fall for it.

So is it possible that after months and months of pain and rhetoric, better times are just around the corner? Are these genuine, well thought out policies, that will seriously improve the situation in this country or a last ditch gamble to win votes that could push us further into the financial abyss?

My worry is, that it’s the latter, which could leave our children’s children with a bill that may never get paid and all this in a week when the man who promised “No more boom and bust,” stepped down as an MP - Gordon Brown - the so called, prudent chancellor, has left the Westminster building. Apparently, after years of frustration, his wife has finally agreed to step aside and let him do the cooking, in their new retirement bungalow in Blackburn.

He’s not the only thing on the way out though, so is the traditional nativity play.

Just one in three schools now has one, with most plumping for an ‘updated nativity,’ featuring characters such as aliens, punk fairies, footballers, drunk spacemen, Elvis and recycling bins.

I think it’s sad but I suppose these days punk fairies are much easier to find than three wise men in Peterborough and there are plenty of unwanted brown bins available - I can promise you that.