It's the economy, stupid

Goldsmiths academic Tom Henri has written an article in the Guardian today about the recent Lewisham riots, entitled: "Behind the Lewisham riots: It was all about money."

Here's an excerpt:

"My initial plan was to talk to young people about their motivation for involvement in the disturbances. What came out of the discussions was a rather nuanced discussion about the tactics they employed to avoid the police while looting. When it came to talking about their motivations for this, they were clear – "it was all about money", as one young man succinctly expressed it."

As he suggests, this insight doesn't really provide an answer to the question of the underlying causal factors, but opportunism, rather than anger appears to be the catalyst, something we speculated about here.


kolp said...

Yes money explains the looting, but there was vandalism, and arson. Why spend energy trashing a police car when you could be looting JD sports et al.

mk said...

It's strange that I got some kind of perverse sense of hope from the disturbances. Hope based on Henri's final point, that what happened showed the amazing potential of social media to mobilise people (if they care enough about something).

For once people actually organised around a cause. Turns out it wasn't the right one, but I suppose like he says, we just need to harness that energy in a more positive way.

kolp said...

The £2billion NHS reforms make me want to organise some seditious activity, but I can't muster the strength so I'll be writing to House of Lords member who covers this area, whoever that may be.

Mb said...

Violence and breaking things have a visceral attraction for a lot of young men. Why do people join the army? We like to tell ourselves that it's because of a sense of honour or "adventure". For many it's to fire guns at people and play with high explosives. Opertunism and a kind of hysteria when they realised there was no immediate consequence for the more base instincts would explain a lot of the trouble.

Mb said...

Don't think the lords cover geographic areas. They aesthete because of some expertise hopefully. Except bishops.... Don't start me off

Anonymous said...
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Brockley Nick said...

@Anon Try that again without the insults, please.

Jos Bell said...

Local Members of the Lords are :

Baroness Mary Warnock

Lord Roy Kennedy

they would both be delighted to hear comments about the folly of the destruction of the NHS under the guise of the Health & Social Care Bill.

Anonymous said...

Didn't someone predict in another thread some intellectual loon from Goldsmiths would no doubt having their say on the riots.

How wrong they were.

mb said...

have you read the article? it's not so different with what everyone else is saying. A big section of the rioters did it because it was an opertunity to cause mayhem and nick stuff. It's not a controversial view point.

Lou Baker said...

It's perfectly obvious. I could have told him that without bothering with the research.

It was a pure question of greed. Wanting something you haven't got and can't afford. I want an Aston Martin but, as I can't afford one, perhaps I should nick one instead?


How will the Health Bill destroy the NHS?

Anonymous said...

Lou, most of your conclusions are done without research so lets not get carried away.

Anonymous said...

Nick, your version of opportunism is too simplistic, even in light of the study. "It's all about the money" and the sense of triumph of evading police is a lot more complex than "opportunism" so why reduce it to that in your "See, I was right all along," way? Why would a group of people espouse the feeling of "It's all about the money" to begin with? If you asked a stock broker what their motivation is, you'd likely end up with the same answer. Context please! Without it, it's too easy to write the events off as "pure and simple criminality" but I guess it's easier to think of things in this simplistic armchair way rather than try to actually change things for the better. Note to BC trolls: in no way does what I've just said condone or vindicate looting, rioting, etc. said...

To the last anon..Did you get to the end of the post? it's not long.

"As he suggests, this insight doesn't really provide an answer to the question of the underlying causal factors, but opportunism, rather than anger appears to be the catalyst,"

So nothing about 'pure criminality' no claim that this is the cause but perhaps a reason why it turned into mayhem.

Anonymous said...

What you get for bringing people up beneath the ruling politicians, bankers etc where money comes before people.

?? said...

No theres a simplistic howl of rage of a similar standard to Lou's rants.

Hugh said...

"It was all about money" is pretty meaningless taken alone.

Envy of money? Desire for more? Rage against capitalism? Something else? Succinct to the point of being delphic.

Danja said...

I think their central complaint was about the debasement of fiat currency, Hugh.

Whats a delphic? said...

I saw Hugh stealing a kiss from a pretty girl as the flames licked around Deptford. Well if you're about to die and the only chance of a shag is a tumescent Hugh you MAY consider it? Me? not so much....

kolp said...

Much obliged "Joliebella" thank you!

I don't know why there is such a clamouring for private corporation involvement in the NHS.

I look the railways, during Railtracks reign, I look at the recent issues with Southern Cross and care homes. I look at the general stories about corporations and their governance and ethics from News international to BP, G4S and so on and I just think is this really what NHS needs?

Then I read this-> for those not able to follow the link
we have a South African company called Netcare who have been involved in a Organ-selling scandal.

"A PRIVATE healthcare firm whose wealthy clients were given donor organs bought from children is in talks to run transplant operations for the NHS.

Read more:

It's like some sick joke/nightmare.

NAT said...

@Hugh, we've heard a good many explanations for the motives of the rioters, but 'envy of money' is quite a new one, to me at least.

'My life is a dead end, I have few job prospects, I receive my moral cues from reality stars and bankers....

.....Wish I was a hard currency, being passed from hand to hand in exchange for goods and services'

Tamsin said...

@ Lou 13.34 - This way

Lots going on to try to make politicians see sense rather than simply telling private enterprise (much of it moving in from America) what an opportunity it will be for them.

Tamsin said...

Meant to add - get in touch with me if you would like to go on mailing lists for heath campaign information. (Part of the day job is working for a campaign group.)

kolp said...

When a government minister is saying something like this:

"The overhaul of the NHS in England presents "huge opportunities" to the private sector."

you know that the NHS as we've known it is in serious trouble.

It will take an almighty effort to curtail these circling market forces.

Government claims market reforms will drive up standards.

I just think of the first forays of market forces involement with the NHS and the case of Dr Daniel Ubani.
A German doctor keen to partake in the "huge opportunities" that the NHS presented, he flew in from Germany on a budget airline after doing a normal shift to cover out of hours work. The trust has outsourced the work. Unsurprisingly he overstressed himself, was over tired and ending up causing the death of his patient, by administering the wrong medicine having misread the labels.

Everytime I think of what's likely to befall the NHS I feel sick.

Lou Baker said...


I would really rather slit my wrists than join your misguided campaign.

To listen to some of you scaremongers, you'd think private companies are out to kill you.

Well, you know what, let me tell you a very very simple fact. You get better treatment in private hospitals than in the NHS. Eh? Let me say it again so the expanded left side of your brains can compute. You get better treatment in private hospitals than in the NHS.

In the last few years I've had the misfortune to use both sorts of hospitals. The NHS is okay. I got out alive - which is more than some. The nurses were nice enough - but there was a genuine sense that the patients were an inconvenience. The surgeons don't talk to you. They talk about you to the half dozen other staff members they bring round with them. The food is genuinely bad and you have no control over the timing of any of your treatment. It comes when it's convenient for the staff to do it.

A private hospital couldn't be more different. The treatment schedule fits in around you. The doctor will speak to you at length. Mostly the same doctors who work in the NHS too. You have private rooms. The cleaners fit in around you.

Far from being a model to despise - it is a model of healthcare for the NHS to aspire too. Everyone should get treatment like that.

Plus if you really are all that opposed to private companies being involved in healthcare I hope you live up to your beliefs by shunning all private companies involved in healthcare. That'll mean no medicines (developed by private companies), no x-rays and scans (performed on machines built and developed by private companies), don't phone the doctor because the telephone is developed and maintained by a private company as are the computers on which you can make appointments. But don't worry the doctor can still keep your medical records (albeit using a pen designed and manufactured by a private company and on paper also manufactured by a private company).

In other words - you're hypocrites if you use the NHS at all.

Finally, as an examples that state run is not always better than private run, image this scenario. You need to fly to Moscow. Your choice of airline is the privately run - for profit - British Airways or the state-majority owned Aeroflot.

I know which one I'd prefer.

Anonymous said...

"expanded left side of your brains can compute. You get better treatment in private hospitals than in the NHS"

Lou, most private hospital provision is from private beds in NHS hospitals using NHS staff. Most totally private hospitals use doctors that also practice in NHS hospitals. I know you think there is a parallel private area out there, the reality is that the people doing the works are the same. Private healthcare provides can pick and choose who they treat of course, try signing up to a private health plan if you already have cancer or another chronic condition. Id rather all I'll in England than the USA, I'd certainly rather have a long term medical condition under a universal health care system that most countries in the west have. In the USA it's quiet possible to be bankrupt by illness.

kolp said...

Lou have you read what the reforms will do? Do you understand what the NHS is, the principles it was founded upon?

It appears you don't otherwise you wouldn't be making such, with respect, lightweight remarks.

Read what the BMA have written in the Times. Doctors who know what they are talking about and why they are so concerned. Then maybe what you have to say may be worth engaging with.

Otherwise it's the same old borderline trollery that has comment to denote your posts on this blog.

Lou Baker said...


You'll note I said the doctors in private hospitals are often the same ones you get in the NHS. Some NHS hospitals have private beds, some private hospitals are fully private.

My point is not that we should scrap the principle of healthcare that is largely free at the point of delivery. That IS the key thing about the NHS.

My point is that the NHS actually has a lot to learn from the way private healthcare treats its patients. As you rightly point out many of the staff are the same the difference is the structure and the expectation - and that's what the NHS needs to work on.


I fully understand the principle of the NHS - thanks. I also understand what the reforms are planned to do. They are planned to give more power to patients and less to bureaucrats - which, in turn, will hopefully save money which can be reinvested in improving services.

Some doctors are opposed. Plenty back the plans too. Plans which have been successfully trialled in places.

The only precious thing about the NHS is the principle. Healthcare that's largely free at the point of delivery. The rest needs complete reform as it's still basically a 1950s organisation - but one which is trying, and often failing, to operate in a modern world.

Tamsin said...

"the difference is the structure and the expectation - and that's what the NHS needs to work on."

Structure, expectation, the sheer number of patients it has to deal with, the proportion of those with serious and difficult conditions and money. Factor in those extra issues and I don't think the private sector would show up so well.

Doctors as a body, not saying anything about individuals rather lost the moral high ground when they opportuistically took advantage of Labour's crass mismanagement of revising their contracts to legitimately claim large salaries. The BMA also spent a shamefully long time sitting on the fence on these Lansley reforms.

To say that this reform is about "patient choice" is a nonsense and there will be more administrators and bureaucrats (or those in that role), not fewer. The doctors in a consortium, if concentrating on patient work, will not have the time or headroom to weigh up the pros and cons of all the "willing providers" out there so they will either delegate that work to one of their number who then effectively becomes an adminstrator rather than a doctor (a bit of a waste of the expensive training in medecine not business management), or be wooed by the provider with the slickest spiel. They will also, as Dr Irvine points out in the video, have to have one eye to their remaining budget.

"Patient choice" does not come into it. I can choose where to buy my tomatoes or beef because I know what good tomatoes and beef look like (and surface glitz does not count for much), and if I don't like the choice I made I just don't go there again. Choosing where to have an operation is completely different - I am not in a position to weigh up the relevant issues, so I have to trust my doctor. And I want to be able to trust the doctor knowing they are simply looking at me and clinical issues - not what their Consortium's preferred policy is and what is left in their budget.

Agreed the NHS has been creaking - but what should be done - now the stranglehold of fully unionised staff and practices (of the type that had expensive x-ray equipment used only 8 hours out of 24 because radiologists didn't do shift work) is largely broken - is to reverse the trend towards privatisation started under Thatcher and happily continued under Labour rather than galloping even faster towards the disaster that is the American practice. Fine if you have insurance, and the company can't find a reason not to come up with the pay out, but not otherwise.

Tamsin said...

And Lou, don't personalise things - not my "misguided campaign" - I even said my involvement in this was part of my paid employment. And no, obviously private companies are not out to kill patients, just make a killing for their shareholders out of a cash-strapped NHS.

Lou Baker said...


What you don't seem to get is that it is possible to make a profit for shareholders AND to provide a decent service to customers. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Yes, I know the NHS gets the difficult cases. I know it's more complex. I know there are more demands on it. But tackling these issues IS part of the problem.

Yet everytime someone proposes doing something to fix the NHS the usual brigade - made up of the BMA, nurses unions plus assorted socialist dregs - crawl out of the woodwork and scaremonger. They never come up with any solutions themselves to the problems. They just whine.

A decent NHS would be radically different to the one we have today. Longer GP opening hours, fewer district hospitals, more polyclinics, bonus payments for doctors and nurses, more investment in health prevention, far less tolerance of lifestyle related conditions (though help tackling the underlying causes), more emphasis on patient responsibility, charges for missing appointments.

I want the NHS to be excellent at providing healthcare that's largely free at the point of delivery and at providing value for money. At present it does neither.

In 5 years time you might be able to look back at Lansley's reforms and say they weren't the right ones. But good on him for trying to make the NHS better. And shame on you for willing it to stay sick.

Anonymous said...

The BMA and Nurses, socialist dregs? Or professionals who actually do the caring - the front line. The BMA actually have mixed views on the matter actually and I think you'll find that many very affluent Doctors would not class themselves as socialist - dregs or otherwise.

Stop with the silly pidgeon holing. you look a twerp.

Jos Bell said...

The NHS certainly was in a shocking state in 1997, having been run down to the point of patients dying untended on trollies in corridors, cleaning standards in free fall and waiting lists for some conditions lasting up to 3 years. Definitely not value for money! ( Lou )

However the next 13 years turned the service around to the extent that it was assessed in 2010 as being the most efficient in the world by the WHO and the best in the world by the CHA - a much envied national asset and a credit to the UK, not just in terms of being fantastic value per patient but also in terms of the huge improvements achieved. Why lose all this? Why waste £2 billion for pure ideology sake - smashing up the infrastructure to allow in shareholder pressures and profit instead of patient welfare at the same core ? I already have patients who are from Pathfinder Consortia ( now to be Commissioning Boards ) who are having medication which has been prescribed by highly experienced consultants withdrawn or not allowed because the GP practice has told them this is beyond their budget or their expertise to manage! Their only way out of this? To pay. How many can afford to pay? Very few.

This is NOT about improving standards - which could have been achieved without this crass upheaval. This is PURELY about profit and punishing the poor.

Hugh said...

Who thinks the 50% tax rate should be abolished?

drakefell debaser said...

“In the last few years I've had the misfortune to use both sorts of hospitals. The NHS is okay. I got out alive - which is more than some. The nurses were nice enough - but there was a genuine sense that the patients were an inconvenience. The surgeons don't talk to you. They talk about you to the half dozen other staff members they bring round with them. The food is genuinely bad and you have no control over the timing of any of your treatment. It comes when it's convenient for the staff to do it.”

Lou, my partner and I recently experienced Lewisham hospital maternity and post natal services. The nurses, as you say, are nice enough but made to feel like an inconvenience? Not in our experience. Were you rude to them? The surgeons we encountered were outstanding, the anaesthetist’s were both nice guys that completely put us at ease about the procedure and the surgeon was actually congratulated by her colleagues for a job well done. The food wasn’t even generally bad; it was bland, yes, but certainly edible. Moving onto the post natal services, our twins arrived early and spent 3 weeks in high dependency being looked after by over 50 people dedicated to their wellbeing. What they did for us was priceless.

Your complaint that the surgeons spoke about you to the team is laughable, you were having an operation right? I’d be terrified if no-one spoke and had to guess what the other guy with the knife was doing… You are the patient, of course they need to discuss you!

kolp said...

Newshopper today has a nice middle class singing the praises of the Birth Centre, as result of criticism, over recent years. Lewisham PCT got its act together and amped up the service.

The NHS is never stationary, it's always trying to improve, but these reforms are not about improving the NATIONAL health service, they're about changing the NHS in the hope that expenditure is curtailed. These reforms will not necessarily make things better for patients, as commentators from across the political spectrum argue. I argue that at £2billion expenditure it ruddy well needs to be certainty.

This oft repeated claim about choice, is such a chimera.

Picture this: You have a heart attack, is the first thing you or your family will want to do is to start tapping on an iphone looking at the 'hospital league survival rates' app and then ringing 999 having selected what hospital you want to be helped at?

No, what you want is the closest hospital to you, to deliver a high quality service and fast.

Danja said...

Actually, you are better off having a skilled paramedic team attend very quickly to stabilise you, and then to transport you further to a specialist heart facility rather than your local hospital.

But it is very difficult to convince the public that such specialisation is a good idea when it involves "shutting down local facilities".

Danja said...

Of course that doesn't mean that "choice" is the answer, it is just that the more specialisation (and hence experience) there is, the better the outcomes are, which is hardly a surprise.

But the heart attack/A&E example is itself skewed. In many cases patients do have have time to research and exercise a choice. I would rather be able to choose or influence the decision myself than have it thrust upon me. I see nothing objectionable in the concept of choice based on outcomes. How that is then married happily with cost/VFM is another more difficult question.

Mb said...

Now you see boys and girls (mainly Lou actually) that's how to express a nuanced view without letting a simplistic, dogmatic bias takeover. Private good, public bad should be left to the hard of thinking.

Hugh said...

Anyone noticed how NHS supporters tend to be in low-paid jobs?

TM said...

Anyone noticed how frequently Hugh is posting after a long silence?

Not been made redundant have we old chap?

Danja said...

I suppose with increasing wealth comes the ability to select more expensive and less outcome efficient alternatives. If one can afford to queue jump, one can afford to look with more disdain at the queue, etc.

And then as ever, the resentment builds that one is paying for healthcare twice, like education, and that makes one more prone to believing everything bad one reads in the Telegraph about those services (which one never actually experiences), which inclines one to dismiss them as hopeless waste of money.

All of which points to the politically impossible desirability of abolishing private education and healthcare.

So there may be a trend, Hugh, but it isn't a rule.

Hugh said...

By implication, all regulars here are out of work.

How long have you been claiming, TM?

TM said...

Sat at my Mayfair desk as usual, just on my lunch break, having returned from doing a little shopping at Fortnums.

Hugh said...

I enjoy talking to socialists. They profess to care about people they've never met. But then they meet people online and get all antsy!

Hugh said...

TM, you still portering at that residential block then?

Danja said...

I don't think there are too many people who are socialist enough to care about you, Hugh.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone noticed how NHS supporters tend to be in low-paid jobs?"

No, is one of them assertions based on f**k all?

Lou Baker said...


I have never said private good, public bad. I don't for a moment think that's true.

Opponents of NHS reform, however, do believe private bad, public good. They are implacably opposed to reform because they have this dumb notion that involving shareholders will lead to a lowering of standards.

It's a simple fact that there are brilliantly run public services and badly run companies - and vice versa. Both have lessons to learn from the other.

My point about the NHS is that it really doesn't matter who provides the service. If you're sick and you're made better - if you're treated well - does it really matter if the people providing the service are employed by the Government, BUPA, Tesco or Fred from No 72. I'd say no. If the service is good, I really don't think it doesn't matter.

Some, misguidedly, think only the government can do it. They whine whenever private involvement is suggested. These people do not care about the NHS. They do not care about patients. They care about ideology. They are misguided and wrong.

The most essential thing about the NHS is the principle. Healthcare that is largely free at the point of delivery. I do not object to that principle in any way shape or form. I do not, and never have, advocated an American style insurance system.


Sure, Mr Blair pumped billions into the NHS. And we've got lots of swanky new buildings to prove it. But efficiency decreased and standards did not rise proportionately. Why?

The problem is the structure. The NHS just simply doesn't work properly. It is not set up to work for patients - it is set up to work for doctors and nurses.
Why is my GP's surgery not open in the evening and at weekends? Because that doesn't suit the doctor.
Why can I not choose when to have a scan? Because that doesn't suit the scanning department. Everything is set up to suit the staff and NOT the patients.

Then there are budgets. I am sure the NHS could spend every penny on earth if it could. But there have to be limits. There have always been budgets, there always will be. There have always been drugs that aren't funded, there probably always will be. I know that is a difficult reality for anyone who works in the NHS. But it's a simple fact.

Finally, I must take issue with your last statement that these reforms are being pushed through to 'punish the poor'. Ignorance of the highest order. Even when I don't agree with politicians I understand that they are acting with the best intentions. Mr Lansley wants to make the NHS better. His reforms might not work. But your suggestion that he wants to punish the poor is both ignorant and crass. And, if you really do have patients and a surgery of your own, I hope to hell I am not one of them.


I am glad you had a good NHS experience. Plenty do. But plenty don't - and that's where work is needed.

Hughs Mum said...

It's yer basic psychopathy. Zero empathy, unshakable confidence, absolute self belief, distain for everyone else, simmering rage, ultra competative, masive insecurity revealed by the constant measuring himeself against others. Smart? yes. Socially adept? no.

I had to breast feed the little f**ker until he was eight. Nipples like organ stops before the electroshock therapy started. He's been trying to win my approval since then.

Hugh, sorry. You we're always my second son. Little Freddy, the primary school teacher was, and remains, my favourite.

Anonymous said...

"Then there are budgets. I am sure the NHS could spend every penny on earth if it could. But there have to be limits."

Erm...yes. Was there a point somewhere? Stating the bleeding obvious is not hard. The NHS rations care, private care will treat you until the money runs out. It aint charity. Even the best private health plans are full of caveats and limits. Stop being naive.

Lou Baker said...


I didn't say they didn't.

Perhaps you have a point or, more likely, not.

toodle ooh said...

hugh and Lou in tandem - we have a perfect storm

Tamsin said...

The ironic thing is that doctors were beginning to open longer hours, etc. before these changes were mooted. My understanding is that the all-singing all-dancing Waldron Health Centre operates the same hours as some of the Practices that had to bid to become a part of it or go under.

Improvements within the system - particularly in a time of austerity - are what is needed not this top-down total shake-out (precisely what the Coalition promised would not happen) where doctors have to employ additional managers to deal with their commissioning role and sacked district nurses either have to hire themselves out to an agency (who will inevitably be taking a middle slice from the costs) or get together as a partnership and put in a bid with a business plan to do their former job - when all they went into nursing to do was to care for people.

Hugh said...

Socialism is the principle that merit has nothing to do with what you deserve.

No wonder it's popular with people who have nothing to offer.

How am I doing?

TM said...

Hugh @ 14:08

Unfortunately not.

That was a real cushy number

Anonymous said...

Poorly actually. 3/10

NAT said...

@ Hugh, you've something to offer! Who could have guessed. Out with it man.

Jos Bell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kolp said...

Choice is great, as long as its easy. eg should I have the Fiorentina or the American Hot?
Lansley says there's going to be an "information revolution" as part of the reforms. Well let's see how that plays out.

But if it's anything like choice in education, with parents going half mad scrutinising ofsted reports to ensure they get the best for their kids or the energy suppliers where the selection of the best value package warrants days of analysis. I don't think this is of particular benefit to the people of this country as a whole.

I doubt many want to be placed in dilemmas over how best to survive. It just adds to the stress of modern life.

Further, the NHS as it is, is increasing choice, responding to patient requirements, it's been announced that women will be given the option of to elect for caesarian birth. That is a major step forward in terms of 'customer focus'.

Lou Baker said...

A point about the economy.

We always hear how bad things are. But are they really that bad?

Maybe in small towns and the provinces but in London I'd suggest the economy is now doing rather well.

The cranes are back out - construction has restarted. The high streets are busy. There are plenty of jobs around. Just this morning I wandered along Lordship Lane in East Dulwich. I saw at least half a dozen job
ads stuck in shop and bar windows - for sales staff, chefs, waiters. There is work out there. Are there enough people looking for it?

max said...

Lou Baker 1 - Reality 0

Anonymous said...

Phew...thanks Lou.

Jos Bell said...

In London far from there being 'plenty of jobs' there are 25 people seeking work per vacancy....... additionally bar jobs etc tend to go to young and fit ( understandably ) and not to those who have been dumped out of hard working careers. There is a serious jobs crisis - just as there was in the 80's/early 90's recession.

Uninformed judgemental statements do not solve crises.

I also refer back to Lou's comments on the NHS. In response to the news that the NHS was assessed as being the most efficient in the world in 2010, she expresses the view that efficiency deteriorated during the period '97 - '10 oddly contradictory observation which yet again is not based upon fact. Ho hum.

Lou Baker said...


Who assessed the NHS as being the most efficient in the world last year? If you're talking about the Commonwealth Fund report you'll know that it only compares 7 countries.

The World Health Organisation, on the other hand, appears to rank the NHS just 18th in the world. Which might be good enough for you if you work in it - but as a patient who uses it and a taxpayer who funds it, I think it can do better. Perhaps you can share with those patients left alone dying in hospital corridors why you disagree.

There are indeed plenty of jobs. Around half a million vacancies - and I saw adverts for at least 6 this morning. So the lack of jobs isn't the problem. True - some of the unemployed may not be suitable for those jobs but that's not the same as saying there are no jobs.

One of the main problems with the economy is that people keep talking it down. Ed Balls is a master of this. And he's one of the ones that screwed things up in the first place. London's economy is getting better. It is recovering from disasters inflicted on it by Gordon Brown. The rest of the country may be months or years behind (as they were when the problems hit) but the worst is now behind us.

Jos Bell said...


The figures I refer to are WHO 2010 ( Most efficient in the world and in the top 3-4 overall ) If 18th is current score that seems to indicate that considerable slippage has occurred this year....

As for your uninformed pronouncements on jobs based upon a few bar job ads - I guess that means you fancy yourself a world authority on employment data too?

Jolly good

Paolo said...


I was very interested in your claim about the efficiency of the NHS as I thought that would have been trumpeted all over the airwaves and I'll be damned if I can remember having read anything about it

I've looked at the WHO "World Health Statistics 2010" and cannot see any these figures

Could you provide a link to your info so I can have a read please


Lou Baker said...


Check for yourself.

The Office for National Statistics confirms there were 449,000 job vacancies in the UK last month.

You have to go right to the bottom - but it's there.

I agree that matching job vacancies to the unemployed is not always easy. But there are plenty of vacancies out there. As I can confirm from my stroll through Dulwich this morning.

Now these may not be the sort of jobs that people want to do forever. You may not want to work in a shop or as a waiter for life. But no one says you have to. But if you're out of work a job is a job - and something is better than nothing. And taking something will likely lead to something better.

So I maintain the economy in London is getting better. There are jobs out there.

In any case, no amount of unemployment or under employment is an excuse to go an smash up JD Sport. Or maybe you're an apologist for thugs too.

Anonymous said...

Nice distraction method Lou, if you diagree that unemployment is a problem you condone smashing up shops. Silly boy.

Using your logic there has never been an issue with unemployment....ever.

Brockley Nick said...

I'm just on my way back from Manchester. When I was at the station, there seemed to be lots of people going to and fro with places to go and money to spend. Two football clubs scoring lots of goals at the top of the Premier League too. Happy to report that the north is doing just fine.

George O said...

Nick, I my be busy with a spot of legal bother soon. Don't ask, some rough old sort has been blabbing in Australia.

Now I've signed up Lou. His analysis gets straight to the point. It needs some polish and obviously we can't unleash him on live TV. Would you be interested LORD Barron of Brockley? ;-)

Jos Bell said...

Hi Paolo

I have several links which may be helpful for you : starting this year.....( so much for coming 18th according to Lou )


hope that's useful ...

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