Friday, 19 November 2010
"Never had it so good"
In 1957 Prime Minister Harold Macmillan gave a speech in Bedford in which he said "most of our people have never had it so good." At the time, the speech was said to be optimistic (if not arrogant), but in fact it was meant as a warning. Mr. Macmillan was trying to say that the recent years of prosperity wouldn't last forever.
Today Lord Young was forced to resign after saying "For the vast majority of people in the country today, they have never had it so good..."
He wasn't a member of the government (he was the PM's enterprise adviser), but it is still embarrassing for David Cameron.
It must be especially annoying for Lord Young as what he said was true. People who are in work and have a mortgage are doing quite well. As interest rates are so low, mortgage repayments are very small.
This group of people (which is sizeable) suddenly have more money at the end of month and can't be feeling too bad at the moment. However, they have job losses and public service cuts to come.
To me, Lord Young's ill-advised words seem like a Macmillan-style warning.