About Us

Contact Us





First Chapterss
January 2001
March 1


ON THE EDGE OF A CLIFF Last update June 8th
Hackwriter's Editorial - Inherit the wind

Well here we are in the last gasp of an election in the UK and you can feel the lack of tension. No one particularly cares it seems , certainly not the young, who just don’t seem to connect with it at all. At least not here in Cornwall where Hackwriters is based. The sun is out, the beach beckons, so does study time for finals and putting together final shows. Basically no one really has time for this ‘ lovefest’ for Tony Blair and his cronies. Sure we can laugh at Keith Vaz, the minister for Europe who hasn’t started campaigning yet, he is so sure of his majority, and some feel sorry for William Hague for having to push Anne Widecombe up a very steep hill, but I’m sticking to my guns and predicting a Tory win and I have put my money where my mouth is (even if my brain seems have gone awol).

OK On May 29th it look like another Labour landslide to me now.
But who knows. Maybe people will come to their senses and sit on their hands come election day. A Labour landslide would mean
more corruption in the NHS and Government, more contempt for the individual.Think VAZ, think Meacher, think Mandleson, are these men honest and true? It would mean more charges for students, charges for operations at the point of service, more road taxes, more speed restrictions, more criminalisation of ordinary people. It will mean will have to look at Cheri Blair for another five years. Do you really want that?

So what are the big issues?
Right now some might say foot and mouth again. As of today, we now find out that the Government have been trying desperately hard to hide the facts that the outbreak is getting worse, 63 cases in North Yorkshire for example this month. More today. Three million animals allegedly disease free have already been slaughtered and 26,000 carcasses still await burial or burning. We now know that reopening the footpaths for bank holiday tourists was a big mistake. The disease is back and a lot more animals are going to die.Some farmers can’t help feeling that the Government doesn’t care and is in some sort of long term conspiracy to bankrupt the nations farmers and by so doing destroy the natural Tory heartland.

The British economy is living on borrowed time and borrowed money.
Britain’s trade deficit with the rest of the world ballooned to £7.7 billion this quarter, exports have plummeted 5.1% in March. Sure there is a global slowdown, yet right here in the UK instead of preparing for the worst we are on a huge spending spree. Imports of consumer goods, mainly automobiles were up 41% since January 2001, according to the Office of National Statistics. Although the pound has fallen against the dollar, it has remained strong against the Euro and there is a continued surge in home buying. In April this year banks and building societies lent £12.6 billion ( Council of Mortgage Lenders figures). We now have warning signals on London property prices where lenders have been granting loans at sometimes 5 times income levels. At any economic downturn many could become negative equity dwellers or forced sellers. There are now warnings from Cambridge Econometrics, a leading think-tank that high prices in property hot spots could rapidly see a housing boom turn to bust, with intolerable consequences.

It looks all so very familiar. An election, huge promises in public spending by a Labour Government, only to be retracted in a hurry after the election when reality and a recession fast freezes the British economy. The list of Britain’s best and worst towns for doing business has been compiled by Oxford Economic Forecasting, an independent think-tank, and Blue Sheep, a
consultancy. The report highlights what it claims is a growing divide between the
North and the South, with prosperity increasingly concentrated in London and the South East.
Researchers compiled a table of 400 towns and 12 regions showing which are likely to thrive, and which face decline. Ranking workplaces in ten categories from ‘trailblazing’ and ‘dynamic’ to ‘meltdown’ and ‘black hole’, it indicates profound national divisions. Oddly enough the Prime Minister’s own constituency, Sedgefield, is listed as an economic‘ black hole’. No doubt they will be properly grateful and return him with a bigger majority. ’So long as Mr Brown penalises business success, harasses big companies and raises business taxes, the UK will stay in deficit and business will keep suffering. As this would be hidden, however, Mr Brown could be even more complacent’, says Patience Wheatcroft in an editorial for The Times May 22nd.

Winner inherits the wind
If the Tories win they will hold a poisoned chalice, huge national debts, an economy that can only fall from a peak, possibly a run on Sterling since as they are pledged not to join the Euro, the pound must therefore be discounted to recognise this reality.
Rule One of the Hackwriters new commandments comes into play;
Thou are damned if thy do and damned if thy don't.

Want more gloom? British manufacturing has lost 650,000 jobs since the start of Labour's reign. The paperwork that clogs UK companies is getting thicker by the day, compounded by all the paperwork that Brussels imposes. Companies such as Vauxhall (GM) have lost £200 on manufacturing their cars in the UK this year and are closing their car plant at Luton. Toyota have lost £50 million so far (mainly on foreign exchange dealings) , Honda is running at a loss and just closed the Accord assembly line down in Swindon. Nissan too are running at a loss in the most productive plant in Europe, all due to the strength of the pound against a weak Euro. (The Euro may get weaker as slippage occurs for distribution and readiness of the coinage and notes before the Jan 1st deadline 2002).

And don’t think it is just manufacturing. Banks too are laying people off. UBS Warburg dispatched 300 bankers this week, and BT (British Telecom) is in trouble. One might add that there are rumours in the city that Andersen Consulting’s new name company Accenture are going to be laying off people both sides of the Atlantic. The economy is still experiencing ‘reality’ and there is a lot more pain to come...

Watching the UK Election on June 7th night was a lot like attending a funeral and each new guests who comes in has to come to the coffin to check the man is truly dead.
That said, the extremely low turnout of just 58 percent meant that either the rest were sure he was dead, or just couldn’t care.

So Friday morning hangovers for British Tories and conservatism. What didn’t play? The Euro for one thing. Far from the pound being something we love and cherish, as William Hague campaigned on, we are all Europeans now and the City called it two days before the election when they started to mark the pound down - sharply.

We are going in, a lot faster than people realise.

Almost every the Tories stood for, Immigration, Asylum, The Pound, Crime, (There was precious little else) has been rejected soundly. They are a party with nothing left to say, nothing be skeletons rattling in a closet, something to scare kids with at Halloween.

There are worries. The size of the vote for the British National party in Asian dominated cities shows us that the right wing politics can only go one way to the extreme and the margins of society. We are a centrist culture and New Labour grabbed the middle ground, as socialists have done in Europe and there is really nothing between us and virtually all the dominant political parties in Europe now.

There is debate of who will be the next Tory leader, but it is an irrelevance. If the British electorate will put up with the worst railways, hospital, schools, roads and infrastructure in Europe and rewards the Government for doing nothing about it, then we are set to have a centre socialist government for a long time indeed. Emboldened you will not have to wait long for taxes to rise...
So thank God it is over, the UK can go back to thinking about those waiting lists for operations, burning sheep and cattle and booking holidays in Spain. Some people say we are a small nation with small ideas now, few expectations and shoddy values. Our newspapers reflect a rejection of merit, all is tawdry celebrity. Well if that is so, we at Hackwriters will celebrate it, we shall write about it, plum the depths of this shallow society and prise out the meaning, squeeze out the truth and put it on our pages.

Life goes on, so do we. Let have no more talk of elections for five years, not four. We have had enough.

Big Issues like this could be discussed. Save the Kit-Kat four. Lets keep the tradition of silver foil wrapping. We don't want plastic wrapped Kit-Kat. Write to your MP. Save the Kit-Kat four now
(For those who might be puzzled. Kit-Kat are changing the wrapping after 75 years from foil to plastic. If there is one thing we hate most in the UK it is change! Write to Nestle, save the Kit-Kat four.)

© Sam North Managing Editor

To be published in New York and available as an e-book or hardcover

email us with a suggestion:


Response to the above from John Prohaska in Canada

I believe the biggest problem with globalisation is that it is not a two way process. Today, the internet is both the most accessible and most international media in the world. But it is
completely dominated by the US, UK, and Canada; First World nations of similar ideologies, similar religions, and the same language. While we may see a postcard-like view of Madras, we
don't learn anything about foreign ideas or methodologies. We project images of handsome young men drinking Coke in Chinos while fondling their buxom supermodel girlfriends and the
world thinks that this is their future if they fall into line.

Unfortunately, the true problem lies not in the West leading the way in globalisation as much as human foolishness. We believe what we see and read and, most of all, what we want to
believe. We accept things without question. We believe that whatever makes our lives easier is the "right" thing. (See the Americanisation of Hawaii and its environmental devastation.) We do not notice what we give up in order to get what we want. (See the strength of the Third World family unit in comparison to the divorce rate and treatment of the elderly in the First World.)
We make no distinction between what we want and what we need. (See human greed, ie; The history of mankind.) Sadly, that is the real problem and, tragically, can not be stemmed by the pulling of a plug.

< Back to Index
< About the Author
< Reply to this Article