Thursday, October 21, 2004

Lord Pearson scores another goal

Actually, I am not at all sure Lord Pearson of Rannoch particularly likes the idea of sporting metaphors used in connection with his activity in the House of Lords (except for country sports ones) but that seems to me to be the best way of putting it.

In another short debate yesterday on the UK trade deficit in the House of Lords, during which Lord Dykes showed his ignorance of basic economic facts by suggesting that the British deficit and French and German surplus and export boom proved that we should be in the euro, Lord Pearson asked:
“My Lords, does the Minister agree that our trade deficit with the countries of the euro-zone is substantial, standing at perhaps record levels? If so, do the Government also accept that this means that the countries of the euro-zone have many more jobs dependent on their trade with us than we have dependent on our trade with them?”
Lord McIntosh was lift to equivocate yet again:
“My Lords, I agree with one of the premises and not with the conclusion. I agree that we have a serious deterioration in our trade deficit with the European Union. It is matched by an increase in real effective growth in sterling against a basket of currencies. It is caused largely by higher UK growth, which means that there is an increase in imports from the European Union countries. That does not lead us to the conclusion of the noble Lord, Lord Pearson.”
Well, it might lead to several conclusions and Lord Pearson’s is one of them.

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