4 July 2011

Let’s begin the week with a sideshow: here are two notable examples of words coming back to haunt.

Alec Salmon, the leader of the Scottish nationalists, spoke at Harvard University on 31 March 2008. You can read Salmon’s speech here.

Celtic what? Arc of what?
In his speech Salmon talked of an “arc of prosperity” made up of Ireland and Iceland with Norway and Scotland. He described Ireland, as others had, as “the Celtic tiger economy”. He said that in the Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS Scotland had “global leaders today, tomorrow, and for the long-term”.

Of course, it isn’t just Salmon.

No more what?
Remember Gordon Brown trumpeting how he and the Labour government had brought economic stability and ended the cycle of boom and bust? For example, in the 2006 budget when he said, “No return to boom and bust” (Hansard 22 March 2006 column 288) and in his last budget when he said, “We will not return to the old boom and bust” (Hansard 21 March 2007 column 816).

In his speech at the Mansion House on 20 June 2007 he was triumphal about the British economy and spoke of “a new world order” and said he was “more optimistic than ever about the future of our islands”. Britain was a “world leader in stability”. Read the speech here.

Now laugh/cry/mock/shudder.

And then there’s…
David Young, at the time the government’s enterprise adviser, telling the Daily Telegraph 18 November 2010 that most people in Britain today “have never had it so good” in “this so-called recession”.

And who can forget…
Tony Blair telling the Commons and country that the intelligence about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was “extensive, detailed, and authoritative”(Hansard 2 September 2002 column 3).

Let me add
David Cameron 7 March 2011: “I am bringing the Cabinet to Derby today with one purpose – to do everything we can to help businesses in the region create the jobs and growth on which the future of our economy depends.”

16 June 2011 Bombardier, the train-making company at Derby, loses the contract for Thameslink carriages after it is given by the UK government to a consortium led by Siemens of Germany. 5 July 2011 Bombardier announces it will axe 1429 jobs, largely as a consequence of losing the Thameslink contract.

EDIT: Cameron and Bombardier item added 15 July 2011