Tuesday Afternoon Economics Class
Westminster Parliamentary School
London SW1A 0AA
History Supply Teacher George Osborne has been sent to Westminster on a short term cover for Mr Balls the Economics Grad who unfortunately is away on the school skiing trip to Hlíðarfjall, Akureyri, Iceland. Osborne, who has already jammed the photocopier, corrupted the files for Mr Balls’ GCSE Mocks and failed to turn up to do break duty so that several students were crushed to death in the canteen queue, is now attempting to cover Mr Balls’ lesson.
Osborne: McLoughlin Minor, East Coast Rail are making too much profit for the Government. What do you think should be done about that?
McLoughlin Minor: Privatise with a bidding competition Sir!
Osborne: Erm any other suggestions? No? That’s the answer we were looking for McLoughlin. Well, now we’ll load up that spreadsheet and examine an interesting theory implying that public debt of more than 90% of GDP slows down growth.
Beaker: Mr Osborne Sir, I like your Spreadsheet – It’s so Whizzo.
Herndon puts up his hand.
Osborne: What is it Herndon?
Herndon: “There seems to be a coding error in this RR working spreadsheet which entirely excludes five countries, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, and Denmark, from the analysis.” This spreadsheet error “is responsible for a -0.3 percentage-point error in RR’s published average real GDP growth in the highest public debt/GDP category.” Sir.
Class explodes. Herndon’s right Sir. I can see it here. Where? I’ll show you. Let me see it. Lesson disintegrates……
Osborne: Quiet, Quiet, Will you be quiet etc……
Guardian reports – ‘State ownership of the franchise has been heralded as a success and Directly Operated Railways (DOR) has paid more than £600m in premiums and profits into government coffers in the three years to April 2012.’