Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Tell it to the ONS, Albert.

Today the Office for National Statistics announced that the UK economy grew 0.8 percent during the third quarter, twice as fast as expected. This now means that the economy has been growing for half a year at a sustained rate of 3.2 percent on an annualised basis -- a remarkable pace.

Its ironic therefore that Albert Owen chose today to write in to the Daily Post to warn, "Every forecast predicts falling growth since [government] measures were announced, hardly cause for optimism. Failure to have adequate growth will lead to stagnation, mass unemployment and rising crime as we saw in the 1980s-90s Tory years".

Albert Owen also takes issue with Wales Office minister, David Jones: "[He] is wrong to suggest that Anglesey is the poorest county in the UK, as no like for like data exists, indeed if areas within the South Wales valleys were measured as single units they would fall behind Anglesey".

Perhaps Albert had better tell the Office for National Statistics (ONS) then, as their latest regional Gross Value Added (GVA) bulletin contains this chart:

Click to enlarge

GVA per head is basically the index most regularly used to compare relative levels of wealth -- and as the above chart clearly shows 'Isle of Anglesey' is right at the bottom with a GVA of just 55.1 percent of the UK average. Please also note that these latest figures are for 2007, i.e. before the closure of Anglesey Aluminium (450 jobs), Eaton Electric (240 jobs), Menai Electrical (50 jobs), Readileads (35 jobs) and the Vion/Welsh Country Foods restructuring (191 jobs).

Of course this is rather embarrassing for Albert because when the constituency he represents is officially declared by the ONS to be the poorest place in the UK, things by definition can't be any worse -- or to put it another way: have not improved at all over the past 13 years of Labour rule.

Anyway if Albert Owen has statistics which prove that we are not after all the poorest place in the UK, I suggest he passes them to the ONS rather than writing quibbling letters to the Daily Post.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi druid, any truth to the rumour you are considering running for the Tories at WAG elections?
(sorry not strictly related to your original blog, although then again maybe it is!)

Between the Lines said...

Albert is reading straight out of the Labour Dictionary. It gets used quite a lot in their literature. If you rearange these words in any order you get a typical Labour Leaflet/Letter/Press Release:
-Doom
-Gloom
-Danger
-Misery
-Stay indoors, it's dangerous

Prometheuswrites said...

If all these figures are from 2007 then surely they are all somewhat redundant given the considerable financial turmoil since 2008.

I'm not saying Ynys Mon isn't the poorest county in the UK (I suspect it is), just that these figures are no longer directly relevant, in terms of today's announcement.

Which would mean that Mr Owen is correct when he says 'like for like', as these figures don't exist.

On the other hand he is incorrect if he's debating the interpretation of the ONS 2007 data.

(Unless there's other ONS data that shows something different, which is quite plausable given the results of Red Flag's, TGC's and Druid's data mining of the ONS files).

Anonymous said...

The ecomomy may be growing but why and what caused it, it surely can't be anything the tories have done, because they haven't done anything yet. They've only announced what they intend to do would this have any effect on the figure

Anonymous said...

23:35 point is surely that the economy is growing strongly, and the recovery is not as fragile as Labour have tried to make out with their daily warnings of a double dip.

The Red Flag said...

Albert Owen and Newer New Labour cannot cherry-pick with the ONS. It works along the lines their government laid out.

I was in Chester today. Massive advert in Frodsham Street (literally billboard size on the roof of a recruitment agency) for Call Centre agents, immediate start, no previous experience, no selling or cold calling, £7.90 plus shift allowance plus weekend allowance, family-friendly shifts available.

That's nearly 8 quid an hour plus fringe on top for unskilled office work.

So Albert, show us that on Anglesey.

The Red Flag said...

before the closure of Anglesey Aluminium (450 jobs), Eaton Electric (240 jobs), Menai Electrical (50 jobs), Readileads (35 jobs) and the Vion/Welsh Country Foods restructuring (191 jobs).

And all the retail jobs at Woolworths, Ethel Austin and all the other shops. Those jobs may not have been as skilled or as high profile, but each and everyone was just as important.

Anonymous said...

Benito Mussolini (The Italian dictator) used to say "the trains in Italy run on time" when most knew they did not but some people still believed him.

How long can Albert hang on, clutching at straws before his credibility is surely blown for good?

No excuses any more, the ship is not sinking, only Albert's life raft!!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you, Druid. It's an interesting point as to why the Daily Post simply regurgitates the information interested parties pass on to them, rather than reporting and testing what is said. They did the same with their Police Authority story, as readers will recall.

Still, I would have to caution the reliance on data even over this length of time; it doesn't yet show what the effects of the NI hike, VAT increases, and the plethora of public spending cuts will have on the overall economy. It might be reasonable to assume things won't grow at this pace for very long.

Let's face it: we know we're on the fringe of the UK, and it's the wrong fringe. Even our Assembly politicians treat north Wales as some distant, largely unimportant outpost - and that's with one of the head honchos as an Anglesey man! The fear of a different language and culture is enough on its own to prevent any serious plans to locate here, let alone the general dowdiness of the place and its rubbish politicians. We can change, but not without a clear-out of outdated, suspicious and inward-looking attitudes.

I wonder if we can have a post about the logic behind a perpetually-growing economy. Seems to me to be a contradiction in terms when we live on a finite planet.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon 9:55 - "I have to agree with you, Druid. It's an interesting point as to why the Daily Post simply regurgitates the information interested parties pass on to them, rather than reporting and testing what is said."

To be fair to the Daily Post, Albert's comments above are in a letter from him in the letters page.

"it doesn't yet show what the effects of the NI hike, VAT increases, and the plethora of public spending cuts will have on the overall economy. It might be reasonable to assume things won't grow at this pace for very long."

This is a reasonable point which I fully accept. But as Anon 23:40 says above, it proves that the recovery is far more robust than Labour (and many parts of the media) have been claiming, with much less likelihood of a double dip recession.

"and that's with one of the head honchos as an Anglesey man!"

I think you'll find that IWJ is from St Asaph...

"I wonder if we can have a post about the logic behind a perpetually-growing economy. Seems to me to be a contradiction in terms when we live on a finite planet."

Again, a reasonable point. But the growth depends on productivity gains. If we can recycle more resources, and process them with increased efficiency and ingenuity, then growth can and will continue.

Anonymous said...

Another good article Druid and one which shows AO and his motley crew to be the country wreckers that they truly are.If they're not actually doing the wrecking they're making every effort to talk it down.
I don't live on Anglesey but come here as there is nothing comparable in the area I live (I have to suffer that petty minded fool Oscar if I want any local shenanigans info) If I were to reside on Anglesey I would be squirming with embarassment every time my MP uttered a word. In fact there is only one area whose MP would cause me to squirm even more and that is Tata Rwan's area in Vale of Clwyd.

Keep up the good work and carry on ignoring pratts like the first reply on this thread.

Anonymous said...

The first reply was a genuine question, which has not yet been answered.

The Druid does an excellent job of shedding light on the incompetence and poor behaviour of others but does not open himself up to the same scrutiny, which I personally feel is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11 48.

May I assume that you posted the first one?

Interesting concept you have about shedding a light and opening up to scrutiny etc.

Why not show the way and identify yourself?

;) said...

Two days ago I promised I'd save the UK economy single handed next year and declared so on my Facebook page.

And lo and behold the economy has improved already.

Thanks and plaudits will be graciously accepted from those who are hailing the Conlib recovery.

Thank goodness Labour didn't put anything in place before the last election to tackle the deficit.

(Take the above and sprinkle liberally (no pun intended) with irony).

Anonymous said...

"May I assume that you posted the first one?

Interesting concept you have about shedding a light and opening up to scrutiny etc.

Why not show the way and identify yourself?"

Because I am not running a public blog making political statements and claims, I have merely asked a valid question,

Anonymous said...

"but does not open himself up to the same scrutiny, which I personally feel is wrong."

But, so far as we can tell, the Druid is not an elected representative. There's no need for him/her to be accountable for the data the ONS produces - it's an official document!

Anonymous said...

It's not a public blog.It's a private one- run by the Druid.

Possibly you still think it's that disgraceful era 1997-2010 when Labour wanted to control everything that people think/do/did from cradle to grave and to dare to bring them to task would be to incur the wrath of the state.


Thankfully your commie days are kaput.

Anonymous said...

"..Because I am not running a public blog making political statements and claims..."

Here's an interesting idea. Instead of bleating about who Druid is why not challenge these political statements and claims with counter statements and claims yourself. That way we can judge whose are more likely to be true.

Luckily for you, you can do so anonymously.

Anonymous said...

It is a clearly a public blog,

the policy here seems to be openess is good as long it does not apply to those on this blog. Those who challenge this 'incur the wrath of the bloggers' for suggesting it should not be this way.

anon 13.27 sounds like one of those paranoid anti-government US militias squirreled away in a Nebraska forest convinced the state is monitoring their every move and wants to destory them,
the truth is probably far more boring but i know a few good hiding spots at newborough if he/she is interested

Anonymous said...

"It is a clearly a public blog,"

And here, we start a bun war. Because, the issue at hand is not whether the Druid's blog is public or private. It's whether the Council and others involved in the public's service are a public body or not. Clearly, Albert Owen is, as is the Council.

To suggest that blogs should not examine, criticise and even congratulate those in public service would be to argue against free speech. Perhaps you would like us to shut up, but few would support you. Reading and contributing to this blog is, after all, not compulsory!

Welsh Ramblings said...

The cranks on here are great- better than my cranks who tend just to be relatively clever lefties and nationalists.

"Possibly you still think it's that disgraceful era 1997-2010 when Labour wanted to control everything that people think/do/did from cradle to grave and to dare to bring them to task would be to incur the wrath of the state.


Thankfully your commie days are kaput."

That's golden. The same Labour that deregulated the post offices, part-privatised the Royal Mail, rolled back the state's control of the NHS in England, wanted to "control everything"! The range of functions the state undertook actually decreased under New Labour- despite their anti-civil liberties agenda. Labour shrunk the state. The confusion stems from the fact they were regressive on civil liberties and grew public sector employment. In terms of state power, they curbed it and left behind a less powerful state than Thatcher did. Not so much commies as soft cons.

Druid- good post but the effects of the CSR won't kick in until next year. That's when the UK Government's policies will be judged. This current growth is mostly in construction- where the state invests through capital expenditure. This is "Darling's growth", I am sad to say (and you know I am fundamentally against Labour and their rule), not the "coalition's growth".

Well done though, as ever, for exposing Albert Owen's statistical blunders, much like the RAF Valley story you nailed him on during the last election campaign.

Anonymous said...

"..newborough if he/she is interested.."

he/she? Clearly you are someone who has been socially engineered to insert this shite everytime you want to refer to someone. Possibly you are one who was involved in such social engineering? You know, when it was de rigeur to do so. Not like nowadays when it is scorned by such as the hypocrit 'andheresoneofmeinmyundies'Chris Bryant.

Welsh Ramlings. Clever lefties and nationalist. Surely an oxymoron?

Welsh Ramblings said...

I like my Anons. My Anons usually rise above the monumentally intellecutal heights of making remarks about Chris Bryant's underpants. Is that clever enough for you?

I like the Druid too(except for when he smeared President Chavez as a dictator), i'm just saying that he attracts alot of cranks! Not because of anything the Druid does or posts but because there aren't that many centre-right blogs in Wales so alot of the right-wing cranks will inevitably gravitate to the comments section of this blog. And post ridiculous things such as alleging New Labour to have been a Communist administration.

Anonymous said...

I did try my best to have something nice to say about Bryant. Honestly.

Which planet were you on when Labour was in government! There were... ah, well what's the point. It's common knowledge anyways, despite you living in cloud cuckoo denial land.

You, being 'fundametally against Labour and their rule' are presumably a right-on with-it sort of guy. Anyone else that was against their rule are obviously right wing cranks. Dear me.I'm not worthy to be in dialogue with such greatness.

Welsh Ramblings said...

"I did try my best to have something nice to say about Bryant. Honestly."

Chris Bryant is a fundamentally conservative, right-wing MP and was one of the most prominent advocates of New Labour in Wales. He supported Blair's illegal wars to the hilt, backed attacks on civil liberties and supported Labour's Thatcherite economic policies. Those things are relevant. His underpants are not.

"Which planet were you on when Labour was in government! There were... ah, well what's the point. It's common knowledge anyways, despite you living in cloud cuckoo denial land."

No really, you need to make some points to defend your absurd allegation that New Labour was "commie". They were (and still are) a centre-right project, through and through. I quite clearly listed why that is so. You have not listed anything to back up your bizarre point.

"You, being 'fundametally against Labour and their rule' are presumably a right-on with-it sort of guy. Anyone else that was against their rule are obviously right wing cranks. Dear me.I'm not worthy to be in dialogue with such greatness."

No. The left opposed New Labour consistently. Welsh and Scottish nationalists opposed Labour consistently. Conservatives only opposed New Labour occasionally, agreeing with them on Iraq, Afghanistan and privatisation.

You are worthy of dialogue with me which is why I am talking to you. I am curious about the crazy point you made, that's all.

The Red Flag said...

@welsh ramblings - I have deduced that the sorts that are devout Daily Telegraph readers seem to think New Labour was some sort of Marxian plot. As a rule they also seem to have a similar view of the EU and of Cameron's version of conservatism.

I fail to see how they come to this conclusion as nothing is further from the truth, New Labour - as you correctly point out, is a centre-right political creed based on neo-liberalist economoics. As is the EU, Cameron's tories and the Lib Dems.

Labour has not been left-of-centre or even centre-left since the early 1980's.

Prometheuswrites said...

Welsh Ramblings:

A pleasure to read your posts.

I think some sort of redefinition of political positions and ideologies is in order.

There are too many outdated assumptions and preconceptions about what the various parties stand for nowadays, often sounding more like what 'their parents/mates down the pub/the redtops' say without a reality check on what's been happening these last 30 years.

Another anon and me said...

Offshore wind farms are not a devolved matter unless of course it comes to funding, then apparently it is. So, whilst English Ports can apply for a share of a £60 million funding pot, Wales will need to find the money itself, although apparently it’ll get a portion of the £60 million based somehow on the Barnett Formula.

So that’s a green light to Liverpool port, and a go ask the Assembly to Holyhead Port. Rather shifting the responsibility there then, maybe demonstrating the Coalition Government thinks that assisting a port in the poorest region in the UK is not a priority.

Think what you may of Albert Owen MP, but at least he was asking some prudent question on this, at the House of Commons today.

See:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-11645601

Old Mona said...

To go back to the Druid's original comment about Albert Owen being in denial about the state of Anglesey's economy and his letters to the Daily Post(owned by Trinity Mirror, who in diiferent guises have been supporting Labour for ever))

Albert will never accept that his time as our representative in Parliament has been anything but a complete success and will never accept any other possibility, like his party who are in complete denial of their part in the financial crisis.

When Blair/Brown/Mandleson and New Labour appeared in the mid nineties I saw that they were just dressed up in new clothes but were still socialists at heart.

The Red Flag said...

When Blair/Brown/Mandleson and New Labour appeared in the mid nineties I saw that they were just dressed up in new clothes but were still socialists at heart.

If you think New Labour or that cabal are in any way socialist you are seriously deluded. They are devotees of neo-liberal economic policy (known in the USA as neo-con), and Bill Clinton's 'third way', neither of which are remotely socialist in any way shape or form. Thatcher was even a fan of Blair and the New Labour project and proudly stated that she had made Labour electable.

New Labour's big weakness was it trusted big business - a remarkably stupid thing to do.

Welsh Ramblings said...

Prometheuswrites- thank you, friend. Any intelligent person can see what a party is trying to do by looking at their actual policies, rather than at rubbish from tabloids.

Old Mona said- "When Blair/Brown/Mandleson and New Labour appeared in the mid nineties I saw that they were just dressed up in new clothes but were still socialists at heart."

You must have had your eyes closed then, seeing as Blair's first major pledges were to inherit Tory rax rates, keep spending down and continue with privatisations. He quite openly offered a continuation of Conservative policy with some minor and mostly cosmetic tweaks.

The Parliamentary record shows the Tories voting with Blair on the majority of major issues that faced Welsh and British people in the 1990s and 2000s.

If they really were "socialists" then they must have been a particularly counter-productive and self-defeating kind. They were (and are) no more "socialist" than Nick Clegg or David Cameron, and probably less so than Vince Cable and Charles Kennedy.

Puck said...

Red Flag:

"New Labour's big weakness was it trusted big business - a remarkably stupid thing to do."

That's because "politics is the entertainment branch of Big Business" (attributed to Frank Zappa)

Anonymous said...

It was Labour that bailed the Banks out, no wonder were in a mess, don't blame me, but Labour have left Wales as a very poor relation in this marriage called Britain.

The Red Flag said...

Anonymous said...
It was Labour that bailed the Banks out


It wouldn't have mattered who was in power they would have had to bail the banks out. As a moot point, the banks at first resisted by refusing to admit how much of a mess they were in. We were actually three hours away from no banks opening, no cash point machines, no direct debits being paid, no credit or debit cards working, chip and ppin not working, every loan in the country being immediately foreclosed and anything to fdo with money - real or electronic - stopping dead in it's tracks. It was only the government 'nuclear weapon' of the threat of immediate and permanent nationalisation of the entire banking industry with no payment to the banks that finally made them give in.

no wonder were in a mess The mess was caused by too many people having mortgages, house prices rising, too many people with credit cards and too many loans. That I would suggest is actually capitalism not socialism.

The other mess was to much government spending - for which Labour were responsible - but they aren't socialist either.