Murphmaniac’s lovely logic

Whoever you ask the UK is the fifth largest economy in the world. The sources are reliable: don’t question the use of Wikipedia on this occasion.

I make the point that whatever data you look at the UK is the fifth biggest economy in the world. And that is after 43 years of EU membership.

How we use that wealth; to whom we distribute it; what investment we make for the future: all those things are open to question. But if we deal in facts the EU has done us rather well, it would seem.

The UK is the fifth largest economy in the world so therefore the EU has done us well.

In 1970, before the UK joined the EU, it was also the fifth largest economy in the world (barring the Soviet Union which does not exist today of course).

And so I doubled my research budget and checked GDP per head:

So now we drop as low as 21st, but let’s be honest, that’s after taking some oil states, San Marino and a massive pile of tax havens where the GDP data is as dubious as can be – and is certainly not available to the local population – into account.

In 1970 the UK was, leaving out the oil states and tax havens, 16th in GDP per capita.


43 thoughts on “Murphmaniac’s lovely logic”

  1. What does he have against all of the Nordic countries? All of whom average a greater GDP per capita than the UK during that 70s.

  2. ‘And that is after 43 years of EU membership.’

    And after 36 years or so of neo-liberal, turbo-charged laissez faire, dog eat dog, Thatcherite neo-somethingelse. Maybe it was that?

    And not surprising GDP per capita may have declined – if the number of economically inactive capitas go up. Man’s a tool.

  3. Norway and Switzerland aren’t doing bad either; Greece and Portugal less so.

    Of course, as Widdershins pointed out, the EU is busy selling itself, via the Remain campaign, as a free market nirvana. He hasn’t quite got around to thinking about that yet.

  4. As a slight aside, I have had a very interesting exchange on social media this morning with a group of, er, friends, who think they’re going to spend this referendum campaign screaming “Liars!” just like they do every GE but substituting ‘Brexit’ for ‘Tories’. When I pointed out that the Treasury paper was drawn up for and by George Osborne and maybe, just maybe, they need to screw their brain cells up right and think up a new narrative, well, they became all Interested-Ecks-SMFS on me. Very abusive they were.

    Still, it is a fun game to play with lefty Remainers.

  5. Of course, the UK is a bit more neo-liberal and capitalist now than in 1970.

    In fact, lots of things have changed since 1970.

  6. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells

    The logic I’ve heard from leftie remainders is that things have improved since the 70’s because of the EU and got worse because of Tories and New Labour.

    There’s no convincing them that they’ve got it the wrong way around.

  7. Jackart

    1. The figures are from Richard Murphy and, he claims, support the Remain case.

    2. I know this is cheap, but Jackart comes up on my spellchecker as Jackass.

  8. Jackal-Heart is a better designation for this BluLabour sleaze.

    “I dislike the Soviet Union intensely but I’m voting to remain in”.

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    Ironman – “Norway and Switzerland aren’t doing bad either; Greece and Portugal less so.”

    There is a famous exchange where someone told Milton Freidman that thanks to socialism there was no poverty in Sweden. To which he replied that there was no poverty among Swedish Americans either.

    So I wonder why Norway is doing well and Portugal is not? Must be bad luck.

    Ironman – “they became all Interested-Ecks-SMFS on me. Very abusive they were.”

    You mean someone treated you the way you treat other people? Do tell. I am sure we are all fascinated.

    “Still, it is a fun game to play with lefty Remainers.”

    Live by PC hysteria, die by PC hysteria.

  10. Off topic but jaw-dropping in its implications……from the BBC talking about migrants in Rome….

    “Whizzing mopeds, chiming church bells, vibrant piazzas and bustling cafes. Quintessential images of Italy as many of us believe it to be.

    But walk through Rome’s Piazza Vittorio these days and you could be forgiven for believing you were in London.

    You hear Arabic here and Punjabi there. Romanian, Chinese and Afghan voices fill the air.

    Cheap Korean, Indian and Egyptian eateries try to entice you with flashing neon signs.”

    So Arabic, Punjabi, Romanian and Korean eateries etc are now symbols of Britain?

  11. Rob:”Wasn’t he flirting a bit with leaving the EU a while back?”

    According to BluLab bullshiters so was Camoron.

  12. Jackart said:

    From wikipedia:

    World bank has UK at 26 in 1972 & 16 in 2014.
    IMF 21 in 1980 and 13 in 2014

    Whence your figures, Worstall?

    From the wikipedia links UK is 13th for 2016, which as it’s only April must be a projection. The figures for 2014 puts us 19th.

    To get to the point Tim Worstall was making look at the UK’s position in 1970 (26th) and note the various exceptional economies above it. Oil states and tax havens. Excluding these the UK moves up the table quite a bit.

    Then note the UK’s position in more recent real years and you’ll see that the UK is slightly higher up the table than in 1970 but there are also fewer oil states and tax havens above the UK that could perhaps be excluded. The net result is our relative position on either GDP or GDP per capita has not changed much despite EU membership.

  13. Was it this time last year that Murph was frotting himself silly at the pronouncements of Varoufakis and denouncing the neo liberal lack of democracy in the EU?

  14. @Rocco

    He’s not the only one.

    Howard Reed 02/07/15 ‘there is actually a reasonably strong case for leaving the EU’

    Howard Reed 14/07/15 ‘ I think it will have to be a no for me in the EU referendum’

    Howard Reed 18/04/16 ‘While I’m in favour of staying in the EU’

    Andrew Dickie 13/07/15 ‘ I am afraid I no longer want to belong to a neo-feudal Berlin Pact and will be voting to leave in the 2017 (sic) referendum’

    Andrew Dickie 25/10/15 ‘ I am an ardent European, and would gladly see the creation of a United States of Europe’

    Richard Murphy 04/11/13 – ‘ I do instead refer to the fundamental tents on which the EU was built, because they are wrong.’

    ‘..But does that mean we have to leave the EU? I doubt it as yet, although I have never ruled t out.’

    Richard Murphy 12/10/12 ‘ Governments across Europe are having to give up powers to the EU and must impose austerity on demand.

    This is democracy?’

  15. Worzel

    That’s genius – all three of them would have been in favour of a Europe run by the USSR as well – the man is an inveterate buffoon who wouldn’t know ‘consistency’ if it walked up and shook him by the hand…..

  16. Worzel

    Can you search out anything similar from the other two members of ‘the Gang of Four’, Carol Wilcox and Ivan Horrocks as well?

  17. “In fact, lots of things have changed since 1970.”

    One of the biggest changes, which I think has been under-rated, because I don’t see it mentioned as much as some others, was the abolition of Exchange Controls in 1979.

    I don’t know why successive British Governments thought that maintaining exchange controls for many decades after the war was not going to cripple a global trading economy.

    Once those went, things improved markedly, and (a rare event) an entire pernicious government bureaucracy was abolished.

  18. CHF

    Which is why Murphy would immediately reintroduce them – precisely because in his eyes their existence prevented wealth fleeing the country. For him it is all about total state control – that is his rason d’etre, Absurd Venn diagrams and metaphors about a cappuccino aside that is the entire thrust of the ‘Curajus state’….

  19. How many people have died since UK joined the EU?

    People must be reminded over and over:

    Correlation is not causation.

  20. I don’t pretend to be very knowledgeable, economically speaking. However, I do believe there must surely be more knowledgeable folk, economically speaking. Than you gang of shits. Surely?….

  21. KJ
    April 19, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    I don’t pretend to be very knowledgeable, economically speaking.


    Then what are you pretending to be knowledgeable of?

  22. “I don’t pretend to be very knowledgeable, economically speaking. However, I do believe there must surely be more knowledgeable folk, economically speaking. Than you gang of shits. Surely?….”

    Gang of shits? We form a cohesive single-minded group? Surely shome mishtake: This is as ignoble a crowd of disagreers as one might reasonably hope to happen upon.

  23. @Gamecock

    KJ seems to be very good at being an obnoxious Berk but I suspect that that’s natural aptitude rather than any knowledge.

  24. “Than you gang of shits.”

    Sweet, I’m in a gang. Something tells me that KJ isn’t going to survive the initiation ritual.

    In regards to Murphyloon’s attempted point, I’m lost. His argument seems to be the UK is about as well off as before the EU. That doesn’t seem to be a ringing endorsement for Bremain.

  25. Just a thought, if a country or a significant group in a country demonstrates expertise in some area of financial interest, what does that country gain by not belonging to a bloc? Of course the reverse question should also be asked : what does that country gain from being in the bloc.

  26. @ Gamecock, April 19, 2016 at 10:49 pm
    It’s not a GANG! It’s a club.

    Whichever, we need a secret sign, like the Vulcans have.

    I suggest, 2 V-signs (index & middle fingers of each hand) placed together to for a ‘W’.

  27. Ivan The terrible 17/02/15 ‘ Still, as you note in your blog, at least we now see European democracy for what it: a charade of proportions that the generations that came before us would have believed unimaginable unless imposed by military force’

    Ivan Excuser of Mass Murder as long as the story’s a Good One 30/06/15 ‘ So, whatever happens in Greece on Sunday, Syriza and its supporters can be proud that they were courageous enough to stand up and expose the corrupted heart at the centre of the EU project.’

    Ivan the Horror 14/07/15 ‘ Had I not been busy decorating yesterday, I intended to make a comment….. What we have seen over the past few days must be the biggest advert for voting to quit the EU that I can possibly think of. So yes, I find myself in exactly the same situation as you’ (Funny that!)

    Ivan the Awful Fawning Sycophant 18/04/16 (In response to comment from James ‘ I will vote to stay in’) – ‘I’ll be doing the same as you James’

  28. Worzel

    Absolutely agree with your characterisation of Ivan ‘The Terribly sorry but ‘Social Justice’ demands we will have to wipe you out’ Horrocks – Thanks so much – fantastic – I will have to see if these comments can be filtered in by either Zhou Enlai, Erich Mielke or perhaps even Lavrenti Beria if that classic stool pigeon known to frequent both here and TRUK is off the internet.

    You might struggle with Wilcox – for her the sword is probably mightier than the pen – can’t recall anything from her on the EU – my guess is she skips those columns to sign death warrants – but no doubt we’ll get DBCReed on another thread saying ‘she’s really nice’ and extolling the LVT as the key to ‘life, the universe and everything’ and a cure for cancer.

  29. To be fair to the wicked old harridan, she’s been a pretty consistent ‘out’ supporter, which would explain her absence of comment on things EU on Murph’s blog. Of course, it’s not out of the question that he’s just blocking anything that isn’t toadying agreement with his position, even if it from one of the gang of four.

  30. Worzel

    Of course those comments from a year ago were made immediately after a full-on leftist government was prevented from.spending another nation’s money whatever way it liked. This was undemocratic according to Murphy, who had the gall to tell me that the German people wanted the Greeks to spend it and those Germans that don’t didn’t..well, “lessons from history” wink wink. Back then the EU was profoundly undemocratic.

    How peculiar then that it should have become so profoundly democratic within the space of twelve months.

    How peculiar also that the biggest argument Murphy and his zombies can produce involves potential damage to the City.

  31. Digging around in the Murph archives is like mining for bitcoins. Every so often you find a real gem:

    14/7/15: “I have said my dream of Europe has come to end. It’s time to build a new one.

    I will be working on it.” I guess we can all sleep more easily at nights now.

    From another post on that day: “I grew up with a European dream. Born in 1958 I was politically aware from a very young age. Much informed my early views, but most influences were, inevitably, personal. I wanted comprehensive education because of the damage the 11 plus caused to my family” It’s not every family that can be damaged by an exam. He is truly the special one. I found it hard not to burst out laughing when I read that sentence.

    “This is about the raw, cold, power of money where that power is used to subjugate, oppress and demean.

    That is not a Europe I want a part of.” It didn’t take him long to change his mind.

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