The ONS has blamed one-off events for low GDP figures – 0.2 per cent growth – in the second quarter. Britain is a “safe haven in the storm” at a time of real international instability, George Osborne said. We have seen the first draft of his speech.
“……And I take great reassurance that in a sea of financial disaster, surrounded by the shattered fiscal remains of Greece, Italy, Iceland and Portugal, our great nation is nothing less than a safe haven of economic growth. A rock, no less. For sure, that growth is less exceptional than it would have been, due to several one-off factors.
The weather was slightly too cold at the start of the year and a bit too warm later on; and quite windy as well. The tragic events in Japan have undermined our crucial supply chains. And the Royal Family have only themselves to blame by organising a wedding – instigating an economically disruptive Bank Holiday – at such a sensitive time.
I could point the finger elsewhere. Lady Gaga went on tour during the spring, which kept a significant number of productive units away from their desks. Nick Clegg indulged in a five-day visit to Brazil, when he could have been marshalling the forces of economic activity back home. It has reached my attention that the plots in Coronation Street have been sub-standard of late.
There were the wrong types of leaves on the line. And the dog ate my homework.”