Gonna' be difficult to pay off, no?

A most amusing little insight into a certain cast of mind. There was a certain odd’un who, back in the 1920s, left a pot of money to pay off the national debt. Sure, it’s grown over time but you know politicians, the debt has grown rather more. So, it never will pay off that national debt.

So, given that the charity cannot do what it was set up to do, pay off the national debt in one lump sum when this was possible, what should happen to the money?

Yup, right, it should be spent on my favourite people:

The National Fund was set up when an anonymous donor supplied £500,000 – a decade after Stanley Baldwin appealed to citizens to help pay the country’s war debts – with a mandate to build an endowment large enough to pay off all the money the UK owes in one go.


Steve Reed, Labour’s shadow charities minister, raised the status of the fund in parliament on Thursday. Afterwards, he said: “This money has sat idly for nearly a century, accumulating in value but contributing nothing to either the national debt or good causes. This money would help charities feed the hungry, house the homeless and care for the sick, as well as supporting other worthy causes.”

Ah yes, nothing about possibly even paying off a little bit, a leeetle bit, of the cash already spent on good causes then. Nope, let’s just splurge it all on more of the same eh? After all, that’s the way votes are bought, isn’t it?

But then you know, politicians are different, can’t see a pot of money without wanting to spray it up the wall.

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Nigel Sedgwickbloke in spainSpike Recent comment authors

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“This money has sat idly for nearly a century, accumulating in value but contributing nothing….”

Money that accumulates in value is not sitting idly; it was invested. It contributed mightily to the nation’s growth, temporarily in other hands. But it “contributed nothing” to any Labourite’s re-election. Mr Reed is expressing Labour’s signature fallacy that no investment is worthwhile unless he makes it.

bloke in spain
bloke in spain

No money is safe when a politician is around. Pickpockets, muggers, politicians. Indistinguishable

Nigel Sedgwick

Is not the plot given by Tim, the gross debt for the USA government, rather than the (more appropriate WRT the linked article) gross debt for the UK government?

The UK plot is here. I’ve used a log scale, as that shows detailed changes over shortish timescales better than does a linear plot.

Best regards