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Lecture Circuit
July/August 2011

We're all doomed, as Private Frazer used to say in Dad's Army. Perhaps making helpful suggestions is not what documentary-making is about, but given these two pictures of our dire times, it was something of a relief to watch film-maker Martin Durkin offering a way out of our own little domestic quagmire in his smart and coherent doc, Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

This was first shown on television last year, but it's available on DVD and should be required viewing for everybody who has swallowed the Left-driven narrative that we are facing the most devastating spending cuts in decades. Presenting as well as scripting it, Durkin has great fun with the topic (there's a frustrated actor in there somewhere) and comes over like Barnum with his troupe of actors, graphics and set pieces. Britain's debt, he explains with brilliant clarity, is so vast as a result of government spending and borrowing that it makes the bailout of the banks look like an irrelevant afterthought. Much of the country now has more public money supporting it than did the Eastern bloc in the 1970s, but politicians have neither the knowledge nor the guts to spell out to the public that the current round of "swingeing" cuts will make not a blind bit of difference. 

Durkin's advice is to look eastward, to the glittering success of low-tax Hong Kong, where entrepreneurs talk uninhibitedly about setting the people free to make wealth. Somewhere, something at least is still working.   

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