Film maker Martin Durkin explains the full extent of the financial mess we are inFurther to my recent post, Britain’s Trillion Pound Horror Story will be transmitted on Channel 4, next Thursday, 11 Nov at 9pm:

Film maker Martin Durkin explains the full extent of the financial mess we are in: an estimated £4.8 trillion of national debt and counting. It’s so big that even if every home in the UK was sold it wouldn’t raise enough cash to pay it off.

Durkin argues that to put Britain back on track we need to radically rethink the role of the state, stop politicians spending money in our name and introduce, among other measures, flat taxes to make Britain’s economy boom again.

This is a polemical film presented by Martin Durkin. The film brings economic theory to life and makes it hit home. It includes interviews with academics, economic experts, entrepreneurs and four ex-Chancellors of the Exchequer.

I gave quite a lengthy interview – I look forward to seeing how it has been cut…

More detail is available here.

Update: With this post attracting so much traffic via Google, I’d like to recommend my recent speech on money and banking which comprises most of the information I gave in an interview for the film. Unfortunately, the interview didn’t make the final cut.

You can find the video and slides here.


  1. Hello, do you think that the NHS is the worst healthcare system in the developed world? Thanks.

    • Hi,

      As a student nurse, I would agree that the NHS is the worst system in the world. My first day on the ward, I decided to purchase private health insurance. The standard of care is appalling and having spent 10 years working in care in the private sector I honestly believe that it should be closed down and privatised.

      Sorry. Just how I see it.

  2. Daniel Stoodley


    There has to be an element of truth in what’s been said in this program. Personally, I would like to see a top down clear out of the District and Local councils, get rid of the free loaders, that we all know exist, to make way for the new era. Also, why are so many of the public services drowning in paperwork when we live in a digital era?? If ANY Government applied just a small faction of common sense we’d all be in a much better place right now.

  3. Hi,

    All the points raised in this programme exactly matched my experiences and perceptions of the last many years.

    A local government officer told me off record in 2008 that 50% of all local government employees and services (sic) could be axed without anybody noticing (other that is than the public sector employees who are paid to provide them). Quote: “It would make no difference to public services.”

    It is a shame that the programme was presented in such a schoolroom way but then again anything too complicated would no doubt have put some people off.

    I have to give credit to Alistair Darling and Brendan Barber for actually facing the camera even though they were respectively and predictably disingenuous and clueless. A pity that they were treated with kid gloves when one considers what they and their colleagues were/are party to. Of course it should have been messrs Blair, Brown and Balls but no chance of that. Elsewhere the several Labour MPs and two Conservative MPS were equally avoiding the issue and/or ignorant of the subject in question.

    Two fundamental points that were not made:
    1) The apparent economic incompetence of Labour/Blair/Brown/Balls et al was as much political dogma and by deliberate design as it was mere stupidity. They surely knew the damage they were causing and the inevitable consequences, how could they not, but carried on regardless.
    2) This mismanagement and abuse, theft even, of taxpayers’ money is made possible by the wholly unaccountable nature of British governance. They can and indeed do exactly as they please almost without let or hindrance because the masquerade of what is pleased to call itself democracy in this country is nothing of the sort. The entire edifice of British governance, the armed forces including national security and the police are pledged to protect Parliament and the Crown, not the electorate.

    I would recommend all with an open mind and common sense to read A view from the foothills, the diary of ex-Labour minister and MP Chris Mullins for an insight into just where Labour’s priorities lay, their cavalier attitude to our money, their unwarranted belief in their moral superiority, the spurious morality, misplaced priorities and opinions (contempt in some cases) of the British indigenous populace at large.

    In my opinion we are de facto at war with the political classes and their administrative counterparts and I believe that the (understandable) outrage this programme has caused to the uninformed, ill informed and supine will simply be ignored. The rest of us already knew what was and is still going on.

    Nothing will change, the politicos/bureaucrats/civil administration/lawyers will just sit on their hands and wait for the dust to settle. After all they cannot be touched can they? All one can say of the current administration is that at least they are not Labour who were, are and in perpetuity remain the worst option.

    Normal service will be resumed and as for exhorting the British to adopt the work ethics of the Hong Kong Chinese, there would be more chance of scaling Annapurna in plimsoles.

    How could they in any case, there is no way forward without the jobs, money and co-operation of those in charge, over half, possibly two thirds of the British populace live in permanent or part time debt and hardly possess the proverbial pot to piss in. Forever compromised by a high cost of goods and services (thanks to taxes) and inadequate or even no disposable income.

    This even before we take into account the antics of the banks/lenders and the labyrinthine regulatory fascism relentlessly imposed by HMG via the EU.

    As an MP Mr. Baker you are fully aware of all this are you not.

  4. A straight answer would be easy, though it would need to be backed up by credible research comparing the health care systems of thw world that shows that the NHS is the worst system in the developed world. However, there is no research which shows this.

    Previous research on the subject, such as that done by the World Health Organisation, which is easy to find, had the UK ranked 18th on overall healthcare system performace, 12th for preventable deaths, it was the 41st highest spender on health per GDP and was 14th for healthy life expectancy. Certainly not the best, but nowhere remotely near the worst.

    You cannot formulate opinions on international health care systems performaces based on personal and localised experiences in the health care sector.

    I just think saying ‘the NHS is the worst healthcare system in the developed world,’ as they did on the programme, is an incredibly bold statement to make when it’s not backed up by any evidence whatsoever.

    I’ll just ask the question again, do you think the NHS is the worst healthcare system in the developed world?

    • The NHS is not the worst system in the world, it could simply be a lot better for a lot cheaper. Look at germany, no NHS, state insurance and hospitals like hotels. The answer to healthcare isn’t having a blanket ‘free’ healthcare system, but rather to privatise hospitals so they compete among themselves, bringing costs down and standards up, whilst having ‘free’ insurance available. The same also applies to schools, with state schools receiving a certain amount per pupil, so they have to fight for every pupil

  5. Steve,

    Do you agree with the program that it is essential to cut corporation tax and income tax to a maximum of 20%, scrap VAT and NI in order to stimulate growth in the UK?