UK 22 August 2008 Who would Jesus vote for? The price of limes, the credit crunch and Downing Street's bizarre response to calls for Jeremy Clar NSSign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. An unhappy birthday It was warrior-poet turned California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who first predicted the current world's economic crisis. “Crunch, squeeze, crunch,” he explained in his seminal fitness video. One year ago this week, the global credit crunch began. Yet while Mervyn King forecasts stagnation and recession for us limeys – the American economy continues to enjoy a comparatively healthy 1.5 percent growth rate. Mortgage rates also remain low and the Fed ship appears to be holding steady. Back in Blighty, David Smith’s EconomicsUK reported ongoing disagreements in the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee over whether to reduce or raise rates. Meanwhile John Redwood, he who puts the smackdown on regulation, urged that we note America’s apparent resilience, and turn our back on Europe: “Euroland either is now going backwards or is on the edge of declines in output. In which case the UK strategy under this government of hitching us more firmly to the EU governmental bandwagon is doubly foolish, being bad economics as well as bad politics.” The economic future of the US remains opaque though. Obama has a plan, but over on the Huffington Post, one time NS writer Johann Hari questions John McCain’s ability to handle an economy in flux, concluding: “The biggest question in US politics should be: would you buy a mortgage from this man?” Meanwhile, the E. F. Schumacher Society blog directs us to news that the delightful town of Lewes (or as East Sussex Council ought really to brand it “Norman Baker country”), has found a solution to local economic woes. They’re issuing their own currency. What have we learned this Week? The Socialist Workers Party, acting on behalf of Unite Against Fascism, has given us a highly original definition of the Holocaust, we learn via Harry’s Place. Apparently it was: “…where thousands of LGBT people, trade unionists, and disabled people were slaughtered". Any groups missing from that list? More charitable readers might judge that the SWP are a contemptibly idiotic bunch. It seems unlikely thatSearchlight would have made a similar blunder. Across the Pond Ann Coulter wannabe Michelle Malkin reports that “black pro-lifers” are to protest at a prominent Planned Parenthood clinic. The protesters include wacky Alan Keyes, the former GOP senatorial candidate for Illinois, who claimed that Christ wouldn’t vote for Obama. Whoever he’d vote for; doesn’t it make you want to thank him for the measured tenor of public discourse in Britain? Videos of the Week For once, all eyes have turned to the Downing Street website - which has issued a bizarre video response to calls for loudmouth motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson to be installed as PM. What strange times we live in. Quote of the Week “Having just been down to the local Tesco to buy some limes I thought I should share with you the fact that they have gone up in price by 33 percent!” Iain Dale laments the impact of inflation of citrus fruit. › Lost in maps Paul Evans is a freelance journalist, and formerly worked for an MP. He lives in London, but maintains his Somerset roots by drinking cider. Subscribe To stay on top of global affairs and enjoy even more international coverage subscribe for just £1 per month!