Post-Referendum Debrief July 31st

Cameron cronies honoured

The Sunday Times leads with the story “Revealed: Cameron’s honours for cronies”, and continues “Prominent Campaigners to remain in the EU, including four Cabinet Ministers, are in line for Knighthoods”, along with major Remain donors.

It may not be possible to bring the Honours System into more disrepute than it already faces. But rewarding only one side in the campaign — and the losing side, at that — shows cynicism on a grand scale. If Cameron is deliberately trying to undermine the Honours System entirely, he’s going about it the right way.

Hinkley C Latest

Now Vince Cable (everybody’s favourite uncle, as I like to think of him) is spilling the beans from previous Cabinet debates. He says that Theresa May had always expressed reservations about allowing the growth of Chinese investment in the UK. Was he right to tell secrets out of Cabinet? And if she had those concerns, were they justified? You be the judge. I have a simpler question: if we’re prepared to let the Chinese and French governments invest in Hinkley C — why wouldn’t it be better to let the British government invest in it?

At least if it were a British government which had invested £18 billion in Hinkley C, it might be less likely to bring in damaging and capricious energy regulation and taxation.

The Telegraph adds a detail: Cable says that May privately demanded security vetting for would-be Chinese investors. Can’t blame her for that. Makes sense.

Axeing Hinkley could cost £2.5 billion: The Times reports that cancelling the Hinkley project at this stage (which now looks at least a strong possibility) could leave tax-payers with a bill of £2.5 billion (yes, Billion with a capital “B” — not million). Cheerless news.

Merkel under fire for open-door immigration policy

Angela Merkel has stuck boldly to her open-door immigration policy. But now, thousands of German citizens are taking to the streets to demand that Merkel should go, and to oppose open-door immigration.

Maybe it’s time to buy shares in Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD), the German eurosceptic party which opposes open-door immigration.

The tone of the debate in Germany is becoming increasingly toxic, as pro-immigration groups call themselves “anti-Nazi”, implying that reasonable concerns about mass immigration are equivalent to racism, if not genocide. The immigration and European debates in Germany are bedevilled by the shadow of the Nazi legacy.

Farmers and “Regrexit”

Searching as ever for anti-Brexit stories, the Indy picks up a legitimate question from the Earl of Sandwich John Montagu, in the House of Lords, about future farm subsidies after Brexit, and turns it in to a “Farmers now regret voting to leave” story.

The Noble Earl is perfectly entitled to ask the question — and many on the Tory benches have an ideological uneasiness about subsidies. But the fact is that all farming in developed countries (more or less) is subsidised (and EU farm subsidy levels, contrary to public perception, are about average in global terms). All politicians in Westminster know that subsidies are essential to maintain the agriculture industry in the UK. They know that British agriculture is essential for food security, for our balance of payments and for maintaining the rural environment. They would be mad if they failed to continue farm support at more or less current levels (but hopefully with less bureaucracy and box-ticking).

It’s a sad statistic that the average age of farmers in the UK is around sixty. But at least they’re old enough to remember that we had a perfectly good farm support regime in the UK before 1973, when we joined the “Common Market”. We will continue to have one after Brexit.

We have a choice. Do we want a farm support mechanism designed in Britain for British farmers? Or a farm support mechanism designed in Brussels for French farmers?

Aid for trade

And now a little piece of good news. The Telegraph reports that post-Brexit Britain will leverage its massive foreign aid budget to promote trade deals. It was absolute lunacy that we failed to do this in the past (and lunacy to commit to 0.7% of GDP in foreign aid). But if we’re going to spend this money, let’s at least see some return for it. A little hint of sanity returning.

Barclays’ benighted future

Barclays’ Bank publishes its assessment of prospects for UK and EU economies post-Brexit. Sadly, they haven’t “got it”, their forecasts today seem to be just a rehash of Project Fear. They seem to take no account of the up-sides of liberation.

My suggestion is: let’s trust what we see in the real world, rather than the down-beat forecasts of the pessimists. But that’s not what the City expects:

“City bets on interest rate cuts and more stimulus to boost the economy”: So reports the Sunday Telegraph. Maybe they should read Allister Heath’s column from Saturday: “Britain is roaring ahead of US and Europe”. It’s time to stop talking ourselves down — and to start making the most of the opportunities that Brexit offers.

“Rate cut could cost UK banks £1.3 million”:This is Money” reports estimates that a further 0.25% rate cut by the Bank of England, expected this week, is likely to cost British banks around £1.3 billion. If so, it seems unlikely that the BoE rate cut will be reflected in lower borrowing costs for customers.

Theresa May to miss the Olympics

Now here’s a first. I don’t think I’ve ever before cited a story from the Sports pages. For me, they’re like Tolkien’s “South Harad, where the stars are strange” (and some of the stars on the sports pages really are strange). But The Telegraph sports pages report that our Prime Minister Theresa May has decided to miss the Rio Olympics “in order to focus on Brexit”. And so she should. Karen Brady and Tracey Crouch will take her place. Whether fears of the Zika virus played any part in the decision, we don’t know.

Port Talbot: Decision next year?

Port Talbot has been out of the headlines for a while. But now the Telegraph reports that Welsh steel workers may have to wait until next year for a decision, while Tata struggles to finalise a deal with Germany’s Thyssen-Krupp.

Shoppers head back to the stores

This is Money” reports research showing that after a short Brexit blip, shoppers are returning to the high street, and retail sales are more or less on trend. However it adds “This is despite very low consumer confidence”. Another example of a phenomenon I have pointed out before. The real facts — in this case footfall on the high street — look good. But expectations and confidence look negative, whether it’s the Purchasing Manager’s Index or consumer confidence. Yesterday at the UKIP Chairman’s Conference in Derby, out-going party Chairman Steve Crowther (to whom the Party owes a great debt of gratitude) launched a leaflet outlining all the positive post-Brexit news. We need to get out there and make the point. We Won. And it’s Working.

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18 Responses to Post-Referendum Debrief July 31st

  1. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Just testing

  2. Sheila says:

    Does anyone truly believe that when the vote goes to the HOC they will vote out , if you do you are far more optimistic than I am , I truly believe it is all a farce to make it look democratic .

    • catweazle666 says:

      If they know what’s good for them, they’d better.

      If not, they will suffer for it in the future. make no mistake.

      The HoL may not be elected, but they are still public servants, and hold their cushy, well-remunerated sinecures on public sufferance.

      Despite what a lot of people seem to believe, Great Britain is still a democracy, the electorate is still the power in the land and we react badly to being hectored, threatened and treated as stupid uninformed children, as Cameron and Osborne found out to their cost.

  3. Oliver K. Manuel says:

    Thank you, Roger, for having the courage to discuss openly social stresses that exposed government deceit and may eventually restore humanity to contact with reality.

    Francis William Aston described – in the last paragraph of his Nobel Lecture on 12 DEC 1922 – a MYSTERIOUS source of energy in atomic rest masses that could not be explained until ten years later, after Chadwick discovered the neutron in 1932:

    Aston said, in his 1922 Nobel Lecture, this MYSTERIOUS source of energy offered humanity “powers beyond the dreams of scientific fiction”, but it remained a “nuclear secret” after being used to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

    Precise atomic rest mass measurements at Brookhaven National Laboratory have now revealed this “Mysterious Nuclear Secret” (blue dots):

    Click to access Good-Bad_NEUTRON_REPULSION.pdf

    May this information speed society’s recovery and contact with reality!

    that offered

  4. Frances Fox says:

    Roger, I agree with Teresa May over the Hinkley business. Surely they could do something made for and by Britain. The way it was arranged left me with the fear of France and China being able to use it as a tool over Britain to their advantage, .


    • catweazle666 says:

      The whole Hinkley thing was some sort of ghastly Blairite initiative, and hence extremely likely to be deeply flawed and rife with underhand dealings right from the start.

      Thank heavens May seems to have seen the light on this utterly egregious white elephant.

  5. “Karen Brady and Tracey Crouch” will represent the country at the Olympics because the Prime Minister is too busy.
    Who are these people?
    In my own view, the Queen is the sovereign and it is her job to represent the country, not that of her Minister however important. If Her Majesty is indisposed (as well she might be at her age) there are several other Royals (as at Wimbledon) who can represent her.
    Karen Brady and Tracey Crouch ought to be very ashamed of themselves for assuming the job of the Royal Family.

    • catweazle666 says:

      Why bother in the first place?

    • Jane Davies says:

      Good point, instead of unknown people representing the UK I’m sure there is a royal, even a minor one, who can get off their well dressed backside and go and represent the people of GB especially if it is one of the family who is supported by the taxpayers. As a former Olympian I’m sure Anne could step up.

  6. Richard111 says:

    Hope someone explains to Theresa May that the ‘slavery’ problem is mostly due to the EU ‘open door’ policy.

  7. ilma630 says:

    The point about the average age of farmers is indeed very worrying. The gov’t’s farming support should ensure young farmers know they will be able to run viable businesses.

  8. thanks Roger for helping me to continue to follow UKIP after Nigel’s resignation. I was over the moon with the result and want article 50 to be invoked asap. I must just say that I had hateful things said to me by my youngest son (aged 46) for my vote and I know all my 5 children and all grandkids, over voting age, voted to Remain…that’s if they got up early enough to vote! All the younger ones work in ‘luvvy’ type jobs , after going to Uni, because England has lost so much of its industries since we joined the EU. At the time Ted Heath signed up, I was only thankful we kept Sterling.

  9. John Poynton says:

    Whoever signed off penalty clauses for Hinckley C of this magnitude should face the same grilling as Philip Green. But now that I think of it, didn’t Theresa May sign off and then had to pay out stratospheric penalties on a border control IT contract? How do these people get away with it?

  10. alexr64 says:

    Is Steve Crowther’s ‘positive reasons’ leaflet available anywhere?

  11. Graeme Chegwidden says:

    Regarding the behaviour of the City and other financial “commentators” talking down our economic situation, one merely has to ask what they have to gain by doing it. Millions I would suggest! Most of what they do is gambling, whether markets go up or down, and they almost always win…

  12. I also agree with Theresa May decision to put the brakes on Hinkley C foreign project – she should leave it until after BREXIT and only then decide whether or not a British government investment is in a way taking back control of our economy.

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