The collapse of Venezuela

Socialism is paved with some good intentions but can so often end in disaster. I share the wish of socialists to eradicate poverty and hunger, and to create the circumstances where people can live better lives.I agree the state needs to redistribute some income, but it also needs to encourage people to work and to support their own families. The problem is if you try to do this the socialist way, like Venezuela, you end up with far more people in poverty, with people hungry, too many empty shelves in shops and with a need to repress normal democratic politics to prevent a change of government.

Jeremy Corbyn famously told us that Chavez was inspirational. He said that Venezuela’s policy of “fighting back against austerity and neo liberal economics” as we have in Europe showed there was a “better way of doing things. It is called socialism”. So they tried it on a grand scale in Venezuela. They nationalised the oil industry and much else, introduced strict price controls, intervened across the board in business, and sought to make payments to the poor to boost their incomes. They spent well beyond the country’s means and watched as the country’s output sank. They triggered a collapse of output, and a hyperinflation. 2.3m Venezuelans have fled the country seeking a better life elsewhere. Those who remain face daily shortages, rampant price rises, and an increasingly tough government trying to control a people who are far from happy with what has happened.

There are many shortages. These result from too many controls on private business and too much interference from the state. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves of any country in the world. It should be a fabulously rich country, with access to so much oil wealth and revenue relative to its population. Instead the nationalised industry could not keep output up. Today the government is having to look at letting the private sector back in to try to recover damaged wells and increase output from run down fields.

If you introduce price controls you end up with less output. If you print too much money to give to the poor you end up robbing them through a massive inflation. If you borrow abroad against your country’s assets in foreign currencies, you struggle to honour your debts when your own currency collapses. This is the price of socialism. What does Jeremy Corbyn think now about the inspiration of Venezuela, the better way he was looking for? The USSR “better way” required border guards to shoot people who tried to leave. Venezuela now depends on the goodwill of its neighbours to take in the hundreds of thousands crossing the border to find some food.


  1. Ian wragg
    September 14, 2018

    No doubt we will soon find out after you fail miserably to deliver Brexit and are cast into the wilderness for a generation.

    1. Ian wragg
      September 14, 2018

      So Carney extends his contract and immediately launches project fear 3. The French are going to shop Eurostar and British planes won’t be allowed to land.
      Presumably all EU airlines will be welcome in Britain and Eurostar can bring passengers from France returning empty.
      The shrieking of these people is beyond a joke as it is orchestrated from No.10. When will they grow up.

      1. Backoftheenvelope
        September 14, 2018

        Ian wragg..yeah..but what if Carney is right? What if he is correct and the economy is going to take a nose dive..I mean he doesn’t even come from here so cannot be expected to have a personal interest in things?

        1. Kevin Lohse
          September 14, 2018

          Carney hasn’t been right yet, why should he change?

        2. Richard1
          September 14, 2018

          I suggest MPs invite Mr Carney to set out the assumptions behind his conclusion that trading with the EU on WTO terms will cause house prices to fall by 35% whereas accepting the Chequers deal will boost the economy by £16bn. We really need to know the assumptions and drivers of the BoE model in order to have a sensible discussion.

          I suspect we will find the model has been reverse engineered to reach the desired conclusion. But who knows. Let’s see it.

          1. Puffer Fish
            September 15, 2018

            Interesting idea this reverse engineering. Any economic model, most of them rather simplistic, a few tens of multilinear relationships, could have their “adjoint” being developed by anybody with a bit of university-degree mathematics, after all that’s only the so-called transpose of a big matrix.
            So how can you be sure that this has not been done with the Minford’s model? Seeing the straw in others’eyes, not the beam in yours?

      2. acorn
        September 14, 2018

        Brexiters have bragged on a poor hand this week and have been well and truly shafted. Mrs May has now put the ERG up S**t Creek with the second round of no-deal technical guides, designed for mass media consumption. The ERG has no defence capability against Downing Street resources. There is one more broadside to come.

        She will take Brexit 29/3/19, down to the wire. Barnier knows she has been taught, that’s what the EU does; they are past masters at it with forty years of experience.

        The nearer we get to the wire, the more the ERG will be forced to raise their “no-deal” bid or throw their cards on the table. Either way, Downing Street will set up the ERG to take the rap for a Brexit that nobody with a brain wants; UK side or EU side.

      3. Steve
        September 14, 2018

        Ian Wragg

        “The French are going to stop Eurostar and British planes won’t be allowed to land.”

        Even if that were true, we could easily retaliate.

    2. Adam
      September 14, 2018

      By what soon means do you measure the delivery you predict?

    3. MikeB
      September 14, 2018

      It amazes me that Remainers still think the EU is “the best thing” after they see the EU seek to hurt the UK (and itself) for leaving. The EU is broadly the Eurozone and the single currency helps most of the Northern European countries and harms the Southern European countries, you can probably put France in the latter.

      The Europeans are nervous about whether they will still have the same access to the City Of London, to our intelligence services, to our NATO commitments, to our consumer markets and our fishing waters. They are basically bluffing for the sake of deterring other members.

      1. Crazytimes
        September 14, 2018

        Looks like you were one of the ones who thought the whole EU project was going to disintegrate just because we are leaving. Thing is they are not bluffing but have bigger fish to fry than minding UK party political infighting..yawn yawn

      2. doppelgänger
        September 15, 2018

        “It amazes me that Remainers still think the EU is “the best thing” ”
        Have you noticed they don’t speak about anything without moaning about Brexit? Also Trump in anything to do from tax to cricket?
        They have linked everything to two “objects”. If the “enemy” attacks only the same two of thousands of options each day, every day…it means we must hold fast. These are the two objects which are absolutely crucial. They have chosen where to put our fortifications.
        And, they have linked what anyone would think are objects that appear not to have direct linkage in practical political terms. Interesting. We should try to think why …

  2. Mark B
    September 14, 2018

    Good morning

    Ah ! But was it real Socialism ? Well that is the usual tired excuse that is trotted out when the latest dystopia rears its ugly head.

    What concerns me most is what, libertarian posted Wednesday at 8:34. If true then the likes of Andrew Bowie MP are clearly in the wrong party or, the Conservative Party has been trading on a false premise.

    Is not tax a form of wealth distribution ? And is so, how much is deemed appropriate ? I am all for helping those less well off but, to be taxed to fund large use less projects to help inflate a corporates share price or giving it away to Third World despots and fake charities who’s CEO’s are on over inflated salaries is just not on.

    Socialism is just another trick to rob the people of their own wealth. Trouble is the number of people needed to be robbed just keeps getting larger until it all caves in.

    Good news though. From the ashes it will start again and, perhaps, the people will learn not to trust the Snake Oil politicians.

    1. Mark B
      September 14, 2018

      Your having a bit of a go at me this week. Another harmless post held in moderation.

      No good taking things out on me just because your leader has out smarter you over BREXIT.

  3. Mike Stallard
    September 14, 2018

    All true. I know some Venezuelans who have moved here. They tell me that the streets are dangerous, that you are likely to get car jacked and held to ransom and that there is neither work nor food.
    Of course under Socialism, too, the government offices fill up and overflow with bureaucrats as has happened in our own schools and Hospitals and Police forces. That means that, as someone wrote on our local website, “You have to take a bl***y pop quiz to get to the receptionist.”

  4. Lifelogic
    September 14, 2018

    Indeed but May and Hammond are socialists, nanny state, interventionist, bloated state, tax to death, Euphile dopes and never ever make the above point.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 14, 2018

      As Allister Heath wisely puts it:-

      Meanwhile having had his contract extended by Hammond the fool Carney is threatening us with 30% fall in house prices caused by Brexit. Should do wonders for confidence. Is Hammond planning to put stamp duty up from the already absurd 15% to 30% perhaps? Are Hammond & Carney trying to cause a house price crash? It seems so.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 14, 2018

        Sorry not 30% but a 35% fall.

        What a way to build confidence and encourage investment in the UK economy from the “wrong on almost everything so far” Mark Carney? Encouraged by grim reaper and tax to death dope Philip Hammond.

        1. Adam
          September 14, 2018

          The BBC should change its ‘Despite Brexit’ stance, to lines such as:

          UK home values are expected to rise, Despite Mark Carney.

          1. Lifelogic
            September 14, 2018

            Indeed and despite 15% stamp duty, the highest taxes for 40+ years and the total lack of vision of robotic May, Hammond and Carney.

            The real threat is Corbyn/Mc Donnall and May is clearly doing her best to get them into no’s 10 and 11.

            Someone on the Spectator podcast was suggesting that Ruth Davidson might come down to London and be the next Tory leader. Great plan just what the Conservatives need to lead (what is essentially now mainly just an English party) is another daft, greencrap, innumerate, jhigh taxing, bloated state, remainer, interventionist and a Scottish socialist with a degree in English.

          2. doppelgänger
            September 15, 2018

            Few can now hear the BBC. Each day less. The media are in panic. Their Fake News can’t cross and hit anything. A blocking has taken place. It’s a miracle. We listen to one another only

      2. A.Sedgwick
        September 14, 2018

        The Governor used to be just that, a discreet but very influential, if not threatening power in the City. Carney and Welby – a duo to match many vaudeville performers.

      3. Caterpillar
        September 14, 2018

        Yes, Hammond and Carney are a scarey stability for the UK to have prior to the future Corbyn government. Obviously they are not solely responsible (though a misapplication of resources and asset bubbles must fall close to them) but a picture could be painted of a Govt that has failed to prepare to leave the EU (As pointed about by Lord King), has failed society (streets not safe, not clean and yet people living on them), failed security (two large, supposed, aircraft carriers but can be attacked with a perfum bottle), is about to fail food production, has a failed funding model for education (16 to 18 + adults), has student loans that won’t be repaid, etc etc. It is possible to continue the list whether fully fair or not. Without rapidly gaining competence in Brexit (not possible with May), the economy (not possible with H&C), law&order, security … there will be a left wing Labour Govt.

      4. a-tracy
        September 14, 2018

        The Telegraph should have pinned Carney down to a level of risk i.e. what is the chance of a 30% fall in house prices and over what period ie 70% chance of a 30% drop in house prices nationwide (or just London) within two years etc. people shouldn’t be able to make blanket predictions without substantiation and we deserve the right to know as investments to purchase properties are being planned right now and he will stall sales with his own vague predictions.

        1. Denis Cooper
          September 14, 2018

          Carney was talking to the Cabinet, supposedly in confidence, not to the Telegraph in a press conference. But the way things are going under the present Prime Minister they might as well arrange a live TV broadcast of the Cabinet proceedings if she thinks that will help her propaganda campaign.

          1. Lifelogic
            September 14, 2018

            Exactly but Carney should have known it would certainly be leaked.

        2. Woody
          September 14, 2018

          What is the real problem with a 33% drop in house prices. It will make house sales boom to the first time buyers and make no difference day to day with those who already have houses … if they want to move then a new house will cost less even though their mortgage may remain unchanged.

          1. a-tracy
            September 17, 2018

            My house has been a long-term home rather than an investment so as you said Woody for people like me I wouldn’t have any real problem with a 33% drop in house prices. BUT I’m quite aware of the next generation overpaying for properties at the moment, especially in London and the South East, if they buy a 50% share in an overpriced apartment that then falls 35% and they need to sell quickly because they lose their job and cannot afford the mortgage and rent on the other half of the property they would stand to lose £95,000 on a mid-range apartment being sold in London right now, that is just too big a risk and one that should stop them purchasing right now. So this warning will freeze up the young buyers market in London and just let foreign investors who are leaving flats empty for years for long-term asset purposes who can afford to wait for a recovery.

            London then ends up with workers with no homes and homes sat empty more so than today.

      5. Denis Cooper
        September 14, 2018

        As I understand from various media sources Mark Carney was asked to brief the cabinet on the possible consequences of leaving the EU without a deal, whatever that may mean, and he provided a ten minute summary. Normally cabinet proceedings are supposed to be confidential, but within a very short time details of what he said had been leaked to pro-EU media outlets. There has been no reaction to this gross breach of confidentiality, just as there was no reaction to the gross breach of confidentiality when new editions of the doomladen Treasury predictions from before the referendum were leaked back in January. Recently Lord Hague wrote in the Daily Telegraph that we were potentially facing the worst constitutional crisis for two centuries, but I would suggest that we are already there when we have a Prime Minister who is brazenly abusing her public office, and allowing and encouraging others to brazenly abuse their public offices, by choreographing a campaign of false propaganda to try to force through her crazy pet plan which not only runs counter to the promises she made when and after she assumed office but is clearly against the referendum result and the national interest.

        1. Crazytimes
          September 14, 2018

          Carney told he sees it..he cannot have any skin in the game as he is due to decamp back to Canada in January 2020..and that’s not so long to go..he didn’t even want this extension to his contract but had his arm twisted.. if Mrs May is playing silly buggers to the media about what he said then it is hardly Carneys fault

          1. Denis Cooper
            September 15, 2018

            So what are your grounds for asserting that “Carney told he sees it”? In May 2016 David Cameron prayed the Bank in aid to support the claim that merely voting to leave the EU would tip us into a deep recession:


            “Mr Cameron said the report chimed with other analysis by institutions such as the Bank of England and the IMF, likening a decision to vote for EU exit, so soon after the last recession, to “surviving a fall and then rushing back to the cliff edge”.

            If you have had any experience of modelling complex systems then you will know that it is almost always possible to adjust the model and/or the input data to produce the conclusions that you want to obtain from it.

      6. Sir Joe Soap
        September 14, 2018

        Well precisely. Now Carney has predicted it, Hammond and he will make it happen by jacking up taxes, stamp duty, probably further student loan interest rate rises, attacks on foreign investors, upping business rates, NI/income tax, and generally discouraging successful business in the UK.

        It seems it will be a race to the bottom between this inglorious pair and Corbyn/McDonnell

    2. Turboterrier.
      September 14, 2018


      bloated state, tax to death, Euphile dopes

      So very true

    3. Rien Huizer
      September 14, 2018

      They are certainly not socialist, but not classical liberals either. Ptagmatists.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 14, 2018

        They are nanny state, interventionist, hight taxing, PC, greencrap pusing, bloated government knows best people. This despite all the history & abundant/overwhelming evidence to the contrary. T May is the sort of person who would even listen to “economists” like the BBC favourite Ann Pettifor without laughing at her lunacies.

        Does even Ann Pettifor herself believe the complete “magic money tree” drivel she comes out with? The BBC seem to take her seriously!

  5. eeyore
    September 14, 2018

    Economic chaos is no catastrophe to those who long to see the end of capitalism, any more than civil collapse and constitutional crises. They’re just speed bumps on the road to Utopia.

    What the rest of us dread is manna to Marxists. Happily, all round the world they find it difficult to get into power. Unhappily, once in they are the devil’s own job to get rid of – as we see in Venezuela.

    In Britain we have few constitutional safeguards against a government determined to subvert the system that brought it to power. Let’s hope we never find how Marxism goes down here.

  6. The Prangwizard
    September 14, 2018

    Socialism always fails because it is in essense all about control. You start with controlling the economy and thus people indirectly and end up inevitably with controlling people directly with intimidation or force or both. Deaths naturally follow.

    That is socialism in its red form. Here in the UK we have many examples in its pink form so far. Do we not have many regulators, price caps etc.. They grow year on year. They are almost never removed or abolished.

    We need to be careful setting out on such a road. It only goes downhill.

  7. Caterpillar
    September 14, 2018

    I agree with h overall point of Dr Redwood’s argument. In final paragraph though “If you introduce price controls you end up with less output” is not always the case e.g. compare price control in a perfectly competitive market to in monopoly (this is of course still a defence of having a competitive market).

    (Regards the printing comment money comment leading to general inflation – loose monetary policy without sufficient macroprudential control can of course lead to localised bubbles, say house prices, those responsible knowing that this can burst might then look to blame other causes.)

    1. Dominic Johnson
      September 14, 2018

      “If you introduce price controls you end up with less output” is not always the case””
      It is, eventually, the “experts,” will set the prices wrong and the system will explode.

      If there is a bad wheat harvest, the price of bread goes up, this isn’t because we hate poor people, it’s to make sure that scarce wheat is only used when necessary.
      If there is a good wheat harvest, the price of wheat falls, this isn’t because we hate farmers, it’s because we want to make sure as much wheat as possible gets used.

      If you set the wheat price too low, farmers grow spelt, or carrots, or raise pigs and you have no wheat.
      If you set it too high, bakers stop baking wheat bread, or stop baking altogether, and you have warehouses full of rotting wheat and empty shop shelves.

      In just the last year wheat has varied between $4.1 and 5.8
      It 12 in 2008 and 2.3 in 2000

      What’s the correct “state mandated price”

      1. Caterpillar
        September 14, 2018

        DJ, I am not using price stabilisation in a low barrier market as an example. Monopoly power is sought to set prices high and reduce quantity so as to maximize profit, fair enough when this leads to innovation, possibly fair when it leads to choice, but if not then for a mandated price maximum quantity is increased. If profits are still supernormal then a price ceiling increases quantity (assuming no discrimination). Just because this is school economics (e.g. natural monopolies) doesn’t make it wrong.

  8. Lifelogic
    September 14, 2018

    In a typically wrongheaded article Danny Finkelstein on Wednesday suggest Johnson’s Tax cut promise is sheer folly.

    “There isn’t a magic money tree for tax reductions and more than there is for public spending” says Baron Finkelstein, OBE. Why do they ennoble wrong headed people 10 to 1 over sound people?

    Complete and utter drivel as usual from the man. From the current position (of the highest taxes for forty years) there is a huge gain to be made from tax cuts, regulation cuts, cuts in bloated government, cut in expensive greencrap and also from cuts in bogus charities and worthless degrees too. Especially when so many public services deliver almost nothing by way of real value.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      September 14, 2018

      Spot on again LL. Where do they get these people from?

    2. Bob
      September 14, 2018

      “Why do they ennoble wrong headed people”

      Because they toe the establishment line.

    3. Mitchel
      September 14, 2018

      A similar blast from the Standard’s Russell Lynch yesterday:

      “Bojonomics does not add up:this wannabe PM would drown under a gigantic deficit”

    4. Rien Huizer
      September 14, 2018

      The rating agencies would disagree with you. There is no room for tax cuts as far as the eye can see. Unless you cut spending drastically. Take your pick: the NHS? Trident? Social security?, etc. That 39 bn is pocket money, does not count. You need to find a couple of hundreds of billions to safely reduce income taxes to attractive levels.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 14, 2018

        There is no shortage of places to cut government in the UK, it is absurdly fat and hugely inefficient & incompetent. Much of it does net positive harm.

      2. Sir Joe Soap
        September 14, 2018

        HS2 scrapping would be a start.
        There is enormous scope to cut.

      3. libertarian
        September 15, 2018


        Oh please, the ratings agencies have been completely discredited. Not one of them spotted the 2008 crash, they have been caught routinely getting the the answer that whoever paid them to do the research wanted. As history in every country thats ever done it shows, small cuts in income tax and corporation tax always result in more tax revenue being collected

  9. stred
    September 14, 2018

    Yes. It is worrying that Corbyn and his friend with Chairman Mao’s book, Hammond, May and the civil servants in the Treasury would also strip every bit of private wealth out of the country, if they could, and spend it on themselves and stupid government schemes.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 14, 2018

      And that is what the night taxing, Socialist, vassal State warm up act from May and Hammond iare rather likely to deliver. It can all be avoided with a sound leader and a working compass. No change no chance, under this dim, robotic, tax to death socialist leader.

  10. Anonymous
    September 14, 2018

    We know all that.

    Yet again. AGAIN. We are being asked to hold our noses, vote Tory to keep someone worse out.

    No wonder this country is f****d.

    No. I’m not voting May. We should have rejected the Tory party in 2010 and averted all of this.

    1. Anonymous
      September 14, 2018

      How have we ended up with a majority of voters who are Eurosceptic and a Parliament which is pro EU and by a large margin ?

      I don’t recall any Parliamentary candidate wearing an EU badge or displaying an EU flag on their literature ever.

      Now we hear of younger Conservatives vowing to oust the ‘Brextremists’ who do nothing but “… bang on about Europe.” Russia is the real problem, apparently. A timely bogeyman.

      Did they not hear of the Referendum result ? Do they really intend to continue riding roughshod over it and get voted in ?

      1. Andy
        September 14, 2018

        A majority of voters are not Eurosceptic. The majority of voters have never really cared about the EU as an issue and never will.

        In 2016 a small majority of voters turned out to be either anti-foreigner or a bit gullible, sometimes both.

        But please don’t think the extreme Brexit views (from both sides) that you read on this blog are held anything other than a very small minority.

        1. Adam
          September 14, 2018


          A majority might be happy for the EU to exit Europe, for the Andes, to remain there with you.

        2. Pud
          September 14, 2018

          How do you come to the conclusion that the majority of voters are not Eurosceptic? When the voters were asked, in the 2016 referendum, nearly 17.5 million voters made the effort to cast a vote in favour of leaving the EU. If the majority of voters were not Eurosceptic don’t you think that Remain would have won?
          The referendum had a 72% turnout, the most recent general election with a similar turnout was 1997 with 71.4%

        3. Edward2
          September 15, 2018

          A very odd guess at the motives of over 17 million people.
          You remainers keep making it up and think you know better that anyone else.

      2. Backoftheenvelope
        September 14, 2018 our society our betters know best..unfortunately they made a mistake in giving us a vote on something so important as brexit but being the disgruntled ungrateful plebs that we are we did not vote as we should have. So now they have to devise fudge cringe and binge in order to get us to the other side. The other side being the perception that we have left but not really.. like a half in half out situation

      3. Mitchel
        September 14, 2018

        Remainer Tory MP Tom Tugendhat writes in today’s Spectator that a new leader should come from “my generation”.

        Anyone in mind,Tom?!

        If you look at the twitter stream of this former “military man” it’s contents are much more Frankfurt school than Sandhurst.

        Bogeyman or not,Russia is a problem for the likes of Tugendhat;it’s destroying their Atlanticist-globalist dream.

      4. mancunius
        September 14, 2018

        We need local primary elections in which all candidates would be forced to declare their stance on the EU – something they generally keep hidden until after they’ve been elected.

  11. agricola
    September 14, 2018

    Is it the political concept of socialism, you could argue a form of Christianity, that fails or is it the competence of those who visualise it and carry it out. Even in a monastery which I imagine to be a purer form of socialism, someone must balance the books or the monks go hungry.
    Capitalism works best providing government controls it’s excesses. Waiting for the Wongas of this world to go bust is no answer to the damage they do, especially when there are alternatives that work. Bleeding off enough in tax to look after those in real need while not feather bedding the feckless is governments responsibility. Sadly in the UK we have proved unable to do this with the effectiveness required.

    1. Dave Andrews
      September 14, 2018

      Political socialism isn’t a form of Christianity. Christianity says “If any man will not work, let him not eat.” Contemporary socialism says “If any person will not work, let him/her/gender-fluid live off benefits.”

      1. Lifelogic
        September 14, 2018

        “live off benefits” replace with “life off the labours of others”

  12. Monza 71
    September 14, 2018

    Like all extreme Socialists/Marxists, the labour leadership are true believers and couldn’t even contemplate that their belief system could be fatally flawed.

    As ever their explanation for failure will be that those that followed their hero, Chavez, weren’t socialist enough. (when Milliband didn’t win in 2015 the hard left said the same about the manifesto he fought on and if it had been, they would have won).

    They are completely delusional.

    If British voters are daft enough to vote Labour at the next election, I don’t for one minute believe that the economic policies in McDonnell’s next manifesto will be the ones he implements in office.

    He is an avowed Marxist and was fired by Ken Livingstone at the GLC because he wanted to set an illegal budget. I doubt he has changed his view at all in the last 30 years. He, rather than the hapless Corbyn, is the most dangerous man in British Politics.

  13. Paul
    September 14, 2018

    One thing not often mentioned is France. What was said about Venezuela – role model etc – was also said about France under Hollande ; I recall Ed Milliband droning on about what a success it would be, this was how Labour were going to go etc etc etc.

    Then they went quiet ….

    1. margaret howard
      September 14, 2018

      “said about France under Hollande”

      President of France 2012-2017

      He didn’t do too badly:

      A member of the Group of Seven (formerly Group of Eight) leading industrialised countries, as of 2014, it is ranked as the world’s ninth largest and the EU’s second largest economy by purchasing power parity.

      With 31 of the 500 biggest companies in the world in 2015, France ranks fourth in the Fortune Global 500, ahead of Germany and the UK.”

      1. libertarian
        September 15, 2018

        margaret howard

        Dream on

        Under Hollande

        During his time in office, unemployment continued to creep up to a high of more than 10 per cent Having already introduced tax credits to reduce labour costs, he bypassed parliament in 2016 to force through a jobs bill that made hiring and firing easier.

        Macron his finance minister at the time described France as Cuba without the sun

        Tax revenue plummeted and businesses left France in droves , his growth target of 2% was never reached and he had one of the lowest approval ratings on record ( until Macron )

  14. fedupsoutherner
    September 14, 2018

    I don’t know why Carney is going on about a housing slump because of Brexit. He wants to worry about a change of government more. Will this scaremongering ever stop? We had Gordon Brown on yesterday going on about a financial disaster. Yes, Gordon Brown of all people!! Still, they are the ‘experts’.

    1. Backoftheenvelope
      September 14, 2018

      As Michael Gove said..the people have had enough of experts

      However don’t hang it all on Carney he’s only telling it as he sees it and will be safely back in Canada by the time the house falls in

  15. Andy
    September 14, 2018

    Venezuela has a nasty, incompetent government of the left.

    It ignores facts. It derides experts. It shuns international norms. And it’s people suffer.

    The only difference between Venezuela and nasty, incompetent government of the right is that it is further down the road than we are.

    1. Jagman84
      September 14, 2018

      If you consider the current UK Government to be right-wing, then you really are bonkers!

      1. Lifelogic
        September 14, 2018

        Indeed. Nanny state, tax to death T May is certainly well to the left of Tony Blair.

    2. Edward2
      September 14, 2018

      You think this government is “of the right” ?

    3. John Hatfield
      September 14, 2018

      Very perceptive, Andy.

  16. Andy
    September 14, 2018

    I note the highly competent Mr Carney has highlighted another positive of Brexit.

    The value of your homes could plummet by more than a third in event of Mr Redwood’s favoured Brexit outcome – no-deal.

    Good. Bring no-deal on. Let’s see how much you all actually like the reality of seeing the value of your assets plunge.

    Reply Just as predicted a similar fall if we voted Out, a fall which did not take place

    1. Dave Andrews
      September 14, 2018

      Any drop in house prices will precipitate foreign buyers, keeping prices up. The government will let it go on, not wishing to refuse foreign investment.
      No respite for the first time buyer I’m afraid.

    2. Andy
      September 14, 2018

      On the contrary. House prices in London are now falling – and the housing market in the rest of the country follows London with a lag. Price growth in much of the country has also slowed significantly since the referendum.

      This is good news Mr Redwood. It means that older people are paying for Brexit after all. It’s just that many might not realise it until they try to sell their home and find it is worth less than they thought.

      1. Richard1
        September 14, 2018

        House prices are falling eg in Stockholm. How come? it’s in the EU.

        1. Monza 71
          September 15, 2018

          Ditto France !

      2. margaret
        September 16, 2018

        We will all have to buy cheap in France then and deny the French of their heritage .What about a £20,000 Chateau Andy?

    3. Jagman84
      September 14, 2018

      “The highly competent Mr Carney”.
      I did say you had a talent for comedic writing. Keep it up. It will entertain us all, while we wait for 29th March to come around!

      1. Lifelogic
        September 14, 2018


    4. Anonymous
      September 14, 2018

      Actually a fall in house prices was my plan.

      What use my equity if it means I have to fund my kids onto the property ladder – something my own parents never had to do for me.

    5. Dennis
      September 14, 2018

      What’s this all about house prices falling into negative equity. Everything you buy (Except for art mostly) falls in value as soon as you buy it – cars, shoes, clothes, and even food.

      Why should houses be exempt?

    6. L Jones
      September 14, 2018

      Oh, good grief. Gleeful Andy, again.

      However, no mention of ”age” this time. Well done – still room for improvement. Could try harder though.

      It’s not all about your bank balance, Andy. There are bigger things at stake – you could get gleeful about those too.

    7. libertarian
      September 15, 2018


      Like most remainers Carney didn’t think through what he was saying. Having uttered this utter crap and having it pointed out that a lot of people have been trying to get house prices to fall he has now completely back tracked and said that IF house prices fell the BoE could cope is what he meant

      Remainers never knowlingly telling the truth never acquainted with the facts always scare mongering and always wrong

  17. HardyB
    September 14, 2018

    Despite what you think Corbyn is not so stupid..he has been around for a long time and is not going to make mistakes like this. He only wants to get into power like the rest of you and then will have policies that will be more conservative than the conservative party..wanna bet?

    Most of these ‘isms’ are ok by themselves- only thing is people get in the way

  18. Bob
    September 14, 2018

    Shouldn’t the title be “An open letter to Messrs May and Hammond”?

  19. nhsgp
    September 14, 2018

    I agree the state needs to redistribute some income,


    What’s needed is a right of consent, not the right for you to financial rape people with violence.

    With a right of consent you can agree to have your money redistributed. That’s what consent allows.

    For the rest of us that don’t want to be impoverished for your wealth destruction schemes we get the right to say no.

    £430,000 of debt per tax payer in the UK is the consequence of you redistributing other people’s wealth.

    Not that MPs notice. You insisted that your MP’s pension fund is funded, and when there was a short fall MPs voted themselves more of other people’s money.

    Publish the accounts in full.

    Send everyone a personal statement.

  20. a-tracy
    September 14, 2018

    McDonnell has said, “I will be the first socialist Labour Chancellor”. I think it is our duty to discover what this means for the UK. This week he spoke about abolishing the ‘gig’ economy because the workers don’t get holidays – but they do – even zero hours workers get a days holiday for every nine days they work averaged over their 3 months earnings per day, often these jobs are done by students and retired people so that they have the freedom to work or not work and take extended holidays etc at times of year to suit them, there will be a downside for workers but he refuses to see it, plus if you are a gig worker to work around other preferred self-employment that is spasmodic this additional top up work will dry up. The vast majority of my workforce are full time guaranteed hours but some retired workers like to do zero hours at times and days to suit them to give me top up at busy times and holiday cover, if they didn’t do this I wouldn’t take the work on and they wouldn’t earn the money they don’t replace full time workers.

    Workers have the ultimate say if they don’t like the gig economy don’t work in it or just use it to give you time to study for a job you would prefer like a social worker or nurse or something we are short of like care assistant where you can get full time constant work with a regular fixed income like many members of my family did successfully. Workers switch jobs throughout their career why do socialists think they have no personal abilities to do this, there are many funded job clubs and job centres and workshops to help people do just this are they all failing?

  21. isp001
    September 14, 2018

    So having run the country for nearly 10 years now how do people leave school not knowing the basics of how the economy works and why some places are rich and others poor?

    Is it beyond you to put on the sylabus 10 hours across the 10 years of studying to explain basic economics and make the point that people on the right also want to help people but are focused on mechanisms that work, rather than ones that impoverish everyone.

    1. John Hatfield
      September 14, 2018

      “not knowing the basics of how the economy works”
      I would worry more about their lack of knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic.

  22. Iain Moore
    September 14, 2018

    Government intervention, the state taking up ever greater proportion of our economy, price controls, wage controls, isn’t that the Teresa May way?

  23. ian
    September 14, 2018

    It was the easy one for them to destroy first with the help of the western banking system, they have to import 70 per cent of there food and 80 per cent of there goods, lots more country in South America, Central America and Aisa going down as well, when most of the little country has eaten up by the ongoing world depression the western countries will start eating themselves, banks and companies here are already pointing the finger at Brexit for there problems along with the politician hoping that the people will not notice and carry on voting for BS.
    The big one is on its way and it can not be stopped, it can only be slowed down and last for years when it hits.

  24. Bob
    September 14, 2018

    So Justin Welby has assumed the role of Treasury spokesperson and Mark Carney has marked his extended employment contract with a new Project Fear warning about a Brexit induced reduction in UK house prices.

    Why can’t these people just do the jobs they’re paid to do?

  25. Bob
    September 14, 2018

    Who is pushing the current surge of Project Fear stories about driving licences, pilot licences, roaming charges, property prices, cheese famines, closure of Eurostar etc.

    Are we being softened up for another Chequers push?

    1. fedupsoutherner
      September 14, 2018

      Bob. I hope all the French are able to get home again if there are no planes or trains back into France!! Whatever will they do? What a load of old tosh they are coming out with now. Andy take note!!

    2. Andy
      September 14, 2018

      These stories are being pushing by the government.

      The ERG in its default position of outrage demanded the government start proper contingency planning for no deal.

      It is Mr Raab who is responsible for this latest wave of predictable but grim news.

      When you went in to the voting booth and ticked the Leave box you voted to make life harder, less convenient, more bureaucratic and more expensive than it was before.

      Some of us have told you all along how monumentally pointless it all is – but, hey, you know best.

      1. libertarian
        September 15, 2018


        Yup we know best

        My business is thriving, I’m just in process of buying up a second French business , I’m hiring staff

        Hows things in your business?

    3. Denis Cooper
      September 14, 2018

      Theresa May and her favourite euromaniac civil servant Olly Robbins, of course.

    4. L Jones
      September 14, 2018

      Why oh why can’t someone ”in authority” refute these ridiculous claims when they pop up too frequently in the MSM? Perhaps there should be a Minister For The Contradiction Of Silly Stories. He/she’d have plenty to do – requirement: must be a Brexiteer and widely read.
      (Andy need not apply.)

  26. English Pensioner
    September 14, 2018

    Jeremy Corbyn seems to love Venezuela’s type of government.
    Perhaps the Tories should publish weekly updates and so describe what life would be under Corbyn. The Tories seem pretty useless at taking advantage of Labour’s shortcomings, which if carefully publicised should put them way ahead in the polls.

  27. Dennis Perrin
    September 14, 2018

    Isn’t it that behind the scenes in many South American countries the CIA ensures that any political system not approved by them is undermined?

    “Getting people to work” certainly brings in the taxes but it doesn’t follow that there’s no better way than the currently favoured System. Good ideas have value in themselves. The ability to generate better ideas isn’t restricted to a particular party. The party in power assumes a monopoly of better ideas but the majority are often wrong since they have been swayed by better campaigns (media influence). The party in power only needs ideas that keep themselves in power.

    Also behind the scenes the intelligence services work to enforce social control by encouraging events that create the fear of change.

  28. ian
    September 14, 2018

    When the world depression finally hits hard from when it started in 2000, the UK will be one of the hardest hit because of it relies upon a financial system and is overpopulated, so the currency will be hit and as they rely on 35% of the food being imported and 65% of goods are imported and with a bad currency, well need I say more or one could say more food banks, the retail trade is already starting it depression.

    The countries that will do well are the ones that can support themselves with food and goods or ones that have a strong currency like Switzerland and can import food and goods at a very cheap price for it people and have a good democracy for it people to have a say.

  29. robert lewy
    September 14, 2018

    Off-topic but worth saying.

    I have what I believe to be answer to the issue of a second referendum, the so-called people’s vote.

    It is contended by Remain that the people did not understand what they were voting for either either because they were misled or they were just too stupid.

    However, the choice given at the time of the referendum was clear and unambiguous.

    Therefore, the ambiguity is a consequence of parsing the question based on the desired outcome. As the referendum result was “wrong” it needs to follow that the question was asked incorrectly so that relevant information was excluded from the decision making process.

    My interpretation of this dichotomy between those accepting the result of the referendum and the doubters is that in reality Remain has failed to grasp that there are two questions which need to be answered following from the referendum;

    1) Remain or Leave?
    2) The arrangements to replace EU membership?

    Viewed in this light the first question has been answered by the result of the referendum itself.

    As the second question was not asked in the referendum arguably there is a case to be made for a second referendum on the arrangements to replace EU membership.

    However, I believe that it follows logically that the result of the referendum that has taken place needs to be respected BEFORE future arrangements are considered.

    This means that we should have left on WTO terms at the earliest opportunity after the referendum. Negotiations on a future relationship should have commenced at that time.

    Whether a second referendum is needed will probably be determined by the parliamentary arithmetic. However, if there is to be a a people’s vote it cannot be a repeat in-out vote as this has already been decided. A second vote would need to be between the “best” deal HMG can negotiate and WTO terms.

    Such a vote should certainly not take place until there is a final EU proposed text to be considered by the public and elected representatives. This of course would exclude HOL.
    It would take time to arrive at the point where such a second vote could take place. However, as we would be trading on WTO terms there would be no urgency for arriving at a rushed decision. HMG has already prepared the ground for a WTO outcome which will see us through to the next phase.

    Such a course would put us back on a sound footing. The EU would need to negotiate in a way that protects there existing trade with the UK. The divorce bill would no longer exist but we may need to pay for access to the EU single market and EU bodies. Meanwhile trade would proceed in the interests of its participants to the extent that the EU allowed them to do so.

    I still think that it is not too late to take this course

  30. Fishknife
    September 14, 2018

    Venezuela & Brexit are Prime examples of why the voting age should be raised.
    There is a reason why there was a tendency for the people of age and those living in our Northern climes to vote as they did.
    The young and Southerners (those without a vested interest) have a propensity to be credulous.
    They believe in Free University Education for all.
    They believe that someone else will pay.
    They believe that all Migrants are of equal value to our nation.
    They believe that Foreign Politicians are superior to our own simply because they have a clear aim – our money.
    They believe the scare stories in the legacy media dreamed up by lazy journalists vying to outdo each other.

    I’m old enough to remember rationing, and bare shelves, when an eighth of an inch (5mm) slice of a Mars bar was a post Sunday lunch desert treat.
    I can remember travel on the continent long before the EU, driving around the country before motorways and congestion.
    I can remember running a trading company on a Sinclair Spectrum, OK we did need the 48K memory and a Campbell’s Masterfile.
    In the last 70 years we have added 10 million inhabitants, six million this century, and England is overcrowded, our infrastructure overwhelmed.
    Scotland has to understand why its inhabitants have left in droves over the centuries, people vote with their feet.
    The future holds no fear, beyond Remain MPs.

    As a population we are getting older, luckier than the Russians.
    Automation is coming – we need to work out a way to make it pay for US, not the industries of Germany and China.
    Exoskelitans will keep our fragile bodies going but we need to rationalise when to admit that our brains have failed and we become a drain on resources.

    I was heartened by seeing Juncker dash to America when the spectre of tariffs was muted.
    Roughly EU with USA trade is fiscally equal to EU with UK trade, Germany doing very well for itself in both cases.
    It proved that Brussels can listen, and act when necessary (in German interest).
    Up from there I have to believe that Minister level MPs are not daft, that they used the time before Article 50 promulgation to broadly settle their differences with the EU.
    That the 2 years of kerfuffle is just to inhibit the rest of Europe from going ‘mee too’.
    Forty years of Countrywide Eurosceptism will not evaporate in 196 days time.
    Either a light will be shone under the bed, 17 million will have been betrayed and will get pretty cross or the ‘Status Quo’ will be maintained.
    Keep kicking the can Mrs. May, just don’t take us for fools.

    1. Ian wragg
      September 14, 2018

      Excellent post.
      17.4 million and rising Eurosceptics won’t vanish overnight and it won’t be pleasant.

    2. roger
      September 14, 2018

      We may get cross but I suspect it won’t be pretty

    3. L Jones
      September 14, 2018

      Wise words, Fishknife.

      (But a slice of Mars bar! Gosh! YOU were lucky!)

  31. ian
    September 14, 2018

    If they the politicians and elite had done Brexit in 2016 the UK would have been in better position to withstand the depression that is coming, being tied to the EU for food with a currency going down against the euro is not good also at a time when they will be buying a lot fewer goods from the UK because of the depression,

    We also rely on them for electric and gas which has to be imported in euros and become a lot more expensive, importing food from Africa and South America would a lot cheaper and goods from China and elsewhere with no tariffs to keep the shops full of goods with cheaper food for the people to eat which turn would lead to a strong currency with more places to sell what you make here in the UK, dealing with more countries lead to more commerce in food and goods and trade instead of tieing yourselves to the EU for everything because of tariffs, in full blow depression that might be able to be put off for a hand full of years by financial intervention again flexibility for trade in food, goods and is the best defence in keeping your currency quite strong and businesses going with a better outcome for the people who live in the UK.

    Small matters like planes not allowed to fly into the EU for a time and driving licences, passports and so on are all small matters up against a full blow depression, it right for i am up the ladder jacks who earn good money but for 70% of people living in the UK going to the EU for holidays will be way down on their list of needs.

  32. Rien Huizer
    September 14, 2018

    Mr Redwood,

    You said: ” I share the wish of socialists to eradicate poverty and hunger, and to create the circumstances where people can live better lives.I agree the state needs to redistribute some income, ..” Why would you agree with that. Eradicating poverty is impossible (besides what is “poverty”) and it is not the government’s task to create the circumstances where people can live better lives, unless you mean to say that law and order, as well as protection against war, epidemics and catastrophes are worthy ambitions (but also very difficult to do). Socialism is, indeed, well-intended as best and fraudulent at worst. Democracy starts with deep respect for property rights and their importance for general welfare. Socialism does not do that.

    In a two party system where someone apparently under the spell of socialist ideas (as well as potentially a puppet of the bureaucratic-authoritarian variant (a nicer word for the sort of communism that graced the politicians of the USSR) as represented by the honourable members of Momentum) even has a chance of becoming PM, it is utterly irresponsible for you and others in the Conservative Party to play games around succession etc, while a hard Brexit could deliver the nationalisation powers that would not be available under EU rules. Just imagine the capital flight that would occur as a result of a hard Brexit followed by a government crisis, early elections and a Corbyn victory. Not in Carney’s set of cisrcumstances used to feed the BoE’s DSGE model yet, I suspect.

  33. Denis Cooper
    September 14, 2018

    Off-topic, this pledge will only hold until Theresa May has given the EU enough additional concessions to satisfy them, the Labour party, other eurofederalist opposition parties, and of course herself and Olly Robbins:

    “Labour will reject any Brexit deal based on Theresa May’s Chequers plan, confirms Emily Thornberry”

    I don’t expect we’ll see Tory rebels blocking it; if she can square the EU with enough extra concessions – maybe keeping us under the EU thumb on services as well as goods, maybe handing over a lot more of our money – then as in 1972 there will be enough Labour MPs voting with the government for her to get it through.

    But whatever happens, I shall never again trust any Tory candidate in any election.

  34. mancunius
    September 14, 2018

    “Venezuela now depends on the goodwill of its neighbours ”
    …and others!
    As the UN has now ‘invested’ heavily in helping the refugees, all the major contributors to the UNHCR are on the hook.
    The UK government contributes £136 million dollars annually to UNHCR, all ultimately from UK taxpayers.

  35. Dennis
    September 14, 2018

    Perhaps the Venezuela problem is caused just by mistakes – you say, “They spent well beyond the country’s means …” are you saying this and other errors is socialist policy?

    In the UK the NHS is failing, thousands need food banks, education is in trouble, potholes everywhere. thousands of children in poverty – does this show capitalism has failed?

  36. Dennis
    September 14, 2018

    “Venezuela has the largest oil reserves of any country in the world. It should be a fabulously rich country,…”

    Not necessarily true if those reserves are not recoverable which much of those are not – read up on it.

  37. margaret
    September 14, 2018

    This aphorism ‘paved with good intentions’ does not sit well with me at present. I am having my garden landscaped and paved. The job is not good and the tiles are expensive. Aggh!

    The trouble with political ideology is that it is taken to the letter and there always has to be flexibility to meet with sociological change. Ruthlessness, cut throat capitalism,and the landowning rich have always been associated with the Tories.These are superimposed categories pressed on populations that cannot think other than in collections of pixels . w Human beings have a constant movement of ideas and the way they relate to one another. It is weak to say that a Tory must be posh, rich , have a superiority complex and look down on others just as it is empty to state that socialism is perpetuated for the dirty clothed ,rude mannered, smoking , drinking salt of the earth type. Accents or amounts of personal capital do not define anybody and those who play with these old fashioned perceptions are worse than those who are born or live in a way of their choosing.

    There are shared ethics in humanity , not just politics and I ( although am not trying to be superior in anyway to any other) prefer peace without any aggression at all. Aggression can be seen in the way we treat each other in day to day life to the other extreme which is terrorism and war. A political ideology can be peaceful, and practical without sticking rigidly to any party politics whose manifestos rather than ideas become rigid rules.

  38. gordonB
    September 14, 2018

    Yes it’s a terrible shame about Venezuela but there are other examples of this type of mismanagement right around the world. The sooner we get a ‘world government’ the better, then we can whip these outriders into shape. If they can’t manage then we’ll sent people who can

  39. Denis Cooper
    September 14, 2018

    Off-topic, I expect to be rather busy this weekend so I’ve already sent off my letter to the Maidenhead Advertiser for next week, as follows:

    “Dear Sir

    A month before the EU referendum in June 2016, the then Prime Minister David Cameron and his Chancellor George Osborne warned us that if we voted to leave the EU then that by itself – just the vote, mind – would be enough to immediately tip the country into a deep recession.

    As pointed out in a previous letter that did not happen, their prediction was utterly false; and in fact over the following two years the economy grew so that by then their prediction was out by about ten percent of GDP.

    But now clearly the present Prime Minister, Theresa May, feels that it is worth giving this cunning ploy another outing, even though it did not work the first time, and somehow it has instantly leaked out from a supposedly confidential cabinet meeting that the Governor of the Bank of England said that if we left the EU without a deal, whatever that was taken to mean, then that by itself would be enough to immediately tip the country into a deep recession.

    And of the course the deal we must all support, in order to avert Armageddon, is that devised by the Prime Minister’s her favourite europhile civil servant Olly Robbins, which would keep us under the thumb of the EU in a way which she herself once described as follows:

    “It would to all intents and purposes mean not leaving the EU at all.”

    Theresa May must think we are idiots, with memories like goldfishes.

    Yours etc”

  40. THIS IS IT
    September 14, 2018

    ” Greedy stupid, lazy, worthless pensioners” Heard it!

  41. margaret howard
    September 14, 2018

    It is preposterous to use Venezuela as a stick to beat socialism with. Shows the desperation of the failed Brexiteers.

    1. mancunius
      September 14, 2018

      Hah! Yes, for socialists, socialism is always found to be as exemplary and praiseworthy in any model which hasn’t yet failed, and it is never to be seen in any failed model.
      Just as Stalinists later claimed that communism (which is merely the purest form of socialism) had “not been properly tried” in the USSR and the postwar eastern bloc.
      So all the UK socialists praised Venezuela as long as it actually survived. The moment it was seen to be flawed and failing, it suddenly turned hey-presto into ‘not-really-socialism’.
      And thus ‘socialism’ becomes a unicorn or a yeti – all the believers are convinced it exists, but nobody has ever seen it.
      And if anybody suggests the Socialist Emperor is naked and ridiculous, the denials and ad hominems grow ever shriller.

      Don’t worry – there’s always a younger generation that hasn’t yet paid enough tax to see through the psuedo-idealistic deception. So it always has a chance among the young. Until they grow up.

    2. DaveK
      September 14, 2018

      Is that because socialism hasn’t been done properly yet?

      It is not preposterous to use Venezuela as a stick to beat a socialist who used it as a shining example though.

      Failed Brexiteer will be an oxymoron on 30th March 2019 😉

    3. Richard1
      September 14, 2018

      Why? It’s a socialist country – one of the few left and has specifically been praised over a long period by Corbyn and other leftists. It’s an excellent warning.

    4. Edwardm
      September 15, 2018

      No, it is very apt to the current UK political scene as J Corbyn is inspired by the socialism in Venezuela.

  42. Iain Gill
    September 14, 2018

    “too much interference from the state” sounds like the British healthcare system

  43. Crazytimes
    September 14, 2018

    The prices of houses are way overvalued so what’s the big deal if they come down by 30 per cent..the cost of everything should come down by 30%😅

  44. Korbyn
    September 14, 2018

    They should increase welfare benefits, invest in council housing, and tax the rich. Start an Investment Bank, investing in people , not for the few but for the many, and Trump is complicit

  45. Alison
    September 14, 2018

    Just reading Telegraph headline, Boris – ‘focus on ditching Chequers, not PM’. Yes, Chequers is appalling, and that is a top priority. But Mrs May is a woman who concedes, concedes to the EU, and will do just that when the clocks are ticking forward . She has done this already, multiple times in the space of just a few hours in December 2017. The consequences the next time will be far greater.

  46. Edward2
    September 15, 2018

    Oh go on Margaret, tell us Venezuela wasnt proper socialism.
    That is what leftys have been doing for over a 100 years every time it leads to failure and the deaths of millions of people

  47. Edwardm
    September 15, 2018

    The simplistic false dream of socialism is the political religion of followers who fail to connect cause and effect, and that it takes control away from the individual. Thus it is the manipulative tool of choice for aspiring control-freaks, wrong-uns and demagogues.

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