Recent government announcements

I paused yesterday when I read the latest Ministerial announcements that were being out to the press, public and MPs.

The Home Secretary announces an additional £4m spending on anti slavery prospects. I am all in favour of the UK doing what it can to stop modern slavery. Good border controls into the UK would be an important part of achieving results. The strange thing about the announcement was the small sum involved, the lack of progress reports on what has been achieved with spending so far, and the absence of any measurable change he expects to come from the £4m being committed.

I always think it a bad idea for Ministers to put out that they are spending so much, or so much more, without saying what the money will buy, and how it compares with what is being spent up to that point. We were told in this latest announcement that the government has spent £200 m on anti slavery over an unspecified time period. What successes has that brought us in this important battle against criminal activity? Why will an extra £4m make a lot of difference? As one of the two projects is better care for victims in Nepal, what action is being taken to avoid future victims? The main issue is not so much the amount of money, but what the money buys and how successful our spending programmes are. Has the Home Secretary taken more action to prevent human trafficking into the UK? That would be an important contribution to ending modern world slavery.

The second announcement was even more curious. The government is spending £4m on new computer games. It will make cash available to help “the creators of Peaky Blinders and Wallace and Grommit” “develop new games based around their famous creations”. Why does it need government cash for such a commercial prospect? Is this a grant or gift, or does it buy taxpayers any equity in the project? Why on earth is the government involving itself in difficult commercial questions of which game will be better and more popular than other games?

Ministers should be more strategic, and should concentrate on spending money where only government can take the actions. When talking about spending they should be more interested in the output, the quality and efficiency of the spending, rather than just headlining the amounts being committed. In a £700 billion budget there are 175,000 £4m packages to talk about, too many for individual Ministerial attention.

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236 Comments

  1. Stephen Priest
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Theresa May’s government has the Blair disease:

    It’s not what you do that counts that it’s what you spend.

    If May or Blair ever ran businesses they’s have gone out of business years ago.

    • oldtimer
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      I once sat next to an ex-minister at a lunch when we discussed this activity of spraying taxpayers cash about. It seems it was used by him to distract from other issues or to placate some irritating lobby group or to buy someone off by supporting some cause to shut them up. Back then it seems £1 million was usually enough to do the job. Obviously inflation has pushed the cost up. And equally obviously it is easy to do when it is other people’s money that is being sprayed about.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        When a minister anticipates a tough subject and questioning, as in ‘Yes Minister’ the best tactic is diversion. Announce in generous, alms-spreading tones small sums to invite discussion. Small will generate angry headlines, average will merely encourage silence on possible criticism, too large will generate both – praise for ‘good works’ and anger for ‘ what benefit does anyone obtain?’ It works most of the time.

        • Hope
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          It makes no difference. The Tory party are against democracy and only say lies to get votes. This has been proven twice in three years, once in a referndum and once in a general election. The premise of the key and central points for both were utterly dishonest. This is now a proven fact. Leave the EU with or without a withdraw agreement. The “deal” referred to was a trade deal not a withdraw agreement. That was Never part of the discussion or what the public was led to believe was a crucial issue. The deal referred to in all discussions was a trade deal was going to be signed a “nano second” after we left i.e. 23.00 01hrs on 29/03/2019. Traitor May has now extended four dates past this! May failed to obtain a trade deal after three years!

          Her servitude plan is not the deal referred to. Her servitude plan received the biggest defeat in parliamentary history and failed again on two other occasions! Now the stupid Tory MPs think it is okay to try for a fourth time! How much has the delay and uncertainty caused business to date in the UK? Does the govt actually care, I think not. If it is the only agreement the EU will accept then by any reasonable logic it has to be rejected and leave on WTO terms. How many times will the Tory party allow May to bring her servitude plan, written by her and the EU behind the ministers and Dexu back, before parliament! Once a month until October perhaps!

          Trying to bounce the joint EU and her servitude plan through by force and fear failed- hiding by contempt the rotten legal adivice. Now they are trying fatigue to get MPs to submit, as Robbins suggested in the pub in Brussels!

          Day 24 of Traitor May remaining in office. How much are the Tory MPs costing the country by keeping her in office? How much could public services be improved by the vast amount of billions of our money, our taxes, she is prepared to give away for nothing in return. When originally we were told the sum was for a trade deal. There is no trade deal, even for a trade deficit why would you pay hundreds of billions, therefore no money to be given whatsoever. It is not a legal debt. Not one penny should be paid.

          Anyone,voting for Tory,at local, EU or general elections are implying they are content for this loony,tune PM and govt to waste your money, your taxes that they do not deserve to have.

      • GilesB
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        … to buy someone off by supporting some cause to shut them up.

        Exactly this.

        Big red flag for investigative journalists

        • GilesB
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

          It would be too obvious if £4m was announced by the Internetional Development Secretary herself or the Minister for Crime, safeguarding and victims. But they both need to be kept sweet in order to continue to support May’s capitulations. So the Home Secretary has been roped in to provide cover.

        • GilesB
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          It would be too obvious if the Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries announced the £12m for AR and VR games, areas not included in the Industrial Strategy.

          But she too needs to be kept sweet. So the Business Secretary covers up the pork-barrelling being used to keep together the payroll vote

      • NickC
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        Oldtimer, That sounds about right to me. There’s another option though: the money could be a way the civil servants use to distract the Minister.

      • Hope
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        You could ask why is May still spending £15.1 billion each year on overseas aid and an additional £3.8 billion to the EU’s overseas aid budget each year after we leave for an undefined period of ears! Nearly £20 billion each year on overseas aid!

        May’s Servitude pan does not delineate a costed plan or costed items to the EU or specify how many years these costs will continue for. The Treasury has put out the Fake £39 billion estimate. The EU decides how much the UK pays and when. if there is a dispute ECJ decides! Utter madness. These are not insignificant sums and far more then the amounts you refer to.

        We note the UK is not entitled to its money in the EIB but is responsible for liabilities under May’s servitude plan!

        Shall we be told how much Traitor May has committed to the EU military and procurement? Why are we funding a supranational body to exercise its foreign, trade and intelligence policy which might be against our own interests! Again, madness. Compare against military spending cuts here, when Cameron had brand new Nymrods cut up by bulldozers behind screens and Harrier panes sold to the US for a token sum when our own air craft carrier has no planes!! Your party is beyond help.

        I also note traitor Rudd is in the business of giving away billions more in welfare when the aim was to cut the welfare bill! Why should welfare be made available to provide an incentive to have more unwanted children?

        Ho about the nutty energy policy costing us hundreds of billions? Is your party going to get rid of the Climate Change Act anytime soon and have an energy policy befitting an idenpendent nation to promote business? I thought not.

        Come on JR, time to stand aside there is no minister or department capable of running the country’s affairs any more.

        Hence why the ministers remain silent when May announces another stupid visual signalling idea or not getting rid of her last week.

        • Hope
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          JR, what is worse your party has betrayed democracy. What cost do you put on that?

          Brandon Lewis thinks he can threaten people to vote for your party! What threat is he going to use if Tory volunteers refused to campaign or donate? Idiot of the highest order. Suggest he reads Robin Harris’ article yesterday or Matthew Goodwin today.

          Barmier thinks a deal between Tory and Labour for a “softer Brexit” will be announced this week. He also says both parties accept May’s servitude plan is the only one on offer. it is clear from those comments he should be told No withdraw agreement will be made and he can discuss trade after we leave. However, with traitor May at the helm could you honestly expect this? Conservative Woman is still countering he days before you CPP realises it needs to get rid of May. Day 24.

          • Hope
            Posted April 29, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

            No Acorn, the U.K. Aid budget bought a Lear jet for the Ugandan president who was a despot! The US places terms on its aid like you suggest by using US firms or products. The U.K. does not.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 30, 2019 at 4:27 am | Permalink

            Brandon Lewis is indeed distinctly unimpressive indeed. But slightly better than Cameron’s choice of the dire Baroness Warsi I suppose.

        • acorn
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          Hope, when the UK makes overseas aid donations they are issued with Terms and Conditions. Such as, here is a gift of x million for buying mosquito nets and this is the British company you will buy them from.

          That just might give you, and the average leave voter, a clue as to how the international aid game works.

          • sm
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

            I live in Africa, and have friends who have worked for international charities out here, and I don’t know whether to laugh or weep at your innocence, Acorn.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

            Acorn
            I cant remember being asked if I wanted to contribute to the Indian Government’s space programme or dance lessons for African schoolc children.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      What the hell happened to the party of prudence and good fiscal control?

      The shower we have right now, supposedly running the country, is not fit to govern, but then neither is the shower that is waiting in the wings for this lot to collapse, nor many others on the opposition benches.

      The system is set up to exclude people with the right skills, and only allow submissive creeping compliant ‘yes men’ to sit in parliament. That works in a precarious fashion until the big decisions have to be made, then it is soon discovered how woefully inadequate they really are. We had that with some leading military figures in World War 2 who proved themselves inadequate to the point of utter incompetence, losing ground, capital ships and much besides.

      There has to be some solution to the problem of replacing one lot of worthless rubbish with another load of shysters, for the country’s sake. We just can’t go on like this, stumbling and bumbling along, and letting the manipulative ones with their own hidden agendas cash-in on parliament’s inadequacies, particularly where the EU is concerned.

    • NickC
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Stephen, The Blair government’s disease – well, one of them – was re-announcing the re-announcement. At least it was cheap. In all senses.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      “If May or Blair ever ran businesses they’s have gone out of business years ago.”

      I have to agree — this is precisely what it boils down to at the end of the day. With some obvious and noteworthy exceptions (such as our host) so many of our “career politicians” these days seem to have a very poor grasp of the real world, with little actual personal achievement beyond their ability to get a bunch of people to vote for them.

      The problem now is that Parliament has become dominated by such types, resulting in precisely this mess we’re in. It’s really no wonder 80% of them want to hand more and more control to Brussels, because they really have no clear idea what to do with the diminishing power they have left. Wasting 4 mil here, 4 mil there, is just about the only way they have left to lay claim to some purpose in their role.

      It’s time to drain the swamp.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      According to the Speccie, Sir Graham Brady plans to meet with the PM to as her to “.. clarify her departure plans for leaving office…” IF this is really what he does then he deserves to be laughed out of the PM’s office.
      A visit from the head of the 1922 should come with a pre-pared resignation letter and 2 pens (a spare in case the first fails) and an unassailable argument to sign it immediately.
      We don’t know what the Parliamentary Conservative Party stands for any more, and that means most of its MP’s, and especially the PM, MUST be removed forthwith.

      • Hope
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        1922 had its chance to get rid of the democracy problem last week. It decided to stick with the traitor who betrayed democracy! Suggest you read Robin Harris article 27/4/2019: what is the point of the Tory party.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Indeed they care not what they spend not what value they get.

    You ask:- Why on earth is the government involving itself in difficult commercial questions of which game will be better and more popular than other games?

    Why indeed, it is just unfair completion for other games companies. But then unfair completion is what government do all the time. In the NHS, housing, education, in the rigged energy market, in transport, the BBC and so many other areas. Without unfair completion these usually very inefficient state sector or quasi state sector bodies could not ‘compete’ and better and more efficient businesses would take their place.

    Government should stick to the rather few areas they can do better than individuals or the private sector. Defence, law and order, some infrastructure and not that much more.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

      They care not what they spend ‘nor’ what value they get! Unless buying votes of coarse.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

        Or even of course.

    • bigneil
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      ” they care not what they spend nor what value they get. ” I’d like to see figures (REAL HONEST ONES ) about what amount is spent here on those who have arrived – some many many years ago – and done/contributed absolutely NOTHING to the country/life they enjoy being part of. What happened to “if they can’t support themselves after a few months – they must leave “? . . . . It is US that are being turned into slaves. WE work and pay taxes while THEY roll up and stick their hands out, often committing horrendous crimes against innocent people to ensure they can claim they’ll be persecuted if sent home. Then the courts rule they can stay – and they laugh as they get their whole family here for a taxpayer funded life, rewarded for destroying an innocent person’s life. And not only does our govt still allow it, they sign pacts to allow yet more in. Even Stevie Wonder can see what is going to happen.

    • Al
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      “Why indeed, it is just unfair completion for other games companies. ”

      What is genuinely amusing is that there are EU rules restricting the use of public sector funds to out-complete private enterprise under Fair Trading and Anti-Competitive Practices Rules. These have hit various projects over the years, including ones run by the BBC, which were forced to shut down.

      Should we remain in the EU or sign May’s deal, that £4m could be challenged by other games producers complaining to the European Commission. A ready-made excuse for non-delivery of the funds, perhaps?

  3. Stephen Priest
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    If you’ve ever wondered how “Huawei” is pronounced it’s pronounced “Who are we?”,
    as in “Who are we to mistrust the Chinese Communist Party?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      Do you trust the British Conservative Party?

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        As 2017 voters found out – Cons is now quite an appropriate term.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        Does anyone, now ?

      • Bob
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        “Do you trust the British Conservative Party?”

        Certainly not.

        • Hope
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          Who would be stupid enough to believe a word uttered by May or her govt! She now laughs in parliament when reminded how many times she made pledges/promises the country!
          Lancaster speech, manifesto etc etc. All fake words todecieve to get a vote.
          A vote for Tory at local EU or general election is a vote against democracy. You imply you agree with May.

      • Timaction
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Based on actions not words this is the least trustworthy Government …………..ever. May needs to go and the Tory Party needs to split along Liberal Lefties like May, Clarke, Soubry, Grieve etc and the ERG who are right of centre Conservative. Tax highest ever, non leave BRINO WA.
        Never has there been such a disconnect from the fools in Westminster who think they have hoodwinked us, the public, out here in the real world. We need to clear the infested swamp!

  4. Adam
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    The Govt is bereft of news about progress on the important matter it is failing on.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      It’s called a ‘do anything to distract the public from the real issues’ policy.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    A good piece by Dan Hannan today in the Sunday Telegraph on May’s pathetic failure to communicate on the 5G issue and in general. He also reports that when Dame Emma Thompson was asked whether, to reduce her own carbon footprint, she ever flew economy class. “I bloody don’t, no,” she retorted, affronted and incredulous.

    So she cares so much about the climate issue that she will not even put up with very minor discomfort for a few hours to roughly halve her energy usage for the flight. How do these pathetic fools expect to be taken seriously? It seems Greta is to travel by freight ship next. The main thing the alarmist have in common is a lack of knowledge of science, physics, engineering, reason and logic. They are irrational emotion and feelings over brain every time and yet they wrongly claim they have “the science” on their side.

    • Andy
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      I wonder what science you know that 97% of the world’s climate scientists do not know.

      Perhaps you could share you brilliant thesis over lunch with Sir David Attenborough and soon to be Nobel laureate Greta Thunberg. Both of whom know infinitely more about the environment and climate than you ever have or ever will.

      Unlike you and Sir David, Greta’s generation also have to live with the consequences.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        Only 97%!

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        However, when have either stood outside embassies or belching power plants in China, India, USA , Russia protesting their outrage?

      • Jagman84
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        The ‘97% of climate scientists’ frequently referred to was 97% of the ~ 6% of such individuals who bothered to reply to a single survey. Most of the non-respondents thought the hypothesis of CAGW to be unworthy of consideration. It’s not such an impressive consensus when presented that way, is it? Maybe we should have another survey to see if they have changed their minds since then?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          Indeed and climate scientists nearly work for governmental organisations or fund raising charities and know full well what is wanted from them to get the next research grant. Nearly every prediction they have made so far has been wrong on the alarmist side compared to real measurements.

          How can anyone predict the climate in one hundred years but cannot do it for the month after next? Especially when the climate in one months time is affected by the previous month? How do they allow for all the volcanic activity in the next 100 years? Or that mankind will crack controlled fusion in say 10 years time or discover some other amazing developments? They need to get real. Not only that but the “renewables” they push do not really work even in CO2 terms.

      • rose
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        Go to Piers Corbyn’s web site and see what he has to say on all of this, including Brexit.

        A clever astrophysicist, with a lifetime of studying the climate, he is also an environmentalist.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          Indeed let us hope that his common sense rubs off on his daft Communist brother. Or that May is removed before we get Corbyn.

        • hefner
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          wattsupwiththat.com is a site very skeptic of climate science.
          You might find in it what they think about Piers Corbyn in “Putting Piers Corbyn to the test”. And BTW this clever astrophysicist has ever published one scientific paper, related to his PhD thesis made in the 80s.
          But obviously both you and LL are free to believe in his forecasts and his studies of the climate.

      • MPC
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        I think you’ve quoted 97% from 2nd hand sources, maybe the Grantham Institute? None of my colleagues in the energy industry endorse the hyperbole of Climate Extinction. We should have irrefutable scientific evidence of imminent or prospective climate catastrophe before we saddle ourselves with even more expensive energy. You no doubt support the Paris Climate Accord which allows China (the biggest carbon emitter along with India) to go on increasing emissions until 2035 before reducing them (some hope). So David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg should make their case to the Chinese Government. We already have the 2nd most expensive energy in Europe after Germany and emit < 2% of global emissions.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Attenborough and Thunberg are in the grip of a millenarian cult -there have been many before and will be many again in the future. Both are entirely unqualified – just parroting what others have told them to say. Like you Andy.

      • NickC
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        Andy, Infinitely more?? You don’t even know where the “97%” figure comes from (yes, now go ahead and look it up on the internet, there’s a good boy).

      • Richard1
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        ‘97%’ of the worlds scientists is a bogus stat. All 97% agreed to in this frequently cited survey was that there was that there is some human influence on the climate. Amazing there are 3% who think otherwise since it seems clear. 97% do not agree the end of the world is nigh as asserted in unchallenged claims being made by Greta Thunberg and others.

      • cornishstu
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Well the 97% of climate scientist meme has been debunked and you do not need to be a scientist to look at the facts and figures in earths past to realise nothing unusual is going on whereas the CAGW is driven by money and politics based on theory and models that have yet to reproduce what has gone before never mind whats going to happen in the future and has failed to correctly predict the last decade or so. There is plenty of strong scientific argument against CAGW but its in the same carteogry as the arguments for Leaving the EU, the information is suppressed or shouted down.

        5

      • Edward2
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        I see you have fallen for the 97% figure Andy.
        Look it up and do some research on how this often repeated figure came about.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Greta does not even seem to know that catching a train from Sweden to London is rather less energy efficient than flying. Most sensible scientists think it is at best a huge exaggeration. Anyway renewables do not really work even in CO2 terms.

      • mark leigh
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink
      • Barbara Castle
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        Would that be the same Sir David Attenborough who has spent a lifetime flying around the world to show us the extraordinary, and piquing our interest so we also want to fly halfway round the world?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          Indeed but he does have a pleasant narrating voice. Even if he is deluded on this issue.

      • Mitchel
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        Serious politicians should adopt W C Fields old maxim:

        “Never work with children or animals.”

    • Richard1
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      The use of Greta to front the propagation of climate alarm is a clever tactic by the green blob. Climate hysterics are rarely interviewed like normal politicians or lobbyists anyway – ie asked searching questions over their ‘facts’ and policies. (listen to any interview with the hectoring but quite charming Caroline Lucas). Being a child, Greta is not challenged in any way, interviewers and politicians simply compete as to who can pat her on the head in the most unctuous manner. Even poor Michael Gove is obliged to do it – such are the sacrifices required for public service!

      It’s interesting to see Lord Lawson’s Foundation has made a detailed challenge to the BBC on its David Attenborough propaganda film – a film which is apparently replete with nonsense and made up claims.

      • Len Grinds
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Talk us through “Lord” Lawson’s qualifications in climate science. Or are you one of those people who knows in his gut what he knows, and doesn’t care about facts. That is the basis of Brexit, after all.

        • Richard1
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          That is a silly response and very typical of the left/green blob – ie avoid the actual issue. Lord Lawson’s foundation has disputed a number of the ‘facts’ presented in the programme. Perhaps the Attenborough programme will turn out to be correct. But if not we have to ask why, if the evidence for the climate catastrophe argument is as clear as it’s made out to be, a programme like this needs to make stuff up or exaggerate it.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          Les
          The basis of Brexit is the result of the people’s vote to leave the EU.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Exactly. Charming Lucas may be but she clearly has little or no understand of science or power engineering. I think she read English.

    • rose
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      St Greta reminds me of the late Princess of Wales campaigning against landmines. Although 95% of them were made in China and 4% in Russia, she went to Canada and countries like that to campaign!

      • Mark B
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        ‘They’ are given a cause to support just to keep them busy and relevant. A bit like someone, ahem, who likes hunting but had something to do with trying to save animals from being hunted.

        Irony is never lost on these people.

      • Mitchel
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Remember what happened to those Greenpeace activists who tried to interfere with a Russian offshore oil facility-they were boarded by a Spetznaz unit,had machine guns pressed to their temples and spent a few winter weeks in a cold Russian prison with a piracy charge hanging over them.Funnily enough no-one has sought to repeat that performance.

        • rose
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          That reminds me of the Peace Bus which set out for the Near East. When it got to the Lebanon it wasn’t allowed in because it ran on diesel!

    • margaret howard
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic

      ” that when Dame Emma Thompson was asked whether, to reduce her own carbon footprint, she ever flew economy class.
      put up with very minor discomfort for a few hours to roughly halve her energy usage for the flight. “

      What exactly is the science behind your claim that a plane’s energy consumption depends on where you sit?

      Reply More space occupied by a single passenger is less fuel efficient

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear Margaret. Couldn’t you work that one out for yourself?

        • NickC
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

          Fedupsoutherner, Margaret and Andy are non-technical. To them science and technology are magic; rather akin to the view of primitive peoples described by Arthur C Clarke.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Margaret

        A first class passenger takes up the room that 6-9 people would occupy in economy class, (hence the higher fare) therefore they are responsible for 6-9 times the pollution of an economy passenger.

        So very simple really.

        • margaret howard
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          Alan – “so very simple”

          Is it?
          Do these planes have a 100% occupancy rate? I doubt it. Or do they weigh their passengers?

          This is another silly discussion on the theme of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

          What are these people to do? Cycle?

          No doubt Ll would then start a thread on the danger of bicycle tyres to the environment or how much carbon was used to create cycle lanes.

          The question is would he ban the Red Arrows doing its stunts to show off? Surely people flying to their various business destinations are more important than some young hooligans polluting the air for no purpose whatsoever.

          • Alan Jutson
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

            Margaret

            “what are these people to do”

            Still use the most sensible transport for their purpose of travel but do not lecture others, when they make their choice.

            I agree, that nothing is absolutely environmentally friendly, as even walking takes effort, wears out shoe leather or rubber, and requires the human body to replace energy with food, but please stop preaching to others.

            Your question about the Red Arrows is simply a diversion.
            There are plenty of people who travel for miles to view all sorts of events for pleasure, they all waste energy, even pop concerts use electricity to power lights and amplifiers etc !

          • Mark
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

            Airlines use pricing (sell a few seats cheap early, then raise prices as the cabin fills up, but offer more discount seats if demand is lacklustre) to ensure high load factors in economy class, but premium class seats are not filled using pricing. The idea is that there is a better chance of a seat being available at short notice because all the seats are premium priced. Premium cabins tend to have lower capacity factors, but make up for that with the super premium fares. Of course, the seats themselves occupy much more space to begin with. To lie flat in economy to sleep on an overnight flight, I needed 4 seats across with arm rests folded up – and the seats are a bit narrow, so you might roll off. One business class seat lets you do that in comfort.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

            Well cyclists are actually fulled by their extra food intake. Not very efficient if they live off steak, salad and a bottle of claret. But rather more efficient if they live off dried lentils and chickpeas and raw carrots.

            Even so a car with seven people in is far more carbon efficient than seven cyclists – per person mile. The bikes good cars bad religion is misguided on CO2 terms and on safety grounds too.

          • APL
            Posted April 29, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

            Margaret Howard: “What are these people to do? ”

            This is the twenty first century. They should video conference.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        If all people flew first class you would need perhaps about two planes to move the same number of people! Plus they have more staff, wines and the likes to carry for first class. Were government serious about C02 they would ban other than nearly full economy flights, bonfire night, fireworks, shipping biofuels round the world, burning wood, eating meat and very much else. But they know it is just useful (to them) alarmism. An excuse for more government and yet more taxes.

        • Andy
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          So the Brexit backing old white men mostly reject climate change.

          What a surprise.

          Here’s an idea. The next time you see your young grandchildren – take them for a walk in the woods. See their delight at the trees, the wildlife. And then explain to them why you are prepared to kill it all.

          • Richard1
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

            What a silly post. (Among the side effects of increased CO2 is a 14% increase in global greening).

            The question at issue is what are sensible policies. It does not seem the $1.5tr so far spent on green policies have been A good use of resources given the latest IEA report has ‘geothermal etc’ (wind, solar etc is included in ‘etc’) at 1% of global energy sources. Fossil fuels remain at (from memory) 85%. And are estimated to stay more or less there. So we don’t need left wing virtue signalling , children bunking off school, and EU-mandated policies like promoting diesel and wind. We need policies which might have a chance of providing realistic alternative solutions. Shale gas and nuclear are the obvious interim technologies.

          • cornishstu
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            Most do no not refute climate change, just the fact that man is the primary cause, and the increase in CO2 is promoting the greening up of the planet. If we were actiualy able to reduce CO2 levels then that would be detrimental to the trees and life on this planet. So wrong again.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            I am not old enough to have grand children as yet.

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

            Andy, take a look at how much land is being used to build houses for an ever increasing population driven by immigration then ask your grandchildren to find the wildlife that’s been displaced.

          • NickC
            Posted April 29, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

            Andy, So, Brexit hating middle-aged white men mostly exhibit the same gullibility to CAGW as they do to the EU.

            What a surprise.

            Here’s an idea. The next time you see your children – take them for a walk in the woods. See their delight at the trees, the wildlife. And then explain to them why you are prepared to make them live there when they succumb to EU unemployment, and the forthcoming EZ banking crash. After their spell in the EU militia of course.

  6. eeyore
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    How easy it must be in government to lose respect for little sums like these. But every £12 Ministers sign away has cost an honest worker an hour of their life. Every £1m eats up a whole working life.

    What is just a figure and a feelgood announcement at Westminster is irreplaceable time and lives to the rest of us.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      Well more than an hour. To raise £12 in tax an average person probably has to work for more like five hours. Plus there is all the cost or collecting this tax before it is, in general, wasted by ministers on something idiotic.

      • bigneil
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        LL . . Google ” Germany 6.85bn migrants ” – and that is how much is being handed out to their areas for migrant costs. Would be nice to know if that is German tax money – or EU money from the contributors.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      People on median wages earn about £1 million gross in a lifetime. Perhaps 1/3 or so is tax of all types. So more like three people for a whole working life. Even more for women who are more likely to take career breaks or work part time.

      For May’s putrid £39 billion handcuff treaty fee it would be 117,000 median wage people’s full working lives. And that is without even considering the vast damage that the appalling treaty would do to the economy, democracy and freedom.

      327 people’s working lives just for this pointless EU election. Then again all the EU elections were pointless, far worse than pointless in fact.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      It’s borrowed money. So I think you will find that it is more.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Its not about policy or action but a media soundbite to try and gain support from the public who see this treacherous and dishonest Government on life support. The Tory Party have left and gone further left of their Constituencies and they all know it.

  7. Nigl
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    I guess the tip of the iceberg demonstrating a complete lack of understanding about business investment.

  8. Cheshire Girl
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Just another example of how this Government is throwing taxpayers money away on their vanity projects. Then they tell us we must do more with less’!

    As for ‘modern slavery’. Who had ever heard of that until the last few years! I resent my money being thrown away on projects like this. I will not be voting Conservative at the next General Election.

    • Andy
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Just because you had not heard of something does not mean it was not a problem.

      To put £4m in context it is well under 0.001% of government spending.

      So how much does that cost you?

      Well average earnings are just under £30,000.

      And the opaquely funded Taxpayers Alliance says the tax burden is around 34% of earnings – £10,000.

      Less than 0.001% of £10,000 is what it costs you to stop women being abused, sold into slavey and probably raped. If the scheme is scrapped you have a few pence extra. Perhaps we should arrange for you meet one of the victims of slavery so you can tell them how you spent your windfall?

      • L Jones
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        Just producing figures, Andy, doesn’t mean you think things through.
        Remember: ‘lies, damn lies, and statistics’.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        John’s point is that we have no evidence at all that spending the money has any of the benefits you mention. Your enthusiasm for open borders of course is actively hindering the fight.

        • Andy
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          We do not have open borders. Don’t believe me? Try getting in without a passport.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

            Open borders to people from the EU we do have. Plus anyone who get here is rarely actually deported.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

            Just claim asylum.

          • NickC
            Posted April 29, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

            Andy, Land on a bit of deserted coastline, or get a fake passport. Next.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Or it is £4 million pounds that might have provided shelter for homeless people or enabled life saving treatment for children or helped poor families with extra support.
        You choose Andy.

        • Andy
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          I choose to target Tory tax avoiders and those who stash their wealth in tax havens – so the homeless and sick children do not have to suffer.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

            If you know of someone doing something illegal report them to the relevant authorities AndyItake it you are OK with Labour Lib Dems doing the same thing?
            How odd.
            Bit of a weak reply from you.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        @Andy – It is £4 million that we have to borrow.

        Each £4 million adds up and increases the tax burden. Looking at each piece of expenditure in isolation makes many seem reasonable but the attitude to spending our money is what rankles. Value is not sought as it is not their money.

        I don’t care how much it has cost me personally, they should think before committing these, very large, sums on issues that are nothing to do with government.

        You would be the first to complain if £4 million was spent on pensioners.

      • MickN
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        To put 4million pounds in context it is less that we will send to the EU between now and this time tomorrow.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        People on average earnring pay less than 34% as most tax is paid by higher earners.

  9. Steve
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Well it’s obvious; it’s got to the stage now where they’re openly taking the piss rather than being sneaky about it.

    I wouldn’t mind a slice of one of those £4M packages, Mr Hammond could call it a tax rebate.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Steve

      They are now so out of touch, they do not realise they are taking the piss, they actually think that spending money is good, no matter where it goes, and the bigger the better .

      Oh for somebody sensible to be in control of our finances.

      • Steve
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Could be right there Alan. Lunatics !

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    It seems that Penny Mordaunt, the Minister for Women and Equalities supports an ‘equality’ bill to change the law so that first born girls can inherit royal titles.

    Surely Penny if you want ‘equality’ we all need titles? Anyway how can one even be a minister for “Woman and Equalities”? You are either for Woman or you are for Equality – so which is it? One assumes this ministerial job itself is only open to women, so that is clearly not remotely equal for a start?

    The stupidity of some MPs know no bounds. I read that Scott Mann MP has suggested all knives should be fitted with GPS trackers in the handles!

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      L/L At least our husbands will be able to track us!!! LOL

    • eeyore
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      To be fair to Scott Man he has since backtracked with candour and good humour. A former postie who resigned as PPS rather than back the WA, there are many worse than he in the current House.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        There certainly are. Anyone of the 200 who halfwittedly voted confidence in May in the leadership challenge. They clearly wanted to repeat the Major experience in spades.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      “first born girls can inherit royal titles” that’s not very fair either.

      Why now draw lots?

      • sm
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        It’s also rather odd, since I think Her Majesty agreed to that proposal while Mr Cameron was PM, unless anyone can tell me differently?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

          She agreed to a lottery for titles!

  11. agricola
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    As you imply, all rather bizarre. Are we spending money to eliminate slavery in the UK. If elsewhere isn’t this the responsibility of the United Nations and one of their do good bodies. If it is within the Commonwealth then maybe we have some degree of responsibility.

    If it is slavery in the UK it is either in the workplace or it is sexual. I thought we had laws against both so it is initally the responsibility of government agencies and the police. The police will argue that they do not have the money or personel, so give them the money and direction to apply the law. The problem is not in Upton Snodsbury it is in the big cities and more than likely run by legal and illegal immigrants. As I offended you yesterday it is PC that has allowed it to occur in Rotherham,Oxford and no doubt other places. You have to be in serious denial not to know it and be prepared to call it out.

    As for getting involved in video games, well we have now heard it all. Is it because politicians have failed grotesquely at their real job that they now feel more at home with Wallace and Grommit, who incidentally make more sense than most politicians.

    Those the Gods would destroy they first make mad.

    • rose
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      And what on earth is the Home Secretary doing spending money in Nepal? Don’t we have a bloated Aid Budget for that, with its own Secretary of State, and a Foreign Secretary as well?

    • NickC
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Agricola, The appalling fact of modern slavery in the UK tends to be of trafficked migrants paying off their transit costs to exploitative gang masters, and east European prostitutes, the same. Not only do we need border controls to halt this but also a beefed up coast guard because some migrants are landed by boat on deserted coastlines. Like you I am also appalled at the targetted abuse of under-age British girls, which verges on slavery. Why is this brushed under the carpet?

    • forthurst
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      If the purpose of the £4M is to encourage more inclusivity in the derivations, then surely that is to the good. The original fictional episodes are after all bastions of white privilege; why even, Gromit is disgustingly white and too clever by half. As to the criminal classes of a century ago, perhaps they were more inclusive than we have been led to imagine.

  12. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    I think you are the only person who actually counts the cost of government hand-outs.
    They do not impress me – and I think I speak for a lot of people here.
    Well done, Sir John! All power to your elbow!

  13. Ian wragg
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Don’t mention the war. (Brexit).?

    • bigneil
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Or HS2.

  14. nshgp
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Use the 4 million to target the murderous gang on Westminster Bridge. Some of that gang are now on trial in Ragussa in Sicily for people trafficking and sex slavery, as well as wanted for murder in Germany. I showed the wanted poster to police at the last weekend and they identified the same 2 people I picked out.

    Easy to fix, no issue of resources. On the same day, 5,000 police were deployed to protect you, the Palace and Downing street when none of you were there.

    So why do you get special treatment and the public get left to deal with the crime and its effects?

    • NickC
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Nshgp, Because the peasants don’t matter to the new establishment. We’re too thick to count as Andy keeps telling us.

    • Steve
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      nshgp

      “So why do you get special treatment and the public get left to deal with the crime and its effects?”

      Oh that’s an easy one; it’s ‘security’. One of Blair’s perverse works, there to protect the elite, there to come down on the English if they dare speak out or object.

      A wonderful tool for the likes of Soubry and others intent on poisoning this country with Blair’s PC.

      • L Jones
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        ”Elite”? I hate this use of the word.

        Definition: ” a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society”

        So – are they ”elite”? THEY think they are. Do we?

  15. Oggy
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Maybe the money is to pay for the free taxis given to illegal migrants to ensure they reach Dover safely once they’ve cast off from Calais in their rubber boats.

    • Andy
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      If you were walking through a nearby town and heard a commotion coming from the river and you saw a child in the water, drowning, would you try to help or would you just let them drown?

      Would you make a different decision if you knew the child was not British and perhaps shouldn’t be here?

      Or have you learnt the basic lesson of humanity which is that we try to help those in need whoever they are and wherever they are from?

      • Dominic
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        Who do you know they’re in need? You don’t know who these people are. They could be drug traffickers or slave traffickers. Does this possibility ever enter into your thought process?

        We must have strict immigration rules to prevent abuse and to prevent access to those whose only aim is exploitation for themselves and of others

        We must also stop the left’s use of immigration as a political and electoral tactic

        We must also ignore Andy’s tosh about helping the unfortunates who know on our door. This is a mere political strategy of portraying the political enemy as uncaring. It is a blunt tool of political discourse and reveals the true nature of this form of politics that they will use such a sensitive issue to achieve political gain.

        There is no real world issue the left and Europhiles will not use for political profit. They are pathetically transparent and utterly devoid of moral truth

        • Dominic
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

          Erratum – ‘How do you know they’re in need?

          • Andy
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

            Because you do not try to cross the English Channel in a dinghy unless you are desperate. If that seems like the least worse choice to you imagine what must have happened in your life.

            Remember you are only a natural disaster or a civil war away from being a refugee yourself. It would be a poetic justice if you encountered the ignorant hostility you show to others.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

            What is so bad about France?
            I thought you liked it there Andy.

          • APL
            Posted April 29, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

            Andy: “Because you do not try to cross the English Channel in a dinghy unless you are desperate.”

            Yes. Desperate to get their hands on British welfare payments.

            The English channel is a mere trickle, they’ve crossed the Sahara without appropriate equipment and supplies where many have died. They’ve crossed the Mediterranean sea without appropriate equipment and supplies where many have died. They’ve crossed the European Continent, where they could have claimed asylum at any country.

            But for some reason they decided to congregate in Calais, and attempt another hazardous ( some might say reckless ) crossing of the English channel, it goes with out saying, but I will say it none the less, with out the proper equipment.

            All they have demonstrated is that they have wanton disregard for their own and the safety of others.

            We’ve already enough home grown idiots, we don’t need any more.

      • Oggy
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        If they are already in France then the French should be doing the helping.

        My wife and my stepson are Viet Namese and I/we had to go through very rigorous, expensive and stressful Visa procedures to get them here legally. They are now both UK citizens done the corrrect way not by cheating the system.
        If illegal migrants had anything to offer the UK they could get here legally through the Visa system, but the majority are unemployable.

        So don’t lecture me about non British people in the UK.

        But back to my post What part of illegal in illegal migrant don’t you understand.

        • L Jones
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          A little off subject – but to concur with your post, Oggy – I was in Canada when the elections were in full swing that resulted in Mr Trump’s success. I listened to many ‘Latino’ voters speaking of how they’d had to jump through the hoops that you describe in order to become legal US citizens – and how angry they were that others thought they should simply be able to walk in. They agreed with Mr T’s idea of ‘a wall’.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Help them in the first instance – yes, then return them from whence they came, which in the case of those who cross the English Channel, is a safe country.

        We should follow Australia’s lead. They make it clear from the outset that no-one will be allowed into the country if they arrive by illicit methods.

        The trouble with this country is we are too wishy-washy and soft. They can’t wait to accept anyone and everyone, regardless of the wishes of the rest.

      • Fred H
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Andy…..not quite the same. Put it this way, if you saw someone swim out to the middle of a 2 mile lake, after lots and lots of shouted advice not to swim. And then they got into difficulties, no lifebelt, cold water, the wind got up, it started pouring with rain. Would YOU set off for the mile swim expecting to save the man ( who may well have drowned by the time you get there).

      • L Jones
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Disingenuous claptrap, Andy. Try again.
        Go and look at some figures for our foreign aid disbursements, since you seem to love statistics. What good are they doing?
        Most of us here will be donating to local charities, or giving our spare time to them, helping those who are ‘drowning’. Do you? Have YOU ‘learnt the basic lesson of humanity’? Or does your bleeding heart only ache for those in other countries, and then is only soothed by throwing money at them?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        I know France is quite an unpleasant place in many ways these days but I can’t quite see why we should spend money to assist refugees fleeing Calais ?

        • Fred H
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          Roy….I can understand why hordes of people wish to jump ship from France – hundreds of thousands already did it, living in London. But I think you mean real refugees? Those that are so oppressed and in danger that they travel across at least 3 big countries to reach Calais or nearby access to the Channel. I wonder why?

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        Not a valid comparison. Their fate is no accident but they’re intentionally throwing themselves into the fire knowing they’ll be rescued by nanny UK.

        You might wish to address the reason these “children” risk their lives to get away from your Nirvana EU into the cesspit of lies and deceit that is the UK?

        • Tad Davison
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          Good point. If the EU was so fantastic, why would anyone want to leave it.

          • L Jones
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

            Errrr…. give us a minute. We’ll get back to you when we’ve considered your question. Couldn’t be money, could it?

            Why is it that remainers don’t do research?
            I believe that is the main difference between us: leavers researched and considered the situation and came down on the side of leaving. (I know I did, as I was torn, I admit.) Remainers thought that, since THEY were doing okay at the mo, they’d vote for the status quo without any consideration and research about the future.
            And this is the remain stance the less well-informed have clung to. Sad – it really is.

      • NickC
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        Andy, So would you help them if you knew they were British?

        The only way that helps illegal migrants in inadequate boats from subsequent drowning is to rescue them, and return them promptly from where they came. That is the only policy that halts the flow.

        • Andy
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          Of course I would help someone who was drowning. Unless I knew they were a Brexiteer.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            Gosh.
            A new low from you Andy.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Andy, I wonder if you would rescue a pensioner? Stop trying to sound like the good Samaritan. We all know what your true nature is. You’ve told us enough times.

        • NickC
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Fedupsoutherner, Wonder not. Andy has already stated many times that he hopes the 17.4m far-right angry Tory pensioners die off quickly.

          • acorn
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            The Chancellor certainly hopes all state pensioners die off quickly. The “triple lock” on those pensions is racking up spending just as fast as the student loan book. This is not what neoliberal budget surpluses are made of.

      • Steve
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        “Would you make a different decision if you knew the child was not British and perhaps shouldn’t be here?”

        I normally attempt to refrain from dignifying your posts with a response, but on this occasion you have again crossed the line when it comes to vile insults against the British people.

        Firstly I think you should consider the possibility that those you insult might have been decorated for extreme bravery in saving life, and almost losing their own in the process.

        Secondly you might (if you had standards) also consider what the people of this island are known for……i.e. helping others in crisis.

        It occurs to me that your take on life is very limited. I suspect you have not seen hardship let alone experienced it, which would explain your rants against pensioners and anyone else whom you jealously perceive as having more than you, even though they might well have been through hell during their time to earn the right.

        If I could send you back in time I’d have you on the Normandy beaches, or having to work in the shipyards during the war and in wintertime, or maybe serving in the Merchant Fleet.

        Unfortunately I cannot provide you with such experiences, but suffice to say I am truly disgusted by your questioning that we would leave a child to drown for any reason, regardless of whether or not the child was foreign.

        Coming on here suggesting the British people are child killing racists won’t win you any allies.

        I am bemused as to why our host even allows your sick comments on here, quite frankly.

        • Andy
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          People of this country are known for helping others.

          But on this blog you mostly object to that. You want to axe foreign aid. You think anyone seeking refuge here is an undesirable.

          You are right to be angry. Angry at yourself. Take a look at what you have become and wonder when your humanity left you.

          Sad.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

            Says the person who just a few posts above says he would not stop to help someone drowning if he knew they were a Brexit supporter.
            Take a look at what you have become….indeed Andy.

          • NickC
            Posted April 29, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

            Andy, You have the same mindset as Labour, and it is what JR rightly criticised in his post. Spraying money at a problem does not cure it. The UK’s foreign aid is known as a method of taking money from poor people in Britain to give to rich people in foreign countries. You advocate the money spray – justify it. Clearly your comments don’t – they are emotional incontinence as a substitute for facts and sense.

    • gregory martin
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Oggy
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      “Maybe the money is to pay for the free taxis given to illegal migrants to ensure they reach Dover safely once they’ve cast off from Calais in their rubber boats.”
      Why ever not, after all , discovered “illegal immigrants” found in the rear of trucks are allegedly given free rail warrants for travel ,unescorted , to Croydon, so that they can apply for asylum at Lunar House

  16. Edwardm
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    JR makes very pertinent points. It shows there is a worrying absence of critical thought at ministerial level.
    In terms of money spent on anti slavery, it raises in my mind the question is there any practical concern and money being spent to protect vulnerable young women in our country from mass rape and slavery……. ?

  17. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Without any good news it seems that ministers are issuing headlines to make them sound effective and on the job – but as you point out JR, it is with out any evidence of potential success.
    The points raised about measuring success and demonstrating programs work is very valid, especially for overseas aid which has never been justified in the public’s eyes.

    It does appear that this government has nothing to offer now but finding vanity projects to waste our taxes on…

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      It’s like watching a dying mud-covered duck flapping about on the tidal reaches of a salt marsh. Everyone knows its finished, but no-one seems to have the guts to put it out of its misery. It hasn’t even got the energy to preen its feathers properly to make itself look presentable. The once proud bird has become pitiful and beyond redemption. But could this duck really be a phoenix and is reincarnation a possibility?

      That depends on whether it can cast aside all the things that did it so much harm in the first place, chiefly, the undemocratic nonces who sold the UK down the river.

    • NickC
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Bryan Harris, This government continues the policies of the last Labour government: spraying money at anybody other than British people – foreign aid, illegal migrants, and the EU. And that’s not counting vanity projects like HS2 and the aircraft carriers.

      Like Labour voters, Tory voters have been far too tribal. That mould is being broken before our eyes with the ongoing demise of the Tory party. CCHQ is blind to the scale of damage caused by May and her supporters. Unfortunately, we might have to wait past our Venezuela moment for the same to happen to Labour.

  18. Richard1
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    There is no strategy or vision. The problem starts at the top. The sooner mrs may goes the better.

    • graham1946
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      She seems to be stuck harder than the Waitrose Warriors glued to the Stock Exchange.

  19. Peter Miller
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    The three great wastes of government money are: i) the foreign aid budget, ii) payments to the EU, and iii) green energy subsidies. Approximately £30 billion spent every year, all going to money heaven and not one penny of it doing the poor old UK taxpayer one bit of good.

    • jane4brexit
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      The ONS figure for borrowing during the last financial year was £24.7 billion, so without the items you mention we would have been in credit for the 2018/9 year with an extra £5+ billion to spend here.

  20. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Again, it’s that D word.
    Lack of democracy leading to decisions the majority would vote against.
    Brown tried this route and failed. Your party will meet the same fate.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      You might also wish to discuss the way in which that sucker on the teat of the taxpayer, RBS, now has the impudence to blame said taxpayer for its lousy results by blaming us for our Brexit decision. Oh, the irony, that Brown chucking taxpayer money at this hobbling failure was in good part the root cause for the electorate’s dissatisfaction with the whole rotten political system.

      • bigneil
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        SJS . . .Just the same as those who arrive asking for help, then slag off the NHS and everything else they get for nothing.

  21. Chris Dark
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Four million quid wasted on computer gaming. While they smugly discuss taking away free tv licences and bus passes for the elderly. Plus having robbed some of us of many years of pension. These people inhabit some kind of computer-game themselves, where money grows on trees and there are portals to different weird universes where they can go to escape the real world. Utter despair.

  22. Everhopeful
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Apparently we were the first country to abolish slavery.
    Yet we ordinary folk whose ancestors were little better than slaves are still required to pay constant penance.
    So how come our dear govt did not nip its resurgence in the bud???

    • NickC
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Everhopeful, Transportation was effectively slavery. UK/England commonly punished by transportation rather than jail time, in the past. From the early C17th many convicts went to the British colonies in America, before that avenue was closed off after the Declaration of Independence. Australia then became the dominant destination until transportation ceased in the late C19th.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Yes. Yes indeed! The “merciful” alternative to hanging by the neck until dead.
        And as you say..many of those who escaped the noose were sold into slavery as were children from workhouses.

      • Mitchel
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        In between America closing and Australia opening to convict settlement I gather we did consider sending them to (what is now) Ukraine after Catherine the Great has crushed the Crimean Tartars and annexed their land.Their slave-raiding activities had meant the region had been depopulated and she was looking for settlers to work the fertile soil.I’m not sure any were actually sent though.

    • margaret howard
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Everhopeful

      “Apparently we were the first country to abolish slavery.”

      Only if you get your history lessons from the D Mail type of sources.

      We were the biggest slave traders/slave owners in the world in the first place and cities like Liverpool and Bristol grew wealthy on the proceeds.

      When the slave trade (not slavery itself) was finally abolished, the government paid out £25m in compensation, an enormous sum in today’s money.

      To the slaves to help them get a start in life? No, of course not.
      To the slave traders to compensate them for their losses.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        You need a new history book Margaret.

  23. Ian Wilson
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Another scandalous waste is the smart meter programme – the last figure I saw was £11 billion and climbing.
    I heard their advert on Classic FM which even included the hoary chestnut of saving polar bears. Perhaps Smart Meters UK can explain how a meter will help a polar bear and why they are unaware that the bears are thriving, currently 25,000 – 40,000.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Smart meters are about control, not saving resources or money for the homeowners. Just like smart motorways are now being abused by government to raise taxes through fines. Yesterday on the M6 it was raining, the smart people at Highways took the speed down to 50mph it was too slow, people were bunching, driving to close it was more dangerous, as soon as the speed restrictions were taken away the motorway opened up freely again, they said there was debris in the road there was none, some people just drove past doing 70mph I thought either a foreign plate and no follow up on fines or you just don’t realise the cameras are on all the time!
      On the way home we got restricted to 50mph then 40mph because a car was in one of the breakdown areas with a police car, both off the motorway, completely unnecessary and not at all smart – also there was no cancellation of the speed limit, the screens were blank, no return to national speed limit, drivers were confused. It’s no use having ‘smart’ controls if the people managing them aren’t smart!

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Ian, Smart meters, so smart I had to ring up the supplier to find out how to read one,when a family member vacated a flat recently.

      Turns out the gas meter was in sleep mode so no reading could be taken, and the electricity meter you had to hold down button number 9 to get a reading.

      No instructions on either meter.

      They call it progress because they can read them (and would guess turn them off) at HQ.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Well said, Ian.

    • NickC
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Ian Wilson, Watch out, new contracts for energy supplies can stipulate mandatory fitment of “smart” meters. That’s how smart meters will finally be forced on us.

    • roger
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      They obviously have been listening to the gospels of 97% of climate scientists and have noticed that people like Andy are easily taken in by any and every unsubstantiated sob story.
      So sad!

      • APL
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        roger: “So sad!”

        Modern [state] education for you.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Yes, and the misleading advert that tells people they are getting renewable energy into their hones. All power comes from the grid and most of that is generated by gas and nuclear with coal for back up.

      • NickC
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Fedupsoutherner, Not quite. Nuclear and Coal are used for base load because they are not easy to switch off. Gas is partly base load and partly used to back up Wind. That is why Gas fired generation is nowadays less economic – its efficiency is sacrificed on the altar of Wind power every time it’s switched off, and later ramped up again.

        Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) – Gas powered – electricity generation is by far the most thermally efficient, and the cleanest, method. Coal rots boilers, so is heavy on maintenance (hence Coal is often refurbished in the summer). However coal is cheaper than natural gas as a fuel, so offsetting the higher maintenance costs. Wind is cheaper than it used to be, but still much more expensive than Coal or Gas.

        • Steve
          Posted April 28, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          Nick / FUS

          Actually there’s a website you can go onto and it gives live data showing what forms of energy are being used.

          • Fedupsoutherner
            Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

            Yes, I’ve seen that too. Nick you mention gas, nuclear and coal as I have already done. You elaborated but are stating what I was trying to say

    • Stred
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      That ………northern actress who talks condescending nonsense really drives us to turning the radio off and if driving it can be dangerous. We all know that the smaaart meters don’t work and will have to be changed. Over £4bn wasted so far and millions wasted on advertising because the government fines companies for not fitting enough stupid meters that don’t work and cost much more than they need to.

      • NickC
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Stred, The eventual purpose of “smart” meters is their use with varying electricity costs (varying by the hour). You will be charged more for running your kettle and washing machine at 5pm than at midnight.

        It’s all because of “renewables”, especially Wind, which are actually “unreliables”. Wind is unreliable, and switching Gas fired plants on and off quickly as backup reduces their efficiency drastically, so instead TPTB will manage demand via smartmeter live pricing.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      My wife complained about that smart meters advert. She’s received a stock reply.

    • Steve
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wilson

      “Perhaps Smart Meters UK can explain how a meter will help a polar bear”

      Ian, the argument in favour would be that smart meters (assuming they work) help reduce energy wastage and thus greenhouse gasses.

      I can understand that to a certain point.

      In fact some time ago I had key meters installed. It certainly saved me a lot of money – especially as I have tenants.

    • Mark
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Polar bears are feasting on walrus in late summer too. Some of it supplied to distract them from human settlements, and some of it the result of their own efforts to chase walruses over clifftops.

  24. Dominic
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    We have bigger concerns on the horizon that the ones John Redwood draws attention to in today’s blog update

    I believe our esteemed host should use this blog to attack the rise of Marxist ideology and how its existential threat is being deliberately toned down to repackage it for contemporary times

    The BBC is deliberately pandering to Marxist (influenced ed)Labour and using its various media platforms to present this form of politics as relevant and normal. This is the BBC actively promoting Marxist Labour and their poison in a positive light. It is pure propaganda and I for one am tired of financing it

    Three Marxist (infuenced ed) MPs took control of Labour. It is time Thatcherites took control of the Tory party. If they don’t and Labour get into government this nation is finished and May will be to blame for such a catastrophe

    I hope she’s happy with the maelstrom her sedition and stupidity will unleash. She will go down in infamy for her obsessions with the EU and identity politics

  25. Everhopeful
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Seems that the govt is investing a great deal more than a few £m in order to be at the cutting edge of virtual reality entertainment.
    Mind you…they probably do have a head start in that!
    The govt has always poured money into tv and film industry. Bedrock of the economy?
    Downside..has it spawned dubious tax avoidance schemes in the past?

  26. Mark B
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/one-giant-leap-vertical-launch-spaceport-to-bring-uk-into-new-space-age

    If I was going to spend money on a Space Port, I would site it on Ascension Island near the equator. Energy from the Earth’s spin would mean that the rockets used could be much smaller relative to the payload, thereby reducing costs. Plus, it would be launched over non-populated areas and away from non-friendly nations (eg Russia) and would be seen as less of a threat. But hey, when since did common sense enter peoples minds when there is an opportunity to do a grandstanding with other peoples money ?

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, The most economical site depends on many things but most significantly, other things being more or less equal, the intended orbit of the spacecraft. For geo-stationary orbit a site on the equator is best. For polar sun-synchronous or high inclination orbits, the arctic would be good, although difficult for other reasons, so Scotland ain’t bad. Many other factors to consider, too. The market for small satellites is quite competitive and increasing in size. UK would face competition from eg. Norway’s Andøya and Canada’s Canso Nova Scotia.
      These debates have been going on for decades!

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

        I should have mentioned Russia’s long established site at Plesetsk, which gives Russia a huge advantage over Western countries. Latitude 62 40 N.

  27. agricola
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    An adequately funded and directed police force would at ground level be delighted to tackle major sources of crime. You have highlighted one this morning. Drugs is another.

    A true story related over coffee yesterday. Those who have read John le Carre know what a brush contact is. A friend witnessed it in a new form last week. Two BMWs travelling fast in opposite directions in a (part ed) of the city screamed to a halt opposite each other. Windows were open, arms extended both ways, withdrew and the cars sped off. You do not need to be a detective to realise that drugs went one way and money the other.

    Police on the ground in the city are as rare as hens teeth. I have been in the UK five months and have yet to see as many policemen as I would in a day back at home in Spain. The key is funding, numbers of policemen visible, leadership and direction to get stuck in and sort the problem. I would suggest that drugs are the base of an inverted pyramid of criminality. Hit it hard and the pyramid collapses. I am sure the police are better informed than I am so my message to the Home Office is fund them for major results. Even Wallace and Grommet could tell the Home Secretary that. It aslk avoids him looking stupid which I am sure he is not.

    • bigneil
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      No funding to keep the numbers of police up – – – seemingly bottomless funding for a non-stop river of illegals getting here for a house, NHS, cash, kids schooling and free translators.

  28. majorfrustration
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    What a shambles of a Government – yet we pay political wages for a crowd of muppets. England what on earth has happened to you?

  29. ukretired123
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    We have a fake PM, a fake government representing us tried to pretend all is normal when is is seriously adrift, diverting attention with trivial announcements whilst ‘Rome is burning” or rather the EU is burning bucks and due for a mighty recession.
    A German economist publicly stated how right we were to see it coming and noted we have made the logical and right decision to leave. Unfortunately Hammond and May don’t think about we voted for and think we will forget about it.
    I seriously wonder if the prescription medication TM is taking is having she effects that are yet unknown, seriously.
    Thanks Sir John for your daily dose of sanity.

    • Steve
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Ukretired123

      “We have a fake PM, a fake government”

      I have to agree wholeheartedly with that. Clearly they’re the EU’s quislings, and therefore ‘fake’.

      They need to be removed ASAP. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if they cancelled the next general election.

      It would be good to see a future government publicly expose this current lot…..all the sneaky capitulation meetings with the EU Commission, the Irish PM – the bribes, the threats, the shyster tricks, all the lies, their use of the BBC for propaganda purposes everything, the whole damn lot. Get it ALL to public disclosure.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

      ukretired123, I have been writing for at least year now that Mrs May is the Governor of the EU province of EngScoWalNi.

  30. ukretired123
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    As slaves to the EU what about us, never mind the irony of it nor slaves to Westminster nonsense.

  31. Found an anchor
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    #Oh and it appears we have just “12 Years” to live. Then we all die. Drown, burn to death, starve, die of thirst, including all animals and plant life…the End of the World.

    The above will be debated in The House soon and the proposes of the debate are not due to be locked up so they do not self-harm

  32. Found an anchor
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    proposers

  33. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    The computer game funding is odd. As both the programmes you mention were made by the BBC you would have though they have enough money of their own to commercialise them.

  34. Kenneth
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Socialists governments love spending other people’s money on bizarre pet projects.

    Best solution is to stop voting Conservative

  35. Original Richard
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    “Modern slavery” is the result of uncontrolled immigration and a lack of control over who is living in the country.

    • APL
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Original Richard: ““Modern slavery” is the result of uncontrolled immigration and a lack of control over who is living in the country.”

      Bingo!

  36. Iain Gill
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    The health secretary has been making lots of announcements, but delivery is non existent.

    There was an announcement that the postcode lottery for access to continuous blood sugar monitoring would end, but despite cast iron assurances from ministers and NHS England centrally the unaccountable CCG’s are still using wildly different criteria. Examples like this really should be getting raised in parliament as they make the government look incompetent.

    Especially as Mrs May is getting such prescriptions, which many non VIP’s in the same circumstances are not.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      Iain Gill. The government is incompetent! Why would you expect otherwise? The entire business model of the NHS is fundamentally flawed. Its incentives are wired to create bad outcomes.

  37. Sharon Jagger
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    I can’t think of any reason for why government should be interested in funding videos, unless the intention is to control the contents for indoctrination purposes? Subliminal messaging….?

  38. Whisked a bit
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    The recent announcements by the Government of Scotland ruled by Mrs Sturgeon
    1/ Exit from our United Kingdom in the next 5 years
    2/Entrance to United Kingdom of Europe in real bureaucratic terms in 15 years
    3/We are all going to die from Climate Change in 12 years

    It is interesting though not the least bit educational from all at the SNP

  39. Graeme Irvine
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Milton Friedman once put it, if you’re spending your own money on yourself, you care about price and quality. If you’re spending someone else’s money on yourself, you only care about quality. If you’re spending your own money on someone else, you care only about price. And if you’re spending someone else’s money on someone else, you don’t care about either.

  40. Vodka Party
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    KGB FSB HQ Moscow Meeting today
    Chairman
    ” Is there a way to undermine totally and for ever the UK, remove all ready weak feelings for democracy?”
    Agent One Vladibond:
    “Niet, it has been done. Mission completed.”
    Chairman:
    “How?”
    Agent Two Vladibondka
    ” It is a secret we may not speak about even here”
    Chairman:
    ” Da. Bribery, blackmail. So we shall not speak about it even here! Well done!
    Russia is proud of you all! Whose round is it?

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Orders of Lenin all round.

  41. acorn
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I have been a bit surprised to find how little UK backbench MPs know about; or, even bother to find out about, the detail of government fiscal operations. In the USA the federal treasury publishes a daily statement of the income and withdrawals from its operating budget. Congress watches it like Hawks and questions items in it. I have not found anything equivalent from the UK treasury. Imagine the fun our Punch & Judy parliament could have with that! https://www.fms.treas.gov/dts/overview.html

    Anyway, JR does not seek more public spending, just net EU current account funding repatriated. That number has averaged over the last five years at circa £8 billion a year. Which will be circa 1% of this years total managed expenditure (TME) of £830 billion. The Chancellor will knock it off the budget deficit rather than spend it I reckon.

    BTW, the £8 billion a year equates to £14 billion (€16 billion) for the 21 months to Dec 2020. That equates with the extra amount the EU 27 say they will have to cough up for a no-deal-no-pay Brexit.

  42. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    The Government should stay out of ‘picking winners’ in just about every area of human endeavour, including high tech projects – in fact especially high tech projects. Has the Government made out a commercial case for HS2? Or for driverless cars?

    Appraisal methods for transport projects cover economy, safety, environment, access and public policy. Economic analysis is necessary for most highway schemes because it is not a good idea to cover the country with toll roads. But for rail investments like HS2, a straightforward financial analysis is possible and should be undertaken.

  43. agricola
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    One announcement you have missed. The resignation of Nafascha Engel our Fracking Tsar. Due to abysmal leadership of the government department responsible who have caved in to the vociferous green lobby, yes that same bunch of unwashed camping on Westminster Bridge. All in the face of pro fracking scientific advice. But what can you expect from a minister who is an economics grsduate, ex director of the BBC,and an ex member of the Lib Dums. You could not make it up. Another cause for the Brexit Party to take up in support of a sensibly fueled British economy.

    • Mark
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      It is a while since I have seen so much sense from a Labour politician, or any government minister on energy policy. She is absolutely right. I hope that more sensible politicians consult her in forming energy policy.

      Meantime Sturgeon has declared a climate emergency in Scotland – it must be a case of too much wind. Corbyn wants Westminster to vote on it for Greta points. It’s not just the Conservative Party that is no longer fit to govern.

  44. The PrangWizard
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    The Smart meter sales people are out in my village again. Second time in a month. As he walked down the path I thought he was a delivery guy wanting me to take something for my neighbour but no, I realised just in time, he was a cold calling salesman. I didn’t answer his knock this time, clearly they didn’t take any notice last time when I told them I didn’t want one. Isn’t there a restriction on cold calling and harassment?

    It’s yet another racket, a government racket. Your government’s racket.

    Or perhaps it doesn’t apply if it’s a case of ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’.

    • John Archer
      Posted April 29, 2019 at 2:35 am | Permalink

      Think of the advantages of smart meters though.

      With a decent computerised control system, if there’s any strain on the grid due to loony greentard klimate-change policy, then instead of blackouts comprehensively covering whole areas so that people can see what’s happening (or rather not see because all lighting near them has been cut off) and thereby make a collective fuss the Power Führer can select a conveniently wide distribution of households to be cut off so that each affected household will think the problem is peculiar to them. So no public fuss. It didn’t happen. See? Neat eh?

      Also if any members of The PrangWizard household prove difficult in anyway to the powers that be, then they can be selectively targeted for a ‘power inconvenience’ at the press of a big red button. I think that one could be really handy, especially on an election day.

      I’m sure the are other advantages too, but those two are pretty good already.

      I mean what’s not to like?

  45. Iain Gill
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Brexit party at 28 percent, conservatives at 13 percent, continuing to support this cabinet is untenable.

  46. BR
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Hear, hear.

    However… how can you make these things happen, as a ‘mere’ back-bencher?

  47. mancunius
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    How paradoxical that the government wants to spend £4 million on ‘anti-slavery’ measures, while willing to spend £39 billion on enslaving the entire population.

    • Rhoddas
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Excellent post Mancunius, thank you indeed, spot on the money!!

      Having just sat with a load of brits in Crete for an Easter lunch, it’s clear 2 of the 3 Remainers amongst the group didn’t realise anything significant about the hidden federalization by the EU and enormous powers being subsumed by Bruxelles. One said the EU was originally designed to avoid WW3 in Europe (NATO not involved here?), another Remainer wants to stay “part of Europe” (as if we were physically leaving, NOT) as he has friends and family there…. and thought federalization was “OKAY”…….even though it was pointed out each nation EU state will have less powers than Idaho or Indiana etc ………. The 4 Leavers had done their homework…

    • Marcus
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      I’ll tell you what is paradoxical..paradoxical is paying 39 billion to put ourselves into a halfway situation with them into the future where we’ll have absolutely no say on anything when it comes to trading regulation. Not alone will we pay the 39B but we will probably continue to pay in forever as if we were full members but still with no say on how things evolve or develop..I would say that is quite paradoxical. In fact I would say the whole thing of brexit is absurd..of course it wouldn’t be if we could move our country say 2000 miles into Atlantic ..but we can’t..Europe will always be there 20 miles away from our coast and that is why the whole thing is so absurd.

      • mancunius
        Posted April 28, 2019 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        What’s really paradoxical is when a propagandist posts pro-EU garbage on here day in, day out, for years, using a host of different fake ‘English’ IDs to imply that a large number of people share these eu-fanatic, anti-British views.
        Your other IDs (may? ed) include: GregH, cryingoutloud, meAgain, PrezleB, blake, bleak, StanleyW, jack Snell, Ahem, TedC, Harry, Anton, LiamB, hellbent, crackersjohn, DanB, navalgazing, Jonp, Drachma, sobeit, timeout, hellbent, GregL, homebird, Backtoback, Hardlyever, dittoagain, BretW, Harry, James Neill, jason wells, HardyB, and chasD.
        To name only a few.

        Reply According to my index on the site Mweaver sends in posts as Duncan, Matt, Peter and Marcus
        Gharry sends in posts as Grant, GeorgeP, Gary, Hardlyever, Lazlo and GregH

        It would be good to know why these changes and how many other names are involved.

  48. hefner
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    What is £4m? The pay package for the departing CEO of RBS still owned at 62% by “all of us”. Why so much fuss?

  49. David Burrows
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I just wish we had a Conservative government, or any way we could vote for one.

    • GilesB
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      If you want implementation of the Conservative Party’s 2017 General Election manifesto, then vote for the Brexit Party.

  50. Gareth Warren
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Maybe you should recommend they use the “invest” rather then spend, since they think the public rather dumb over brexit then surely we wont remember labour spin.

    But it is a good point you make, I remember Reagon making a similar one in his speech a time of choosing, there he termed keeping the score. For some reason governments all too often ignore their results – until their results are so poor they are voted out of office. There is a very unhealthy black of respect for taxes these days.

    Lets hope that when we get rid of Theresa we can have a government that from time to time looks at its results.

  51. Fred H
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Brandon Lewis has refused to say when the Tories’ European election campaign will launch, saying his priority is not to have to fight them at all. The UK is due to elect new MEPs on 23 May, after Brexit was delayed amid continuing parliamentary deadlock. Several parties have launched their campaigns already but Conservative chair Mr Lewis told the BBC his focus was on next week’s local elections. I think the Electorate is focussed on the Local elections too !!
    To recap, the UK has 73 MEPs to the EU. Ignoring 10 won by (regional etc) tiny parties, that leaves 63 won by UKIP, Tories and Labour. With Brexit party joining in, and UKIP likely to lose several, it is interesting to think about how the split representation might work out. With Mrs May possibly damaging the Tory seats, and Labour similarly portraying mixed positions on the EU, is the field wide open to Brexit and to a smaller extent UKIP? Mr Lewis will have upset Remoaner voters by confirming he wants us to Leave. However that surely means by getting WA approved within time? Three times the MPs have rejected the WA, so the EU election would appear certain to take place in the UK.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Fred H,

      Clearly if the Conservatives and Labour force through May’s WA then the two main parties will be confirming their destruction of democracy and their contempt for the electorate and contempt for the UK. Anything to protect their parties and to be e.g. rule takers is what they appear to desire.

      Too afraid to fight a European or General Election, no respect for the referendum result and not even a willingness to put ‘no deal’ vs ‘WA’ out for a 2nd referendum. – the Conservative and Labour parties seemingly don’t do democracy, the UK is no longer democratic.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      Anything can happen with Labour. It is as likely to be bribed successfully by some domestic deal as it is no a change to Brexit. Just imagine if Mrs May threatened to announce that Labour had refused an increase in NHS spending because it wanted to vote down her Brexit deal just to spite the Tories?
      What you should not be expecting is that Mrs May and Labour are considering Brexit on matters of principle or national interests. It is pure and dirty pork barrel politics.

  52. BillM
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    It is getting to the stage whereby the Government decides within themselves how best to “Invest” tax payers money. Slavery? What dodge is this? Why can the OTT Overseas Aid Fund £13B per year cover this? And how much are other Nations in the RotW contributing? Always LESS than the UK!
    When is OUR Government (Whatever colour or creed) going to put the interests of the British People, First? Why are they ALWAYS seeking to solve the problems of the World BEFORE they have rectified those at home? We pay their wages the RotW does not!
    Do they really consider us Brits, the ones that actually pay their wages and have to pick up their tab each every-time they go off on such a naive “Guilt trip”?
    I think not. which is the reason why the British people now DEMAND complete Change in OUR Main Stream political Parties or they will suffer their consequences of their total arrogance towards us. Be warned, for the old days are done.

  53. MikeP
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Coming to this late as it’s my birthday. But did we ever need two better examples of a Government that has run out of ideas, run out of road, run out of talent, that is inept, incompetent and totally past its sell-by date?

  54. Vernon Wright
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    If any-one would do any-thing with Treasury income and expenditure, let him simplify the British tax system. Its complexity defies belief and is entirely unnecessary.

    ΠΞ

  55. mancunius
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    And while on the subject of money – never mind £4 million on virtue-signalling: what about the £100 million thrown away on MEP elections the PM wants never to take place, just to stifle the anti-government two-fingered response the voters will give ‘her’ i.e. the EU’s Versailles Treaty 2.0, and her disgraceful flouting of the 2017 Manifesto and the 2016 Referendum.
    She can’t of course legally stop the vote (and despite her bluster, she knows that). What I surmise she wants to do is to actually cancel the results, after the elections have been held and the results are in, so that none of the victorious pro-Brexit MEPs will be allowed to take their seats. The EU will connive in letting her get away with that. They might even initiate the move. (Then they’ll turn round and tell EU citizens to sue the UK government at the ECJ for mega-billions, for ‘loss of representational rights’).

    May makes Mugabe look like a beginner.

  56. Peter D Gardner
    Posted April 28, 2019 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    “The government is spending £4m on new computer games.”

    Possibly to enhance the Treasury’s forecasts of catastrophe if Parliament rejects Mrs May’s Withdrawal (Vassalage – Accession) Agreement a fourth time.

    Or to game the next decision on UK’s future by the European Council.

  57. John Archer
    Posted April 29, 2019 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    You misunderstand. The government is not there to answer questions and be accountable.

    They’re there to tell you what to think and do.

    Tsk! I mean how many times do you peasants need to be told?

    Now, any more of your insolence and we’ll bang you up for hate crime. Consider that your final warning. Run along.

  58. Dennis Zoff
    Posted April 29, 2019 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    Returned today from an extended period in Germany. Discussions held with my German family, friends, senior colleagues, executives on Vorstands (BODs) and some Government officials.

    Quick summary: In general Germans are thoroughly fed up with Brexit and just want the UK to get on with it. They are concerned German exports are at risk due to perceived incompetence by T. May and her close associates. They additionally believe the UK is making an international mockery of its global standing, though I did sense a little schadenfreude in the mix from business associates!

    Their strongly held viewpoint; Post Brexit they would have no hesitation in continuing the very good relationship and business terms with the UK (no surprise). My referencing the WA (aka Treaty) detail was indeed a surprise and they understandably agreed with me it was unsellable to the wider UK public, as it would be to the German public. Naturally, they had not been informed of the onerous terms attached to it?

    Notably, as we know, the German media is highly controlled by central Government, and in general, Germans are not really well informed of any contentious detail with regards to UK Vs Brussels negotiations. Official Government narrative…it’s all the Brits fault with their indecision and bumbling Politics/Politicians!

    Nothing particularly new in this short summary, but does reinforce the “want” to continue as before and the complete ignorance as to why we wish to leave the neo-soviet block?

    • NickC
      Posted April 29, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Dennis Zoff, That’s useful information. Thank you.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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