Trust in the establishment? We dont believe you…

One of the big themes of my book is the breakdown in trust in Establishment forecasts, remedies and ability to even identify what people think the problems are. In a healthy democracy there are always sceptics, campaigners trying to change the agenda, and differences of expert opinion. In recent years there has been a bigger reduction in trust in establishment analysis and priorities, allied to more concerted attempts by the establishment to crowd out any alternative narrative or policy approach. They have got better at spinning as they have got worse at managing.

 

In the area I know best, economic forecasts and policy making, the banking crash and its aftermath was a major knock to confidence in official forecasts and their ability to make policy for prosperity. The widespread adoption of austerity policies, especially the extreme ones in the Euro area, added to the disillusion. It is true that the UK Treasury and Bank had  a very disappointing record prior to the Great Recession, but that for many was the final straw.

Most of my adult life I have been a critic of successive Treasury policies by  the changing governments who usually perish through economic incompetence. In the 1970s I was urging more prudent policies on spending and borrowing, only to see Labour humiliate our country by having to go for a bail out at the IMF and bring on a nasty recession.

In the 1980s I successfully battled against submitting the UK to the boom bust torture of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, only to lose the battle at the end of the decade. The scheme did even more damage than I imagined , plunged us into recession and threw the Conservative party out of office for 13 years as a result.

 

In the period from 2005 I was one of many warning of excessive debt and credit building in the system. After 2007 I was a lonely voice urging a less severe approach to sorting out the banking system,watching the authorities break some banks and trigger another large recession. That threw Labour out of office. Today I remain a critic of the over tight money policy and the damaging tax policy of the current government, which is slowing growth too much.

 

The Referendum campaign was another major blow to expert opinion and trust  in government financial institutions. Their stupid pessimism for the econony if we dared to vote to leave the EU was soon disproved by events. It confirmed critics in thinking official forecasts are politically rigged to suit the establishment.

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54 Comments

  1. Pominoz
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Your common sense approach to all aspects of life, personal and business, arises from intelligence and experience. The Project Fear approach of the MSM and Remainer politicians are only designed to thwart the delivery on the referendum result. The whole UK ‘Establishment’ is tainted.

    Those unelected from Brussels are even more so and now, Guy Verhofstadt says, during his UK campaigning in support of the Lib Dems, that there must be “..never, never again an exit from the EU”. He goes on to say “..we have to stop nationalism and populism as fast as possible..” in order to save the EU project.

    Quite clearly he is determined to ensure the total obliteration of independent sovereign countries, like the UK, as these are an impediment to ‘the grand plan’. Such comments demonstrate so clearly why it is imperative to leave cleanly now. To remain tied in by the putrid WA will see the EU increasingly reel in and suppress the very healthy and positive ‘differences’ which exist between the various European nation states. Such moves will, of course, be ‘irreversible’ if the Brussels ‘elite’ get their way.

    Remedy: May unseated now. WA ditched. Allow the Euro elections as the result will be revealing. Leave on WTO terms immediately afterwards and thereby save those elected actually taking up their seats. As for a United States of Europe, I have no objection as long as the UK is not part of it (we are just too ‘different’). To get it off the ground, I suggest that Germany and France combine as one country and if that is still a success in ten years, let others, which want to, join it. Interesting, however, that France and Germany can’t currently even agree on Juncker’s replacement.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      “Such comments demonstrate so clearly why it is imperative to leave cleanly now.”

      Yup, I think Sir John’s piece today touches on some fundamental and undeniable truths, and clearly enough is enough.

      Latest polls (source: Opinium / order-order.com)–

      The Brexit Party: 34%
      Labour: 21%
      LibDem: 12%
      Conservative: 11%
      Green: 8%
      UKIP: 4%
      SNP: 4%
      CHUK: 3%

      Even more alarming for the Tories, on General Election voting intention things seem to be pretty much neck-and-neck with both the Conservative Party and the Brexit Party vying for second place at about 20% of the vote each. Labour is in the lead on 27% — for now…

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 12, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Indeed the only way for the Conservative to win the next election is to recapture the Brexit/UKIP votes with a new leaders instead of the current dishonest, EUphile, robotic, PC, socialist.

        The only positive is that no one sensible (certainly in England) wants to see a communist, Corbyn/Mc Donnall Government with its tail being wagged by the SNP do they.

        Corbyn accuses Farage of being a snake oil salesman and then goes on to promise to double the wages of some young workers. Thus preventing many of them from getting a job or learning to work. Corbyn is the snake oil (Father Christmas) conman and in spades.

        • Numb
          Posted May 13, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          “Corbyn …then goes on to promise…”
          Quite right! We are onto him too. We’ve got his number.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted May 12, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Still some way to go.
        With a few more good people on board, Brexit can surely hoover up another 50% of the Cons and UKIP votes, plus a slice of Labour.
        The target has to be 50%+ with good policies and people, then we’ll have arrived at a stable and predictable state to move forward.

      • Ginty
        Posted May 12, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        CHUK 3% !

      • forthurst
        Posted May 12, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        No idea where Staines got his figures from. Here is a question from the Opinium survey:

        “If the UK takes part in the elections due at the of May to elect MEPs to the European Parliament, would you vote Brexit Party, Change UK – The Independent Group, Conservative, the Green Party, Labour, Liberal Democrat, UKIP, SNP, Plaid Cymru or for another party, or would you not vote?”

        Apart from the very strange way in which the question has been put, the number of respondents saying they would not vote was nil: I rest my case.

      • Brigham
        Posted May 12, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        If the polls are to be believed, the only way to keep the Labour out of government is for the Tories agree to let the Brexit party to run a minority. This is the only way. I would prefer that the Brexit party ends up with a clear majority. If the Brexit party does win, let us hope that the civil service can be put back in it’s place

    • Posted May 12, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      A pragmatic approach, but would the German and Fre ch people accept integration. I have my doubts. Look on it as gains and losses. You end up with proper financial control, necessary to support a common currency. Then there is the very real risk of losing all those national differences that make Europe such an attractive destination. Finally the very real democratic deficit in the EU needs to be addressed before the extreemes are allowed oxygen.

    • Posted May 12, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      As an adendum to my previous reply, I would like to see the UK focus on developing the Commonwealth as the largest most diverse trading area in the World. All done without a trace of political compulsion. A perfect answer to the abomination that is the EU.

      • Pominoz
        Posted May 13, 2019 at 1:53 am | Permalink

        Agricola,

        Agree entirely with both your posts.

        One of the main points of the last paragraph of my post to highlight what I see as very major potential problems with just two countries tying themselves together, which is much clearer to se than when a whole jumble of nations is pushed together. No doubt the ‘elite’ hope to create a situation so confused that not one single nation (apart from I hope the UK) can foresee the tragedy which is bound to unfold as the realisation of their predicament eventually sinks in.

    • David Price
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      To Pominoz’s remedy I would add a radical shakeup of the Conservative Party in government and in parliament for good measure – the 22 committee is clearly not up to snuff for a start. Do those things and the CP may survive to a degree.

      Do nothing, even if May does not win, and it is curtains.

      FWIW I wouldn’t vote for a Conservative Party that has any of the current cabinet as PM or minister in EU or General elections

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    AS you have long studied economic cycles, will you look at where we are in the current cycle and consider if government should still be borrowing, if interests rates are correct for a mature stage of the economic cycle, if the level of household debt is reasonable for this stage, and if the economy is well placed to withstand the next recession?

    Reply I have. Our economy needs a stimulus and action to reduce the balance of payments deficit.Immediate exit from the EU will do both

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Indeed.

    The Conservatives have not really had a decent overall majority since the dire John Major and his idiotic ERM destroyed the Conservatives Party’s reputations for economic competence. Cameron scraped a small majority at his second attempt by promising an EU referendum so UKIP voters returned. The question now (after May’s destruction of the party) is surely will the conservatives come fourth, fifth or sixth in the EU elections?

    The only way for the Conservatives to have any chance of recovery is to become a real pro-Brexit and a real Conservative party under a charismatic leader who actually believes in Brexit, democracy and small government. In short to do the complete opposite of the pro EU, PC. tax to death, SJW & socialist Theresa May.

    • Ginty
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      The Tory party is now toast. We gave them a second chance and now they’ve lost trust totally.

      They’ve done a Ratner.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Start with cancellation of HS2, as David Davis suggests today.

    HS2 is a vanity project any new PM must scrap. I wouldn’t be surprised if the eventual cost of this white elephant rail scheme surpasses £200 billion.

    Replace the economic illiterate 100% + taxes Philip Hammond.

    Daniel Hannan is surely also right today:- May must go now if the Tories are to survive.

  5. Oliver
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Just reading the Sunday Telegraph editorial, Canada 1993 a Tory like party went from 156 seats to just 2.

    As there’s clearly never going to be another Tory government here, after this total shredding of credibility, not just by a catastrophic “leader” but also a thoroughly useless Chancellor, hopeless Cabinet, and incompetent backbench opposition via the wimpish 1922…

    Why don’t you cut your losses, and join Farage as his Chancellor in waiting? What to lose? Who knows, you might even win!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      First past the post and too many always have always will vote x people about. The small government, democratic, pro Brexit, low taxes real Conservatives need to recapture the Conservative party and very quickly indeed.

  6. Posted May 12, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Recent polling is terrifying.
    We all know about the coming EU election: a Brfexit walk-over. That is confirmed.
    What is terrifying is that the Conservatives are now split in half – Brexit on one side and the Blue Conservatives on the other. Together they form 39% of the vote.

    Labour would romp home in a general election as things stand with a good majority.

    This is actually relevant to your article, Sir John, in that the government are out of touch.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      I am not so sure Labour would romp home, I can see no majority. Hence a strange series of attempts at a workable coalition….like the EU or Not saga, it could run and run.

  7. Newmania
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    You did not foresee 2008. You could hardly have promised to match Labour spending plans if you had. National debt was then about 35%, whereas now it is over 80% of GDP and you cannot get through day without asking for more spending. This intergenerational theft you claim to be reconcile with the 1% of annual spend l EU contribution. Its like the sphinx and the Great pyramid , they look the same size only if you have no perspective.

    Reply I did foresee 2008. I predicted the banking crash and recession.

    • formula57
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Newmania did not foresee your Reply!

    • Ginty
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Now. You know full well that the consequences of being in the EU cost a lot more than 1%.

      CHUK languishes as a measly 3% – Brexit Party soars to a 37% lead. No second referendum wanted.

      If you force a Remain, Newmania, you get Corbyn as well.

      Be sure to tell us that your costs are Remain + Corbyn and total annihilation of the pro EU Tories and complete distrust in British politics… which is what Sir John’s book is about.

      • Ginty
        Posted May 12, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        Much of your argument over the last three years for obstructing Brexit has been that there was no appetite for leaving the EU.

        Latest polls show Brexit party top at 34% and CHUK bottom at 3%. A significant number of Tory and Labour supporters will also be Leavers, as are the 4% still supporting UKIP, of course.

        Don’t you feel bad about keeping us stuck in the catflap on false information and arrogance, Newmania ?

        • Simon Coleman
          Posted May 12, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          Absolutely. There’s plenty of appetite for leaving the EU…because 17.4 million people have an insatiable appetite for fantasy, nostalgia…and lies.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 13, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

            Silly post from you Simon.
            Insulting 17.4 million voters as you pro EU fans often do, is not going to change hearts and minds.

            Lies…?
            try a little look back at all the Project Fear lies that can be seen not to have come true.

  8. Prigger
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    The Establishment or The Elite or Deep State, well I’ve never quite understood who or what they might be but individuals in breakaway groups and parties from the main do appear to be siblings irrespective of political outlook.

    We all can agree Boris is always in a deep state of sorts in the nicest possible way and in the case of Rees-Mogg many suspect him of being Tacitus or Marcus Aurelius come alive.

    But our media which is also in a state generally, speaks Latinish and double-dutch and never says anything about Albania in regard to its accession to the EU.
    Albania gets EUR 1.2bn of developmental aid up to 2020 from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance ( partly from the UK tax-payer ) and Montenegro EUR 507m until 2020.

    #The point is should we trust our Establishment when it freely gives money away to states such as these? We see their current internal problems. Having them with us in the EU which can only destabilise the whole is not the act of quality people.

    etc ed

    • Posted May 12, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      The establishment is Bilderberg, and Davos followed by politicians, senior civil servants, the broadcasting media, and our legislators. The international and metropolitan bubble for want of a better grouping.

  9. Posted May 12, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    The loss of trust is twofold. There are the expert forecasts by all those draped in economic degrees that are just plain wrong. Assuming their scincerity perhaps there are too many inputs that their computer programmes cannot take account of. It is potentially as difficult as making a UK weather forecaste. Most of the inputs they have no control of,so their reactions are invariably playing catchup.

    The second factor in distrust is the downright dishonesty under political direction of the various institutions involved. I cite the Treasury, the Bank of England, and the IMF to name but a few. We just don’t believe them, because in recent years we have learnt that they are wedded to remain in the EU come what may. Note, they are all the users of other peoples money.

    Then to ice the cake we have a remain BBC and Channel 4 passing on the message because they too would wish to remain. It is unacceptable that national broadcasters funded by the people are left free to peddle their own political line. Mostly they do it by ommission, rarely inviting anyone to contribute that does not share their ” Guardianista” view. Question Time is a classic example. They also allow actors of rampant left wing thinking to drag their political views into otherwise acceptable programmes. Recently one touring the USA arrived outside Trump Tower on 5th Avenue and had a tasteless rant against Donald Trump. It destroyed an otherwise watchable programme.

    • nhsgp
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      On trump, the left don’t ask the right question.

      “What did the democrats do to people that they think Trump is the solution?”

      For the Tories that’s easy. They ignored the direct instruction of the electorate in an anti democratic fascist way.

      The electorate are now going to wipe the Tories out.

      They didn’t learn from the Lib Dems and Tuition fees. The Lib Dem hope that people have forgotten is in for a shock, because the voters now have an alternative to them, the Tories and Labour

    • Ginty
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      The BBC also advertises relentlessly.

      It advertises the books, the films, the records and the shows of all its luvvy chums who share and sometimes promote the same politics.

      I’ve lost count of the times a record, book or film has been given the high pressure sale treatment using our money – it used to be the other way around. A record or book had to hit chart sales before it got BBC exposure.

      It’s totally bent.

  10. Nigl
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Agree totally and no more obvious than from a government spokesman yesterday saying that Brexit would have been delivered if only people hadn’t voted against it, ignoring the alternative view that it is a pigs ear and refusing to respond to the issues raised by informed people like yourself.

    When robo May again intones it is a good deal, we shout back ‘we don’t believe you’ as evidenced in the polls. When will someone listen.

    Captain, captain, we are about to hit an iceberg. Shut up, I know what I am doing.

  11. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    “They have got better at spinning as they have got worse at managing”

    Exactly right, fact replaced by fiction, from a growing number of Career Politicians who have never managed anything in their lives, who cannot spot a real expert from a fake one, and who seem to not ever want to accept responsibility for their own decisions, but who at the same time want complete control over every aspect of our lives.

    How has Parliament reached such a state, is it the Party machine that is the problem, by often acting against the Constituents wishes and parachuting in outside candidates.
    Is it the Party machine short lists, rather than local selection of candidates which is the problem.
    Why no automatic system of the right of recall, for those deemed by their actions as unfit to serve.
    Is it the Party run system of management/control, the Whips, the Candidate, the Mp’s or Leader selection which needs a shake up.
    The so called lobbying system also seems completely out of control.

    It would seem at the moment that Parliament is simply unfit for purpose.

    Spinning is simply a failure to tell the truth, and if you cannot be truthful, then your policies are sure to fail, because they have been designed using fake information.

  12. George Brooks
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    The last paragraph of Pominoz’s comment posted at 0512hrs is 100% right and please make sure that Brady and all members of the 1922 committee read it, understand it and stop ‘pussy-footing about’ and get rid of May at the beginning of this coming week before she does any more damage.

  13. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    I know I bang on about socialism as the evil of our time, but if we look at the problems you are highlighting JR, most if not all can be connected because we stopped using common sense and increased the use of dogma.
    We always identify socialists as two faced, with a reluctance to tell the truth, as well as their lack of financial capabilities, not to mention their over-used inclination to insult where their own logic fails them. This does unfortunately describe far too many in our Parliament. The EU has been instrumental in forcing socialist techniques on us, and as such they have been / still are a major source of our problems.
    The shameful incident with the IMF was due to financial incompetence by a socialist government who had turned their authority over to the unions.

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      The biggest crisis of this century so far has been the banking collapse of 2008. As far as I’m, aware, that had everything to do with…bankers – and whatever shadowy groups operate behind them. You right-wing retirees seem to be in a constant rage about politics and economics, blaming everything on fantasy socialists. Why don’t you get some new slippers and go back to watching Midsomer Murders dvds?

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted May 13, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        @Simon Coleman
        That deserves a response, simply because you live upto the above description of a damned socialist.

        When are you God-less people going to wake up to the damage that socialism has done around the world – Calling out banking disasters as a real cause of our societies decline demonstrates a typical head in the sand approach of socialist supporters who cherry pick problems to avoid having to admit how awful the socialist mind-set actually is.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 13, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          Socialism in the last century has killed millions, impoverished millions, imprisoned millions, enslaved millions and starved millions.
          Yet people like Simon still think it is the route to paradise.

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted May 13, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

            Yes Edward2 – for which we can blame the education reforms that blair set in place…

            ….also of course I suspect many young socialists have seen far too many episodes of Startrek….

  14. Dominic
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Propaganda and political control of the media is as old as time but the ease with which the ‘modern’ State is able to impose itself today is far easier than it once was as monitoring techniques and strategies are more advanced. The British State’s embraced it all with gusto.

    Most of those who follow British politics are now aware that this PM’s embrace of the above has the capacity to take this nation into a dark place as once agents of the State cross that ‘line’ there’s no return to freedom. I believe we’re very close to crossing that Rubicon under this PM.

    The very fact that both main Eurosceptic newspapers have been nobbled by this PM should terrify us all as to the lengths this crazed Europhile will go to massage our perceptions and influence our sentiment. She really must think we’re utterly naive.

    And why does Marxist Labour and its leaders remain beyond demonisation? Quite simply, the British State’s determined that they shouldn’t to maintain the status quo in favour of Remain and the liberal left straitjacket they’ve duly constructed for us over the last 25 years. Indeed, both parties are culpable for passing laws that demonise certain groups and even the voting base of their own respective parties

    I am not a sheep and I will not be herded in one direction or another by this PM using her control of the BBC, newspapers and other forms of ‘opinion massaging’ strategies

    I deplore the idea of society as I believe it to be a sheep herding exercise whose intent and hidden agenda is political

    My wish is to see the destruction of the two party duopoly in the Commons. The two main parties are both betrayers of their core support and utterly repugnant in their hypocrisy

  15. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Looking back at the history of the UK, it would be very interesting to consider what might have been if that grey man who took over from Thatcher had been beaten by your good self, JR.

    How different would our path have been – what decisions made by Major would have otherwise been different – how would our relationship with the EU have been different?

    Ahhh – If only…

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I’m not entirely certain what anyone expected.
    And I think the establishment have “got away with it” for longer than might have been predicted.
    Even now the govt is trying to stuff the genie ( released by the internet) back into the bottle with draconian laws not seen since Walsingham.
    And I don’t remember any MSM report making it clear that Huawei is being used on EU orders.
    Unbowed,unreformed,unreformable.
    What option is there but for people to ( try to) use their ONE weapon? That is the vote so kindly bestowed on us by the elite. They never believed it could be used against them. It was only ever meant to be the “spoonful of sugar” to keep the plebs working hard.

  17. APL
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    JR: “a very disappointing record prior to the Great Recession, ”

    I’m sure I’ve asked before, but what is the difference between a ‘Great Recession ” and a Depression?

  18. Kevin
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    The Big Short is a film about the 2008 financial crisis that depicts only a few
    observers who realised what was coming when they discovered that subprime
    mortgages were being packaged into securities that were rated independently of the mortgagors’ ability to repay their debt. Only a few people noticed this, and
    yet we are supposed to believe that our economy is run by philosopher-kings.

  19. nhsgp
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    The basic problem with austerity is it’s cause.

    220 bn a year goes on the state debts, all of them. 30% of taxes.

    But John, you hide the pension debts off the books. Even though you promised to put them on the balance sheet, you haven’t.

    So people think there’s an easy solution and that austerity is a policy not a consequence. Its because of that accounting fraud.

    The government claims IFRS standards but excludes pensions, even employment based pensions. IFRS 19 says they are on the books.

    It’s fraud.

    Reply I do not hide such things and have written about the pay as you go pension scheme.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Talking of pensions, how do NHSGP’s, who are self employed contractors qualify for NHS pensions? They are not in any sense employees. The cost must be quite a bit of the pension debt you refer to.

  20. Alan Joyce
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    ‘They have got better at spinning as they have got worse at managing’. Yes indeed, and accompanied by a use of language that turns people off and the extraordinary lengths that many use to avoid giving a straight answer.

    Q. Would you like to be the next PM?
    A. Er, I wouldn’t rule it out.

    Q. Let me put a very specific question to you; should the UK stay in the Customs Union and Single Market?
    A. So.….what I want is the best deal of Britain.

    Q. How do you think your Party will do in the European Elections?
    A. Let me be clear, these elections are going to be ‘challenging’.

    All that this equivocation leads to is uncertainty, ambiguity and a lack of trust. It is no wonder that the message advanced by the straightforward speaking of Mr. Farage is proving very attractive to voters.

  21. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    You’re correct that this is as much 2 fingers up to Brown and his silly policies for bailing out banks like RBS (still a cripple 10 years on), as it is for May and her Brexit (which, given her approach, will still be in abeyance 10 years hence).
    You really need to jump clear of this wreckage .

  22. Geoffrey Berg
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I suspect there are some other underlying factors affecting our society that nobody ever seems to mention or probably even see.
    For a start it is now 28years, a full generation, since the collapse of the Soviet Union which had caused us up until then to live under the military threat of a failing, totalitarian Marxist system. People nowadays, particularly young people, have grown to prefer virtue signalling to realism.
    Another overlooked or never admitted factor is that the historically temporary movement of wealth in the world from Asia to the West occasioned by The Industrial Revolution (from which Britain benefited more than anybody) is now being reversed with wealth moving away from Europe to elsewhere, that is Asia and the Americas. Nowadays as well as in Japan people in countries like Chile and Taiwan are about as wealthy as us and wealthier in terms of their living standards than people in many European countries. Whereas we are complacent about this, they are aiming to become yet wealthier and are not receptive like us to useless impediments, such as uncompetitive regulations or social standards or bureaucracy that obstruct wealth. They believe wealth is created by efficient effort not by governments writing laws. The result is Western governments, especially it seems ours under Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats, are fighting a losing battle to maintain both living standards and public services and without admitting it they are just attempting to paper over ever widening cracks in both.

  23. jane4brexit
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Reading that list of correct forecasting, obviously the new up to date version of JRM4PM has to be SirJR4PM!

    • jane4brexit
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Mind you I have been thinking that a long time before reading today’s entry anyway…

  24. John S
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Just ordered

  25. BR
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Good article. This is why so many people have had enough of the career politicians and their parties. It’s a pity your leadership campaign didn’t succeed.

    Tax policy is, as you say, awful. It seems that he Conservative Party has become the party of BIG business, hammering small businesses by proposing self-employed NI increases (and then backing off when they saw the predictable outcry) and IR35 (which hits ‘soft targets’ because the media spin those caught as tax dodgers when in reality they have no real choice but double NI (EE + ER) or a zero/voluntary level.

    I’d be interested in your take on IR35 – in favour or against?

  26. BR
    Posted May 13, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    So – no view then.

    Sadly this is what the Conservative Party did since 2000. When in dire straits in the polls they said they favoured repeal. Then it was ‘review’ by the time they had a chance of getting elected. When the ‘review’ (aka ‘fudge’ or ‘stitch-up’) actually took place, it was a waste of time – result pre-determined.

    If you want to win back belief, give us something to believe in! Start showing some interest in the needs of small businesses.

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  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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