We need a new economic policy

One of the advantages of Mrs May’s resignation is it will allow a rethink over the government’s economic and enterprise policies.

Mr Hammond has continued to tighten the fiscal and monetary stance , squeezing and slowing the economy. He has continued with Mr Osborne’s tax attacks on particular sectors and groups of people, damaging the housing and car markets in particular. Some of the tax hikes as with Stamp Duty and vehicle Excise Duty have done such damage to transactions and output that it has hit overall revenue adversely.

The world economy is slowing. The Fed overdid the tightening late last year, shocking the markets. That in turn is forcing a rethink at the Fed, who are spending the summer on a kind of study leave to think through a new approach to monetary targeting and interest rate selection. The Chinese authorities also erred on the side of toughness, slowing their economy. Mr Trump’s trade war has added to the gloom. World governments generally have hit out at the production of diesel and even petrol cars, taking actions which have created a car industry recession. As the UK economy has a large overseas trade sector, where the majority of our trade is with non EU , we need to be sensitive to changes of mood and growth rates worldwide. The UK needs to offset some of the gloom and slowdown elsewhere.

Instead we have seen a Treasury very hostile to Brexit spread gloom and negative stories whilst running a policy designed to slow things down anyway. The new government needs to take a sensibly positive view of our prospects on exit. We can afford a stimulus now to our economy, with more spending on priorities like social care and schools, and lower taxes, especially where the current rates collect less revenue. France has just had some tax cuts. France and Italy are trying to woo rich people away from London to their jurisdiction to invest and spend with them instead by offering a better tax deal. The USA has enjoyed a major tax cutting programme which has boosted that economy to be the fastest growing advanced economy in the world. China has offered some tax cuts to boost consumption. The Italian government is trying to expand its budget to help reduce unemployment. Only the UK seems wedded to the Maastricht EU rules to get the stock of government debt down as percentage of GDP to the 60% level.

It was symptomatic that Mrs May in her exit speech claimed reducing the debt was a great success of her Administration, when she should have said reducing debt as a percentage of GDP. If you are going to claim something like that as a success, then do show you understand the numbers. Success to the rest of us is higher living standards, more growth in real incomes, with low inflation.

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134 Comments

  1. Pominoz
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Written like a ‘proper’ Chancellor!

    I see Hammond is prepared to support Boris. I really do hope it is not reciprocated if the ‘favourite’ becomes PM.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Personally, I see the hinted possible shift of some die-hard Remainers (Rudd, Hammond, etc.) to Boris as an indication that they are finally beginning to realise they were wrong to be so anti-Brexit, if only because their own party grassroots are overwhelmingly in support of leaving. Terrible local election results combined with a multitude of polls since then — not to mention the likely EU results later tonight — all add up to a catastrophic misjudgment on their part. Not that they are likely to admit it, of course.

      The question (and potential problem) is, what will be the price of their support?

      • jerry
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        @Julie Dyson; I take a less charitable view. Some are seeing their careers slip away, expect a lot of supportive but neutral superlatives, who ever stands, who ever wins they want a job in the new govt! Same thing happened in the labour party when Corbyn topped their own leadership contest and went on to win.

        • M Davis
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          … “I take a less charitable view. Some are seeing their careers slip away, expect a lot of supportive but neutral superlatives, who ever stands, who ever wins they want a job in the new govt!” …

          Same here, jerry!

        • Tad Davison
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          Thee and me seem to be on the same page quite a lot these days Jerry! I wouldn’t trust some of these penitent politicians as far as I could throw them.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          Jerry I agree with you.

          They will all be obstructive in cabinet.

          Better to lance the boil

          Unfortunately with 8 candidates declared today to Unite the parliamentary party all those declared need to be accommodated

      • Steve
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        Julie Dyson

        Good theory but more likely they fear for their careers and wellbeing.

        As for the price of their support, I don’t think we want their support……they’re tainted, untrustworthy.

        Politics is about to change in this country, Any hint of a politician being career minded, less than squeaky clean, a hypocrite and a liar….. they’re out.

        Being a liberal pansy Europhile won’t do them any favours either.

    • JoolsB
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Yes, the new PM needs to get rid of Hammond and put John in his place but unfortunately it seems to be more a case of ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ irrespective of their suitability or competency for the job as is obviously the case with the majority of the current cabinet. Mostly a bunch of useless people who couldn’t run a whelk stall let alone a Government and who kept an even more useless May in office. We should never forget that and make sure not one of them becomes the new PM and that includes Gove, Leadsom and Mordaunt.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted May 27, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Seconded Jools. The snake-like Hammond should never have been in government.

    • anon
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      I recollect Boris voted for the “WA”!

      Boris is tainted.

      Those who supported vassal status WA need to re-confirm their position with their local voters.

    • Christine
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Agreed. John would make a great chancellor.

      Boris has lost my vote if he’s courting Hammond and Rudd. We need a complete clear out of the current cabinet apart from maybe Fox.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      If Boris openly endorsed Hammond continuing as Chancellor as a means to him getting into No 10, it could well torpedo his campaign below the water line.

      I fail to understand how politicians can’t quite see a situation as clearly as the rest of us. Hammond isn’t a safe pair of hands, he is an impediment to our prosperity.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        To add:

        Sam Coates (Sky News) has just reported via his Twitter feed that Hammond is refusing to guarantee he would vote for a Tory government in a confidence motion taking Britain to a ‘no-deal’ exit.

        If Boris should want to cosy up to this incompetent, then he does himself no favours. Let’s hope he has better sense.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

          On Andrew Marr this morning, Hammond was making thinly veiled threats that a new Prime Minister would not get a ‘no-deal’ (WTO) through parliament without a lot of difficulty. He even looked quite smug and conceited when he said it as if he was the real power broker!

          It was necessary to get rid of May for very obvious reasons. If we are to get out of the European Union cleanly and not made to look like incompetent fools as previously happened (thanks to Mrs May and Oily Robbins!), I suggest Hammond’s removal from office comes a very close second because he aims to undermine the new Prime Minister.

          We have to destroy Hammond’s power base along with the influence of every other remainer. If the Tories can’t do that from within, then the people will do it for them from without!

          • Original Richard
            Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

            Whilst I do not support Mr. Hammond’s actions and I certainly would like him to be replaced as Chancellor/a member of the cabinet I note that on the Andrew Marr show today when asked if he would vote against “no-deal” as a back bencher he declared that he had never voted against his party in 22 years and that all members of a party taking the party whip would be obliged to support the party in a confidence motion.

            Mind you, there is always a first time…

          • Tad Davison
            Posted May 27, 2019 at 1:32 am | Permalink

            Does that include voting for May’s Withdrawal Agreement on three occasions?

            Shame on him if he did. We’re fighting to avoid slavery, not vote to heap it upon us.

      • Steve
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        Tad

        “….it could well torpedo his campaign below the water line.”

        Does anyone make a torpedo that hits above the waterline ?

        • Tad Davison
          Posted May 27, 2019 at 1:27 am | Permalink

          I take your point Steve, perhaps it was a careless choice of words on my part. By the way, my dad used to fly Swordfish from the decks of HMS Glorious and the torpedoes they dropped didn’t always do as the crew expected, especially if the thing didn’t fall away cleanly first time.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Having just watched him on the Andrew Marr show I cannot politely express the full extent of my disgust. The idea that he could stay on as Chancellor, or in any other post in government, should be rejected out of hand.

    • mancunius
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Hammond will already have named the price for his support, and surely it will be a major cabinet position – if not, what on earth is it?

      • stred
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Hammond probably reckons that Boris is easier to steer off WTO than Raab. They just don’t get it.

      • Richard416
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        Governor of King George Island with any luck.

    • agricola
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      I take it that our host does not like literary satire when directed at his chancellor despite his own damning of the chancellors financial direction. I think he needs to lighten up a bit, even Mr Spock could raise a wry smile.

  2. Oliver
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Surely the first simple clear priority should be to institutionally debunk (ie get HMT to do it) the original Osborne forecasts for the 15 yr damage a WTO Brexit would do to the economy. This was very largely based on unsupportable assumptions about the damage no tariff barriers would do – something for which there is no relevant empirical evidence. The Treasury simply assumed the costs would be the reciprocal of the benefit – completely ignoring the fact that trading relationships between private agents built up over decades are not easily shattered simply by a minor tariff change.

    It was that false, uncalled out assumption that generates the 7.5% hit over 15 years that allows all the little sweeties to whine about “catastrophe” – and it’s all complete bullocks.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the kindest interpretation of “reducing the debt” is that she simply cdoes not understand numbers or economics. She was after all a Geographer and certainly has no grasp of negotiation or game theory. Nothing in her leaving speech suggests she understands anything very much, even now. She is and I suspect always was a pro-EU, anti-democratic, big government knows best, tax borrow and waste, identity politics, PC, no nation socialist at heart.

    Philip Hammond read PPE and (perhaps as a direct result of this) does not understand, business, capitalism, economics, maths or game theory and negotiation. His refusal to allow May to prepare fully for a no deal Brexit ensured the EU offered nothing sensible to the UK leading to hear abject failure.

    IHT ratter Hammond’s current policies (with over 100% taxes in many areas) and his attacks on non Doms’, home movers, bank misguided regulation, landlords and tenants, people wanting to make pension provisions, higher earners, car buyers, energy users, hard workers, people who want to pass on their wealth ….. are idiotic, very damaging and idiotically complex too.

  4. The Prangwizard
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    ‘The new government’?

    I fear and indeed forecast a continuity government unless the Tory party is cut down to the ground so new growth can occur.

    The idea that the likes of Hammond might continue in a position of influencr or in post is appalling.

    • mickc
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Yes, of course it will be a continuity government. And, unfortunately, it is certain the necessary pruning will not occur.

      Unlike our host, the majority of the Tory hierarchy believe there is just “a little local difficulty ” which will be solved by getting rid of May. It won’t.

  5. oldtimer
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately clear thinking about, let alone sensible policies on, taxation are rarely found in UK governments. Unless and until one does so, the UK will remain an also ran. Whether to Conservative party is smart enough to resurrect itself to be such a government under a new leader must be a moot point.

  6. Hale Post
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    France and Italy are not trying to woo rich people away from London to their jurisdiction. Rich people and big companies are choosing to leave London for the EU-27 on a daily basis because Brexit promises only tariffs and waves of non tariff barriers to their trade with the EU-27 and (because we lose the advanatges of all the EU’s trade deals) the rest of the world too

    • Fred H
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      more hysteria.

    • Steve
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      So what.

      Businesses that desert the country are free to do so, but of course they shouldn’t be allowed access to the UK market.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    The comment sections of the Telegraph yesterday has May completely right. Hardworking perhaps but always rowing in the wrong direction and no compass, vision, ability to negotiate or even communicate. She was never a Conservative in any real sense at all.

    Robin Harris perhaps the best of them, but all seven articles (I think) plus editorial were accurate and totally damning.

    ‘Theresa May has been a uniquely bad PM, Edward Heath was terrible too, but this Tory leader’s sheer incompetence has never been surpassed’, Robin Harris.

    I see that Cameron book is to come out shortly. I assume the subtitle will be “why I called a close referendum, sloped the pitch for remain, failed totally to prepare for the rather likely leave outcome, promised to deliver the result and notice the very next day but then just abandoned ship like a pathetic & spoilt child.

    A general in war would surely have been shot for rather less gross negligence and dishonesty. I wonder if he still thinks he is a Cast Iron, low tax at heart, Eurosceptic Conservative as he claimed. If only he had been. He had an open goal to be a great PM had only he been so.

    I wonder what he will say on Libya too.

  8. Peter
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    I assume Hammond will lose his job once a new Prime Minister is in place. Preparations need to announced for a No Deal Brexit once he is out of the way.

    Gauke, Rudd and co also need to go at the same time as Hammond.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Peter…possibly the best election slogan for those who would be King should be ‘Hammond must go’.

  9. Ian wragg
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Neither Hammond or May are economically literate. Most of their decisions have been designed to bring on a recession to be blamed on Brexit. Continuing with HS2 and foreign aid shows wilful disregard for the taxpayers of Britain.
    Maintaining net immigration at plus 300k is a travesty.
    Good riddance.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg
      Agree 100%.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Yes a new economic policy please. Lower simpler taxes, freedom to choose, fair competition, cheap on demand energy, no renewable subsidies, no vanity projects like HS2, Hinkley C, far less government waste, far smaller government, no identity politics just select on merit, no billions to the EU, no state virtual monopoly in the NHS, Schools & Universities, relaxed planning, a bonfire of red tape, public services that actually work, no unfair competition and lefty, remainer propaganda from the BBC etc, a cheaper, fairer and far simpler & clearer legal system, some better competition in banking, easy hire and fire, some real pro growth vision.

    Police and a justice system that actually tackles and deters real crimes rather than attacking free speech & selecting their officers on “diversity target grounds” rather than merit.

    In short about 180 degree out for the current government policies in all respects.

    • James1
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      In a nutshell LL. Well said.

    • AlmostDead
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      I would add no company bailouts or subsidies by the government for any reason; set tariffs to zero for all sectors and let our companies compete with the world – if they can’t survive so be it; survival of the fittest; drop corporate tax rates to zero; privatise the NHS; scale back UK foreign policy; bring back the death penalty,

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Would be good if we could actually trust the audited acounts of PLC companies like Tesco, RBS, BT and the likes. With some real redress against auditors/directors where appropriate.

    • Steve
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      LL

      On Schools; perhaps mandatory History subjects that would include European history 1914 – 1945. So future generations will have an understanding of which nation caused all the trouble.

      On Universities; Well as far as I’m concerned either the students in Scotland have to pay fees the same as those south of the border, or fess have to be abolished here too. The current policy of discrimination against English students is clearly racist.

      Almost dead – on death penalty; Yes I would agree if it was reserved for crimes of infanticide and juvenile murder.

  11. Richard1
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    The cluelessness even of leading politicians on financing / debt issues is extraordinary. The most ridiculous current example is McDonnell and other Labour figures saying they won’t have to pay cash for the £1/2tr or whatever it is they want to spend nationalising industries as they are going to “issue bonds” instead. It’s the same thing you nincompoops. However you cook the official figures doesn’t change the economic reality of what you are doing. Also of note is such plans would be illegal should the UK remain in the EU as eg McDonnell (probably mendaciously) says he wants. That and a footnote that the only other country to have expropriated shares in business at sub-market value in recent decades is Venezuela.

    Indeed we do need a new economic policy. We also need the new PM to make a vigorous case for the market Economy. God help us if these Labour Marxists get in.

  12. Simeon
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    But will Hammond be leaving no. 11? If, as has been suggested, he comes out in support of Boris, presumably he would be anticipating remaining in post as the price of his patronage. But more importantly, what would Hammond’s support of Boris say about a willingness to leave without a deal?

    Sir John, is there any prospect of Boris and a(nother) Brexiter being the final two candidates? Is it possible that the ‘stop Boris’ conspiracy is actually rather sophisticated, and that Boris is being lured into being a ‘unity’ candidate to discredit him amongst true Brexiters, only for the remain tendency to withdraw their support for him at the last moment?

    • Simeon
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      Perhaps a ‘Stop Boris’ conspiracy is unnecessary; he seems quite capable of stopping himself, his obvious ambition leading him to jettison any pretence at principle, and a sensible and coherent position with it.

      • Steve
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        Simeon

        Yeah but it would be great to see Boris going to Brussels and laying into Donald Tusk, especially if he was wearing that green cycle helmet of his.

        There is an old saying – ‘every toolbox needs a hammer’ Which is why I don’t rush to write Boris off. He is the man for certain things.

  13. J Bush
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    It is a sad fact that until we have a Conservative with Small State principles in the Exchequer the problem will persist.

    And having a rampant remainer determined to punish the people for having the audacity of voting to leave the EU and insisting democracy is upheld, merely exacerbates the problem.

  14. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Your last paragraph sums up Mrs May’s spin and lies.

    I actually shouted at the television when she made her speech claiming success about reducing the National debt, because she could not even get that fact right when she is resigning.
    How on earth can you be reducing the debt, when you are still running a deficit.
    Good grief if this is the level of her understanding of numbers, no wonder she was completely out of her depth with the EU and Hammond.

    Whilst we need all of what you outline John, we also need a Government which is far more transparent and fair on many other policies.
    Probate charge, inheritance tax, and some truth about Educational funding, Benefit payments and the postal code lottery within the NHS.

    • Old person
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      The one thing in her farewell speech that angered me – highlighting of the Public Inquiry into the Grenfell tragedy as a success.

      At the moment, there is a time-limited government offer towards the cost of replacing the cladding of £1m. Each tower block needs £2-3m to resolve the safety issues.

      Had she left on March 29th with no deal, the cost of the EU elections would have fixed 50 tower blocks.

      Allowing private companies to sign off Building Regulation compliance is another disaster that will be with us soon.

      • stred
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        It was Westminster Council inspectors that signed off and passed Grenfell plans. Its not only the rain screen panels that burned. The insulation may have been of the wrong type. Some cladding has been proved safe for fire spread. The individual blocks may be safe. The inquiry is taking far too long.

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    “Some regard private enterprise as if it were a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look upon it as a cow that they can milk. Only a handful see it for what it really is–the strong horse that pulls the whole cart.”

    ― Winston Churchill

    First sentence is the Corbyn, Mc Donnall types, the second is May and Hammond (milk, bleed and almost tax and regulated to death) and hopefully the next leader will be one of the ‘handful who see it for what is really is’.

    • Dominic
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Churchill’s statement exceeds wisdom. His understanding was pure instinct. Thatcher exhibited precisely the same emotion. Their sense was not borne from politics but from an innate appreciation of the human animal

      How this nation yearns for another politician with similar instincts and yet we are fed a diet of woke, PC robots without principle and only too willing to bend to facilitate an easy passage

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Indeed.

    • Richard416
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      That is so right. Time and time again we have seen bureaucrats making work, but they never create wealth, and we need to be creating wealth now. And if we leave the e.u., we might even get to keep it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Indeed a huge proportion of jobs are essentially pointless or parasitic. A huge proportion of degrees that people get into £50K of soft “debt” for are largly worthless too.

    • Steve
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      LL

      Then again, private enterprise has capability to, and often does, destroy as much as it creates.

      Government bureaucracy is by far the worst culprit though…..by achieving very little and letting things rot.

      Not sure what the answer is, but we need a new model.

  16. Fed up with the bull
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Fantastic post John. Please can we have you as chancellor?? We can make this country great again with the freedom to do as we please regarding taxes and tariffs. Lets’ get on with it and stop pandering to the eco warriors. I might add that cheaper energy is a must and so fracking must be allowed to go ahead and not worry about a small tremor nearby which is normal anyway. We need a big change in the cabinet but if Gove is to stay then we can’t expect much on the diesel front.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Gove wants (idiotically) to destroy private schools too. Many of which are excellent (they educate over 50 of doctors for example). I would like a leader who thinks that nearly all schools should be fully private, with the state giving out child education vouchers that parents can use and top up. Give the parents freedom and choice. Make the schools respond to the children & parents needs and compete for customers.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        50% of UK trained doctors!

        • Fred H
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic…..trouble with that is what % of our doctors are UK trained?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            True, so many UK trained doctors go off to work in Australia/New Zealand or similar where they are rather better treated than in the very poorly run & managed NHS.

      • Steve
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        LL

        “Gove wants (idiotically) to destroy private schools too.”

        That’s because, basically he’s an idiot.

  17. Nigl
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Hammond, Rudd supporting Boris, If true I wonder why? Nothing to do with the fact that despite public bluster he will accept the main tenets of Mays bill, indeed I think they all will so the fiscal stimulus theoretically available from leaving will be illusory.

    I have no doubt unless Farage really makes an impact especially in Peterborough we will be sold out.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Having a candidate that explicitly stated the aim is to leave immediately/end of October without withdrawal agreement will allow MPs to show colours.

      Every candidate should at least state what of the nearly 600 page WA he/she won’t except.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      With friends like those he needs no enemies.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Yesterday Matthew Parris – who absolutely loathes Boris – was almost hoping Boris would become PM because he thinks at the end of the day when push comes to shove Boris would cave and offer a second referendum. Boris has previously said that it’s only the NI backstop part of the WA he really objects to.

    • Christine
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Yes, come on Peterborough, your country needs you.

    • rose
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Either they are trying to damage him or they are trying to hang on to their seats.

  18. Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    At the end of March 2019 the national debt was £1.80 trillion – still far too high. By 2020 it is estimated at £1.84 trillion. If May is claiming this as a success then she has no sense of what a UK government should have been doing.
    It does demonstrate too clearly that this government is totally wedded to the EU in every possible way – unable to question anything, unwilling to think for itself – Preferring to be told what to do by the political establishment..!
    Yes, a new economic policy is badly needed, but this has to be set around a totally revised taxation system. With it’s flaws and excess of rules, Over 10m words – double the size that it was in 2009, Taxpayers can be intimidated by penalties from pursuing a tax appeal, it is a disgrace, and totally unfit for purpose.

    • sm
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      ++++++11111!!!!

  19. Adam
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    We need a new Government: preferably a sensible one led by those who shall restore the UK’s quality as an Independent nation.

  20. agricola
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    The key is to get a new PM in place and the UK comprehensively out of the EU. That gives a new Chancellor total control of the UK economy. For instance he would not be inhibited from supporting British Steel were he so minded. In the EU he cannot.

    We desperately need a PM who is unequivocal about leaving the EU with no deal if they refuse to discuss leave to WTO rules, an FTA offer, and offer of Art 24 of GATT to ensure continuity of trade. That is what I see as leaving with a deal. To set the right atmosphere
    I would demand the presence of Barnier in London to spell it out. No more shuttle trips to Brussels until the principal of the above is accepted, then go for the signing of whatever is needed to initiate it. A refusal would lead to leaving on WTO rules, effectively leaving the EU at the wrath of European industrialist who for sure would be banging on Merkel and Macron’s doors.

    A PM and Foreign Secretary with a leave Cabinet would be revoking existing treaties with the EU. As I understand it, like going to war, such a one minded body can do this without recourse to our present sqabbling parliament. I would do it in the summer recess just to emphasise the uselessness of our current parliament.

    The new Chancellor could then implement the new direction of our economy. There has been much talk in this diary of your suitability for No 11. I have no problem with this but what do you think having elloquently expressed economic solutions for growth.

    • agricola
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Well I think you are well overdue to get it moderated, particularly when you consider when it was entered.

  21. Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I agree. Brexit offers us the opportunity to tailor our tariffs and trade agreements to the outlines of our national economy, instead of having to wear the EU’s onesie.

  22. Dominic
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    You clothe the issue of wealth creation in a blanket of politics. At its core the fundamental that drives material wealth creation has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the mindset and drive of each individual outside the stultifying bubble of politics

    Your focus is macro when Thatcher focused on the micro. She understood that material wealth creation comes not from the political goons but from individuals in the real world

    We need a government that encourages entrepreneurialism, wealth creation and the elevation of the individual to progress and exceed. Today, we have a government that manipulates people for political gain using propaganda, lies and intimidation

    And in opposition we have people who would quite willingly destroy the entrepreneur including my two brothers who are both successful and self-employed.

    It was Len McCluskey (Labour’s puppet-master) who said ‘he hated the self-employed’. This attitude flows through the Labour party. They despise private enterprise, profit and private property (unless it’s theirs of course).

    May and McCluskey adhere to the same line and embrace the same type of politics though she hid it well

    She was a political animal and a thoroughly vile one as well. A nasty and vindictive politician who used liberal left slander against her own side

    I have said to my family that if Marxist Labour achieve power we will emigrate for I know they will destroy the UK. I know who they are and I know their mindset. They will construct a Marxist client state so impenetrable and beyond reform that it would swamp private sector activity and crush it. They will deliberately drain the life out of it

    As an aside. If the Tories elect a compromise leader on Brexit and one who refuses to confront Marxist and liberal left fascism then I suspect we will slide

  23. Fred H
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    All PM contestants should answer yes/no to these questions:

    Will you take us out of the EU without an agreement?
    Will you reduce Overseas Aid, year on year?
    Will you increase real spend on education?
    Will you solve the issues of NHS post-code lottery?
    Will you produce to reduce number of MPs?
    Will you stop additions to H of L?
    Will you overhaul the chaotic rules of taxation?

    • Adam
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Many Conservatives & Labour MPs lack the Will to agree.
      The LibDems, Greens & so-called Change Parties have the Will to agree among themselves, yet lack the Will to do anything sensible.

      The Brexit Party have the intelligence & the Will to steer the UK properly & will probably succeed.

  24. Kevin
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    The debate over fiscal policy should not be allowed to overshadow the
    ongoing crisis in government. The democratic deficit needs addressing as a
    matter of urgency. We cannot let rival politicians sweep it under the carpet,
    making typically dubious promises of “a chicken in every pot”. I know that
    you respect the People’s Vote. I just don’t want it traded for a mess of pottage.

  25. Julie Dyson
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Excellent post, Sir John.

    The new PM needs to fix his or her sights firmly on a clean Brexit and begin immediately to put in place policies to make the most of the opportunities then presented, and to minimise the fallout. The EU will almost certainly aim to continue its overall policy of punishing Britain for having the audacity to leave, so we must be in a position to shrug that off as much as possible and ultimately prove the reverse to be true — that with true freedom comes the potential for true prosperity.

    In all honesty, I believe the Conservative Party has one last chance to redeem itself in the eyes of the nation. It will not be given another in our lifetime.

  26. ukretired123
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Hammond needs replacing with a new broom who has the acumen and shrewd thinking like Sir John. Stables need clearing for a new approach to the economy and many other important matters post May.

  27. libertarian
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Actually you need to be in government and you aren’t going to be for a very very long time

    As predicted by me Gove the Weasel is now the front runner in terms of support . Its almost as if Tory members of parliament have never met a member of the public

    Gove is toxic amongst voters , he’s not liked by leavers or remainers, he’s not liked by teachers or farmers , he’s not liked by anyone in fact because he’s a typical ………….political greaser and THAT is exactly what the public are against

    Conservatives NEVER learn

  28. Simon
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    The Tories have an unerring ability to choose dud leaders. I am not optimistic.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Simon…..could it be that the decent worthwhile ones don’t prostitute themselves for positioning deals?

  29. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Sorry off topic, but couldn’t resist, more revealing Facts4EU 0n population/voters per MEP.

    Remoaners are sleep walking into a dictatorship.

  30. rjh2003
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    A really big challenge is for a candidate to articulate in simple language that no deal is not falling off a cliff edge. I’m astonished no Brexiteer has really managed to convincingly scotch this canard so far in the MSM. JR does it here for sure but the message is not out there. McDonnell allowed to get away with it twice, and unchallenged on Sky this morning. We already have Remainer Rory saying he can’t work with Boris which is really exasperating and dispiriting. I think Farage used an analogy about moving house, some short term upheaval but it’s all for longer term betterment. Let’s get some simple analogies, simple counter examples out there and fight back.

  31. Dominic
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Microsoft. Apple. Amazon

    These three US listed companies now have a combined market value of over $3Tr. Yes, that’s three trillion dollars. They weren’t not set up by politicians. They were not and are not now run by politicians though some may disagree.

    Their initial value when created was no more than $2 million. Today they are worth $3 trillion. This is the power of the individual’s imagination and intelligence when released from the grip of State political engineering or socialism as most now know it as

    For all John’s insights he fails to appreciate the power of individual human ingenuity and ambition. Politicians see the world through the prism of the macro-economy.

    It is the idea that they alone know at any point in time all the cumulative effect of millions of events happening in the real world. Politicians are not God nor do they possess special insight. They are not omnipotent

    What I am trying to say is that we should never trust a politician who stands on a platform and exclaims ‘look to me’. I want a politician who says ‘look to yourself’. Do not hand over to any politician any degree of control or investment of trust in them

    Over time I have seen how politics has eroded our freedoms, liberties and happiness. And today we live in a nation which is less free, openly monitored and exposed to politicians who tell me I am a racist for voting Brexit. This is modern politics

  32. bigneil
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Totally off topic.

    A few nights ago I watched a program about when Britain became nuclear. One place was built, despite regular plan changes, and completion was said to be only ten days late. Now, with all the advancement in technology and machinery have we progressed? How late is Crossrail? How much more expensive? Same with HS2 . . .and many more large projects. Coincidence? Incompetence? . . or deliberate lies to line the pockets of those doing the job as they ask, and get, yet more and more taxpayer’s cash?

    • Fred H
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      bigneil….it starts out with weak concept and delivery advantages. Then it moves on to win support with those who see a project that might win electorate support. So the project has expanded vision, claimed benefits and alignment with who has done it before us (keep up with the Jones’). Finally the difficulty of cost estimate. The technical people underestimate because its now their baby, the politicians reduce that, sell earlier delivery, once costs are questioned the benefits get talked up. In no time at all the daft thing has a momentum that too many people are alarmed to stop.

  33. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    It will be interesting to see the changes on the EU side of the negotiating table as a result of the elections – new Parliament, new commissioners, and new president (Juncker is going I think, what about Tusk ?). Maybe gives them an opportunity to climb down from their disastrous failed negotiating position and modify the WA, they can blame the previous regime in traditional manner.

    Tory MPs are a curious lot – don’t they realise a “Stop Boris” movement is a “Vote Farage” movement ? Well, unless the alternative is Raab I suppose but he couldn’t win against Labour.

  34. jerry
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Tory basic economic policy [1] has not changed in essence since the first Howe budget on 12 June 1979, what is more Brown copied much, the only divergence being forced by the international debt crisis 10 or so years ago. So yes indeed Sir John, we do need a new economic policy, & one fit for a post Brexit world.

    [1] cut direct taxation, increase non discretionary indirect taxation to bridge the funding gap, assuming funding/subsidies can not be cut

  35. Mark B
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The final paragraph is highly critical of the outgoing PM. Most unusual of our kind host.

    It is good our kind host mentions the EU rules we follow. But there is another rule that is less commented on and, that is, BEFORE the Chancellor can submit his budget to parliament and the nation, he first must run it past the EU Commission. Think about that ?!

    Leaving is about doing what we want in our own national interest. It is about regaining ALL our power that come with being a sovereign nation. You are either in the EU or, out ! Out means no longer obeying their rules and, if we wanted to help British industry, like steel, then we can because WE make the laws.

  36. anon
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Economically.

    Get us out of the EU.

    Reduce tarrifs where possible.Do deals quickly with those that want them.
    The EU is too slow anyway.

    End pension apartheid and move all MP’s and Senior Pension schemes to money purchase. Now we have Nest maybe the rest as well.

    Manage down immigration and therefore politically enforced and subsidised low pay.
    Manage rents & renting down and owner occupation up.
    Ensure that earning, saving is not penalised by very mean limits on savings, which bear no relation to income earned on those savings.

    Merge NI/Paye and bring in a flat tax at 35% . CGT at 35%.
    Tax all income/benefits over 20k.
    Put a cap on all tax personal deductions at 40k pa.

    Tax vehicles based on mileage,road tolls, and at the time of purchase only.

    Bring in a carbon tax if needed but similarly apply it to imports, based on the countries energy profile.

    Reduce our net energy imports.(including embedded in goods)

    I am in favour of expanding all domestic industry and renewables, this should now be politically preferred through planning and less subsidy.

    All steel used in public procurement for defence needs must be manufactured in a Nato country, that spends contributes fairly towards our joint defence.

    Start thinking about enabling change.Standards for interconnection.More anti-competition investigations.

  37. Christopher Hudson
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Whoever becomes PM I hope they give the right jobs to the right people, people with relevant experience and who know what they’re talking about and not start making political appointments to shore up this or that faction

  38. Peter Major
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    The great military leader the 1st Duke Of Wellington was supposedly asked how he graded his officers. He allegedly replied that there were 4 types of officer: The very best were competent and hard-working, they achieved a great deal to a high standard; The next best were the competent but idle, they did not do much but at least what they did was to a high standard; The next were the incompetent but idle, they achieved so little that what they did do could be ignored; Finally, the worst officers were incompetent but hard working, they could do a great deal of damage.
    I wonder in which category your readers would place Mrs May?

    Madge

  39. ian
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I thought parliament was over the moon with one it already has.

  40. steadyeddie
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Some sense talked by Phillip Hammond this morning on the Marr Show- no deal is a bad policy from the man who knows

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Have you told the EU Commission that no deal would be bad policy? If so, have they agreed to amend the deal agreed by Theresa May but rejected by MPs?

    • oldwulf
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      There are very many opinions as to whether “no deal” will be good or bad for the UK and for the EU. In 2016, the will of the democratic majority made opinions irrelevant. If “no deal” happens, everyone will have to roll up their sleeves and make it work.

      We have to keep “no deal” on the table so as to focus the minds of the EU. It is probably the only way of getting a better deal….. if not we leave on WTO rules.

      I don’t know the motives of the MPs who wish to remove “no deal” … perhaps they think that by strengthening the EU’s hand, Brexit might be reversed.

  41. Melvin Cornwell
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    The Tories have to understand that the game is up. They are absolutely on a knife edge now – the public will simply not stand for any further subterfuge re Brexit. Stop playing games and spinning lies – we DO all know what was expected when we voted to Leave, and that is what must be delivered, in full, no silly “Ah, but” stunts.
    One suspects that May was removed by the Remain element of her party because she would not do what they said, as opposed to being removed by the Leave element for ignoring THEIR requests. If so, she has that in common with Thatcher, if absolutely nothing else.
    There is an argument for a GE now – the chance to deselect the rogues and vote out the entrenched remain elements. Either way, I say again, the electorate WILL NOT TOLERATE any further interference on the proper delivery of Brexit.

  42. Captain Peacock
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Rudd’s brother PR for Huawei we are to believe no influence in Mays decision.
    What we need is a Tory party not like the fake one we have now.
    Rory Stewart as PM are the Tories serious.

  43. BR
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    The so-called Brexiteers in this ‘race’ are beginning to worry me.

    Raab’s opening salvo, reported in the Mail, suggests that he would start from the hated WA and effectively change the backstop an nothing – or not much – else.

    That is an AWFUL plan. There are so many problems with that document in terms of the relationship it creates, before we even get started on the money.

    With Boris seemingly doing deals with ‘the devil’ (aka ‘remainers’) trust is ebbing away. The remainers no doubt realise that (existentially) the next PM must be a Brexiteer and are trying to ‘water down their actions in advance. I also read a history of Boris’ stance(s) on the EU and it makes grim reading – it is not at all clear that he is actually a Brexiteer – he may in fact be the only candidate ‘strong’ enough to revoke A50!

    I was pro-Boris, but now I’m beginning to have doubts. And if I have doubts then I have to wonder about Gove – perhaps he saw this and ‘saved’ us from Boris (albeit at the price of May).

    The problem with Gove is that he comes across as pompous, so he won’t win an election vs Farage and Corbyn.

    I can only hope that Farage can influence this – and that he knows which horse to back (or which one can be steered in the right direction).

    Sadly, I imagine that, as an MP, giving any insight here is not something that JR can do.

  44. Alex
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    We need a radically different policy on freedom of speech too. May’s authoritarian arrogance has eroded many of our basic rights to the point that any opinion other than the pc socialist government view is punished by police visits.

    • Steve
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Alex

      To be fair PC was Blair’s doing.

    • agricola
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:02 am | Permalink

      Being boring by repetition I would state;

      PC is to Free Speech what prohibition was to alchohol. It has been driven into Social Media, the Speakeasy eqivalent. It enjoys more negative freedom there than ever it did at Hyde Park Corner.

  45. ChrisS
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    We need a far better Conservative Chancellor than the last two. One that is committed to Brexit.

    One name springs immediately to mind…………………….

  46. Newmania
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    National debt is at historically vast levels, its peace time all time record was recorded only in 2017 when GO`s consolidation plans and plans to normalise interest rates had to be abandoned due to Brexit.
    I agree with John; further emergency Brexit helicopter money is probably the only choice we have but lets call it what it is and stop insulting our intelligence- there is nothing good about this nightmare

  47. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Having watched Esther McVey being interviewed by Sophy Ridge I could imagine her as a future Prime Minister, potentially, but not yet … but she should avoid talking about solving the largely fabricated problem of the Irish border through “technology” when the first steps are a matter of “law” which the UK Parliament could pass at short notice with or without the agreement of the Irish government and the EU.

    From March 29 2018:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/03/29/another-day-yet-another-debate-on-brexit/#comment-1008232

    “In view of the comments from the DUP leader Nigel Dodds after the result of the vote was announced I would recall my last letter to the Maidenhead Advertiser:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/03/25/who-can-delay-our-exit/#comment-1006913

    which was published yesterday under the accurate heading:

    “UK law could easily fix Irish border problem”.

    Except of course Theresa May did not and does not want any easy or rational solution to that largely invented problem, instead she has preferred to use it as a pretext to give the CBI and other business lobby groups as much as possible of what they want.”

  48. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Just seen Dominic Raab on Married. I like him. He sounds and looks the part and believes in Brexit.

  49. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Following on from my earlier comment, I decided not to tell the editor of the Maidenhead Advertiser what I really think about our MP and instead I have sent this letter replying to a local Liberal Democrat:

    “Bruce Adams concluded his letter of May 23 with the claim that:

    “Staying in the EU customs union would also have the added advantage of laying to rest the Irish border problem.”

    That is not so; as Oxford Professor Kevin O’Rourke explained in the Irish Times on December 6 2017:

    “Getting rid of border controls on trade thus depended on both the European customs union, and the European single market. Norway is a member of the single market but not the customs union, with the result that there are border controls between it and Sweden. The UK and Ireland were members of a customs union before 1993, but not a single market, and the result again was border controls. And unless both Northern Ireland and the Republic retain equivalent regulations regarding both customs duties, and what can be legally bought and sold on their territories, the result will inevitably be border controls.”

    However that is just the method of ensuring an open border which has been chosen by the EU for political reasons, in pursuit of its paramount objective of “ever closer union” leading to the legal subordination of its member states in a pan-European federation, a federal United States of Europe.

    That there could be alternative arrangements is amply demonstrated by the case of the open border between Liechtenstein and Switzerland, where the principle of “parallel marketability” is applied to allow different product standards on the two sides.

    As pointed out in my letter kindly printed in the Advertiser on October 25 2018 under the heading “We should be following Switzerland’s example”, and several subsequent letters.”

    The point is that the final opening of the Irish border in 1993 was not made possible by any advance in TECHNOLOGY, it was a LEGAL change which made that a permissible step, and so the “alternative arrangements” primarily need to be LEGAL.

  50. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Listening to Justine Greening and Philip Hammond this morning I was reminded of those who argued for our unilateral nuclear disarmament when the Soviet Union clearly had no intention of scrapping its nuclear weapons, useful idiots who were quite prepared to “send a British Foreign Secretary naked into the conference-chamber”.

    What is the position of the EU on a “no deal” Brexit? Is that something it would wish to avoid at all costs? Not at all, the EU Commission clearly has no particular problem with the legal position as stated in Article 50 TEU:

    https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A12012M050

    “3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.”

    How can a negotiation possibly turn out if one side is perfectly willing to walk away while the other side has made it known that it is desperate not to have to walk away?

    As far as I am concerned any Tory leadership candidate who rules out leaving the EU without a deal, or cannot be trusted to keep a promise to leave without a deal if that should prove necessary as a last resort, should automatically be rejected.

  51. Helen Smith
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    You must be Chancellor whoever is PM, then we might get somewhere.

  52. BillM
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    We will not get a new economic policy while Chancellor Hammond remains in office.
    His record is based on the number of times he has frustrated our Leaving the EU as though nothing else matters to him. He has been a disaster for democracy and must go.
    I trust a new PM will immediately change everyone of the existing Cabinet for they have assisted in Mrs May extended tenure in Number 10. Only then can the new Government sets a new Economic policy and one urgently needed if we are to move forward and out of the EU.
    I believe that you, SJ are well suited to occupy Number 11 because the country surely needs a person in there that believes in an Independent Britain and knows what they are about. Too many amateurs in the past have filled the positions requiring professionals and that is why this country falters.

  53. Andy
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    It is really amusing to hear you all complain about taxes and spending – because you refuse to address the real elephant in the room: old people.

    THE biggest areas of government spending largely go on the elderly.

    Pensions. Social care. Extra NHS treatment. Winter fuel. Bus passes. TV licences.
    These all need scrapping. Pay for yourself.

    Between a third and a half of all government goes on this stuff for the old. Axe it. Give working people and families massive tax cuts instead.

    Make them save for their own old age needs, unlike today’s feckless elderly who expect it gifted to them.

    And, no, most of you have not paid as much into the system than you now take out. We subsidise you.

    I realise you all find this outrageous. It does not fit your narrative but it is true.

    Incidentally I would also all but scrap the defence budget. Keep a few thousand troops to help in disasters and get rid of the rest. They’re not needed.

    Save money and you wouldn’t have to worry about them joining an EU army either.

    You mostly accuse me of being a socialist. And yet I am proposing the biggest cut in the welfare state and in taxes ever. I look forward to your support.

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Andy, back to your usual nasty self again. Not enough tablets? One day you will be old and the younger generation will be looking after you. It will come sooner than you think. I have seen many wealthy young men broke when they get into their old age. It just might happen to you one day. It’s been like this for generations. Get over yourself and if you can’t say anything worth while then go away.

      • Newmania
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        The Liberal Party has a conspicuously elderly membership .They are the only ones who have held true to the civilised values I had thought all but the out lunatic fringe shared.
        My ancient father after a quadruple by-pass op and cancer dragged himself up to London to protest against Brexit. The elderly are accused of hogging the Nations resources and contributing little but while they are the richest cohort in society they are also the poorest loneliest and worst treated . Those with resources dream of leaving it to their children and grandchildren

        I share Andy`s frustration with the mentally inflexible irresponsible hobbyists who seem to delight in making life hard for the working population. I am sure neither of us would dream of a assigning some ghastly collective responsibility to an age group other than out of sheer exasperation

        • Ginty
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

          Err, this notion only took hold after you lost the vote.

          You have sore loser syndrome.

      • Andy
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        It won’t happen to me because I have been responsible and have saved adequately for my old age, whatever the circumstances.

        As an adult I have never received anything from the state in terms of benefits. I expect the state pension to be axed before I am eligible.

        I am responsible and expect to pay for myself. You seem to expect to be subsidised. How socialist of you.

        • Ginty
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

          Fine. Give me a rebate on my NI so far, exempt me from NI henceforth so I can make my own arrangements.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      So, Andy State spending is £818 billion
      Spending on oldies is 28% of that total.
      Remember they have paid lots of tax and NI already

      You need to deduct state pensions because they paid in during their working life so then your claims are plainly totally false.
      PS
      The measure of a nation is how they look after their disabled, infirm and needy.
      Whatever their age.
      Presumably as a Liberal you obviously agree.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Andy….abuse is not welcome here…..but I wish. Those feckless elderly mostly worked all their lives, saved, paid mortgages without frequent holidays, had little annual leave, often unpaid sick leave. Most had been assured The Old Age pension would see them survive, unlike their parents who had hardly any State support. If you lived that long you might retire at 65, most already work beyond and even you can expect 70 at the earliest. You are obviously so out of touch you don’t realise that workers taxation pays for those benefits, those feckless elderly paid their taxes to cover them now.
      You want to cut welfare? I hope you and your family don’t fall on hard times – 2 generations ago you would get nowt!

      • Andy
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        I am branded the socialist on here – and yet here you all are calling for a retention of the bit of the welfare state which benefits you!

        I am merely pointing out, correctly, that you have mostly paid in less than you now take out. This is unsustainable.

        As for me failing on hard times. If I do I expect nothing from them state. I have in place measures to protect me. I do not need the state. Where as you socialists seem to want to retain it.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          That is how taxation works Andy.
          A small percentage of the population pay a disproportionate amount of tax and that is distributed to the less well off.
          Seems fair to me.

    • ukretired123
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      People over 65 contribute £61 billion net to the economy and my generation never had the handouts and benefits you see today. They even shunned charity as it was seen as a stigma.
      As you were not around during those very bleak black and white post war years you do not know what you are talking about and my generation ‘s ‘mustn’t grumble ‘ was famous covering up the real hardships. When you are dirt poor no one wanted to know you but folks survived with stiff upper lip and humour, having had to do National Service for 2 years.
      Your view is what Himmler thought about old folks but they are treasured in Asia and Africa as they bring wisdom stability and compassion to society. Nowadays in the UK they work beyond retirement age often because they cannot survive in their zero or small pensions if they are lucky enough to have one.
      I am appalled by your ignorance on this subject and sheer cheek to suggest we were scroungers and work-shy. We helped make this country proud to called True Brits.
      We took the hard road as there was no ‘Easy Street’ like you are fortunate to have today. Good luck with your research my friend.

      • Andy
        Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Wrong. Your generation had it all.

        Free higher education. Cheap houses. Gold plated pensions. The economic benefits of the single market.

        My generation did not have the first three of those – your generation removed them from us. You seem to take the benefits of the single market from us too.

        I accept no sob stories from Baby Boomers. Your generation has done nothing of note. In fact, you are the most selfish generation in history.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 26, 2019 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          Higher education was not free for my age group.
          Houses were a bit cheaper in relation to income than they are now, where I live.
          The Single Market didn’t bring much in the way of economic benefit to me and statistics prove that.
          Standards of living are higher now than ever before.

        • ukretired123
          Posted May 27, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

          Dear Andy
          You still do not respect others with your negativity.
          Few folks got into university.
          Few folks got a pension as Portable Pensions were zero as were most folks died in poverty. Civil servants and the like had pensions guaranteed not many else. Women suffered most.
          We don’t sob and feel sorry and sore like you.
          ‘Too proud to beg’ prevailed as folks got on with and took responsibility for themselves unlike today.
          Never assume anything as it makes an a as of U and me. If in doubt check it out.
          Blair caused houses to become out of reach by allowing uncontrolled demand from millions immigration lowered wages for poorer folks and higher costs getting a degree.
          Benefits of single market went to Germany and France whilst our industries in the Midlands and North suffered hence voters for Brexit there.
          Life is too short you will be pleased to know so good luck with your complaints to heaven.
          Compassion created good karma to those who give. Think about it.

  54. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    When fairly considering the suitability of Dominic Raab to become Prime Minister it will be important to recollect this from 24 July 2018:

    https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2018-07-24/HCWS924/

    “Made by: Mrs Theresa May (Prime Minister) HCWS924
    Machinery of Government Change

    I am making this statement to bring to the attention of the House a Machinery of Government change.

    It is essential that in navigating the UK’s exit from the European Union, the Government is organised in the most effective way. To that end I am making some changes to the division of functions between the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) and the Cabinet Office.

    DExEU will continue to lead on all of the Government’s preparations for Brexit: domestic preparations in both a deal and a no deal scenario, all of the necessary legislation, and preparations for the negotiations to implement the detail of the Future Framework. To support this, DExEU will recruit some new staff, and a number of Cabinet Office officials coordinating work on preparedness will move to DExEU while maintaining close ties with both departments.

    I will lead the negotiations with the European Union, with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union deputising on my behalf. Both of us will be supported by the Cabinet Office Europe Unit and with this in mind the Europe Unit will have overall responsibility for the preparation and conduct of the negotiations, drawing upon support from DExEU and other departments as required. A number of staff will transfer from DExEU to the Cabinet Office to deliver that.

    There will be no net reduction in staff numbers at DExEU given the recruitment exercise described above.”

    NB – “I will lead the negotiations with the European Union”

    • rose
      Posted May 26, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      I remember him responding that he was going to crack on with the preparations for a WTO exit.

  55. formula57
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    This pass has been sold for you showed us previously the budget we should have had, the budget that was so superior to the one the hapless Hammond delivered. The May government kissed away opportunity after opportunity to serve its Evil Empire masters and a fresh approach is overdue.

  56. Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Sir John. So interesting.
    I love the way you throw a pebble into the puddle and we can all watch as the ripples roll!

    We can’t influence anything here, but it gives some of us an education and allows us to know how like-minded people are feeling. It’s reassuring.

    Thank you.

    • Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Sorry – I forgot to add, in the interests of diversity (!) that I should add that it’s also interesting to know how people like Andy (not the original) and his mum Margaret Howard feel too.

  57. Dominic
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Today, I heard Raab use the phrase ‘social justice’. I turned off the TV immediately.

    We are tired of this lefty, emotion-triggering crap. Meaningless, cuddly phrases that have zero validity when applied to human beings outside of politics

    We have an opposition that is crypto-Marxist and Anti-Semitic. These people know no compromise. They are indoctrinated in their beliefs and world-view. What is needed is a pure bred Eurosceptic, small state, free-marketeer determined to confront and destroy Marxist Labour.

    Now is not the time for compromise, now is the time to confront the threat from two sides, thuggish Labour and the EU

  58. Arnie from Newington
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    I watched Hammond on TV this morning slagged off those who wanted to renegotiate with the EU, slagged of those who wanted no deal and said that we need to compromise and vote for a treaty that has been rejected three times and led to May being ridiculed when she tried to bring it back for a fourth time. I thought Raab spoke well this morning but he did hint at keeping Hammond so I hope he doesn’t become PM.

    • Al
      Posted May 27, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      I hate to ask, but are any of the candidates actually going to get rid of Hammond? I’d heard he was throwing support behind Boris, now Raab, but he is easily the electoral liability that May was. He’s far too closely tied to her government, has alienated large sections of industry and produces budgets proven to be deeply flawed.

  59. Iain Gill
    Posted May 26, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    John, thanks for saying that.

    Cheers

  • 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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