Weak manufacturing in UK second quarter led by big fall in car output

As forecast here, the car industry accelerated  a sharp decline in manufacturing in the second quarter. The overall manufacturing fall of 2.3% in the second quarter compared to the first was led by a 20% decline in car output, which was part of a 5.2% decline in transport equipment generally. The squeeze on car sales from higher VED, tougher conditions on car loans and above all the regulatory  uncertainty created over the future of diesels that I have highlighted have taken their toll. Various manufacturers compounded this by closing their factories for the annual shut down early this year in the second quarter, after building stocks in the first quarter. It is also part of a wider world pattern, with poor figures from China, Germany and other leading manufacturing nations.

Household spending continued to rise, up 0.5% quarter on quarter, and services managed a weak expansion. The economy as a whole grew by 1.2% over the last year, with a 0.2% quarter on quarter fall  after a decent quarter to start 2019.  Gross Domestic Capital formation was weak in the second quarter, as businesses sought to destock after their big stock build at the start of the year in preparation for the March Brexit which the government cancelled late.

The overall performance of the UK economy is good by EU standards, especially considering the combined fiscal and monetary squeeze which the outgoing government  undertook. Germany’s economy is growing at an annualised 0.7% , 0.5% lower than the UK’s latest, and Italy is not growing at all after a recession in  the second half of 2018.  The UK economy can do better  and needs some monetary and fiscal relaxation. Money growth is under one quarter of the rate in the USA and half the rate in the Euro area. The fiscal stance is now going to be loosened a bit, which is important. The US tax cuts drove accelerated growth there in contrast to the European performances. The US has been growing well over 2% with its more pro growth approach, with the President wanting growth above 3%.

The Fed, the ECB, the Indian, Australian, New Zealand, Turkish  and Russian Central Banks are all loosening policy to offset the general global manufacturing downturn. The UK has not yet taken such action.

The global picture for manufacturing remains poor, with Germany experiencing a 1.5% fall in industrial output in June with more poor orders for the second half of the year.

(I have posted this  post  for tomorrow early given the topicality of the item)


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  1. Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    At present I would not buy a new car for the reasons you give. Shame really as our UK industries could do with a boost. The PM needs to drop May’s idiotic scorched earth policy of 0% emissions. That is, I assume, if he really does if he want to help our industries.

    When is he going to get rid of Carney or put him on gardening leave? He could bring back Marvin King to cover the interim until Carney leaves. Then get someone in who is an apolitical native and believes in Britain instead of some globalist garbage.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      I have just purchased a Swindon built car and very good it is indeed.
      I looked at electric and hybrid but chose a 182 ps turbo petrol which meets all my needs
      As am engineer I will not be brow beaten by the pseudo science zealots which the BBC and left wing press so love.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 5:51 am | Permalink

        You know the Swindon plant is being closed because of Brexit, dont you?

        Reply Not true. Honda are pulling out of manufacture in all of Europe owing to lack of sales and overcapacity worldwide

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

          Konrad, If what you claimed was true, then Honda would move its Swindon assembly to the EU, wouldn’t they? The real reasons are: because the EU-Japan trade treaty enables Honda to make in Japan and ship duty free to the EU; and as JR says because of overcapacity.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Indeed the agenda should be clear. Get rid of everything Brown, Osborne, Hammond and May have done and fire Carney replace with King or someone similarly sensible. Plenty are available for about 10% of what the dire Carney is paid.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        The Telegraph today details much the vast damage done by G Brown, G Osborne and P Hammond’s idiotic and counter productive fiscal attacks on Non Doms, Landlords and Tenants and the attack on pension savings. Raising far less in taxes and thus harming the economy hugely.

        This fiscal lunacy all needs to be undone now and without any further delay. Time for Javid firstly to announce now that he will do this promptly and then to do it as soon as he can. What is he waiting for? Every day he delays causes further harm. As he does every day he retains project fear Carney!

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      You predictably, but unprovably, cite possible reasons for the shrinkage, which do not include the UK’s exit from the European Union, despite the words of those well-placed in the automotive industry to know.

      Yes, they might be lying, or not have a clue about their industry and its markets.

      However, could you please state just one way in which this venture of the UK could assist this particular industry in so far as it is based here?


      Reply The public sector could buy more vehicles made here once we lose EU procurement rules

      • Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply.

        No could about it. Must buy British built vehicles it is the tax payers who are paying for the privilege of them having a job. In the public services it has got to be British first in every area of purchasing. UK First.

        • Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

          You need to define ‘British built’ vehicles.

          The vast majority of cars ‘built’ here are actually just assembled here from parts largely made elsewhere in the single market.

          Parts which, thanks to your Brexit and the entirely predictable collapse in Sterling as a result, are now significantly more expensive.

          If you are looking for cars which are actually built here – you’d probably be limited to Aston Martins and maybe McLarens. Which I am sure all our public sector workers would love.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

            Andy, you are an idiot. At least they provide jobs for the people living in the UK. I suppose you would be happier if they all went to the EU? What is it with people like you that have to always sneer at your own country? Is there nothing you and the likes of Margaret Howard can be proud of? It seems to me you like nothing better than to ridicule and put down the UK and in MH case, England.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            Andy, would you prefer we joined the euro so we don’t have the exchange rate cost? Could I mention that the euro is likely to see a big fall in a few months’ time, so if the UK continues to import these car parts, they will be cheaper again.
            Over the years I have watched UK parts manufacturers be gobbled up by non-UK businesses, and the jobs and manufacturing ‘rationalized’ and moved to cheaper-wage countries. We will have the opportunity to bring the business back. And the jobs.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            I think you will find that a lot of the insides of BMW’s, as just one example, are made in China!

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

            If parts coming in from abroad get too expensive UK car assemlers will resource most of these parts from UK.
            And don’t forget the final price advantage UK car exporters now have.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

            Andy, Many car parts come from around the world, not just the EU, for example: Taiwan, China, Mexico. Perhaps you’ll tell us when they joined the EU, hmmm? And did Ford close its Genk plant in 2014 due to Brexit? The reality Andy is that you’re not even a good propagandist.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

            Every thing is made in china. I am from Adelaide, we had/have a Holden plant. However the chinese could build a much bigger plant from scratch and run it for 10 years for less than the running costs for ONE year.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

            Actually you do make a good point about vehicles assembled in Swindon for export to Europe, much of the export value if offset by the high import cost of components.

            But you miss out Jaguar and Land Rover whose chief market is the USA, there the components are largely built in Britain too.

            Once again, the greater potential for greater British exports lies outside the EU.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

            Still not emigrated to EU?
            You and other leading remainers in The House have just over
            82 DAYS to get gone avoiding your threatened rationing of bread .
            Book travel tickets early to avoid disappointment.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink


            Don’t call people idiots. You and I may not agree with Andy, but you should be civil. There has been far too much polarisation and name-calling on both sides of late.

            We are all British and we all want the best for our country. I respect Remainers for that, even though I don’t agree with them.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 10:16 pm | Permalink


            “But you miss out Jaguar and Land Rover whose chief market is the USA, there the components are largely built in Britain too.

            Once again, the greater potential for greater British exports lies outside the EU.”

            But they are owned by the Indian Tata company.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink


            “If you are looking for cars which are actually built here – you’d probably be limited to Aston Martins and maybe McLarens. ”

            Perhaps you don’t realise – there is a difference between built here, and ‘British’.

            All cars are modular these days, and just bolted together in the UK.

            The Aston Martin you cite uses a German gearbox, made by ZF. (as do RR, Bentley, Daimler, Jaguar, Land Rover)

            God only knows what’s in a McClaren, but after all it is a boutique car.

            Even Morgan – a brand most assume to represent Britishness at it’s best, uses BMW engines.

            The days of manufacturers conning customers into believing they were buying British will have to come to an end, or we don’t buy – simple as.

            And if they fold as a result – hard luck. We can always get cars from the US and Japan. I’ve had both in my time and can only speak highly of them.

          • Posted August 12, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink


            Except the parts ARE NOT largely made in the single market. Car manufacture and assembly is a global operation and in fact BMW’s biggest factory in the world is NOT in the single market but in the USA

            This continued non understanding of how business works is astounding. Countries dont own businesses unless they are nationalised or have bought the shares . All publicly listed companies are owned by their shareholders who could come from anywhere . Its purely where a company has based its factories/offices and workforce that matter in economic terms

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 5:51 am | Permalink

          @Turboterrier; It would be even better if the profits of those UK state purchased sales remained here in the UK, not much chance of that though, seeing that the UK owned car industry was sold off/shut down some 30 to 40 years ago. Same happens in other sectors to.

          Buy British, support the French and German economies, in fact almost any other economy than that of the UK!

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink


            No one said it was going to easy what with the takeover of nearly all our vehicle manufacturing base but my thoughts were on the fact that if it is British workers in British locations are building/ assembling the vehicles at least we have employment and workers across the company paying taxes. I cannot for example believe that it is beyond the capabilities of JLR to produce he engines and chassis for all our ambulances.
            My original comment was more to giving more employment opportunities over here in the UK. If companies want to come in here and invest in our people and or skills and technology that is a choice for their shareholders and its board. of directors. Government alone has the power to introduce policies regarding the taxation on profit of vehicles destined for our public sectors.

            The same argument could be used on the construction of British Naval warships. British yards, British steel and British equipment could it not?

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

            Perhaps that’s true Jerry but UK based companies pay a lot more tax than tax on their profits.
            PAYE, Dividends, NI, VAT, Insurance Premium Tax, Capital Gains Tax to name just a few.
            Then there is rent, council tax , road fund licence fees and the wages and pensions paid to the hundreds of thousands of staff employed by them.
            It is not all bad.
            And many UK companies are sited abroad and they generate profit tax revenue for the UK HMRC

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; I was not talking about tax, if I had been I would have typed the word “Tax”….

            Profit is what, by and large, funds further investment, if profits stay within the UK there is a high chance the next round of investment will be in the UK, or at least if it is outside of the UK it directly benefits the UK. Stop being so obsessed with taxation!

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

            Yes you were talking about profits and those profits remaining here in the UK sarcastic Jerry.
            But I was explaining that there are other tangible benefits beyond keeping the profits in the UK or generating corporation taxes.
            It is up to Directors as to what they decide to do with the profits they make in their company.
            It can be distributed to shareholders or given as bonuses to staff at various levels or invested in the business or retained as savings.
            The ownership of a multi national will make those decisions in order to improve their business.
            You would like UK companies to only be owned by UK people but in a modern global world this restriction is no longer going to be possible.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink


            “I cannot for example believe that it is beyond the capabilities of JLR to produce he engines and chassis for all our ambulances.”

            It is, unfortunately.

            Previous governments in their crazed ambition to please Europe closed all the foundries. Now this country can’t even make crankshafts. It’s a pathetic situation that needs to be reversed.

            IMO those responsible should be punished, and that punishment should involve a lot of public humiliation, and financial ruin.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; As they say, the best for of defence is diversion.

            What do you no6ty understand about the need to keep profits and investment here in the UK, tax is irrelevant to the issue of ownership as UK applicable tax(es) will be paid who ever owns the company.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

            Your preferred tactic for years Jerry
            Just learning from you.

            In your last paragraph you have made my point for me.
            Many taxes are paid by companies resident here.
            Your obsession with forcing only UK ownership of UK companies is so 1950s

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; I did not make any point for you!

            The point you seem unable to grasp is not how much tax a company might or might not be paid to the HMRC but were UK made post-tax profits end up.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

          quite right, I see police in BMW and Volvos, what’s wrong with Jaguar/Land-Rover?

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

            They break down all too frequently!

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

            David Maples, False. Autoexpress lists Jaguar as second to Lexus for reliabilty, ahead of Volvo (7) and way ahead of BMW. The bottom 10 (out of 27) are all EU assembled apart from Chevrolet.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

            Peter Wood

            “what’s wrong with Jaguar/Land-Rover?”

            Don’t you mind that they are owned by the Indian Tata company? Or is it only European companies you are against?

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; But what a consumer magazine says, for a multitude of reasons, and what the motor trade find out in the real world do not always correspond…

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

            Peter Wood

            “what’s wrong with Jaguar/Land-Rover?”

            They’re only fractionally British these days, and use fragile german gearboxes.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink


            “there the components are largely built in Britain too.”


        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

          The distinct possibility exists, that after the UK leaves the European Union, it will have very little vehicle manufacturing at all, if any, nor any other kind.

          In which case the public sector will be forced to buy imports, with a weak pound and subject to retributional tariffs too.

          You voted for it.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

            Complete nonsense statement not backed by any data or logical argument.
            Just cheap Project Fear from you as usual Martin.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

            I bought a Japanese power drill(Ryobi)a few months ago…it was made in China!

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

            Martin, You are Andy, and I demand my £5. And, no, I didn’t vote for your wild guesses.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

            What data have you to back your claim that manufacturing would flourish? The CEOs of these companies expect difficult conditions.

            What do you know that they do not?

            Absolutely nothing relevant at all, do you?

            I treat their words seriously – do as you like. You apparently wasted your teachers’ time at school too.

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

            with the money £350,000,000 a week we will set up our own brand new car companies. They will be the best in the world. At the moment that money goes to All the french and german manufacturing. Plus we will save £39,000,000,000 {more likely to be around £80,000,000,000} by the way did the French say we had to pay in USA Billions or UK Billions? FREEDOM!

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

            “subject to retributional tariffs too.”


          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink


            “Just cheap Project Fear from you as usual Martin.”

            More likely his own fear of the British spirit…..because he knows it works.

            It narks the peripheral bigots that we’re up for the challenge and that we meant it when we cast our votes in the referendum.

      • Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        The normal process for public procurement is competitive tendering, so it is based on price, but not on the location of production within the European Union, as I understand it. I’m not even sure if these rules apply to such as purchase of vehicles at market prices TBH – why should they?

        However if so, then you would appear to be suggesting that locally produced vehicles would be relatively cheaper. after leaving the European Union.

        Yes, with the reduced pound Sterling and reciprocal tariffs on them that would perhaps be quite likely.

        I’d doubt that purchases by the public sector would offset the loss in exports however.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

          I agree that public procurement should be based on value for money rather than manufacturing location. It could be that domestic factories would show better VFM but Mr Redwood’s view is surprising.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

          You obviously don’t leave Cardiff very much. In France 90% of official vehicles are French. The same in Germany and Italy. When tendering they take into account the tax take on home produced vehicles as well as the reduction in welfare spending.
          We are the only country that looks at the price without taking other factors into account.
          This has to change.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

            M in C

            The other side of the coin is that vehicles assembled over her have created work for the British workforce and companies to pay tax on and reduced the number of car transporter miles to bring vehicles over here to supply our public sector. As every politician wants to save the planet to quote a supermarket “every little helps”

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

            Ian Wragg

            We are the only country that looks at the price without taking other factors into account.

            Totally correct.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            Thanks Ian. You support what I suspected. That is, present European Union rules do not in any way prevent the public sectors from being patriotic in their procurements, as the examples that you cite would indicate.

            So there would be nothing whatsoever to prevent the UK’s authorities from doing that too right now if so.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

            Ian Wragg if that were the case then France and Italy would be directly breaking the procurement rules of the EU which require that an tenderer must be able to make a competitive bid in the open without discrimination .
            John Redwood has often made the case for protectionism in the past .The WTO is a primitive actor for free trade and can easily be circumvented by state subsidy as he effectively points out
            The UK will now be the only country entering any European tender which can be discriminated against by the use of public subsidy or any number of other strategies
            I think we can guess how that will go

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

            If a council, say, decided that it wants a fleet of such-and-such a tractor make and model, because of the particular facilities and specification that it has, then that vehicle will likely be unique.

            However, all the suppliers of that make and model model must be allowed to apply to sell it without discrimination.

            That’s how the French and the Germans would do it, I’d surmise.

            It would be the dealers in the process then, not the manufacturers.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

          Reduced pound value will boost exports.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

            But you keep saying that the pound will rise when things “settle down”.

            Which is it?

            Tariffs won’t help either.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

            Good thinking Eddy boy , why not return to a hunter gatherer life style the pound would become worthless . Good for exports …!
            The estimation of currency markets on the UK`s lost growth is not a good thing .It is the measure of how much money for defence services hospitals holidays and patios your stupid ideas are costing me . Thanks for that.
            By the way Sterling`s fall did little good for exports up to 2017 , it may be because our exports are embedded in complex products and only marginally price sensitive .

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

            Calm yourself down Newmania lad.
            If the pound falls then UK exports will do better.
            I’ve been involved in manufacturing for decades.
            Unlike you, I have some practical knowledge.
            The pound has risen and fallen by larger amounts than recently during the years we were in the EU.
            What caused thise movements?

            And Martin aka Andy
            I’ve never never said the pound will rise when things settle down.
            You are making things up as usual.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

            The pound has fallen. Guess what? It didn’t boost exports.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            Exports are up

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

          France does benefit from a lot of nationalist spending, however they clearly go too far.

          It seems sensible that all government spending in future should be able to take the UK tax off goods when making spending decisions – that would tilt the police towards Jaguars from BMW’s.

          In the end too much protection encourages inefficient industries, which is the story of France and the EU.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      J Bush

      “…globalist garbage.”

      Exactly, couldn’t have put it better myself.

  2. Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Indeed the problem that the car industry has is that government (and EU red tape driven by the green lunacy) is trying to push expensive new over complex cars costing £20k + onto people. Cars that in many ways are inferior to the old ones they already have and are worth perhaps £2k or less. Electric cars with batteries that depreciate at £100 PM just for the battery and another £300 PM for the car, with impractical range limitations and long recharge times. Also the threat that diesel and petrol car will soon be banned is a very good reason not to buy a new one just keep the old.

    Do not try to roll out duff technology until it works is the clear message. The customers are sensibly sitting on their hands (apart from a few rich virtue signallers). I shall stick with my ancient Volvo V70 and gold cap thanks. Hey cost less than £ 100 PM each in fuel and are cheap to insure and maintain. With virtually no depreciation as they are worth next to nothing.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Golf Cab. (not gold cap) thanks. That costs etc. damn spell checker!

      I must find out how to switch it off!

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Absurdly poor pro-remain panel on Any Questions last night, even by the BBC’s very low and absurdly biased standards.

      Shaun Bailey was extremely unimpressive, even when surrounded by the other dire PC/lefty panelists. Many on whom could hardly string a coherent, meaningful sentence together. He surely must be replaced as the Mayoral candidate by Boris. Is he really the best person the Conservatives can come up with as a candidate for London Mayor? What a dire state the party in must be in if so!

      Given the dire & incompetent power cuts yesterday will the energy minister Leadsom now resign? Replace with Lord Lilley or similar please. Still when the traffic lights do go down in London it always tends to help the traffic to flow rather better. They should keep them off.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        If all the traffic lights where got rid of and replaced with rounderbouts, the conjestion would be much less. traffic light are for red light cameras primarily tax collection, same as speed cameras. you can go throught amber/red lights at 70 pluss, but you can not do more that 30 on a rounderbout.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

          Indeed and also the (usually empty) bus lanes also with their cash cow cameras. These massively reduce the overall capacity of main roads (by restricting perhaps 90% of the traffic to perhaps half of the total road space). What a great plan you have a road asset already built but cut it’s capacity by about 40% with bus lanes and anti-car traffic lights.

          I caught some of the Any Questions repeat just now in the car. They seemed an even more stupid bunch of panelist than when I listened to them the first time yesterday.

          I am sure if you picked four people up at random in the street you would get more intelligent views than from this bunch of PC lefties. Do the BBC have to go out of their way to find such people with half baked views? Surely they can find some people who could at least speak in full meaningful & coherent sentences?

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink


          The problem with traffic lights is the phasing, and illegal amber time.

          Most lights in city areas are phased under the control of local authority…..with the power to decide who gets home on time.

        • Posted August 11, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink


          Unfortunately they now put traffic lights on roundabouts, at least they do here in Wokingham,
          The only roundabouts which do not have them yet are the mini variety !

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Very good of Andrew Adonis (Modern History Keble) to appear on Newsnight last and talk about the power failures yesterday that caused such chaos. Fortunately it seems no one died this time – though there were generator problems at hospitals and emergency equipment left to work on battery power (that does seem to have worked).

      Baron Adonis showed very clearly that he really did not have a clue about energy engineering or what had happened in the interview. But then why would a modern history (Keble) man have any? He muttered drivel about “a very rare event”, “a coincidence” of two power stations failing at the same time. Also have it was like going through a red light and the system adjusting…..blah, blah, blah. Why on earth was he thought a suitable man to be the Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission?

      What very probably happened is that a gas electricity generator (near Bedford) failed which then caused the wind station array to fail too (so not a coincidence at all). This as wind power cannot increase output to compensate (as it depends for output on the wind at the time and you use what you can get out of it most of the time).

      It is clearly therefore vital that you have more than one on demand gas/coal/oil generator available as back up. Far more so if you are relying on expensive and intermittent wind power as much as we do. Due to the greencrap the government has foolishly forced us to do. Which was the second on demand back up and why did it fail? Has the wood delivery not arrived at Drax perhaps?

      This was made even worse by idiotic trains from KingsX that cannot even be restarted by the drivers without an engineer after a power cut (surely a driver (ON again) button would suffice). Apparently the government mucked up on this specification too. So lots of very hot train carriages (with no openable windows for 90 mins+) it seems. Lucky that day was not very hot.

      The incident was not due to any real or cyber attack it seems. So even without an attack the grid cannot cope it seems. Very encouraging!

      But then if Labour appoint historians like Adonis (as a recent past Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission) rather than people who understand logic, physics, economics, risk management & engineering what do they expect?

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink


      I agree.

      I also think it’s sensible to stick with your Volvo. I have a Jaguar S type 3.0 V6, and shall be sticking with it for the foreseeable future. Besides the new Jaguars don’t appeal to me much…..they don’t even look like a Jag.

      It seems to me the motor industry has shot itself in the foot with electric cars, as you say it’s the purchase of the virtue signallers, who, frankly would readily adopt anything to look trendy, no matter how stupid it makes them. Big corporates love these people.

      Times are changing though, business has to learn; ‘give us what we want or we don’t buy’

      I never buy anything that has changed for the worse just to provide obscene profit for the manufacturers, and people need to remember; electric cars are not foisted upon us for environmental reasons. It’s because they’re cheap as piss to make, easier control of product lifespan, and can be taken off the road by hiking the price of replacement batteries.

  3. Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I am angry that government policy has led to the demise of our once growing car industry. The policy on diesel cars is ridiculous when electric cars are out of the price range for most people and the infrastructure is not there. I have been reliably informed that companies are using hybrids solely to take advantage of the tax breaks when they are not much better than diesel cars. They only use limited mileage using electric and the rest of the time they are using diesel but the tax breaks are lucrative. I suppose the extortionate tax on my diesel, which is cleaner than most older cars is paying for this folly. Just because my car was a certain price I have to pay a lot more tax. An electric car would not be suitable for my needs but Hammond sees fit to penalise me. No wonder the Tory party is in trouble with their socialist views.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:31 pm | Permalink


      Absolutely correct in what you are saying. If it was not for the outrageous subsidies that have been thrown at these hybrid models which is nothing short of criminal, they would have never taken off as they have. Most companies are buying them as a cheap way to replace their car fleets. All fine if the staff are as committed to using the vehicle in the manner it was designed and built for. But very users I know bother with the battery power unit unless in the cities. There might be a place for these vehicles in the town and city centres but that could easily overturned with efficient effective public transport.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      I had a diesel. I now have a hybrid.

      The hybrid is better in every way. Claims otherwise are simply false.

      My next car will be full on electric.

      Being a Luddite is not a requirement, it is a choice.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        People should purchase what suits them best, no problem with that, and if your choice is what you have, then good luck.

        I still run a 20 year old double cab pick up truck (purchased new at the time and imported from New Zealand) and we also run a 12 year old Toyota (purchased pre registered vehicle with 5 miles on the clock) for 35% discount at the time.

        Both still run run perfectly well for what we use them for, have always run vehicles until they are either time expired, or no longer reliable, as found that to be the most cost effective form of motoring.

        Thus I have absolutely no intention of purchasing an electric vehicle or a Hybrid at the moment.
        Next purchase will probably be a 2-3 year old diesel powered large SUV to replace the truck.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        Best buy yourself a small petrol powered generator for when power failures occur, and hope the neighbours don’t complain too much.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

          No need. We’re getting solar panels and batteries.

          We had them on our old house. We recently moved and will put them on our new house too.

          Of course most are foreign made so they are 20% more expensive due to the collapse of Sterling caused by your Brexit.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

            Andy, Depending on the size of your car, a replacement battery could cost you upwards of £10,000. And battery life is only guaranteed typically for 5 years. So, as you trundle on with your Peter Pan children in your battery or hybrid car, sitting on top of a box of high fire-risk, toxic chemicals, wondering whether you’ll make it on a long journey, spare a thought for the battery bill which will put a dent in your running costs.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Doubtless a Toyota Pious owner.

        Personally I drive a simple, moderately powered petrol car that has had two previous owners and drive it optimally and use it minimally. I intend to keep it for 12 years.

        The whole life carbon footprint of my car will be considerably less than the Pious because there is nothing more wasteful or more insane than scrapping a perfectly good item because of virtue signalling.

        Taxing non electric cars out of existence will lead to further waste and carbon emissions through unnecessary manufacturing.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          I’m a bit handy with cars. I knew that diesels were a bad thing all along and never owned one.

          If you have to bolt on a load of extra kit to make something that should be simple work then there’s something awry.

          Turns out I was right and you were wrong, Andy.

          You’re wrong now too.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        wait till warranty runs out, wait till you try to sell it, ho ho ho.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        My brother has a hybrid. System generator failed so he had to get it maintained … £4000, he was told he needed a new hybrid battery £2000. The car was worth c£4000. He is running it on diesel only now.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      Eco-marxism and the opportunity to appear virtuous has duped many a foolish politican.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      Climate is determined by the following

      1) Distance from the sun (fixed)
      2) Position of Continents (Geologically slow)
      3) Earths magnetic field (Geological)
      4) Solar Cycle (decades)
      5) Volcanos (annual)
      6) Marxist hot air (daily)

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink


        Spot on, brilliant.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Agreed ✔️10/10
        Point 6 😊

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Of course our distance from the sun is not fixed. Ignorance is bliss.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      Yesterday’s disastrous blackouts with more to come. We have not made adequate electricity provision.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        Yes, the blame will be laid firmly at the feet of National Grid but nobody will day anything about the stupid government green policies. These power cuts will be really good for manufacturing. (Sarc)

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

          Bad for anyone on a train, plane, mid operation, city dealers, banks, manufacturers, mid medical scan and very bad for people being kept alive by various pieces of intensive care equipment if the backups do not cut in seamlessly.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. Government and virtue signalling, scientifically illiterate politicians are the problem as usual.

  4. Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    You say:-The overall performance of the UK economy is good by EU standards, especially considering the combined fiscal and monetary squeeze which the outgoing government undertook.

    Indeed and when is the new government and Javid going to undo this damaging fiscal, monetary and red tape lunacy? When is Carney leaving, why the delay ?

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink


      No one said it was going to easy what with the takeover of nearly all our vehicle manufacturing base but my thoughts were on the fact that if it is British workers in British locations are building/ assembling the vehicles at least we have employment and workers across the company paying taxes. I cannot for example believe that it is beyond the capabilities of JLR to produce he engines and chassis for all our ambulances.
      My original comment was more to giving more employment opportunities over here in the UK. If companies want to come in here and invest in our people and or skills and technology that is a choice for their shareholders and its board. of directors. Government alone has the power to introduce policies regarding the taxation on profit of vehicles destined for our public sectors.

      The same argument could be used on the construction of British Naval warships. British yards, British steel and British equipment could it not?

  5. Posted August 9, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    All engineered by Hammond and the Treasury to link to Brexit as indeed some are today as an extension of Project Fear under a PM whom we hear increasingly was not up to it.

    Fortunately good positive messages coming from the new PM and Chancellor, confidence is everything in financial markets etc with some promised spending forthcoming.

    However loose money always leads to waste and inefficiency so, as happened under Brown when he opened the taps for the NHS, get ready for a vast recruiting drive for our police meaning they can investigate more ‘Twitter abuse’ but do not expect clear up rates to improve. The money of course will come with the usual bs about efficiency/improved outcomes but as Sir JR said yesterday the management of the NHS couldn’t be bothered to do what they had been asked, no one was/is ever held to account so my guess is wherever the extra money goes, they won’t be bothered either.

    What must happen is much gets put back into people’s pockets where it gets spent far more efficiently.

    Small government is proved to be the best for economies. From what I have heard so far I am not expecting it any time soon.

  6. Posted August 9, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    You wrote UK growth was good by EU standards and you mentioned Italy and Germany with lower growth rates,

    The UK growth is not good by EU standards according to the forecast from Feb/March 20 countries will grow more than the UK during 2019, except for Italy and Germany and countries like Belgium will grow like the UK.

    This is why I am claiming that you selective economic forecasts are not much better than the BoE and you asked me to give you some examples. Well, here you are .

    thank you

    Reply Mine was a factual comment about what has happened, not a false forecast! You are struggling.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Sir JR,

      I have not even started with your distortions

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        Bill Brown, Do you not know the difference between actual measured performance, and guesses about the future? No? Little wonder you voted Remain then.

      • Posted August 11, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Bill Brown

        “Sir JR,

        I have not even started with your distortions”

        The forecast says you were eaten alive when you tried it.

    • Posted August 11, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Bill Brown

      “The UK growth is not good by EU standards according to the forecast”

      So you quantify something based upon that which cannot be quantified because it has yet to exist.

      Forecast is not fact.

  7. Posted August 9, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I see the doom and gloom merchants have been out in force on the bias news channels with the holy grail of information of GDP of 0.2% , boy it’s going to be great to see these doom mongers eating humble pie when we leave the dreaded Eu and thrive

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink


      What would be a greater experience would them all being shown the door with their P45s in their hands. Yet another sector of the swamp that needs serious draining.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink


      Another gloom and doom. Quango. The Committee of Climate Change in its annual report and accounts shows that its budget has risen by 36% last year to £4.7m. It must beg the question Why? No wonder this country struggles to reach key financial targets when we are wasting money like this and for what? This is only one department how many more have we got operating underneath the parapet? Something has got to change if you will excuse the pun!!!

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Turbo. The chief exec is paid £300k+ and was previously guiding Scotland’s electricity policy, where they are going towards 50-100% wind generation and will rely on English gas stations to save them when there is no wind. They are aiming to make large amounts of hydrogen from natural gas and run transport and industry on it. Now he is proposing the same for England and Wales- 59% wind. Presumably, their offices in the plush part of London was blacked out yesterday when they lost a wind farm because of the overly windy weather.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      We won’t. We will steadily but permanently decline compared with similar EU nations for the rest of your life.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        More joyous news from Andy. I wonder what its like being so down all the time?

        • Posted August 11, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink


          “More joyous news from Andy. I wonder what its like being so down all the time?”

          You think he’s down now just wait till he gets that all electric car of his……stranded in the middle of nowhere with every passer by laughing at him. Or gets told a replacement cell pack will cost £4,000 +.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        More ridiculous Project Fear from young Andy.
        No data, no evidence just an unsubstantiated statement.

      • Posted August 11, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink


        “We will steadily but permanently decline compared with similar EU nations for the rest of your life.”

        By decline you mean you will have to roll your sleeves up and graft to survive and do your bit for the country like the rest of us.

        You poor thing you must be so terrified.

        Note – there actually won’t be any EU before long, it’ll collapse without us and the Commission knows it. All it takes is one or two other countries to leave and the whole lot comes down…..with prominent Commissioners getting caught red handed trying to do a runner with the money, in common with every other crackpot dictator I can think of.

  8. Posted August 9, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Well done for standing up to the BBC fake news rep. How can democratic Brexiteers get a look in with our current media set-up? Sky news not much better and ITV a bit iffy. We are not allowed a balanced viewpoint from the media. Maybe RT is the answer.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      Yes, maybe fake news is the answer to your problems seeing that actual news reminds you on a daily basis that you’re a fool.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        Actual news is selectively reported by the main TV channels here.
        I can’t understand, for instance, the absence of reports on the 8% fall in German exports (year on year) yesterday? Economists certainly spoke to camera about this, but come actual broadcast, that section had vanished.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink


          “I can’t understand, for instance, the absence of reports on the 8% fall in German exports (year on year) yesterday?”

          I shouldn’t worry too much about it. They are masters at adapting.
          According to the 2018 Pure Electric Car Registration table 3 EU countries, Germany, France and the Netherlands are leaders after China and the US with Norway on top as well.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink


            Just back from Norway and Iceland where electricity is very cheap to generate, did not see many power points for charging electric cars, indeed did not even notice an electric car in Iceland at all whilst on the roads.
            Perhaps they are being used more in the city’s where range does not matter much.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

            Alan Jutson

            “Just back from Norway and Iceland where electricity is very cheap to generate, did not see many power points for charging electric cars”

            Maybe that would be different if they were in the EU -:)

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

            Yes electricty would be much more expensive and there would be a few charging points but with 5 different systems. .

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      if you want to know what is really happening in the UK look at RT.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Tim, I prefer Breitbart – it is much less biased than the BBC, and marginally less biased than RT.

    • Posted August 11, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Steve Cragg

      “How can democratic Brexiteers..”

      An oxymoron if ever there was one!

      • Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        We are democratic.
        We want Parliament to honour the result of our referendum.
        We notice Parliament voted by a large majority to invoke Article 50 and by another large majority voted in favour of a law where we leave the EU on 31st of October.

  9. Posted August 9, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    The German economy is based on making and selling petrol and diesel cars and the EU wants to phase out production in favour of electric cars?
    The industry is pushing them for all they are worth, but I for one will never buy one, so I will be hanging on to my vehicle for some time yet.
    The only way for the EU is down.

  10. Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know what you want anyone to say- most of this stuff you can pull straight from the daily financials and other serious newspapers- my problem is the Pound is way down on the Euro and so have had to change my plans for hols. Apart from the chaos of Brexit looming we don’t know what that other loose cannon Trump is going to do next, as if things were not bad enough- we have lunatics running the show now so what do you expect- garbage in garbage out

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Pound v euro. Is that really a problem? Umpteen people have pensions and/or individual investments with income denominated in dollars or euros, I would suggest that is a bigger overall benefit than our European holidays being slightly more expensive.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      MikeD. Is that all you can think about? A little less spending power? Then stay home and support your own country.

  11. Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Not sure fiscal loosening will help the car industry. There’s been too much equivocation about banning/charging for diesel (is petrol next?). Electric is premature. Many will wait and wait and wait and see.
    Construction-so many houses built around here but won’t sell without props for housebuilders.
    Nothing to do with Brexit, but we need to massively increase trade with the rest of the world.
    We just lost three years and somebody should pay.

  12. Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile in July there was a 2.8% year-on-year decline in overall car sales, with annual sales hitting the lowest level since November 2012, in Australia. Brexit knows no bounds it seems: a helpful phenomenon in the face of Remoaner joy at every downturn.

  13. Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    If the public had more of their own money to spend a recession might be avoided
    As the dead hand of the state takes 50% of all we earn it’s no wonder growth has stalled.
    Let’s just hope that the new Chancellor reverses some of the most incoherent of taxes.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Not only do the government spend (largely waste or worse) nearly 50% of GDP but they also ties the hands of the productive with endless red tape, bonkers employment laws, damaging litigation largely out of control, an expensive green crap energy policy, absurd fiscal complexity, very poor infrastructure, a rationed, slow and often incompetent NHS and generally dire public services all over the place.

      On the litigation lunacy it seems that next time I take a the train I should look out for some pigeon poo to slip on. Clearly the stations should employ a large army of pigeon poo catcher to avoid these payouts. But then they might slip in it and litigate too. We need a policy to cull the many totally parasitic jobs – be they in litigation, bureaucrats, green crap, licencing, planning, tax panning/compliance, HR or anywhere else.

      “Commuter gets £27,000 pay out for ‘possibly slipping’ in pigeon poo at train station” as reported today.

      • Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        They’re going to have to rip up all that lovely paving and replace it with non slip.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

        @LL; “We need a policy to cull the many totally parasitic jobs”

        Careful of what you wish for @LL, given the growing public hostility towards the private landlord, well at least the current wholly under regulated ones…

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

          There is nothing parasitic about property rental companies anymore than there is about hoteliers, car/truck/plant rental or leasing companies or people who rent anything else out or indeed lend (rent out) money. We supply a demand for flexible housing, office and shops that are very much needed.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

            @LL; “There is nothing parasitic about property rental companies anymore than there is about hoteliers”

            Says the Landlord, whilst totally missing the point, his own point, staying in a hotel or renting a car is a discretionary activity, having a roof over ones head, a safe and stable place for a family to call Home, is not -or shouldn’t be…

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

            LL – that is, by a country mile, the best contribution you have ever made here. Thank you.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

            @sm; If being 100% wrong is the best….

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      I am Australian, in the financial collapse 0f 2009 The uk gave Billions and Billions to the Banks. Then the UK government stoll those Billions and Billions back from the poor to keep paying the Bankers their bonuses.
      In Australia the government gave every citizen money twice. You did not have to apply, it was simply deposited in your bank. We were told just spend it on what ever you want. It is simple, if we let one business Die, there is a Domino affect, he pulls some one else down etc, so that is how we get recession.

  14. Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    A stunningly adroit and unexpected longer-run counter-measure to GDP downturn is the prime minister’s announcement about new, relaxed visa rules for foreign scientists. After three years of the dead hand of T. May, rather than B. Johnson could the Conservative Party have given us the people’s Blue Boris after all?

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      MAY!!! – That is a name that should be banned from this site! If she hadn’t been so intent on grovelling to the EU instead of doing the decent, lawful thing and taking the country out on 29th March, we would now be 5 months along the road of the New Beginning! – And the remoaners would be back in their box!

      During that ‘lost’ 5 months we have had inaction because of uncertainty, and a sustained attack from doom happy remoaners – all seeking, in the first instance, to get a further extension of EU membership, so that they can consolidate their plans to destroy Brexit !

      Without MAY we would have been into recovery mode at this juncture. – Remember that!

      • Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, this should be shouted wide and far.
        Brown messed up the economy by propping up banks RBS and Lloyds, May messed up the country by refusing to abide by the democratic vote. We need better.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        Agreed, if May had got her deal through then we would still have another 4 years of negotiations and uncertainty until the trade agreement was settled, and then possibly more for it to implemented, no wonder business has not invested in its future !.

        What has May’s delay achieved, absolutely nothing other than another 6 months of same old same old arguments.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

          Correct, Alan – the delay achieved absolutely nothing! And any further delay will produce an identical result! Out, out, out is the cry!

          Once out, whatever real problems there are can be addressed, instead wasting much energy discussing hypothetical Project Fear and Doom imaginings as has happened during the last 5 months!

          The Doom Predictions will only be shown up for what they are once we are out and are focusing on addressing reality and not speculation!

  15. Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    George Osborne as editor of the Evening Standard still seems to be damaging the country by pushing project fear – front page today.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Londoners voted Remain largely so Osborne, the original doom peddling author of Project Fear was shoe-horned into the local newspaper, welcomed with open arms.
      His attempts to persuade the rest of the country fell abysmally despite £10m of taxpayer’s money. His multiple vested business interests and 12 jobs at the last count rules him out due a conflict of interests. You can’t make it up. See my other comment below. Sad really!

  16. Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink


    “The overall performance of the UK economy is good by EU standards”

    How do you come to that conclusion? According to a chart in today’s BBC business news (link below)

    “How major economies are performing:

    %change on previous quarters show:

    Spain + 0.5%

    France + 0.2%

    Italy 0%

    Germany – 0.1%

    UK – 0.2%

    So which other ‘major’ EU economies are you referring?


    Reply Try reading my comments. I am taking the last year not just the last quarter.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Which other EU economies ?

      This shouldn’t even be a question. The referendum before last didn’t include many of those economies because they were the far side of an iron curtain and no British voter was told of the expansionist ambitions behind the project.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      @margaret howard; I’m often as critical as you when it comes to the handling of the UK economy (since 2010, if not long before then too, not just since 23 June 2016 as you appear to be…) but this set of quarterly figures does appear to be a genuine technical adjustment, correcting the irregular high of the previous Qt – clearly seen in the charts you cite from the BBC.

      Might I also remind you what caused this irregularity, first your beloved “project fear”, and then the UK’s non exit from the EU back on 29 March.

  17. Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    After 3 years of indecision, plus Daily Project Fearfull, a Remain Govt and a Remainer Bank of England and 24/7 misinformation by BBC and MSM it is a miracle the UK is growing at all.
    Boris knows it is absolutely vital to step up to the plate both for business planning forward and restore business confidence that has been sucked away and finally actually leave the EU.
    It is slowly dawning on the EU what makes us tick differently from our European neighbours e.g why we play Cricket and they don’t. We are sceptical on some historical points especially selling new ideas. English law has cornerstones of letter and spirit and concept of reasonableness which they don’t. Above all British politeness such as when queuing should never be taken as weakness.
    Lastly non verbal communication can mean disapproval in the South compared with directness in the North, but a milder version of Oz.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink


      “It is slowly dawning on the EU what makes us tick differently from our European neighbours e.g why we play Cricket and they don’t.”

      I thought I had heard it all now – we are different because we play cricket. I believe the Jamaicans and Indians do as well and are very good at it. Back to a commonwealth trading bloc? Didn’t do very well last time which is why we begged to join the EU nearly 5 decades ago.

      Oh and incidentally as regards our own supposed difference from other Europeans – the habit of queuing:

      “The first written description of people standing in line is found in an 1837 book, The French Revolution: A History by Thomas Carlyle. Carlyle described what he thought was a strange sight: people standing in an orderly line to buy bread from bakers around Paris.”

      As the saying goes – nothing new under the sun.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        queuing for the guilotine!, thay is why they did not push in

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        So the French were first to have to queue for food, not really anything to shout about. We had to queue in the war partly thanks to the French surrendering to Germany. Queues abounded in Russia thanks to communism. We continue to do it out of respect for others.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Too bad you don’t know the subtle things about cricket nor politeness, like a red flag it went over your head ….

      • Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, Don’t be obtuse: what ukretired said was that we are not different because we play cricket; rather, we play cricket because we’re different. Do you always put the cart before the horse, or is just about Brexit that you lose rationality?

  18. Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I/We always find it amusing the parts of the ONS comments JR leaves out, for instance; “When compared with the same quarter a year ago, UK GDP increased by 1.2% in Quarter 2 2019; (a slowing from 1.8% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2019).

    The output of the ONS and the OBR are great for data mining number crunchers; but are drifting far far away from anything the average citizen can understand. There needs to be a serious look at the socio-economic value added by these two quangos.

    Terry Smith wrote a book some while back that said “if you want to know how well a company is doing, follow the CASH”. Exactly the same thinking should be applied to a sovereign treasury that issues its own currency. Such treasuries do not “borrow” their own currency from anybody. Additionally, there is nothing such a treasury can’t afford to buy, if it is for sale in its own currency.

    Reply I forecast and reported slowdown!

  19. Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    A contraction engineered by two Tory politicians namely May and Hammond with the fundamental aim of tarnishing Brexit as government polciy and the uncertainty that with inevitably come with pursuing such a policy

    I myself have rarely seen such vicious politics that a government would deliberately damage the economic future of a nation simply to poison the well for a future PM with an opposing stance

    The previous incumbent of the office of Prime Minister needs to be demonised and sullied for her destructive tendencies.

    To power the UK economy forward we need to see aggressive reforms across the State sector and a halt to state intervention in the wealth creating sector of our economy.

    Diversity and equality tosh should be buried deep in the grave with meritocracy reinstated as the measure of an employee’s worth

    We certainly don’t need to see more State spending. That’s mere Keynesian virtue signalling allowing politicians to advertise their faux social concern. We need less of this prancing and preening

    Unleash the market and weaken political control of the economy

  20. Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Of course I wish the UK to continue to do well economically, but it would be helped by a FTA with the EU. For that to happen, without swallowing the whole Withdraw Agreement agreed with the EU and rejected by by the H.o.C. , the new UK government must first change a red line, and allow the backstop just to cover just N. Ireland temporarily (until technical solutions may be implemented in future), i.e. checks on the transport between e.g. England and N. Ireland.
    So let me repeat my scenario I wrote here on 25 July, for Boris Johnson to succeed:
    * In order to save the Tory party, he must defeat the Brexit party (the real “do or die” I see as referring to the fate of the Tory party) i.e. elections AFTER a Brexit has been achieved.

    * Then a government must be formed WITHOUT the support of the DUP.

    * Then a temporary N. Ireland backstop can be proposed to the EU, taking the place of the current all UK backstop.

    In this scenario, there would be disruption (disorderly withdrawal), but for a much shorter time, than if the UK keeps its current red lines, as the EU is unlikely to change its position on the W.A. without the UK changing its red lines.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Dream on if you think pink lines from either side as you don’t understand British people’s cynicism after Theresa May’s promises. We are in post-trust waters with both EU and UK politics. Trust cannot be restored reheating a proverbial dead duck WA my friend. Britain now expects ….
      ……………… Everyone to do his duty
      Ever read Nelson?
      17.4m x 3.3 years is nearly 60m persons years lost waiting for Brexit.
      No magic wand on suggest is possible.
      The silver bullet was leave pure and simple. Deliver or else chaos will be the legacy and Boris knows this full well.
      The people expect delivery as instructed – at great expense – bottling Brexit? Forget it!

      • Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:42 pm | Permalink



    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      You really don’t understand the UK, do you Peter v L? It comes across strongly in everything you say. And from my Dutch friends (and I’m assuming that’s what you are) you don’t understand much about Holland either!

      • Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:06 pm | Permalink


        “You really don’t understand the UK”

        By the UK don’t you mean England? I would hazard a guess that most English people don’t really understand the Scots, or the Welsh or the Irish. And I’m not talking about the language!

        But we have all learned after many centuries to live together.

        However, what comes over even more strongly on this blog is the fact that the gulf between Brexiteers and Remainers is too wide to be bridged.
        The referendum has turned it into a chasm.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

          MH, if having to come together with remainders like you that can never say anything positive about the UK then yes, the chasm will be wide. Getting together for a common cause has made this country great in the past and it will again. Please don’t lecture us about the empire again or slavery. There is only so much apologising the British people can do and I think our actions since then have made up for it.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

          ‘We have all learned to live together’?

          Remember the Welsh Nationalists? The SNP? The partition of Ireland and endless violence? I might not like some of their methods, but all three countries have attempted to break out of the Union at one time or another, and with varying degrees of success, despite relying heavily on England – yes, England – for their financial and governmental well-being.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 2:58 am | Permalink

        Easy rant, lacking argument.

        • Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          PvL, So where was the rational argument in your comment? It was a Remain wishlist. Both sides had red lines: the EU got all theirs, the UK lost all ours. The dWA is dead.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      It isn’t just the DUP who don’t want part of our country annexed by the EU as the price of our freedom.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        @rose: You appear to have overlooked the word “TEMPORARILY” in my post, i.e. only until technological solutions for a no-border border will have been invented and implemented. Would that take 5 years?

        The EU has no interest whatsoever in “annexing” N. Ireland.
        Which country has it ever “annexed”?? Apart from co-founding countries, countries have joined completely voluntarily and have left as they wished (e.g. Greenland). The only reason you (UK) hasn’t left yet is a purely UK affair, i.e. your internal division over the issue. If you now want to perform a disorderly withdrawal, that is also your business. The EU27 patiently awaits what you’ll decide.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

          PvL, as far as I understand it May in her appeasement of the DUP was the architect of the Backstop as it stands in the dWA. What a waste of time she was..

          But there is a lot more that needs to be rejected in the dWA than the Backstop. It really is dead in the water, it’s just that the EU refuse to acknowledge that…time will sort that out though

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

            The December Joint Report from which developed the DWA plus its appalling annexation, otherwise known as “the backstop”, was drawn up without a word to the DUP. When Mrs Foster found out about it the night before it was to be signed, she managed to get a clause inserted to lessen the damage. This clause was removed in the final version.

            You may remember the amusing section in the film about Guy Verhofstadt and his helpers where they profess astonishment at Mrs May’s not consulting her “coalition partner”. This really did shock them.

        • Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          PvL, You appear to have overlooked the issue of trust: we don’t trust your EU empire. And your aparatchiks chortling that they have finally made the UK a “colony” of the EU, illustrates just why.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

            @NickC: there was a British empire but there is no EU empire. There is no wish to have Britain as a colony.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Why should we split our country in two?
      You need to start thinking about a border in the Channel between Ireland and France.
      That would protect your single market less Ireland and would avoid you needing to post customs on the island of Ireland (UK won’t do that anyway).
      How about it?

      • Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

        PS it might also lead to us enabling a through-flow of Irish traffic through our country to the continent via customs clearance in Calais. Or of course you can run from Cork to St Malo/Cherbourg and avoid transiting and clogging UK roads.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

          @Sir Joe Soap: See my reaction to rose above. We’re not splitting the UK, actually the temporary arrangement would be a lot less far-reaching than what you/UK agreed with China (one country – two systems, for 50 years). Soon enough some technological solution will have been found and implemented and you don’t even have to wait for that, your magnificent trade deals with the US can still be done.
          After your impending “disorderly withdrawal” you can also do your trade deal with the US of course, but without having solved the no border border, your trade deal may very well not pass the US congress. Is that what you want?
          As far as I can see, the EU intends to stand by Ireland, being one of us. Why has the UK been so neglectful towards its closest neighbour (Ireland)?

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

            PvL, See my reaction above about the untrustworthy nature of your EU empire. The only thing “disorderly” about the UK actually leaving the EU, is that we will no longer be under the orders of your eurocrats.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      Agreed. The consequence is that the UK will by 2025 be reduced to England and Wales. And the Welsh might nit hang around either. The crabby insularity of Brexit nationalism

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        Strange logic Konrad.
        If the Scots or N Ireland or Wales want independence then that’s OK with you.
        It isn’t “crabby insularity of…nationslism”?

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        How will the England/Scotland and England/Wales borders work in your prediction? Remainers tell us that there must be a physical barrier between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland following Brexit, suggestions of away from the border checks and computer records won’t work apparently. (Do Remainers imagine that every container arriving in the UK is unpacked and its contents inspected?).

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        No it won’t. The Scots won’t vote for separation despite what (Scotlands First Minister ed) may say, because they are more sensible and the SNP is losing support by the day as they are concentrating on independence, to deflect attention from their poor governance. Nor will the Northern Irish or the Welsh for the very reason that without English support they are all bust. If by chance the Scots did break away their fantasy of joining the EU would not be accepted. The EU has enough dead weight round its neck already and would not support Scotland like we do with the Barnet formula which is a great disadvantage to England.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 10:55 pm | Permalink


          The latest opinion poll (last week) has 52% Scots supporting independence.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

            Margaret Howard, And we haven’t had Brexit yet! You may not have noticed the rise of the SNP whilst the UK was in the EU. Your notion that the SNP would disappear if the UK remained in the EU is contrary to the facts.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Well what a surprise a person supporting the the EU wants us to give in again, whilst the EU continue to keep their red lines.

      Really Peter, I would have thought you would at least have learnt something from Mrs Mays demise.
      We on this side are fed up always being the ones who are expected to give in, when the EU gives nothing, but continues to want to take and keep control.

      We do not want to be controlled by the EU any more, what is it about leave you do not understand.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        @Alan Jutson: The EU doesn’t have red lines, just a logic which follows from its treaties, and already shown in a one A4 graph to the UK end of 2017 (or early 2018?)

        The EU (Ireland) also has commitments towards the Good Friday Agreement and without a solution for the no border border, talks about an FTA with the UK are not feasible. That is a complication other countries (e.g. Canada) didn’t have when talking FTA.
        All I do is suggest a pragmatic, temporary solution for this. The UK has such clever technicians, surely they will have invented a solution for the Irish problem soon enough.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          Peter, the so called Irish border problem is being played up big time because Ireland really wants a United Ireland, so the more difficult they can make it for the North or the UK to reach a sensible trading arrangement with them, the more pressure they think will bring their real desires to fruition.

          We all know sensible trading arrangements can be made, but its a question of will on both sides, and at the moment the Irish Government think that the EU can help in the long term gain them a United Ireland, and so are being rather more than difficult.
          This may of course play against them in the long run with a WTO managed exit.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

            @Alan Jutson: It is much too early for a united Ireland and I very much doubt Ireland would wish for one now. They would import a lot of violence by Unionists feeling betrayed.
            The temporary short-term pragmatic solution is really having extra checks on UK ferries to N. Ireland.

        • Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

          PvL, Treaties are not set in stone. They can be, and usually are, changed when circumstances change. The treaty of Vienna explains it for you. Of course the EU has “red lines”. You can call them Margaret, you can call them Mary; but they are still red lines.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

            @NickC: Changing treaties is a difficult and long process.
            Besides, which circumstances are changed: A new prime-minister? I don’t call that much of a change.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      listen VAN, when we leave WTO no DEAL, you can come and beg to sell your tulips, just join the que, no pushing in!

  21. Posted August 9, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Not helped by government intervention on the type of vehicles we should be buying. Ill conceived announcements have caused considerable caution among the buying public.

    Stock building in anticipation of a March Brexit that failed to happen has led to lower order rates thereafter.

    Opposition parties are in total disarray because they have nothing but negativity to offer and an agenda aimed at their percieved survival. They are irrelevant to the future of the UK.

    The sooner we are out of the EU and on a path of commercial renewal the better. The measure of the nation is how it succeeds under duress. Ultimately it is down to leadership. Realise that post Brexit we are in a war situation and that there is no place for anyone who would subvert the war effort, be they media or individuals.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Who are this “we”?

      Many millions will take up the in-principle, approved by the European Parliament, offer of Associate Citizenship when it crystallises, and cannot wait to swear their Oath Of Allegiance, and to make whatever contribution is required.

      They will do it right over the heads of any Leave campaigners, or UK authorities, on a personal basis with the European Union too.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        What are you doing still living in Cardiff? Why not go to somewhere in your beloved EU?

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        ‘Associate citizenship’? Of what, a political, undemocratic beaurocracy that likes to pretend that it is a country, but isn’t? Maybe you should sign an oath of allegiance to your local supermarket whilst you’re at it! I continue to find it amazing that many of those supporting Remain on this site have not the slightest clue about the difference between the EU and Europe.

        • Posted August 10, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

          Well, enjoy your three-hour wait in the “non-EU Passports” queues coming back from your holidays next year, whatever.

          • Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

            But UK citizens returning from holiday will go through the automated fast track scanning line for UK passport holders.
            Whatever indeed.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

            That would have no bearing on missing your plane or connection though.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            So now it’s a connecting flight.
            One minute we are “coming back from your holidays”
            Now we are off on an international flight in an overseas airport and with a small window if time transiting to another country.
            Hilarious Martin

      • Posted August 11, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Martin/Andy, Well I’m more than happy for you to worship at the feet of your artificial power political construct if you wish. But remember that no man can have two masters when you swear your “Oath Of Allegiance” (is that a higher grade than an oath of allegiance?).

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:50 pm | Permalink


      There is no place for them, absolutely correct.
      They (past political leaders) have all promised to drain the swamp and address the waste. That hour has arrived. Push has gone to shove. It will save the country billions. No country on a real war footing can afford an active fifth column operating.

  22. Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    I could name three people who would have been very happy at today’s news.
    Regarding ‘… with the President wanting growth above 3%’, I seem to recall, in a past Sunday Times, a comment that growth of 3% or over would make his tax cuts largely self-financing.

  23. Posted August 9, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Good evening.

    A general slowdown was always to be expected, it was just a case of when ?

    Now that economic illiterate of a Chancellor has gone perhaps we can have some economic policies designed to prevent, or delay the arrive of a slowdown here. BREXIT plays an important part in this as we will be able to source cheaper food and goods. A global slowdown with a buoyant UK market will generate competition which is no bad thing.

    We just need to play our cards right, something we have not been doing for a very long, long time.

  24. Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Ok there is a fair bit of sand thrown in the air but with the country actually going into recession as we go into a Brexit no-one wants, you will have to do better. If you would like me help you compose the next “yeah but no but yeah but ” thingy I`ll happily show you a few tricks, its not that hard.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Hold on a minute.

      Only 34% voted to save membership of the EU in the first referendum – but for you this gets much much worse.

      After three years of BBC hysteria the European elections saw only 15% of voters voting for Remain parties. (That’s with me being generous and using Guardian figures.)

      63% of eligible voters did not vote at all in the 2019 EU elections in the UK. How did you expect that most supporting Brexit would vote in an election that they didn’t think we should be having in the first place… because we should have already left.

      I claim 85% for Brexit from the recent EU elections – one thing is certain and that’s that abstainers weren’t for saving membership of the EU.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      17.4m want it. Funny old thing democracy, when we have Corbyn leading a coalition of Marxists, Scottish Nationalists and the mud hut green parties with about 35% of the vote that will be the will of the people, whilst 52% is not.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Luxembourg to legalise cannabis – sounds about right for the dopey EU.

  25. Posted August 9, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Just checking up on that oil tanker arrested off Gibraltar, ‘Grace 1’, and see that she’s still there at anchor about 3 miles East of Gib- thing is- no charges have been brought against the Indian Captain and Chief Officer so far and am wondering how long more this unusual situation can be allowed to continue as the anchorage holding ground is not great here in the case of strong gales coming up- also we don’t know who is paying for the bunkering and other stores needed- not to mention the cost for police personnel and navy patrol boats- seems such a waste of resources and for what? either they’re guilty of something or they are not.

  26. Posted August 9, 2019 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Power in vast parts of the country fails. No doubt the manufacturing plants were all cut off mid cycle, causing damage in many production facilities.

    Really you have done articles on our security of supply, the great Mrs May has obviously kicked those cans down the road far too long too.

    Get the electric supply sorted, and stop being politically correct about it.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      They were just trying out 16 year old Greta Thunberg’s plan for a zero carbon country.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        Iain, love your comment.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        she wrote it when she was 15, but her 13 year old sister helped her. neeee!
        She would be better than most of this government of the last 10 years.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      The grid was destabilised as a result of a huge ramp up of wind power in a short period as the storm came into play and possibly the outages were the result of a failure to balance wind’s wildly fluctuating inputs.
      Expect this to happen much more often as more intermittent wind and solar are added.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Roger, it happens locally in Scotland on a regular basis knocking out modems, telephones, dish washers and cookers. Goodness knows what damage it does to industry. They have too many wind turbines in Scotland, so many in fact, that it costs us fortune to pay the developers to keep switching off. Still the farmers are doing well out of it thank you.

    • Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      Two power stations failing at the same time in an advanced Western country in peacetime. This looks suspiciously like over-reliance on unreliable sources of energy. Will our unPC PM grasp the nettle?

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        health and safety, health and safety, data protection act , date protection act, climate change, climate change, some one said the N word, call the FBI, CIA, MI5. MI6 state of emergency official secrets act,

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      @Iain Gill; Why would our host write an article that would have to be critical of his policy of selling off the grid and distribution companies, inviting private capital to run the CEGB etc. for a profit motive? There might have been blackouts caused by militant unions in the 1970s but I do not recall many (if any) being caused by under capacity due to two generating sources falling in quick succession, any criticism of the CEGB used to be of apparent inefficiencies from having to much generating capacity on stream at any one time – perhaps we now know why!

      How strange that one of the failed incommoding supplies was, apparently, a wind farm on a very windy day, did that have to be shut down because the wing was to strong, the turbines needing to be protected from over-speed rotation?

      Those who are calling for a enquiry are bang to rights for doing so, and it should be public to, examining all aspects of our energy network, from policy planning through to daily maintenance regimes, including back-up systems for hospitals etc. Also, judging by the excuses given by LNER and Network Rail, train design might need to be included in such a enquiry, if it really does require ‘specialist’ engineers to attend stranded trains after a simple traction supply outage, was never like that with BR/BREL designed and built trains/locomotives.

      A case for KISS, perhaps….

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink


      The closure of power stations BEFORE their replacements is leading us to crisis.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      ” No doubt the manufacturing plants were all cut off mid cycle, causing damage in many production facilities. ”
      I spent 40 years working in a 24/7 process factory. With a power cut of ANY length, 2 of the 3 manufacturing depts could be up and running again fairly quickly, after power was restored. The third – where I was – even a quick power “blip” was enough to trip all the machines out – and that was met with a massive amount of cursing. It caused chaos, cost many thousands – and took sometimes ten hours or more to get the biggest production lines back making again.

  27. Posted August 9, 2019 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m abroad at the moment so I’ve missed the UK’s power cut. Shame.

    But I see that unelected El Presidente Boris really is going all banana republic on us with his downturn and power outages – with more shortages to come following his bonkers Brexit.

    Maybe we’ll become the first banana republic with a shortage of actually bananas?

    I wonder how will the toothless old folk who back Brexit feel when Brexit related blackouts force them to miss Countdown – and Brexit related shortages of Ovaltine ruin bedtime?

    etc ed

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      There are two of the Countdown group you mention who HAVE to work – to make ends meet – in our local supermarket. I asked them outright – they work to pay their bills. Both told me their age – 70+ . Isn’t it nice to know that people of that age HAVE to work to pay their bills – while thousands of immigrants arrive, sit down – and get handed our taxes for doing nothing. Being in the EU has told us we HAVE to wave these freeloaders in.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        Good. I intend to work well beyond 70. You all should too.

        Your immigrants claim is simply wrong.

        They can not claim vast sums for doing nothing.

        We have no obligations to let any ‘freeloaders’ stay.

        You are simply making stuff up because you don’t like foreigners.

        Brexit will not help you as the problem is in your head.

        Psychiatrist maybe? (Though they may be an EU citizen, funding your pension).

        • Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

          If a family with several children come here they will get :-accommodation free
          child benefits free
          council tax free
          education for their children free
          school meals for their children free
          local doctor treatment free
          prescriptions free
          Hospital care free
          Access to food banks
          And some welfare to give them weekly pocket money.
          Not too bad for someone coming here from a very poor country.
          Too many paragraphs Andy.

      • Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        @bigneil; But perhaps nought to do with immigrants, but perhaps more likely due to the economic polices that you and others celebrate and want more of.

        Many of those now in their 70s could well have suffered redundancy/unemployment during the 1980/90s recessions, for what ever reason perhaps not claiming via a UB40 for NI credits and now suffering from a reduced state pension? Even if full NI has been paid, of course there are the higher non discretionary taxes or surcharges, for example Council tax (even with a 25% discount) can be problematic or the higher cost of energy due to the Green lobby – some of whom are very Thatcherite in out look in the ‘opportunities’ that exist.

        There are many, or have been, benefits that migrants have had no right what so ever in claiming, by definition, that have and still go unclaimed by those who are eligible, because successive Govts pandering to your political ideals have made difficult to claim long before the current migrant issues.

        How about looking at the facts, not for scapegoats…

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Andy, I don’t believe you are abroad at the moment or are you at Pontins with mummy? Anyone who hates his own country as much as you seem to would hardly be watching the UK news every day. I suspect this has happened because of the low carbon policy the UK government is pursuing and one that you and some others seem to think is right for the country. It’s a good job you didn’t have to charge your hybrid if you experienced a power cut isn’t it?

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      @Andy; Stop being so rude, especially about things you are obviously clueless about!

      Tell me, who elected the “El Presidente’s” of the EU, or for that mater who elected one Gordon Brown to be our PM back in 2007 to be Prime Minister (never mind Blair, Major, Thatcher, Callaghan, Wilson et al before him) – no one, as we do not have directly elected Prime Minister’s, just a majority party or coalition.

      “Maybe we’ll become the first banana republic with a shortage of actually bananas?”

      Some in the UK might suggest we have already achieved such a heady hight, complete with a shortage of bananas (because they are to straight according to CAP rules, thus only those from the French Antiquities meet the standard – I of course jest, I hope…) hence why a democratic majority voted to leave the EU…!

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      As you are a big fan of zero carbon targets and renewables replacing traditional forms of electricity generation you better get used to regular power cuts.
      Stop moaning it is what you voted for.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Actually… it was Remainers who set our energy policies in recent decades. Closures of power stations without replacement in order to reach green targets.

      Only 15% voted to save our membership of the EU in the recent European elections. Down from the 34% who voted to save it in 2016. BBC hysteria and your insults going well as an influence strategy, aren’t they !

  28. Posted August 10, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    PVL: here we go- another ‘foreigner’ telling us what to do so that his Country/men and others can: continue to fish within our waters and sell our fish and their daffs, cheese and clogs to us under rules stipulated by a ‘foreign ‘ parliament backed up a ‘ foreign’ court in which we have no say whatsoever solely to protect his Country’s own interests. What I say to you is : Go SWIVEL ON IT and take ROI with you!

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the laugh LE – never thought I’d see Go SWIVEL ON IT on this site. Don’t know which is more surprising – your comment – -or John letting it on !!

  29. Posted August 10, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    In his own words President Trump has received’a very beautiful letter from the North Korean leader “really beautiful” so what do you make of that? still think things are on track?

  30. Posted August 10, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Thank you for a good analysis of this real problem. Michael Gove must take some blame for his edicts that petrol and diesel cars will soon be banned – is it surprising Honda and Ford have decided the capital costs of conversion are too high to keep Swindon and Bridgend open?

    According to a piece in the Wall Street Journal a battery for an electric car weighs around 1,000 lb but needs around 500,000 lb of materials to be excavated to extract the minerals – and these cars are supposed to help save the planet!

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Not only does the material need to be extracted – it then has to be transported everywhere – wonder if they use electric ships?

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Bigneil – electric ships? Don’t be foolish, they will of course be using wind power shortly, which will immensely benefit canvass and rope manufacturers; in the event of calm weather, forward motion will be provided by chained oarsmen, women and trans, recruited from prisons – which has the additional benefit of relieving the overcrowding problem in our houses of detention.

        I really can’t see a downside……

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Ian Wilson, yes isn’t it pathetic. Just what is the government trying to achieve with all this crap? Don’t they realise the public are sick to death of it all? Why don’t Greta and all her schoolfriends go and live in a desert and become self sufficient and leave the rest of us to get on with life? Most people I speak to are becoming really pissed off with it all. We are not free people anymore in many senses. I wonder how many people were unable to charge their cars yesterday? What a bloody joke. Manufacturers couldn’t make them as they had no power and nobody could drive one if they needed charging. Oh, what a good basis for a great economy.

  31. Posted August 10, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    We will, of course, get the usual upwards adjustment in a few weeks.

  32. Posted August 10, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Isn’t this reduction in car output also related to the demand that we only drive electric cars in future? Another white elephant.
    THERE ARE MAJOR ISSUES WITH THE IMPOSITION OF ELECTRIC CARS… Apart from a total lack of real planning by the May government…
    1. Batteries:
    China is the biggest/cheapest supplier, but just imagine the carbon miles being added to the production of each new car.
    2. Nickel:
    The world has nothing like a surplus of this most vital metal, without which the new batteries will not be made….
    3. Electric supply:
    With a major blackout just yesterday, who can be sure that we will continue to get electricity supplied for the current requirement – and electric cars will increase that demand enormously…

    Time to get ourselves a horse and cart.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Bryan – your reference to the horse – will there be control over the emissions?

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely BigNeil These will have to be capped…

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Bryan, Time to get ourselves a horse and cart.

      Yes, think how good the manure will be for all those veggies we are going to have to eat in the future. LOL.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Indeedy – time to dig up the lawn and plant some greens

        I wonder where all the straw for the horses will come from?

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Actually, it is time to harvest and store the power of the sun.

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        But we’ll need huge batteries or lots of little ones, if China will keep on supplying them…and where will they all be located?

      • Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        Mike Wilson, “We” already have stored the power of the Sun – oil, coal, and gas! All we have to do is dig it out and use it.

  33. Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    There is also the possibility that car owners are satisfied with the quality
    of their current models and do not feel the need to replace them. If so, that
    must surely be a good thing. People in general who have done a good job
    making reliable products could then open a savings account with a decent
    yield on their hard-earned money – if the BoE allowed interest rates to rise.

  34. Posted August 10, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Three events of piste arising today.

    Environmentalists, who I have described as the geat unwashed, in deference to Greenham Common protesters, are about to get upset because much that they base their protests on could come under the blanket of official secrets. Though I would be cautious about what I deemed an official secret to be, I would welcome anything that would kerb the activities of those who wontonly disrupt the lives of the working population. Given the times that they do it I wonder why they are not gainfully occupied themselves. I would be happy if they put an end to the mindless switching billboards who stand behind broadcasters around Parliament.

    The second point is that it has been realised that we do not have sufficient ships to police our waters post Brexit. I would suggest using aircraft to spot infiltrating fishing boats. Our limited fleet could then be used for interceptions at sea. There must be lots of pilots with a commercial licence and a twin rating who would be only too happy to build up their hours looking for rogue fishing boats.

    Finally our power supply has been put in question in the last 24 hours. A 5% drop in supply leads to a shut down. Why are there no standby power stations, or why cannot power be switched from unaffected areas. Was the wind farm failure due to too much wind. I blame the vociferous green environmental lobby combined with a totally ineffective government policy in the area of power generation. Yet another Lib/Dem, conservative, May failure we continue to benefit from.

  35. Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    With regard to car manufacturing in the UK , if Vauxhall close the factory in Ellesmere Port , is there no British contender available to buy it from them , someone like Richard Branson perhaps , who has made a reasonable stab at Rail & Air transport and has spent billions on space experiments , his energy & ideas could be redirected , just a thought , a range of Virgin cars ?
    I have thought that the argument of what the UKs annual contribution to the EU totals and what to do with it after Brexit , in my opinion a National Enterprise Bank could have been formed with that money after Brexit and used to encourage manufacturing , which should help many other areas .

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      Brilliant you should be PM, but can we count all the money. £350,000,000 x 52 weeks , then divorce money around £80,000,000,000 , this would be just for starters. We are giving so much money to the EU and then there are all the tax credits saved from migrants, no one in the UK would have to work again! The problem would be the same thieving parasiter would latch on to it and bleed it dry, ah never mind! ps if I have got these sums wrong please let me know, then again much more acurate than Carney

  36. Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Power outage still causing chaos.
    Failure of wind power and gas fired power. Lack of supply…no spare capacity!
    Sooooo …when we are all driving electric cars…hahaha!
    Shame about the coal fired power stations…all demolished or luxury flats.
    Oh dear!

  37. Posted August 10, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    The UK makes around the same number of cars as it exports but imports many more from the EU. As we drive on the left, it would be a good idea to assemble models for the UK in the UK and import the parts at zero tariff, assembling the continental models in the factories that may be threatened here. A 25% tariff on whole car imports would make this viable. Peugeot and Citroens could be made at the Vauxhall factory. Fords at the Honda factory on the line that they closed and Hondas continue as at present. BMWs could be made at their Mini works and we would buy more Jags than Mercedes. VWs could contract assembly to Nissan or Toyota. They would make enough for a month or two and then start making Japanese models. Then the continental factories would not have to bother with changing to right hand steering wheels. Jags and Aston Martins would still do well in the international market because we would do a zero tariff deal with the US and the Pacific Trade area.

  38. Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    By the way yesterday`s energy failure seems suspicious to me . I cannot claim to know much about it but I do recall warnings that we would no longer be able to iron out peaks and troughs by interconnection with the EU`s energy grids , post Brexit
    It would not surprise me at all if work was being quietly conducted on the system of which we were all being kept unaware and in the usual British it went wrong
    Of course any such idea would be denied but I know longer believe a word this government says about anything , it has been lying for the last three years why would it stop now ?

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Complete nonsense.
      I guessed you would be someone who fell for conspiracy theories.
      Yesterday increasing demand met reducing capacity.
      Running with little spare margins a small glitch in the system tripped the network.
      Better get used to regular power cuts as we move blindly towards zero carbon.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      It’s because of EU energy policies that we’ve been closing power stations.

    • Posted August 11, 2019 at 3:45 am | Permalink

      The UK has been importing electricity from Holland which is generated by coal because the Dutch carbon tax is lower. This is while the government is claiming to be very green by closing all UK coal stations. Meanwhile, Germany runs on coal and wind and has high prices for domestic customers and subsidised prices for industry.

  39. Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Perhaps you will be visiting the National Grid control room in Wokingham following yesterday’s widespread power blackout. From the research I have been able to do on data from National Grid and a very helpful chart of the grid frequency based on 1 second resolution data it would appear that there was a major loss of wind generation from the Hornsea wind farm (probably due to a failure at the offshore on onshore transformer stations) that caused a very rapid drop in grid frequency and in turn reducing the power transmitted on the line from landfall at Killingholme past St Neots towards London, placing a large load on the Little Barford power station that it was unable to meet without tripping and causing load shedding via a further grid frequency drop. There are big question marks about Hornsea not reporting its outage until more that 20 minutes later, and about the real timing of that outage compared with their report.

    The frequency drop was so rapid because of the size of the loss and the lack of grid inertia that is provided by conventional power stations, with wind and solar generation accounting for over 40% at the time of the problems. You might like to ask National Grid whether they haven’t been too ambitious in their pursuit of high levels of renewables output while ignoring the risks of inadequate inertia and fast response backup. The Irish grid frequently curtails wind output to ensure there is adequate inertia from conventional generation to maintain stability. It can hardly be said that they haven’t been warned.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Interesting to read a response on here from someone who sounds as if they know what they are talking about. It’s very refreshing. If this was a ‘blip’ on the journey to our using much more renewable energy, who cares? Let’s face it, with all this global warming about, and all the insulation in our homes – who needs heating?

      • Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        Mike Wilson, The instability of the Grid from relying on “renewables” is well known. Though not to “greens” it appears. We’ve been telling you for years but there are none so daft as those who will not listen.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Mark. Good post. People in the know have been telling governments and power providers this for years. We all know it but it seems they can’t understand. Typical. There are some in parliament that do understand the problems but they don’t get a look in. I wonder what Caroline Lucas has to say about it all. They are sending this country down into the gutter. It’s sickening.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      The lack of “spinning reserve” with active and reactive power control connected to the grid, makes the grid vulnerable to generation loss. Spinning reserve costs money and reduces profits, hence NGC minimizes it 24/7. Much cheaper to switch off customers when the system becomes unstable.

      The big old 500 – 660 Megawatt (MW) fossil fired steam turbo generators had the muscle to keep the system stable. They were run, in CEGB times, so they could easily “up 50 MW” on instruction from a grid control engineer. They also had the extensive capability to control reactive power – MVAR – for system voltage stability control. Wind turbines use some electrical tricks to try and achieve the same; alas, they just don’t have the “grunt” of the big old boys.

      There are some 15,000 MW of new interconnectors planned to connect the UK to Europe, to add to the current 4,000 MW. UK electricity prices are higher than in the EU, thanks to privatisation. These interconnectors are likely to be quite profitable for their sponsors. Brexit may or maynot cause a trading tariff problem, who knows?

      • Posted August 10, 2019 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        Privatisation brought down electricity prices quite sharply. It has been government and EU regulation over the past 15-20 years forcing the cheapest sources of power to close down while imposing expensive renewables and consequent massive investment in transmission on bill payers that has pushed bills up. The Hornsea wind farm at the centre of the problem currently gets £158.75/MWh under its CFD – much more than the Hinkley Point plant’s current CFD value which now stands at £101.99/MWh, let alone the £30/MWh that gas fired power costs currently before green taxes and abatement to let wind go first.

        • Posted August 11, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

          Don’t forget that the Hornsea offshore “strike price” includes the cost of building a 70 mile transmission system to the onshore NGC Substation.

          • Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

            Well it would have to be connected wouldn’t it.

          • Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

            Continental grid operators have government funding for the transmission hardware and charge for it TX costs.

            Was this another of your pathetic attempts to catch me out?

    • Posted August 11, 2019 at 3:54 am | Permalink

      Gummer and his clowns are recommending we move to 59% wind and fill the missing gap in the middle of winter using reformed hydrogen from natural gas. Some engineers put the cost of reformed hydrogen at, 7 times methane.

  40. Posted August 10, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    We must loosen policy just like the other Central Banks ? Reduce Interest rate do you mean John ?
    Why have not our negative interest rate over the last 9 years not brought us to the Sunny uplands that politicians always refer to ?
    All countries need higher interest rates and a return to normality . IE;- Savers are no longer robbed by Federal Banks . Banks are now the problem and maybe always have been .

  41. Posted August 10, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink


    I see you get a curious mention – !

    ‘In 2045 John Redwood, who escaped from Pentonville Prison, is head of the “Free British Office” in Oslo.’


    ‘Some real life characters are mentioned fictionally. In 2016 members of the Anti Federalist Movement were arrested. They included ‘Matthew D’Ancona, the former editor of the Times, two former cabinet ministers, Hywel Williams and Iain Duncan Smith, the broadcaster Dr Niall Ferguson and Michael Gove of the European Broadcasting Corporation’. In 2045 John Redwood, who escaped from Pentonville Prison, is head of the “Free British Office” in Oslo.’

  42. Posted August 10, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    We are told there aren’t enough patrol boats to protect our fishing grounds , meanwhile we sit by while Harland and Wolff is closed down. Are sums of 1+1 beyond the British establishment?

    Meanwhile the Scunthorpe steel works are going to be flogged off to the Turkish Army pension fund.

    I get the idea that the British establishment’s agenda is to humiliate us.

  43. Posted August 10, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Monetary policy worldwide is too lax, as evidenced by the fact that inflation continues to a greater or lesser degree. The fact that car sales are down is partly due to the fact that lending to the car market has been artificially restricted and partly due to uncertainty over the direction and pace of technological innovation. Clarity of government policy would be a great help. The environmentally friendly cars are the electric cars and the plug in hybrids. Drivers can plug in at home to charge but if multiple rapid charging plug in points are to be provided in public places, they will have to paid for – and their use billed to motorists. We really cannot apply the idiotic NHS free-at-the-point-of-consumption system to car battery charging.

    Fiscal policy has to be tight because State debt is too high. The last time that I looked, the interest being payed (via taxes and/or inflation) on State debt exceeded the State spending on education. Mr Johnson can indulge in his spending spree for one year; then there will be a reckoning.

    Off topic: I hear that the idiotic NHS free-at-the-point-of-consumption system is to be extended to care in the home. The overall demand for care of one sort or another for the elderly is out of control and some form of demand management is essential so that this sector (investing in yesterday) does not crowd out others.

  44. Posted August 10, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Vauxhall is scrapping new production of all existing models of cars and breaking into a complete new range post Brexit. That is confidence.

    • Posted August 11, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink


      You might find interesting;

      Vauxhall isn’t Vauxhall…….it’s French. Wholly owned by PSA.

  45. Posted August 10, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Make owning any car older than 3 years illegal. Force everyone to buy a new car every 3 years on contract hire. Slash interest rates so we can all drive new cars all the time.

    I believe that is Mr. Redwood’s general prescription – cheap credit to fuel a consumer boom.

    • Posted August 11, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      One of the most ridiculous things I’ve seen on here Mike.
      You’ve not heard of reduce reuse recycle?
      Think of the mountain of scrap useable vehicles and extra use of raw materials and energy deficit caused by your bizarre idea.
      You green lefties love banning things and making things illegal.
      We’ve had cheap money for years with ZIRP

  46. Posted August 10, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I did write in to this blog some time ago when others were merrily speaking of expansion of car manufacture in the UK and I indicated it is a bad idea.
    One reason, any country can make cars.
    Many countries can originate new brands including Iran, and do, so does India and China at affordable prices.
    They may not have all the flashy gadgets but have enough except for those with teenage minds, but they get a 25 year-old+ person from A to B with even amateur street mechanics able to make them go using simple spare parts which most village primitive lathe operators can make if necessary.
    UK manufacturers must learn you can out-engineer and out-technology yourself.

    • Posted August 10, 2019 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      I agree, cars for us are now made almost impossible to work on. My car from 1974 was simple, got me from A to B, never broke down and still did 30 mpg, which is what most large show off cars do today. With the new technology in all new cars, I would not touch one again, keeping my old reliable more simple cars.

    • Posted August 11, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink


      “village primitive lathe operators”

      Oi !

  47. Posted August 10, 2019 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    I too are frustrated with the current government policy.

    It started well getting the debt under control.

    But while there are arguments to and against more spending, I do no t see how all these climate change policies work, they appear very harmful to both prosperity and the planet.

    Nor do I see why government believes it is right and punishes us all for eating too much sugar, too much salt or just trying to drive a car. Here Reagan had the best plan, he did nothing and the people decided how to spend their money or run their lives.

  • About John Redwood

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

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