Good bye to a decade

The 20 teens were hesitant years. There was a cautious economic recovery from the slump of 2008-10, as the deficit was tamed and capacity gently rebuilt.

There was a crisis over the UK’s role in the world. The ruling elites saw the UK as part of the EU project to centralise power, with the UK as a covert participant in the mighty task of European political, monetary and economic integration. A majority of the public wanted the UK to return to being an independent country, capable of self government with a confident outward looking view of herself in a global world. Happy to trade with the EU, keen to travel, to promote many exchanges in education, culture and tourism, the majority saw no need to lock us into a political union to allow these things to continue. They will continue anyway when we leave as they do for many other independent countries having dealings with the EU .

The elite’s refusal to accept the decision of the people led to undue stresses and strains on most of the institutions of the UK state. The Central Bank, already brought low by its failure to stop excesses in credit prior to 2008 and by its clumsy and damaging over correction, entered the fray against the majority decision. The Courts took up cases against government and Parliament, and made decisions designed to slow down or prevent Brexit.

Parliament itself turned against Brexit, despite most MPs being elected in 2017 for Labour or Conservative on promises to see it through. Brexiteers were left with the irony that the very institution they wished to restore to full power did not want that power and spent its time trying to prevent the UK taking control of its own money, laws and borders.

Some large companies turned out endless propaganda against Brexit as if the decision had not been made, repeating the often phoney claims of future economic damage that they had used to try to get people to vote their way in the first place.

The EU itself refused to accept the verdict of the UK people, and worked with the Remain forces in the UK to seek delay or damaging terms for exit that might get the public to change their mind.

Despite all of this the people voted again decisively as the decade ended to get Brexit done. That included many who voted just to leave, and others who voted for the Withdrawal Agreement on offer in anticipation of a Free Trade Agreement to follow. Tomorrow I will look at how and why the next decade can be so much better.

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199 Comments

  1. GilesB
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Besides the fragile economic recovery, and the reframing of the UK’s place in the world, the decade has also seen a massive assault on traditional institutions and British values. Identity politics, the invention of the label ‘hate speech’ and the propagation of fake news and biased analysis by the Main Street media have drastically undermined freedom of speech, eroded honour and confidence in political processes, and reduced citizens to ciphers.

    As we recast our external relationships, and transform our economy, we also must restore dignity, respect and freedom to individuals and honesty to our social systems. Countries fail more often because of the collapse of internal social systems than due to external forces. Forging Great Global Britain needs more than trade deals, economic policies and investment in physical infrastructure.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      John and the Leave figures are already looking back, nay, living in the cosy past perhaps, where they could blame all their problems on the half of the country who favoured membership of the European Union, and who exercised Freedom Of Speech to say so.

      Well, that’s all in the past now, isn’t it? You now have an invincible Commons majority, and complete freedom to do whatever you like regarding this country’s relationship with the European Union.

      That’s exactly what you wanted, surely?

      So please get on with this project, which you Leavers alone now fully own from start to finish, so that the public may judge its wisdom or otherwise, and that of those who proposed and set it in motion.

      • Hope
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        What a selective or very poor account of events by JR. it appears JR is trying to creat a narrative it was not the Tory govt fault but Parliament! CCHQ selected all the EU fanatic MP under central control, not Parliament.

        Mayhab did not have to extend in March 2019, she used her executive powers to do so, not Parliament. Mayhab called an election, not Parliament to get rid of her majority. Mayhab chose not to follow or implement Lancaster speech and change course under her Florence speech, not Parliament. Mayhab chose to be underhand and dishonest in acting behind the back of Davis against her promise for a leave ministers to lead leaving the EU. Mayhab decided to be deceitful with her a Chequers sell out of the nation. Mayhab decided to fly to Ireland in the middle of the night to sell out the nation over the Irish border ruse with the EU. Mayhab allowed the dishonest Kitkat policy to hide true costs and ties to the EU. Still no action or is it continuing? She formerly broke the promise that a leave minster lead and took personal control before Raab placed Davis!

        JR, I think you need to accept the Tory govt should accept responsibility for all failures to leave the EU per article 50. Johnson tried to pass responsibility away from your party and govt as an election ploy. It was false then and false now, stop trying to change history. Die in a ditch not to extend, leave do or die with or with out a deal were all meaningless strap lies/lines. We can expect more from Johnson in the year ahead.

        • Peter Wood
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          Dear Hope,

          You put it forcefully, Mrs May was a disaster, no doubt. Then we come on to the Boris. Is he as bad, I don’t think so, we’ll know soon. IF he makes it clear there is no extension, no giving in and being ready and prepared to leave on 31 Dec 2020 with or without a FTA, we will be properly served.

          • APL
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            Peter Wood: “You put it forcefully, Mrs May was a disaster, no doubt. ”

            She was bloody useless at the Home Office, so it’s not as if the Tories didn’t know what they were letting us in for.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        marty – – totally agree with you. We do indeed need to get on with it. If only YOU and the supposed millions like you had voted for May’s party in that GE, we would be much nearer our ambition. On behalf of Boris I thank you for your best wishes.

      • Oggy
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        So you keep saying ad nauseum.

      • Gordon Nottingham
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        At last Martin, you posted a paragraph, the LAST one, that I can AGREE with

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Voting to Leave the EU has to be the high point of the decade politically but as you write the siren voices of the woke and minority pressure to have their needs become mainstream has to be the low point.

      Hopefully in the next decade we can put these “campaigners” back in their box and marginalise them as normality has become marginalised of late.

      The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        Yes, the needs of the sixty-five million outweigh the wants of the seventeen million among them.

        Thank you.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          We have agreed rules for elections in the UK
          You have to be a citizen over 18 years of age.

          I’m amazed you know the needs of 65 million people Martin.
          Did you ask them all?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

            Parliament and the law both recognise that they have responsibilities to all of the people, and not just to those who voted a certain way in an opinion poll, whether they won it or not.

            They understand that, even if you don’t, and that is all that matters.

            If you listened to what the PM is already saying, then you’d see that.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

            Obviously an elected government needs to act for the benefit of the people.
            We have elections every few years.
            They need to remain popular if they are to get re elected.
            But a government is elected on a manifesto which outlines their views on various policy areas.
            Sometimes they do things you don’t like.
            I had to put up with the Blair and Brown years.

        • steve
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

          MiC

          Would you like a handkerchief dear ?

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          @Marty – you can not speak to those who did not vote. Many would have agreed with leaving but been brow beaten by project fear into feeling so guilty that they didn’t vote.

          Your kind is very selective about which of the needs of the many you observe. It tends to be just those that you agree with.

          You and your ilk are pretty much the most selfish people on the planet.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      GilesB,

      I think the luvvies and media have imported much of the identity politics from the USA – perhaps inevitable in global markets. They have thus enacted rather than reflected UK society. Recreating an environment of rational free speech between free individuals (not groups to be toyed with on the political/media/luvvie stage) in a context of fairness would take decades to rediscover, if it is at all possible. The systems in place make one afraid to speak (because any language can be twisted against you), afraid to go out (there is no law and order there is at best catch and release for the violent in society) and afraid of the future (transport, culture, politics, finance and wealth will remain centred in London/SE despite the recent forelock tugging towards the rest of the UK).

      I too want respect and freedom but I doubt it will appear. I even doubt that the beef and chicken from the USA, which would benefit many, will appear – the media and luvvies will continue to import distorting worldviews but fight to stop affordable protein.

      Perhaps we should not pretend that the UK’s internal social systems can recover, there are no rational UK-level shared values, there is only fragmentation into luvvie-defined or irrational groups.

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Indeed.

      “A great civilisation is not conquered from without until it has first destroyed itself from within.The essential cause of Rome’s decline lay in her people and her morals.” Will Durant.

  2. Mark B
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Five years have been spent on mainly one issue – our membership of the EU. You could say longer but we were denied any meaningful say whilst parliament gave away powers that were not theirs to give.

    We now will enter a period of EU purgatory. Half in, and half out. Paying into a club we are supposedly no longer members having to cede part of our territory to do so. Governed by people who are more interested in their legacy than the nation.

    I am sick of hearing that it was everyone else’s fault. Parliament and parliamentarians have to take ultimate responsibility. Hopefully, over time, we will get the calibre of politician we want. Able and patriotic.

    • Hope
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      JR, Tamed the deficit, an unbelievable disingenuous comment when in 2010 it was the central plank of your manifesto to get elected to balance the structural deficit and to reduce the debt. Both failed after ten years! It was delayed, delayed and abandoned! Sounds a bit like your govts repeated Immigration promises or Brexit!

      Your govt is on borrowed votes ad borrowed time. The public is aware of your govts repeated lies and treachery. Your blogs to deflect reality ad continue propagandadmdoes not wash. The fact you are engaged in this speaks volumes because the reality of your govts treachery will become clear in th coming weeks. No right minded person would,agree to vassalage, that is what Johnson’s and Rees-Mogg called it. Even Mayhabs resignation was called for on the back of it! Now you are all pedling the servitude plan as something it is not. Truly shameful.

  3. steve
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    JR

    “and [EU] worked with the Remain forces in the UK to seek delay or damaging terms for exit that might get the public to change their mind.”

    Yet the EU will often falsely accuse Russia of interfering in ballot process of other countries.

    What’s their excuse ?

    Anything but accept the fact that they lost, even blaming the Russians. Frankly JR I think the EU should be called out on this one.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      I see that you are still obsessing over blame for constructive grievances in the past.

      But what measurably good things do you see happening for the ordinary people of this country in the future, as a result of its having elected this government with an invincible majority to do whatever it likes re the European Union?

      There’s nothing that people like me can do to stop them now, is there? So don’t blame us for any gloomy forecast that you might make, thanks.

      • IanT
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Franky I’ve been feeling quite cheerful since the Election ‘Martin in Cardiff’.

        Whatever Boris does will be so much better than what Corbyn & McDonald had in mind – so yes my “Gloom” has certainly been lifted.

        So Happy New Year Martin – try to be a bit more cheerful and I’m sure it will be a good one for you too!

      • Fred H
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        who is blaming you? Why are you still here. It’s over – move on, mate.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

          Read my first comment.

          It is John and the rest of the Leavers who seem to be obsessed with looking back.

          Is it because they are afraid of the inevitable exposure that the future holds?

          • steve
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

            Is it because they are afraid of the inevitable exposure that the future holds?

            No, mate, that is you and your kind, not us.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Corbyn didn’t fill me with the dread it did others but the thought of Grant, Coogan, Lineker … gloating after a Corbyn win did.

        The “people want a second referendum” myth has been proven for what it is. The delays and the obstructionism has caused untold damage.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

          Such as?

  4. Newmania
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    I have previously noted the many similarities between Sir John Redwood and Jeremy Corbyn, starting with the desire to let borrowing to get out of control. We may add another ; which is that the intellectual world in which both live does not extend one inch beyond their sect of fawning acolytes .
    I try to engage constructively but when confronted with fictional mandates, vast shadowy conspiracies, and an inability to notice the UK`s mountain of debt ..what can you say ?
    Whatever .

    Reply Another example of your inability to see the truth and provide useful criticisms. I have never wished state borrowing to get out of control. My state spending plans are very different to Corbyns.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      State spending is much too high, and still growing, despite almost a decade of supposedly small-state parties in power. You say the deficit has been ‘tamed’. I would suggest your use of an unusual term in the context indicates that you want to try and avoid criticism. The deficit is lower, yes, but the national debt is higher, and continues to grow, precisely because of this increase in public spending. And yet our public services are seemingly inadequately funded given their awful performance. Your party’s pitch was therefore to end ‘austerity’ and turn on the spending taps. I put it to you that if state spending has risen, yet public service’s performance has fallen, then state spending is wildly out of control, never mind state borrowing.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Sir John – your state spending plans were indeed different to Labour’s but you did use the “investment” word as Gordon Brown did to justify increased borrowing.

        Small government and less spending please. As the population increases in an uncontrolled fashion so does spending and if the spending is increasing more than the income then something is wrong and the benefactors are not the people. Follow the money

        Reply Yes, I use investment correctly, meaning the acquisition of physical infrastructure that will last for many years, not annual revenue spending

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          Like HS2 and Heathrow Sir John?

          If there is a return on such investments let the private sector fund it.

          Reply I voted against HS2 in the decision vote and support Heathrow being privately financed.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

            Noted. Thank you

  5. Mick
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    A big goodbye to the Eu by the end of next month and the start of a brand new era for Great Britain with or without the Scots , and for extending the transition period beyond 2020 forget it I for one don’t trust the Eu miller grieve Blair major heseltine sturgeon or any of the other remoaner snowflakes to find some way with the help of the courts to keep us permanently tied to the dying corpse of the Eu

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Er, if it doesn’t include Scotland, then it isn’t Great Britain. It’s England and Wales.

      GB is a geographical term for the main island of the British Isles, nothing more, historically to distinguish it from Brittany in France.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Is that your new year resolution – – become a pedant?

        • hefner
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          Pedant, maybe, maybe not? but MiC is certainly right strictly speaking in geographical terms. Didn’t you know that, FredH? Or are you a ME&WGA supporter?

          (The thing I really love in this continuing “debate” is to see that the winners (of the referendum, of the recent GE) are now the “snowflakes”, they still fearing anything resembling an argument outside their stuck-up way of thinking.
          Have a Happy New Year.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

            What are you on about Hefner?
            You lost the referendum and now you have lost the election.
            And it is probable that the next election will return another Conservative government.
            10 years minimum.

          • hefner
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

            In this beginning of year, let me share Sir John’s happy outlook? May all your wishes become reality. Have a happy new year.

    • turboterrier
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Mick

      You are definately not alone when it comes to those you do not trust.
      “Yesterdays people with yesterdays news” really sad sad people, as are their followers.

  6. Pollen Counter
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    We would have been out of the EU early in 2019 if you had voted for Mrs May’s deal. But you refused to, saying it was not really Brexit. Yet here you are now, elected on a platform of backing Boris’s deal, which has all the bad features of Mrs May’s deal (= vassalage) plus also it surrenders Northern Ireland. You have zero credibility

    Reply Mays deal meant continued acceptance of EU laws and rules which Johnsons does not.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Are you sure about that John. I’m not.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply

      If we do not get a sensible trade deal with the EU, then we walk away without an extension, correct ?

      What then, are we are still stuck with the terms of the awful WA and still pay Billions to the EU.
      The very worst of both Worlds.

      Why not simply amend the WA with “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” to cover our backsides against further intransigence from the EU and our remainer politicians.

      Then no trade deal, no WA. Simples.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        That is not amendment. It is derogation, and the other party would have grounds for action at the Hague in all probability.

        • James Bertram
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          My understanding: ‘Derogation’ is the modification or repeal of a law by a later one.

          The Withdrawal Agreement is not law – yet, until signed – and there could thus not be an action at the Hague.

          This is the whole point of an amendment – to amend before it becomes law.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Get your facts right Martin.

          • bill brown
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            that seems to apply for you as well?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

            Got any actual facts.
            Do let me know bill/ hans.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          Thought WA was due to go through further debate in both Houses, with closer examination of its contents.

          Thus the simple amendment I suggest would take us back to what was originally agreed, as I understand it, by both the EU and the UK at the very outset “that nothing is agreed until all is agreed”.
          Thought this was the original reason why Mrs May was not bothered about the scheduling, order or content of the various stages of the talks.

          Better to cover your backside now, than try at a later stage to correct matters after failure to reach a trade agreement or even co-operation.

          A nice backstop to have given the EU are fond of such guarantees.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      May’s deal was appalling and clearly not Brexit, nor even leading to Brexit.

      The Boris deal is also appalling, but not quite so bad and might lead to a real Brexit.

  7. steve
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    “Tomorrow I will look at how and why the next decade can be so much better.”

    ……yes. There is much to do especially during the next year. Boris has to watch out for a Versailles style stunt from the French, not give one square mile of British territorial seas, offer FTA and stand firm. If the ungrateful cabal of France and the EU still want to play dirty then so be it, we should be prepared to start deciding which EU countries can and cannot export to ours and let the EU chew on that.

    Boris also needs to encourage working people to do more hours by easing tax, and reforming the tax system to give people and business more incentive. We need to be more tax competitive than the EU.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Your last paragraph is especially relevant to GPs. We would prevent many GPs from taking early retirement by simply lifting the cap on what they can invest in their pensions.

      I expect that goes for many other valuable professionals too.

      • anon
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Why not simply train more Doctors?

        Fully fund places at Med schools, for those that are of standard to be trained, rather than ration places.

        Fully fund Nurses to up-qualify.

        Allow other equivalent competing qualifying bodies to increase supply.

        We don’t ration drama studies

        e.g. we could fully fund , build and operate a teaching hospital in say country X, to train y number of Doctors a year, all out of foreign aid.

    • acorn
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      It will be the UK that will have the problem ‘chewing on that’. The UK imports 41% of its food from the EU, a quarter of that comes via EU trade agreements with other non- EU countries.

      Likewise, the UK imports 36% of its energy from EU-EEA countries.

      Good luck deciding which EU-EEA country you are going to allow to fill UK supermarket shelves and gas pipelines. Would not want to be a brexiter if those shelves are empty or what’s on them costs to much.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        You really think that UK border forces will stop goods coming in and block incoming gas pipelines?
        Hilarious.

        • acorn
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

          Google: Trading gas with the EU if there’s no Brexit deal
          Updated 6 November 2019

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            You reckon the EU will turn off their own pipeline.?
            And gas suppliers will refuse to sell?
            Even more hilarious.

        • bill brown
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Edward 2

          All QE means are re invested by the BoE in the monetary system, so we still have QE, it is just not expanded,

          Happy new year

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            I never mentioned QE.
            Your comment is as ridiculous as it is irrelevant.

      • James1
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        Simple, we will switch to purchasing from other countries. With tariffs removed the prices will be lower. What is so difficult to understand about that?

        • acorn
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

          With tariffs removed, how many domestic producers do you plan putting out of business because they can’t compete in the same product lines?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            Cheaper tea, melons, coffee and oranges won’t threaten UK growers will they acorn.
            Which imports were you worried about?
            If you can think of any then the UK government could support them one way or another.

      • Mitchel
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        If geopolitics allowed,the government should be talking to Russia;not only is it an energy superpower but it is in the process of becoming an agrifood colossus-the rapid move towards self-sufficiency in the wake of it’s countersanctions against the EU and Norway after 2014(other than specialities,those markets are probably lost to the EU for good) is now progressing towards an emphasis on exports,albeit with a focus on Asia and Africa currently.I did some research on their dairy and aquaculture sectors recently and the growth in output there is explosive.

        I see Lord Browne (ex Chairman of BP)and two fellow peers were in Moscow the week before Christmas.I’m not sure what they were there for but they were permitted a meeting with the Speaker of the Duma(the Russian parliament).

      • forthurst
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        The other day acorn was decrying the work ethic of our fishermen. He keeps throwing statistics around as though they are immutable, but they are not. Our membership of the EU forced our farmers and fishermen to adapt to the odious French CFP and CAP rackets and as a consequence our food production plummeted. Fishing and farming were full time jobs before we joined the EU and, if the Tory Party does what they were elected to do, they will so become again: no more quotas for how much food can be produced, no more payments for not producing, no more quotas designed to force our fishermen into a state of slothful indigence whilst thieving foreigners steal our fish.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      “Tomorrow I will look at how and why the next decade can be so much better.”

      Simple, just get the State out of the damn way. Cut and simplify taxes, go for cheap reliable energy, have a bonfire or red tape, stop pissing money down the drain on HS2 and similar, have a level playing field, freedom and choice in healthcare, schools, housing and universities, relax planning, go for easy hire and fire, have quality immigration only , stop funding worthless degrees (especially for people with two Bs or lower at A level)……….. In short halve the size of the largely parasitic sector. Get some real fare competition in banking and get them lending to business to fund investment.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        or even fair competition in banking

  8. Andy
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    The 2020s will be an entirely predictable decade.

    We will leave the EU. Johnson will be forced to extend the transition. He’ll capitulate over fishing. We’ll be forced to continue to pay into the EU budget and will continue to follow some EU rules. Tory Brexiteers will continue to be outraged as their project collapses.

    It won’t be a cliff edge but a long, slow and permanent decline with areas that voted for Brexit being hardest hit. Car companies will mostly have gone by 2030. Voters will be outraged by the extra Brexit bureaucracy and its failure to deliver any benefits.

    As elderly Brexit voters continue to die out the move to rejoin will really get underway by the end of the 2020s with younger people continuing to flock to the pro EU cause. Maybe the public inquiry will not quite have started by 2030 but it is coming with prosecutions to follow. And then comes the Tory wipeout. Much to look forward to.

    • Oggy
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Still inhabiting cloud cuckoo land. You need to get out more.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Andy – – enjoy the next 10 years while you hope everything will go downhill in the UK. As to waiting for a public enquiry leading to prosecutions you will be 10 years older, greyer, in poorer health, nearer hopeless state pension, GP appointments scarce, still taxed to enable lavish lifestyles for the elderly, probably in a bedsit as a result of a broken marriage (are you married?) , your children making little contact…..Conservatives still in power via FPTP.
      Much to look forward to.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      No as some of the (wiser) elderly leavers die off the young will become slowly become wiser especially as they will see how much better off we can be out of the dire, suffocating and anti-democratic EU and in control of our own affairs again.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      And who is going to lead the pro EU cause? The Lib Dems? Their vote share is minimal. The Labour Party? They can’t make up their mind what their policy is, and even their pro EU membership are now resigned to remaining being a lost cause. The Conservative Party? They are the ones delivery Leave (sort of).
      No evidence of a Tory wipeout. Quite the contrary.

    • agricola
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Yet another missive from the dark side of the moon to planet Zog. In the days of yore in the military we dubbed the likes of Andy and Martin from Cardiff as barrack room lawyers, praying that when the shit hit the fan they would be nowhere to be seen. It was safe to say they would be in the NAAFI spreading their doom and gloom.

      We have just voted for a new dawn, a positive approach to the reality of a sovereign UK. We clearly saw what the political masters of the above two had to offer and dubbed it total fantasy, not required on the coming journey. Now we need to get on and do it, supported by a government that is singing from the same hymn sheet, which I suspect Boris is . However bizarre your political inclinations you need a very strong economy to fulfil them. Other than Boris were an empty pot.

      • turboterrier
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        agricol

        Well said. Totally in agreement,

        From my experience most of the barrack room lawyers had a brain that was filled with what eventually hit the fan. Never happy unless they were dripping. Could only ever see their side of the arguement and everyone else was was totally out of step.

      • Andy
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Are you still in Spain, enjoying your right to free movement – which you have stolen from future generations?

        • agricola
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          A bold assumption and as is your norm based on no credible foundation. You know nothing, and your statements and predictions are baseless. Your smug desire is based on the premis that at some future time you can say I told you so. Start thinking positively, you could find it life enhancing.

          • bill brown
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

            Agricola

            and happy new year to you as well

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

          Useful and wealthy people will always have freedom of movement.

          That is how it should be.

          We have stolen from no-one except those who think the world owes them a living.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        That “we” is seventeen million out of sixty or seventy million people.

        Come off it.

        Yes, you won that silly little opinion poll, but you do not speak for the other three-quarters of the people.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

          More ridiculous statistics from you mic.
          We have long accepted rules for voting.
          You have to be over 18 and a citizen.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Andy, I don’t think that the necessary unanimity amongst European Union members for the re-admission of the UK would exist for a very long time.

      France has already returned to De Gaulle’s accurate analysis of this country, and his predictions were all proven absolutely correct, for instance.

      The UK will likely form a close relationship quite swiftly, I think, but full membership would be another matter.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Marty – my! you have been busy early this morning – a white hot keyboard there in Wales. De Gaulle was right – he could indeed spend comfortable years in London, why hide in basements in France, or merely wave his white pants as the Germans rolled through the country? And then once the allies shed blood in rivers, he could return triumphant and refuse his generous hosts. A medal-decked hero of our time. You and France can be proud.

      • Mitchel
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Not only that but the major EU economies are looking east to China and Russia (M Macron’s overtures to Russia,Germany talking of erecting a “firewall” against the US and M Michel’s recent statement about greater engagement with China,etc) while the UK will become even more than before an appendage of the US and subject to the whims of it’s foreign policy – including who we can trade with – or not.

    • James1
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      It’s much more likely that as the people of other countries within the EU see us thrive outside the EU they will follow us out. Hopefully the whole rotten edifice of the EU will collapse.

    • James1
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      It’s much more likely that When the people of other countries within the EU see us thrive outside, they will follow us out. Hopefully the whole rotten EU edifice will collapse.

    • Gareth Warren
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      I love how you predict we will continue to pay them, but we still have economic decline – either we have a FTA or not, yet you imply a FTA (paid for) hurts the UK economy – that is EU membership!

      What will more likely happen is the EU plays hard to get with a FTA next year and effectively forces the UK into closer trading agreements with the rest of the world.

      Then we will be in the position where millions of jobs will rely on non-EU trade in ten years time, I’d love to hear your arguments then for higher taxes (fees) and more restrictive trading.

  9. Shirley
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    What a whitewash. You have said yourself there are insufficient MP’s that will support a full clean break from the EU.

    Democracy has been manipulated for decades by only offering the electorate what the political parties wanted, ie. a choice between pro-EU parties … until UKIP came along. At the last GE we were offered the WA or Remain by the main parties. FPTP stopped the Brexit Party getting votes.

    I still do not trust any of the legacy parties. The electorate is still being manipulated.

    • Andy
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Again, you need to define precisely what you mean by ‘clean break’.

      Because that implies you are going for a North Korea type model. Good luck with that.

      Genuinely it is staggering that after three and a half years of this you are still struggling with the basics.

      To do ANYTHING that requires us to work with them – eg) travel – you need an agreement. This is why a Farage style clean break has always been petulant nonsense.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        A clean break means being treated the same as any other independent and democratic country.

        Your EU wishes a different situation were their own un-elected, un-accountable, self appointed political ruling elites, stay in control of what you and everyone else does. If it was North Korea we would have called it a Dictatorship.

        The EU is a small 10% of World trade, our trade with the EU is 4.6% of GPD in goods and another close on 5% of GPD in services. The EU is an isolationist block with Overlords frightened to engage with the World an equal basis.

        So a clean break is the UK taking responsibility for its-self and engaging with the World.

        There is already an agreement on travel post-Brexit.

        Do not forget under EU rules the Withdrawal Agreement and future Trade had to be finalized in tandem. The EU broke that rule the day after we voted leave and have been fighting ever since to keep the UK tied to their rule and their rule only.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      I agree. But given the game is up and the EU and UK establishment has won, we are now at the point where the history of Brexit is being written. Given that it is the winners who write the history, and given who the winners are, a whitewash is inevitable.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Ah, that mythical land of “clean breaks from the European Union”, along with neat and tidy train crashes, mess-free disembowelments, and pretty chemical works explosions.

      What a nice place to be.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      I still do not trust the Conservative (they allowed 10 Benn Act tratiors back in after all). But they are certainly far better than the Labour socialist and asset theft alternative.

      Let us hope Boris will show himself to be a real leave, small government Conservative. Start by scrapping HS2, slashing red tape, cutting taxes, going for easy hire and fire, cutting all the green crap, delivering a real Brexit and halving the size of government. It is all quite easy – but does he have the guts to do any of it? I suspect not. But he did at least save us from the Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP disaster.

      • Leaver
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic, your suggestion to cut the green crap when Australia is burning is astonishing.

        Are you really going to stick with this climate change denial rubbish? Really? It does you no favours?

        I’m not saying the world is going to end tomorrow, but it is clearly a real and growing threat. Action needs to be taken.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          Forest fires have been going on for millions of years. Some insects and other living things have even evolved to exploit the void of predators and competition left in the aftermath or such a fire and so fly towards the dying embers.

          There is nothing unusual in the area of the world on fire this year worldwide. Anyway lowering C02 levels would be a very silly way to attempt to tackle the issue. Plus so called “renewables” make no real difference anyway.

          Most sensible scientists and physicists (who are not seeking government funding) think the issue is hugely exaggerated at best or just a total con trick. I agree with them.

        • Al
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          “Lifelogic, your suggestion to cut the green crap when Australia is burning is astonishing.”

          Blaming climate change alone for the bushfires is misleading.

          Bushfires in these parts of Australia are not unusual, and have been a pattern for long enough for several species have evolved to require the annual bushfires to spread their seeds.

          There is already a pattern of unpredictable weather in the region: in 2010 they had massive floods. The last few years it has been drought, with added strong winds that made this season worse. The Australian weatherwatch is hopeful those same winds will bring rain to break the drought in 2020.

        • dixie
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

          What action do you suggest we in the UK take to guarantee there will be no more bush fires in Australia?

    • Timaction
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      It does take a lot for the establishment to take notice of the electorate.

      They voted for a mildly EUsceptic Tory party in 2010.
      UKIP in 2014 EU elections.
      Tory party in 2015 that offered a referendum.
      Brexit in the 2016 referendum.
      80% Tory and Labour who said they would honour the referendum result in the 2017 election,
      Brexit party in 2019 EU elections.
      And gave Boris’s Tory party a landslide win in 2019 election.

      After a decade of being asked and giving the same answer 6 times I wonder if it has sunk into the establishment’s thick skull what they must do?

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        your summary is correct

    • Mark B
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      The BXP handed the Tories over 300 seats including those Remainers our kind host mentions. It was poor tactics by Farage who should have concentrated on only those Remainer MP’s.

  10. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Personally I can’t get excited about Brexit anymore knowing it isn’t going to be a real Brexit. I hate the thought of paying our hard earned cash to the EU while they laugh at us and plunder our fishing stocks while living the high life. We the voters have been treated like mugs. I have no faith in the Tory party but will have to give Boris a chance to change things.

    Perhaps if the Scots get their referendum and vote yes to independence I may cheer up as I am also fed up to the back teeth of listening to a bunch of upstarts in the SNP.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      The Scots are just asking for Danegeld. As we pay them we must expect the Dane to return. The solution to the Scots whinging is in our hands! The solution to Brexit is also in our hands!

      Happy New Year from a FedupNortherner!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      I agree with much of that. I too am sick of the appalling Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford but do not want to break the union and nor do the Scots. When they realise the choice is the EURO and being under the thumb of the anti-democratic EU or real independence and a Scottish Groat currency (and no more subsidies from the UK) they will not vote to leave – even if they do ever get another vote.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        What an appalling mess Labour left with their bent and hugely damaging devolution scheme. At least it did for Labour in Scotland.

  11. Kevin
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    “Tomorrow I will look at how and why the next decade can be so much better.”

    I think this is just the night before the morning after. From a recent exchange with commenter, “Pollen Counter” (“PC”), you seem to be under the impression that the ECJ’s jurisdiction over the UK will terminate with the end of the WA’s transition period (perhaps you are thinking of Art. 87?). This opinion, nevertheless, appears to be incorrect for the following reasons:
    1) PC points to Art. 158 of the WA, which raises the possibility of preliminary rulings by the ECJ concerning Part Two (citizens’ rights) in cases before UK courts “which commenced at first instance within 8 years from the end of the transition period” (emphasis added);
    2) Arts. 160 and 136 suggest that the ECJ will have jurisdiction regarding corrections or adjustments to the EU Budget for the years up to 2020. This process is time limited, but only, it seems, for corrections or adjustments based on revisions to VAT or gross national income (“GNI”); and even then, the limit is that “the relevant measures…are decided upon no later than 31 December 2028” – again, eight years after the transition period;
    3) Art. 174(1) of the WA provides generally that “Where a dispute…raises a question of interpretation of a concept of [EU] law, [or of]…a provision of [EU] law referred to in this Agreement…[the ECJ] shall have jurisdiction to give…a ruling which shall be binding”. This power seems to run for as long as any other provision of the WA remains applicable. Given that, for example, the OBR estimates that UK contributions to EU pensions (covered by Art. 142) will continue until the 2060s, it seems as though, under the WA, ECJ rulings may affect the UK for decades to come. (Martin Howe QC has also discussed the longevity of this clause in respect of EU citizens’ rights.)

    • Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      The WA must be ditched ASAP! Maybe Boris, a Remainer for most of his life, will learn as Brexit unfolds and the prosperity and happiness of a secure sovereign nation reveals itself. Maybe BREXIT ITSELF WILL TURN Boris into a Brexiteer.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Sir John

      Kudos to you for publishing these awkward posts. The lack of a reply however must be a concern to those who have put their trust in your party. I understand that giving a satisfactory response might not be possible immediately, but these points surely demand some response because they so appear to completely undermine your position.

      Reply My position is clear and defensible. I wanted us to leave in March or October without a deal, as promised by Mrs May in her election Manifesto of 2017. This proved impossible. I made the case for leaving without signing the Withdrawal Agreement and lost that argument. This Parliament will be keen to legislate the revised WA, which is a lot better than the May WA, getting it through as soon as possible. Those who vote against it will vote against because they do not want any kind of Brexit. I will continue to make the case for no further concessions, for a clean break in December 2020 with or without a free trade agreement. The new Agreement states clearly that we will exit with a relationship based on free trade, not the single market and customs union, unlike the May version.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        reply to reply……Sir John why not make a case for the break on 31st Jan 2020? If anyone is up to it, you should be able to make the case. This whole years long prevarication is simply putting off the painful truth for so many of us, that actually the dragged out saga puts Euro-millions into their excessive ambitioned budget. It points to others who might wish to follow our lead to think again. It allows remain minded voters and Establishment figures that the blow to their ‘we know best’ attitude is softened by delays. And finally there is always the chance that events might lead to a PM’s executive having a fit of bravado and cancelling our resignation. That would bring us to a near Civil War.

        Reply I have and there is no support amongst MPs for it.

        • James Bertram
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          Sir John, is there any chance that you can put forward to committee the amendment to the WA that ‘Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.?
          Someone has to put their head above the parapet and be brave enough to instigate this, so I hoped that it would be you – and this really would be much appreciated by all us ‘Leavers’.
          Too, it would seem a sensible compromise, one that allows the PM to still save face and sign his Withdrawal Agreement, but on much more advantageous terms for us; or, if the EU won’t play ball, gives the PM the excuse not to sign the WA and leave on WTO terms one year early – without giving £39 billion away, etcetera.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

            Unless you get the European Union to agree to the amendment, then it cannot be done.

            The clue’s in the word “agreement”.

            It will not, otherwise it would already be there.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

            Not correct, yet again.
            The Withdrawal Agreement is not a signed treaty.
            The UK Parliament which you repeatedly tell us is supreme can amend it.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

            Then it immediately ceases to be an agreement, and becomes an attempted imposition on the European Union..

            Do you not understand the meaning of even the most basic of words?

          • Edward2
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

            Wrong again.
            It can be amended by Parliament and then it will either be accepted by the EU or it will not be accepted.
            It is up to them.

            One minute you tell us the UK Parliament is supreme next you are saying the EU is supreme.
            Ridiculous.

          • James Bertram
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

            Technically the process is as follows: once passed by the UK parliament (which has every right to amend the agreement before signing), the PM will sign an amended Withdrawal Agreement. It is then up to the EU Parliament to ratify it or not. If they do not, then there is no legally binding agreement. Johnson can then claim fairly that he has fulfilled his side of the process, and that it is the EU that has scuppered the deal.
            We then just leave on WTO terms on 31st January [offering a future FTA whilst in GATT24 transition].

      • Simeon
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        Thank you for your reply. With all due respect (which I say, noting your *personal* position which you have set out carefully and comprehensively over a number of years, and with which I have enormous sympathy), you say ‘My position…’. In one sense, your position is indeed defensible. But ultimately, your *position* is in, and with, the Conservative party. Politics is a team sport, and your team’s position is very different.

        I note the WA’s intention to have free trade without the Single Market and Customs Union, and as I have said before, there is in fact a theoretical possibility that this, eventually, results in a proper Brexit. But this outcome would be more quickly and less painfully achieved by simply leaving without the WA, as you have of course advocated.

        That your party is not taking this course, and given virtually all else your party has said on the matter of how we leave and where we end up, the direction of travel is obvious. Time will of course tell, but it seems quite clear that either your leadership is utterly confused about what it is doing (which hardly bodes well, regardless of the intent), or it knows exactly what it is doing, and its intent is malign.

  12. dennisambler
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    One of the biggest ongoing threats is the false climate agenda and we will see a massive ramping up of scare stories during the year, in preparation for the Glasgow UN COP in December. We have our own trojan horses with the Climate Change Committee, initiated by Ed Miliband, but fully embraced by the Conservatives.

    The peerage given to Zac Goldsmith to keep him in the government, the appointment this year of WWF’s Tony Juniper to Natural England, Michael Gove’s willingness to engage with Extinction Rebellion, all show the grandstanding that will come this year on energy and climate from the UK. Greta Thunberg on the BBC is just the start, the propaganda war is under way. Net zero “carbon” is a fiction, but a dreadfully expensive one.

    In just one year from 2017 to 2018, Asia increased CO2 emissions by one and a half times the UK annual total and that will only continue.

    • ian terry
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      dennisambler

      One of the biggest ongoing threats is the false climate agenda and we will see a massive ramping up of scare stories during the year, in preparation for the Glasgow UN COP in December. We have our own trojan horses with the Climate Change Committee, initiated by Ed Miliband, but fully embraced by the Conservatives.

      Agreed, just like the rubbish that has been thrown at the population over the last 3.5 years. It is not going to stop. The Guardian has published an article expounding renewable energy production and the Guardian claim is based on electricity only and not all energy. Wind and solar contributed only 4% and even with hydro . fossel fuels accounted for 77%. A third of renewable electricity comes from bio mass which now most of the experts accept is extremely bad for the envionment. https:// http://www..gov.uk/government/statistics/total-energy-section-1-energy trends. Why do the politicians not read and act upon what is presented to them? Carney is going out has he came in with more doom and gloom.
      The new intake have got to get their heads around the fact that cheap energy is paramount to the success that will drive this country forward and silence all these doubters that still remain with their knives out waiting for the next broad back to present itself. Climate Change is controlled by the sun. To achieve anything the population has got to start pulling together. It has taken over over 60 years for the concerns first voiced by Harold Macmillan over the hidden concerns of the then EEC to be published, if he had been listened to the CAP that has gone a long way to causing a lot of the problems would never have been excepted as it was by ted heath who handed over control to the French.

      • Leaver
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Climate change is controlled by the sun.

        Er … no. If that was the case then the hottest planet in the solar system would be Mercury. But no, it is Venus.

        Why? Because its atmosphere is primarily carbon dioxide and methane and the heat cannot escape.

        Please do your homework in future.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 2:31 am | Permalink

          Leaver. So why has climate change happened in the past before we had the combustion engine and when the population was very low? Explain please.

          • hefner
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

            Could it be related to Milankovitch cycle, or plate tectonics, or volcanic activity, or changes in surface albedo, or changes in atmospheric composition, …

            What about you taking a course on paleoclimates or planetary atmospheric physics?

            There are free MOOCs (a few weeks long, up to 10 hours/week) on this and related topics by e.g., the Open University, Coursera and edX. Some are rather qualitative and can be taken by practically anybody. Some do not require anything more than secondary school level maths. Even the most ‘sophisticated’ ones tend to take the ‘learner’ by the hand and make sure the maths involved is put in an easy-to-digest context.
            What about having that as a New Year resolution?

          • Leaver
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

            Because the climate changes constantly, but very very slowly. Not over a hundred years or so. Again, Antarctic ice core data show this very clearly. Interestingly, there was a period fairly recently when the earth was 8 degrees centigrade hotter than now. So you are quite right that the climate has varied in the past – but incorrect that it is due to natural phenomena.

            Reply So which manmade phenomena made it 8 degrees cooler?

          • Leaver
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

            Also the changes in the climate are thought to be the result of volcanic activity and asteroid strikes, not the sun. The heat of the sun has remained remarkably consistent over the past billion odd years. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t be alive. But a good question to ask. I hope my answer satisfies you.

            Reply Were you around to measure the intensity of the sun over such a long period?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Exactly. It is grossly exaggerated drivel. Historically we actually have a dearth of atmospheric CO2, most plants and trees evolved with far more atmospheric C02. There are many beneficial aspects to higher C02. It is almost certainly a net benefit to have levels a little higher.

      Adapt as we need to is the sensible approach. The idea that Co2 concentrations are some king of world thermostat is totally moronic. Spend the money sensibly is similar ways to those suggested in How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the World a Better Place by Bjørn Lomborg.

      It is the religious alarmist loons and the C02 “pollution” religion that is the real problem. The BBC at it yet again yesterday on The World Tonight with the Met office and more blatant and deluded propaganda.

      Greta/Attenborough types need to go and study some physics, chemistry, energy, economics and some rational logic. If that is, they are now up to it.

      • Shirley
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • agricola
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      That changes in climate have been detected is not in dispute. Climate has changed since the Earth was created and will continue to do so. Sometimes it happens over a hundred years or so. At others in ages, such as the ice ages. If you look at early sketches and early photographs of alpine glaciers you will find that they are now very different in extent. They have receded over the past 150 or so years. It was happening before the industrial revolution. It is all down to the influence of the sun. The extinction rebellion have decided it is all down to mans activities. A totally unquantified assumption that has become a new bogus religion for those with nothing better to do.

      There is a quite separate subject called the environment which is largely desecreated by man. Rubbish into the sea, rubbish on the land, chemical run off from agriculture and industry, air pollution from vehicles and industry, drug pollution of most of our waterways from cocaine ingested by large segments of the population. You name it, man is directly reponsible. All of this is correctable, and it’s resolution would all benefit man and the economy. Just think of the workload on the NHS that could be eliminated if there was no more heart disease or asthma, not to mention some forms of cancer.

      We should be concentrating on rectifying the environment as a first priority , followed by the protection of areas that could suffer from the natural effects of changing climate. We have played at this with such as the London tidal barrier and the draining of the Fens. We now need to create an endangered list and work through it. No more religous fanaticism , leave it to science and engineering.

      • turboterrier
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        agricola

        +1

      • Leaver
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Dear Agricola,

        you are confusing the weather and the climate.

        You have to look at global average temperatures over time, not focus on some specific alpine glaciers.

        Also, if you look at human production of CO2 versus surface and ocean temperatures.

        Wikipedia is actually pretty solid on this. If you go and look the graphs, you can check. But if you wish to keep sticking your head in the sand, you are more than welcome.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

          Hotter or colder, dryer or wetter it is all now seen as proof for the climate zealots.
          So there is no difference between climate and weather.
          All events are used to confirm their belief system.

  13. Bryan Williams
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    For the first time in many years, I am optimistic for the future of our country. Over recent years, we have had negativity thrown at us on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis.
    Now is the time to move forward with a prime minister (and hopefully government) with an ambitious 2020s vision.
    A Happy New Year to you Sir John and to our great country.

  14. Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    It is not quite over yet John.

    The large majority takes the ERG power away.

    The fine detail has to be scrutinised or we could still end up with Brino.

    • rose
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      The ERG didn’t have power under Mrs May – they only had their reason. With a more intelligent PM they can use their reason to greater effect.

  15. Oggy
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Quite an accurate summing up Sir John.
    History will not look favourably on the anti democratic forces that have been at work the last 5 years and longer.

    As for 2020 forwards I do worry that Boris will cave in to the EU, he must dig his heels in and stand up for Britain and the British people who have now given him a strong hand. No more EU extensions, and the future of our fishing grounds will be the litmus test of whether he becomes a statesman or just another here today, gone tomorrow politician.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      It is not an accurate summing up at all. Fewer people voted in the election for parties comitted to Brexit than for those either against it or for a second referendum.

      • graham1946
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        17.4 million voted for Brexit – the biggest vote for anything in history, yet you still disparage it in your mania to be governed by foreign powers. Why?

      • Oggy
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Quite frankly it doesn’t matter what you say or remonstrate about who voted for what now does it ?

      • Robert mcdonald
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        And just how many of those who voted labour voted against Brexit… no one knows because no one knows what the Corbyn labour party really proposed about Brexit. We know 3 million more voted for the party that was unequivocally proposing to leave the eu than for any other party.

  16. Lifelogic
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I listened to the Today Programme edited by George the Poet as guest editor. I did not really understand anything much they were on about – did anyone else?

    • jerry
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      @LL; Yes I listened to some of it, and yes I did understand what I heard,, did I agree with it – well that’s another question all together…

      Suffice to say I suspect the Today programme has done little to ender itself upon the majority this Christmas season with their traditional guest editor “love-ins”, a tradition that perhaps should be put to bed next year. If there really isn’t enough news and current affairs to fill one to three hours of a normal programme then perhaps the programme should simply be rested over the festive season.

      Re[ly I have stopped listening as the Guests editor selection is such a contrast to the views just expressed in the election with the exception of Charles Moore.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      It seems he read the Cambridge equivalent to PPE!

  17. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    The people did NOT vote decisively for Brexit at the end of the decade – in the recent election. More people voted for parties either committed to reverse Brexit – or parties committed to a second referendum – than voted for the Tory Party.

    Please stop trying to use the in-built unfairness and undemocratic nature of our first past the post voting system to claim something is true when it demonstrably is not. Fake truth, Mr. Redwood!

    Reply Labour sought to appeal to Remain and Leave . You cannot claim their whole vote as Remain

  18. jerry
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I’ve nothing good to say about the political decade we are hours away from leaving, so I’ll restrict my comment to wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year!

    • jerry
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Sir John, I take it you will be signing the EDM put forward by Mark Francois regarding allowing Big Ben ring out Jan 31st?

      My only question is should it ring out at 11pm or Midnight, and I also hope our national broadcasters feel (or are) compelled to broadcast it!

      Reply I support it and expect it to happen

  19. Irene
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    The 17,000 people who died in the UK last winter because of living in cold housing won’t be looking forward to the coming year. Nor will those who suffered because of the fiasco known as Universal Credit. According to a recent study one in eight schools has no library, depriving the poorest children of access to that great opportunity of learning. We cannot lay those deficits at the door of EU membership.

    You look forward to prosperity. Can they?

    If the last years have taught us any lesson it is that democracy is dead, that respect is dying, and that we all need to take a close look at what we are allowing to happen. My trust in our political system has beeb shattered.

    • Irene
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      = been shattered. (Shame there’s no edit facility.)

    • Fred H
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Hold on a minute Irene. Pupils don’t need a school based library to reap the benefits of books and reference material. When I was at primary age we walked 1.5 miles to the nearest library to get those benefits. The school wasn’t particularly disadvantaged although between 2 large council estates. It certainly didn’t have a supply of books to hand out, or lend. I remember I read about 4 Biggles stories – that was it for boys ! A high percentage of homes now have the internet, access to search engines on mobile phones, books in charity shops virtually given away – especially non-fiction where the market is poor.
      Universal Credit may be a shambles – I don’t know, but at least there is an intention to collate and properly manage the fiasco of benefits.

      • Irene
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        Hang on a minute, Fred. I was concentrating my thinking on the poorest in our society, those who can’t afford to heat their homes, those whose children are eligible for free school meals, those who have died because of that thing called austerity. They are far less likely to have the technology available that you describe. And even if they did, the learning that comes from books chosen with a purpose far outweighs Google or charity shops. School library areas are massively absent in deprived communities. We had few books in our home when we were growing up, so for me the library was my kind of heaven, as an inner city kid living on a council estate, both the school library and the public library that we also walked to. The joy of reading books has never left me, and I hope it never will. There is a world of difference between reading on a screen and holding a book in your hands. Ever wondered why spelling is so bad these days, especially on social media sites? Public libraries have been closed in many areas over recent years, because local authorities reduced spending on libraries.

        As for Universal Credit, the desire to revise and reform the benefits system may have been well-intentioned, but the way it was put into practice was a shambles. So is the sanctioning system to this day, six years after the arrival of UC. The whole system is not yet up-and-running properly, and is not likely to be functioning as intended until the end of 2023. That is one reason why there are something like 2000 food banks across the country. More food banks than there are branches of McDonalds, according to the Trussell Trust. 650,000 disability claimants have had their PIP cut or stopped altogether. The system is shown to be far too brutal. And all this in the 5th largest economy in the world, I seem to recall.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          Irene
          What actual proper studies do you have to claim 17,000 people died last winter due to living in cold housing?

          • bill brown
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            And a very happy new year to you too.

        • Fred H
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

          Well said Irene – you actually seem to agree with the thrust of my points.
          Poor spelling is mostly teachers’ non-correction in written work. Plus the poorer educated parent possibly unable to correct.

    • Pud
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      What source are you citing to claim 17,000 people died because of living in cold housing? Your figure could well be accurate but without a verifiable source it isn’t convincing.

      • Irene
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        It was a report compiled by the NEA and E3G. Shall try to find a link to the report – but not this year.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 1, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

          So I had a look at these two groups Irene.
          One says 9,700 not 17,000.
          But anyway,
          They have taken a statistic that during the months of November to March the average number of people who die in the UK rises by 32,000 compared to the rest of the year.
          They have then calculated the number of homes they say do not have good insulation and therefore may be cold.
          Then they have calculated the number of people who find heating their homes to a good level too expensive.
          Then they have come up with their figure claiming 17,000 die from cold poorly insulated homes.
          Not from illness, injury, old age or accidents.
          It all sounds like very weak statistics and correlation to me.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            Irene,
            Perhaps you might inform Extinction Rebellion that instead of million dying in a few years due to increased temperatures 17,000 will survive.
            Every cloud…

          • Irene
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

            Please let Ofgem know that you know better. Read the Relevant key facts for yourself. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/state-energy-market-2019

          • Irene
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

            That’s not what I said at all, Fred.

          • Irene
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 11:12 pm | Permalink
          • Edward2
            Posted January 2, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

            Irene
            Few would disagree that some people live in badly insulated homes or struggle to pay the high prices of gas and electricity to heat their homes.
            But to get to a figure of 17,000 deaths this has been done by some very questionable statistical methods.
            It just assumes that because x% in total die in winter and y% have home heating issues then all can be claimed to have died due to that cause.
            Even your link says ” may have contributed to” and ” might have been caused by”

  20. Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I don’t normally take issue but there are points I simply must make, because the first thing we MUST restore to Britain is honesty. So:
    1. 2020 is the last year in the decade not the first in the next which begins 2021. You are not born 1 year old, you turn 1 at the end of the first year and 10 at the end of the 10th year. If we really can’t count, and therefore believe that the millennium at the beginning and not at the end of the year 2,000, inside or outside the EU we are finished!
    2. This battle for Britain’s Sovereignty (I.e control by her electorate rather than by a self appointed oligarchy keen to rule the world) began in the late 1950’s. The real work and construction of the arguments was not done by Mr Farage! (Shock) but by Lord de l’isle, Sir Piers Debenham, Enoch Powell, Peter Shore, the Quondum Viscount Stansgate, etc.
    3. The ‘elitists’ who obtain salaries for nothing, are nowhere near being the ‘elite’.

    Happy New Year Sir John. May this be the year when British people rediscover their honour, truth and dignity. When a Judge says ‘10 years’ let it be 10 years. When a politician says ‘it will be a free trade deal’ let it be a free trade deal or NOTHING! And God help those protestants in Northern Ireland, who saved the whole of the U.K. from the post-democratic trap set by May, until we are strong enough to wrest them out of the clutches of the IRA and others.

  21. Ian @Barkham
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    Just as with the majority of your contributors on this site I am going into 2020 with my fingers crossed, that the UK can become a fully fledge Democracy. Something if we are honest no Country has succeeded in achieving – it remains an aspiration and a pipe dream of the Peoples on this planet.

    In someway you sum up the problem with the phrase ‘The ruling elites’. No one is elite and no one has the right to rule. Democracy surely is about transparency and responsibility and accountability that is were respect originates from. Those that wish to lead and guide that don’t understand that should not hold any position in society.

    In a nutshell that also outline the problem with the EU project, to many ego’s fighting to be the ruler, and not one genuine thought to Democracy or accountability.

    • Posted December 31, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Ian. ”Elite” meaning superior to the rest of us – this is insulting in the extreme, and it’s how they see themselves. We shouldn’t reinforce their self-importance by describing them as ”elite”. They’re not.

  22. gyges01
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    As Brexit progresses and becomes a success, and as the March Violets climb on board, the residual remainers will be marginalised as Alf Garnetts refusing to accept that the world has moved on. However, what is worthy of study is how it was possible that the Parliament of 2017 to 2019 could repudiate the social contract, and what lasting damage that has done to the democratic process in the UK. It’s impossible to separate the tares from the wheat but it is disturbing to think that there are so many tares amongst us. It is humbling to think that the North came to the rescue with Blyth Valley, Durham North West and Bolsover showing that the electorate can never again be taken for granted.

    • steve
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      gyges01

      “However, what is worthy of study is how it was possible that the Parliament of 2017 to 2019 could repudiate the social contract”

      – Biased Speaker, get one of those on side and you can do anything.

  23. Everhopeful
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    We can only hope that 2020 will be better.
    However, since year on year I have only ever seen things get worse I don’t harbour a great deal of optimism.
    The worsening of our circumstances is only ever ignored by voter-despising politicians/elite who claim that everything is always someone else’s fault. Never the fault of those who have been in totalitarian control for centuries. Oh no! Can’t possibly be them!
    Meanwhile many live lives of misery.
    Happy New Year!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      * Many live a life of misery!!

  24. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Happy New Year to you John – -a very big thank you to hosting this site. Hope 2020 is better for all of us out of the EU – if it ever happens.

  25. Rhoddas
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Thank you Sir John for your decade of insight, understanding and eloquent perseverance to press for the rights of ordinary people to uphold/keep their democracy against the malign forces of most of the elitist establishments. I look forward to your next article about how we can pursue real economic growth, lower taxes which improve the lot of ordinary citizens throughout the land. I share your optimism and enthusiam for our soverign country to trade with the world on terms we decide are right for us.

    In terms of taxation I would ask you to comment on the largest tax bill for most ordinary people out of already taxed income, that of council tax. This has again started to increase more than inflation year on year, after a moratorium period under previous governments.
    Councils perform the same work/processes all over the country and yet all use different computer systems/methods with no optimising of best practice, no procurement contract economies of scale. All this renders them highly inefficient in a modern world. They need transformation with support from central goverment to deliver world class services at lowest cost, so the postcode lottery effect is removed.

  26. Fred H
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC.
    Minimum wage to be raised by 51p per hour. Just over £900 per annum (for over 25s) – but still 20% goes back to the taxman. A commendable increase for low paid – often ‘essential workers’ – but as a society we should still be ashamed in this country that millions are paid as badly as this. Much to do Boris – or should it be Javid in a Feb 2020 budget?

    • Robert mcdonald
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      I think we should be proud that so many millions actually have jobs. With a job you have a career and opportunity to progress and earning your money.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        a career in burgers for McD, shop assistant, agricultural work, care homes…. yeah right.

        • Robert mcdonald
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

          You are being somewhat elitist … the best often start from the bottom and take their opportunities with their drive and initiative.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

            me elitist? I’m trying to be the opposite!
            Those jobs probably pay minimum wage -I am advancing the case for better pay and total take home pay. I see your best response is attack.

        • Al
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

          “a career in burgers for McD, shop assistant, agricultural work, care homes…. yeah right.” – Fred H

          While you may view those jobs with disdain (and I sincerely hope that isn’t how you view people performing them), without a chance to get into the entry level, it can be impossible to get references to move into new jobs, particularly following periods of unemployment due to illness or other employment breaks.

          For others, medical conditions or life issues may make progressing to a career impossible but those roles allow them to earn towards supporting themselves and play a part in society. For self-esteem, that is invaluable.

          But if minimum wage is supposed to be the lowest living wage, taxing people earning it or below it makes no sense.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

            Of course I don’t see those jobs with disdain, and they are important to society.
            I am pleased you support my point in the last para:
            ‘ if minimum wage is supposed to be the lowest living wage, taxing people earning it or below it makes no sense.’

    • what tiler
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      20% goes back to the taxman? Back? Minimum wage is, at best, an unwarranted impost on those who seek to build the economy and, at worst a conspiracy in restraint of trade. Government needs to stop meddling in the markets.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        what tiler …..those who seek to build the economy? Really? Personal wealth nothing to do with it?

    • Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      20 % goes back to the taxman to keep inflation in check. Taxes destroy broad money not store it for future use.

      The question to ask is 20% the right number ?

      Once you decide what size of government is needed, taxes are the thermostat on the wall.

      Taxes too big = unemployment

      Taxes too small = inflationary pressures everywhere.

      The government spends first and then taxes. It does not tax and then spend. Even the Romans recognised that when they issued coins.

      3 things can then happen after we all receive money with HM Treasury signature on it.

      you pay your taxes,

      spend your income

      or save

      The saving part tells you what size the budget deficit will be. The government budget constraint as falsely claimed to be an ex ante financial constraint. The truth is it is an ex post accounting statement.

      The national debt tells you how much of those savings have been moved into gilts. A simple operation at the BOE from reserve accounts to gilt accounts.

      Government deficit too big = inflation

      Government deficit too small = unemployment

      Government deficit has to meet the saving desires of the private sector.

      Unfortunately, because current models used by the OBR and IFS only concentrate on the non sensical bit as if we use the Euro – The ex ante financial constraint part.

      We have no idea what would happen if we cut those taxes to 10%. What we need to know is will it cause inflation?

      🙁

      • Fred H
        Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        Derek …..’We have no idea what would happen if we cut those taxes to 10%.’
        Answer : The roughly £900 increase to be paid to the employee would be typically taxed at 20% = £180.
        The roughly £900 increase to be paid to the employee if taxed at 10% = £90.
        The economy might crash over the £90 extra left for the poorly paid.

        The problem I have with what seems like the majority on here, is that you all seem protected from the bottom end wages (me included but at least I will campaign for things to get better).
        You are all heart.

        • dixie
          Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

          Fred, please don’t fall into the Andy/Martin line of stereotyping everyone. It may seem as you describe if you go by the more outspoken, but some of us have been and are actively involved in helping improve things.

          For example, I believe it was Alan Jutson who mentioned his involvement with the Lions Club and many of my acquaintances are involved in voluntary work as am I.

          • Alan Jutson
            Posted January 1, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

            Dixie

            Agreed, it costs nothing but your time to help in the community, and there are so many ways of doing that, shame Andy and some others do not appreciate that yet.
            Most volunteers appear to be from the older generation, because they are the ones who have some time to do exactly that, after a lifetime of work, bringing up a family, and paying taxes.

            The shame is that so much support work is needed, usually because of failure or complications within the various government systems, which fail too often those who need the most help.

        • Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

          Hi Fred,

          In spirit of debate and and I hope you have a wonderful near year.

          I support replacing the automatic stabilisers with a job guarentee. A transition job to the private sector to anybody who wants one.

          1. Creates real competition and not monopolies

          2. It is an ‘auto-stabiliser’. Spending goes up when the economy is down, and spending goes down when the economy is up.

          So because it is carefully targeted at only the people that need it, and it automatically self-adjusts based upon need, there is no requirement to correct any over spend via taxation on the other side.

          The result of that is straightforward. The current low tax rates can stay.

          3. A crucial point is that the transition job does not rely on the government spending at market prices and then exploiting multipliers to achieve full employment which characterises traditional Keynesian pump-priming.

          4. a fantastic price anchor also. Government sets the price and then let’s it float. Think Saudi’s and the oil market.

          5. Business could plan years ahead and thus invest in productivity gains any job losses would be absorbed by the transition job.

          Training does not equal jobs it just shuffles around the unemployed.

          The main reason that the supply-side approach is flawed is because it fails to recognise that unemployment arises when there are not enough jobs created to match the preferences of the willing labour supply. The research evidence is clear – churning people through training programs divorced from the context of the paid-work environment is a waste of time and resources and demoralises the victims of the process – the unemployed.

          Imagine a small community comprising 100 dogs. Each morning they set off into the field to dig for bones. If there enough bones for all buried in the field then all the dogs would succeed in their search no matter how fast or dexterous they were.

          Now imagine that one day the 100 dogs set off for the field as usual but this time they find there are only 95 bones buried.

          Some dogs who were always very sharp dig up two bones as usual and others dig up the usual one bone. But, as a matter of accounting, at least 5 dogs will return home bone-less.

          Now imagine that the government decides that this is unsustainable and decides that it is the skills and motivation of the bone-less dogs that is the problem. They are not “boneable” enough.

          So a range of dog psychologists and dog-trainers are called into to work on the attitudes and skills of the bone-less dogs. The dogs undergo assessment and are assigned case managers. They are told that unless they train they will miss out on their nightly bowl of food that the government provides to them while bone-less. They feel despondent.

          Anyway, after running and digging skills are imparted to the bone-less dogs things start to change. Each day as the 100 dogs go in search of 95 bones, we start to observe different dogs coming back bone-less. The bone-less queue seems to become shuffled by the training programs.

          However, on any particular day, there are still 100 dogs running into the field and only 95 bones are buried there

          The government should provide the other 5 bones. To transition the unemployed into the private sector. Have humans working learning new skills to help them find a job rather than unemployed for years unable to find work.

          The transition job should be living wage with benefits to make the private sector compete.

          Competition a conservative word. Would solve so many issues and would be cheaper than paying for all the social problems unemployment causes to family life.

          There are millions of jobs in every community that the transition job could do. Let’s start off with pot holes and local communities can decide what needs done after that.

  27. Alec
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    It has been an awful decade with personal freedom under incessant attack from government and big media. The spread of identity politics has wrecked all kinds of human relationships. The climate religion looks set to ruin economies and lives, if there is still an economy that hasn’t been wrecked by banks and governments already that is. Almost on a weekly basis we have seen scandal after scandal showing just what our political and economic masters get up to leading to protests across the world by people disgusted by their elite, who are all too ready to surpress those protests violently.
    I would say good riddance to this decade but I suspect things are going to be even worse. I’ll be very surprised if any of us are able to communicate as we are now by the end of the next decade.

  28. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    It is too early to start celebrating. 2020 could be where complacency sets in and we concede serious principles in a false sense of security and to prove what jolly nice and superior people were are.

    On the contrary unless we act strong and determined and cut ourselves free of every and all the EU’s ambitions and restore true sovereignty, even to the extent of sacrifice, the mycelium strands of the EU’s imperial dry rot will continue to drain our strength away.

    We need to grow and require self reliance at all levels of the country, politically, financially, industrially and personally, and protect and defend and preserve what is ours.

  29. hardlymatters
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Dress it up any way you like John but this country as we have known it is on the wrong track- and just assuming that we are going to get some dream FTA deals will not change reality for the poorer people in the country- not in five years time- not in ten years time.

  30. BillM
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    An excellent summary of how the people defied the Establishment through the Ballot Box. Twice and it’s one for the memoirs and a case for the future when Parliament defies the will of the people. If ever again.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Another 5 years is possible, plenty of time for MPs to forget the brinkmanship of Dec 12th. Will it serve as a lesson to be reminded of, or will the media fed assumption that we are a tiddler hooked and played into the bank effortlessly come to pass once again?
      There must be a lot of ex-MPs reflecting on the campaigns and the farce of the H of C.
      Hopefully their pain will be forwarded with emotion to higher authority.

  31. Itene
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    JR, who are the ‘elites’ that you mention? Who are the ‘ruling elites’ that you mention.? Please explain who you see as being ‘the elites’.

    Repky The top officials and decision makers in governments, Central Banks, quangos etc

    • Posted December 31, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – therefore they should not be referred to as ”elite”. They like to see themselves as such – but they most certainly are NOT ”elite” just because of their paid jobs and titles. That work doesn’t make them ”elite”, ie better than the rest of us.

      Isn’t there another epithet that can be found that better describes them?

      • Fred H
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        L.Jones – – parasites? Dear Leaders? Politbureau? Supremos? Brothers?

  32. Gareth Warren
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    While I do not expect the government to act hostile to the EU I do expect some reminder to be made of their attempt to interfere in UK politics. A price must be paid by the EU, one I would like to see is closer cooperation with US and commonwealth governments.

    We must throw the UK market open to their imports, free trade prevents us from ever rejoining the EU and also punishes the EU if they refuse a FTA.

    The next decade will raise problems of China, Russia and oil, all will be solved in time.

  33. glen cullen
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    In the new decade can we please change our procurement policies to the advantage of UK industry. For example all military and government vehicles should be UK made. Lets start supporting UK manufacturing and grow our own industries

    • ian terry
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      glen cullen

      +1

    • Al
      Posted December 31, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      You’d have thought things like passports would fall under this, but apparently not.

      Perhaps if cost of jobs lost and benefits needed to support families were factored in to government bids when UK firms are competing with overseas companies that would create a truer picture of the cost of some of these ‘lower’ bids.

      • glen cullen
        Posted January 1, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        And the government could reverse the labour government policy ref ‘remploy’ and guarantee every handicapped person employment making again UK uniforms and equipment etc

  34. Original Richard
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I thank you Sir John for your past and future efforts to bring freedom and democracy back to the UK.

    The WA and current situation demonstrate just how far EU corruption in the UK has reached to include MPs, the civil service, the judiciary, the corporates, the educational establishment, the MSM, quangos and many institutions.

    As a result Brexit will have to be a process rather than an event as we are gradually weaned off the EU’s money – money that has been and continues to be provided by UK tax payers.

  35. ian terry
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Sir John

    Thank you for your efforts and hard work over the past year. May you and your family reap the rewards coming our way during 2020

  36. Edwardm
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Indeed, as we leave one decade and enter another, it is a great turning point in our history as our nation enters a bright new age.

  37. dixie
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Happy New Year to our host and everyone who wishes our country and people well

  38. Original Richard
    Posted December 31, 2019 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    It will be interesting to see in the coming negotiations with the EU whether Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP take the side of the UK or the EU.

    • rose
      Posted January 1, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      The BBC is already taking the part of the EU – as we understand from Katya Adler and co on Radio 4.

  • About John Redwood


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

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