Ways to damage the economy

Yesterday I published a study of the damage done to the UK economy by the boom and bust policies of past decades. It was part of a series of papers commissioned by the Centre for Policy Studies and published on Capx. It will  be followed by a web based event next Wednesday at 5pm.

 I looked at the Oil and Secondary banking crash of 1974, the Exchange Rate Mechanism boom and bust of 1989-92,  and the Great Recession and banking crash of 2005-9. In each case the Bank of England allowed easy money and credit to excess, then reined it in too quickly, causing a damaging downturn and creating massive instability in the financial system.

I contrasted these big errors of the Bank with the more supportive policy of the new Governor, working closely with the government and so far keeping things liquid enough to avoid a financial and banking meltdown. I made my case that there is no such thing as an independent Central Bank serving  a single country. All Central Banks are state owned and answerable to those who run the government. They can appear to be independent for a bit if there is political agreement about their task and their performance, but as soon as a major policy issue or disagreement about economic policy arrives action will be taken to make the Bank supportive of government.

Today the damage to the main  economies of the wrold  is the direct result of government policy to control the virus. The role of the Central Banks is to ensure the recessions brought on by lock downs do not turn into a financial crash as well. So far a hyperactive Fed and accommodating Central Banks elsewhere show they are  determined to  avoid a crash. They are also showing they wish to co-operate with their governments, seeing monetary and fiscal policy as important and complementary mechanisms.


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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Do you have an answer as to how much ‘money creation’, as a percentage of GDP, by the BoE will create asset price inflation in excess of 20% p.a.? Perhaps an appropriate chart?

    Oh, and how much money does the BoE plan to ‘create’ this year?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      While there is little demand money creation should not increase inflation. What is the governors plan to reduce M0 once demand improves to avoid inflation?

      • Hope
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        JR, we read in Con Woman some interesting articles again linked to this blog theme. One Hugh.ights research by a university that between January and March 190,000 People entered our country from Wuhan and other Chinese city virus hotspots. Even if 1,900 of these had the Chinese virus was this Govt action of failing to secure our borders not recklessly endangering British lives?

        It is pertenant to this blog theme because how will the Govt stop a second wave of the Chinese virus when it is responsible for recklessly allowing the first to come here in very large numbers infecting and killing U.K. Citizens which will also damage the economy further. It is also difficult to imagine how the govt five point plan is credible or can be achieved with open borders!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      The means by which such money is introduced to the economy is key – we’ve seen this before however.

      But the real follow-up punch to the economy after this epidemic will be the insane, doctrinaire obsession, with departure from the European Union’s Single Market and Customs Union, and with which almost half of the UK’s external commerce is presently involved.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Trade with the EU loses the UK £90 billion a year.
        Trade with the rest of world produces a surplus.
        Trade by us into Europe wont stop.
        It is up to customers to decide what to buy and from where, not unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

          No, I’m sure that all those businesses, taking four hundred billion in revenues each year from the European Union, and fully solvent just now won’t miss that one jot Ed.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

            You are still claiming that trade between Europe and the UK will stop.
            Quite ridiculous.

          • NickC
            Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Like Andy your hero, you have trouble with figures. Our total sales of goods and services (our exports) to the EU amount to c£265bn, ex-Rotterdam effect (Pink Book, 2019). Not your imaginary “£400bn”.

      • NickC
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Martin, You seem to have reversed the effects. Our entire exports to the EU amounted to only 12.4% UK GDP last year. The hit to our economy from the shutdown is expected to be around 35% UK GDP – three times our total sales to the EU.

        But not even the Remain Treasury, nor Remain politicians, were prophesying anything like the loss of 12.4%. It was generally expected that we would trade with the EU a bit less, and with the rest of the world a bit more – in fact the same trend we’ve experienced for years.

        So it makes sense to swap over to only WTO rules for our trade with the EU immediately, whilst trade volumes are so low.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          “Only 12.4%”

          And you celebrate 0.2% growth in a quarter as a resounding success…

          And it’s not just exports. It’s returns on investments, cash flows generated by inward investment, and far more besides.

          You are, I think, quite mad.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 5:22 am | Permalink

            Yet again you are still claiming trade with Europe will stop.
            Quite ridiculous.

          • NickC
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Investment returns (etc) are not exports, not part of the single market, and the legality and terms are not affected by our leaving the EU.

    • Rodney Atkinson
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      I understand the extra borrowing this year will be £273bn and QE has been raised by £200bn? Maybe John can confirm?

      Reply Yes to QE. Borrowing will be at least £200bn higher than planned I expect.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        About £7,500 per household. Not really such an issue if we get back to work fairly soon.

        Find so treatments to improve survival rates and get back people back to work now.

        Ministers keeps (wrongly) telling us that the NHS has supplied all the treatment that people needed and not been overloaded and we are now past the peak. If true why are they still ordering more ventilators etc. and putting beds in various nightingale buildings? Why did so very many die without even getting to hospital?

    • Hope
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Interesting that Germany has stood out in disgraceful double standards above all in the EU during this pandemic. Germany who has always advocated more EU, mass immigration for industry output, false compromise on decisions etc. When it comes to the pinch Germany showed it is very nationalistic, closed its borders, stopped exports of vital medical equipment, and is not going to entertain any shared financial burden because of the unequal distribution of industry/commerce it was allowed to have and. Hilt up after the Berlin Wall came down.

      Germany has shown what the actual reality of the EU project is to them?

      In good times Germany wants all the economic benefits to be the powerhouse in the EU so it can take charge of EU decision making but does not want any detriment or shared responsibility on finance, immigration, energy supply if it hurts its own interests etc.

      This,pandemic has also shown the civil service to be the real opposition to cons rvarism over the last ten years. Cameron, Mayhab and Josh so far notmup tomthe taskmofmreforming it. Simon McDonald in any other walk of life would be sacked and gone. No golden hand shake or allowed to keep footballer salary and pension. Gone. Same for other PPS who resoundingly failed like transport, Home Office etc.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      The Rumpelstiltskin school of economic theory.
      The powers that be lock us up to spin straw into gold for them.
      And we all know what happens to fairy gold…it turns into dead leaves!

  2. oldtimer
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    I will look it up.

    There is the wider issue of the use of a dominant currency, currently the US dollar, as an instrument of policy as well as of trade. To which can be added the flood of apparently unregulated eurodollars in the world’s financial and trading systems. The USA can be very aggressive in wielding it’s control of SWIFT. China too has supported it’s foreign policy initiatives, including its Belt and Road plans, with substantial loans. It has become evident that smaller states that have over borrowed have found themselves required to surrender key assets (such as ports) if/when they default.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

      We will now have a run of inflation destroying our savings with the prudent paying the price.
      Since the last crash our savings have been trashed and were in for more of the same.

    • oldtimer
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      I have now read your very informative article. As you pointed out, in the final analysis governments decide and act. Your examples of the failure of the much respected, and highly successful, Bundesbank to influence the rate of exchange between East and West Germany on unification or to fight off its subservience to the ECB were especially compelling.

      In todays world of Covid-19 Ministerial statements that they are guided “by the science” are unconvincing, to me at least. Politicians are elected to make judgments, more often than not, based on uncertain and incomplete information. Trying to hide behind scientists does them no credit. I noted yesterday that the CMO lobbed the decision on the duration of the lockdown back to Ministers by pointing out that he would be offering choices for them to make. The current and prospective assault on civil liberties involved in responding to the pandemic, based on so many unknowns, is highly damaging. Ministers will quickly lose public confidence if they stretch public credulity and tolerance too far.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Trying to hide behind scientists does them no credit.

        No, but it does give them a handy get out of jail card. 😉

    Posted April 23, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    In other words, a massive expansion of indebtedness and currency dilution, all financed by the private sector taxpayer. Hardly imaginative. Hardly courageous. Utterly disingenuous and completely unprincipled

    This Chancellor’s damascian conversion to Keynesian demand management policies doesn’t surprise in the least. Principles become limiting when in office.

    Of course, what we need to see and what those in the private sector yearn for is the complete reform of the British State and the public sector. And no doubt many other areas of State profligacy like foreign aid, Quangos, public sector pensions, the NHS and the welfare State which have become highly political in nature

    I believe the abuse of sovereign debt to finance political cowardice and political inaction when in office is now endemic. This abuse has become almost a part of accepted policy.

    Reform of your political enemy’s power base rather than bending to their will is far harder than abusing the private sector in the way that you have.

    What we are seeing is another government targeting those who cannot fight back, the private sector.

    Thatcher fought the left for she understand their project. That fight is now at end. The left have triumphed. The left might not be in office but they are in power and they have this PM on a lead

    • BOF
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      On the money again Dominic.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      The abuse hurled at Ministers about PPE via the BBC.

      PPE procurement and storage was the responsibility of the quangos that this government was elected to reform, was it not ? PHE has around 45,000 procurement managers and an annual budget of £5billion. What was it doing ? SARS took place in 2002 – a Hollywood film was based on it in 2010.

      This is why I keep banging on about the Communist Chinese Regime. The BBC is so obsessed with doing the State’s work that we don’t know who Xi Jinping (our new world leader) is.

      Applauding the NHS every week is applauding The State. Which is why I don’t do it. I quietly meditate about the few (relatively very few) front-line doctors and nurses who are trying to revive COVID-19 patients.

      In 1918 our people endured – for two years – a plague which killed young people. They did not hide but maintained life as normal as possible which led an economic boom and a healthier economy from one that had been war ravaged.

      Our state first crashed a healthy economy, forced us into hiding and then went about destroying the elected government via press releases and blame shifting.

      I think we are being softened up for two years of plague with little sign of a vaccine. Goodness knows what political landscape we will emerge to.

      Whenever our country has faced troubles I have always said “Never mind. There will always be the pub. Even Orwell’s society allowed them.”

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      If the Left were really in power, then most employed people would have fair terms and conditions, occupational pensions, and so on.

      Housing would not be a serious problem for them either.

      The Left have never had sufficient power in the UK to promulgate fully these aims, and your suggestion that they have it now is utterly ridiculous.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Most employed people do have fair terms and conditions, the vast majority have just had a big wage increase in line with the NLW. They have a 12.8% Employer’s NI contribution which buys them not much more than the self-employed have, in addition the employer pays a further 3% Nest pension contribution, 28 days minimum holiday (included averaged overtime over the previous 13 weeks), statutory sick pay, statutory maternity and paternity payments plus Holiday pay accured when not in work on this leave. Terms of notice, disciplinary policies, health and safety policies, working time directives, most work less hours for more per hour now than a decade ago, your constant criticism of small business employers and all employers if frankly very aggravating Martin, if you think you can do better why don’t you.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        In other words…communism has never worked because it has never been correctly implemented?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          No, the words are what I said in response to Dominic and only that. His assertion that the Left are in power in the UK is about as silly as it’s possible to get.

          • dixie
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

            The public sector, especially the heavily unionised sectors of education, health and transport, and BBC are infected with the left, so yes the left are in power.

      • Chez
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        The left are keen on importing more cheap labour (which also helps to push house prices up ) and so I don’t see how they can pretend to care about fair wages and conditions . Not much different from bad employers on that score

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

          A properly structured Labour market and employment law is the way to protect T&Cs, not a self-imposed blockade.

          • NickC
            Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

            Martin, The EU does not allow the UK to benefit from a “properly structured Labour market”. What do you want – EU control, or UK control? Make your mind up.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

            How do you increase wages when millions come into a labour market willing to work for the legal minimum or less.?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

            How come they are far better in some countries of the European Union then?

            Particularly re occupational pensions?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 25, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

            The UK is the favoured place for immigration.
            Many millions since 1997.
            The wages in many European countries are less than the UK
            Greece Portugal Romania Poland for example.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        Labour are running Wales – doesn’t look like a land of milk and honey overflowing with PPE and locking down weeks before England. Odd that.

      • NickC
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        Martin said: “If the Left were really in power, then most employed people would have fair terms and conditions”. Like in socialist USSR and China? Those fair terms and conditions?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          No, like perhaps Scandinavia, France, Germany etc.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

            No like perhaps Greece Cyprus Portugal Spain and Italy

          • czerwonadupa
            Posted May 1, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

            So why en masse is Calais the magnet & not Scandinavia. Instead of listening to you they’re getting into dingies in Calais which I believe is still in France another country you think they would be better off in to get to the UK legally or illegally? Why?

      • dixie
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        So, as a self employed person would I be forced to give myself “fair” terms and conditions, occupational pension and so on that I cannot afford to give myself?

        • Edward2
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 5:26 am | Permalink

          I’n Martin’s socialist utopia you wouldn’t be allowed to be self employed.
          You would be allocated a job by the state.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            I’ve been self-employed myself, Ed.

          • dixie
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

            @Martin – but you neither answered my question nor refuted Ed’s point about socialist utopias

          • Edward2
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

            So what.
            If you tried to do it in Cuba you would have to ask permission.
            Rarely granted.
            You are lucky to live in a free capitalist country.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      I agree Dominic, my staff are asking how is it fair they are working full time for just 20% more than furloughed people are getting for doing nothing especially now this lockdown has continued for another three weeks minimum, let’s remember a lot of companies have people working full time at home too, and they are getting very annoyed that some people are getting 100% for doing absolutely nothing (when some of the Companies claiming could be working eg some garages are open so you know it is possible to do the job safely and others have just shut up for a couple of months)!

      We’re only working at 75% of usual capacity 50% some days and we’re paying the workforce for hours they’re not physically working but have to be available BUT when Whitty said yesterday there could be some form of lockdown needed until the end of the year we’re beginning to wonder if we’re being absolute mugs here and we’re going to be getting the threatened big tax bills at the end of this too.

      Some furloughed people are not even making themselves useful volunteering to chat to people who are struggling, or delivering shopping to vulnerable people and are just moaning about their missing 20% and trying to get rent rebates etc, why would you when you have more time to cook from basic ingredients, you don’t have the travel costs you’re always bleating about, no outdoor pre-packed sandwiches to buy, no entertainment or holidays or shopping expenditure you’re having an absolute laugh when some people are working full time to deliver your daily bread and milk, cheese, vegetables, and staples you need to survive, plus all the people keeping your tv going, radio, electricity, water – just how long is this going to be going on? If Germany are re-opening and even Italy are getting out of lockdown, some regions in the UK just aren’t as badly hit, why can’t they open with restrictions of travelling between regions and restrictions on visiting vulnerable family members.

      ps if the nursing staff aren’t using the test centres please open them up to other workers in other key industries to have their slots.

    • Bob
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      “What we are seeing is another government targeting those who cannot fight back, the private sector.”

      Yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if help themselves to some more money from the private pensions that they encouraged us to invest in, or perhaps a Cyprus style bail-in.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        They’ll have a job helping themselves to my private pension. My investment in the Neil Woodford Income Focus fund saw 40% of it evaporate. But at least it did generate 5% dividends. Now some other mob are running it. It has, of course, gone DOWN again. I wait with baited breath to see what happens to the dividends. They, too, will no doubt vanish.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      I agree with everything you say Dominic as I’m sure do many but unfortunately no one is listening, certainly not any of the leftie Liberal so called Conservative Governments we have had of recent years, including sadly this one. They ignore the private sector because they can. We only have to look at the current crisis to see that it is the private sector, as always, taking the hit whilst the public sector (and 650 MPs) are cushioned with their guaranteed 100% incomes. They are too frit to tackle the bloated pampered public sector. Best not to upset the unions.

      Same with the exorbitant foreign aid budget which shows just how out of touch they are with public opinion but hey, it makes them feel good, squandering our hard earned cash on ridiculous projects to countries richer than ourselves.

      With the exception of MPs like our host and a few others, there seems to be a shortage of real Conservatives in Parliament. Sadly it seems we will never see the likes of Maggie, God bless her, ever again. What we have now is a choice between Blue Labour or Red Labour and with the FPTP system ensuring they have it stitched up between them, the real Conservative party, ie. Brexit party, never stood a chance.

  4. Mark B
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    If our kind host allows.


    Our mission is to serve central banks in their pursuit of monetary and financial stability, to foster international cooperation in those areas and to act as a bank for central banks.

    We live in an ever interdependent world. As we have seen, this interdependence does come at a price. The policies of UK governments of all hues has lead to recessions and economic slowdowns and industry failures of all sorts. Be they local or national. We are now witnessing a government that, in order to protect a ill prepared state bureaucracy and mask its own failure to make sure that it was prepared, is destroying the private sector of the economy and place the nation and the taxpayer in even more debt.

    People are not complaining as yet. The sun is shining and many may still have a job. But when this starts to feed through over the coming months, I am sure people will not be standing outside their homes at 8pm as they will tonight, clapping like badly performing seals.

    On a happier note, I am glad to see the Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP conduct business from the Chamber. It is good to see the new Speaker and that the House will be sitting, albeit virtually, in the coming days. It was also good to hear a Conservative MP, whose name I did not get, speak about the powers the government got ahead of the shutdown. Many thanks to you sir. 🙂

  5. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    People are looking forward to the end of the lockdown which affects a lot of developed economies. When that happens, we will need money urgently to get going again. I am thinking of the Marshall Plan which put Germany on its feet after WWII. So I agree with your cautious yet expansionist attitude.

    Sir John, What is going on in Africa? Has the pneumonic plague hit there yet? Does anyone report that? Isn’t it rather important in view of the massive surge of immigration, legal and illegal, into Europe over the last few years?

    • SM
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      I live in S Africa, which is undergoing a very strict lockdown (theoretically, since many refuse to believe in the danger, or literally know nothing about it, and therefore do not adhere to the rules).

      The spread of infection and gradual increase in mortality appears relatively low compared to European levels, but you must take into account the infinitely lower capacity to identify and treat the millions of underprivileged. If the apparent vulnerability of BAME individuals in Europe is repeated here – and bear in mind the high number of those with HIV and TB, and the fact that the Govt is virtually bankrupt, as well as lack of food and sanitation – then things could get much worse as winter sets in.

      Now factor in the condition of countries such as Zimbabwe and Malawi etc, plus the war in the Sahel, and the picture doesn’t look good at all.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      The situation in Africa is interesting as you say. One relevant factor is that in a large number (a majority I think) of African countries the median age of the population is very low, around 20. In one country the median age is 14. (This due to AIDS) so maybe the virus running fast and unchecked will not be a big problem as we have seen that younger people here have very low mortality rates.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Africa contends with malaria. Why should they be concerned with such a little disease as coronavirus?

    • Andy
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Johns Hopkins University tracks reporters global cases and lists affected countries by numbers. Covid 19 has reached Africa and is spreading there. Reported deaths are still quite low but then it arrived in Africa later than everywhere else and government reporting might not be as good.

      Most of the ‘immigration’ you talk of is actually from the Middle East. Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Libya. And we call them refugees because they are people fleeing from war. If Islamic State had turned up in your town you would be one of them.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Yet they are safe in France and have previously travelled through many other safe countries to get to the UK.

      • rose
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        The people we are taking from the refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey are indeed refugees, but no-one forcing their way in from Calais is a refugee.

      • sok
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        I would stay and fight them.

      • NickC
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Andy, As usual you have trouble with figures. The highest placed Middle east source of immigrants is Iran at number 26. There are 5 African nations above Iran in the table. You should get out more, and meet some of these people.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Not to mention vaccine-derived polio virus.
      But the planes and boats keep on coming in.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Plus the never ending flow of illegals arriving on the south coast which the government refuses to do anything about.
        I really thought Patel would get a grip but she seems to have gone native.
        Is there no one in government who has a modicum of common sence.
        Shortage of ppe I think not. Westminster is awash with it.
        Psychology, Politics and Economics.

        • rose
          Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

          Until the Geneva Convention on refugees is revised Priti Patel is powerless to help us. It wasn’t drawn up for these circumstances but is being applied ruthlessly by the human rights lawyers..

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Some of you won’t like it, but China and Russia are working very hard with African countries to control the epidemic there.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        You would be shouting about the wicked imperialist UK and USA if either country were helping.

        • Margaret Howard
          Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Permalink


          Maybe that’s because they haven’t carved up the African continent like we did together with France in the 19th century and robbed them blind.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

            They have gone backwards in Africa since we left.
            Look at Rhodesia.
            China and Russia will rob them blind.

          • dixie
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

            @MHoward – you are careful not to mention all the rest – the Dutch, Italian, German and Belgian involvement in the carve-up.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think that they take prisoners, and do to them what the UK did in the 1950s somehow.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 25, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

            China and Russia have taken tens of thousands of their own citizens and locked them up for political disent.
            The habit would continue if they gained control over African nations.
            It’s what socialist dictatorships do.

          • margaret howard
            Posted April 25, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink


            “@MHoward – you are careful not to mention all the rest – the Dutch, Italian, German and Belgian involvement in the carve-up”

            That reminds me of the rather apt observation in an episode of Blackadder when he says:

            “George, the British Empire at present covers a quarter of the globe, while the German Empire consists of a small sausage factory in Tanganyika”

      • Everhopeful
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        As far as I can make out the program has been suspended… they say because of cov19. The oral vacs ( so I have read) can cause virus derived disease so the whole program is having to be revised maybe also because of COVID19 ?

      • Fred H
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        Martin I felt sure you were writing …China and Russia are working very hard with African countries to control the ….natural rare earth metals etc.
        – – and then you lost direction.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          Oh, I’m sure that there will be quid pro quo.

          Do you think that those would likely be fairer with the US?

          • Fred H
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

            Well Russia is after gaining geographic military presence and votes if possible, China gets but gives what? A railway with decrepit equipment, bundles of cash and family property and education while introducing the COVID.
            Very fair.

      • NickC
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Well, we know you admire China, because you frequently say so on here.

      • dixie
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Russia and China are working hard to exploit the epidemic there

    • Bob
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Overton Window alert!

    • Norman
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      I am hearing that even the poorest nations have acted upon the WHO advice, and sadly, this is causing much suffering and disquiet. In Madagascar and many such countries, the poor shop from street markets, and when these are shut down, they face starvation. The local supermarkets, such as they are, are too pricey.
      In unstable areas such as Northern Nigeria, lock-down has left whole villages at the mercy of further brutal attacks from Islamist militants, such as Boko Haram, and the Fulani tribesmen – burning houses and killing innocent women and children. Food is also an issue there, too: one woman is quoted as saying: ‘I’d rather die of the virus, than starve’.
      Many of the poor in RSA, from an already precarious existence, are now at risk of starving, All this information from reliable Christian charities such as Barnabas Fund, and Breadline Africa. It will be the same in South and Central America, and certainly also in India, and many Islamic countries, too.
      It is a wonder this lock-down has been adopted by virtually all the nations of the world, and rightly or wrongly, seemingly without much heed to the wider consequences. A major dilemma for all, with much collateral damage – much more so in the poorer counties of the world.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      South Africa has marshalled the Comrades and done a lot of testing, they have a 2.7% positive result apparently.
      Regarding the economy, my cousin a Capetown lawyer (ie not in business) writes:
      ‘Basically, in order for things to improve we needed our economy to crash and we’re now about there. At last, thank God!
      Problems e.g: Quantas has an employment ratio of about a hundred staff per aircraft, while SAA’s been employing over nine hundred and relying on substantial bail-outs every year because it’s been insolvent for years but now has finally crashed.
      Our best case scenario is to be forced to borrow money from the IMF or World Bank because these loans come with the sorts of conditions the country desperately needs to have imposed, for our economy to recover.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        …when you best hope is Christine Legarde …

  6. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Subcontracting so much of our manufacturing to China over the past decades has removed pinch points in our supply chain and kept inflation, including wage inflation, low. When lots of strategic manufacturing is repatriated to the UK (PPE being a prominent one currently, medical supplies and reagents, some electronic products (eg. for 5G)) this will recreate those pinch points, if we can’t manufacture enough of a product the price will go up and the wages of the people making it will go up too. Inflation will return and be fuelled by the massive amount of stimulus money circulating in the economy. The government will be secretly happy about high inflation as it will inflate away some of their massive debt burden. Whether central banks will be happy to let this occur is another matter. That seems to me to be a key issue in the medium term – the death of globalism.

    • Sakara Gold
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Where do you source the rubbish that you post? Dont you know how to check facts before you jump to conclusions? Just because you read something on a dodgy Chinese communist party funded conspiracy website does not mean it’s true.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Any facts in response Sakara?
        Just cheap shots.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Are you talking to me ? What I posted there was based on an analysis by a bond market analyst employed by one of the big investment banks. Which bit of it is wrong ?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      That seems to me to be a key issue in the medium term – the death of globalism.

      We are often told of how many millions globalisation has lifted out of poverty. Little mention, though, of those it has put into poverty. Like the millions in this country on zero hours contracts, workers in the ‘gig economy’, the new army of self employed etc.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      But the things that have real value – a decent place to live and free time to oneself – get ever more unaffordable for millions.

      “Inflation” is a much-manipulated, political entity.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Parks galleries libraries and open spaces are free if you want free time to yourself.

        Inflation runs stability, wrecks savings and pension income values.
        And creates economic chaos.
        Those who like me who have lived through a period of double figure annual inflation realise what a pernicious danger it is.

        • NickC
          Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

          Edward2, Indeed you are right. But I suspect that inflation is coming – if only for the simple reason that the establishment fears deflation more than inflation.

        • bill brown
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 3:06 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          absolutely right

          • Edward2
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

            Gosh, I’m shocked.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

            But it has no relation to my post, so why put it here?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

            You said having free time to yourself was becoming unaffordable for millions.
            I said there are many to enjoy free time that were free.

            You dissmissed inflation as a manipulated political construct.
            I said how inflation causes real hardship and disruption for society.

          • NickC
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Because you’re not the only person allowed to make comments?

    • bill brown
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 3:10 am | Permalink

      Roy Graigner

      Interesting hypothesis but with the falling price of energy and falling demand as is forecasted going forward, there is little indication that inflation will return as you are predicting. (the Economist this week). I am therefore not sure that will help with our debt deficit which will be 120% by the end of 2021.. (according to latest OECD estimates)

      • dixie
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        Onshoring and increased manufacturing and robotics will drive up demand for energy, not to mention the government transport and domestic energy policies.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    The banks may have liquidity but they are slow and very reluctant to get funds lent to solid businesses at reasonable fees, terms and margins. Peter Bone MP yesterday asked Rabb the sensible question about their (one size fits all) 40% rip off personal overdraft rates most banks are now charging (encouraged by the FCA). Many have now been forces to use these. His answer totally failed to even address the issue.

    400 times base rate yet they give nothing on bank deposits. This is clearly a sign of totally unfair competition in banking – so what are they going to do about it?

  8. Dave
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Central banks are an instrument of wealth extraction. They facilitate the growth of governments far beyond healthy size and fund illegal, aggressive wars and are now allowing them to print money to the extent that the world economy faces hyper inflation on a scale never seen in history. Most likely we’ll first see deflation (as oil markets already have) as everybody realises just what a disaster the lockdowns impoverishing everybody for the sake of a virus that is far milder then the flu of 2017/8. Then when the currency flood works it’s way through the sytem hyper inflation will destroy millions and reduce life extpectancy by years. This is the worst thing the British government, and most others, have ever done to the economy and that is really saying something. If people relaised just how badly they have been screwed and by whom the political system would be gone by the end of the week.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Ways to reverse damage to the economy:-

    Abandon the war on C02 plant food, cut the size of the largely parasitic government by about half, go for cheap reliable energy oil and gas are currently very cheap indeed, abandon renewable subsidies and rigging of the energy markets, cut and simplify taxes, get people back to work, have a bonfire of red tape, go for easy hire and fire, cancel HS2 and other idiotic waste, sort out the largely parasitic legal system, get real and fair competition into health care, housing, broadcasting, schools, universities, banking, stop all the soft loans for university degrees for anyone with less than about 3Bs at A level …….

    The current median A level attainment of people going to university is three Ds. So 50% have less then this and probably about 75% have less than three BBB. Well over 50% of degrees are virtually worthless and certainly not worth the £50K of debt they give people. If they really want to go make they resit A levels or get a job and pay from themselves.

  10. The Prangwizard
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    ‘…the damage….is a direct result of government policy to control the virus’.

    And government policy apparently is anything the scientists advise. This mantra is repeated daily in answer to all questions. Dominic Raab said it again in Questions yesterday. So government Ministers don’t wish to have minds of their own, only too happy to abdicate responsibilty, to put themselves up as robots, to speak the words of their civil servant ‘scientist’ deskjockeys.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Well what they want is scientists as a shield for them. There is of course no such thing as “The Science” – they can pick whatever scientists they want to. The climate alarmist scientist’s predictions have been shown to be completely wrong and yet the government still listen to their soothsaying.

      Ministers keep saying the NHS has plenty of spare capacity and no one has not had the treatment they needed (clearly untrue) and we are just past the peak now. Yet they keep putting more beds into building and calling them Nightingale Hospitals, ordering more ventilators etc. and yet they have still not even indicated when they will begin to lift restrictions. If they have capacity (as claimed) why not lift some restrictions now? What is the truth please?

  11. Anonymous
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Yes. The virus must be controlled at *all* costs.

    Both vain and in vain.

    Blowing 2 brand new general hospitals a day in lock-down at present rates. There must surely be a limit to the costs we are prepared to inflict on those aged under 50 – and that would include injecting their healthy, low risk bodies with a rushed vaccine.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      As for injecting healthy people with a rushed vaccine – I cannot help thinking there could be a similar situation to MMR and children. Any “coincidental problem” would instantly be classed as just that. Full stop.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        The “situation” with MMR and children is that it is safe, however thanks to the efforts of the current editor of the Lancet many people think it isn’t. However, as he hates the Tories he’s getting plenty of air time currently.

  12. BOF
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Government has found a new way to damage, or perhaps even destroy, the economy. Total obedience to the ‘experts’.

    Do not expect an outbreak of sanity soon.

    • Tsclose
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      “Do not expect an outbreak of sanity soon.”

      I take heart that terming their behaviour ‘insane’ is now not regarded as figurative. Yes they are, victims of their own particular type of Mass Hysteria.
      May Ist will awake them from their ill-dream

    • ed2
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      The worlds politicians are actively behaving like marxist destroyers. It should be clear by now to everyone that they have to go. All of them. Little do they know their final push for global control will be very short lived and will end in their utter humiliation.

  13. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Does it matter how much money the new governor allows in the economy if none of it is allowed to circulate because we are locked down at home?

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      NS – – -The govt needs the money to pay for the 100 a week being ferried across the Channel. But don’t worry – Priti has promised to stop the illegal traffic ( I think she’ll just legalise it – problem solved).

  14. agricola
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Well lets hope it works and there is something left to emerge from the ashes of economic stagnation.

    For sure many organisations will need to reassess how they operate. This pandemic has emphasised the cracks in many organisations. I tire of the current baying media, stuffed full of their own importance with no greater talent than being able to string a few adjectives together.

    For instance the current government has been in power for around six months. I do not blame them for the current deficiencies in the administration of the NHS. A largely overpaid, multi faceted, numerically excessive, administration that has failed in it’s primary task of getting ammunition to the troops on the ground. You might legitimately blame earlier governments over many years for allowing NHS administration to grow beyond it’s sell by date, but to pillory second line ministers on TV for such ills I find despicable. And we all know who the principal motor mouth is.

    Current ministers , faced with the evidence, should route and branch sort it out for the future using people who are professionals. A late friend of mine, on becoming CEO of a division of a UK company making a loss of around £7 million a year, turned it into one making a £12 million profit in two years of change. The then directors lost their gold plated toilet and monogrammed hand towels. The gardener no longer cleaned their cars every day. Seven dining rooms were reduced to two and eventually said directors lost their jobs. Two directors replaced them, an accountant and an engineer. My friend left them when the group board decided to sell them to a large UK organisation, a reincarnation of what he had saved them from in the first place. They had no sense of humour. The new owners announced at an early board meeting that there would be a new longer and lower policy on company cars. My friend from up north suggested that they get him a Lambourghini. He left with a few million in his pocket as part of the contract reward for sorting the place out. Our government needs to find someone in the same mould to sort out NHS administration.

  15. glen cullen
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    And the single worse mistake the government and the bank of england have made duringt this lockdown was to instruct banks NOT to pay out its 2019 dividends to its shareholders…..a dictatorship state

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      And of course the banks’ leaders rolled over. We have spineless leaders everywhere in this country.

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink


        A few of the larger insurance companies decided to still pay out their 2019 dividends, but all the banks folded

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      I agree. The banks’ balance sheets are strong – the Bank of England insists on that – and they were able to pay the dividends without causing downstream problems. (Unlike, say, easyJet.) I am disgusted that the Bank and government decided to cut my income, for no good reason.

  16. Fred H
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    The way things look measures suggested to deal with the virus will wipe out our economy, Bank action will be irrelevant. Distancing, PPE and unwillingness to spend will bring the economy to its knees.

    • Opine
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Mr Raab, and Mr Hancock are not asked proper questions. Their position is an empty space from which they cannot successful mount any kind of logical argument or even a funny one.
      They destroy.

    • ed2
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      The question we need to be asking is why do 1/3rd of the worlds politicians want to destroy the global economy? What is WORTH that? What is their dream?

  17. Iain Moore
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Happy St Georges day to one and all. though if you are listening to the BBC you probably think its a state secret. I think they are more interested in Ramadan.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Iain – – you only THINK they are??

    • Ghost
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      No, The BBC is not interested in religion. Only the suppression of them in total. Favouring one they hope will set all against one another, destroy our country . One needs to understand that set of people at the BBC. Politically they can be called leftie-liberals but in truth they despise all politics and politicians. They are not part of the United Kingdom. In a non-religious sense they are The Evil

      • ed2
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        The BBC promotes vile ignorant men like Ricky Gervais

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      St George – recognised across religions, acted on an international stage and sought to protect others, I thought that was a CV, but not acknowledged by the BBC completes it.

  18. Kevin
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    In 2016, we had the People’s Vote to Leave the EU. The Government, and others, had argued that it was in our best interests to Remain. This was in spite of the fact that, only three years earlier, the incoming Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, had, according to the Daily Mail, admitted that drastic action had had to be taken to revive our ailing economy, with the effect that life had been made extremely difficult for pensioners and savers. At that point, the base rate had been at 0.5% for nearly four years following the financial crisis.

    From then until the present crisis, with Mr. Carney come and gone, the base rate had been raised (I believe) to no higher a level than 0.75%, before being dropped this year to 0.25%, and soon thereafter, to 0.1%. Not only is this a new record low, some commentators argued that it would not achieve all that much even at the present moment. Meanwhile, Victoria Bischoff, of the Daily Mail, has written that savers have been kicked while they are down.

    What may not achieve all that much for the wider economy may, needlessly, cause some people to struggle with affording basic necessities.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:50 pm | Permalink


      Being a small saver is a signal that the individual concerned recognises personal responsibility and attempts personal planning. By this very nature these people are not what Governments want. The desperate/reliant/fearful person is far more pliant.
      No individual saving implies no individual freedom.

  19. glen cullen
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck 9 times out of 10…it’s a duck

    Well this end of the world pandemic killer virus which may or may not have been transferred by bats or a lab…….is still no worse than the winter death rate in 2014/15

    In 2014/15 with 44,000 deaths it was recommend to take paracetamol and have 2 weeks in bed

    In 2019/20 with 18.000 deaths this government have implemented an economic lockdown with no quantifiably end

    I do believe that its our own government that is now the threat

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      So why are the whole world doing the same thing — except Sweden, but then again .. Sweden !

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      It was ever thus –

  20. Christine
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Throughout history, fiat currencies have risen and collapsed often due to devaluation. We see many currencies pegged to the US dollar but what will be the effect of them printing trillions of extra dollars? All our hard-earned savings will be devalued and wiped away. We see the US federal bank bailing out their mates in the futures and bond markets at the expense of the little people. We see greedy bankers still taking their bonuses. China has been hoarding gold for years. It only takes one major currency to step off the treadmill of quantitative easing and everything will collapse leaving us with a dangerous new superpower. Governments should be putting protection in place, like Germany is doing, to stop companies being bought up by hostile foreign regimes. Industrial espionage won’t be required if countries like China can just buy our assets at knock-down prices. There are far too many ex-politicians sitting on the boards of Chinese companies, like Huawei, selling out the interests of our country. We need someone to step forward and investigate but unfortunately, investigative journalism is dead in this country and even on a blog like this, dissenting voices are silenced.

  21. Everhopeful
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Hasn’t the economy already been trashed by money printing?
    Coin clipping.

  22. Ian Kaye
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    According to to a tweet 80% of the additional 63 billion in borrowing will come from QE that means 50 billion over the quarter or 200 billion per annum if the increase in gilt issuance continues for the rest of this financial year. So if if the national debt increases by 52 billion more than was anticipated the increase in the interest bill on the debt giving very low rates of interest could be quite moderate

  23. ukretired123
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Gordon Brown’s great lie of the independent Bank of England and that gold was not required as a reserve was blown apart within a few years.
    It is unfortunate that appointed heads of public bodies are political, like Carney and Bailey not based on pure track records of performance as in the Private Sector like Warren East of Rolls Royce.
    As for this latest economic mother of all crashes it will require a coordinated world response but with totalitarian states pushing their own interests the outcome is unlikely. We need more business experience and achievers running things urgently!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Save the world/no return to Boom and Bust/that Bigoted Woman Gordon Brown and his daft side kick Ed “neoclassical endogenous growth theory” Balls got everything wrong. But then so did Cameron/Osborne and May/Hammond. Tax borrow, over regulate and piss down the drain merchants the lot of them. Full of expensive energy and the war on C02 lunacy too.

      Will Boris be different – it seems not so far. He has not even cancelled HS2 or rejected the carbon neutral lunacy yet.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        Balls read PPE Oxon and Brown History at Edinburgh – so I suppose it is unreasonable to expect them to understand any economics – as is shown clearly by their joining the Labour Party.

  24. Jack Falstaff
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Happy St George’s Day everybody!
    Unfortunately everything is now totally contingent upon the virus and raises many questions.
    Will we find an effective vaccine soon? How long will it take to organise vaccinations for everybody? What logistical problems will present themselves? Will there be a second wave? Will the virus mutate? Can people reinfect after recovering? Do we even know who has got it?
    The nub of the problem unfortunately is that any form of economic response does not move in lock-step with how the virus evolves and timing is the watchword for both the problem and our reaction to it: first there will be a lag while we get enough empirical evidence to warrant specific economic action, then another lag to implement this, and then again yet another lag while the transmission process works through until the results of the action taken materialise.
    If, while all of this is going on, this virus (which seems to have a mind of its own) alters its pattern in any way, we will not only have to adjust the economic plan again, but have to wait before we are in any position to take into account the full effects of the previous approach while its associated lags play out.
    Separating out the results of any response, then working out to what extent they derive from different areas of policy and their timing, and only then being able to act usefully in consequence will be a very messy task.
    And if anybody thinks that the virus understands international borders and will happily remain within the control of the government of any single nation or bloc, then I hate to disappoint them.
    Moreover, given these aspects of the current crisis, the futile attempts to make political hay by opposition parties that criticise the handling of the crisis by national governments are in nobody’s interest. If they really care and understand the complexities involved, then they should contribute by proposing helpful solutions.

  25. acorn
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    How do you create a paradigm shift in thinking. It will have to be big and impossible for the neoliberals to circumvent. My suggestion; shut down Central Bank operated “Monetary Policy”. Fiscal Policy rules from now on, OK.

    The myth of independent Central Banks in sovereign fiat currency issuing economies has to be erased. Sovereign currency issuing Treasuries and their Central Bank are one and the same. They operate a consolidated balance sheet.

    The BoE can’t buy in billions worth of Commercial Paper unless the currency creating and issuing Treasury funds the operation. That operation increases the net fiscal assets (reserves and cash) in the economy. Only the currency issuing Treasury can do that, the Central Bank can’t. Quantitative Easing by the Central Bank does not increase the net fiscal assets in the economy, it just swaps Treasury securities back into Treasury reserves (cash) that bought them originally.

    The US Treasury and FED legally have to be much more transparent about there operations than the UK. Hence: “Note this from the Fed’s announcement;

    “Treasury, using the ESF, will make an equity investment in the SPV established by the Federal Reserve for this facility.” The UK is copying the US, on a smaller scale, while secretly preventing as little as possible the extra cash injections into the non-government sector, appearing on the Budget Deficit; just like the Funding for Lending scheme did and the 2008 Bank bailout before it.

    As Edward Harrison at creditwritedowns.com says about the US scheme: “This is a consolidated balance sheet approach. The Fed and Treasury are working hand-in-glove as buyer of last resort of all US dollar assets. It tells you that, in a fiat money world, central banks will completely align their response with governments in monetarily sovereign currency areas. Whatever the government wants to do to marshal real resources toward a crisis, the central bank will facilitate.”

    Trump is doing his best to stretch the US budget deficit to 10% of GDP and doesn’t care who’s balance sheet it turns up on. That would be circa £210 billion of UK GDP.

  26. a-tracy
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Happy St Georges Day

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      And to you!
      Happy St George’s Day!!

      • Margaret Howard
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink


        “Happy St George’s Day!!”

        Yes, we share him with many other countries including Greece, Portugal and Lithuania.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

          So what?

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        👍🏻 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🇬🇧

  27. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Very noticeable that traffic, during the working hours periods, has drastically increased on the A329 in the last week to 10 days.

    Trade magazines and e mails are now outlining where Companies are finding that they can now open, whist still trying to keep within the social distancing rules.

    So as usual private enterprise is finding the way forward, as it seems it’s a simple choice, open and trade in some form, or go bust.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. Even down here in Dorset where, to be honest, the traffic has been so light you might have though the end of the world had occurred – the traffic is now building up again.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        Agree. In London too. But this was predicted by Whitty and co, their behavioural analysis showed a lockdown would start losing its effect after a few weeks – so with Starmer in control that would have been 2 weeks ago, according to him.

  28. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Viewed, Can Science Beat the Virus, on Channel 4 last night.

    Interesting in so far as all politics was taken out of the content, and only scientists who are directly involved in trying to find a solution were involved.

    Worth a view, as it showed massive steps have been taken forward in possible vaccine development, and how the virus affects different people in different ways, and their views on trying to contain the virus whilst they reach for a much needed treatment and vaccine solution.

    Whilst the programme showed they have learn’t much, it showed they still have massive amounts of work to do, to fully understand the virus and the best way forward in order to get back to somewhere to what we could call as near to normal living as possible, whilst the virus is still poses a threat.

    They confirmed that until we get a drug, or a system of treatment which can actually treat the virus, or until they develop a working vaccine, the danger of mass reinfection will be with us.

    I hope many of the media presenters/reporters will have viewed this programme, and taken note of its contents, rather than try the now very tiresome argument of bashing the Government as some sort of blame sport at every possible opportunity.

  29. a-tracy
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    One other thing why aren’t the British Dental Association being asked why they aren’t resourcing ppe from all the Companies with stock that have been criticising the government for not buying it from them, they have stock in the UK, the dentists are private practices so how can they criticise the government it’s getting beyond a joke now that people are just buck passing, do the British Dental Association get paid just from dentists, do they get funds from the government? How much? How many people work there, why aren’t they able to resource ppe the supermarkets can?

  30. Suck sinks
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    The Government are fools.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Praise indeed.

  31. glen cullen
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    No mention of St.Georges Day on either the BBC or SKY

    • Brit
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Of course not.

    • Andy
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Ah St George. Most likely a man of Middle Eastern decent – who never visited England.

      The wonder is why any of you would celebrate him.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Yet St David is a similar hero for Wales.

        • hefner
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

          He was a bishop in Wales in the 6th century.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Because we welcome diversity Andy.

      • NickC
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Look on the bright side, Andy – at least he wasn’t one of your 17.4 million angry Tory pensioners!

      • mancunius
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        We should really forgive Andy his illiterate misspellings: he’s suffering from a bad case of remonavirus.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        We are celebrating the day not the Saint, England’s day, you know Andy I don’t believe you are British any longer.

        • Margaret Howard
          Posted April 23, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink


          So why call it St George’s Day?

          • Fred H
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

            yeah….could be William’s Day or Henry’s Day?

          • a-tracy
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

            Could be called England Day for all I care, I just like a day to celebrate my Country of birth and the good we do in the world with Aid, Inventions and all things you hate us to do Margaret.

          • ukretired123
            Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

            And why does Scotland have St Andrew as he wasn’t born in Scotland either, didn’t play golf but was a fisherman so beloved by the SNP!

      • DOMINIC
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        Descent not ‘decent’. Tut, tut.

      • ukretired123
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        St Andrew your namesake was not Scottish either.
        I suspect your enthusiasm for all thinks non-British is the clue as you respect the SNP and EU etc.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        You misunderstand me Hefner.
        I wasn’t claiming St David was from the Middle East just that Wales (and Ireland and Scotland) celebrate their national day and chosen saint without sneering like some do at Englands national day and chosen saint.

    • Bob
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      As we have come to expect from these political propaganda channels.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Why would they know about our national day?

    • hefner
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      At 06:00 this morning appeared on the Guardian website ‘English hero or Roman soldier? Virtual quest set to find the real St George’.

      • NickC
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        Hefner, Does anyone apart from the BBC remotely care what the Guardian thinks?

  32. Lifelogic
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Why are the banks still proving to be totally useless at processing these CVBC loans? Even getting application forms off them seem to be hard work. What is the government doing to sort this mess? Germany have been hugely superior in this.

    Why has the government not changed the pension rules so people can borrow from their pension pots to help their businesses survive yet. As Australia did weeks ago. People business might well go bust when they would have survived with this simple and cost free change to the rules.

    Why are the bank allowed to fix personal overdraft rates at up to 40% for all customers solid or otherwise. Surely the competition authorities/FCA/Government need to act to ensure fare competition in the market

  33. Lifelogic
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I have that valuers are down valuing properties by circa 20% due to the Corona Virus then the bank are often restricting lending to only 50% of this very low valuation figure. This will certainly cause huge damage to the property sector and the provision of new house for sale or rent. This on top of the absurd levels of taxation of the sector with stamp duty up to 15% and even taxing “profits” that are not being made. This is totally unsustainable. Can someone explain this to Rishi Sunak also the the banks he is using to process the loans are totally useless and have a huge conflict of interest here.

    Reply Proof or evidence of this? Displayed house prices show little change and new house sales are proceeding I read.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      I hear ….

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      I know directly that it has happened on one particular valuation of two houses and a bank manager I know has confirmed that he too has seen significant down valuations by valuers in the last few weeks. Giving the Covid uncertainly and lack of estate agents activity as the justification.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 4:17 am | Permalink

      Two houses near Tonbridge Kent, two estate agents thought they would sell easily at about £450K each about four weeks back (they we asked for honest and realistic figures and we know the agents well). Yet they were valued for the bank (expensively too) at just £350k each last week.

      • graham1946
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Surveyors always down value property when working for the Equity Release companies, usually by 20 percent so that’s nothing new. I found this out 10 years ago when my place was valued, firstly by an independent fully qualified (you know who they are, won’t mention name) surveyor then one appointed by an E.R company.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          It is not an equity release facility just a normal buy to let. They gave the coronavirus uncertainly as the reason.

  34. MeSET
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    And read well.
    I’m the best writer since Shakespeare

  35. Charitable
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Why does doubling the price of food help in fighting the coronavirus?

    Charitably, why does making food too expensive to buy in many parts of the poor world help?

    • NickC
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Creating bio-fuels to satisfy the green blob helps to make food too expensive in many parts of the world.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        Indeed this is criminal to my mind.

  36. Stred
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    O.T. Could we have an opportunity to discuss various aspects of the clampdown which appear to be pointless and damaging. There are plenty of stories about people dying because of the malfunctioning of the NHS.
    For example, I can travel alone and isolated in a car to my wife’s empty house in order to check that it is secure, remove the second car battery to stop it being ruined when run down, bring food from a freezer which is going out of date and collect vital post and information which I need and forgot to bring. We combined houses for the lockdown following the suggestion by the deputy Chief Medical Officer. But to do so is forbidden.
    My children are living close by and have been isolated and symptom free for a month but I am not allowed to visit them and vice versa. No risk. Why forbidden?
    I can order a delivery of garden plants from a business five minutes walk away but have to pay ten pounds for a van to bring them and can’t even collect or
    pay for them by cash because the internet banking doesn’t work.
    My friend has ordered a new kitchen. He can’t have it delivered or pay a fitter who could be isolated and have no symptoms but if his old kitchen had a broken cooker or washing machine, he could employ a tradesman to fix it.

    There are so many pointless and annoying rules that soon businesses are going to go bust needlessly or criminals will take advantage and burglaries will become common.

    But the NHS bosses say that they are not even thinking about changes. Please someone take over from these civil servants.

  37. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    and so far keeping things liquid enough to avoid a financial and banking meltdown.

    Wow! There’s a way to start a run on the banks. SO FAR keeping things liquid enough … what are we in for? Time for cash?

  38. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    We’re told now that people with cancer and heart problems are likely to miss out on treatment because the hospitals are fully occupied with the virus. Instead of building the new Nightingale hospitals, why didn’t the government requisition a load of hotels – the sort of soulless places with hundreds of bedrooms each with an en-suite that you get at every airport – and fill them up with corona patients – leaving our hospitals to carry on as normal – with, of course, returning staff and volunteers to help out. I suppose this would have been too easy. Much easier to turn half the wards in our hospitals into ICUs and treat the virus there – alongside all the other patients. If they had used hotels they could have kept the virus in one place.

    • matthu
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Easier to plumb new oxygen pipes through an exhibition hall than through an established hospital?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 4:18 am | Permalink

        Indeed and for the staff and gear to move around as needed.

  39. sok
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    If I was a front line worker without the correct PPE, I would buy it myself. Would it be personally more expensive than a potentially life threatening disease?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      But can it be bought?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Buy it? From where?

      Have you tried to get, say, a dust mask lately?

      • Fred H
        Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        wouldn’t where to start, and then I am not allowed to leave home for DIY. Does the trip to buy count as a trip for medical reasons?

        • Stred
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          B and Q haven’t had any for two months. The website didn’t have any shrubs and the paint we wanted had also run out.

  40. Andy
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I see Nicola Sturgeon has set out plans for moving Scotland out of lockdown.

    At every stage of this crisis she has demonstrated the sort of leadership which has been sadly lacking in Westminster.

    It seems to me that Scottish independence – and Ireland’s reunification – are both now inevitable. Why would Scotland and Northern Ireland want to attach themselves to the dying corpse of Little England?

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Hopefully, you will want to move to those countries then. You obviously hate it here in England.

    • mancunius
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      25 pages of vain, vague, vacuous, self-regarding waffle. No ‘plans’ at all.

    • NickC
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Or attach themselves to the dying corpse of the EU, Andy? The EU is in a lot more trouble than the UK is.

      • bill brown
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 3:04 am | Permalink


        Most nations in the EU have a smaller debt, a better balance of payment than the UK and a mutuality through the ECB, which will go a long way to improve their position.

        But then I know facts has never stopped from drawing contradictory conclusions

        • NickC
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, In fact, many EU states, like France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc, have a larger sovereign debt (as a proportion of GDP). In fact, UK sovereign debt is approximately the average EU debt. And ECB “mutuality” is not worth tuppence, as Greece found out.

          But then I know you invent facts to support your false conclusions.

          • bill brown
            Posted April 25, 2020 at 1:58 am | Permalink

            You forgot Belgium who also have a larger debt but most of the other have about the same or less debt than the UK
            About the mutuality which is now being implemented you really do not have a clue Nick.
            On the balance of payment you forgot to comment, I wonder why?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        The UK is top of the league for divorce, unwanted conception, STIs, suicides, addiction, and has twice the pro-rata European Union average crime rate.

        Now, about this “trouble”?

        • Edward2
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          Compared to what nations?

        • NickC
          Posted April 24, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Since when has the EU been responsible for divorce, or the lack of it? In any case, figures for UK social conditions are whilst we have been a member of the EU.

          About this “trouble”? You need to look at the trouble in Italy which is directly connected to Italy’s membership of the Euro (EMU) and EU.

          • bill brown
            Posted April 26, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink


            Another load of nonsesne

    • Margaret Howard
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 10:20 pm | Permalink


      Nicola Sturgeon and Angela Merkel have emerged as the sensible leaders during this pandemic. Frau Merkel has today addressed the 4th EU video summit and spoke in her usual cool, intelligent way. No flanneling and vague promises.

      She also made a point of calling the WHO ‘an indispensable partner in the fight against the virus’ after Trump’s shameful attack on the organisation and stopped US funding. He is a disgrace.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        Nicola Sturgeon blabbed about details of a secure cobra meeting on Wednesday 18th March 2020 and told people that Boris was about to lockdown the Country, causing a mass exodus from the main cities and then she was complaining people were headed to their holiday homes in Scotland’s rural areas and you call that sensible!

        I do like Angela Merkel, she is a calm, measured and sensible woman and is much misquoted.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      Not terribly multicultural, Scotland.

      Nor New Zealand for that matter.

      (Spread of virus.)

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink


        What about Germany? And Greece? You know, where all those people just turned up?

  41. Iain Gill
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Why are plane loads of cheap Indian IT workers still being granted work visas and allowed into the country? There is no shortage of local workers, that sham excuse has been blown out of the water. And this way of running the economy is not minimising spread of the virus.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      5 million unemployed by May they reckon.

  42. BOF
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Happy St George’s Day to one and all.

  43. When ur smiling the
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    “Mrs Merkel says Germany is ready to make “significantly higher” contributions to the EU budget”
    schadenfreude 🙂

    • mancunius
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Erm, she only said that in the Guardian… 🙂
      In real life, and in German, what she said today was that before agreeing to German spending on the EU’s planned Coronavirus package was that she ‘first of all wanted specific information about why the amount had already been decided? what areas the money was to be spent on, and why? and where exactly it was to be spent?’ She went on to describe industrial sectors where she would not support any spending, and questioned the whole basis of the figures.
      Not exactly ‘readiness’ as we know it. But then Merkel is expert at telling each different player in the game what they like to hear.

  44. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    I read somewhere that the government can sell debt with interest below zero. True? If it isn’t true, the coupon is close to zero. So, who cares about all this debt? If people want to lend the UK government hundreds of billions and get 0.25% interest – fair play to them. Surely all you have to do is roll the debt over for 50 years and let inflation do its magic.

    • matthu
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      What would happen if there was deflation?

  45. N B Hopkins
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    May I suggest that amongst the first volunteers to take part in trialling the new vaccine should be the Health Secretary, the Chief Medical Officer, the deputy Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Scientist, the deputy Chief Scientist, Neil Ferguson and all the other members of SAGE. If not why not?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Oh yes, an we can ‘monitor’ them for a few years to see if there are any ill effects.

  46. Lancelot of it about
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    JR I do believe you would make a better PM, now especially. It has been said you are clinical, have analyses which are clinical. In jest they have said you are unworldly and pointed to some sci -fi actor. It must have hurt. I cannot know how faced with the media running me down I would cope. Not very well, I think.
    But a leader is needed with an air of logic with a big L.

    It is said by many politicians when doing something which on voter balance is not popular at all that ” I have had to make tough decisions. Yet it must be done.”
    Those tough decisions have not been tackled at all and the politically safest options chosen backed up by “We take expert advice” So, Merlin is him wot did it.
    We have seen this movie.
    We must go back to work.

  47. Everhopeful
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    According to Sky News SMOKING protects against COVID19!!
    Of course…it was always said that smoking offered protection to the lungs.
    So much for bossy govt interference.
    So much for saving the NHS from our naughty habits!
    Could be the reason why UK has apparently suffered so badly from the virus.
    They stopped us smoking!!

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      More likely that victims are not admitting to smoking for fear of being refused treatment.

  48. Original Richard
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Those who value freedom, democracy and capitalism need to be careful that an extended lockdown is not used by the elites, with their nicely protected taxpayer funded salaries and pensions, to destroy all three through a collapse of the economy and use it as a reason to re-join the EU.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      The EU will collapse before we do. Still, we need to be vigilant. Medics apparently don’t understand that if we don’t work they don’t eat!

      • Re-entry
        Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        No, we will be back in the EU very soon. This government of fools cannot go on much longer. They are deathly

  49. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Of course banks are ultimately answerable to the state. We are the state and everything which happens within our nation impacts on the other , but then the bigger world also draws us in .The countries which have been made rich by oil are finding that their barrels are not worth much at present and those shareholders who found oil a safe bet have been rocked by a microscopic organism.
    An interesting piece of research I have read about today states that covid -19 is self limiting and whatever is done to rid it will not work but after 70 days it will die.

  50. mancunius
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    A year of social distancing will hobble the economy enormously – concert halls, sporting arenas, theatres, transport, restaurants, travel and tourism, rationed usage, rationed goods, rationed delivery services, with all the attendant loss in associated spending. And keeping the demographically substantial older segment of the population confined at home and unable to even obtain deliveries, will make a further dent in national spending. Delivery services are currently in chaos in all urban areas, particularly in London. The supermarkets continue to block attampts to make online delivery orders except for those with an already existing account, while their CEOs hypocritically send out emails to excuse their lamentably poor performance by claiming they are ‘focusing on the elderly and vulnerable’. Mendacious nonsense!
    This will not end well.

    • Stred
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      We have had no problem with opening an account with Tesco, Waitrose, Iceland and Asda. The problem is finding a delivery slot. As soon as they are available, they are taken. The list of vulnerable provided to supermarkets is only about 120,000. There must be millions who are over 65 and have conditions that GPs do not know about or have lost in the filing system.

  51. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 23, 2020 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    See my response to “Parliament to meet” for an analysis of why UK QE is useless.

    • APL
      Posted April 24, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t see anything published under your name on that topic.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted April 25, 2020 at 12:31 am | Permalink

        That’s because Sir John Redwood’s ‘editor’ deleted it after failing to moderate it for several days. The main points were:

        – UK style QE pushed up the value of bonds by 20%.
        – The £375 billion of QE produced a gain of only 1.5% to 2% in GDP (Bank of England estimate)
        – The noticeable effect on individuals was that the richest 5% of the population gained on average a bung of £128,000 each, whilst the rest of us will be saddled with paying off the increased State debt

        We can expect something similar to happen with the recent £200 billion of new QE, increasing the bung to the richest 5% to roughly £200,000 each.

        “To him that hath shall be given.”

        • APL
          Posted April 26, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          “for an analysis of why UK QE is useless.”

          Then it’s not useless. Its very effective tool of the keptocrats

  52. Flattened dead curve
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Yes JR is the only one. The rest have made our country sick but for many years to come and a probable re-entry into the EU or near as dammit.

  53. Andy
    Posted April 24, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    It is amusing watching all the usual Brexit suspects getting angry on Twitter at Mr Barnier saying the UK had not made sufficient progress.

    ‘They still don’t get it,’ wails Hannan. ‘They don’t realise it’s not Mrs May,’ says Tice. ‘Thank God we left,’ says Polish born MP Daniel Kawczynski.

    The EU knows perfectly well who it is dealing with. It is dealing with an administration of incompetents led by a charlatan. The EU knows he pledged to die in a ditch before he completely capitulated. The EU knows the Brexiteers have folded every single time as reality has caught up with them. The EU knows it got all the money it asked for – with payments enshrined in law over the next 40 years. The EU knows Johnson has agreed to put a border down the middle of our own country – something apparently no prime minister could ever accept. This one did.

    I am quite looking forward to no deal. Coming immediately after Covid, as it will, it will permanently kill what is left of British manufacturing. It will decimate whatever is left of the fishing industry. And the people who will suffer the most will largely be the ones who voted for it. It is going to be very funny.

  • About John Redwood

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

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