How do you best get growth?


How do you best get growth?


         Capitalism has delivered fantastic growth in choice, incomes, goods and services. People on low incomes today in rich societies enjoy the luxuries of the few of past generations. In my lifetime I have seen cars, tvs, fridges and washing machines become the everyday experience of the many when many families had none of those just sixty years ago. A lot of hard manual labour to do the weekly wash, to keep the coal fire stoked, to put cables into streets, to dig and weed fields has been replaced by domestic machines, better boilers, and diggers. Working hours have been slashed, working at home established on a large scale , paid holidays have become the  norm, cheaper clothing made in heavily mechanised factories and  great value food from an agrarian revolution have all raised living standards and quality of life. Most of this has been the result of inventors, entrepreneurs, savers investing in companies and people going to work for them. Our ability to produce everything from roofing tiles to drainage pipes, from cheese to sausages, from machine knitted socks to waterproof coats in industrial quantities with machines doing most of the hard work has transformed our lives. Seasons have been abolished by glass houses and imports of food. Distances between peoples have been narrowed by jet travel and on line communication. It took the mythical magic Puck in Shakespeare’s time forty minutes to encompass the earth. 40 seconds would now be a long wait on a digital link. 


           Some say we should no longer want growth as it is uses too much of the earth’s resources and places too great a strain on our planet. Whilst I have no wish to impose controls on how many babies people have or to lecture on family size, it  may be that the lower income countries that are still growing their populations will come to want fewer children in the way the richer countries have decided by individual choices. Most advanced countries now have falling populations with a fertility rate well  below the 2 children per woman needed just to maintain numbers. The advanced countries with rising populations still are only gaining people through migration, not live births.  This would be the most obvious way of reducing claims on resources. It is also true that many of the resources we need are renewable or are in abundant supply. There is plenty of water, but there is a  need for more investment to have enough clean water for everyone’s requirements. There can be plenty of wind, solar and hydro energy, though there needs to be cost effective solutions over how to store it and share it between places and times with plenty and places and times with none. There can be enough  food adopting latest agricultural techniques, but there needs to be investment and income boosts in lower income countries to tackle under nourishment and their capacity to buy it. 


         Growth is the way to get people and countries out of poverty. Capitalism is the best way yet developed to move countries from low income to higher income. Overseas aid can alleviate the worst poverty, tackle hunger and sickness but it takes market transformation to make a Taiwan or Singapore out of a low income emerging market economy. People need to move from  low productivity jobs on the land into cities, factories and service sector facilities. It requires leaps forward in education, in training, in company formation, in innovation, in savings and banking. 




  1. Fedupsoutherner
    February 2, 2023

    The best way to get growth is to leave things to the public. Stop government interference in our lives and businesses. Stop taking orders and advice from the WEF and people like Khan who want to frustrate our movements and make us consume things we have no desire to. Get people off their backsides and off benefits and back to work. Governments are slowly taking all the advantages of progress away and taxing business and jobs out of existence. The biggest thing they need to do is ditch net zero which is an expensive fallacy and which won’t achieve anything regarding the climate. It will only make us poorer and destroy jobs.

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      February 2, 2023

      “Choice” Sir John trumpets.

      I’d like my energy supplied by a publicly-accountable, not-for-profit entity.

      His version of capitalism has removed that choice from me.

      It really is a hoot.

      1. Ian B
        February 2, 2023

        @Nottingham Lad Himself You are right there is no Competative Market place in the UK, just foriegn companies recieving UK taxpayer funding.

        As a bye, the bye there is no such thing as a not-for-profit, no profit no funding for tomorow, cap in hand to the taxpayer then

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          February 2, 2023

          Not for profit means ‘we will pay no taxes’ –

      2. Gabe
        February 2, 2023

        Like the NHS is “acountable” or Khan and his ULEZ, or the BBC or this Government are “accountable”. In what sense accountable? A vote every 5 years for the least bad option who will not do what they promise anyway.

        Allister Heath today:- “Myopic Rejoiners can’t admit the EU is still a failing, unreformable basket case
        Returning to Brussels’ orbit isn’t the cure for ‘the British disease’. We may be useless but they are worse”

        True, but this I suspect is what we will get (in all but name) with Starmer/SNP/LibDim thanks to the Tories dreadful performance and wasted majority.

      3. oldwulf
        February 2, 2023


        You would “like my energy supplied by a publicly-accountable, not-for-profit entity.”

        It is not merely Sir John’s version but any version of capitalism that would remove that choice from you ?

      4. Clough
        February 2, 2023

        NLH: I’d like my energy supplied by a company that didn’t pass on government green taxes to me.
        I’d like my energy supplied by a company that was able to buy it on world markets at prices not sent skyrocketing by government war policies.
        I’d like to buy my energy supplied by a company that could go about its business supplying energy efficiently, without worrying about disruptions caused by government lockdown policies.

      5. Margaret Brandreth-Jones
        February 3, 2023

        Like most social aspects of our human world (Which as a degree is an arts subject) survival and bettering is all about balance. Science is not this stand alone subject but rather an all round subject which looks towards arts to inform progress and allows thinkers to use scientific knowledge for a better world. Not that all the money gods listen to a more humanist approach. Prices when controlled by capitalists are about competition between industry.They control prices and give the public spiel about how they are best.We just have to fall in. To have any impact on regulation some things need to be nationalised.

    2. Sharon
      February 2, 2023


      Hear, hear! Very well put.

      1. turboterrier
        February 2, 2023

        Second that.

    3. ignoramus
      February 2, 2023

      Climate change is a fallacy?

      This argument was dead two years ago. Give it up mate,

      1. Anselm
        February 2, 2023

        Qatar depends on oil production. It has produced, among other things, a news channel far superior to the BBC, it sprouts skyscrapers and it hosted the World Cup successfully. All done on – oil. Abu Dhabi is the same (without the News and the World Cup but it does do F1). I know an oil man there who tells me it is dependent on fracking…
        China and India depend on coal – lots of it from Australia. Cheap electricity all the year round.

        Today on LBC, Nick Ferrari was advising us to tax BP for making profits. And Greta Thunberg would be horrified!
        And so we remain poor, cold and living in semi darkness.
        Serves us right!
        If it moves, tax it. If it is still moving, regulate it. When stops moving, subsidise it…

        1. Mickey Taking
          February 2, 2023

          A lifetime of paying tax is a bitch and when you die the family gets taxed on what you hoped to leave them.

        2. ignoramus
          February 4, 2023

          Qatar is not remotely comparable to the UK.
          It has a tiny population and a ton of oil.
          It is definitely no model of governance as it has failed to diversify away from oil.
          China and India are moving away from coal because it is not economic.
          The problem is that renewable energy keeps getting cheaper while oil and gas stay the same.
          I don’t know what the answer is. I’m not an expert.

      2. IanT
        February 2, 2023

        There are so many aspects to this debate (Oh wait – we can’t debate it can we?).
        We could for instance discuss how fast Climate Change will actually effect us and also what we should be doing to mitigate any impact (a much neglected area). We never hear about any positives from increased atmoshereic CO2, such as the greening impact which allows faster/better crop growth.
        We could also discuss the practicalities of Net Zero (or complete lack of them) – or the fact that we are entirely in the hands of others where global carbon reduction is concerned. Atmospheric CO2 is 0.04% of our atmosphere, man-made CO2 is 3% of that 0.04% – and we (according to our carbon accounts) are just 1% of that 3%. So we are making huge changes both to our industry and society for a potential change in our overall atmosphere of 0.000012% – or in terms of total atmosphereic CO2 of 0.03%

        1. ignoramus
          February 2, 2023

          Again I repeat, you are trying to argue against climate change.
          It is like Brexit, and I say this as a Remainer.
          The deal is done and dusted whether you agree with it or not.
          I also know you are dead wrong, but that is by the by.
          I have no need to defend an argument that is already won.

          1. IanT
            February 3, 2023

            No, I want a sensible Public discussion about the issues and Government policies that make practical sense. There is a very real danger that the treatment will be worse than the disease.

      3. Nick
        February 2, 2023

        The notion that the UK can affect the climate through net zero IS a fallacy.

        1. Margaret Brandreth-Jones
          February 3, 2023

          There is an argument for independence which is not fallacious.

      4. Fedupsouthener
        February 2, 2023

        The science is far from settled.

        1. ignoramus
          February 2, 2023

          There are windmills all over Texas my friend.

          Even DeSantis has gone green (though he doesn’t call it that)

    4. Ashley
      February 2, 2023


      The payment of benefits that are very close to or often even exceed net incomes from working is another excellent way to kill growth. There are also vast numbers of jobs in regulation and compliance with government regulation, and over complex taxation that also kill productivity plus the crony capitalism and pure corruption we see in sectors like renewable energy, the universities with soft loans for duff degree, net zero, the pointless train lines, social housing, the net harm vaccines…

      So now Gove comes for your wood burner, if you want to heat your house with wood (or coal) you have to let them burn the wood at Drax then use their vastly expensive, market rigged, electricity. This mean that about 75% of the heat from the wood is wasted at the power station and in transmission to your house. Plus the wasted diesel shipping it over from the US and in drying the wood. Great plan Mr Gove, as good as your and Starmer’s VAT on School Fees agenda. Better ban all Barbecues, bonfires and bonfire night and fireworks while you are at it.

      Government really cannot have people keeping warm cheaply amd getting round their rigged energy market can they?

      1. Wanderer
        February 2, 2023

        +1 Ashley.
        Spare a thought for the impoverished wind power companies in Europe.

        According to, “Orders for new wind turbines were down 47% on 2021. The problem is inflation, with costs rising at a higher rate than prospective revenues. Investors are also being turned away by unhelpful national interventions in electricity markets.
        The EU must make Europe an attractive place for renewables investments again is good that the EU is now preparing a Net-Zero Industry Act to strengthen Europe’s clean energy industries. In fact, the Net-Zero Industry Act is essential and can’t come soon enough.”

        Their nefarious lobbying practices may bring them what they want. No thought for the consumer anywhere in these rigged markets.

      2. Cuibono
        February 2, 2023

        Agree 100%
        Something is “fuelling” all this …
        And it ain’t wood!

    5. Peter
      February 2, 2023

      There is much truth in this article. The background to this period for our country was a spell when things seemed to be getting better, year by year, and there was more optimism. ‘You’ve never had it so good’ as MacMillan said.

      What you never had you did not miss. This applied to consumer durables and foreign holidays. A cloud over the era was the huge fear of nuclear war which was at its height during the Cuban missile crisis.

      I would take issue with ‘great value food’ maybe. Despite rationing, there was less processed food in the nation’s diet and less obesity too. All this with the caveat that many people have a nostalgia for a golden age when they were younger.

      What is not stated is that a man could raise a family on one income and this was the norm. There was less dependency on welfare.

      It is sad to hear talk of relying on other countries supplying a workforce as our numbers wither on the vine. ‘No kids good’ has been a terrible modern mantra. I prefer Cecil Rhodes confident approach ‘“I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit, the better it is for the human race.”

      Sadly even Catholic countries have diminishing populations now. A dozen kids was not uncommon in an early generation. Now only the Third World has increasing populations. Diversity here only brings division, instability and issues.

      1. Peter
        February 2, 2023

        Pat Buchanan’s book ‘The Death of The West’ is one that addresses the issue.

        1. Anselm
          February 2, 2023

          I want to recommend a good book on the subject too – Footsteps (The Muqaddimah) by ibn Khaldun who saw it all first hand in mediaeval Spain.
          Karl Marx, had the same sort of idea about the bourgeoisie – and that, too, has come true. (All the strikers today are in fact what used to be called “middle class”). Today everyone is proud of their proletarian roots, especially within the Labour Party of lawyers and University graduates.
          When a civilisation gets old and comfortable, it grows lax and people who have nothing start to enter through the porous borders.

        2. Ashley
          February 2, 2023

          “The future belongs to those who show up.” — Mark Steyn

          So 100 days of Sunak, so has he done anything positive yet? Nothing sensible that I have seen yet, just vast tax increases from Hunt, more borrowing and more endless waste? Certainly it seems he is still becoming less popular by the day.

          1. rose
            February 2, 2023

            The only thing I can think of is that he chucked £28 billion (?) at COP, just after Miss Truss had been toppled for wanting to make sensible tax cuts.

      2. a-tracy
        February 2, 2023

        Peter: Females make up 52.7% of the workforce at 35,938, down by 0.4% from 2021, and males make up 47.3% at 32,312, up by 0.4%.24 Nov 2022.

        In 1950 there were only 6.9m women in the workforce. in 2021 36m.

        In 1855 private sector = 10.9m workers (96% of employment)
        In 2018 private sector = 27m (83.5% of employment)

        1. Ashley
          February 2, 2023

          Does this take account to part time working so full time equivalent? Or just the numbers working part time or full time?

          1. a-tracy
            February 3, 2023

            “Just over half of our full-time colleagues are women, but 77.7% of our part-time colleagues, who make up 23.3% of the total workforce, are women. Whilst the overall percentage of part-time colleagues has reduced from 26.6% to 23.3%, the percentage of those who are women has remained static.”

      3. Mike Wilson
        February 2, 2023

        Sadly even Catholic countries have diminishing populations now

        Sadly? Happily!

    6. agricola
      February 2, 2023

      Ole to the power of ten.

    7. Ian B
      February 2, 2023

      @Fedupsoutherner +1 so very, very true

    8. Mark B
      February 2, 2023


  2. Mark B
    February 2, 2023

    Good morning.

    With the greatest of respect, I think our kind host is not listening to the mood-music going on. Those that are both in charge and apparently in charge are only interested in tackling inflation. This may I say to almost German levels of obsession.

    My own concern for the economy and the country, and has been for a long while now, is borrowing. It has been and continues to be too high and, along with high taxation, has allowed the State to balloon. No real danger in a strong economy but, in one that is on the tipping point of another recession, less so.

    We really need to stop subsidising everything and that includes healthcare.

    1. PeteB
      February 2, 2023

      Agred Mark. Borrowing today meens less to spend tomorrow, unless the borrowing improves productivity and ‘pays for itself’. Government borrowing definitely fails that test.
      Oh for a government that did nothing but the work it ABSOLUTELY had to do…

    2. Narrow Shoulders
      February 2, 2023

      We really need to stop subsidising everything and that includes healthcare.

      Quite – government is not the answer to everything.

      Unfortunately government is now so involved in all our lives and output so subsidised by the taxpayer that contraction of government involvement will result in a serious recession as the economy restructures. No administration is going to risk that.

      We must strongly resist any further expansion from the “something must be done” crowd.

      1. a-tracy
        February 2, 2023

        This is how we end up with thousands of taxis taking children to school. I think an investigation is needed to see if their parents get a mobility allowance, and if they do, shouldn’t the taxi fares be paid out of that and not other Council ratepayers? If only so much was spent on the top 5% of the students in this country, then we might get growth if they were hot-housed and the funds diverted to the pursuit of excellence.

    3. Ian wragg
      February 2, 2023

      For growth we need higher taxes, this gives the government more money to waste because we all know public spending is good, private wealth is bad.
      We also want to make energy scarce as this will encourage investment and finally we need to de industrialise including farming so we can import more.
      Hunt and fishy say so, so it must be true.

      1. Your comment is awaiting moderation
        February 2, 2023

        The Tory Party no longer represents true conservative values – in fact it’s almost impossible to see much difference between the current Government and the Labour Party. Both are pushing higher taxes on workers and businesses, both follow the Net Zero orthodoxy that’s contributed so much to the current energy crisis, and both have failed to protect our borders against the wave of illegal immigration.

    4. Beecee
      February 2, 2023

      Mr Sunak says it is a tough task but he will drop inflation by 50%. The OBR says it will drop by 65% without further action.
      They really do think we are idiots!

      1. Anselm
        February 2, 2023

        Fair go to the Prime Minister. He quietly thinks and then quietly acts. Over Nadhim Zadawi, his action was excellent. He is standing up to the strikes – as are the government. He understands the word “billions” at first hand, and as a whizz kid banker too. He is clever with his approach to telly as well: his clothes with the Malayan Prime Minister were superb – as ever. I think he is really effective: won’t be pushed about by the hysterical press. During covid, he was exemplary – even though we are now paying for it.

        1. a-tracy
          February 2, 2023

          I admire the safeguarding of Dave Penman, who wants Rabb trialling by the media and suspended whilst claims are investigated, but would he be defending the same Mr Raab if he was a Civil Servant boss instead of an MP and saying they should be trialled in the media and suspended from their jobs whilst an investigation was underway? Mind you, I suppose suspending people on full pay for months goes on in the public sector.

          Too many snap decisions have been made in the past, egged on by the media and have cost us, taxpayers, a lot of money for loss of reputation, mental health decline and on and on the claims go.

        2. R.Grange
          February 2, 2023

          Not sure about Zahawi being exemplary ‘during Covid’. However, I’d give him credit for saying last March, when he took over as Education Secretary, that: ‘The closure of schools, when I reflect on that, was a mistake.’ He was one of the first ministers to have the courage to distance himself from the Covid shambles.

      2. Ashley
        February 2, 2023

        Sunak even called voter wanting sensible pro-growth policies idiots. He was after all the person as Chancellor who, by all his borrowing, money printing, currency debasement, furlough, net zero rigged energy markers and vast government waste, caused almost all of the inflation.

        Does he thing we have forgotten this?

    5. Dave Andrews
      February 2, 2023

      When times are good the government borrows because it can at low interest rates, to bribe the electorate with spending. When times are hard, the government has to borrow, but at high interest rates. Result, the government always increases the national debt.
      Every child born in this country has a £30,000 debt placed on his head. What has he done to deserve that?

      1. Ashley
        February 2, 2023

        Then about half get a useless degree and another £50k of debt plus 7% interest on it PA.

    6. Ian B
      February 2, 2023

      @Mark B Subsidies in the UK means robbing those that cant afford sao as to pay those that can. Were does it stop

  3. Richard II
    February 2, 2023

    Dear Sir John, I looked at the last paragraph especially of your post today and thought to myself: Imagine SJR went to a Chinese government meeting and said these things. I think he would get some polite but very quizzical stares as if to say ‘But why are you telling us all this, it’s obvious? It’s what we’ve been doing for years.’ I wonder how it comes to be that in Conservative-led Britain it needs to be said.

    Mrs T. won her 3rd term on a record of economic growth – perhaps most of your colleagues on the Tory benches need to be reminded of that.

    1. agricola
      February 2, 2023

      We await the post Brexit Taiwan or Singapore here in the UK, and the opportunity for everyone who wishes to metaphorically enjoy a gin sling at our own Raffles. Fat chance with the present Westminster incumbents.

  4. PeteB
    February 2, 2023

    Why do you imply growth needs to come from a larger population? The best growth comes from efficiency and improved productivity not a bigger labour force. Witness UK farming now needing 2% of the workers required 150 years ago.
    We should absolutely be encouraging other countries to reduce birth rates and help reduce the populatoion of the world. That is the best solution to managing the detrimental effect of humans on the planet.

    Reply What I have often argued, stressing our need for growth in per capita incomes. Nonetheless world growth in output also comes from more people.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      February 2, 2023

      So that would be a growth in exports not domestic consumption presumably.

      There are many disabled job seekers unemployed or economically inactive at present. We don’t need immigrant to fill the skills shortage just utilise the talent in this country better.

      That means people need to be better off in work after travel, lunches and cash in hand consideration. Reduce the handouts to grow the economy.

      1. a-tracy
        February 2, 2023

        A bit of good news on that NS
        “Government hits goal to see a million more disabled people in … › Work › Work and disabled people 17 May 2022 — The latest figures show the number of disabled people in employment has increased by 1.3 million since 2017,”

        1. Narrow Shoulders
          February 3, 2023

          That is mostly increased data collection a-tracy rather than increased employment.

    2. agricola
      February 2, 2023

      Reply to Reply
      Surely growth from more people is only a necessity if you do not have access to technology. The Pyramids used expendable slaves but today you would talk to the likes of JCB. Anywhere but for the UK they would come in on time and on budget.

    3. Peter Wood
      February 2, 2023

      Growth is such a vague term; growth in what? GDP? that’s easy, any government can do that just by borrowing or printing money. We need PRIVATE SECTOR growth, real people investing their own cash to make, grow or provide a service to others, especially in the science sectors. We don’t need more public sector growth.

  5. Michelle
    February 2, 2023

    It is of course true of all those things listed, that they have made lives easier in developed countries.
    It’s a good thing. It’s a natural progression that we all seek I believe, to make things better for the next generation.
    However, when material/economic gain is plugged as the only thing in life worth striving for and replaces the essence of a people and nation, then the losses on the other side of the balance sheet start to stack up.
    For those who only see things in monetary terms and don’t believe in a nation as something other than an economy, one huge business park, then I suppose growth is all and everything else can wither on the vine.
    To such people, moving different people in is fair game and as long as the money rolls in whatever else is lost is just collateral damage. The Corporation (as they see the nation) loses its best asset, loyalty of its founding members.

  6. Wanderer
    February 2, 2023

    What we need here for growth, more than anything else, is less government.

    Beyond preserving a framework of basic functional infrastructure and “societal infrastructure” (property rights, free speech, legal system, health care, defensive armed forces) there’s not much else government has or ought to do. It should be there to keep things from deteriorating, not make things better. Let us do that.

    1. Ian B
      February 2, 2023

      @Wanderer +1

      Although a Government that managed its own responsibilities before messing up everyone else’s would also help

  7. John McDonald
    February 2, 2023

    Capitalism or market activity not controlled by Government is fine when it enables a country to be more or less self-serficent. But over the past sixty years it has developed into Globalism and maximising profit no matter what the impact and cost to the Country. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This is bad enough, but those getting richer are not all living in the Country and paying tax to support the Country.
    The artificial creation of Capitalism’s market forces/ competition to reduce costs and improve efficiency does not work in the case of large National Networks, like Gas, Water, Electricity and Roads. Telecommunications may be an exception to this which has grown from a former nationalised industry.
    But data is very different to a packet of water, power, and gas.☺

    1. Mickey Taking
      February 2, 2023

      Disraeli: – Lies, damn lies and statistics.

    2. Ian B
      February 2, 2023

      @John McDonald +1

      Yes, Capitalism as part of Political manipulation is not Capitalism. The only thing that causes capitalism is customers, that then have real choice not a manipulated choice.

    3. forthurst
      February 2, 2023

      Telecommunications in terms of a national landline network is not an exception. We are now benefiting from a
      fibre-based network to the street cabinet supplemented by the existing copper cabling to the premises instead of fibre to the premises conceived by the nationalised industry and forestalled by Thatcher because it would have blocked the potential for US based companies to seize our market (which they never did anyhow). It is a fallacy that capitalism through government initiative cannot succeed. However, it is severely compromised by the low level of scientific education and knowledge of the administrative civil service and elected politicians who can be led to believe in such white elephants as HS2. On the latter point we are told that the costs of bringing HS2 into Euston may be too high and that that the London terminus might be somewhere like Acton.
      Speaking as someone with a lifetime of doing project work, I always tackled the most difficult parts of a project first not last otherwise the viability of the project remains in doubt while resources have been consumed.

  8. Cuibono
    February 2, 2023

    I thought I read somewhere that economic growth had joined the woke “ No No” obsession pile.
    Like whoever pulls the strings was with all the other nonsense…print until the ink runs out, spend, spend, spend and lower for longer.
    Is economic growth now viewed as “unfair” (or worse) in those circles of madness?
    Is it regarded as “unsustainable” and seen as a planet wrecker?

  9. Paul
    February 2, 2023

    Historically what you say is absolutely right- however we need to look at the future. Imbalances between rich and poor is leading to problems that capitalism (growth?) cannot readily solve. Mass migration across borders, climate change resulting in more extreme weather events, excessive borrowing that creates illusions of growth and the ageing/ non working population are just some of these issues. This is what government of any colour must focus on. We saw what happened when Truss/Kwarteng only spoke about growth.

  10. Geoffrey Berg
    February 2, 2023

    Mostly I agree with the blog but labour mismanagement has wasted most of the technological gains for most people. Working from home has wrecked employee productivity and efficiency and caused systemic failures. Even worse ever increasing bureaucracy, regulation and overmanning has destroyed most potential gains in work labour (contrasted with household labour) and the overall burden of work in people’s lives.
    Yes, technology has massively improved, yes, Capitalism is good, but governance has gone from bad to worse during our lifetimes and urgently needs to be reviewed in terms of the human labour it wastes and then greatly improved.

  11. James Freeman
    February 2, 2023

    What you say is true. But your government strives to exclude vast swathes of the economy from this growth story.

    Why, whenever there is a problem, the only answers are more government control, regulation, taxation and nationalisation? Do capitalist solutions ever get offered to ministers?

    Where such solutions are implemented, like schools in England, or the approach to Covid in Sweden, they have proved successful. Where they are not, like healthcare, housing, energy and the railways, problems remain.

    Conservative Ministers should look for capitalist solutions first; instead, they do not look at them at all. There is little point in your party, and voters will opt for labour as they will implement socialism less badly.

  12. Paul
    February 2, 2023

    There is only one method of getting the most real growth and prosperity. Remove government.
    You also get freedom, no war, far less corruption and the pleasure of watching all those previously benefitting from unproductive state grift having to find gainful employment.

  13. Donna
    February 2, 2023

    The UN, WEF and the Eco Obsessives in the British Establishment want to turn the clock back and make “the peasants” in affluent western nations live poorer, colder, smaller lives.

    And that’s exactly what the Westminster Uni-Party intends to force on us. IF we let them of course.

    It’s why Khan is imposing an expanded ULEZ zone in London suburbs where public transport is extremely poor. It’s why various Councils around the country are imposing zoning to deter car ownership. It’s why we’re paying a fortune for unreliable, intermittent wind and solar power. It’s why we’re being ordered to scrap our cars and rip out gas central heating. And now, since a large number of people have had the nerve to decline to pay massive energy bills and have installed wood burners, they’re being told not to use them …. although it’s perfectly OK for the Government to run a massive wood burner at Drax, using American trees.

    The only kind of growth the Westminster Uni-Party is interested in is the growth in their CONTROL over us.

    1. Cuibono
      February 2, 2023


      Amid these inhuman, cruel and frankly barmy policies do we continue to ignore media reports that traces of illegal drugs were found in 100% of Westminster lavatories?

    2. Mark B
      February 2, 2023

      If our kind host allows.

      And guess who is chair 😉

  14. Cuibono
    February 2, 2023

    I imagine that the whole point of the international “clubs”, that we have been railroaded into, is for them to do a “Robin Hood”.
    So the intention is to economically disable a country ( no coal, no steel, no nothing) which is stupid enough to allow it ( or has greedy enough politicians…backhanders) and then dish out the spoils to rich and influential mates.
    Regulation such as the EU spends most of its time crafting is exquisitely designed to stifle entrepreneurs and competition. Does it prevent growth?
    How can a debt-ridden company that is concentrating on “compliance’ grow by one farthing?

  15. David Cooper
    February 2, 2023

    With growth comes freedom, and the virtuous circle opportunity to apply more of the unlocked time and resources towards continuing to increase both of those.
    Regrettably the technology boom, having created (notably via the internet) one of the greatest growth and freedom advances for us ordinary plebs, appears to have given a globalist elite two truly malevolent ideas. The first, that we ordinary plebs should not be allowed to have too much growth and freedom and that we must be saved from ourselves “because that would be inherently good for us”. The second, that growth and freedom go hand in hand with escaping the controlling grasp of the governing classes, so both of them should be curtailed in order to keep people controlled.
    When the climate change industry was invented 20 years or so ago, it reflected the first. In present times, the methods set to be inflicted so as to hit Net Zero targets – war on ICE cars and gas boilers, zoned cities etc – reflect the second.
    To come back to Sir John’s question, how do you best get growth: “get government out of the way.”

  16. DOM
    February 2, 2023

    Does Mr Redwood believe the British State should use its unlimited powers to direct the way we spend our money ie Marxism?

    Does he condemn the possible digitalisation of our cash that hands over unlimited powers to a political State that is now so reactionary and oppressive that one can’t even speak the truth?

    John knows where we are heading but sticks his head in the sand hoping his grubby party that has embraced all that the LEFT HAS TO OFFER (racial and gender politics is its most corrosive weapon) will come through and survive

    Reply As you have such a low view of what I am trying to do I suggest you go to other sites. I am seeking to expand freedoms and private sector opportunities for people.

    1. a-tracy
      February 2, 2023

      John, Dom is just very, very frustrated. Your blog is the only serious place to question the way we are moving forward.

      Hefner is pushing Martin Wolf’s book from the FT below who is calling for “radical reform of the existing system, not revolution.”

      We should all be aware of what is being done and what ‘radical’ reform is being demanded and what result this will have on private businesses in the UK.

      1. glen cullen
        February 2, 2023

        Good Analysis

    2. fairs fair
      February 2, 2023

      Before Dom is banished perhaps answer his two questions.
      Also was your blog saying immigration is needed ?

      Reply No it was not!

      1. Peter
        February 2, 2023

        I note that plod can now arrest people for praying.

        Meanwhile, real criminals get suspended sentences or they are set free to immediately commit more crimes.

        Not forgetting those criminals employed by the police themselves of course. Anarcho-Tyranny as Sam Francis described it.

    3. Peter
      February 2, 2023


      ‘Card only’ tills in supermarkets. Iceland now require a card to claim their Pensioner Discount. Waitrose go one further. You need to use a smartphone at the till for their offers; in the old days a simple paper coupon did the trick.

      I feel like an impoverished student using a card for small value items. The trouble is you eventually get over the embarrassment of doing so.

      1. glen cullen
        February 2, 2023

        Fully Agree

    4. Mickey Taking
      February 2, 2023

      reply to reply…Sir John please respect what Dom and others voice on here. It may often seem to you that our ‘attacks’ are aimed at you, when the points are critical of the direction of travel. You are applauded for the willingness to provide this blog, and tolerate a lot of comment that you would rather not see. The positive note you try to instill is all well and good but the masses who are voters see the world and life in the UK rather differently.
      Flying so slowly against an increasing headwind is bringing the plane to stalling point, and we know it for what is evident. As you have remarked before, this content helps you judge opinion out there which many would insist the majority of MPs don’t bother with.

      1. Philip P.
        February 2, 2023

        It seems to me SJR can only do within the existing Parliamentary system what he is permitted to do: ask significant questions so that the facts of what this government is up to may emerge. If they do, good. If government spokespersons refuse to give adequate answers, that in itself tells his audience what kind of ‘state we’re in’.
        If an MP tries to go up against decisions he’s not supposed to question, he’ll get an empty Commons chamber and no media attention (Christopher Chope), or loss of the party whip and media lynching (Andrew Bridgen). If I was ever really dissatisfied with this blog, I’d try switching for a change to the web site of one of his Tory MP colleagues, say Chris Skidmore or Tobias Ellwood. I suspect I’d soon come back.

      2. glen cullen
        February 2, 2023

        Good Words

    5. Paul Cuthbertson
      February 2, 2023

      DOM- I m total agreement with you and the reply from the man is a typical politician’s reply.
      Is JR not aware of the Globalist WEF policies being openly promoted by his government for the destruction of the UK??? Does he or ANY MP, and there are 650 of them, stand up and openly decry the direction of where the UK is headed at this time? Is he not aware that the EU, NATO, UN, WEF, WHO and more are corrupt organisations?

  17. Jude
    February 2, 2023

    Totally agree so why is the Government & opposition so focused on high taxes & low growth? It would seem there are others pulling strings. Such as BoE, WEF, EU, WHO & IMF. All with other agenda’s that advantage others but not British citizens. When will we get our UK back?

  18. Cuibono
    February 2, 2023

    Does giving asylum seekers free pre-paid* debit/credit cards help with economic growth?
    In some incomprehensible accounting it might I suppose.
    * paid by good old us!

  19. agricola
    February 2, 2023

    I would take issue with your statement that having all food available all the year round is progress. I am happy to forego asparagus for ten months of the year to enjoy the real thing from the Vale of Evesham in May and June. I avoid under ripe plums from god knows where to enjoy the flavour of real Victorias in season. Life in Spain was Oranges in January, Strawberries in Feb/March, Cherries around May, Apricots in June, Figs in September, but Lemons from my five trees all the year round. Everything fresh and ripe, fit for eating. The food miles in having everything perpetually available is crazy and the quality is low and tasteless.
    The way to increase national income is to maximise business activity, and to do this is to minimise tax in all its forms and to severely limit government spending. Get off our backs, you are an incompetent, unproductive burden on the private sector. Add to this, the public sector now have their own undemocratic political agenda. If you do not believe this, ask yourself why immigration, the NIP, and energy inflation remain unresolved. We the people demand our sovereignty back, end of story.

  20. Mickey Taking
    February 2, 2023

    You write ‘People need to move from low productivity jobs on the land into cities, factories and service sector facilities. It requires leaps forward in education, in training, in company formation, in innovation, in savings and banking.’
    Little of this is relevant in England today. Very, very few work on the land – those that do. normally called farmers, are being driven out by importing agencies such as supermarkets. Taxation and unrealistic prices play against factories succeeding, China wins hands down. During Covid and now recession, companies are going to the wall.
    Innovation’s enemy is the state – mindless increased rules and restrictive taxation constantly works against it.
    Savings? – don’t make me laugh, everyone I know is burning through savings to survive. Banking, if ever there was a handbrake on efficiency it is that. An example Wokingham where branches keep closing, the biggest on the corner stopped providing coins for business a while ago a short time after lunch, now it is closing too!
    Education in itself is not the problem, it is failing to direct that knowledge into training for jobs in the modern world. The Arts is no grounding for the increasingly technical, engineering and mathematically based jobs of today.

    1. Mickey Taking
      February 2, 2023

      10.30 held back again, eh? Don’t like the rejection of the cheer leaders adulation?

    2. forthurst
      February 2, 2023

      To be fair to JR, he was not referring to England whose industrial revolution started around 1750 but such revolutions in those parts of the world which have not so benefited and whose access to higher standards of living can only be accomplished by invading other people’s countries.

  21. Bloke
    February 2, 2023

    Reducing the population to a balanced level would have most effect in alleviating demands on resources. Beyond those who are temporarily desperate or at risk, people should not receive payment incentives for children. Parents are rewarded enough through wanting them, loving them and looking after them to grow into fine upright citizens; capable of looking after themselves. Governments have failed to remedy the matter. The UK has morphed into Macronanny, trying to wet-nurse everyone with too many teats in parliament.

    1. Peter
      February 2, 2023


      No. We need the same approach as Hungary.

      “Mr Orban said that “for the West”, the answer to falling birth rates in Europe was immigration: “For every missing child, there should be one coming in and then the numbers will be fine.
      “Hungarian people think differently,” he said. “We do not need numbers. We need Hungarian children.””
      Source the BBC

      I also like the idea of tax exemption for life for women having four kids. Though you would need someone to monitor this to ensure it went to deserving individuals not lowlifes.

      1. Bloke
        February 2, 2023

        Producing an increasingly higher proportion of children from indigenous British folk would counter-balance the very rapid change that has occurred since the 1970s. Much was better then with gradual change. Much has improved since, but too many folk are competing hard for too little space and dislike what the UK has become. The UK would be more comfortable within a smaller stable population than coping with jerky increases causing sudden difficulties from higher demands.

  22. Stred
    February 2, 2023

    In northern Europe, there is not enough wind, solar and hydro energy to power industry and farming. Nuclear and fossil fuel is necessary to supplement generation and power machinery.

  23. hefner
    February 2, 2023

    Today is published Martin Wolf’s ‘The crisis of democratic capitalism’, Allen Lane Publ.
    Might also be interesting.

    1. a-tracy
      February 2, 2023

      “The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism”, the FT’s Chief Economics Commentator Martin Wolf argues that our response to this troubling era, marked by multiple emergencies including runaway climate change and even the risk of nuclear war, should be radical reform of the existing system, not revolution.” Martin Wolf the FT

      1. hefner
        February 2, 2023

        Did you read/listen to the exchange between Gideon Rachman and Martin Wolf ´How to fix our flawed democracies’?
        Do you know what MW is actually discussing?
        Yes, those people are working for the FT, so what? Sir John also has an investment column in the FT.

        1. a-tracy
          February 2, 2023

          Hefner, so nothing I was merely putting the book you recommended’s write up so other people didn’t need to look it up after I did. Don’t get so het up Hefner.

          1. hefner
            February 3, 2023

            That’s a very maternal sentiment, a-tracy, I am sure a lot of contributors are able to check whatever references are given on this blog without you having to bother to do the reading for them. Don’t you want people to be able to decide for themselves what they think about a question?

    2. Hat man
      February 2, 2023

      Yes, Wolf should be interesting if we want to know what the Davos elite has in store for us. I see he’s been there quite a bit recently.

  24. Ralph Corderoy
    February 2, 2023

    Growth also benefits from more energy and cheaper energy. It saves lives too.

    Another useful thing to get the next Taiwan or Singapore is a Hong-Kong Cowperthwaite who keeps Government intervention severely in check.

    1. a-tracy
      February 2, 2023

      Thank you Ralph, interesting.

    2. Denis Cooper
      February 2, 2023

      Thanks for that historical information.

  25. Original Richard
    February 2, 2023

    It is clear to everyone, including even the communists, that it is prosperity which brings a population which is both numerically and socially stable and one which wishes to look after the environment/planet.

    As evidenced by the West, prosperity is brought about by freedom of speech and action, meritocracy and the access to cheap, abundant and reliable energy.

    The fifth column communists in the West are attacking freedom and meritocracy with wokery and diversity and the access to cheap, abundant and reliable energy by wanting to replace fossil fuels and nuclear with expensive and unreliable renewables. I calculate that to eliminate the intermittency of wind using hydrogen storage it will be necessary to build 8 GW of wind turbines for each 1 GW of reliable power.

    There is no catastrophic global warming (satellite measurements show a benign warming of 0.13 degrees C per decade) and the one degree rise since the Little Ice Age is far less than the temperature rise we all experience every day between breakfast and lunch. There is no empirical evidence for worsening climatic extremes and the additional CO2 in the atmosphere, which is historically very low (as is temperature) is greening the planet and causing, together with fossil-fuel driven mechanisation, vast increases in food production.

  26. IanT
    February 2, 2023

    “There can be plenty of wind, solar and hydro energy, though there needs to be cost effective solutions over how to store it and share it between places and times with plenty and places and times with none”

    A wonderful dream Sir John but one with little foundation in reality. We are (in theory) a “wealthy” nation but we don’t have the money or technology to run our country purely on renewables. Net Zero is a pipe dream and one that everyone seems to be puffing away on. Our largest current “battery” is Dinorwig, the pumped water facility in Wales. It has a capacity of 9Gw – enough to power this country for 10 minutes in Winter. Once you’ve drained that lake, you need a lot more power to pump that water back up too.
    That’s before we conside that our current Grid was designed back in to 50’s when most houses just had an electric kettle (9A) and cooker (25A) – no washing machines, no tumble driers, no fridge, no freezer, all that we’ve added since then and now we are adding EVs and Heat Pumps? Better start digging up the street cabling and replacing all those sub-stations right now because they weren’t designed for these kind of loads.

  27. Tony Hart
    February 2, 2023

    But does UK need growth. You have brilliantly pointed out how our lives have been transformed in the last 60 years!!! I remember when Dad relented to get our first TV in 1956, after Laker had got 19 wickets against Australia!! What we need, as you have often pointed out, is to replace imported materials with out own handmade products. We have to reduce our trade balance. Keep going on this, please.

  28. Keith from Leeds
    February 2, 2023

    Agree with every word, but why do the PM and Chancellor refuse to see it? But, with great respect, you miss the key point. The problem is the cost of the government. Until that is faced up to & tackled, you are wasting your time. 53% of the population taking out more than they put in is a recipe for disaster. The Civil service should be reduced to 100,000 people & what they do simplified so that is more than enough. Quangos should be ruthlessly purged by having their budgets cut by 50% from April & a further 50% from the following April. I could list other things, but it would be too long.
    Growth comes from the private sector, not the public sector. When the public sector is too big, as it is now, it drains resources from the private sector & stifles growth.

    1. Ian B
      February 2, 2023

      @Keith from Leeds They only know tax, they can just take that. Government and Managing a balanced budget is beyond their capability

  29. a-tracy
    February 2, 2023

    Well, what is the opposite of capitalism in the marketplace? It seems this is where Labour want to go and lots of the new red Tories.

    ‘Not for Profits’; they contract, shrink, and don’t develop and grow their portfolios; they look after themselves very well, winning many employee awards. You can always tell which properties they own! They want to suck more at the taxpayer’s teat and expect those that don’t rent or ‘profit’ from them to pay (they prefer to see it as income to spend – on topping up pensions); for example, everyone else should pay to insulate their properties that they should have done themselves over the past two decades.

    Everyone just disregards it by letting this happen, politicians just calling out private landlords (I’m not one, nor do I know anyone that is one); we all used to own these houses through our Councils, we don’t now, so why do we have to keep topping up these businesses or indeed give them charity status? We don’t give private landlords charity status to run courses for their tenants, do we? Or do we? Can private tenants attend the social tenant courses we are paying for by not charging tax on ‘profits’?

    Who owns all the new build affordable housing that new builders have to build at low cost on behalf of the Councils, will they just get transferred at less than £8000 each too?

    We, the public, are losing the green land and having our roads overcrowded, so much so now it takes eight minutes to get off the main estate road in rush hour. The estates should have to have a board that says where the section (whatever number) money from the builders on each estate is going in OUR area because it is paying to improve the roads around these new estates or the attractive appearance at the front of the estates they just build brick blocks and stick yellow warning stickers all over them. Private businesses, their staff and private tenants are the ones who will be paying-in extra. You’re busily putting them out of business in favour of the new model.

  30. Dr John de los Angeles Ph.D
    February 2, 2023

    Sir John, I am one of your greatest supporters, but I’m afraid your support for wind and solar energy is completely misplaced. Instead of investing in these very ineffective forms of energy production. We should be investing in only three forms of carbon free energy production and these are New Nuclear (SMRs & MNRs), Deep Geothermal and pumped Hydro electric. Only these three forms will give our suffering country ENERGY SECURITY which will unlock economic growth.

    Reply I do not recall proposing wind and solar. I comment on the clear preference for them by government and business and point out the costs and need for back up

    1. Ashley
      February 2, 2023

      I just want to see a fair playing field in energy and not the current rigged market and absurd government subsidies pushed with the ruse of the mad net zero religion. Wind and solar can have their place but only when they are viable without any unfair subsidies. They are usually just tax payer subsidised, intermittent white elephants and crony or even corrupt capitalism.

  31. Ian B
    February 2, 2023

    The first to understand is what capitalism just like free trade and competitive markets truly are, there are many variations(many contrived) on the theme but it depends on first principles. What comes first is having a Customer for what is on offer, then the returning customer – there is nothing else that creates a viable future. These customers have to create profit, real profits, how else is anything funded let alone the future.

    Shareholders are just the bank, they take a risk based on unknown promises and expect to be paid so they can take more risks. Its this capital that oils futures and progress.

    Unfortunately the Political Class for the most part only in part understand trade in this way. The EU Commission being the best at corrupting all best practices that is now mirrored in our own Politicians. There are rules etc. that are there to protect the consumer from real mortal harm then there are rules to protect big business from having competition.

    The differences are subtle, the EU and our own Political Class for the most part just don’t understand, and that is not only the problem it is the danger and the enemy of us all.

    The ills of the UK still get down to ‘Its the Economy Stupid’ and we don’t have a real one because of the refusal to Manage by Government

  32. Ian B
    February 2, 2023

    How do you best get growth?

    Give the People there Country back. Get a Government in office that will Manage, create a Balanced Budget.
    Move master-plan projects down to those that can do them best.
    Governments should stop centralised on size fits all dogma because it doesn’t.
    Get a Government in Office that removes the laws, rules and regulations that have not been created by the UK Democratic process, if they were not created and cannot be amended or repealed by Parliament they just shouldn’t be valid.

    Just realised what I am saying is the UK needs a UK Government

  33. bert young
    February 2, 2023

    Growth and wealth development depend on the inspiration of talent . If this element of the population is not motivated then those who rely lose out . We have reached a turning point in our economy and if those who direct and control fail ( and we have reached that stage now ) the plunge downwards is inevitable . We all have a duty to challenge our leadership and put the right people in place in Government . Sunak is weak and Hunt is wrong .

  34. SeeSaw
    February 2, 2023

    A current conspiraloon theory is that there are two groups vying with each other.
    One the depop / perv group
    and second the techno money/15 min city/tight control group.
    The theory goes that the second is about to trigger collapse and blame the first
    in order to step in and save the world.
    I’m not a conspiraloon but find it interesting to watch.

  35. Bryan Harris
    February 2, 2023

    How do you best get growth?

    You use a proven method – you don’t ignore history and you don’t rely on a money tree.

    Thatcher showed the way, so why aren’t her methods being used now? Answer is because we don’t have a true Tory government, but one that believes it has to be part of the globalists plans, which we have already been told requires that we own nothing in future.
    Policies of this government will take us well down this globalist road.

    Growth is the way to get people and countries out of poverty.

    Yes, for no growth equals stagnation.
    Unless we see real growth society will stagnate to take us back in time, to before we had coal. Just imagine what kind of world the eco-lunnies want for us.

    1. Mike Wilson
      February 2, 2023

      Yes, for no growth equals stagnation.

      That’s emotional nonsense. No growth means no change. What is it with this obsession with growth? Growth in productivity? Yes, that would be great – we could all work a shorter week. But you don’t mean that. You mean growth in GDP – i.e. growth in the production and consumption of more consumer tat. There is only so much food and clothes we need.

      We’ve had a lot of growth in my lifetime. But many people would agree that life now is worse than it was 50 years ago. Maybe not in terms of getting your clothes washed and dried – but in terms of:

      Job security – worse now
      Working week – longer hours now
      Occupational pensions – worse now
      Amount of work needed to raise a family – 1 person then, 2 people now
      Cost of housing – worse now
      Debt – worse now

      You can keep your bloody growth and capitalism if this is what we get.

      1. Bryan Harris
        February 3, 2023

        @Mike We came to to this point because real growth and innovation were stopped.

        It’s a sad reflection on the way this universe works perhaps, but it has been demonstrated many times in Humanities short history. A society, a nation, our whatever, either gets stronger (grows) or it becomes less (declines).
        When the decline persists with no stimulation to reverse it, then you hit stagnation – a point we are pretty close to.

        This has nothing to do with capitalism – it’s the nature of the universe. Only we can introduce change and innovation, otherwise we go the way of the dodo.
        The globalists are the ones that have put the brakes on our progress, turning our society into one that is now very close to stagnating.

  36. oldwulf
    February 2, 2023

    “How do you best get growth?”

    1. Eliminate public sector waste and improve its productivity.

    2. Increase the private sector and the tax take from it.

    1. turboterrier
      February 2, 2023

      Elementary stuff that pal goes over the heads of 90% what we have in Westminster.

  37. Denis Cooper
    February 2, 2023

    I have a somewhat relevant letter in our local paper today, as follows:

    “No need to rejoin the EU Single Market”

    “In his latest contribution (Viewpoint, January 26) James Aidan argues that we should rejoin the EU Single Market and customs union. Why?

    Previously (January 19) he claimed that there has been a ‘5.2 per cent shrinkage in GDP’, but according to the relevant study – easily found by Googling for ‘What can we know about the cost of Brexit so far?’ – we are actually doing better since we left the EU Single Market.

    The methodology of that study has been criticised; but if we choose to accept its validity, for the sake of argument, then to be consistent our approval must extend all the way back to the EU referendum.

    Which means accepting that a 3.1 per cent shortfall had accumulated before we had even left the EU, growing to a 8.5 per cent shortfall before we left the EU Single Market, but since partially reversed.

    In fact if the subsequent trends were to continue then Mr Aidan’s ‘5.2 per cent shrinkage in GDP’ would disappear by the autumn of next year, and from then on we would be in positive territory.

    Incidentally in that study ‘shortfall’ did not mean ‘shrinkage’; GDP had grown by 5.4 per cent since the referendum, but the author claims that without Brexit the gain might have been twice that.”

    The study is here:

    and I magnified the GDP charts and measured heights to obtain the data quoted.

  38. Sakara Gold
    February 2, 2023

    The past 13 years have seen plenty of growth in the UK – growth in immigration of 0.5% per annum, resulting in some 3.7million extra people not born here wanting their free NHS care – growth in the population over 65 of 2.7% per annum, about 7million more elderly wanting pensions – growth in sewage discharges to our rivers of 650% – growth in Shell profits to $40 billion in 12 months thanks to the tremendous increase in direct subsidies paid to them via the energy price cap – 100% growth in the national debt to £2.5 trillion – growth in the number of working poor forced to use foodbanks from 750,000 to 6 million – humungous growth in the number of working days lost to strikes – growth in the number of SME’s going bust since Brexit.

    Finally, massive growth in the number of ex-Conservative voters intending to vote Labour at the next election. I wonder why?

    1. Mickey Taking
      February 2, 2023

      Ex-Tories don’t even have to vote for the declared socialists, just don’t bother to vote – the swing will be enough.

  39. SimonR
    February 2, 2023

    I agree completely with the article.

    Sir John, any comment on the lack of Party Chairman? This gao before a reappointment is unprecedented is it not?

    Reply Unusual. No idea why

    1. Cuibono
      February 2, 2023

      They are waiting for The Return…
      Of Boris!

  40. a-tracy
    February 2, 2023

    Life is very different now from what it was like in the late 60’s, 70’s.

    Then a Flavel gas fire with back burner for the water, now central heating.
    Single-glazed windows that iced up in winter. Blankets no quilts. No Sunday opening. Four tv channels.
    No mobile phones and a home phone with a lock on it.
    No computers we thought it was Christmas when we got a casio calculator (actually it was Christmas).
    One family instamatic camera with an attachable flash.
    The clothes were so very expensive I bet school uniforms were more expensive then than now. No trainers we only had pumps.
    No foreign trips or holidays.

    How anyone can say things are worse now I don’t honestly know what sort of wealthy families they came from. If Mum wanted the car she had to drop Dad off at work at 7 am and then pick him back up at 7 pm.

  41. Pauline Baxter
    February 2, 2023

    Sir John. ‘People need to move – – – – — – – into cities’. No, no, no. I do not want to. One of my first ‘moves’ when I got the opportunity was to get out of towns and cities!
    Freedom, means freedom of the individual. It means freedom to chose their own way of life.
    However, I will let you off because you were talking in general terms.
    Also, I let you off, because you are so right to describe how capitalism has raised standards of living for all in this country, over the past 60 years.

    1. Pauline Baxter
      February 2, 2023

      I was going to have a grumble about how difficult it is to get British made woollen clothing, since our sheep have to be sheared. However, I find that we can. The problem is rather, that silly fashions have dictated what clothes are produced.

      1. Pauline Baxter
        February 2, 2023

        So what I am going to grumble about today is plastic packaging.
        Apparently 99% of plastic is made from scarce fossil fuels. For which we have more important uses.
        Yet so much of what we buy, food and other necessities, comes double or treble wrapped in plastic.
        I suspect this is partly due to EU regulations, though other countries seem just as bad.
        Umpteen messages about what is contained, under the excuse of consumer protection for example.
        It makes me furious as I struggle to get in to what I want, then obediently recycle in the appropriate bin!
        With luck perhaps, this waste will be stopped.

      2. SimonR
        February 2, 2023

        There is an excellent home insulation product called ‘thermafleece’ made from British sheeps wool. It offers excellent insulation and is lovely to work with compared to fibreglass alternatives – non itchy and no mask required. It’s a great way to support British sheep farming.

  42. Michael Saxton
    February 2, 2023

    I agree with your analysis Sir John which underlines the vital importance of growth. I note the BoE have raised interest rates again today causing more pain for business and those with mortgages. This is completely flawed economics. We need Chancellor Hunt to cancel the forthcoming rise in Corporation Tax and announce his intention to reduce income tax. We are currently being assailed on all fronts by a Government in hoc to left leaning Treasury globalists. As for wind and solar, we know this is Parliament’s per virtue signalling obsession, but we also know there is no climate emergency and wind and solar are not the solution. We urgently need RR SMR’s and sufficient UK gas to see us through a twenty to thirty year transition. If only Conservative administrations had listened to independent scientific and engineering experts in 2010 (and thereafter) rather than eco-fanatics and the hopelessly biased CCC we would not be in this mess?

  43. glen cullen
    February 2, 2023

    Easy …..scrap Net-Zero, scrap VAT and scrap HS2

    1. Cuibono
      February 2, 2023

      + many
      Meanwhile woke councils across the country are signing up ( very quietly) to “U.K.100” a network of councils/councillors acting “against climate change”.
      You might think they had better ways to waste council tax revenue!

  44. glen cullen
    February 2, 2023

    From the 1st Feb the Home Office took over from the Royal Navy in the management and data of rescued illegal immigrants …..this is now whats on the government website

    ”UPDATE 01/02/2023: Please note, from today, Wednesday, 1 February, publication of daily small boat crossing numbers will continue here once this page goes live today .”

    Who are they kidding

  45. outsider
    February 2, 2023

    Dear Sir John, Thank you for this magnificently positive case for indepedent capitalism as the engine for growth and prosperity. Uplifting. Something worth defending, arguing for and persisting, much as the IEA founders did in the 1950s.

    This will be an uphill task. Today’s winter of discontent will probably lead to a lurch in the opposite direction to he one in 1978-79. The economy has not been working well for ordinary families for most of the past 20 years. We rely ever more heavily on migrant labour in key sectors such as the NHS, construction, recycling, hospitality and agriculture to keep wages down. Cultural anarchists are ruling the roost. The anti-democratic Mission Zero will destroy much more than it creates.

    And I hope that you, as a champion of England, will soon address Labour’s overtly anti-democratic “A New Britain”, which Sir Keir aims to implement in his first term: a recipe to Balkanise England, put officials in charge, hobble business and fix it in an EU-style constitutional straitjacket.

  46. glen cullen
    February 2, 2023

    Lets get the UK moving …ban the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

    1. glen cullen
      February 2, 2023

      and ban mayors, city mayors, regional mayors and london mayors …they’re all just another level of government – that slows growth

  47. John Waugh
    February 2, 2023

    Have an Adam Smith week when everyone reads and discusses – The Wealth of Nations .

    1. glen cullen
      February 3, 2023

      …and the Magna Carta

    2. hefner
      February 3, 2023

      What about also reading A.Smith’s ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’?

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