Inequality of power versus inequality of income

The left’s analysis that says inequality is the key to understanding Brexit, Trump and much else needs to make a distinction between inequalities of power and inequalities of income. Many populist voters in the USA and Europe have cast their votes against concentrations of unaccountable or dogmatic political power in the elites that control their societies. That is different from an attack on those who have made lots of money from being good at sport, entertainment or business. Senior executives of large companies owned by other people are often seen in the same category as government politicians and officials, whereas entrepreneurs offering new goods and services are seen differently and usually more favourably.

In the USA the Trump voters rebelled against the political correctness of the Democrat regime, and condemned the big money politics and large salary government they are paying for through their taxes. In The Euro area voters rebel against the austerity politics of much of the zone, as it struggles to meet Germany’s demands for lower wages and little borrowing to stay in a currency with competitive Germany. On both sides of the Atlantic populist voters are often critics of the prevailing climate change theory, disliking the way it results in dear energy and ever more regulations affecting how they live their lives. Populist voters also resent the way their thoughts and language are controlled, with many topics now subject to a politically correct mantra not shared in their hearts by these voters.

Brexit was a vote to take back control, with many people fed up with the laws, controls and spending plans of a Brussels government we cannot influence as we wish or throw out of office for failure. Brussels has still not apologised for the Exchange Rate Mechanism crash it caused which hit many families and businesses in the UK.

I welcome laws against racial and religious hate speech, as I do think stopping unpleasant words can create a better climate, making violent acts less likely. In other ways I am on the side of those who think these governing elites have too much power and use it in ways which damages people’s freedoms and incomes unnecessarily. High taxes are not usually the poor person’s ally, as they hit them as well as the rich. Some regulations designed to improve conditions for all succeed in blocking more jobs and enterprise. Allowing too many migrants in to a country to get jobs can make it more difficult for people already settled there, and does add to the resentments of those on low pay or no pay.

One of the things the elite finds most difficult to understand about the Trump phenomenon is how he can make more and more outrageous statements as the elite see it but not suffer with his core voters. That is to miss the main point. Mr Trump is seen by many of his voters as someone outside the governing elite trying to get it to respond and think more like the people he represents. When he makes a statement no normal politician would make because it is offensive to us or because we see it is not politically correct so carries political risk, many in his base cheer him on for breaking the conventions. They realise tweets do not in themselves achieve anything, but they also expect Mr Trump to try to find ways of cutting taxes, removing barriers to enterprise, to police the borders better and do all the things that constitute Trumponomics. “Making America great again” was about boosting the growth rate, having more jobs at home, raising living standards.

What we don’t yet know is whether Trump supporters will be tolerant if he carries on speaking out without winning more of the battles he needs to win to grow the economy. In Greece where Syriza was elected to bust Euro austerity policies they failed but retained considerable support for trying. Mr Trump will probably do better than them, as he goes about deal making for a more prosperous USA. Carrying a major tax reduction for all later this year will be an important moment for this Presidency. If he does the UK will need to make sure it remains competitive on tax.


  1. Lifelogic
    August 20, 2017

    Freedom of speech is vital and limits on it should only really apply when it veers towards actually inciting violence. It is perfectly rational to hate many of the things that some religions teach and encourage. Indeed it is ration to despise the huge damage many religions and such cleavages in society have wreaked over history.

    As Steven Weinberg said of religion:- With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

    Religions, by their very nature are often essentially racist in a “we are the chosen people” and you are not sort of way. The new climate alarmism religion is hugely damaging to the economy, jobs and even the environment. What sensible scientist could possible think importing wood/bio fuels to burn in UK power station makes any sense at all (even on a C02 basis) and yet we do it.

    Mr Trump will indeed probably do better than them, as he goes about deal making for a more prosperous USA. This as his policies of cheap energy, no green crap, getting the state out of the way, reducing taxes and deregulation will work – if they can only get them through. T May on the other hand likes big state, tax and regulation increasing, endless waste and interventionist policies that actually harm jobs and economic growth. Better than Corbyn but clearly still a misguided dope.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 20, 2017

      Please can someone explain (rather slowly) to Theresa May that there is no gender pay gap. After considering the very different subject they tend to study, the choices of career and work like balance options the genders take on average. Perhaps she could concentrate on some real problems like getting cheap reliable energy, cutting the gross waste in the state sector, getting cleanly out of the EU, cutting taxes and cutting red tape.

      1. Lifelogic
        August 20, 2017

        Or even sorting out the dire and unworkable (as currently structured and financed) NHS.

        1. majorfrustration
          August 20, 2017

          The likely problem solving skills will be to keep throwing money at it.

        2. bigneil
          August 20, 2017

          Just a slight correction LL – it is no longer the NHS – it is the anyone from anywhere who can even fly here for treatment because the flight is cheaper than paying for it back home HS.

      2. Iain Gill
        August 20, 2017

        Silly womans only intervention has been to say big ben should not be kept silent. Grasping at straws for things she can comment on without upsetting anyone. Should be priority ninety odd million and nowhere near the top of her list. And I doubt she knows much about renovation of listed buildings, so typical unqualified politician talking nonsense, desperately trying to sound relevant.

        1. Lifelogic
          August 20, 2017

          Whenever I hear politicians whittering on about any subject that I know something about (perhaps engineering, gender pay gaps, banking, physics, maths, energy production, employment laws, electronics, fiscal systems, property and construction, the litigation racket, planning rules, building regulations, bio fuels, defence systems, transport, climate alarmist, economics, mathematics, education, the NHS and statistics) then I am amazed by the just how absurdly ignorant, stupid and unable to think rationally they generally are. They even seem rather proud of it. So few engineers and rational numerates are there in the house.

          It is all about gut feelings, politics, virtue signalling, vested interests, cosy “consultancy” jobs, religion, group think, the politics of envy, buying votes and pathetic irrational & childish emotions.

          The few sensible ones – Lilley, Boateng, JR, Mogg, Cash and the likes are largely left on the back benches.

        2. Bamby Deere
          August 20, 2017

          She probably objected to the clock having a man name.

    2. graham1946
      August 20, 2017

      Hear hear. The best piece you have written in a long time. Unfortunately we are probably in a minority of two.

      1. Lifelogic
        August 20, 2017

        Hopefully not.

    3. eeyore
      August 20, 2017

      I think statue-toppling must be a close cousin to book-burning. Both seek to replace inconvenient truths with comfortable lies, and both are the acts of bigots. I am glad Mr Trump denounces it, and only wish he were able to do so with the high moral authority his great office should command.

      1. Lifelogic
        August 20, 2017

        “Both seek to replace inconvenient truths with comfortable lies.”

        An excellent discription of socialism and left wing governments.

    4. Ed Mahony
      August 20, 2017

      ‘Religions, by their very nature are often essentially racist in a “we are the chosen people” and you are not sort of way.’

      – Christianity teaches that God chooses everyone. Don’t know where you get your information from?

      Same can be said for Judaism. (“I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the LORD’ Isaiah).

      Can’t think of any religion that disbars anyone (unless they anti God). Sure, there are religious people that do, but when they do, they go against their religion. Although i can only best speak for the traditional religion of our country, Christianity.

      On the other hand, secular materialism, that focuses on the material only and not on the material with the spiritual, judges people on physical appearances, such as skin colour, and often dividing people, accordingly.

      Best wishes.

      1. Ed Mahony
        August 20, 2017

        ‘Christianity teaches that God chooses everyone’

        – Although people sadly reject God. They don’t want to be chosen by God, and are so tragically separated from God (God forbid), through their own choice.

        And what are we being chosen for: for supreme happiness and peace in this life (along with self-sacrificial suffering as well as suffering we don’t often understand this side of the grave), and, after mortal death, to (please God) actually / literally participate in the divine life (infinite/perfect peace, joy, beauty, power and love), as adopted children of God.

    5. Ed Mahony
      August 20, 2017

      ‘Mr Trump will indeed probably do better than them, as he goes about deal making for a more prosperous USA’

      Since you mention religion, as far as i understand it, the religious right are key to Trump’s support. Rather, it is the more secular, democratic left that is in opposition to Trump (although, of course, there are many non-religious Republicans and many religious democrats).

      1. Lifelogic
        August 20, 2017

        The left have new religions like climate alarmism and political correctness.

    6. Norman
      August 20, 2017

      LL – I fear you are in error when you ”knock’ religion – as of the proverbial baby thrown out with the bath water! It would be easy to refute your assertions on this recurring theme, although I agree with them in part. Allow me to quote:
      “As a foretaste of the glory to come, wherever the Gospel has been proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit, the same manifestations have been seen. Broadly speaking, these are confirming signs and wonders, after which the Church settles into a godly life of faith, hope, and charity, awaiting Christ’s return. Such fruits saw pagan empires overthrown, societies enlightened, and all civilized virtue established. Justice, compassion, learning, art, music, architecture and many other benefits, grew beside the Gospel’s healing waters, and formed the essential foundations of our culture. Parliaments, law courts, universities, schools and hospitals: – all had their roots in God’s truth. But just as Solomon’s kingdom flourished so greatly at first, once their hearts were turned aside from the Source and Giver of life, everything became hollow and began to fail.”
      Anyway, what’s this got to do with Trump? Actually, quite a lot – just like Henry VIII. A fallible man, being used to effect the Divine will? Imagine a world without Britain and, in turn, the USA – not much room for us to amicably air our views, as we are privileged to do here right now, I suspect! And should you resort to rationalism, look where that got Germany in the 19th century – error takes a couple of generations to work through, in its political fall-out. I ask you – which is more ‘logical’ – ‘Life’ devoid of meaning, and the result of hapless chance? Or the glorious alternative, which is so manifestly obvious, that we are ‘without excuse’ (to quote the Apostle Paul).

      1. Lifelogic
        August 20, 2017

        It is helps you find a life that is not “devoid of meaning” and provides comfort to you (and others) then I wish you and them the very best of luck – so long as they are doing not harm to others that is.

        As a scientist I really cannot see it that way myself.

    7. Norman
      August 20, 2017

      One further thought, if you will kindly bear with me. Re the modern habit of regarding science and religion as mutually exclusive on grounds of rationality. I would contend that the true spirit of scientific enquiry is embodied in the inscription above the doors of the Cavendish Physics Laboratory in Cambridge: “The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein” (Psalm 111:2). This was attributed to the devout and brilliant first Cavendish Professor, James Clark Maxwell (1831-1879). Rutherford followed later, under whose tutelage Sir John Cockcroft studied, who in 1951 became Nobel Laureate for his work on splitting the atom, and its use as a source of energy. Extraordinary to think that my wife and I were privileged to meet Sir John during a postgraduate stint, when he was Master of Churchill College, Cambridge, and I a mere country lad of 22 – and very much an atheist then. Such is grace!

  2. Lifelogic
    August 20, 2017

    Walter Menzies Campbell (Baron Campbell of Pittenweem, CH, CBE, PC, QC), discussing the firing of the Google employee (for very politely pointing out the clear truth on gender preferences) seemed to think that anyone should be fired if they offend people. This regardless of the truth of what they say.

    Freedom of speech would be totally dead if people like him had their way.

    1. agricola
      August 20, 2017

      Which brings me to Sarah Champion, sacked for drawing attention to an obvious truth. A whistle blower closed down by her own party. Marginally better than what the brothers did to Leon Trotsky but in principal the same. However in the present climate I would not have given much for her chances in any UK political party. Political Correctness (PC) is the intellectual HIV of current UK institutional thinking, but of which much of the population is immune , but concerned to speak out.

      Rotherham, Oxford and Newcastle were nurtured for decades by PC, and do not think for a minute that the same does not pertain in many more of our cities hidden under a blanket of PC.

      To illustrate the dishonesty of PC I will always remember a brave Afro/Caribbean comedian in a talent show standing on stage and thanking the audience for allowing his presence while pointing out that two hundred years ago the event would have been an auction. The audience just exploded at the humour of it. This is what PC has destroyed as well as the lives of many hundreds of young women.

    2. Edward2
      August 20, 2017

      Neither Liberal nor Democratic as seems to be their way.

      1. Lifelogic
        August 20, 2017

        Indeed the name is clearly a satirical joke!

    3. Denis Cooper
      August 20, 2017

      The enemies of our freedom of speech do largely have their way, they have largely had their way for half a century or more, and because they have gained control of both the education system and the mass media it is getting worse all the time.

  3. hefner
    August 20, 2017

    “Brussels has still not apologised for the ERM crash it caused”.
    I am looking forward to a future post from JR explaining how Brussels caused it without any responsibility for the mess existing in the UK finances at the time. I find such a cavalier “explanation” rather not worth of someone who was close to the events, specially when since those days there have been numerous (and differing) analyses.

    Reply I wrote a lot about it at the time forecasting the disaster it would bring

  4. hefner
    August 20, 2017

    without any responsibility from the mess … sorry.

    1. hefner
      August 20, 2017

      A reason for what would become such a disaster, not so much talked about at the time or since was the pound entering the ERM set at 2.95 Deutsche Mark. Legend has it that this rate was decided by Mrs T herself without any consultation whatsoever. This, if true, is quite independent from Brussels or Germany.

      If it is discussed in one of JR’s books, it must be in one I have not yet read.

      Reply Of course the rate was not decided by Mrs T!. It was the best view of the Treasury and Bank of England and a comprehensive disaster as I predicted at the time.

  5. Bryan Harris
    August 20, 2017

    All of this just comes down to one thing – the dogma of socialism has swept rationality away – Thank God we have someone who is standing up against it – it really is time for people to understand that they cannot be free or prosper under regimes that demand they think in a particular way, which is what the democrats, liberals and labour demand.

    Just look at how corbyn sacked his shadow minister for actually telling the truth! She simply mentioned the FACT that Pakistani men were by and large responsible for grooming and abusing young girls.

    There can be no truth, no freedom of thought, no real future where socialism is concerned, no matter the lies they tell to justify their perverted politics.

    So, let’s all make up our minds, that we are not going to be dragged down by dogma, and demand that those that pursue power by the use of pc socialist control methods be banished.

    In a rational society, socialism would be seen as the debilitating disease it is, and those that preached it would be taken to a quiet room, where they could rest and recover.

    Let’s be clear – socialism is not an alternative form of politics – it ultimately means that the masses work for very little reward and are fully controlled, while the elite get all the benfits… This is suppression at its worst!

  6. Spratt
    August 20, 2017

    Inequality of income is not just about the divide between the extremely rich and the rest of us. On the whole, people don’t resent the extremely rich because they aren’t exposed to them in their every day lives. They are exposed to the super rich through the tabloids, magazines and trash TV but they either then see such people as role models to aspire to or as something to sneer at. No, the inequality they resent is the type they see on their own doorstep or in their own families. I know people who work hard for relatively low wages, struggle to pay a mortgage for a two up/two down and really, really resent seeing others who are able bodied and mentally competent (people they actually know – this isn’t theoretical) housed and maintained by the state while not lifting a finger. People resent the inequality in the NHS where post code (or which country of the union you live in) can determine whether you get a certain treatment option. At the same time they resent ‘positive’ discrimination influencing access to universities, housing or jobs in order to iron out ‘ inequality’.

    1. a-tracy
      August 20, 2017

      I agree with Spratt

  7. Bert Young
    August 20, 2017

    Whether one is a Trump supporter or not what counts are the laws , customs and traditions of the country you live in . Once leadership is established – and in a democracy it is the majority who decide , a community is obliged to accept this basic fact . Living without laws and controls is a practical impossibility . Leadership will not always produce a response that satisfies everyone ; what it should do is to stick to the principles that put it in office and get on with the job . If an individual or group cannot accept this basic then they must go and live elsewhere .

    The present cannot change the past , it can only learn from evidence and then make changes for improvements . Re-inventing the wheel each time there is a leadership change is costly , it produces resentment and dissent ; those who complain have to be patient and wait for the next time round and hope the majority will think the same way and vote accordingly . I waited many years for Brexit to happen , now it is about to occur no-one could be more pleased and no-one could persuade me that it was the wrong choice .

  8. A.Sedgwick
    August 20, 2017

    The Remainer backlash to Brexit is a classic example of the cross party political elite and Establishment at work. I don’t recall anything similar post 1975 Referendum, the will of the people was accepted. They don’t care if they damage the country.

    The existence of the HofL with no prospect of even a modest change, is another example of the political vested interest of all parties.

    Pettiness abounds in politics, two examples by the current Government: the non recognition of Nigel Farage’s contribution to history and the sidelining of Daniel Hannan, who should have been backed by CP Central Office to become an MP.

    Reply Yes, as a voter for Out in 1975 I accepted the Uk wish to be in a common market and only started campaigning for Out or a new relationship when Labour signed us up to federalising Treaties that went well beyond a common market

  9. DaveM
    August 20, 2017

    With regard to yesterday and today’s posts, folk in the UK and the US voted for Brexit and Trump because they are fed up with being treated as second class citizens in their own homelands. The same happened to an extent in France with Le Pen. They are fed up with working hard and paying taxes which are wasted or given away whilst their own friends and family suffer austerity and rising prices. They are also fed up with PC cover-ups and slashes to security budgets during a time when security threats are sky-high. And they are fed up with said taxes being spent to fund uncontrolled immigration which is changing their homes whilst they are shouted down by the PC brigade if they say anything about it. Simple as that. Trump and Farage spoke for their own people.

    We also believed that the message would be hoisted on board by the Conservative Party. Instead we saw the resignation of a coward who has more loyalty to Brussels bureaucrats than the country that elected him, and an engineered takeover by a clueless left wing PM who then went on to appoint a cabinet of like-minded cronies. Most of us are still hoping and praying that the backbench conservatives realise this before 2020 otherwise we’ll be looking at General Secretary Corbyn in 2022. A proper, patriotic, conservative Tory leader who spoke for England and the English (as well as being benevolent to the 3 devolved assemblies) would wipe the floor with any other party at the minute – I don’t understand why that is so hard to comprehend.

    1. getahead
      August 20, 2017

      One gets the impression that it is not actually the leaders who are doing the leading, that there must be some hidden power pulling the strings.

    2. McBryde
      August 21, 2017

      Yes – come on JR: do it!! 🙂

  10. McBryde
    August 20, 2017

    It is reassuring to read your post today – a UK pollution of such experiences and influence expressing, as far as I can judge, a faultless evaluation of the true situation regarding the modern Western political atmosphere.

    Re:”Allowing too many migrants in to a country to get jobs can make it more difficult for people already settled there, and does add to the resentments of those on low pay or no pay.”
    I would expect a post from you on this topic since it is an important one, and you have recently been active in the media promoting the application of work visas as a solution to the Irish border issue.

    My concern is: Wouldn’t having free entrance from Europe into the UK mainland via Northern Ireland lead to difficulties policing work visas, illegal employment, begging and the associated crimes experienced in countries like Sweden?

    Perhaps a better solution would be to have work visas in Northern Ireland, but have all the borders around the mainland closed to all visitors without visas?

    1. McBryde
      August 20, 2017

      I meant ‘politician’ – not pollution! [How did that happen??!]

    2. Denis Cooper
      August 20, 2017

      But surely we have no intention of making it more difficult for people from the EU to enter the UK directly than it is now, except perhaps to apply more stringent checks on the minority who are undesirable even as temporary visitors? For those apparently of good character the restrictions will be on how long they can stay, their eligibility for welfare benefits, their ability to take paid work, and so on, not on their initial entry into the country, and so it won’t matter whether they come direct to the UK or they come via the Irish Republic. As for the undesirables, is there any reason why there not be a common watch list for all entry points to the Common Travel Area?

    3. Monza 71
      August 21, 2017

      We didn’t need Visas to visit European countries before we joined the EU and we certainly don’t want them now.

      We have been told recently that we will be facing the threat of Islamic terrorism for the next forty years which will necessitate security checks on all ferry sailings and flights.

      I see no reason why we cannot maintain free movement between NI and Eire as long as some form of ID documents is able to be checked for security reasons on demand before passengers board a ferry or flight into or out of the island of Ireland. Any traveller coming to the UK mainland who needs a Visa or work permit will have to produce it with their passport, driving licence or ID card. That, of course would not apply to Irish or UK/NI citizens who will still enjoy the unfettered right to travel to, live and work in the UK without a visa or permit of any kind.

  11. Mark B
    August 20, 2017

    Good morning.

    At the time of writing one person has posted four times. I only posted once yesterday. It was a little long but not much longer than others. It was held in moderation all day and has now been deleted. Perhaps this might get a better chance.

    President Trump, not Mr. Trump, is not a politician. He is his own man, and a self-made man at that. He is seen as an outsider, just like many of those who elected him, trying to; “Drain the swamp” of Washington and the Federal Government. A government that has become distant, unresponsive and too centralised. The people want a government that the founding fathers of the USA created – For the people and by the people.

    Brussels has still not apologised for the Exchange Rate Mechanism crash it caused which hit many families and businesses in the UK.

    Wrong ! The UK government freely entered the ERM and it did so against much good advice. And I know that our kind host stood against it, but that does not excuse him from the fact that it was his party and a Conservative government that inflicted that terrible policy on this nation and ruined many jobs, careers, business and families. It cost the Conservative Party dear but the election of New Labour, as we are increasingly discovering, is costing the nation even more. So don’t go round pinning that tail on the EU donkey because it won’t work !!

  12. Caterpillar
    August 20, 2017

    “I welcome laws against … religious hate speech”

    … I thought the Conservative manifesto wanted to increase the faith cap giving the opportunity for more religious segregation… and thus opportunity to hate. Perhaps with integration rather than such segregation, perhaps without irrational faith, we might eventually not need such hate speech legislation.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 20, 2017

      So you can criticise any rational argument, but not it seems any irrational “belief system” (that calls itself a religion) ?

      1. Caterpillar
        August 21, 2017

        Lifelogic, I agree. There is a serious problem here.

  13. Captcha King
    August 20, 2017

    Brexit and Trump is a win win.

    We either get what we voted for or the elite is forced to openly ignore us.

    We’ll have a clearer understanding of each other either way.

  14. NHSGP
    August 20, 2017

    I welcome laws against racial and religious hate speech, as I do think stopping unpleasant words can create a better climate, making violent acts less likely.
    Then pass a law against advocating theft.

    ie. Taking people’s money with the threat or use of violence.

    Oh I get it. You advocate redistribution based of the use or threat of violence.

    Well John, remember. The laws you pass will come round and bite you. Someone you don’t like will get control of the laws and use them against you

    Reply There is a law against threatening people for money! Whats your problem with that? Why do you wish to be free to express religious or racial hatred?

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 20, 2017

      If there is hatred then it should be permissible to express it. Not to incite breaches of the peace or other criminal acts, but to freely express that opinion. 40,000 people congregated in Boston to express their hatred of a small group who claimed to be arguing for free speech, and even initiated violence, yet according to the mass media that was fine, in fact it was highly commendable. As said above, “The laws you pass will come round and bite you”, and in fact they have already done so.

    2. Lifelogic
      August 20, 2017

      There is a law against threatening people for money!

      Not it seems if the people are the state!

  15. oldtimer
    August 20, 2017

    The left specialise in attempting to frame the debate not least by seeking to give different meanings to familiar phrases. For example to challenge the hypothesis that man made CO2 is responsible for climate change is to be branded a “climate change denier” and, therefore, nothing more than a knuckle head. Of course the climate changes and has changed over the millenia; but that does not validate the man made CO2 hypothesis, which is what the majority of the political class want us all to believe.

  16. Duncan
    August 20, 2017

    Thanks JR for almost summing up the core problem that millions of apolitical individuals feel at this present moment regarding the direction of politics in the west.

    At the heart of it all is a political elite spread across politics, media (BBC = poison) and other influential professions such as education (NUT = poison) and various public bodies that are determined to create a environment that at its heart is a focus on CONTROL about what people can do, what they can say and even the type of words they are able use. It is an almost pathological obsession for some of these so called elites. They will not leave alone. They will not let go. They have infected and taken over entire sections of the State. Education is firmly in the grip of these idealists

    The left will not rest until they have had their Reichstag revenge on Trump. They will endeavour to create a set of circumstances that will circumvent democracy and bring down Trump. You can witness such cosmetic action this weekend in the US.

    The left want to politicise humanity. Politics equals power to control the person. They will try to get inside the heads of people, to create a new perception, to own the narrative. They abhor diversity of opinion and they will confront those who share and express views that are in anyway contradictory to their own

    The left is a shameless, lying, devious and ultimately totalitarian phenomena that will, in time, undermine all our freedoms in a manner that is subtle and difficult to spot. Even the Tories have shamelessly succumbed. When we expect May to defend our freedom to express our opinion she attacks Trump for not appearing to be ‘equivalent’. Our PM has capitulated. She is not my leader

    I have no sympathy for either left or right. They are both poisonous, political entities who refuse to let people be

    1. M. Davis
      August 20, 2017

      Great post, thank you, Duncan!

    2. McBryde
      August 21, 2017

      Perhaps you already know about “Common Purpose”, Duncan.
      Therein lies the mechanism for the Marxist revolution by stealth which has been operating right under our noses for decades.

  17. acorn
    August 20, 2017

    How many jobs do you think Trump will bring home to America? Will Apple start manufacturing and assembling i-phones at American wage rates? Will American Power companies start buying more coal from expensive American mines, regardless of emissions and customer reaction?

    Trump’s tax cuts and $1 trillion additional public spending on infrastructure will boost GDP (a Keynesian solution from a conservative Republican; whatever next). However, there is much doubt the Trump administration will reach its targeted growth of 3 to 4 percent in the years ahead.

    1. libertarian
      August 21, 2017


      He might , if he’s a s dumb as you about modern business. Why would you want iPhone assembly bought back to the US? There’s no money in it and precious few minimum wage jobs.

      I do wish commentators on business would actually take up residence in the 21st century

      The US just like the UK and for exactly the same reasons has been creating millions of new well paying, advanced jobs for the last few years .

      The US created 211,000 new years in April 17 alone

  18. Denis Cooper
    August 20, 2017

    Off-topic, when I first saw this Observer front page headline overnight:

    I assumed that it would be the euromaniac MP Dominic Grieve, the man who as Shadow Attorney-General advised David Cameron that Tory MPs should not vote to affirm and protect the sovereignty of their own Parliament, our national Parliament, because to do so would “create a constitutional contradiction”.

    Division No 120 on March 5th 2008 here:

    “New Clause 9

    Supremacy of Parliament

    ‘Notwithstanding any provision of the European Communities Act 1972, nothing in this Act shall affect or be construed by any court in the United Kingdom as affecting the supremacy of the United Kingdom Parliament.’.— [Mr. Cash.]

    The Committee having divided: Ayes 48, Noes 380.”

    But, no, it is somebody else, somebody I have never heard of, and not a politician but a now retired civil servant:

    The article states:

    “Theresa May’s Brexit strategy has been thrown into new doubt as a former head of the government’s legal services ridicules the prime minister’s claim that the UK can break free of all European laws while continuing to reap the economic benefits of the EU’s single market.”

    The first point I would make is this: we have had many years of debate about the EU, including about eighteen months of concentrated debate before, during and after the referendum, and yet there are some people who are still talking about the “economic benefits” of the EU’s Single Market when the accumulated evidence is that there are no significant economic benefits and there may well be significant disbenefits.

    Probably not as large as is suggested by some, for example:

    “Hard Brexit ‘offers £135bn annual boost’ to economy”

    but maybe still added onto the right side of the economic balance.

    The second point I would make is that we do not accept this kind of argument for our trade with countries outside the EU; it is as far as I am aware unique to the EU, and that is because the fundamental purpose of the EU is political not economic.

    So for example we do not have eminent lawyers claiming that to trade successfully with the US we must allow the US Supreme Court to dictate our domestic laws, or arguing that we can not possibly trade with Australia without submitting to the jurisdiction of the Australian Federal High Court, and so on with all the other 160-odd countries around the world – ultimately we cannot trade with any of them, unless we allow all of them to tell us how to run our country.

    So will the media unit in David Davis’s Brexit department be vigorously debunking this anti-Brexit nonsense? Don’t hold your breath on that one.

  19. graham1946
    August 20, 2017

    These inequalities will still exist after Brexit (assuming we get the real McCoy and not the one the government seem to be edging toward). We wanted to ‘take back control’ but are fully aware that this will mean only that our parliament will be sovereign for law making which is what we voted for, but it will not get down to the people level, except for a vote every five years. My guess is we will still follow EU laws by the backdoor foisted upon us by Remainers in Parliament (many of whom did not vote for Brexit with conviction, but out of self interest and no doubt see ways to thwart what it really means).
    We will still have rich politicians (the people who know best) telling us what is good for us and coming up with crackpot ideas instead of listening and the Civil Service which has no accountability making up the rules and even stopping Ministers doing what they might want to do as they reckon they are all transient. We will simply be ruled by a different lot, a bit nearer to home and not by foreigners which for all modern history has been anathema to the British people, but beloved of those in power. They got a heart attack over Brexit and are even now working out how to recover.

  20. Jack
    August 20, 2017

    The Chinese are extremely nationalist and pro-government (for the most part), despite its authoritarianism.

    The CPC have maintained unprecedented economic growth, essentially a quarter century-long economic boom that still has no sign of ending, and in a way the people can tolerate the authoritarianism if their incomes are rapidly rising year on year.

    China consumer confidence is also booming now, last year alone the Chinese banks extended a record ¥CNY 12.65 trillion of loans as the government encouraged credit-fueled stimulus to meet its economic growth target.

    When will the UK government, and JR, come to understand MMT? If not soon, we will be overtaken in terms of GDP per capita PPP by authoritarian regimes like China instead of being a beacon for democracy and prosperity like we should be.

  21. margaret
    August 20, 2017

    To stay competitive , we have to carry on ,build , build, build and not get diverted by arguments which lead to nowhere. I have had enough experience with solicitors and those who are more cunning ( sound like S Holmes) than the average person to know that the purpose or the aim of any project will be cancelled out and other arguments peripheral to the cause are whipped up to take centre stage . This is Ok sometimes as the process can carry on quietly , however it can also delay the primary objective inordinately .This diversion is not always intentional: it is sometimes a misunderstanding due to a persons own perception of facts and I am sure we have all said or thought ‘.I didn’t mean that.’ If this occurs in our own language can you imagine how it must be when hundreds of others mix. I don’t like too much focus as it prevents the whole picture from being viewed , however this flux of intention , violence and misunderstanding in our Countries is causing havoc and I welcome Trumps focus and refusal to be managed.

  22. Peter
    August 20, 2017

    You are missing the point by harping on about high taxes.

    Brexit was about taking about control from unaccountable, unelected Europeans like Juncker and co. Open door immigration policy is a key grievance with many on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Globalisation has resulted in the shipping of both European and American jobs overseas. Heads of corporations make money on this trend by cutting costs. Their pay goes up while workers are undercut by immigrant labour. Heads of quangos and government-run institutions like universities are also looked after by their pals in power. Hence vice chancellors in universities are on salaries of hundreds of thousands – huge multiples of the average wage.

    The average voter has realised that elites could not care less about them. Trump addressed those concerns in his election speeches. Whether he actually delivers on them remains to be seen.

    Brexit was about taking back control and having elected politicians in charge of the country’s destiny.

    Whether Brexit actually arrives after ‘transition’ and ‘temporary’ arrangements remains to be seen.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 20, 2017

      As stated the current plan is for formal Brexit to PRECEDE the transitional, interim or temporary arrangements. It will not be a matter of staying in the EU for some time after March 29th 2019 in order to work towards leaving, it will be a matter of leaving the EU on that date but with a gradual rather than sudden unwinding of some of the ramifications of membership. Personally I have no problem with that approach; I would prefer the various transitions to be completed within a year rather than three years, but if does take three years to complete that will only be three more years after the forty-six years since we joined the EEC.

  23. William Long
    August 20, 2017

    Trump should certainly do better than Syriza because the U.S. is not in the Greek position of being the tail being sat upon by the EU elephant. He just has to face down the US ‘intelligentsia’, and on tax if nothing else, he should be able to do so. Having said that, one of the things I find it hardest to understand about the modern world is why so many people think there is some sort of moral virtue in high taxation.
    So far it looks as if Trumps failures to impose his policies are viewed by many as more evidence of the unacceptable power of the establishment with him as a lone voice for the people. As you say though, he will need a victory before to0 long, particularly if he is to achieve a second term.
    It is interesting that the North Korea spat seems to have evaporated.

  24. Prigger
    August 20, 2017

    “I welcome laws against racial and religious hate speech, as I do think stopping unpleasant words can create a better climate, making violent acts less likely.” Of course I welcome your opinion JR and hope it is not made unlawful and, prejudged by persons unknown and singularly unappointed and particularly unauthorised, as some form of racial and religious hate speech against any more future re-definitions of “race” and “religious” and in deed “hate”, as I do think celebrating and promoting linguistic and psychological diversity in word-format can create a better climate,in certain but certainly not all, micro-climates, making violent acts not more nor less likely.

  25. Denis Cooper
    August 20, 2017

    More tripe, this from another source this morning:

    “Some people ask why such an agreement can’t be rolled up into the Article 50 settlement, but of course this cannot be the case as this is not a treaty. For there to be a customs union, there has to be a formal treaty, with all the provisions which go with it, including dispute procedures and the rest.”

    Firstly I refer to the section headed “What is a treaty?” in the official FCO guidance on “Treaties and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)”:

    “The term treaty describes an international agreement concluded in writing between
    states which creates rights and obligations in international law. Treaties are known by
    a variety of names, for example agreement, convention, protocol, treaty etc … ”

    Secondly I refer to the text of Article 50 TEU on the voluntary withdrawal of a member state from the EU, the procedure which the UK government has decided to follow – or at least until they mess us about so much that we just leave anyway:

    “A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.”

    There is nothing in that to say that the “agreement” between the EU and the departing state shall not be regarded as a “treaty”; nor is there any restriction on the scope of that agreement or treaty so that it cannot encompass all necessary arrangements for after the state has withdrawn, including all the provisions for a customs union if that is what both sides want for the future.

    Since I have the relevant part of the Article 50 TEU reproduced above I will also point out that it says nothing at all about any order in which different matters must be negotiated, or whether several matters may be negotiated in parallel or all the negotiations must be sequential, with each matter settled before the next can be started.

    The “first we must agree how much money we can extort from you” position adopted by Michel Barnier is plainly stupid and irresponsible, but he is just following the stupid and irresponsible “guidelines provided by the European Council”, minus its UK member, Theresa May, as he is required to do under Article 50.

    On the other hand it should be obvious that the UK negotiators are not bound by those guidelines from the European Council, and the automatic assumption by most of the UK media that if Michel Barnier says something about how negotiations should proceed then that must also somehow bind the UK is totally incorrect. When the UK Parliament passed the Act to approve the Lisbon Treaty it did not agree that if the UK ever wanted to leave the EU then it would negotiate as instructed by the rest of the EU.

  26. jonP
    August 20, 2017

    Only three and a half more years of Trump- sigh!- because I don’t think he is going to get a second term- in another short while we will see the anger grow with the american public when it begins to dawn on them that for all his tweets things are only getting worse.

    So we’ll just have to wait until we see the state of world trade and business at that time? including for us and the UK’s prospects and what it looks like, looking at the world from the bottom of the cliff. It’s all there before us as we also get to understand and accept the reality of what we’re about.

  27. RDM
    August 20, 2017

    And, if you wonder why people come to this site, here it is!

    Clear, insightful, well balanced!

    It really is a pity, more of the Conservative Party, let alone the Left, aren’t reading it too!

    Cheers John.


    PS: John, I wonder what Trump would say about T Mays’ attact on the Gig Economy, and the people in it?

    1. RDM
      August 20, 2017

      Re: Sunday Paper.

      Did you get offered Prosecco in Chequers? 🍸

      I would of gone, and be nice, then drunk all the Wine!

      Can’t see me being invited!😱


  28. Labouring marxism
    August 20, 2017

    The Corbynistas plainly incite hatred toward “The Rich” as this gives them votes with a poor they hope and trust is as ignorant as it was one hundred years ago when the Labour Party first stated it would get rid of rich people. Corbynistas are the most inefficient lazy Socialists the world as ever known. Like Karl Marx with a damper. ( and always ending up very well-off despite “their” poor. )

  29. Anna
    August 20, 2017

    I am amused that the leftist elite refer to those who oppose them as ‘populist’. Had Mr Corbyn made it to Downing Street, would his victory have been attributed to ‘populist support’? Populism means ‘representing the interests of ordinary people’ which the Corbynistas claim to do, but they often use it scathingly to mean ‘demonstrating narrow
    minded chauvinism, prejudice and bigotry.’ There is a poisonous, and very small thread of chauvinism and bigotry running through Trumpism; but most people just want to have the hope and aspirations for a better life that has always been the American dream and which seems to have been lost. The chance to work to greater prosperity is out of reach.

    I would be very wary of laws restricting freedom of speech other than that which incites violence. If freedom of speech means anything, it means the right to say things which some might find offensive. The laws of slander and libel are in place to protect anyone damaged by untruths. But no idea, whether religious, scientific, political or whatever must be silenced. How do we grow as human beings if our opinions go unchallenged? To question, evaluate and modify our views in the light of increasing knowledge is the very bedrock of western civilisation. It is an evolutionary culture that is self-questioning and therefore capable of self-correction. The danger is that self-criticism, if taken to excess, becomes self-destruction. We need to guard against that too.

  30. ian
    August 20, 2017

    Inequality in power brings inequality in income, in other words abuse of power leads to inequality in incomes. I can think of quite a few entertainment people who were involved in brexit, to stay in, who are now hated by the public. Brexit was a vote for the nation and it people to be put first, and is a call for nationalism, if there is one thing the people in power hate is nationalism, it goes against everything they believe in, and must be over come by political correctness and unaccountable dogmatic powers, which they believe in, to control the people into herding, one step above slavery. Globalization has brought the elite, and their families great wealth and power over people they say they are working for, the public.
    So tell me john how are you going to redress the power the elite and MPs have over the people. The people are allowed one vote very five years, but in the main can only vote for MPs that are for globalization. I don’t think you twill see any more refs after the brexit vote.

  31. Communal personman
    August 20, 2017

    The reason why Socialist regimes have always curtailed free movement of people was not simply because they wished to nastily control per se. In fact, they would have much preferred not to.
    A “closed market” ( a term not used ) in which marxism includes labour and means of production requires control/protectionism for it to work at least on the theoretical socialist level.
    Therefore Remoaners of the Labour Party are in violation of Labour principles and in violation of anything but absolute purist laissez-faire capitalism. As such they are dinosaurs of both the socialist and capitalist worlds. But really just out to catch votes to promote themselves as individuals.They are trub.

  32. Tony Sharp
    August 20, 2017

    As usual John you are spot on but really on the matter of “Brussels has still not apologised for the Exchange Rate Mechanism crash it caused …” you are letting it off lightly, because the EUrocracy did not regard this as a policy failure, indeed they regarded any shortfall in outcomes from it as being caused by not centralising the EU economies enough and therefore ploughed on to the Euro!

    Also as for Syriza like so many of the left political movements it favours the EU inprincipla because of its centralising and regulating agenda, therefore the only practical policy for them in government would have been leaving the Euro and probably the EU itself. As they specifically campaigned to be elected on not doing either they only have themselves to blame that the EUroCracy punished the Greeks even more stringently. I warned Greek friend sof this, that simple Posturing without practical intention was pointless.
    The whole thrust of the Leave vote in UK and the Trump Election is that we know that there will be practical as well as vocal differences.

  33. The House of York
    August 20, 2017

    People and organisations accused of Hate Speech accuse their accusers of Hate Speech. In terms of where they are both coming from which is far off the coast of these islands mentally, they are both right. But they should be allowed to continue living here so long as they report to a police station and have their shackles checked and marbles thumbed through every twelve hours.

  34. nigel seymour
    August 20, 2017

    The mother of murdered soldier Lee Rigby has said the Ministry of Defence failed to support her family.

    Removing all trade tariffs and barriers would help generate an annual £135bn uplift to the UK economy, according to a group of pro-Brexit economists.

    1. Martin
      August 21, 2017

      I think you will find that those economists want all farm subsidies abolished. If you think the Tories will ever give up their beloved farm subsidies think again.

      This of course is why Brexit is a scam. The worst part of the EU the Common Agricultural Policy is just being rebadged!

      Down with the Corn Laws!

  35. Jason wells
    August 20, 2017

    Exactly… Trump is nuts..and the genersls are going to have to ride shotgun and mind him for the next three and a half years..a bit like baby sitting.

    The same here in Britain, the Tory elite are nuts too if they think Barnier is going to allow his whole negotiating schedule be turned upside down to suit david davis and Fox, et al

    Everybody including the Brits want to cherry pick, taking back control, and all of the other nonsense Farage, Boris and Gove went on about..well we’ll see in the next few weeks how far this strstegy is going to run? not very far I don’t think!

    Reply We can leave without a deal if that is what Bernier wants

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 20, 2017

      Michel Barnier has no legal basis to impose his preferred negotiating schedule, which in any case is actually the negotiating schedule handed down by the EU leaders minus Theresa May and only binding on him not on our negotiators.

    2. lojolondon
      August 20, 2017

      Funny how the establishment representatives who dislike Mr Trump also dislike Brexit…..

  36. ian
    August 20, 2017

    China a great country, with great leaders, and the west will never understand how china works, and the great game they are playing. When i look to china pasted, i see a country that lost 100 million people 6 to 7 years, and never bated a eye lid, china know more about debt and currency than anywhere else, and to china it just a game, and nothing more.

  37. Ed Mahony
    August 20, 2017

    (apologies for one of my comments proselytizing, not intended when i started off writing comment)

  38. lojolondon
    August 20, 2017

    John, I know you are against HS2, I thought you would enjoy this article with the graph that supports all your previous articles about the surplus of train seats on the train from London to Manchester –

  39. Yossarion
    August 20, 2017

    EU Regulation (Diktat) (EC) No 178/2002 signed by Tony Blair’s Labour government, transferred responsibility for food safety from each member state to the EU. It set up the EU Food Safety Agency. So the British Government is no longer responsible for the safety of the food that Brits eat

    Could you verify this, as I do like Pork Sausages

  40. Linda Jones
    August 21, 2017

    Please, Mr Redwood, stop referring to these people as ”elite”. They are NOT elite. This term has become devalued, as it is used to describe these unelected, self-serving bureaucrats. They think of themselves as ”elite” – there is no need to reinforce their own selfish perspective by keep repeating it.

  41. Martin
    August 21, 2017

    The impression is given by the Brexit crowd that the EU is responsible for lots of bad government and form filling.

    Can you give me one example of a form I will not have to fill in after Brexit?

    I suspect I will be filling in more customs and immigration/emigration paperwork post Brexit as Mother Theresa’s “frictionless border” is doubtful at best.

  42. rose
    August 21, 2017

    “I welcome laws against racial and religious hate speech…”

    I like people to be gentle and polite too, but I am very worried about Justice being no longer blind. The concept of “hate speech” and “hate crime” as it is applied in this country means there are favoured groups and disfavoured groups when it comes to being offended. So a member of the disfavoured group can be sent to prison for offending members of favoured groups, even though no physical crime has taken place; while members of the disfavoured group may be threatened with violence both on and off line, incitement clearly taking place, without anything happening to the perpetrators because their hatred and violence is not deemed to be hate crime or hate speech.

    Examples of this are the many death threats on and off line against Nigel Farage which don’t get classified as hate speech though they clearly are, and the case of the man who was sent to prison for a year for leaving bacon sandwiches outside a mosque. He then died in prison at the age of 35 and we have never been told why. If this had happened to a member of a favoured group there would have been riots and enquiries.

    1. Norman
      August 21, 2017

      “He then died in prion at the age of 35.” I know of similar cases in other areas of p/c censure. Where good citizens feel so badly hurt by the powers-that-be turning on them, in the native land they’ve so loved hitherto, that they believed so passionately always stood for what was right. I’d hazard a guess the cause of death was a broken heart.

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