Pathways out of poverty

The most common way to prosperity is to get a well paid job. One of ways to get a well paid job is to start with a less well paid job, do it well and work your way up the organisation. Today’s shelf stacker in the supermarket may be tomorrow’s section Head in the shop, and the store manager in due course. Another way is to do well in education and training, emerging with qualifications and skills employers need. That way you can enter higher up the pay scales when you begin. Some lack success in education, but have energy and an impulse to serve others which develops successful small businesses.

Many companies now do a good job helping their workforce to achieve more and earn more. Companies often have training programmes for those who did not get on well at school and did not leave with good relevant skills. Many companies recognise that they do not just need to attract talent, but they also need to nurture and create talent. Employers have to serve the local community in many ways, including helping people to help them as better employees. A good company appreciates it has an employer brand as well as a customer brand, and will attract better or more willing people if it has a good reputation as an employer.

Families, teachers family friends and other adults known to the young person are important and they can help. Grown up children will often get their first job whilst still living with their parents. Parental or other adult support and guidance over how to accept the disciplines of the workplace and how to make your way in the office or factory can make a difference to a person’s prospects. Just as an employee has a right to expect a caring and supportive employer, so an employer would like an employee who is keen to learn , who wishes to do well for the business and understands the importance of customer relations and customer satisfaction to the ability of the company to pay good wages.

Now we have much fuller employment that task of encouraging jobs for those still in long term unemployment is more difficult. Some find entering the job market difficult owing to a lack of role models in their families and possibly owing to drink or drugs or some mental health problem. That is why local and national government has many programmes to tackle addictions and afflictions and spends large amounts of time and money on trying to assist the most difficult to help.

Getting the better paid job is just part of the route out of poverty. It also opens up the opportunity to own assets, allowing people to establish some store of wealth for the future as well as income for the present. People make very different uses of this opportunity.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Yes, getting a better paid job would be great especially as the government can then take more of your wealth. And if your pay, especially the minimum wage, becomes too exorbitant then expect your job to be off-shored to somewhere cheaper. Hell, we even give the EU money so that they can entice UK based companies to other parts of the EU.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      Real pay rates are still below what they were in 2007.

      Decent jobs are ever scarcer.

      The use of food banks ever increases.

      People turning to crime grow more numerous.

      That is the reality of Tory Britain.

      Isn’t it, John?

      • libertarian
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        Lol this is really really tedious


        There are 840,000 full time unfilled jobs in the UK, we are on course to create another 660,000 new jobs over next 18 months

        We have the highest number in employment at 32 million and lowest unemployment 3.8% since 1975

        We have skills shortages .

        Shortages of workers in Construction, IT & Digital, Hospitality and Healthcare are the most pronounced

        Average wage in the UK is £29,009

        Who knew that giving away free food would be popular ?

        ( ps the problem for frothing remainers is they cant keep up with their own lies, they keep telling us that all EU workers are going home and theres no one to do jobs, THEN you tell us theres no jobs laughable)

        pps The growth in crime stats is entirely due to increases in violent crime, you know knife crime etc and normally involves drug gangs who always seem to have a lot of cash surprisingly .

      • BR
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        2007 – the crash – after years of Labour mis-management and over-spend?

        Let’s put the blame where it belongs shall we?

        You lefty luvvies seem to conveniently forget these inconvenient facts as time goes by and start blaming the ensuing ‘austerity’ on the government that had to pick up the pieces, as ever.

        There are none so blind as those who will not see.

        • jerry
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          @BR; “2007 – the crash – after years of Labour mis-management and over-spend?”

          Not unless the Labour party of great Britain were regulating the US banks & mortgage lenders, resulting in the subprime mortgage crisis that lead to the world wide financial crisis?!

          “Let’s put the blame where it belongs shall we?

          Indeed let’s, you hard right luvvies seem to conveniently forget these inconvenient facts as time goes by.

          There are none so blind as those who will not see – Indeed, ho-hum…

          • Edward2
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            “hard right luvvies…..come on Jerry you are better than that.
            Ho hum indeed.

          • miami.mode
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

            jerry, Labour were free to regulate the banks howsoever they wished.

            Nobody forced the banks to advance injudicious loans or to purchase toxic financial institutions or to get involved in US mortgages.

            The regulators failed to ensure the banks had provision to cater for lending losses.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Jerry, Jerry

            Noone forced the Labour government to spend like it did, or indeed to rely on credit fuelled Keynsian fiscal policies requiring massive tax receipts from the banks that they kept no leash on.

            The ensuing deficit was all of Labour’s making. They were in charge.

            Chances are a similar deficit would have arisen under a Conservative government but they would just have had to put the tax rates back up having brought them down in the boom times. Labour on the other hand chose to spend their receipts and more leaving a massive hole when it went bang.

          • a-tracy
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, didn’t the Labour Party fully support and encourage the Northern Rock and RBS by relaxing rules, knighting Fred Goodwin and fawning all over these lending institutions during their tenure who relaxed the borrowing rules and they started giving 100% mortgages, stopped doing the checks on ability to repay they used to do in line with Bill Clinton’s Democrats making the same mistakes in the USA. RBS made poor business decisions buying bankrupt banks in America Charter One and ABN Amro.

            It was no surprise to me that there was a run on the banks, I knew people I wouldn’t borrow £100 to that we’re buying expensive houses on interest only mortgages that got into arrears early on. It was real people who didn’t pay back the loans, real people who weren’t credit checked getting away with taking on too much debt and just walking away from it. And it was the rest of us having forced austerity on the Tory Government and George Osborne to meet debt and deficit rules who have had to all take a hit on our savings and bailing these poor debtors out, then they bunged big loaners sweeteners with ppi repayments, an insurance on mortgages and loans against being made unemployed that the rest of us have had to pay back, the very insurance policies that were supposed to protect the loans!

          • jerry
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; I was only replying in kind, merely returning the abuse favour.

            @miami.mode; How on earth could the UK Labour govt have regulated or controlled the actions of US banks, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac?

            @NS; It wasn’t govt debt that caused the crash, the deficit came about from saving the banks.

            There were some (our host included if I recall) who wanted to allow the afflicted banks to fail, the govt only merely protecting customers deposits (up to a certain value) but that could have caused even more of a run on those and other banks, leading the entire banking system collapsing should increasing numbers of people regard such govt protection as worthless.

            If govts should not spend in economic good times they they should not reduce taxes either, or spend any Brexit windfall either…

            Reply I recommended managed administration for failing banks with shareholders and bondholders taking the hit but the business of the bank continued and depositors were protected. This is now official policy for any future crisis but was not adopted last time.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          It was indeed largely the mess that Labour (no return to boom and bust Gordon Brown) left behind. But the Conservatives under Cameron, (+Clegg and Osborne) and Appeaser May + Hammond have made it worse than it needed to be. They needed to cut red tape, cut taxes, simplify taxes, cut government waste, go for cheap reliable energy, quality only immigration and easy hire and fire. Giving people freedom and choice.

          They gave us the compete opposite on all of these things – combined with dire and still declining public services.

          • jerry
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

            @LL; So what roll did both Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac have here in the UK, and what regulative controls could the 1997-2010 Labour Govt have made to prevent the problems both suffered in the run up to to the 2007 sub-prime crisis. Tell me, what could the UK Labour Govt have done to prevent the 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Bros in the USA, how could the UK govt have prevented the 2009 European sovereign debt crisis (the UK not being a member of the EZ)?

            Next you’ll be claiming the 1929 Wall Street crash was all the fault of Ramsay MacDonald’s Labour Govt!…

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        The crash was global, caused by the US managing to export the negative equity of its poor by opaque, securitised products around the world, and destroying confidence in the banks.

        The Tories greatly increased the debt that they inherited.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          But you would have cried if they had stopped the Labour induced spending programmes.

        • Richard1
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

          Of course if a govt inherits a deficit of 10% of GDP and reduces it over time to 1% of GDP, that still means total debt is rising each year. It always amazes me how left wing people make this point – they clearly can’t grasp the simple maths of it. Perhaps that’s why we ended up in such a mess after 13 years of Labour in the first place.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

            Left wing people early always work on raw (and usually totally irrational) emotion. Never of maths, logic, sound economics, real justice or science.

            It’s all about conning people for their votes!

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          Come off it Martin there were plenty of British people not just Americans that took on big none deposit required 100% interest only mortgages that couldn’t afford to pay them and shouldn’t have been given such unsecured loans.

          I know unqualified people who become mortgage brokers making lots of money and commission by telling people how easy it was for them to get house mortgages and arranging them.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        We are still trying to recover from the Horror story of the last Labour government, financial austerity to address the country’s debt, the mass immigration year after year, the deskilling globalisation and technology have caused. Not quite understanding where the Conservative Gov’t is to blame…? Oh apart from the May ‘nightmare on Downing St’.!

      • Edward2
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        “Decent jobs are even scarcer” says Martin.
        Wrong yet again.
        Record low unemployment and record numbers in work.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          Demeaning, exploitative, low-paid jobs are plentiful.

          Decent ones are ever rarer.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink


            Complete , total and utter drivel

            There are in fact fewer and fewer low paid menial jobs as automation takes over creating a job market that produces high paying jobs

            There are more than 30,000 unfilled IT jobs, average salary in IT £47,500 putting them ALL in your rich list

            Construction jobs account for 37% of all unfilled vacancies average salary across UK in construction £42,500

            Over two thirds (67%) of companies across the UK have unfilled digital vacancies average UK salary in digital £50,000

            Martin socialism is a busted flush. Let it go mate and join the reality based community

          • a-tracy
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

            Martin, can you say which jobs you think are demeaning and which ones are exploitative? I’m genuinely interested because we have a national minimum wage and a national living wage in this Country, guaranteed 28 days holiday pay based on average earnings including overtime (including for zero hours contract workers) pro-rata.

            What do you think the Minimum wage should be for the lowest skilled and graded job? And If that were put in place what would you pay the unemployed and pensioners?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

            @ a-tracy

            A minimum wage is a law prohibiting people (whose work is worth less than this figure) from working and from learning how to work. Having one is insane economics and cruel for these people.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          Calling our record employment decent jobs is pushing it Edward. How are those low end tax receipts?

          • libertarian
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink


            Average salary across UK is £29009

          • a-tracy
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            NS the national living wage for a full time worker is £16,000.

            The government wants
            20% tax over £12,500 = £700
            12% NI over £8632 = £884.16
            13.8% Emp Ni = £1016.78
            3% Er Nest over £6136 = £295.92
            5% Ee Nest = £493.20

            £3390.06 pa which is better than low skilled workers living totally on benefits isn’t it?

          • Edward2
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            Tax receipts are up
            You need to allow for the Conservatives pushing the point you start to pay income tax to a record £12,500

          • Lifelogic
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            @ a-tracy

            Possibly you have to take account of travel costs (not even tax allowable), perhaps child care, lack of time costs (meaning you shop less efficiently, have not time to cook or barter etc. and can do less DIY work).

      • JoolsB
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        I’m sick of hearing about food banks. Food banks existed under Labour, the only difference is the hypocrites banned them from being advertised. And if people really are going hungry in this country, despite exorbitant benefit payouts, how come all the so called poor people tend to be fat?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          If you give something of value away for nothing you do tend to get rather good demand for it. This is hardly very surprising. Even if the ‘customers’ do not want what is offered they can give it away, sell it on, or barter it with someone else. Free cigarette banks or free pound coin banks would be very popular too.

          As of course are half price council houses (half paid for by taxes on others paying full rents) and ‘free’ GP appointments hence the 16 day (rationing) wait for them. If it is free or below market price there will be good demand.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

          Agree jools, they showed families on TV the other evening and they were saying they couldn’t afford food and yet all the mothers interviewed were morbidly obese. What a joke.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

            Well once they have bought their cigarettes, alcohol and starters perhaps they cannot!

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Read between the lines

        There’s not much there…

        is there


      • steve
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink


        The rot you describe is what is known as Labour’s socialism. Pin the blame on the likes of Blair. He brainwashed a generation into believing they were divinely entitled.

    • eeyore
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      The best route out of poverty is to marry money. A tip for JR’s readers: pick your father-in-law with care. Question him severely and satisfy yourself he is hard working, prudent and able and willing to settle a generous fortune on your prospective spouse.

      When contemplating matrimony, never forget that the love of a lifetime lasts two years but a father-in-law is for keeps.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        Love it!

      • Fred H
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        very good!

  2. Shirley
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    All of the above is undermined by mass immigration. Employers have little incentive to train or entice employees to do better when they are easily replaced. There are some altruistic employers who realise their profits rely on their workers as much as their management, but they can be very difficult to find.

    There are also some people who won’t help themselves, ie. redundant employees who refuse to take a job that pays less than the one they were made redundant from. That’s the whole point of redundancy pay, isn’t it?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Most immigration is not from the European Union, and the UK has always had sovereign control over that.

      Furthermore, since the referendum, incomers from the Continent have dwindled in number, but been replaced by those largely from the developing world, who are willing to work for lower wages than are our fellow Europeans.

      This voting Leave business hasn’t helped one bit, has it?

      • steve
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink


        “Most immigration is not from the European Union, and the UK has always had sovereign control over that.”

        What a load of twaddle.

        So how do you suppose they’re getting here if not from the European Union ? Rowing across the Atlantic perhaps ?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 31, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

          They land perfectly legally at airports, on visas from Bangladesh, from Pakistan, from Nigeria, from India, from Oceania, and from among the other billions in the Commonwealth etc., Steve.

          How else did you think?

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Mass immigration (as opposed to controlled immigration) caused Brexit, some call this the destruction of our country.

      One way or another mass immigration destroys countries.

      Brexit happened because …





    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      It is indeed undermined. Some quality control is needed. Some immigration is good and some is bad accept only the former it is not rocket science.

    • steve
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:44 pm | Permalink


      But to be fair not many employers these days pay generous redundancy. Statutory minimum is all too common now.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 31, 2019 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Statutory minimum redundancy pay is one weeks gross salary for every year worked ( tax free)

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Well getting into £50K of debt (and losing three years of earnings) for a degree in say Gender & Media Studies at the ex-poly of Bognar Regis or similar is not a very good plan. So why do the government encourage this so much wasting vast sumes of tax payers money.
    Stop state funding for hobby subjects and nonsense subjects. People can get a job and read what they want it their spare time for almost nothing (or go to night schools). At best 50% of current UK university degrees have any significant value. Getting a media studies degree statistically lowers your earning capacity it seems. Though actually it is probably the types of people who go for this route (rather than the course itself)

    We need builders, engineers, scientists, plumbers, sales people, managers, mathematicians, farmers, tree surgeons, computer programmers, accountants and the likes.

    If we had a sensible legal, litigation, employment laws, much simplified tax systems, planning systems and a bonfire of daft red tape we could manage with about 25% of the largely parasitic jobs we have in these areas. Lawyers, bureaucrats, court workers, tax/HR/planning specialists and similar. Release them all to get some productive jobs instead.

    Get a job learn how to work and find an area that interests you and start to climb the ladder is perhaps the best way for most people. Or go to university but make sure you read something sensible. Or set up your own business, the best way to do this (very often) is to get a job in a similar industry first. Learn the ropes and makes your mistakes at their expense first.

    Reply Government does not encourage people to get pointless or bad degrees. In a relatively free society students and universities decide what is taught and learned, not the government.

    • jerry
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      @LL; All those adverts enticing people to buy your latest and greatest products (well not ‘your’ products, no one need to advertise a Rigsby let after all…) are created by those who you claim have worthless “Gender & Media Studies” degrees, you really are a very bitter, ignorant, person at times.

      • Bob
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Did you do media studies Jerry?

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        I’m not certain that using a parasite industry to illustrate your point helps you to make your case. It certainly doesn’t add any value to hobby degrees when the country needs medical staff, engineers, scientists, mathematicians, IT professionals and other STEM subject degree-qualified people more than NHS bureaucrats and low-grade civil servants, which is where those with soft degrees end up if they’re lucky. The joke about 3 years socially respectable unemployment enabling the recipient to say, “ do you want fries with that?” after 2 days training, has more than a grain of truth in it. Those people would be both more productive and quite possibly happier if given the chance to acquire B Tech level qualifications and/ or a proper trade apprenticeship that actually fitted them for work.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Sorry to offend I had not realised that was your area!

        I am not bitter about anything much at all and I am very optimistic & content with my lot in life.

        Though I might get a bit bitter if/when Corbyn starts stealing property and other assets off me and others – to corruptly try to buy votes – as he is threatening to do. But he surely will not get in despite May’s best attempts to help him.

        • jerry
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          @LL; It’s not, I just understand that the world revolves around more than just STEM subjects, and that consumer based capitalism is pretty useless unless it can market its latest, greatest products, be it a radio, TV, Magazine or web based advert, even a direct marketing leaflet put through the letter box.

          • Robert mcdonald
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

            But the most productive and numerous jobs are in the material production, product manufacturing and in product sales .. marketing is a very minor element if the process.

          • jerry
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

            @Robert mcdonald; “marketing is a very minor element if the process.”

            As are the HGV drivers who deliver the product to the shops! Minor but essential non the less…

      • libertarian
        Posted August 31, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        LL & Jerry

        Actually media studies is the second highest most employable degree

        Medicine has a 95% placement rate and Media studies 93% Engineering 81%

    • Bob
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Responding to Mr Redwood’s reply:
      You may have missed lifelogic’s point that people can choose pointless university courses because they do not need to pay the tuition debt if the course doesn’t lead to a well paid job.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. If they had to fork out themselves they would think twice.

        What is wrong with more people learning on the job or at night school as both my parents did. While bringing up their four children.

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          Such university courses hide the true youth unemployment figures.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

            Indeed in effect extending the school leaving age to 21.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink


            As 31% of people on zero hour contracts are full time students , no it actually doesn’t hide anything really

    • Fred H
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      reply to reply…..and who funds the University buildings, the tutors, the subject decision makers?

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        Ultimately, the taxpayer. There is no such thing as government money.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: true but the govt does automatically provide a full loan to anyone who gets a univ place, irrespective of what it’s for. This seems to have created an inflation of places, where univs have had an incentive to cram in more and more students, often with minimal contact time, and for some questionable courses.

      I’d favour a big expansion of the Kenneth Baker technical colleges and the new T-level seems like a good idea.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        true – but think of the money rolling in to pubs, clubs, fastfood places!

    • GilesB
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      When markets fail the government can create value by intervening.

      The university market has clearly failed its customers (employers who cannot separate wheat from chaff when twenty times as many firsts are handed out and nobody fails), its product (students who will not get a return on their investment), and the community as a whole because of the waste of resources and the propagation of delusional expectations.

      The only people benefitting are university administrators who are accountable to self-serving, self-appointing University Councils which are stuffed full of university administrators. It’s a massive scam.

      The government should intervene. As a minimum universities should be forced to publish salaries of all staff, and students three years after graduation, and University Councils should have at least 75% members as senior executives of employers, not professors or administrators.

      Better would be to separate teaching institutions from research-led institutions

      • Little Englander
        Posted August 31, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

        GilesB: ‘boy!’ – did you nail that one on the head OR WOT? Cracking good observation ( especially the last para) but whilst many in Government know this nonetheless ‘those thinkers’ ( I believe ) are not willing to outwardly engage due to its sensitive nature preferring to ‘pretend’ that it’s not within their remit. Cracking good observation and one day, with luck, we will have a strong, fearless, determined, like-minded Minister fully supported by his/her PM and Cabinet colleagues who will tackle this head on and over the braying/bleating voices of Academics.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      A very interesting development I was made aware of by a tweet from Nassim Nicholas Taleb(who was attending the World Skills Forum in Kazan this week) is the “University 20:35” and a link to an article in Horizons Tracker : “Is University 20:35 the university of the future?”

      “One of the more interesting developments has emerged out of Russia where a new university has been developed by a consortium of business innovators and education providers.

      The project known as University 20:35 is a digital platform that offers students individually required competences along a personal educational road map with AI used to help define this personal road map for each student.

      “We stated our work with collecting the data and neural networks training to optimize the educational road maps of our students and mutual training of humans and AI.We learn from an artificial intelligence the same as it learns from us” the team say.”

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Russia was the birthplace of child-centrered learning. Look how successful that’s been. Sup with a very long spoon.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      A very good article, Sir John. I would like to see wider debate of these ideas.

      LL: I see what you are driving at, but even if degree qualifications were aligned with the country’s needs – and this would be a significant step in the right direction – universities set themselves targets for recruitment of overseas students because they can charge higher fees and therefore increase income.

      To solve this problem, Government would need to incentivise universities to prioritise UK-based students – to look past the short-term goal of fees income and towards to medium to long-term strategy for the benefit of the country (industry, infrastructure and individuals).

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Well if overseas students are paying the full costs of the courses then surely the universities could just expand to meet the demand – without needing to restrict UK students and than cross subsidise a bit. Also benefiting from some economies of scale. A lecture costs about the same for 10 people or 200 people or a videoed one seen by one million +.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          Well it would be interesting to know how many of these mickey mouse courses are being attended and paid for by foreign students.

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Totally agree Lifelogic. The only thing is the ones doing the meaningless degrees are the ones who will probably never pay their debts back as they won’t earn enough. The ones who will be hit are those doing STEMM subjects, the very people the country needs but who are more likely to take their services abroad. Only 22% of student debts are paid back and that will be by them. If the Government had an ounce of common sense or fairness, which it clearly doesn’t (especially as it is only English graduates coming out with these debts) they would make all STEMM subject degrees free of charge on condition that they stay in this country/NHS for a minimum of say 10 years. Meanwhile all those meaningless degrees the taxpayer is funding should be subject to repayal whatever meaningless job and salary they end up with. That might deter them.

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        Jools, we haven’t gone long enough to know how many plan 2 student debts are paid back?

        Where did you read only 22% are paid back I ask because early English tuition fees were £3000 (25% of total degree cost £1000pa) for a three year course in 1998. Sir Ron Dearing was asked to plan the funding of Universities for the following 20 years. Well those 20 years are now up and I want to know how far off his plans were and why don’t you? How many millions per year were actually received, he anticipated £350m 1998-99, £565 m 1999-2000 in order to expand student numbers, did we get it?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

          You can make pretty good estimates given that interest rates on the debt are about 6% and looking at graduate wages and knowing they pay just 4% of earnings over £25K. Even some doctors will never pay it all back. Especially women (now over 50% of medics) who are rather more likely to take career breaks. This as they may have five of six years of debt build up plus interest.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      To reply:- Well the government is giving out soft loans (using taxpayers money) to pay these fees and student living costs. Loans that will largely never be repaid in full. Is this not encouragement? Perhaps I should have said bribe? Few people would chose to spend £50K (after tax) of their own money on these largely duff or fairly worthless degrees. Loans that also make borrowing for a mortgage much harder for these poor people who have too often been sold a pig in a poke. Many ever going with just two or three E’s at A level!

      Just as the Government encouraged (bribed) people to put rather pointless solar cells on their roofs – or Cameron to put up a pathetic wind turbine on his house in (wind lacking) Notting Hill. Or indeed any of the other renewable bribes to do daft things. Using taxpayers own money to get other people to do largely pointless and indeed often actively damaging things.

    • forthurst
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply: Government has a role to correct the errors, deliberate or otherwise, that have been made by previous administrations, to wit, John Major deciding that technical colleges should become universities in name and Tony Blair setting the objective of 50% of school leavers going to a university. This has had a multiplicity of egregious knock on effects. To ‘pass’ so many, the school examinations had to be reduced in difficulty by a shrinkage of the syllabi, more generous marking and very generous grading system causing difficulty at the top end in determining high ability, the reduced preparation for real university syllabi, and the belief amongst students of modest ability that they were ‘academic’. The tertiary institutions then to a greater or less extent turned from institutions devoted to scholarship and the training of life skills to money-making rackets, the government having absolved itself of funding so many students, leaving many with three wasted years and a mountain of debt with no improvement in their job prospects, as well as proper universities having to add foundation years to teach proper A level work.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      To reply:- of course people in a free society should be free to study what the want but only at their own expense (unless there is some very good reason for the tax payer to fund such degrees). There is little reason why in digital age with videoed lectures and similar that education needs to cost very much at all.

      You can perhaps justify subsidising doctor training as we are rather short of doctors. But then we have about 50 times more people studying say Forensic Science than are jobs available in that field (though at least that is scientific I suppose).

      Far worse still for very many other art subjects.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Easy hire and fire help people get wealthy too. It benefits hard working employees just as much as it benefits the company and the economy. The only people who lose out are are people who are swinging the lead and deserve to lose out. Post Brexit we can perhaps have more of this and fewer lead swingers and time wasters. We certainly do not want to build on EU “workers rights” as the appalling May suggested!

      The best way to get workers rights is lots of available jobs so they can move easily if they feel badly treated or under paid. Not daft employment red tape and very expensive tribunals. Who want to work next to someone who does not pull their weight or even try to anyway?

  4. Dominic
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    I believe you miss the point here. Your advice to young people is absolutely correct. Work hard, focus, never give up and you will get to your destination irrespective of your background.

    I see this debate from a purely political perspective and try and get inside the devious, sinister mind of Milne, McDonnell and their lackey Marxist followers. These people are political animals with one political focus. They care not one jot for young people. Their only concern is stoking negative emotions (an easy task in the young), courting them and then capturing them.

    Marxist Labour try to contrive a pretext for resentment by telling young people they’re asset poor and income poor due to ‘older people’ being richer than they are. This politically inspired plan of trying to stoke resentment in young people is simply abhorrent, vile and reprehensible.

    Labour’s societal focus is deliberate and sinister. Take the focus away from the individual. Destroy the idea of individual and personal responsibility. Contrive social groups with well-defined characteristics and then play them off against one another to create an emotional dynamic which Labour then try and exploit for political gain.

    The aim of the Tories must be to elevate personal responsibility once more. Tell people they must take control of their own lives and stop looking to the State. Tell people taking control of their own lives is empowering.

    Warn people of Labour’s plan. the Tories must warn that Labour’s only concern is political. They will use and abuse people for political gain. They see nothing but political opportunities. Young people are mere commodities to them

    I’d like to see Labour exposed on various issues, especially that one main issue that reveals what Labour’s become and exposes the sham claim that they are the party of humanity, compassion and concern

    • jerry
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      @Dominic, the only person who seems to have missed our hosts point is you, whilst your comment OTT rant say far more about how far to the right your own politics are than it says anything about the current Labour Party….

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, what is far right in Dominic’s comment? Lots of my ‘left-wing’ family say the same things as Dominic. In fact his opening paragraph was a statement made regularly by them.

        Para 3 is what’s happening, Andy on this site regularly affirms it.

        Para 4 is also spot on, Labour = collectivism, cooperative over the individual, comrades means brothers and sisters together doesn’t it, fighting the man, anti business, everyone should have an equal share without doing anything to earn that?

        • jerry
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          @a-tracy; Yours and Dominic’s comments are no more extreme than you are both trying to make out Mr Corbyn to be…

          If Corbyn is a “Marxist” in your opinions then many on the left will consider your own views are of the hard right.

      • dixie
        Posted August 31, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        I don’t see anything in Dominic’s observation that is ‘far right’. Rather it identifies personal reliance and responsibility being a foundation for personal freedom and prosperity. If you rely on the state you are actually relying on other individuals giving up some of their personal freedom for your benefit, however in the case of Milne, McDonald, Corbyn and co that personal freedom is utterly taken away, not given.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Dominic….a well written, clear comment on the division between the previous 2 major parties. I say previous due to the observation that for a while it can be argued that the Libdems and the Brexit party represent a majority of the electorate.
      However, the Brexit party will have to evolve into something beyond one event even so monumental, and the Libdems will have to identify key policies to become attractive rather than merely flavour of the day politics.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Heidi Allen on LBC yesterday said Boris was behaving “like a dictator” and that the “EU is deeply democratic”.

    The EU is clearly profoundly anti-democratic at every single level if you look at it properly Heidi.

    She has a degree in astrophysics from UCL it seems. So how on earth can she have become so daft now I wonder? It is the remainers like her who are ensuring the the EU have zero incentive to offer any sensible (mutually beneficial) trade deal. Thus making no deal the only sensible option. They are surely the EU’s useful idiots.

    Reply How democratic is it to promise electors you back Brexit and then do the opposite when elected?

    • jerry
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      @JR reply; How democratic is it to only expect your favoured Brexit despite not having a mandate, not even a GE party manifesto, after all Flecxit (or something similar) is still Brexit, just not what the ERG want…

      • Edward2
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        You can like various other forms of Brexit and you have made a good case in other posts for these alternatives, but in three years of efforts by the Government we ended with the Withdrawal Agreement which was rejected by Parliament three times.
        The EU says it will not alter its negotiating position on the matter.
        So it is looking increasingly like a no deal exit on 31st October.
        Unless you could go over to Brussels and change their mind to accept one of your preferred versions of Brexit which might also be accepted by Parliament.

      • forthurst
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Jerry: Have you just outed yourself as an EU Referendum troll like Mike Stallard?

        • jerry
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

          @forthurst; The only think I have outed myself as is a DEMOCRAT, something Brexiteers claime to be, but they have increasingly over the last 3 years proved that they are no better than the EC in their autocratic ways – a plague on both houses!

          • Edward2
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

            Leave supporting MPs just want a democratic decision made by the people of this country to happen.

          • forthurst
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            Dr Richard North is a political theorist not a politician therefore despite the huge intellectual achievement of his magnum opus, Flexcit, he has not taken into account the propensity of politicians, particularly those who would like the infusion of taxpayers money combined with a captive market, not forgetting the right to pillage our fish, to never end. That is why we need a quickie divorce not a protracted arrangement with continuous counselling from those who want to save this marriage from hell at all costs.

          • jerry
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; If that was so we would have had a second referendum, asking the How-to question, and no that would not have been rerunning the original referendum as Remain would not be on the ballot.

            @forthurst; Typical UKIP/TBP gobbledygook, over playing feel good buzz words, after all most politicos are political theorist even if the public image of the party leader is of the common man down the pub for a quick one…

          • Edward2
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

            I would be interested what question or questions you would want to have on that second ballot paper.
            It would have to be deal approved by the EU and Parliament first I presume.

          • forthurst
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

            Obviously my point escaped you, so I will simplify its expression: the author of Flexcit (not Flecxit) is not a politician and as such is totally deluded in believing that the EU or the remainers in parliament would simply follow his playbook as some holy writ handed down by a higher authority.

          • jerry
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            @forthurst; “the author of Flexcit is not a politician”

            …and smoked Haddock is £10 Lbs, whilst unsmoked is £5 Lbs!

            You point being what exactly, considering neither Arron Banks nor Dominic Cummings are “politicians” by your own definition?

            Once again, you (purposely?) refuse to accept the British electorate were explicitly asked if they wanted to Leave the “European Union”, that is all, they were explicitly not asked if they wanted to leave the Customs Union, barring in mind that membership of one does not automatically bring membership of the other, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway are all in the EEA (and thus CU) but are not members of the “European Union”.

            Such a question could have been put to the electorate quite easily, with eurosceptics & europhiles having no problems explaining what membership of the CU would mean, such as having to accept the EU’s ‘Four Freedoms’ (movement of people, goods, services, and capital) but would allow freedom from the CAP, CFP and rules on third country goods etc.

            On polling day the electorate would have had a very simple, and similar question to that asked in June 2016;

            “Should the United Kingdom aim to remain a member of the (European) Customs Union or leave the (European) Customs Union?”

            Had Leave ‘won’ such a second referendum the UK govt would have simply informed the EU that it would be leaving on 29 March 2019, using WTO rules for future trading relations.

            Whilst a Remain ‘win’ would have been less than ideal for many eurosceptics, as members of the EEA the UK would still be far freer to plough their own furrow in the world just as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway do.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

            The customs union is the beating heart of the EU.
            If you are in the customs union you are in the EU.
            And read the many speeches by Cameron telling us that leaving meant leaving the customs union.

            What about your second referendum asking:- Do you want the UK to have the same deal as Japan and Canada?

          • jerry
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Thank you for your OPINION.

            Legally the Customs Union (as applicable to EEA membership) is not the “European Union Customs Union” (EUCU), otherwise best you tell the people of Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway that they have joined the “European Union”!

            As for your suggested referenda, what ever, just so long as we can also have a referendum on any future USA – UK trade agreement, ho-hum… 😮

          • libertarian
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink


            Norway is part of the EU’s single market (it is a member of the European Economic Area), but it is not part of the customs union


            Iceland is part of schengen and the single market and EEA but is NOT in the customs union

            So I’m afraid Edward 2 is entirely right and you and your OPINION are entirely wrong

            Google it

          • jerry
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            @Libby; “Google it”

            I did, and I have rechecked my facts, you and Edward2 are still wrong!…

            Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway are not members of the EUCU, the true bedrock of the “European Union” because of the rules on the CAP, CFP. and third country goods.

            EEA membership does not equal membership of the “European Union”, but nor does membership of the EUCU…! A country does not need to be a member of the “European Union” to be a member of the EUCU and enjoy full unfettered access to the Single Market, Monaco for example.

            The UK’s 2016 referendum asked about the international treaty entity that is the “European Union” (should we Leave or Remain), it did not ask anything about any Customs Union, nor any Single Market, thus the instruction and mandate relates only to the UK’s membership of the “European Union”. That is why I suggested, above, a second referendum on (EU)CU membership – rejection of a CU would mean that HMG would have no option other than to take the UK our of the “European Union” on WTO rules.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      Good article on relative democracy in the UK and the EU:-

      Brexit is vibrant democracy in the raw: it is Europe that risks sliding under authoritarian control

    • Fred H
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      astrophysics….how sweet. She still has stars in her eyes.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Really, LL?

      Every senior European Union official must be approved by a majority of our MEPs, who themselves are elected by Proportional Representation. They must also meet the approval of the Council of Ministers (the member countries’ own, that is) and of the European Council of the leaders from the twenty-eight democracies, the European Union’s supreme authority.

      On the other hand, the PM of this country was not decided by the electorate. He was not chosen by Parliament either. The shortlist – of two – was not even selected by the ordinary Tory Party members but by the parliamentary group. The PM was then chosen by just ninety thousand members, a third of whom had joined, as entryists probably, since the referendum.

      The irony of the European Union-hating whingers, with their endless squeaking about a lack of democracy in it sadly escapes them it appears.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        It is anti-democratic in every way, not even a sensible demos. The MEPs are a hugely expensive fake veneer of democracy. It fools a few but not many.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 31, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

          Oh the irony. One man, elected by just ninety thousand often rather odd single party members cannot prorogue the European Union’s parliament.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink


            What is it with you leftie types that you always have to ascribe some kind of abuse… Is it because secretly you know you are talking cobblers? How would you know if 90,000 people “were odd”

            You cant prorogue the EU parliament because it has no powers, serves no purpose and has no official opposition .

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        So why isn’t it a crisis when TBP or UKIP win EU elections ? It would certainly be considered so if they won the UK elections.

        Ans: Because they have no clout in the EU Parliament.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          and of course Farage is not generally popular. He has been rocking the boat, upsetting the gravy train rather. A real threat to the comfortable sinecure.

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Martin, the European Commission (the Executive Branch) responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions and upholding EU treaties swearing an oath to the EU above their nation state – was Jonathan Hill (unelected) – Sir Julian Beresford (unelected)?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 31, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

          The UK Law Commission is not elected either and also proposes legislation.

          The European Union’s Commission answers to its Parliament and to the Council of the twenty-eight leaders.

          • a-tracy
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            The 28 leaders aren’t all equal though Martin only a handful of them pay in the rest take out more than they put in and vote accordingly.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Sir John,

      Perhaps an alternative to the individual, you should look at the national picture; viz, how to get the country out of its debt spiral? First-off, stop paying £15 billion to Brussels to have a £90 Billion trade deficit… (chuckles..)
      Then there’s the aid budget,
      then there’s HS2
      then NHS waste…..

      Reply Recently wrote about all this! Look back a few pages

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Indeed “How democratic is it to promise electors you back Brexit and then do the opposite when elected?” not at all.

      Well most dishonestly claim they are just trying to stop a “no deal Brexit” when they are actually just trying to stop Brexit.

      Then again the Conservative always claim to be a party of low & simple taxation, yet Osborne and Hammond have given us the highest, most complex and idiotic taxes for over 50 years.

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        I think they’ve moved on from no deal Brexit to an EU Brexit out but tied in.

    • Bob
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink


      “They are surely the EU’s useful idiots.”

      If the BBC were doing their job properly they would point out to these useful idiots that their antics only serve to embolden the people on the other side of the negotiations thereby increasing the likelihood of a WTO outcome (which they claim to fear).

      I’ve never heard the BBC criticise the EU or the Remainer side of the Brexit issue, it’s one way traffic.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        The BBC is indeed one way traffic. Leftie, pro ever bigger government, very pro EU, full of PC drivel, climate alarmism, bogus science and endless green crap.

    • Oggy
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Also now Major joining forces with Miller trying to use the courts to prevent prorogation. What a detestable hypocrite, another politician that belongs on the dung heap of history.

      • Mick
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Couldn’t agree more oggy, and to use majors language what a bunch of bastards, all these politicians are really doing is trying the patience of the 17.4 million leavers we all know that all they want to do is thwart Brexit, well I’ve got news for them while theres life in my body I will fight these traitors tooth and nail till we get what we voted for , beware the sleeping lion

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        The appalling John ERM Major who prorogued parliament himself to cut short discussions over cash for questions. Should help the Brexit case a great deal.

        If it isn’t hurting it isn’s working he liked to say, plus calling the wiser members of his cabinet bastards and saying if we come out of the ERM interest rates will have to go up even further just before they fell like a stone. Then burying the Conservative party for many terms and its reputation for at least some relative economic competence.

        Labour 418 seats and Major’s Conservatives 165 seats, LibDims 46 his legacy. Not quite as bad as May’s 9% of the vote I suppose.

        I blame Thatcher for appointing some one who failed his maths O level as Chancellor or indeed as anything.

    • Ian!
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      From one MEP to another on Sky News on TV today

      “It wouldn’t make any difference if the European Parliament was suspended because MEPs such as you and I have literally no power.

      “We have the veneer of power. We are made to feel important.”

      “But we have no legislative power. We vote on laws that other people put through. And you know this,”.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        The UK Parliament mostly votes on bills not drafted by or for MPs too.

        There is the Private Member’s facility, but to introduce that to the European Union Parliament would imply party political administration, requiring reconfiguration of the whole project. It would mean political clashes between many member states and the Commission, and between the Council and the Commission as it stands.

        Law is presently drafted and developed on a widely consensual, consultative basis, not on an adversarial one.

        • libertarian
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink


          Without comment taken from Parliament website

          A Bill is a proposal for a new law, or a proposal to change an existing law that is presented for debate before Parliament.

          Bills are introduced in either the House of Commons or House of Lords for examination, discussion and amendment.

          When both Houses have agreed on the content of a Bill it is then presented to the reigning monarch for approval (known as Royal Assent).

          Once Royal Assent is given a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament and is law.

          Different types of Bills can be introduced by:

          The government
          Individual MPs or Lords
          Private individuals or organisations

          The EU does not operate anything like that . The plenary sessions often bulk vote on large numbers of “bills” in one sitting .

          There is no official opposition in the EU parliament

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

            No, because there is no European Union government either.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink


            I take it from only half answering the last point you agree that once again you were totally wrong about the rest

            ps I know theres no government its an oligarchy/politburo, thats what we object to

        • Bob
          Posted August 31, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

          The EU Parliament cannot initiate legislation, the MEPs get very little time to review or debate the laws they vote on, most of them just turn up and sign in just to get their allowances. The thing they have in common is that they enjoy riding the gravy train too much and don’t want to upset the apple cart which would result in them going back to mediocre jobs with none of the pampering that they enjoy in Brussels and Strasbourg.

  6. Mike Wilson
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    I thought loads of debt to buy a new car every few years was the approved course of action.

    I have found the biggest thing that mitigates against improving your financial situation is tax. Income tax + national insurance + VAT + Council Tax + Duties on Fuel + Stamp Duty + parking charges + tax on insurance policies + car tax + fees for driving licence + fees for passports + planning & building regulation fees + taxes on air travel + capital gains tax … the list is endless. It’s almost impossible to get ahead.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      You missed out student loan repayments Mike.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        not a tax- its paying for the drinks and parties.

      • JoolsB
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Exactly. A whopping 9p extra in the pound income tax for the first thirty years of their working lives. This when they’re trying to buy their first home and start a family. Oh well at least the Government can carry on using their money to carry on funding them for free or heavily subsidised for the rest of the dis-UK.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Farage on LBC last night is still convinced that Boris will ram through May’s dire W/A (with some backstop fudge as a fig leaf). Ruth Davidson seems convinced of this too.
    Ruth voted for the dire W/A three times and accuses the sensible tory wing of failing three time. Thank goodness it did not get through.

    So is Boris lying to Ruth Davidson or lying to the ERG? We shall soon find out. If he does go back to the W/A then the Brexit Party will surely stand in nearly all the seats and the Conservatives will have no chance of a clear majority.

    This even against the appalling prospect of Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP.

    The remainer outrage yesterday was beyond parody. It was hilarious listening to the hypocricy of these traitors. “We want to stop a no deal Brexit (and respect the Brexit vote)” they kept saying. Transparant lies they want to ensure no sensible deal is offered and to kill Brexit completely.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Letwin now saying he’s attempting to get Parliament to ban leaving on October 31 with or without a deal with the EU. Surely Associations should be deselecting these people? It will be interesting to see where those polls go when another extension is agreed.
      No wonder Nigel is lining up the whole 650. He’ll need them all.

      Re[ply I think Sir Oliver is standing down at the next election

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Thank goodness for that.

        I think Ken Clark said he was going to too, but then he stood again when May made a compete and utter pigs ear of her general election. Hopefully we will not have a “vote for us and we will kick you all in the teeth” election manifesto this time.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Anyone who calls for their own government to be brought down should have the whip withdrawn. Failing to do so just results in masses more rebels. They must ALL be deselected unless they’ve already said they aren’t standing

      • JoolsB
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply. He shouldn’t be given the chance to wait and resign. He should be sacked asap for his treachery. And the likes of Grieve, Gauke, Hammond, Soubry, Allen & Wollaton along with him.

        • The Prangwizard
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          They always look after their own, even the egregious. Wouldn’t do to be unkind, after all we might meet them at the club or at a dinner party. We wouldn’t want to spoil the atmosphere.

          Corruption wherever you turn in this country. If not criminal it’s moral. The oiks can go to hell. And of course the Party must survive above all else.

      • Mark B
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        And where did he post his resignation, the litter bin ?

    • Pud
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      If the general election is after the UK has genuinely left the EU on 31 October this year then I will vote Conservative. If the general election is before we leave or “leave” is a re-hashed Withdrawal Agreement, i.e. really remaining, then I will vote Brexit Party. I doubt I’m the only Leaver who will vote this way.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        several million I’d guess.

      • steve
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink


        No not at all, I and millions of others share your sentiment.

        Anything other than no deal and we vote for Farage.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Relax Lifelogic

      I’m convinced that when Boris plays his trump negotiating card at the European Council meeting on October 17th, Ben Stokes will return home with a great Brexit deal for the UK!

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

        Well we shall soon see.

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      I like to think he is going for no deal but is saying he wants a deal to appease those in his own party, many of whom are somewhere in the middle on Brexit and would be horrified if he declared outright his intention to go for no deal before trying to get a deal. That’s what I’m hoping.

      If he does go for May’s attrocious deal but minus the backstop it will never get past the ERG or even our host I believe. The Tory party as we know it would be finished. Probably not a bad thing. Most of them are not nor have ever been Tories. Good riddance to them.

      • Andy
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        ‘It will not get past the ERG’ – yeah but it doesn’t need to.

        The Withdrawal Agreement will come back – it will be basically the same but there will be a few minor tweaks so El Presidente can pretend it is different.

        Francois, Duncan Smith and the loons will rant a lot and huff and puff – plus ça change. But ultimately they are a small minority in Parliamentary.

        Most MPs oppose no deal – and, come October 31, their only alternative to that is Mrs May’s turd. As I have been telling you all along – that is what Brexit means. We told you it was naff. We were right.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          You forget many remain fans in Parliament hate the Withdrawal Agreement too.

          • Andy
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 12:16 am | Permalink

            Yes – most Remainer MPs hate the withdrawal agreement.

            But what you have missed is that they hate no deal even more.

            When their choice is between the WA and no deal – which it will be – which do they pick?

            You all think Remainers will be howling. You will be right. You’ve not realised yet Brexiteers will be howling too.

        • steve
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink


          “We told you it was naff. We were right.”

          No you just talk a load of crap.

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

          I think Andy is correct on this.

          Boris brings back WA minor change opposition will vote for it this time because they realise it’s a stitch up and the ERG will just be blown out just as John Major did over Maastricht.

          Then we’ll be told it was better to stay in all along.

          I thought open primaries were a good idea but Allen and Wollaston have proved me wrong. They should not have stood as Conservatives in 2017.

    • Simeon
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink


      The broad church of MP supporters BJ built in the first stage of the leadership contest was indicative of him not being entirely truthful with, or flat out lying, to either the ERG types or the Remainers. If BJ were intent on pursuing a WTO Brexit as many of us, including our kind host, would like, then he would not be in receipt of support from the likes of Hancock et al.

      I think BJ believes that uniting the Conservative party (as far as it is possible to do so) is in the national interest, so it might not be fair to say that he is putting party before country. But the way to bring together the Tories as far as possible is to pass some version of the WA (that 90% of the Parliamentary party has already voted for, even with the backstop). It’s a terrible plan, as misguided as it is shortsighted. But it has the virtue of being in step with Conservative Parliamentary party opinion. The Conservative MPs would at least be true to themselves.

      Some kind of fudge on the backstop might well win sufficient support from ‘leave’ Labour MPs. This is seemingly plan A, and the only way to avert a GE (though these Labour MPs would then have to prop up the government if the likes of Sir John decided they could no longer remain in the Tory party. Otherwise, it’s a GE, and who knows what emerges, because the Tories would suffer massive losses to the Brexit party, but perhaps not enough to be obliterated, thus resulting in either a wildly hung Parliament, or a ‘progressive coalition’).

      The alternative is not WTO Brexit, but a vote of no confidence and, unless the opposition forces are entirely incompetent, a caretaker/emergency government with a mandate to hold a GE or referendum to resolve Brexit (or at least try!).

      • steve
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink


        “Some kind of fudge on the backstop might well win sufficient support from ‘leave’ Labour MPs.”

        …..but won’t wash with the voters.

        “..the Tories would suffer massive losses to the Brexit party, but perhaps not enough to be obliterated”

        Wrong. If we don’t get exactly what we voted for, or get something we did not vote for the Conservative party is dead, so too Labour and Liberals.

    • GilesB
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      How did Ruth Davidson vote on May’s Withdrawal Capitulation?

      Why were the Scottish Parliament voting on it?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Sorry I meant “supported” her putrid deal three times.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      The PM and Dominic Cummings are playing their cards very close to their chest. I don’t believe Boris told Ruth Davidson anything of the kind.

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

    An excellent letter for His Honour Lord Parmoor today in the Telegraph. Let us hope the various legal actions being taken to try to thwart Brexit come before such sensible clear headed Judges. Unfortunately I rather have my doubts on this.

    As he puts it:- It is clear that the opposition to leaving with no deal is a cover for those wishing to reverse the referendum result and remain in 
the EU. The EU knows this and is relying on them to stop Britain leaving. The Government is now fighting for the people’s Brexit against the EU, the Commons Speaker and the Remainers.

    • Pud
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      I agree that anyone rejecting “no deal” is really trying to stop Brexit. Perhaps one of the Remainers who visit this site can prove me wrong? All they have to do is name a MP who undoubtedly wants to leave the EU, but only if there is a deal. To qualify, the deal would have to result in the UK escaping from the control of the EU. May’s Withdrawal Agreement, even without the backstop, is not leaving.

    • Simeon
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Sounds like Tory propaganda to me. The government is fighting for a fudged Brexit that it hopes will save its skin. Fat chance I say!

    • Bob
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      sensible clear headed Judges?
      Derry Irvine ruled, only those who have dedicated their career to championing equality/diversity can become a judge. This is why we have a left wing, globalist judiciary.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        You really don’t understand law and its administration, do you?

        • libertarian
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

          Are you a lawyer Martin?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink


  9. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Which brings up the important question: what is education for?

    Is it a pathway to employment? In which case, let us face it, the school/university system falls very far short. It is simply not preparing most boys especially for employment, just boring them silly with out of date stuff they will never need.
    Woodwork, metalwork, car maintenance, domestic science, typing and a heavy dose of sport used – in the 1970s – to be the agenda for secondary moderns where most people went to school. Now? a mish mash of semi academic studies and social engineering in the classroom along with some very dodgy theology (LGBT in Birmingham).
    What do the university teachers know about modern technology? Or the real coming revolution in computer driven technology?
    Only asking.

    PS Universities used to be about training monks and priests for the Church. They really meant something then. What are they for nowadays apart from employment for the well paid teaching staff (the higher the better).

    • jerry
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      @Mike Stallard; Totally agree with your comments about how far more relevant Secondary Modern (and indeed the later Comprehensive) schools in the 1950-70s used to be!

      The UK education lower system now teaches the theory of everything but the skills of nothing. No wonder the UK is now short of bricklayers, plumbers etc. the National curriculum was conceived by a very bright minds from the world of academia – and there was its flaw..

    • Fred H
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      it was all so easy back in the day, men of some standing went into the military, the Church or politics. The rest laboured in harsh unsafe conditions to ‘just about manage’ – remember than opening speech?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      A lot of schooling seem to be about pushing climate alarmism and political indoctrination, PC drivel and bogus science (giving us deluded children like Greta Thunberg). People who seems to think is it better (in C02 terms) to sail to New York in a multi £million boat for nearly three weeks – than to fly there in economy for six hours.

      • Bob
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink


        “is it better (in C02 terms) to sail to New York in a multi £million boat”

        This is obviously the future for transatlantic travel.

        I see on that David Davies MP for Monmouth has written a letter to the Rebellion Extinction supporting pop group “the1975 asking if they’ll be following Greta Thunberg’s example on their latest world tour.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

          Indeed and I assume they will insist all their audience will have to arrive on foot or by bicycle.

  10. jerry
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    First we need those better paid jobs that have a viable promotion ladder for the vast majority, not just a select few. In the past people without any natural or learnt skills (via school or college) would start in a factory doing unskilled production line clearing, packing or light assembly,, they would progress to low skilled assembly, and so on and upwards in these plentiful positions, being trained as they go in more complex tasks or on more complex machines, and at each stage the pay would get better, many of those jobs are now off-shore or simply do not exist any more due to changes in automation & technology.

    There is only so far anyone can go in their careers flipping burgers, serving coffee, delivering fast food, or parcels etc. for not much more than the NMW.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      In the present, people without any natural or learnt skills can be BBC personalities, and get 1/4 million a year!

    • Edward2
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Some would progress in the factories of the past that you look back on so fondly Jerry..
      Many people remained in dull repetitive production work.
      Working on machines doing the same task day in day out.
      But you are right these jobs have been replaced by automation and or moved off to cheaper nations.
      Today the people you dismiss as just”flipping burgers…etc” also have opportunities to progress just as some did in the past.
      Locally a young man I know who started flipping burgers is now a franchise holder of four outlets and lives a very good prosperous life.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink


      Interesting post

      I agree career progression is key, as one gains experience one should move along a chain ( not necessarily upwards) .

      I’m not sure I agree that it cant be done now. In fact the rise of automation and technology has opened up lots of new paths that can be pursued

      In my own career I started aged 15 in a factory and ended up as Senior Vice President in a leading Investment bank Before starting my own business 30 years ago . I got no formalised training at any stage but learned by taking opportunities , developing experience and yes of course making mistakes .

      • bill brown
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink


        You have made mistakes, we have never heard that one before, amazing

        • libertarian
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          bill hans brown

          Of course , we all make mistakes, thats how we learn . You make loads too. I apologise or correct mine, you dont , see the difference?

          • bill brown
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:47 pm | Permalink


            No I do not see the difference because you usually do not admit them even when you are wrong

          • libertarian
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            bill brown, well hans old boy in order to prove me wrong on matters of opinion you would first have to post links to the facts, which of course you’ve never done

            Oh and you STILL haven’t apologised for lying about me

      • jerry
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian; I might be missing something here but I really can not understand how someone without any formal industry qualifications could run a listed company. Has regulation/due-diligence really changed so much in the last 30 years?

        • libertarian
          Posted August 31, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink


          1) There has never been a requirement for formal qualification to run a listed company just a qualified company secretary

          2) Any company with minimum of 2 shareholders and £50,000 of shares and a qualified company secretary can list as a public company

          3) I never anywhere said I ran a listed company

          Apart from that great post

    • SecretPeople
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      There’s also the issue of not knowing what the future will bring. I had a friend who failed at school (including maths), entered the army as he felt he had no other choice. Years later the army helped him to a PhD in computer programming – he went on to work for IBM and on the human genome project. Technology and innovation may in the end unlock latent talent in people who for whatever reason had not succeeded through conventional routes.

  11. BigD
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Re: Education, you should watch Channel 4’s ‘Secret Teacher’ for a view of how disruptive & unfocused today’s schoolchildren are. Last night’s episode covered The Forest School, Winnersh, which could benefit from some additional support over & above that of a ‘secret millionaire’.

  12. Richard1
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Still not a single question from any BBC interviewer to any of the ‘outraged’ continuity remainers as to why an additional 6-day suspension of parliament because of a Queens speech is in any way unusual or unconstitutional.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      It is true I think, that Labour had already agreed that the customary suspension of parliament for the conference season would happen this year as normal, and that the incremental suspension – the ‘constitutional outrage’ – is just six parliamentary days?

  13. Julie Williams
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Yes:but haven’t businesses got used to employing “fully fledged” workers from other countries instead of training our youth through the ranks.
    They can pay workers less, subsidised by “in work” benefits whilst the indigenous population is left out-of-work on benefits paid by all taxpayers…of which the company may contribute very little if they are international.
    Pushing children through the university sausage-machine is nonsense: has a career choice like Nursing really benefited from it now being a degree course or has it excluded people who would make perfectly able nurses ?
    I got my professional qualification in accountancy after university but I did so alongside people who had left school after ‘O’ or ‘A’ levels and there was little noticeable difference in the end result .
    What we need to teach children is to hope and aspire: the pre-war generation understood that hard work could achieve results, the post-war “welfare state” has not.

  14. Alec
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Yes move from poverty to wage slavery. If you slog for years you might be rewarded with a mortgage in which a bank pretends to lend you money (created by a few strokes on a keyboard) and you can then work 6 days a week for 25 years to pay back the enormous fake loan to sort of own some ghastly box in a town you hate. In the meantime you can continue to pay huge amounts of extortion money (tax) to keep the elite from kidnapping you and putting you in an even smaller box. If you’re a really well behaved slave you might one day get to have a pension just in time for your worn out body to start failing and having to spend half your remaining life attempting to get substandard treatment from the NHS whilst our noble leaders enjoy private heath care and index linked pensions in their taxpayer funded house in some leafy suburb. Of course that won’t apply to anyone with more than a few years before retirement because the banks will have stolen all the pension money and the debt based economy probably collapse long before you poor suckers see a penny. But you just keep being sheep because the establishment need your labour.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Alec— and the answer to that is ?

  15. Ian Wragg
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Many of todays youngsters have a profound sense of entitlement
    Having watched too much reality TV. they all want to be sportspersons or celebrities. Few are prepared for the cut throat world that awaits them. For some leaving school is the first time they realise that there are listed as well as winners.
    This comes as a colossal shock to them.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink


  16. Kevin
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    This all seems pretty straightforward, even obvious, perhaps. What is less
    obvious is the Conservative Government’s view on claims that have been
    made by individuals that they lost their jobs because their political views were
    made public, and their employers felt under pressure. I would be interested in
    your thoughts on the human rights implications of such a scenario.

  17. nhsgp
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    If you didn’t spend the worker’s NI, and instead invested it, then the Average worker would have 1.3 million in a fund at retirement.

    They wouldn’t have to fund the debts you’ve created. Their share is £450,000.

    Since they aren’t funding those debts, that’s an extra 12% [18% goes on NI, 30% on state debts in total].

    That means with no changes to their services, any services, they would have 2.2 million in a fund.

    Poverty is caused by MPs, like yourself, running a socialist pension ponzi.

    • sm
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Peter Lilly had plans to introduce something like that in 1997, but the Conservatives, you will recall, lost that election.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Lost winning just 165 seats thanks to the dire John ERM Major.

  18. Oggy
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I used to work for a very large national ‘Company’, it was a delight then to work for them and morale was very good, our wages were less important than the job we were doing. We were constantly told that the most important and valued part of the company was their workforce – us. We had job satisfaction.

    Then 20 years ago or so there were some major managerial changes and since then morale has nose dived and if there were problems and you approached the management the reply had become – ‘if you don’t like working here, get a job elsewhere’.

    My job ? – I was a Charge nurse and had been running several very busy operating theatres for the NHS for over 30 years.

    Is it any wonder that there are hundreds of thousands of qualified British nurses who now will not work in the NHS because they no longer feel valued and the NHS have to go abroad to recruit.
    I received a letter a couple of years ago prompted by Government asking if I would like to return to work in Nursing, no doubt all retired/semi retired/ ex nurses did.
    I didn’t reply.

    • Timaction
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Neither did my wife for exactly the same reason and all her friends!

    • graham1946
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Too much political interference from know-nothing politicians. Health and education should be taken away from politics and handled by people who have some clue as to how it works. The last re-organisation was a total disaster made complicated by a know-nothing who then passed into obscurity. If he’d been any good he’d have been running the thing he invented. The PM of the day let him do it because he didn’t have a clue either.

  19. Dominic
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    The term ‘poverty’ in this context is completely misplaced. It makes you sound like a socialist. It’s an emotive term that Corbyn would use to stoke resentment among those who have less than others as though having less of something relative to others is a moral outrage, which it isn’t

    Real poverty doesn’t exist in the UK. That’s a socialist myth to court sympathy

    As an aside. I see the BBC is now promoting a petition. This organisation needs obliterating into next week. No longer should we accept its role and function. Why is the criminal law being used to force me to finance this arrogance?

    • Fred H
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Dominic….’Real poverty doesn’t exist in the UK. ‘
      Almost 100% true.
      Compared to just say 90 years ago when poverty was real and quite common, mostly in industrial or largish cities.

  20. Fred H
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    It all rather centred about money, making it, keeping it. I had hoped at the first para that you may have been eloquent about a career, or just simple employment that would hold your interest for a working life. It was more possible a generation or two ago to begin and end a working life with the same employer, or at least remain in the same industry or business. Globalisation, technology and labour force changed. Now those entering a working life can expect to have to embrace redundancy, unemployment and disatisfaction, not least with the political stage endlessly in the depressing news.

  21. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Or we could always take the labour approach to solving poverty…

    Ruin the economy, confiscate all property, make the rich homeless and jobless, insist that everyone uses food banks…

    In other words drag the better off down into poverty, so that we are all equal, and poverty is fixed…

  22. A different Simon
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    A relatively better paid job makes you better off relative to others .

    Due to the failure to tax natural monopolies like residential location and to regulate finance , across the board increase in pay quickly result in increased location economic rents ; i.e. higher residential property rents and higher mortgage interest payments .

    Thus if everyone earns more , the vast majority of increase is captured by the land and finance lobby .

    Thus increases in net income (e.g. increasing gross wages , cutting on taxes on labour) are not a solution to improving the living standards of the MAJORITY because currently it just results is puffing asset prices and thus increased mortgage interest payments for new borrowers incl the next generation .

  23. Everhopeful
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Is that the story employers tell the govt?
    It really does not sound one bit like any company/supermarket/govt department I have ever worked in.
    And the new awfulness of flip charts precludes many from very worthwhile jobs. Talented friend who just could not get up and give a speech had to give up midwifery training.
    Another told by boss on first day of graduate intake “ Don’t think that you will get on because you have a degree.”
    And how about those computer programmers whose hard won “language” became obsolete and because the govt department would not retrain they have to work with consultants on three times the salary? And if in a private firm just cast aside no doubt. ( Not to mention that some of those high flying consultants are now facing HUGE tax grabs through no fault of their own).
    The world of work depicted sounds perfect …please make it a reality after Brexit.

    • A different Simon
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      The promise of liberation through work is for a large section of society empty .

      In some cases it almost has the cruel ring of “Arbeit macht frei” about it .

      In the service industry I worked in , the customer base no longer exists at any scale in the UK .

  24. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    The early claim of your piece today, that you can work your way up an organisation from the bottom, is no longer true.

    Companies, and HR departments in particular, demand experience in the new role and a university degree for the more senior roles. The days of shop floor to CEO are long gone even if the school leaver is 1 prepared to do the lower level work 2 able to get that job ahead of an Eastern European with experience from their own country or here.

    I would not wish to be my daughters’ age again. Their working lives will be difficult, but they have been indoctrinated to expect success relatively easily.

    Reply I have met people who rose from shelf stacker to store manager in recent years

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Was that a holiday job while they studied for a degree Sir John or continuous employment with incremental increases in responsibility?

      Most jobs these days come with a requirement for a degree without the (or equivalent experience) rider that allowed the lifer to progress.

      But if you have seen it with your own eyes I am pleased it is still possible.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      reply to reply … and I can guess where. Might begin with the letter S?

    • Bob
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      “Reply I have met people who rose from shelf stacker to store manager in recent years”

      Gideon Osborne worked as a data entry clerk in the NHS and a towel folder at Selfridges. Then, after a brief stint as Chancellor during which time he introduced an amazing level of complexity to the tax system, even attempting a temperature based tax on Cornish Pasties, he moved on to ably expose the disingenuous nature of the EU Remain campaign and he now holds down nine rather well paid jobs, despite Brexit!

      • Mark B
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Well I guess it’s who you know rather than what you know.


        • Fred H
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          it can’t be ability – so that leaves what?

  25. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Low paid jobs, if you have family, in certain circumstances permit the worker to take home £36K annually (nett).

    Why would anyone want a better paid job and more responsibility when they can not earn that amount after tax and commuting costs unless they earn £50K gross per year.

    Universal credit is a fine idea but it skews the earnings of the low paid meaning a senior role is devalued. My neighbours can afford the same lifestyle as me but my responsibilities are greater and my commute is longer.

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Off topic, regarding events which may unfold this morning:

    1. I can imagine how a Scottish court could plausibly claim to have jurisdiction over proceedings in the Scottish Parliament, which is on a similar subordinate constitutional level as a county council in England, but I cannot see how a Scottish court could claim to have any jurisdiction over anything to do with the UK Parliament.

    2. When Jeremy Corbyn publicly threatens to take speedy legislative action on Tuesday to defeat the government’s wicked purposes does not that rather undermine the argument that Parliament is being silenced or sidelined or whatever?

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      In relation to 2, DC, yes. Just about every convention, tradition and rule has been broken, or is about to be broken.
      The Remain MPs are allowed to do anything, if the objective is to stop Brexit. The Leave MPs are forced to stand by and watch. A Speaker in the seventeenth century was held down in his chair to show that he did not really wish to serve in that capacity. The current Speaker should be physically prevented from entering the Commons to take his seat. I’m not advocating violence, but as our democracy appears to have no mechanism for removing a biased Speaker, we need to look to history for the answer, perhaps?

      • steve
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:43 pm | Permalink


        Defenestration, is the word you are looking for.

        Though I personally favour the ‘Bum’s Rush’ for the speaker, since he clearly is one.

        ” but as our democracy appears to have no mechanism for removing a biased Speaker”

        It does. The Queen can sack him.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      The clue’s in the two letters “UK” Parliament, Denis.

      Hope that helps.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        Or “UK” as in “UK” Supreme Court, Martin:

        “The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases, and for criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population.”

        As opposed to:

        “The Court of Session is Scotland’s supreme civil court.”

        And moreover:

        “Certain decisions can be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, either with the permission of the Inner House or, if the Inner House has refused permission, with the permission of the UK Supreme Court.”

  27. Kathleen P
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Growing up in a single parent family is one of the greatest risks of poverty. We decided fifty years ago that we would remove the stigma from women who decided to have a child(ren) ‘out of wedlock’ and over that period we have become less and less sanctimonious about people’s lifestyles. All well and good. Leave people the freedom to choose whatever suits them best. There is a societal cost, however, to this laissez-faire approach if it results in child poverty, which it does. There are consequences, in real terms, for all of us in enabling people to make such choices through the assistance of the welfare state and whilst most of us would not wish to interfere with that, we could do more to point out to young girls that they will almost certainly be choosing a life of poverty for themselves and their child(ren) if they go down that path. There is certainly a role in this for government through the education system and through influencing media, to ensure that the choice to be a single parent is one taken in spite of knowing the consequences. That is not censorious. It is both caring and compassionate to give wise advice to someone before they make irrevocable and life-changing decisions about the direction they wish their life to take.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      but is living on benefits a life of poverty for young women with babies/children?

  28. The Prangwizard
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I was brought up where work choices were in the main process workers at ICI, or labouring to start at a steelworks. Beyond that local shops, maybe farm work or general labouring. The only ways of really getting on were the Forces or via working in a bank. I didn’t succeed in getting to Dartmouth Naval College which was a bit too ambitious of me so it was a bank.

    Within a year at age 18 I was being sent south to relieve staff shortages in London and not long after that I moved away permanently.

    My parents had seen no real advancement if I stayed in the area and I got into a grammar school. That gave me more choices and a wider view of the world. I didn’t fly high but I did move on.

    For some years afterwards I would go back until my parents died. Friends who hadn’t got away seemed frozen in time. If you are not born with ‘connections’ don’t bemoan the fact – get a good education. Get your children a good education.

    • Bob
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      @The Prangwizard
      Reminds me of the adage

      “Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it.”

  29. Anonymous
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    “Some find entering the job market difficult owing to a lack of role models in their families and possibly owing to drink or drugs or some mental health problem.”

    So stop defining such family arrangements as equal to others.

    When oven chip manufacturers base their marketing on “When it cuums t’ famlee… woss normal ?” you know the destruction of the nuclear family has been pretty comprehensive and it’s government policy that has done it.

    Tories as bad as anyone else.

    The advertisers are having to sell to what’s out there, they’re not making it up.

    So stop paying money to people to have babies outside of marriage and stop listening to (and paying) convicts to be experts on how to raise well behaved children – instead, ask the parents who are actually doing it how they’ve done it and reward and encourage their methods instead.

  30. Know-Dice
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Off today’s topic 🙁

    For anyone who is interested:

    UK Government Petition: Leave the EU with No Deal in October 2019

    Brexit is in chaos. Leave won in 2016 that should be honoured. In the 2016 debates, both sides stated this meant leaving the European Union, Customs Union, Single Market and European Court of Justice.
    More details

    This petition is for the government to commit to leave with No Deal but defer the leave date so as to leave in an orderly fashion.

    After six months in October 2019 we leave, no deals, no if’s, no but’s, no delays. We adopt all law as our own and we trade under World Trade Organisation rules.

    We are then free to build a future relationship from this position without any time constraints, on an equal basis without one side holding all the cards. Our future relationship with the world would be for the government of the day to decide, as it does on all other international issues.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Signed, noting that it says “in October 2019” rather than “on October 31st 2019” as Boris Johnson keeps saying; as far as I can see there is no legal impediment to him unilaterally curtailing the period of the extension agreed by his predecessor to make withdrawal as difficult as possible and that is what should be done, ASAP.

    • Andy
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      False. The customs union was not mentioned in the 2016 referendum campaign.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Not by Remain ?

      • dixie
        Posted August 31, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        The customs union is a foundation element of the EU and we voted to leave the EU.

        I voted to leave the EU to take back control of all our affairs including that over laws, money, borders and trade, The latter means we control our trade policy, tariffs, regulations and trade agreements which mean we cannot be constrained by the EU customs union.

        The EU takes a small transfer of authority and continually broadens it’s power until it controls everything. Under no circumstances can we let the EU have any supreme authority whatsoever over any of our affairs.

  31. IanT
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I used to visit local schools at one time (organised by a charity, sponsored in part by my employer who allowed time to do this) to talk about career choices. I always remember asking one class if they already knew what they would do later in life. The class clearly had an ethnic mix and it was interesting that all the Asian pupils were very clear they wanted to be some kind of ‘professional’ person (Doctor, Solicitor, Scientist) but that most of the others has not given much thought to the subject. I questioned this group to explore their interests and (mostly) got useful/interesting replies when you pushed them a little.

    One young lad when asked where he thought he would be in ten years told me “probably in prison”. This was clearly designed to amuse his fellow pupils but I felt there was an element of belief in his comment. So I took his statement at face value and asked why this should be? Who was it that was going to dictate his future? The School? No. His Parents? Definitely not! The Government? (Pause) No – probably not.

    So I asked him who is it that really decides who you are and where you are going to end up? The lad reluctantly admitted that it could only be himself.

    It seemed to me (at the time) that no-one had ever made this point to this lad before and I think (hope) that by doing so, it made a difference. At the end of the session he made a point of thanking me for coming and talking to them – so maybe it did.

    We seem to live in a world where it’s always someone else’s fault. There’s always a reason that things aren’t going too well. This attitude seems to infect both individuals (and sometimes the nation). Of course, sometimes those ‘reasons’ are very real and very hard to manage but ultimately the person who has to do so, is that person themselves. By all means give the needing (not the Needy) a helping hand but eventually you have to allow/enable people to stand on their own two feet.

    As a footnote I left school with very few qualifications and in my early twenties realised my mistake. I started taking correspondence courses (pre-internet of course) which involved studying three/four evenings per week and most Sundays. It took me five years but I caught up with my education, worked hard and had a successful working life. I was also made redundant three times and changed careers twice. Seemed terrible at the time but in hindsight it all worked out. I don’t intend to preach but you do have to make your own future – no one else is going to (can) do it for you.

  32. Newmania
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Read Lynsey Hanley’s”Estates” before following John Redwood back to a Victorian concept of the “undeserving poor”. In this book , which might have been called” Estates of the mind”, she makes it clear that there were opportunities. They were not in her mental world though . She was bounded by an impenetrable thorny prison of her own vision and expectations.
    Conservatives used to understand that it was about “people” not money,and at the moment the concept of the meritocracy is so flawed as to be savage joke enjoyed by the fortunate at the expense of the discarded. The route out of poverty is shut down very early which is one reason for the miserable decline in social mobility
    I thought Ed Millbands idea about pre-equality were interesting in this context …but that was when we used to have politicians who were looking for answers not headlines for the Express

    Reply I do not use the idea of the undeserving poor. Why do you constantly have to ascribe views to me I do not hold? You will have a nicer life and get more out of this blog if you raed what I write and contribute to the discussion in a sensible manner.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink


      Once again you make up a load of vitriolic waffle then ascribe it to the people you disagree with. That is childish and pointless.

      If you had any awareness at all you would know that all the things the you say about poverty, equality, opportunity etc are all wrong and in fact every level of society is improving, oh and before someone comes along and says but the the rich are getting richer, the actual data for the UK shows that the poorer in society are getting richer at a GREATER rate than the rich

      You really are an ignoramus

      • Newmania
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        Libertarian – Glad to see you , I was concerned that you had become to scared of me to comment on in my vicinity, and I like a plucky loser.. well done.
        Now just to waft away your textual flatulence …..this was published by “The Government ” this year drawing on the The Social Mobility Commission’s State of the Nation 2018 to 2019 report

        ” Inequality is now entrenched in Britain from birth to work, and the government needs to take urgent action to help close the privilege gap, the Social Mobility Commission says today (Tuesday 30 April).
        Extensive analysis….. -blah blah-….The better off are nearly 80% more likely to end up in professional jobs than those from a working-class background….and so on

        The proposed solutions are rather interesting concerning as they do child care and education ..just the sort of thing I was thinking of

        *dons hard hat and dives for cover*

        • Richard1
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          Income inequality in the UK was stable from the mid 90s until c 2010 when it started to decline (ie the UK became more equal based on income). For wealth inequality the UK is in about the middle of the pack in Europe. Examples of countries with greater wealth inequality than the UK include Sweden Switzerland and Germany.

          Is this a good thing a bad thing or doesn’t it matter?

        • libertarian
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink


          Ive posted every day multiple times often in response to youre nonsense

          Still waiting for answers from you on the questions you’ve been asked

          Wow a social mobility think tank publishes a paper on social mobility, next you’ll be telling me that the insurance industry publishes papers telling me we dont have enough insurance

          Anyway from the same newspaper you read that in

          UK became more middle class than working class in 2000, data shows. Manual and lower-paid households have been in minority since turn of millennium

          The figures compiled by Ipsos Mori from the National Readership Survey show that in 1968, two-thirds of households were in the manual or lower-paid social grade bracket known as C2DEs. But by 2015, the proportion of C2DEs had shrunk to 45.8%.

      • bill brown
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink


        personal attacks again, totally unnecessary

        • libertarian
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink


          as a leading Brexit strategist its a shame you nothing constructive to say

          • bill brown
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:53 pm | Permalink


            If your criticism of more wars and conflicts after 1952 as oppose to before were right before the formation of the Steel and Coal union and your comments on constitutional conflicts were linked to my comments on written constitutions in Europe were linked . We might listen but they are not , cause you have no clue Europe, full stop. Mr Lecturer

          • libertarian
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink


            If only you could read it would help

            1) I have NEVER ever said there were MORE wars after 1952

            I said there were 35 wars etc in Europe after 1952

            I made no link what so ever between wars and written constitutions

            You dont “listen” because you cant read and follow a simple thread as you proved conclusively when you accused me of claiming that fishmongers closed because of the EU when in fact in that very post I said The EU was NOT the cause .

            Theres only one conclusion really Bill, Hans, Christian whatever your name is , you are either very dim, or you get overexcited in your rush to condemn and dont read anything properly

            Awaiting a double apology now

    • Newmania
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      I hadn’t realised a “Nicer life ” was on offer !!!You should have said , well excuse me for misjudging your intentions…

      • John C.
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Isn’t it time you cleared off?

    • Gareth Warren
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      I note you ascribe to socialist politicians like Ed Miliband who promise to lift the needy out of poverty. Strangely when I look at past results of such efforts they always fail to benefit the poor – often expanding the numbers, while such politicians prosper greatly. As Thomas Sowell said, when the people demand the impossible only liars will satisfy.

      Politicians have certainly benefited the poor, by reducing the cost of government and efficient development of infrastructure, something our host has been doing throughout his political life.

  33. bigneil
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Another way out of poverty is to get in a rubber dinghy in Calais, get half way here then call for a UK taxpayer funded water taxi to ferry you back to England, where ambulances will be waiting to check you out. Meanwhile genuine English people in need of an ambulance, that their taxes have paid towards, will just have to sit back and wait, realising that they are now 2ud class citizens in ( what was ) their own country. After being checked over you will enter the processing system ( or allowed to vanish ). Those who arrive will either have NO papers (ensuring they can’t be returned ) – or FAKE papers because they are possibly criminals back home and don’t want to go to jail. Either way – WE lose out. Housed – on us. NHS – on us. Their family arrives and get the same – on us. etc

    Only a few days ago the tv program Fugitives showed an Italian man being arrested here and facing deportation for his crimes. Unbelievably, the Italian authorities “allowed ” him to serve his sentence here in the UK – PAID FOR BY US – and at the end of his sentence he would presumably be allowed to stay, instead of trying to get back to the UK from Italy if he had been deported. His crime – – VIOLENT RAPE. – – Yippee – Just what the women of the UK want to hear. – Is anyone in govt connected to the world they are making the rest of us live in???

    That is the way to get out of poverty – get to England as a foreigner – and watch your white slaves work and be taxed to provide your new FREE life.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      In one way or another mass immigration leads to the destruction of a nation and in Brexit we are now seeing it.

      Britain is fatally divided.

      You’re absolutely right, Ian. No other nation on Earth would accept standing in line behind newcomers who have not contributed a thing and who have got here illegally.

      I’m proud that our people chose the ballot box and that there is very little actual proof of violence or racism. Utter lies are told about them and they are never thanked for this.

      Australians, New Zealanders nor Canadians would ever have been so tolerant.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Neil – sorry.

    • Andy
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      A painfully fact free rant. Many people who come here are entitled to nothing. Zero. Zilch. Even those with children fleeing war. Nothing. Nada. Nil.

      In contrast you, as a pensioner, get loads from the state. And by that I mean me and my taxes.

      To be honest I would rather my money went to help poor children who’re here to escape Islamic State than it be spent on grumpy old men with little grasp of reality.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        So knowing you were wrong Andy I looked up Asylum Support on
        Perhaps you might take a look.
        Just in case you don’t it says,
        Precis version:-
        Housing, you will be given somewhere to live
        Cash Support, you will get £37.75 for each person in your household
        Extra money for mothers and young children:-
        A one off maternity payment
        Free NHS healthcare
        Free education for your children
        Now I am quite happy that our proseoerous and decent democratic country does that support for refugees Andy.
        But I get cross when you continually post totally incorrect nonsense on here.
        Even old folk know how to research stuff on the internet.

        • libertarian
          Posted August 31, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink


          Like so many of the ultra remainers on here Andy doesn’t do facts he prefers to go with facebook memes and his own warped opinions

      • Richard1
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        You missed out white in grumpy old men do get it right

      • John C.
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        Alas, we don’t have a choice really about how our money is spent. Fortunately, we don’t allow older people to starve, which is what you would like. But if you wish to give your money to your chosen foreigners, by all means do so. There are plenty of charities who will take it.
        But I bet you don’t.

      • Pud
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        The economic migrants that bigneil rightly objects to have paid people smugglers to deliver them to the UK. A genuine refugee would claim asylum in the first safe country they reached, not travel through several with the intent of reaching the UK. Or perhaps you think they are paddling their rubber dinghies the length of the Mediterranean, across the Bay of Biscay and up the English Channel?

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        But though they’ve done it no-one’s ever put that in an election manifesto, Andy.

        “Put British people behind in the queue. Open up British citizenship to anyone who rocks up.”

        Mass immigration* – one way or another – has led this nation to destruction, we are fatally and irreconcilably divided on it via Brexit.

        The silly fools forgot to disenfranchise the British public before they “rubbed their nose in it.” (Paraphrasing Andrew Neather – Labour Party speech writer.)

        *We did not have a problem with controlled immigration.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        and this white, grumpy old man gets really grumpy when faced with the daily diatribe of – you know, you write it, a crock of ?

  34. bigneil
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Off topic

    Plastic waste – Save all the plastic and use it to make wheelie bins. With 2-3 million homes being built for the flood of immigrants here, and all homes needing at least 3 bins each, that is a LOT of bins. Better get busy making them. The flood has been signed up to by TM.

  35. Julie Williams
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Off Topic:
    Are you aware that you, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Sajid Javid, Gove and Mark Francois are amongst some of the earliest people petitioning to stop the prototyping of Parliament?
    MPs are listed by name in the stats.

    They just never stop playing with democracy do they?
    All these smart, young things: you’ll have to live with the mockery you are creating: better start reading Animal Farm, 1984 , Cancer Ward and the Gulag Archipeligo before it’s too late!

    Reply What is prototyping?

    • julie williams
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Many apologies, my spellchecker changes things behind my back and doesn’t like the word “prorogue”.
      Turns Corbyn into Cornyn for some (presumably American) reason.
      Did you sign the petition, then?

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        I know your problem only too well. I keep typing ‘Andy’ but the spell checker comes back “Tw**”.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink


        • Oggy
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:23 pm | Permalink


        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted August 30, 2019 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

          Anon, that has to be the best joke of the week. We’ve a lot to thank Andy for.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      I guess you meant “Prorogation of Parliament”?

      As far as the Stats go, they are by constituency along with the name of the sitting MP, nothing more than that…

    • Fred H
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      – A test or example version of a concept.

      was it proroguing?

  36. The PrangWizard
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I dare say you’ll get some OT’s, so here’s mine.

    I have cause for concern about the PM’s stance on Brexit. It is as if nothing has changed from the Dire Days of May. Then she was always rushing off to the EU in response to their demands that the UK had to concede. Boris of course said he would have none of that and the EU would need to offer concessions first.

    Not any more it seems; they are still demanding we put forward proposals as they will not. So Boris now rushes to send people over twice a week.

    Nothing has changed, he has lost the initiative and he is dancing to their tune.

    I smell a rat, indeed a barrel of rats! Betrayal is once more in the air.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      And Oliver Letwin is still demanding another Article 50 extension without actually saying what purpose that would serve, given that if it was like the current extension then under EU law it could not be used to negotiate a new “deal”:

      So does he suppose that with enough time and pressure MPs would cave in and vote through Theresa May’s “deal”, which is the aim of the current extension?

      Plus he also claims that in any case there would need to be a further extension beyond October 31 to provide enough time for Parliament to pass the legislation to approve the “deal”, while simultaneously some of his friends and allies are talking about rushing through legislation to block a no deal withdrawal with Parliament sitting through the night and over the weekends …

      The good news is that the archtraitor John Major has just provided us with fresh ammunition by attaching himself to Gina Miller’s case; the question is whether anybody will be bothered to fire it off at him but make sure that she also suffers collateral damage.

  37. Christine
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Not everyone wants to climb the career ladder. They are happy with the job they have. All they expect is a fair wage for a job well done. Just watch a few episodes of “In The Factory”. These workers amaze me with their skill and work ethic. They also have camaraderie and a sense of belonging. More often, they are over 50 and have worked for the same employer doing the same job for many years. What we are losing in this country is the value of community. What people want are more local jobs so their families don’t have to move to the other end of the country to find work. Unfortunately we have become a nanny state where the Government wants to control every aspect of our lives but fails to provide the conditions for local jobs to thrive.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Most people just want stability, fulfilment, community and a sense of identity.

  38. David Maples
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison’, is an aphorism that can be applied to the debate over the EU. But why are there such antipathies? It has to be the result of wrong thinking bolstered by wrong values. David Goodhart’s ‘Anywheres’ are oblivious to the horrors of the European Union(unless, that is, they are being deliberately disingenuous)and which are so appositely dissected and presented by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Telegraph today. Somehow or other, the schools and universities they attend(ed)have failed to impact them with the ability to distinguish between good meat and bad meat. In Plato’s Republic, Socrates sarcastically(and humorously)destroys Thrasymachus’ arguments in a sublime and very ‘greeky’ fashion, which all teachers should emulate when faced with sophistry. These left wingers who maintain a public rectitude, even at the highest levels, are clearly very poorly educated, indicated by the degree to which they are beholden to long held prejudices. This judgment applies even as far up the educational
    ladder of supposed achievement as AC Grayling!

  39. JoolsB
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    How about cutting the over generous benefits system. In work benefits such as tax credit are an incentive NOT TO WORK any more than the required numbers of hours needed to get these benefits. It’s not worth their while doing a full time job, even a job they would love to do, why should they? Same with the disability benefit. Whilst I’m sure there are many genuine cases, how can it be in the 21st century that the amount of disability claimants has gone up many times over? What sort of example does this set to the children of these families except don’t bother working when you grow up.

    • graham1946
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      In work benefits are no so much an incentive not to work, but for bosses not to pay the proper rate. The benefits system is propping up many CEO’s bonus schemes.

    • Les
      Posted September 7, 2019 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      My mother is in her nineties and is able to walk – but she likes to have a stick with her in case of imbalance. She has a free parking permit which she loves to use, even though she can walk half a mile with no problem. She is one of 2.3 million holders of this benefit. The stupid government wants to extend the privilege to a a whole new swage of folk. The world has gone mad!

  40. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Off topic, JR, I see that the sensitive subject of one of my recently vaporised comments has found its way into the Times:

    “The Irish mustn’t get away with dirty tactics on Brexit”

    “Imagine the justified howls of outrage if a special adviser to a British minister boasted that a campaign of dissident loyalist violence had shifted the Irish government’s stance on Brexit to one more accommodating to the UK.

    Right-minded people would have denounced British “collusion” with loyalists and condemned a “discourse of threat” incompatible with the Good Friday agreement of 1998.

    No British panjandrum has made so outrageous a claim. But, according to the Irish Independent, such a claim was made by a source close to Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign minister. The source effectively gave violent republican opponents of the peace process credit for causing Boris Johnson to shift his position on Brexit. Attacks have included the attempted murders of PSNI officers in Fermanagh last … “

    • Kees
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Boris talks about negotiations being undermined- but what negotiations? The WA negotiations have concluded and will not be reopened. All talk now between UK and the EU is just piffle to wind the clock down-

  41. Ed M
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Just back from Rouen and challenge Brexiters and Remainers to visit the place where St Joan of Arc was martyred and/or read the excellent Joan of Arc by Helen Castor. (By the way, the corrupt side of The Church and treacherous Frenchmen were just as responsible for Joan’s death as were Englishmen in France at the time).

    Because Joan puts into context what Brexit is in the context of TRUE PATRIOTISM.

    I believe Joan, if she had been English, would have supported Brexit in theory (for Patriotic Reasons – a key virtue back in her day and should still be now – with sovereignty of a country key to this). However, she would only supported it if it had been carried out according to proper Christian values, including planning properly for it. And that it is carried out for the long-term benefit of the country and happiness of its people and not out of political ambition, negative nationalism (as opposed to positive patriotism) and so on.

    I make no judgement except to say, if Brexit is going to be a long-term success (including uniting the country in the longer term and making it a happier country overall), then it must be rooted in traditional Christian values (Catholic / Protestant) – those of Joan of Arc, for example.

    For God, Queen and Country

  42. BR
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    The article is true in the sense of what should be happening, however I’m not convinced that modern companies are doing anything more than they have to as employers.

    There are no final salary pensions any more, no relocation allowances in a country with house prices so variable that people cannot move to new locations from low house price areas.

    Workers’ ability to claim expenses to work in another area is also non-existent (for permanent employees) and even severely limited for self-employed people for whom HMRC have introduced a 2-year limit. This makes no sense, since the ability to win repeat business has always been a key aim of a true business – and big business are free to carry on unchallenged, doing whatever they want in this area.

    I think some government intervention is needed in this area.

    Also, you mention training schemes – there’s not enough of these either. While it’s true that the education system turns out far too many relatively useless individuals these days, the root cause is poor parenting by poor parents and this needs to be addressed. Role models are important as is early-life exposure to good attitudes to work and learning.

  43. Sue Doughty
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Lack of a personal mode of transit also holds people back from getting into work, especially the young, and if they have no family support accessing starter jobs that want hours outside of public transport getting there can be impossible.

  44. Ian!
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    The Key to a good job, is aspiration.

    There is not anything that cannot be done by anyone. I might take some longer than others but that’s about it.

    Some of the time this asperation is knocked out of some people by schooling. Which given the tidbits that hit the MSM a lot of schooling focuses in indoctrination not how to learn.

  45. Iain Gill
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I am sorry John this is peddling the nonsense we teach our kids “work hard and you will do well”.
    Sadly, this country is not a meritocracy, and we have far too many people in work due to who they know rather than their skills & experience.
    It is complete nonsense to think those who are unemployed are the least skilled.
    It is complete nonsense to think those getting the best jobs are the most skilled.
    We have vast swathes of the economy with workers appointed on variations of the old boys network, including the public sector which is pretty much the worst at this. For example, the number of retired military officers working for the MOD as one of 1 permanently employed civil servant 2 contractor 3 consultant hired via one of the big consultancies, is vast, and the vast majority of them are completely and utterly inappropriate for the role they are playing. We have them running IT programmes, running business change programmes, and so much more, squeezing out far more appropriately skilled people who would deliver the work far more efficiently.
    This is a large chain around the neck of our economy, as we fail to properly optimise our teams, so we fail to optimise delivery, so we cost more, and deliver far lower quality than we could have otherwise.
    Then there is the regional variations, the reality that people left trapped in social housing when local dominant employers shut like shipyards, steelworks, pits, etc are in many cases now left beyond travelling distance to any realistic jobs market. The way the social housing system works, rationing and allocation, and failing to respond to the dynamics of citizens who would rather take their housing subsidy and move closer to the ever evolving jobs market is a large problem. Its not training or the other stuff you mention here these people need, its power over their own housing decisions.
    You really should take these points on board, the truth is there for all to see.

  46. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    “Gordon Brown: EU is ready to offer UK an extension to Brexit deadline”

    What he doesn’t say is this: that as the EU will still refuse to re-open the “deal” negotiated by Theresa May this could only be to give us more time either to come round and accept it, or to decide that we have had enough and ask to revoke the Article 50 notice.

    “(12) This extension excludes any re-opening of the Withdrawal Agreement. Any unilateral commitment, statement or other act by the United Kingdom should be compatible with the letter and the spirit of the Withdrawal Agreement, and must not hamper its implementation. Such an extension cannot be used to start negotiations on the future relationship.”

    It is not clear to me why Boris Johnson is spreading the idea that the EU is now open to changing the Agreement when that is currently forbidden by EU law.

  47. Andy
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    The best pathway out of poverty is to be born rich.

    If you have a wealthy papa or mama then the rest takes care of itself.

    Mr Rees Mogg is my favourite example of this. He is where he is because of where he was born. Pure and simple. Without his rich dad he would not have gone to Eton, or to Oxbridge, he would not have had the connections to get into politics or finance which means he would not be in the Cabinet or running his Dublin based investment firm. Now none of this is Mr Mogg’s fault. He has done nothing wrong.

    But the child born at the same time as Mr Mogg who had the same natural abilities as him but who was unfortunate enough to have a single alcoholic parent has also done nothing wrong. This person is not in the Cabinet. They are not running an investment firm. They are no less naturally bright than Mr Rees Mogg – but they do not have the same qualifications because they did not get the same level of support at home or at school. There are no connections. University never happened because it was too expensive. This child perhaps did start working in a supermarket and may even have worked his way up to manager – but still only earns £30-£40k a year. Mr Mogg’s second job alone pays that in two months.

    And this cycle continues providing no real pathway out of poverty for most people. 30 years from now the shop manager’s children will not be in politics or in the City. They too will get an okay job which barely pays the bills. But I’ll wager that there will be at least one younger Rees Mogg in Parliament.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Pointless argument Andy.
      You actually should be arguing for equality of opportunity rather than complaining about inequality.
      The question is, do you improve the chances of the less lucky child becoming as great as Jacob by introducing socialism into the UK or by this child living in a free capitalist society with our mixed economy system.
      I think you know which one I prefer.

    • rose
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Sir John has done even better in life than Mr Rees Mogg. He started in a council house, won a place at a good school, won another place at Oxford, and was a Fellow of All Souls by the time he was 21. That is unprecedented success and it was followed by various other stellar achievements on merit and hard work alone. Try not to be so bitter and envious.

      • steve
        Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink


        Andy is bitter and envious, he’s a lefty and what drives them is that old green eyed monster – jealousy.

        For example; if he saw a Rolls Royce being driven by someone, the word ‘bastard’ or worse would be in his mind, rather than; ‘some day I’m going to have one of those’

        People like him are all the same, consumed by jealousy and resentment of anyone having something they don’t.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      The failure of logic at the beginning is revealing. If you are born rich you do not need a route out of poverty.

      Jacob Rees Mogg founded a successful business. Have you made an equivalent contribution I wonder? I doubt it

      You might not agree with him – I don’t always – but he is a highly articulate advocate of the ideas he believes in and always addresses interlocutors with great courtesy. Very unlike you I imagine? Although perhaps your real persona is more attractive than the online version.

      That is why Mr Rees Mogg is an influential politician with a huge, increasing – and for you alarming – support amongst young people.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      You make passing reference to intelligence. I find it hard to believe that someone of identical ability would remain in a lowly job, unless of course they found their niche vocation. That is possibly true of many. So apart from having at pop at Mr RM, your resentment, nay envy shines through.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink


      Whoa , you keep telling us youre rich, you tell us that your kids go to private school , so its ok for you but not the Rees-Moggs ….. How can the path from poverty start with you being rich? You talk nonsense

      Meanwhile I was born on the Clem Attlee Estate, mum a hairdresser and dad a disabled from birth painter & decorator . I went to a state secondary school and left at 15 to work in a factory. My last job before starting my own business was as ( interim) MD of a Merchant Bank that we sold to Deutsche Bank for £1.5 billion

      Perfectly possible to climb the ladder in the UK, just takes hard work and ability

      John Caudwell was born in Birmingham went to Berry Hill High School. His father had a stroke when he was 14 and died 4 years later.

      Caudwell abandoned his A-levels to become an apprentice at Michelin, and worked for several years there as an engineering foreman while gaining an HNC in mechanical engineering. Whilst working at Michelin he also ran a corner shop and started a mail order business selling clothing to motor bikers, both of which were successful. He is now worth £1.6 billion

      For every Rees-Mogg I can find you a self made woman/man

      Class envy is so 20th century Andy but then you are someone who lives very much in the past

      • Edward2
        Posted August 31, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Very well said Libertarian.

    • ukretired123
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Jealousy is one of the proverbial Deadly Sins but many people fail to heed this simple universal truth and slide down the Snakes and not climb the Ladders. Simple child’s game did you ever understand it’s simple yet profound lesson?
      Go back to Square #1 or Zero, Zilch……
      Ouch that snake also bites too!
      Those who fail to learn this are always forced until they do …

  48. ukretired123
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    It is very interesting to hear how other folks here started in humble jobs that help launch their careers because that is the secret of their successes. How you deal with what cards you have. Unless you are smart and see the positive advantage in the disadvantage you don’t learn from it.
    Today I feel people’s expectations are unrealistic encouraged by teachers who sadly never left school themselves nor submitted themselves to the risky but rewarding life outside.
    Frank Field was shocked several years ago when he heard school leavers declaring they didn’t want to do jobs like immigrants!!!!!
    Why not? Because to their peers would not have street cred and destroy their virtual image on Social Media!
    My neighbour related his he felt obliged to confiscate his visiting teenage granddaughters phone and turn off his Wi-Fi for a week, brave man!
    When she returned back home she declared “All my friends thought I was dead”!
    Technology has turned things upside down and needs harnessing before they leave school to prepare them for self discipline to focus on their futures.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 30, 2019 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      The secret to winning in life – as in poker – is not losing.

      Hold on to every stake that you get your hands on. Dogged determination and focus and never letting go of assets.

  49. APL
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    JR: “Pathways out of poverty”

    One of the most effective pathways out of poverty, is to stand for election as an MP and get elected. I’ve never seen a poor Politician.

    What a fairy tale, one minute you’re living under a bridge, the next BAMB! £75,000 falls into your lap.

    Perhaps we should ration being an MP to one term. Share this lucrative industry around a bit.

  50. Gareth Warren
    Posted August 31, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    In my profession (chip design) there is advancement via a technical or managerial route.

    However, while I have a degree myself (Beng) I do not believe it should be necessary if there were alternative routes to gaining engineering experience. Too often recruiters will not even look at a CV without a 2:1 degree at a minimum. That would not be such a problem if degrees in engineering were cheaper. Here I probably would not have pursued chip design myself if I thought I would incur 30 grand of debt. I also note the best chip designer in the company I work for actually has no degree, but he did start the company.

    It is often difficult to get the experience in certain specialities such as ASIC test, they really want someone with 2+ years experience. Here I believe some sort of tax relief should be offered to companies that offer training to UK employees – we actually have probably the best trainers in the world with Doulos in the UK. I note that it is tax incentives for companies that register patents that drives our companies activities in that area.

  51. BillM
    Posted August 31, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Since Mrs Thatcher was stabbed in the back by the Party Europhiles we have had nothing but socialist-leaning Governments regardless of Party name. This has bred a full generation of benefit-reliant families.
    For any government to provide a benefit hand out that is worth more than the working wage is a breaking the responsibility of a prudent government. All that does is to encourage the lower paid to stop work and draw all of the benefit entitlements and get full pay for doing absolutely nothing. And who could blame those that took up this “Offer”. Steps have been made since Brown’s days to correct this anomaly but not enough to encourage more to take up jobs. Maybe soon Boris?

  • About John Redwood

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

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