The Chancellor’s Autumn Spending Statement – we need a new fiscal framework

We are promised a Statement on Wednesday, and now know some of its contents from pledges made by the Prime Minister and Chancellor. We know that they will ensure every secondary school receives a minimum of £5000 per pupil per year of grant, and every primary school £4000. I have been pressing for this for some time as Wokingham and West Berkshire schools are at the bottom end of the English spending league tables, and need more cash. This was apparent in an unflattering tv account of a Wokingham School this week. The government will increase money for all schools, but see that the lowest funded get a larger increase to take them up to the new higher minimum. This is only fair, as it does not cost less to employ a teacher or buy some books in Wokingham than in a large city.

We know that the government will pay for an extra 20,000 police to be recruited and employed, and will increase money for Further Education Colleges. It has also announced an additional £1.8bn for the NHS, targeted particularly on 20 different hospitals in need of extra investment and revenue.

I assume this will be a prelude to an early budget this autumn which needs also to cut taxes. The UK economy is slowing too much, in line with the slowdowns in the Euro area but more than in the USA. The US economy has enjoyed faster growth thanks to big tax cuts, a spending boost and an easier money policy. The UK needs the same treatment, at a time of Euro slowdown. Most forecasters expect the UK to grow a bit faster than Germany or Italy, but we need to do better than current forecasts and that requires policy stimulus.

Some worry about the present level of state debt, and wish to follow the EU policy of cutting state debt from its current stated gross level of 85% to the 60% Maastricht target. The actual level of UK state debt is currently 65% of GDP, if you eliminate from the calculation the £435bn of gilts owned by the Bank of England who in turn are owned by the taxpayers. The annual deficit is now well under 2%, which in turn is well below the rate of investment by the state sector. These figures allow scope for some fiscal relaxation. A suitable new rule might be that we keep the idea of a ceiling of 3% on the budget deficit from the current rules, and aim to be at zero or below when the economy is growing at more than 2.5% with more risk of inflation. When the growth rate falls below 1% the government should go closer to a 3% deficit ceiling, with the deficit being borrowing to finance capital investment. This would be compatible with a normal current budget surplus, and with no current deficit in low growth periods. We can of course spend more and cut taxes more once we have stopped making large payments to the EU, which I wish to see from November.

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Sunday scribble:

    Chere Mssr. Barnier,

    Thank you once again for confirming the intransigence of the EU, this will help the UK to leave the EU on the 31st October, it is therefore deeply appreciated.

    In the UK we differentiate between the nations and people of Europe, and the EU bureaucracy. You have illuminated the difference between the elected political leaders of member states, who have indicated willingness to consider new ideas, and the unelected EU bureaucracy, which is not. It is therefore clear that, as we have experienced over the last 3 years, discussions with the EU bureaucracy are a waste of time so long as we are a member.

    You have confirmed the arrogant stance of the EU to its second largest net contributor; no doubt you think we can be forced to cancel our notice and beg to remain in the EU club and, if we do not, you expect to be paid in any event. I think you will be proved wrong on both accounts, but we will see soon enough.

    The EU believes that it holds the trump card of controlling trade between nations; by your management of the negotiations, you have turned the EU from an organisation that promotes trade to one that frustrates trade. Are you proud of this? You hope this will damage the UK, but again you will be proved incorrect. EU based corporations, and UK corporations will adapt to new circumstances and trade with each other as they always have – if it suits them to do so. The UK will be especially better off by being able to
    import lower cost produce than at present, and of a much wider variety. Our own farmers and producers will be able take advantage of the domestic market, thereby reducing transport costs and its associated
    pollution. We will once again enjoy the healthy benefits of eating our fish,caught by our own fishing fleet.

    It appears you have not learnt the lesson from the departure of Mrs May from office. Mrs May and her team never intended for the UK to leave the EU (despite her words, her actions and proposed treaty made clear her aspiration). A ‘New Broom’ has entered No. 10 Downing Street, and with his team, he will remove the last of the May collaborators, and clean up the mess left behind. Mr. Johnson knows, he MUST take the UK out of the EU on the date mentioned, or he will also be removed, and the Parliamentary
    Conservative Party, so incompetently managed by Mrs May, will be destroyed for a generation.

    I do hope that our negotiators will not take up more of your time. Our path is now clear and we will proceed along it with a light step and growing confidence.


    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Brilliant, many thanks fully agree 🙂

      • Hope
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        Throwing money at education has not improved standards one jot since Blaire claimed it a priority. Change of culture, better qualified teachers, discipline, Grammar schools all required. Not Williams left wing PC minority crap promise yesterday to force/introduce LGBT lessons by law at all schools!

        Margaret’s Thatcher introduced civilianisation in policing in 1990 to increase the number of police officers from office jobs back onto the beat. It has never happened. Worse left wing chief constables, introduced bynselction procedures under Blaire, view it a waste! More civilians in all sorts of roles, mainly bean counting and PC adherence to HMIC, but officers not put back on 24/7 uniform front line policing. Met has more officers dealing with hate crime (900) in offices than small forces have in number! Again millions spent without any benefit whatsoever. We read today A&Somerset Constabulary letting off drug dealers giving them free driving lessons and gym membership! Tory Gov. Explain yourself. Only give extra officers if put back on the beat in uniform. Too many in office jobs working 8-4 Mon-Friday. Knife crime and murder at. Highest rate for forty years and worse than New York! Today we read Patel cannot stop EU immigration on 31/10/2019 as she promised two weeks ago! They still flood across the channel from France.

        Taxation highest in forty years. Tory Govt broke all promises for nine years and continues to do so. We were told 80 cuts against 20 percent tax increases. Utter Lies. Council tax so high it is higher than a lot of mortgages! IHT and many other promises broken.

        Balance the Structural deficit by 2015. Abandoned. Nor what you are advocating.

        Johnson advocating backstop removed which is in stark contrast to what he said to get elected that the whole Mayhab agreement was dead.

        JR, it would be worthy of you to set out what your party and govt actually promised and what has factually happened over nine,years, in particular: economic promises, taxation, leaving the EU, immigration, illegal immigration, deportations, secure borders, bonfire of left wing quangos, education, policing, criminal justice and health tourism.

      • Hope
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        John Longworth’s article is a good read in con woman today. Suggest you and your govt read it JR because it uniquely describes the mood of the country. Therefore I hope while the noise of this week will be in everyone’s mind we are conscious the UK negotiator is back talking with the EU. The whole servitude agreement must go.

        The UK cannot be subject to ECJ at all, the U.K. Cannot accept the EU controlling our trade policy, the U.K. Cannot accept the EU controlling our military, the U.K. Cannot accept being in a custom union with the EU.

        In short: The Mayhab servitude plan makes it unlikely the U.K. will leave the EU. The backstop makes it impossible for the UK to leave the EU unless it says so. Only two ministers in the cabinet did not vote for Mayhabs servitude plan. They are greatly outnumbered. Treachery to put lipstick on Mayhab’s servitude plan will not wash. I sincerely hope Johnson is fully aware the facts are in the public domaine.

    • Andy
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      The toddlers are up early this morning.

      All you Brexiteers ever had to do was to deliver what you promised in 2016 – which are all the benefits of EU membership with none of the coats.

      Of course the EU told you to bugger off. Rather than getting angry perhaps you should just grow up?

      • John C.
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        Comparing the first contributor to you, we see the difference between reasoned tone, rational arguments and facts on one side, and a foul-mouthed snarl on the other. Can you guess which is which?

      • graham1946
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Yes, Andy, why are you out of your cot? Does Mummy know you are abusing the computer again?

      • Fred H
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        andy….you have brought toddlers into this horrific world of the UK, divorced from EU? Shame on you. Did you not foresee this apocalypse due shortly? With your sense of justice and self interest I would have thought you would refrain from burdening children with the stark misery of UK alone in the world.

        • steve
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

          Fred H

          “andy….you have brought toddlers into this horrific world of the UK, divorced from EU? Shame on you.”

          Well Fred, it was going to be. He’s used pensioners, the disabled, and children. So it’s logical I suppose he’d turn to toddlers.

          • Fred H
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

            ha ha

      • ian wragg
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Forgot the meds Andy, why don’t you go back to bed for an hour or so to lower your blood pressure.

        • steve
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          ian wragg

          “Andy, why don’t you go back to bed for an hour or so to lower your blood pressure.”

          I’ve a better idea for lowering his blood pressure.

      • BR
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Take your own advice, Assertion Boy – grow up, grow another brain cell.

      • Billy Coates
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Fully agree, Andy. I voted Remain but I will line up four square behind us leaving as soon as a deal is struck which keeps the exact same benefits as membership, frictionless trade and inheritance of all the EU’s trade deals, without any obligation to pay our membership fees. I am wAiting patiently, the Brexiters would surely not break their promises

        • Edward2
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

          You must have misread the leaflet the government sent you. Billy.
          Try reading it again and get back to us.
          What is frictionless trade?
          Please define..

        • libertarian
          Posted September 4, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          Billy get your coat

          As soon as someone mentions frictionless trade I know instantly they’ve never ever traded internationally

          Come on explain what “frictionless” trade is

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      It must be pleasant in fairlyland there.

      People around the world do not want to invest in, and come to live in, a divided, strife-torn, backward-looking country with a siege mentality, and against the civilised world to boot, especially one that has cut itself off from the world’s biggest single market..

      Reading your piece, I am reminded of how Pol Pot used to rave in similar terms.

      • IanT
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        Do you think the “world’s biggest single market” will want to cut itself off from this “divided, strife-torn, backward-looking country with a siege mentality” – or do you think they may still want to sell us a few more cars, bottles of wine etc – you know – some of the £345 billion of EU imports that helped us enjoyed our “strife-torn” country last year…

        • bookend
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

          IanT- yeah we’re about to become a consumer market to them- somewhere to sell their goods

          • BillM
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

            Only if they can compete with the Rest of the World on a level trading field. We joined the EEC Common Market in 1975 By 1978 the price our our butter had quadrupled. Similarly other imports. We have been ripped off for 44 years will continue to be so until we leave.
            Besides, Brexit was not about trade with the EU it was ALL about taking back full control of OUR country. Trading with them represents just 11% of our GDP. The Rest of the world buys more from us (13%) even with the restrictions laid upon us by the protectionist EU dictates.
            Brussels seems to think that our trade with them is their Ace of Diamonds card, LOL when to us, it is a lowly jack of clubs. Duh.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        MIC. Funny how they are falling over themselves to row the channel and get here then.

        • bookend
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

          Don’t flatter yourself too much- only the misguided disillusioned poor will want to come here

          • BillM
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

            So why is UK employment and GDP growth higher than most other EU members?

      • MikeP
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        The UK continues to have very high foreign direct investment, at times as much as the rest of the EU put together. That’s why we continue to see record high employment and new factories & warehouses being announced every week. But you knew that right?

      • graham1946
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Have you ever knowingly provided a fact for your absurd posts?

        People from the world want to come here, otherwise there would be no net immigration. We have more foreign investment than the entire EU. People are coming here in rubber boats to escape the delights of the utopia that is the EU. The EU locks out the world to protect its own inefficiency, whereas Leavers want to trade with the world and welcome people here from anywhere if they have what we need, rather than just being a resident of 27 mostly backward countries.

        Your posts are becoming more absurd the closer we get to 31st October – it will be a hoot to read what’s coming next.

        • David Maples
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

          How many immigrants do you think we should take in every year graham1946? 5 million, 10 million? What do you think? If the population of Britain starts to edge past say 120 million, should we put the barriers up, in order to give the builders more time to build over the countryside, and train up more teachers and doctors?

          • graham1946
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            David Maples
            I am sure you are more intelligent than that little piece of idiocy.

            Perhaps you could learn to read and comprehend and not put your own interpretation on what I said. Perhaps you can point out where I said I wanted unlimited immigration. I was merely countering the post by Martin who said that people do not want to come here or invest etc etc. Why should we take car washers from the EU in preference to engineers from India for instance? That’s all.
            I think we are already full and that freedom of movement was a big factor in the referendum result. Clear enough or is further explanation required?

      • agricola
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        You and Andy need to get real. One of the greatest acts of confidence in the future of the UK is the number of illegal immigrants we continue to receive. These people escape war torn parts of the World, travel the length of Europe via many countries in which they could seek and receive asylum, but no they take to rubber yacht tenders and cross one of the busiest shipping lanes in the World just to get to little old U of K. Having crossed the Channel many times day and night in ocean worthy yachts ,with reliable engines when wanted, I am well aware of the risks they take. You are not forward visible from the bridge of an oil tanker inside two miles of its bow. You will not show up on its radar and minus radio and lights you are waiting to be mown down.

        These people show more determination to succeed in a new life in the UK than the pair of you put together. They will probably be of more positive use to the future of the UK than either of you. I look forward to reading your goodbye letter on the 1st November.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        MARTIN ….I have heard Wales described unfairly before but never with such malice.

      • rose
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Pol Pot is a new one to add to the list of over the top insults to successful political opponents!

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          Well, he founded his movement on the idea that anyone with any education, scientific, or intellectual standing was an Enemy Of The People too, so there seem to be some uncanny parallels.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            I dont see any parallels at all.
            Peter gave an opinion piece on the UK versus EU current political situation.
            He never said anything negative about “people with any education et al…”
            As usual you are making things up Martin.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

            No, but you see very little else either, do you, Edwards?

          • Edward2
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

            Not true.
            I read what you say and say what I think.
            Bit like you Martin but without the anger.

      • BR
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Strife created by those who are trying anything and everything to subvert a massive democratic vote a.k.a. ‘remoaners’.

        And yet… the UK is doing great, investment here is massive compared to the EU.

        The days when you lefty types could pluck ridiculous assertions out of thin air and go unchallenged are fading fast = one thing about Brexit is that very large numbers of people are now very switched on about politics, even to the point of being well-versed in parliamentary procedure.

        So I suggest you take your red-tinted nonsense elsewhere. Venezuela perhaps? Comrade Corbyn’s speaks highly of it.

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        “a divided, strife-torn, backward-looking country with a siege mentality”

        And not just that but soon to be reduced to a rump when Scotland and Ireland leave the union after all the blood and toil our forefathers spent over the centuries to bring the islands together. They must be turning in their graves.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          Oh no, not the “rump” fallacy again Margaret.
          Many have showed you how wrong you are.
          Dont you lefty remainers ever realise their errors?

        • steve
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

          margaret howard

          “…..Scotland and Ireland leave the union”

          How many times do you have to be told; Ireland has nothing to do with the act of union, and is not part of the UK.

          You really need to sue those who supposedly gave you an education.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        Blimey, how detached from reality can you be?

        Immigration to the UK is UP

        Inward investment to the UK is UP

        The worlds biggest single market is the USA & we are about to do a trade deal with them

        The worlds second biggest market is China

        The rEU is now the worlds third biggest market and falling

        You obviously missed the bit where its frothing, rabid remainers inventing scare stories about shortages, stockpiling and other assorted chicken little nonsense .

        Please point to one thing in the UK that sets us against “the civilised world”

        The UK is the freest, safest, friendliest most civilised country in the world, its why people leave FRANCE in order to try to enter illegally , every single day of the week , in boat loads .

        Give me a unique reason to stay in the EU

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          That “investment” is asset acquisition, with Sterling at a knock-down price.

          Capital in operational business is another matter entirely.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink


            Youre still wrong though aren’t you

        • margaret howard
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          Cobblers – most of it.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

            Maggie maggie

            Which bit is cobblers exactly ?

            Hows Germany the sick man of Europe doing?

          • Edward2
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

            Prove it with facts and statistics then.
            Come on Margaret

          • margaret howard
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

            Cobblers referred to libertarian.

          • L Jones
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 12:48 am | Permalink

            That’s no way to speak to Cardiff Martin, Ms Howard. He’s on your side, after all. He may be wrong, and it may indeed be ‘cobblers’ he spouts, but he’s doing his best, poor beleaguered soul.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

            Maggs my dear

            Leaked French memo on Friday revealed fears in Paris of a roaring unconstrained British economy. Deutsche Bank’s chief economist believes Britain will be better off long-term with ‘No Deal’ and no EU regulatory alignment! Fears that Germany is the new sick man of Europe

            I dont think opening more shoe repair businesses will save them

        • Newmania
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          As any fule do know the EU is significantly larger than China and will remain so without the UK . Even if that were not the case the proximity of the EU would make it a unique market for the UK .

          EU USD 18,7bn
          China USD 14.2 bn

          UK USD USD2.8bn

          God you are bad at this

          • libertarian
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

            List of Countries by GDP ( PPP)

            China $23.3 trn
            EU ( with UK) $22 trn
            EU ( without UK) $19 trn
            USA $20.4 trn

            Source IMF and World Bank


            Service economy, NM we have a SERVICE economy , geography is irrelevant its why the EU is shrinking as non EU exports rise

            Oh and all of your figures are incorrect ( see if you can work out why)

            A study by the GMB union found that every region in the UK has suffered a decline in manufacturing employment over 10 years, with London, Scotland and the north-west the worst affected.

            In 2007, the UK supported 3.5m permanent and temporary manufacturing jobs – more than 12% of the all British employment – but by 2016 that had slumped to 2.9m , or 9.2% of the total, the union said. Looks like the FT were wrong then .

            The Manufacture ( trade magazine)

            The performance of the British manufacturing sector is on an upward trend. The ongoing digitisation of the sector has a key role to play in this growth as manufacturers are realising the potential of Industry 4.0. Brexit actually has the potential to bring significant opportunities to British manufacturing. It used to be more cost-effective to outsource various elements of the manufacturing process off-shore. Current and future technological advances mean that now more than ever before, on-shore is a truly viable option and “Made in Britain” will be key to helping Britain stay on top.

            Meanwhile the City, Finance and You Newmaniac still seem to be here despite all your previous predictions swearing at me in French doesn’t get you very far when you cant substantiate your own predictions .

            When are going?

        • Newmania
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

          and …. in the 3 years to June, jobs created as a result of foreign investment in new production facilities or extensions — dropped 19 per cent to about 183,000 compared with the same period before the Brexit referendum

          ( il a le cervau d’un sandwich au fromage)

          • Edward2
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

            You remainers predicted over 500,000 job losses for that period NM

    • Sally
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink


    • Eunice Ridley
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Love it!

    • HardyB
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      M.Barnier says- “The Backstop is the maximum amount of flexibility that the EU can offer to a non-member state”.

      And that’s what we are to them now- a ‘non-member state’- so it makes perfect sense to me- they are not going to negotiate in a serious way prior to 31st Oct because they know that the WA can be tabled later- they have the higher ground it seems

      • BR
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Did anyone believe him?

        Mainstream politicians are still playing the game by the old rules – assert, confuse, bluster. People are seeing through that now because they’re more knowledgeable. The more a politician asserts something that is patently untrue, the more support they lose.

        The remain side have been doing that for a long time and it’s wearing thin even on remainers who accept democracy (as opposed to remoaners, who do not and simply wish to get their own way, whatever the damage).

    • Ian!
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      @Peter Brilliant !

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Peter, but it long ago became clear that the EU would be so intransigent over the Irish border that there was unlikely to be any point in the UK even trying to negotiate anything beyond some basic practical and technical arrangements to try to keep trade and other contacts going with minimum disruption.

      And by “long ago” I mean November 2017, for example:

      “On the TV this morning it was stated that the UK government is “desperate” to move on to trade talks, but this would be vetoed by the Irish government unless the UK government committed to keeping the UK in both the Single Market and the Customs Union.”

      “So we should now say that rather than kowtow to the stupid destructive intransigence of the EU we will fall back on WTO trade rules and only seek agreements on the practical or technical aspects of continuing trade.”

      And a few days later:

      “When you have an Irish minister saying that they will not tolerate

      “anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland”,

      3 minutes in here:

      when it’s perfectly obvious to all that there already is, and for the foreseeable future there will continue to be, a border on the island of Ireland then there is really no point in any further discussions.”

      “There is no point even trying to negotiate with such silly people.”

  2. Mark B
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    . . . Wokingham and West Berkshire schools are at the bottom end of the English spending league tables . . .

    This extra money, will it just be for England or for the Uk as a whole ? I ask as, I think the other members of our UNION receive more per head.

    . . . additional £1.8bn for the NHS, targeted particularly on 20 different hospitals . . .

    Before I like this money given to the NHS, or any other State body, I want to see how much the Chief Exec’ and other high earners on the Trust Board receive. The last thing we want is this money wasted on more salary increases and perks. This money is for more nurses etc. which should lead to better patient care.

    I have no problem with the UK economy cooling. I do not want to see an artificial boom but, good sensible management of the economy. With more people in work I expect to see better tax receipts and lower borrowing. In fact I go as far as to say I do not think we should be borrowing at all but, with all this government White Elephant projects and generous subsidies to various parasites I can see why but do not except that we should continue.

    Leaving the EU will allow the UK government to clear out the Augean Stables. But the questions is, do he have an Herculean PM who can deliver ?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      But the Government IS the muck now.

  3. GilesB
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    ‘which I wish to see from November’

    Not sounding optimistic there, Sir.

    Surely the Prime Minister isn’t going to accept another extension?

  4. Everhopeful
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Apparently govt is doing panic U Turn on ending Freedom of Movement when/if Brexit happens?
    Let’s hope it does not discover any legal constraints to prevent increased expenditure on police etc.
    And let’s also hope that if there actually is an increased budget it is spent wisely for a change.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      thats a panic U-turn ? What a sheltered existance you must have had!

  5. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    The US has enjoyed easier money? Base rate in the US has been much higher than here recently!

    Reply Money growth five times as fast as UK in recent months. Their banks are not clamped in the way ours are by FPC

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Well what is needed is more freedom and choice (and fair competition) in education, health, housing, transport rather than more money for dire, poorly run state monopolies. Tax relief, vouchers and freedom to choose please.

    The problem is not so much the level of borrowing but the appallingly inefficient and misguided way the money is being spent (mainly wasted) often spent doing actual positive harm. Leave the money with businesses and taxpayers they will spend and invest it far better.

    Does your 65% of GDP state debt include the circa £100 billion 0f student debt that will never be repaid or the state pension liabilities. Interesting to see that over 50% of people going to university now have 3Ds at A level or lower. People often conned into taking on £50k of debt for largely worthless degrees. Encouraged by lies like the graduate premium lifetime earnings lie, pushed by government endlessly (historical figures so no longer true and a complete confusion of cause and effect anyway).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      About 60,000 students were given unconditional offers for university last year it seems. Costing about £50k each. So that is £3 billion PA taxpayers are paying out PA. Surely 80%+ of this will never be repaid by the students?

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Our PM’s own brother, in charge of Universities, has confirmed that unpaid student loans are likely to lead to the National Debt increasing in 30 years by a monstrous 10% ON ITS OWN.
        We’re mad

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          Well they are mad. Not me or you or most people.

          If you want £50K on an unsecured loan to start a business it is very hard indeed to obtain. Yet £50K for a worthless degree in gender studies and leftie political correctness from the University of Bognor no problem at all! Taxpayers will provide (they have no choice).

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic, the first set of loans from 20 years ago should be paid up now if degree students were genuinely earning a premium they were only £1000 pa which at the time was calculated as 25% of the full degree cost. Total student debt £3000, repaid at 9%? of earnings over £25,000.

        The next set of plan 1 loans from 1998 in England were set at a much sooner repayment earnings level of £16,000 pa at 9%, I wonder how we discover how many of the loans taken out in 1998 have been fully repaid, how many have been 66% of gross total repaid? I know people that have repaid in full and nearly repaid in full, in fact some of them were still charged after they paid off and had to reclaim.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          The claimed graduate premium is a government con trick. It is based on historic figures (when perhaps only 10% went to UNI and confuses cause and effect. Bright people earn more and bright people often go to university. Most would earn more even if they did not lose 3 years earning and take on £50K of debts. Bright people are bright University does not make dim people brighter alas. It can give them a bit more knowledge and some useful tools perhaps. But rarely even does that.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Yet another huge waste of tax and bill payers money is the smart meter agenda. It seems this stems from an absurd EU red tape. Made even worse by further incompetence on this side of the channel too. We should cut out this huge waste now as we are apparently leaving on Halloween – do or die.

      David Craig (who had written several excellent books and has a good podcast interview with James Delingpole) claims the standard calculation is for every £1 of tax you raise and spend we get 46p of value! This to me looks very optimistic indeed. Tax, borrow, over regulate, endless waste and misdirection – so beloved of politicians and all the state sector is a hugely inefficient way to do anything much – beyond the very few things that state actually does have to do like defence.

    • Julie Williams
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Does the debt figure include the residual effects of the massive spending sprees financed by Public Finance Initiatives?
      Or are they “off the books as well?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        I think so, but it does not fool many sensible people – it just makes the government “borrowing” far more expensive and very inefficient. Thanks to the economic illiterate Gordon Brown.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          I meant I think not!

      • hefner
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        According to ‘Making sense of PFI’ or John Lister’s book ‘Unhealthy Profits’, they seem to be ‘off the books’. And that is just for the 100+ PFI projects within the NHS. So please consider other infrastructure projects.

  7. Pamela Garth
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Oh for heaven’s sake don’t treat us like idiots. Money for schools, money for police, after years of slashing money for schools and for police. Naked election bribes, and promises that will be broken by Johnson and Cummings if they win a majority. Let’s make sure they don’t

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      If you imagine labour of libdems would actually be more effective with the country, or indeed their worthless promises, then you are not observing historical facts…

      It’s not just money that needs to improve, because you may recall the £millions blair ploughed into EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION – you only have to look around at the ignorance on the streets to see how successful blair was in creating an education system that indoctrinated socialist garbage and almost totally did away with real learning.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Hear, hear Bryan.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        are you sure Blur ploughed £millions into education? I thought he got the students to finance it themselves.

        • Bryan Harris
          Posted September 2, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

          Good point – never saw the accounts, but if you recall, he kept on about doing this…and our money just disappeared, so we assumed it went to education.

          …but yes, in addition to God knows how many £millions of our taxes blair poured in, he still made students pay and pay – something that has to change

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Let’s make sure Boris does win – as it is very certain that a Corbyn/McDonnall/SNP government would destroy investment, the economy, jobs and any confidence and give us a version of Venezuela in very short order indeed. Hammond was an appalling economic illiterate (with zero understading of negotiation, maths or game theory) but Mc Donnall is far, far, far worse still.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      not a bribe, I hope trying to redress the appalling end of Osborne and the horrific Hammond.

    • John C.
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      I suppose that if the same offer had been made by Corbyn, you would rejoice and cry, “At last! Someone who will break the grip of austerity and give us the public services we deserve etc etc.”

  8. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    If we can simply ignore the £435 billion of QE in the calculation of state debt, why muck about? Why not get QE up to a nice round trillion?

    • acorn
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      You can’t ignore the 435 billion the 65% of GDP number is nonsense. QE does not change the net fiscal assets in the economy. Instead of being held as government savings bonds it is swapped back into government cash till saved in some other form.

      Consolidated gross public “debt” (bkqa) is currently £2,354 billion with a GDP of £2,056 billion, 114%. Public sector debt does not matter to an economy that issues its own currency. It is private sector debt limits that will shrink the economy.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Interesting to see we are training 23,000 in law degrees (plus many converting to law after their first degree). This when only circa 5000 training places are available PA. 8500 forensic science degree students currently and yet only about 50 people working in the field retiring each year. What an insane waste of money some education can be. What chance do these people have of getting a job in the field?

    Then we have all the renewable grants pushing premature and daft technology and pushing whole (real) industries over seas. Government waste and insanity is everywhere.

    • Andy
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Did you go to university?

      No, that’s right – of course you didn’t. Your generation did not need to. You walked into great jobs with no qualifications.

      You clearly do not understand why so many people go to university today. So let me help you.

      You do not get an entry level job at a good company today without a degree. Worse, you do not even get an interview for an entry level job at a good company without a degree.

      Not all those people doing law degrees want to be lawyers. They are simply studying a subject which interests them – aware that they need the degree to have any chance at all.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic is a maths graduate, Oxbridge, I do believe.

        Lifelogic is not having a go at the graduates. He is having a go at the con trick that is modern university education – ie a method of hiding the true youth unemployment figures in Britain. It is also used to massage figures on the economy – saying that the government is owed so much money (little of which will actually be payed.)

        The knock on is that office clerks now need degrees… and we need to import properly educated people from the Continent because our modern graduates aren’t really up to it.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          Cambridge and then some physics & electronics at Manchester.

      • IanT
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        Absolutely right Andy, I didn’t – and nor did my sons. Both of them started in jobs that didn’t require a degree (or in fact any qualifications) and worked their way up. One left school and started working in a supermarket restaurant, the other worked as a shop assistant initially. By their late 20’s both had well paid jobs and 10 years good work experience on their CVs – and no debt other than a mortgage. They are now both senior managers in large companies and doing very well I’m delighted to report.

        This idea that everyone (50% of school leavers?) needs a “Degree” is simply misguided – of course we need a well educated work force but it has to be one that has the skills to do the actual work required. Both my sons have gained key skills in their respective industries through actual work experience and have progressed as a consequence. Their current employers don’t seem too bothered that they are not degree educated but were impressed that they could actually do the job and get results.

        • Andy
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          And yet if they were starting out today they’d need a degree. Because all of the other candidates would have one.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

          Very misguided indeed. Blair is largely to blame.

      • John C.
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        Blair’s fault for deflating the value of degrees.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        no mention of the pubs, clubs, parties then?

      • libertarian
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink



        Most degrees now will not get you into a job just by having a degree

        Yes in fact you DO get an entry level job into companies without a degree

        It’s called an apprenticeship and even accountants and law firms are taking more starters in on apprenticeships and traineeships than graduates

        The earnings of an an apprentice are now greater than a graduate

        Here is a link to the magazine of corporate hiring professionals

        “Employers prefer apprenticeship experience over university degrees”

        Try living in the real world and stop talking out of your backside. With each post you make you make yourself look more ignorant

        • Andy
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

          “Employers prefer apprenticeship experience over university degrees” – according to research for the Association of Accounting Technicians. Which, coincidentally, is basically a vocational training organisation. Funny that.

          One of the skills you gain at university is to source material, to look at the quality of evidence and to evaluate motives. Strangely most of the people with these skills rejected Brexit and most without these skills didn’t.

        • Newmania
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          So Libertarian, the income Premium that graduates actually get ( in the real world) is not due to their degrees but just because they are better clever and more industrious people ?
          Happy with that

        • libertarian
          Posted September 2, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

          Dear Andy and Newmaniac

          Apprentices Can Earn 270% More Than University Graduates in arts , media and publishing Report from Sky News

          The best apprentices – those with a level 5 qualification – will earn £50,000 more in their lifetime than someone with an undergraduate degree from a university taking home close to £1.5m over their career. Report Boston Consulting Group & Sutton Trust

          Higher apprenticeships lead to ‘greater earnings than most degrees’

          Times Educational Supplement

          The research findings from Barclays and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), which says apprentices can earn up to 270% more over their working lifetime than graduates.

          Student debt wipes out any graduate premium… Report from BBC

          Intergenerational Foundation paper finds that, apart from Oxbridge, medical and dentistry graduates, there is no graduate earnings premium for the many young people entering higher education

          Andy I own and run a multimillion pound software company specialising in Data Analytics, AI and Data Mining in the employment market place . You dont have a job as you told us you had to sack all your staff due to Brexit and Newmaniac works in finance and he told us that all the finance jobs were leaving the city and going to Frankfurt yet he’s still here . I think we can safely ignore you two

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      A proper understanding of law is of huge benefit in a wide range of professional positions, as is one of mathematics, general science, language etc.

      So your customary crudely mechanistic analysis is as silly as ever.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        I agree it can be. I certainly would like to be far better at French and Italian when visiting. But some sensible matching of training with real demand for these skills surely makes economic sense.

        If people what to study something out of interest or as a hobby then at least make them pay for it themselves. What is the sense in perhaps 200 people getting degrees in forensic science (as a cost of say £10,000,000) for every one person who actually gets a job in that area. Forgoing 600 person years of earnings during the training too.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          Then 199 of the 200 being rather pissed off at being conned into £50K of debt, 3 years of studying and 3 year loss of earnings one assumes!

      • libertarian
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        Hold on son, over on the other thread you were telling us there were no professional jobs, that everything was just minimum wage menial work, explain how useful a law degree is for stacking shelves and cleaning. Unless 0f course you were talking cobblers on the other thread .

        Its the trouble with made up twaddle , you have to remember what you said last

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          Where did I say there were “no professional jobs”?

          Come on, back up your silly accusation with a direct citation.

          Oh, but yet again, you can’t can you?

          • libertarian
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink


            Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 30, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink
            Demeaning, exploitative, low-paid jobs are plentiful.

            Decent ones are ever rarer.

            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.

            You are clueless

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

            They say something quite different though, don’t they, Einstein?

          • libertarian
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

            Marty marty marty

            You used a generalisation to make a point , I proved you wrong and used another generalisation

            If I were you I’d have a good hard think before posting any more unresearched opinions Trotsky

      • Fred H
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Martin…..and common sense and personability helps, you know the sort of interview clinching characteristics you and others seem so very short of.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      could it be the attraction of legal incomes?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Indeed that is I suspect the main attraction. But unless they have good contacts in the profession – or a top degree from one of the top universities they have rather little chance of a training position.

        If the Government cuts red tape and destroy the litigation culture as they should do (and get out of EU laws, courts and regulations) we will need even few lawyers. This would be a jolly good thing too. They could get more productive jobs instead.

        I know of one doctor who retrained as a lawyer and does medical litigation earning far more that way.

        I would far prefer travel in the opposite direction!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          fewer not few

    • BJC
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      As Parliament is stacked to the rafters with lawyers, I’m sure there will be a few places there, LL. Of course, what we need to administer the resources of UK plc are qualified, skilled managers at the helm.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Farage was on the Telegraph’s Choppers Brexit Podcast the other day. He is still convinced that Boris plans to go back to May’s putrid WA deal with a few small fig leaves stuck on it. If so the Brexit Party will stand in nearly every seat and Boris will surely not win any election.

    Boris must deliver a clean Brexit, it is the only way to avoid destroying the party and thus giving us Corbyn/McDonnall/SNP and a Venezuela Mk. II. Hopefully he is being told this very strongly indeed by the (small) sound wing of the party.

    • Andy
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      Farage is right. The WA is Brexit. And it will pass.

      Farage will also stand in the election. He will win very few – if any – seats. Yet he will claim some sort it mandate anyway.

      The more votes he gets the less chance of a majority Tory government.

      Labour and the Remain parties will win a majority of the vote but may not win a majority of the seats.

      El Presidente will claim a mandate despite being rejected by most voters.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        If Brexit stands in most of the seats then Boris will surely not get any majority.

        • BB
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          Exactly, TBP don’t have to win any seats, they just have to split the Tory vote and stop it winning. As occurred in Peterborough, a leave constituency.

      • agricola
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Sounds like your prayer before bye byes. Come a GE I do not see a Marxist (tending? ed) party, with nothing but state ownership to offer the electorate, making much electoral progress.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        you been doing another seance ?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      There is no more such a thing as a “clean” exit from the European Union than there is a clean disembowelment, and you know this perfectly well.

      Don’t you?

      • graham1946
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        We keep hearing that Brexit will be a ‘disaster’, but I don’t think I have heard anyone list the problems we will face, other than delays at Dover and Calais, which both ports have said won’t happen. Disembowelment means certain death, so perhaps you could give a short list of disasters you see will befall us. A fact or two this time would be helpful, not just a rant. We’ve tried Andy and drawn a blank, similar with Margaret Howard and other Remainers.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        Thats odd because THREE countries left the EU and Ive just checked and they are all still there , non of them disembowelled and one of them currently the target of an attractive take over bid

        Dont you think its rather worrying that you wish to belong to something you cant leave, that sounds like some form of weird religious cult, do we have Euro Kool Aid to look forward to?

        • margaret howard
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink


          “THREE countries left the EU”

          Algeria, Greenland and Saint Barthelemy, the latter two with a population of under 70 000 combined?

          According to wiki:

          Three territories of EU member states have withdrawn: French Algeria (in 1962, upon independence), Greenland (in 1985, following a referendum) and Saint Barthélemy (in 2012), the latter two becoming Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union which means they are special territories of the European Union member states which, for historical, geographical, or political reasons, enjoy special status within or outside the European Union”

          You should look further then the Spectator for proper information.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

            Maggie maggie maggie

            I’ve never read the spectator, I know exactly which countries left and it makes not a jot of difference what size they are, none of them were disembowelled were they ?

            What a pointless post Maggs. Getting a bit desperate now

            ps if you are interested in small Caribbean countries and the EU , you might want to take a look at St Martins. The South of the island is in the EU single market , yet the north isn’t , theres no hard border and no checks on goods crossing… how the hell did that happen? its not supposed to be possible.

          • margaret howard
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 9:41 pm | Permalink


            ” take a look at St Martins. The South of the island is in the EU single market , yet the north isn’t , theres no hard border and no checks on goods crossing… ”

            “Neither side of the island is part of the Schengen Area; full border checks are performed when travelling in and out of the island. Passport controls are also exercised when taking the ferry from Marigot or Princess Juliana International Airport to Anguilla.”


          • libertarian
            Posted September 3, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink


            AS I SAID there are NO BORDER CHECKS between the two parts of the island

            Thanks for confirming that

        • Newmania
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          3 ?
          I can only think of two .Neither Greenland, which is half the size of Worthing , and Algeria formally French ( and all that), offer truly splendid points of comparison, but is there a third ? Is there some might trading behemoth of which I am unaware?
          Libertarian would you please remind me of this country , its probably the one you are basing your argument on and I `d hate to be unfair, which country is it ?

          • margaret howard
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink


            “3? I can only think of two”

            Yes, Saint Barthelemy, population just over 9 000! But it remains an overseas territory of the EU and the citizens are French with EU passports.

            But that’s how Brexiteers like libertarian interpret their ‘facts’.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink


            Its Algeria

            The point that you two brainless fools miss was that Martin in Cardiff claimed that any country leaving the EU would be unable to make a clean break and would be disembowelled .

            As you have both now confirmed 3 countries ( yes very small ones) left but all managed a clean break and none were disembowelled . Do try to at least follow a thread

            Anyway I won …. again

          • libertarian
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

            not Algeria St Barthelemy

          • libertarian
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

            Margaret H

            facts tend to be facts whether you like them on not. I haven’t interpreted them in any way Ive just told you the facts. If you think I’m wrong then you need to tell me which if any of them failed to make a break and got disembowelled

            I won’t wait

  11. agricola
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    To date we have heard reports of a range of financial boosts to elements of the state that need it. What I am looking for in any near future statement is the recognition that our tax system is in dire need of simplification, and that it needs to encourage investment and the creation of wealth for the individual and the country.

    VAT could be carefully looked at so that it encourages startups and does not hit them with both barrels at an arbitary level of turnover. In some cases a sales tax that gives balance between the one off corner cafe and the multi national with offshore corporation. Business and corporation taxes should suggest to potential investors small and large that the UK is an attractive place.

    I would like to see the destruction of taxes that penalise those who have already paid income tax. Stamp duty and IHT must go, no second bites at the cherry for government.

    To help facilitate the above I would like to see something similar to IDS’s thinking on work and benefits applied to government activity as a whole. The reduction of government should reduce it’s burden on the individual and enterprise.

    On all the above I will make my judgement as to whether our current government is worthy of continued support.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      It was clear that Mr.Hammond had no vision from his first budget and so it proved. The immediate removal of stamp duty and IHT, which can be done at a stroke (not the Heath version) would have a massive impact on the broader economy and indicate that fiddling around the edges of change is over, a few less civil servants and lawyers too. Only Nigel Lawson understood that the structure of the tax system was the key to its effectiveness and fairness.

      Why should acquiring a home be discouraged with tax?

      Why should only the hard working middle class pay IHT?

      Back to the real world SJ will disappoint I fear.

      • Christine
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        I agree that Inheritance Tax has become a tax on the middle classes. The very rich, who the tax was aimed at, have accountants able to set up trust funds to avoid it. When families living in the South-East area of the country have to sell their home in order to pay it something is very wrong. It’s time to abolish this grossly unfair tax completely.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        I am worried about Javid too. What was the insane nonsense about switching stamp duty to sellers now reversed! It did not inspire any confidence.

        • Christine
          Posted September 2, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

          So all of us who have paid stamp duty buying our properties have to pay again when we sell. We’ve got the Conservative’s constantly taxing us opposed to Labour who just want to take everything away from landlords by giving tenants a right to buy their home at a discount. Both seem to be attacking landlords. The rental market provided a good service for those who either don’t want to buy or would never get a mortgage. How are the Government going to fill this gap when they’ve forced landlords out of business? Two party politics has to go.

  12. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    When Mr Brown “saved the world” in 2008 he had still got some money in the bank to bail out the failing banks.
    Now there is none, and Europe looks very dangerous indeed (I am thinking especially of the Italian banks, stuffed full, (who knows) of worthless bonds.
    Nevertheless, it is imperative that the Conservatives win the coming election – despite the very talented and resurgent Brexit Party splitting the vote.

    • oldtimer
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      If you check carefully, I think you will find that no one had money in the bank. That just “printed” more bank notes.

    • IanT
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      And of course German and French Banks are holding very substantial wads of those “worthless” Italian Bonds and claiming it as part of their Tier 1 Capital – good luck with that! But when crunch times comes (in or out) it will hurt us here too unfortunately.

      Reply Italian state bonds are far from worthless all the time they pay the interest, as they assure us they are going to do.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      We certainly had a bigger ability to borrow than we have now. Osborne and Hammond, even with their ‘austerity’ managed to double the national debt whilst depriving our forces, police, NHS, education, local councils etc of funds. Those chickens are now coming home to roost and Boris is busy trying to repair the damage which will end up costing a whole lot more than if they had borrowed for infrastructure and some tax cuts whilst money was cheap to get the country going and had they made big cuts in Government administration and the bonfire of red tape and quangos which were promised but never delivered.

  13. Oldwulf
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    We need a healthier economy with more spending by individuals with more better paid jobs. Why are VAT rates and National Insurance rates so high ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      and CGT 28%, Insurance IPT 12%, car taxes, fuel taxes 80%, inheritance taxes 40%, sin taxes up to 90%, inflation devaluing your money taxes 3% PA, air flight taxes, carbon taxes, renewable energy taxes, various licences taxes, planning taxes, building control taxes, landlord licensing taxes, congestion taxes, motorist mugging taxes, council taxes, business rates, landfill taxes, pension pot taxes 55%, Stamp duty up to 15% and all the rest!

      • oldwulf
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Hi Lifelogic
        I take your point. I was trying to emphasise that VAT and NIC should be immediately looked at. The others may be looked at a little later !

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, we are just taxed far, far too much and get very little indeed by way of competent public services of any real value in return.

  14. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Time also to fund and permit many more Free schools … State schools are still not as effective as they should be, and we badly need to get socialist dogma out of schools.
    On a different note – successive governments have messed around with the basket items that make up the inflation rate, so that it is almost worthless – Time we moved back to a really honest one that includes every factor.
    Every single annual bill goes up each year – Insurance rates are a total ripoff going up by a good 10%, or more, every year – When is the Chancellor going to reign in Insurance companies – Are they in league with price increases? It seems so.
    If only salaries/pensions went up by 10% each year, that would be some relief, but no, we use an inflation rate that is artificially low.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      The last Chancellor increased IPT tax by 20% to 12% so not much help there. My approach is to self-insure wherever I can. That way you do not contribute to all the overheads & profits of insurance companies or the fraudulent claims. Furthermore it saves the hassle of insuring and then claiming.

      If you have to have it for legal reasons I take a big excess (unless perhaps I think that I am a much higher than average risk but can still get an average premium).

      What is really pushing up motor insurance is fraudulent claims, uninsured drivers and the absurd litigation culture. Rather encouraged by the legal profession, daft laws and often daft court judgements. Lawyers want lots of litigants after all to keep the show on the road. So judgements often tend to encourage plaintiffs and often fraudsters (as does the no win no fee racket).

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted September 2, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

        Yes fraud is an issue – but I still see insurance premiums going up across the board – for example Car recovery, which is I’ve not seen associated with fraud…

        What annoyed me most was that when IPT was increased – insurance companies added on a big chunk for their own benefit then claimed it was all down to IPT

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 2, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        What is also driving up all insurance, perhaps more so, is the cost of huge awards in the US for such as asbestos-related disease, and in relation to other court cases, ranging from talcum powder to glyphosate to oil spills.

        The globalised spreading of risk by the industry means that this politico-legal scam results in a large flow of cash from the rest of the world into the US via people’s premiums.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 2, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff


          let me get this right , you are claiming that UK motor insurance is going up in price because of US asbestos claims and the US are making money from UK motor insurance premiums because of this. Is that correct?

  15. Kenneth
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure if this is relevant to the spending statement but the BBC licence fee is a significant payout for many people.

    I listened to the BBC’s “Pick of the Pops” on Radio 2 and the presenter listed the programme staff:

    1 Studio Manager
    2 Producers
    1 Presenter

    That’s 4 people playing some recordings for 2 hours. What the heck to the 2 producers do??

    Some people are on modest incomes. It’s a scandal that their limited money is being used to finance these cushy jobs.

    This example alone tells me the BBC is crying out to have its budget slashed. It also tells me that the BBC is openly taking the p**s out of its licence fee payers.

    I would suggest a subscription model would do the trick. It would then continue to be available to those who are willing to pay for the service instead of the current model where we are forced to pay even if we only watch commercial tv.

    I am sure the presenter would then find a way of pushing a few buttons all on his own.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      It is an outrage that people have to pay the TV licence fee – even if they do not want to watch the BBC output. Grossly unfair competition not to mention the endless political daft, leftie, PC, pro EU, greencrap brainwashing.

    • Robert mcdonald
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      This is typical of the BBC. They are renowned in the media industry for send four times the staff to any on site report or event than any of the more financially challenged and hence prudent companies .. and they pay each more. Indeed they often give staff enhanced job titles, such as correspondent instead of reporter, to make it appear on paper that they pay “the market rate”.

      • Al
        Posted September 2, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        “Producer” is a catch-all title. I suspect it would be clearer if they had called it “Systems support” and “Music Licencing” (said as someone who for a while was ‘Tech Support’ on a different product – and yet still titled “Producer”).

        With regard to efficiency in hiring and deploying staff, it should be no surprise that when BBC Studios was spun off into the commercial sector, one year later 300 employees were made redundant.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink


      Yes amazing isn’t it what the BBC get away with…

      I won’t be satisfied until the BBC is taken out of service and all assets retained by the state or sold off accordingly

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        You’ll never be satisfied with anything though, will you Brian?

        • Bryan Harris
          Posted September 2, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

          @Martin – That a wild evaluation from you and a personal attack, which has nothing to do with the subject..

          Duplication is clearly not one of your top abilities, or was my name misspelt on purpose?

    • julie williams
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      If you are a really “sad” person like me, you can also spend some time counting the number of “repeats” on the BBC; that is, programmes that your previous licence paid to make, so you are now paying twice.
      If repeats were taken out of the schedule, we would not need BBC4, BBC2 could return to being the “thoughtful” channel and BBC1 could be the “light” entertainment.Better still, sell it off and make it compete, we don’t need state-funded TV anymore, the world has changed.
      While we are at it, the government should sell off Channel 4, we now have many more channels and it’s already commercialised…and full of USA TV,,,thank goodness, the rest is dross.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted September 2, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        There are many things wrong with TV stations, especially the BBC and especially repeats – most of which should be allowed to die gracefully many years ago.

        The nonsense about the 9pm deadline for adult programs means that we rarely get anything new or invigorating before 9pm, (not that it improves much afterwards but does tend to have less repeats), and that includes the news.
        Kids know their way around TV options and could easily view adult programs if they wanted to… But the real point is that decent fresh programs do not need to have censored adult content to be good programs – TV companies are just too lazy to create decent entertainment fit for the whole family.

  16. Dominic
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    You keep pandering to the State unions, Labour and the liberal left and up State spending. Feed Labour’s unreformed beast and let it grow fat, arrogant and inflexible. That’s very clever, not.

    Now, I’m not naive. I know the Tories can’t go into the next GE promising a slash and burn manifesto but we need a change in culture in government. Reform takes balls and involves confrontation with fat and arrogant vested interests determined to keep their privileges doled out to them by a sneaky, malicious virus that is Labour who use the taxpayer to finance an inbuilt strategic bias within the State. Which begs the question. Why can’t the Tories built a client state of their own? Why can’t the Tories embrace Gramsci and reverse the process

    Reverse all the changes made by Labour and the left.

    We need less State spending. More state spending is more waste as you’re throwing money at a system that is designed, encourages and budgets for waste. Waste is fundamental to State budgeting.

    And reverse all liberal left, progressive education. It is destructive, social engineering propaganda driven by a small band of political activists that have infected the State. To think we have a Tory government pushing the progressive agenda is beyond belief. We are drowning in State driven woke. Even young children aren’t immune from the politicisation of humanity. And yes, to think we have a Tory government. Spineless capitulation

  17. Andy
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    The amusing Daniel Hannan yesterday Tweeted he wants Brexit done so the country can be brought back together.

    I ask again – how?

    You will always be the people who stole our country, who removed our rights, who called us citizens of nowhere and who repeatedly lied and cheated while doing it.

    Why should we ever come back together with you?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      I agree, Andy.

      Let’s look forward to swearing our Oath Of Allegiance to the European Union, for that in-principle agreed Associate EU Citizenship, and getting back together with some decent, civilised people, shall we?

      • libertarian
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        MiC & Andy

        Once again you give it away… You are VIRTUE SIGNALLERS , you think ( in so far as you are able) that people voted for Brexit because they dont like foreigners . Its NOT TRUE

        You both claim that you wish you and your children to have the ability to move freely around the EU, you both hate the “uncivilised , …… old peoples home” that is the “disaster” that is the UK and you wish to become citizens of the new country USE . Yet bizarrely you are both still here ( in Andy’s case he claims to own a palatial home in France) . Anyone with a braincell and the thoughts and opinions you both profess would have moved long ago and not waited until its too late.

        The real reason most people voted to Leave is to regain some control

        We voted for decentralisation on the grounds that centralisation as repeatedly shown by Soviet Russia, Communist China Venezuela , every Empire and lots of very large corporate organisations as well as the EU doesn’t work.

        We prefer localism, that is the ability to manage our communities from a local base where we know what suits a local area , its people and issues.

        Does that mean we are little englanders? No we are happy to trade, relate, share, welcome and visit anywhere in the world. It means that we now thanks to technology have a means of managing our communities that doesn’t require top down, one size fits all bureaucracy . We are proud to be the most diverse and welcoming country on Earth. Having rid ourselves of the EU, our next task will be to reform our own democracy and system of government , starting with an English parliament

        As to joining civilised people , that would be joining in with the 36th week of French rioting I guess , maybe you will be joining in with the mass anti Turkish demonstrations across Germany today? Or were you there a few weeks ago for the Copenhagen & Athens mass rallies, strikes and violence on the streets?

        Or did you have something more civilised in mind like say 54% youth unemployment, the 10 EU countries that pay less than 2Euros per hour minimum wage if they have an NMW at all? Oh I know its the 10 European countries who still ban same sex marriage that attracts you.

        If you hadn’t been a screaming, crying mess of ……snowflake virtue signallers you could quite easily have come up with a scheme that suited both sides, but no you chose name calling and whining and project fear instead, and lost … AGAIN …suck it up

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        OK, M i C, now I know that you’re just a joker. Either that or you’ve been driven mad by Brexit Derangement Syndrome. Looking forward to swearing an oath of allegiance to the EU? You just have to be joking.

      • sm
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        How can you do those things in what is, we are frequently reminded by Ms Howard, just a trading bloc?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

          Well, serving Commissioners and members of the Council Of Ministers manage it somehow, don’t they?

          The beauty of it is that it will be right over the heads of this shower of a government, and over those who voted for them and for leaving.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            Those full time members of the council are just unelected civil servants.
            The others are just heads of states who meet a few times a year for a chat.

          • margaret howard
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink


            “Unelected civil servants”

            Unlike our own dear head of state? Not to mention civil servants, house of lords – you know, the usual caboodle?

            Now joined by our own unelected Boris PM, so accurately described by Andy as el Presidente.

            Aren’t we lucky!

          • Edward2
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            The Council is stuffed with full time Civil servants.
            The powerful Commission are all failed national politicians unelected by us.
            The President of the EU unelected by us.
            Yet you like this system.
            Our Head of State doesn’t make laws.
            Our PM has been elected by his local voters then elected as leader by all the MPs and members in his own party just like all the other parties do.
            And you can vote him out at the next general election
            Unlike all your EU elite.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        You confuse Europe and its people, which is lovely with the artificial construct which is the EU.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Well once we are out and doing just fine the remoaners might realise what drivel they were talking?

      Hilarious reading the absurd and OTT reactions of people like Philip Pulman and Hugh Grant to the proroguing.

      Google – the The most hysterical reactions to Boris Johnson’s Queen’s speech The Spectator for a laugh.

      Is it still legal to use the sexist word hysterical or is it a hate crime nowadays?

      • Robert mcdonald
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        No they won’t. These rabid rambling remoaners don’t do listening or facts. I’ve lost interest in commenting on their drivel … except this one more attempt to point out their major weakness .. they have no reasoning or rational. A failed attempt of course !

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        It’s not about money, you cynical, moral degenerate.

        It’s about being a positive part of the most enlightened, civilised association of nations that this war-torn and tragic planet has ever seen.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff

          “It’s about being a positive part of the most enlightened, civilised association of nations”

          Tell that to Catalonia , Cypriot savers, Greeks , the unemployed youth of southern Europe and the Gilet Jaunes, 11 dead so far , very civilised .

          ps there have been 35 wars, revolutions, violent coups and separatist guerrilla wars in Europe since the formation of the EC…. so thats working well . Try living in the real world rather than a fantasy . What I dont understand is why socialists are so fond of a corporate engineered body that is in place to keep their prices high and to protect their markets whilst losing jobs….

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

            Catalonia are very pro-European Union. Their problems are with Spain, just as Scotland’s is with England.

            All the problems that you list are national ones.

            One of the nastiest wars was here, and ended by the Good Friday Agreement, upheld by the European Union, but hung out to dry by Tory-ukip.

            Wasn’t it?

          • libertarian
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

            Martin In Cardiff

            Catalonia was hung out to dry by the EU and Brussels issued arrest warrants , try talking to Catalans to see how they feel

            If all the problems are national and you maintain that the EU is run by the 28 nations then you statement makes you look stupid, plus which is the civilised bit then?

            No it wasn’t remotely the worst in death toll and injury and I’m speaking as someone blown up by the IRA

            The EU had absolutely nothing to do with the Good Friday Agreement , it was between the British & Irish and Chaired by US Senator Bill Mitchell. The UK & NI government still remain committed to no hard border its the EU using it as a political blackmailing point

          • margaret howard
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:38 pm | Permalink


            “ps there have been 35 wars, revolutions, violent coups and separatist guerrilla wars in Europe since the formation of the EC…”

            I heard that somewhere before. You forgot to mention though that these were mostly caused by countries that had been enslaved by and were rebelling against the Soviet Union.
            Most of them have now found a safe haven in the EU and are grateful for it.

          • bill brown
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink


            Yes and there were even more conflicts and wars in Europe in the half century before the EC was formed according to Wikipedia, so your statistics is not very useful at all.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            Margaret Howard

            Are you totally incapable of following a thread? Do you always when faced with a fact yeh but it ?

            Couple of things , if you bothered to take a look 80% of them were NOT Soviet related and I never made any other claim about them other that the EU ( remainers) oft quoted claim to have bought peace to Europe for 50 years is to put it bluntly bo******s

            Billy Iversen

            So what? my statistical fact is er a fact that is easily verifiable . I’ve never made any conclusion from that other than the claim to have bought peace to Europe is demonstrably incorrect

        • Edward2
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          Yes Europe and its people are a wonderful thing.
          It is just the EU that is a failing political construct.

        • Fred H
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          Martin……talking of war torn- – -you might find members of this friendly little club have been involved in more wars over time than the rest of the world put together.

          • margaret howard
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            Fred H

            And if you check your European history in the last 500 or so years you will find that England (and later Britain) has been involved in more European wars than any other European country.

            And that is not counting the countless empire wars.

      • julie williams
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        Don’t know which is funniest; their original post or their rowing back.
        Certainly don’t practice what they preach, do they.
        and oh, how they do preach.

    • IanT
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      I’m beginning to wonder why we would ever want you to Andy

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Who are this “we”?

        Seventeen million voted Leave.

        Fifty million did not.

        Reply Only 16m voted to stay in 51 m did not

        • Andy
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          3 million EU citizens were denied a vote – as were young people. They are both overwhelmingly Remain groups.

          A clip this week has gone viral of a Portuguese lady who has lived here for years – paid her taxes, raised a family -, who has been denied settled status and who has been racial abused by Brexiteers.

          Tell me Mr Redwood when you see this does it make you proud what your party has done? Imagine, for example, I proposed a special status requirement for old, white Tory voters. Threatening them with deportation if they can not fill in the forms. That would be a disgrace right? How is what your party has done to millions of people – EU citizens here, UK citizens there – any different?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

            Hundreds of thousands of British ex-pats were denied a vote too, Andy.

            “No Taxation Without Representation” unless your are a fellow European living in Tory Britain.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

            Complete twaddle Andy
            The rules on voting in the UK are the same now as they always have been.
            Be a citizen and be over 18
            That Portugese woman can vote in her nation or become a citizen and vote here.
            The UK has repeatedly said EU citizens living and working here will be fine.
            Sadly your beloved EU has refused to say what they are going to do with UK people living in the EU.

          • graham1946
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

            Tell us what happens in the EU why don’t you? Yesterday on radio a man said he had been resident in Germany for 19 years and had to jump through hoops to be allowed to stay and eventually they made him take out German nationality at a cost of 500 Euros to stay even though he was married to a German and his kids were born there. You know naff all about the subject you rant on.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink


            Not one single person under the age of 57 got to vote on going into the EU , so your point is what exactly? We either have consistent set rules for elections or we dont.

            Ah I see , like a toddler demanding to win, you want rules changed retrospectively

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

          Yes, John, but I would never have presumed to speak for the nation as “we” even if Remain had won with say eighteen million votes.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

            Yet you speak for remainers now MiC

          • libertarian
            Posted September 4, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

            Matin in C

            “Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 31, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

            Small children are absolutists in matters which are actually relative, and WE find it funny, but amongst an infantilised electorate, that widespread failure of reasoning can be, and is being exploited ruthlessly by those who wish to take control.”

            Looks like you presumed to me ……

    • Fred H
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      the answer is to emigrate…..don’t let us keep you a moment longer.

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 2, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Fred H

        Is that the best you can do?

        • libertarian
          Posted September 2, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          Magaret Howard

          This is a genuine question

          You feel that the EU is more civilised and cosmopolitan. You feel that it has a better future than the UK. You have a great affinity with Germany , you are angry that we’ve decided to leave the safety of the EU to have a country that will have shortages of food, medicines and other essential items . You tell us the UK is currently run by a hard right dictatorship .

          Why would any sane person stay if that were true?

          So why exactly are you staying?

          • libertarian
            Posted September 4, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

            Hello Margaret are you there ? Any answer?

    • Alan Joyce
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Dear Mr. Redwood,


      I think, unlike you, most people do want to see Brexit done and to see a bit of normality restored to public life. Who knows, in about 40 years time at the next referendum, even you might be reconciled to life outside the EU, if it still exists of course?

      But I guess by then you will probably be ‘just another angry pensioner.’

      In the meantime, calm yourself, take some sort of soothing medicament. Again I urge you to try philanthropy. That vast amount of tax you and your family pay must be a dreadful burden on you.

  18. Everhopeful
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Actually…forget the money.
    Just get rid of all red tape!
    And minimum wage.
    I might be able to get a tradesman or two.( They are scarce now).
    Mind you we have become very handy with DIY drain clearance, tree felling etc.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Second that. Can’t get anyone to rebuild my garden fence ‘for love nor money’ as the saying goes. I’m a bit past being able to do it myself, or at least it will take me a long time and my neighbour being the same age as me and owning an active dog it needs doing quickly. I may have no choice.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Yes, many of the good ones, the Polish, have gone home.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Nah, this morning they were sitting outside a coffee shop in Maidenhead High Street, perfectly relaxed and merrily chatting away among themselves. Nor do I hear that our next door neighbour is packing up to go back to Poland. We know who shamefully created unfounded fears that we would not treat them decently but instead use them as “bargaining chips”, the person who has made sure that I will never again vote for any Tory candidate in any election.

        • APL
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          Denis Cooper: “Nor do I hear that our next door neighbour is packing up to go back to Poland. ”

          It’s been 74 years since the end of the second world war, Poles have been settled happily in the UK all that time. They’ve made themselves at home and lived quite comfortably in the UK for three quarters of a century.

          Two of my school-chums were first generation Poles. One of which has since died, but the other has made a very comfortable life in the UK and now comfortably retired, shows no sign of returning to Poland.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

            We have friends whose Polish parents escaped here just before the war, there has been the odd brief discussion about whether they are Polish or English or what … I believe our neighbour came here about fifteen years ago, he has a successful business in computer software and has had two children by a non-Polish wife, both attending good schools. The idea that their future in this country should depend on the good behaviour of Polish politicians towards British residents in Poland was always obviously very wrong.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        Remember what i said, check your opinions against the facts so you dont look like a right t****.

        From Full Fact Website

        Around 3.7 million people living in the UK are citizens of another EU country. That’s about 6% of the UK population, according to the latest figures covering the year to June 2018.
        That compares to 3.4 million in the year before the EU referendum. Overall, the EU citizen population in the UK has gone up by an estimated 35,000 in the last 12 months, an increase of 1%. Between 2016 and 2017, the number increased by 240,000, an increase of 7%.

        So once again the ultra intelligent, smart , civilised Martin is in fact WRONG

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

          Are you always this easy a windup target?

          • Edward2
            Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

            Is that all you are Martin?
            A wind up merchant?
            How sad.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink


            You aren’t winding me up, I’m saving up all your posts , I’m making them into a comedy book ( seriously ) . I sit here crying with laughter at the deranged posts from you Andy & Newmaniac

            Anyway I accept your apology for being totally and utterly wrong…..again

      • Edward2
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Hilarious are usual Martin.
        Why post such nonsense.
        Nearly one million Poles live and work in the UK.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        evidence? how many Polish have gone home? How many are good ones, how many not good.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        Why weren’t our schools and colleges churning out skilled workers ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Indeed DIY and bartering goods and services are very effective ways to avoid paying income tax, VAT & National Insurance (employee and employer) and the profits of the workman and his insurance costs+12% IPT & travel costs. Going round the loop these cost can easily tax about 70% of you. So if you can do it (even if it takes you more than twice the time) it can be worth while. Unless you earn rather a lot more than the workman.

      Thus high taxes kill productivity and damage the economy of themselves. Even before they waste the money on something idiotic.

  19. Richard1
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Article in the FT on Corbyn/ McDonnell’s lunatic plans for hard left socialism in the UK. Mass nationalisation, confiscation of 10% of every business, huge tax rises, banning of bonuses, naming and shaming of anyone earning over £150k, business leaders ‘elected’ by workers (esp in media – the left want political control of the media). They also plan (which isn’t mentioned) a one off 20% wealth tax. And are completely opposed to free trade. Interestingly for a hard Remain paper it also mentions that surveys of business and investors now show the risk of Corbyn is universally regarded as far worse than anything a ‘no deal’ Brexit might bring. Of course it is the threat of socialism which is the real reason for economic uncertainty and lower investment in the UK now.

    Everywhere socialism and communism have been tried over the past 100 or so years it has led to economic disaster and political repression. The UK today would be no different.

    Whatever Boris does it is essential to win the next election. Maybe it takes a last minute pact with farage. The threat of the Marxists is real.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Exactly, Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP would be a total disaster for the UK – even relative to the already appalling Blair/Major/Cameron/May/Brown/Osborne/Hammond.

      Just the chance of this is already damaging the economy significantly and is affecting millions of investment decisions & damaging confidence.

      • Richard1
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        It is the threat of the Corbyn McDonnell lunacy which is surely the real reason entrepreneurs owning valuable businesses like Sir James Dyson (ed?) and Sir Jim Ratcliffe have moved their HQs abroad. If it looked likely they would actually win power, even in a coalition, that would turn to a flood.

  20. Newmania
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    The government,( like a Butlins ventriloquist), telling the Bank of England, to tell the government, not to bother giving the money back, is ‘seigniorage’, or money printing. It worked well for Zimbawe Germany as you will recall.
    Budgetary constraints would be meaningless ,inflation invited to tea, and the UK`s ability to borrow risked. In a post well stocked with nonsense this is probably the most ridiculous claim. The UK`s debts are a dire 85% – end of.
    Breaking manifesto budgetary commitments based on an outlook that predates a recessionary quarter and the looming No Deal iceberg is a duplicitously timed “single year” election stunt. We will not know how bad things are until November.
    I like tax cuts but I`d like to see some evidence that an electoral bribe for the old and rich recommended by the MP for Wokingham, was truly the conclusion to his consideration of the UK`s macro-economic needs .

    Please Sir might I have some more ( evidence ) ?

    Reply My proposals allow younger people seeking to buy a new home and wanting to keep more of their work income to enjoy lower taxes. That would be good for the economy.

    • APL
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      JR: “My proposals allow younger people seeking to buy a new home and wanting to keep more of their work income to enjoy lower taxes. ”

      It’s too late. Your government policy has been to encumber ‘the young’ with huge amounts of Student debt.

      How can a young person possibly earn enough to afford a mortgage, ( average house price £230,000, and pay off his/her £50,000 student debt.

  21. Dominic
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Will David Frost betray the UK and cave into EU demands?

    • hardlymatters
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Dominic- the EU does not have demands- Barnier is just sitting there with the rule book- he has his instructions from the members of the Council and from Junker who is now on hols- there’s nothing much Barnier can do to change anything. David Frost is just the go-between he is not going to betray anyone- like Barnier he has his instructions.

    • BR
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Why would he?

      How would he be *allowed* to do that? He reports to other people, he doesn’t have the final say on what the UK agrees.

  22. Fred H
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    off topic.
    How realistic is the threat of deselection for perhaps the worst campaigning 20 or 30 Conservative MPs? Additionally is it realistic to flood the H of L with Boris sympathisers, when in reality many would wish to see membership at least halved? Idle threats, or pushed into new political tactics?

  23. Arnie from Newington
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I think that it’s about time the Government compensated the former shareholders of Northern Rock. The Government are now in a position that they can calculate exactly how much profit they have made on the sale of the assets of Northern Rock and it is my understanding that the figure is likely to be around £9 billion. These shares were stolen by the Brown Government from shareholders who were mostly elderly people based in the North East of England. To compensate these shareholders would give a boost to the economy in an area of the country that needs it.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Why? When people buy shares in a company that goes bust they lose and that’s it. Why Northern Rock? In liquidations is is usually the liquidators that take the lions share of the asset values in fees and usually nothing is left for shareholders or creditors.

      • hefner
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        People bought Northern Rock shares expecting as good a deal over a few months/years as what had happened with other privatized companies (e.g., Royal Mail) a few years before. It did not turn out that way. Tough, that’s how the market with its ups and downs works.
        AfN, I am sorry for you but do not expect a lot of support for the compensation you are asking for. You played, you lost, end of story.

      • bookend
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Graham 1946- We all know what ‘bail out’ means but have you ever heard the term ‘bail in’? Ask our host JR- bet he knows

        • Mitchel
          Posted September 2, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

          Bail in-You may be hearing a lot more of it in the next few years,when it becomes clear,not just here,that you cannot print your way out of a debt problem.

  24. Dominic
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I am intrigued as to why a small State Tory like Sir John Redwood continually calls for greater State spending. Where’s the logic in such a position? My spider senses are tingling

    SJR knows there’s massive waste in the system. He’s seen it and he knows it exists which begs the question why he never, ever writes articles specifically focusing on the reform and dismantling of Labour’s client state?

    Why is John so prepared to accept the status quo?

    ReplyI also call for spending cuts by stopping all payments to The EU and cancelling HS2

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      The UK crime rate amongst its nationals is twice the pro-rata European Union average. Estimates are difficult because of the concatenation of costs, but diligent analysis puts it at several percent of GDP, with some as high as seven.

      That is ten, yes, ten times the UK international aid spend, and about fifteen times its net EU contributions. We spend a billion a year, just on picking up litter, and on clearing up dog muck for goodness sake.

      So why did the news establishment, our eleven-billion-a-year misinformation industry that is, make our European Union payments and overseas aid top of the agenda instead, when reducing crime merely to average European Union levels would save several times that amount?

      But we know, don’t we?

      • julie williams
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        An equivalence between EU membership and picking up dog muck?
        Answer; each cost should be examined on it’s merits.
        Creating a society where people believe that their mess is someone else’s problem requires proper education in civic responsibility ( which parents used to do) and zero-tolerance legal institutions.
        Belonging to a trading bloc, the EU (?); shouldn’t cost much, should it…but then, re-engineering Europe to protect some interests, move others and destroy some; that’s more expensive.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        A £bn picking up dog muck? A good line – you should try the stage – stand up might suit you.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        You think posting fake news and lies is winding me up? Boy you are easy meat , are most remainers as thick as you?

      • libertarian
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        What is wrong with you, have you still not learned?

        I checked the EU crime stats database

        7 European countries have HIGHER crime rates than the UK . The UK is NOT double the number of any country in Europe

        Why would any sane person try to compare the cost of crime with the cost of belonging to a trade block or the cost of overseas aid? Anyway no its not difficult to gauge as the government publish the figures and the cost of all crimes in the UK personal and business was £59 billion or just over 2% of GDP

        Perhaps you dont have any idea about how to set a budget? You seem to imply that if I have a weekly budget of £200 for food it means that I can also spend £100 per week on membership of the Tufty club because its cheaper than my shopping….

        You are so typical of the ultra remain faction

        • bill brown
          Posted September 2, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink


          This is like your generalisations on conflicts and wars in Europe and no stockpiling before end of March , it not worth the paper it is written on and oh yes I forgot you have said even you make mistakes, like how long Merkel will stay around.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            Bill hans brown

            Oh dear

            Its not a generalisation its the official government statistics on the cost of crime . I also made no comment what so ever on European wars I just noted the fact of how many there has been. Are you really that dim?

            I told you some time ago that Mrs Merkel was in trouble politically . I predicted that her government would struggle. I predicted that she would retire. Some time after that Mrs Merkle announced that she would be stepping down in 2021

            From the Guardian newspaper

            After dominating European politics for well over a decade, Angela Merkel has said her fourth term as Germany’s chancellor will be her last.

            Speaking after disastrous regional elections in Hesse and Bavaria for her Christian Democrats and its Bavaria-only sister party, Merkel on Monday said she saw the results as a “clear signal that things can’t go on as they are”.

            As Angela Merkel’s star dims, Europe is facing perhaps its biggest challenge since 1930s

            She said she would not be standing as party leader at the CDU conference in December nor seek another term as chancellor at Germany’s next federal elections, due in 2021, adding that she would withdraw completely from politics after that date.

            Someone tell Hans Billy Iversen its still 2019 , its not 2012 yet

            Still awaiting you apology

          • libertarian
            Posted September 2, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink


    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Well the clue is we are in an election run up and against Magic Grandpa (or Magic Money Tree (promise everything to everyone) Father Christmas).

      Such is the game of politics.

      May’s “vote for us and we will kick our voters in the teeth” manifesto did not go well. As anyone sensible would have told her after reading it for a few minutes! But no one asked me (or anyone) to do this it seems.

  25. nhsgp
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Some worry about the present level of state debt

    £450,000 per tax payer. How are you going to reduce that when its been increasing at 20% per annum?

    Are you going to carry on with the policy of hiding the debts off the book?

  26. Shirley
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Not once have I heard a Remainer explain how they plan to get a good deal, if they block ‘no deal’. Will they accept a bad deal, that is worse than leaving without a deal?

    No reporter or interviewer ever asks this question. Why?

    • Billy Coates
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Remainers want to Remain. The clue is in the name

      • libertarian
        Posted September 4, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        Billy C

        Yes Billy but remain in what? A trade block, a fully Federal United states of Europe , the Eurozone, do you want to be part of the new EU Military ? Are you in favour of taxation rates harmonised across 28 countries. We need to know what remaining means

    • Brenda
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Shirley, Remainers know how to get a GREAT deal – single market free trade, opt out from Eurozone and Schengen, veto on tax and defence. How? By Remaining

      • Shirley
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        So why did most Remainers promise to respect the result of the referendum. They lied, in order to get elected perhaps. If so, they obtained their seats via fraud.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink


        The single market in goods isn’t free trade its a customs union

        We vcant opt out as the EU now has qualified majority voting

        Cunning plan

        • bill brown
          Posted September 2, 2019 at 10:35 pm | Permalink


          And I am awaiting yours

          thank you

          • libertarian
            Posted September 4, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink


            My what?

            If you mean Brexit plan, I’ve told you multiple times . Leave, go WTO , talk to the 27 about trade once we’ve left . If they come up with a good deal sign it, if they dont then dont. Astonishingly simple really

      • Robert mcdonald
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

        Is that the single market free trade that we pay 20 billion a year for ? More than we would pay through WTO tariffs … great deal !

    • Oggy
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      No Shirley, the remoaners whole premise is to block no deal, knowing no one in their right mind would accept a bad deal so the only option left is to stay in the EU. That is their grand plan.
      Corbyn said last week he will block no deal, he was then asked what if Boris get’s a deal ? – his answer was he will block that too.

    • agricola
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      They do not wish to hear the answer. Whenever there is half a chance of an answer they will interupt, head in a diffrerent direction, or just loudly voice over. Never mind the allegoric blood in the Tiber, I want a steady flow of resignations or sackings at the BBC specifically.

  27. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    All these promises of more money for schools and the NHS for example just an attempt at buying votes. It will not be noticed or appreciated especially if most of it will go on wages. What need is a policy of eliminating waste and inefficiency.

    Can someone explain in detail the benefit and outcome derived from the employment of thousands of teaching assistants. How have they helped to increase the quality of teaching and raised the level of learning.

  28. BJC
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    It won’t matter that the Tories have enjoyed a Boris bounce, at a GE it will still be incredibly difficult to get a decent majority due to TBP. I currently have faith in Mr Johnson, but I would still think twice at a GE as it’s almost impossible to trust a Party of active Remainer MPs.

    As a Tory in a Labour/Remain area I have seen my vote wasted for years, but if the Tories and TBP joined forces I might gain a miniscule chance of my voice being heard, however distasteful it might be for some. I accept it’s a form of PR by the backdoor, but it’s clear this is the new politics and unless/until the Electoral Commission clamps down on the practise, needs must.

    In support of TBP, they have a high level of those from business at the helm with useful suggestions for our future prosperity. They also “speak a language” that Mr Cummings will understand and can work to support, administratively. It would be utterly foolish not to take the opportunity to exploit their strengths.

  29. Andy
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Michael Gove

    2016: Sunny uplands, we hold all the cards, prancing unicorns, it will rain gold.

    2019: Everyone will have food. (Maybe)

    Brexit is the sort of scam you see on Watchdog. If I ever become a dodgy double glazing salesman I know precisely which 17.4m people to target.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Remain 2016: if you vote for Brexit there will be a recession, an increase of 800k in unemployment, possibly the breakdown of peace in Europe. And anyone who votes for Brexit is a racist

      2019: no recession. UK’s growth about the same as France and Germany since 16, in spite of a do nothing govt under mrs May. The threat of socialism holds back investment but will hopefully be removed in an election. Unemployment continues to fall, record number of jobs. All politicians now talk about a need for a sensible immigration policy. Even remain ones talk about getting the EU to change freedom of movement (but don’t describe themselves as racists).

    • libertarian
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink


      As a double glazing salesman would buy the windows in for £100 sell them to us for £10 and boast about the huge number of orders he is getting

    • Billy Coates
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Andy, it is worse than that. You’d instal the glazing, it leaks, it’s broken, and yet when you ask for an extra payment on top, they’d happily agree and say yes, that’s what I agred to buy, at least it’s MY glazing

    • Oggy
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Why don’t you do something useful with your time such as building a nuclear bunker in your back garden in readiness for the Brexit Armageddon that you keep babbling on about.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      That requires you to hold down a job – -good luck with that.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      You’ve got a list eh? Is that the list you keep so that you can round everyone up who disagrees with you and put then in gaol?

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      I wondered why you’d need PVC in a basement, Andy.

  30. Dominic
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Just now from Guido Fawkes –

    ‘MPs will make the unprecedented move of asking the Speaker to allow them to wrestle control of the Order Paper from the Government in order to pass anti-Brexit legislation. Unlike in March this will be entirely down to the Remain voting speaker to decide, and not as a result of amending primary legislation.

    The biased referee is expected to grant them their request and the Government to lose control of Parliamentary timetable on Wednesday…”

    • Fred H
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Then bring on the GE… AND I hope 20 to 30 Boris lead deselections.

    • Oggy
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      I also read that should they fail at legislation, they will have a vote of no confidence and try to install their ‘National disunity’ Government upon us with Hilary Benn as caretaker PM, because Corbynista is too divisive. They will then aim to revoke A50.

      What they don’t realise is this will cause all this spill over into the streets and get very ugly.

      I see Boris has warned the traitor elements in his party they will be fired/ have the whip removed, if they vote against him, and not before time either.

      It’s all coming to a head this week.

  31. Gareth Warren
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    The spending seems sensible, but I really want to see the police freed from policing free speech and worry about multicultural priorities and back to solving real crime.

  32. BR
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Hammond kept the brakes on too long. And also, IMO, not hard enough.

    A shorter, sharper reduction would have been better – getting to the point where we are actually reducing debt and running a surplus would be ‘austerity’. But since we never did that, it is rather weak for the government to allow their opponents to control the language when we have run a deficit (i.e. spent more than we took in) throughout the period since Labour were defenestrated. That means that we have continued to add to the national debt all this time of so-called ‘austerity’.

    It has been a reduction in overspend, nothing more. We are now at the point where we need to invest despite the large debt – but at some point, someone has to pay it down. NO doubt the socialists will plan for that to happen on the Conservatives’ watch so that they can blame them again. After all, the Conservatives tend to go quiet when faced with shouty lefties.

  33. BillM
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Sense and sensibility. Qualities of a British Government that have been in such short supply over the past decades.
    Hopefully that is all going to change over the next few months and lead to an increased majority by 2022.
    However, the LibDems appear to be gaining strong support from Labour dissenters. I worry about that Party and its own brand of honour as much as I fear the policies of Corbyn. The LibDems have not changed their ways since 2016 as this video of their past leader in a Referendum interview displays. Why would people vote for such persons?

  34. JoolsB
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Any chance John of you and your fellow colleagues with English seats demanding it’s time England was given equal funding with the rest of the dis-UK?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Agree Jools.

  35. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I do hope that the increase in spending on schools will only be targeted at the lowest recipients.

    Many inner London Boroughs already get far too much per pupil. Will this extra money maintain the gap between the highest recipients and the lowest or reduce it drastically.

    There needs to be more money awarded per pupil and less based on ability to speak English or poverty levels.

    Funny how equality only ever works one way.

  36. margaret howard
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Seems to me that Boris is hoping to repeat the success of the message on the side of the bus. But we all know what this was really all about.

    As Abraham Lincoln knew only too well:

    “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

    • Edward2
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      I presume you think our PM will be giving further extra funds for our NHS.
      I’m happy if that happens.
      Hope you are too Margaret.

      • Robert mcdonald
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        Nice to know that decision will be ours .. instead of spending a patronising pportion of our annual bung to the eu on the whims of the eurocrats.

  37. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    In answer to a question from Andrew Marr this morning Keir Starmer dismissed the length of any further Article 50 extension as a “secondary” matter.

    Page 4 here:

    “AM: Can’t you set out your plan in a very open way, in a similar way, and just tell us how long you want the extension for and what the legislation will actually say?

    KS: Well, the legislation is intended to ensure we don’t leave without a deal. That will require an extension. The length of extension is secondary, frankly, we’ve simply got to stop us leaving without a deal.”

    So if the EU was agreeable the extension could be indefinite and potentially we could be kept in the present limbo forever, and that would not bother Keir Starmer.

    Moreover it doesn’t seem to occur to him and his ilk, including his Tory ilk, that they are doing the EU’s work for them by undermining the right of an EU member state to make a unilateral decision to leave.

    “The travaux préparatoires explain that the two-year cut-off was inserted to ensure that the right of a Member State to withdraw from the EU was unilateral, rather than dependent on the conclusion of a withdrawal agreement.”

    • Kris
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Sir Keir Starmer might like to think he can put the UK into to some kind of limbo long term arrangement but am quite sure now that the EU will have us out the door 31st Oct, deal or no deal. All of this pretension about talks is just that, a smoke screen to wind down the clock. They have seen the British parliamentary workings up close now and are not impressed.

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    “Michel Barnier: Irish backstop is best solution we can offer UK”

    Anybody unfamiliar with the reality might think that this is our problem, not theirs … but then Theresa May gratuitously agreed to make it our problem, did she not.

    “Let me point out that John Redwood is not the Prime Minister and does not control the course of the Brexit negotiations. If he had that control I very much doubt that he would have gratuitously accepted that the UK was responsible for ensuring that the EU did not put up barriers on its side of the Irish border.

    Theresa May, Mansion House speech, March 2 2018 …”

    • Kris
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Denis Cooper- No Denis not correct- M Barnier said that the backstop is the maximum amount of flexibility that the EU can offer to a non-member state

      We are already a non-member state from 31st Oct

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 2, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

        I know what he said.

  39. David Maples
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Would someone please try to convince Andy, Martin in Cardiff , Margaret Howard et al, that the EU is malign, and not benign, and that all its policies and directions are deviously tendentious. Neither the Council of Ministers nor the Parliament are able to resist the forward drive to uniformity that bureaucrats seek, particularly the overweening ambition to federalize. Everyone now recognizes the necessity of fiscal union if the euro is to work properly, and the implications for national sovereignty are all too obvious. Britain will/would be reduced to a county council, democracy become a blur in the memory, and corruption metastasize. Economic growth will slow to a crawl due to a lack of dynamism, and rising living standards(if any)will be located in Frermany mostly. It’s a glorified customs union with delusions of grandeur. We want control once again over our laws, borders and money. It’s called independence; what’s so bad about that? The problem is remainers see EUland as a protection against the loss of minority rights, which they fear will be threatened if we return to the status quo ante pre 1973.

    • margaret howard
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      David Maples

      ” We want control once again over our laws, borders and money.”

      You forgot ‘fishing’ in this Daily Mail style slogan.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        Would you prefer we had no control over our own laws, borders , money and fishing grounds?

        • bill brown
          Posted September 2, 2019 at 10:37 pm | Permalink


          If we did not have control over our own laws, what is it Boris has been promising the country over the past three weeks from one end of the political scale to the other. This is sheer nonsense that we do not have control over our own laws

          • Edward2
            Posted September 3, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

            Wrong hans.
            Read the EU treaties we have signed.
            I am amazed how you can be very pro EU yet have such little knowledge of what legal powers the EU has over member states.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 3, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

            There are still a few areas where member states still have power but in other areas it is in the hands of the EU.
            Read the treaties we have signed.

      • IanT
        Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        Yes, you are right Margaret – We want control of our Fishing too!

        I knew we could agree on something… 🙂

  40. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of economics – I’m having tee shirts printed with ‘I’m more than ready … for Brexit’ – I’m going to wear nothing else until we leave!

    • Fred H
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Lynn…that could be fun in your local supermarket or pub….will you wear an XL or small woman’s size?

  41. John S
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t put another penny into education until I see proof of reforms. We need to concentrate on basic literacy and numeracy. Also there are too many graduates in subjects such as sports science and psychology. Other degree subjects such as gender studies are no good to man nor beast. We need more skilled artisans – plumbers, bricklayers, fitters, etc – good honorable trades. Finally, we must halt this insidious left wing indoctrination in school. Young children do not need to be taught LBGT issues. Until we have a greater understanding, I would take an agnostic view on anthropogenic climate change and not brainwash children into gloom and doom predictions on the future of the planet.

  42. margaret
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    In my days doing my first degree I was taught by Oxford PhD’s and a brilliant Cambridge PhD. They were all laid back and I listened as the information flowed out from their mouths and into my ears . Listening was of the greatest importance to my learning.I did read a lot but the concentration I had for reading was far inferior to listening.I take this to be my love of classical music from an early age .I simply could not understand why actually studying at Oxford or Cambridge was a superior method of learning when I had representatives of those institutions at this poor University.

    The talk of buying books for schools is important , but not nearly as singly important as those with an ability to teach, those who feed information at a speed where boredom doesn’t take over and those with voices who demand to be heard as they speak properly. Those teachers who smirk and use emotional power to belittle a question which they themselves cannot answer were always far too hurtful .I was consumed with embarrassment and was lost ,in that internal state of anguish as it completely blocked any soaking up of information when I was at school.

    Computers are a fantastic way of learning and can be more pleasurable , especially when interactive, for almost all children . Adults have to pay for these services, however I am not sure how this compares with libraries of dusty books , which perhaps are more pleasurable to smell in a collective, than to read.

    The smell of libraries is nostalgic and reminds me of Manchester Central Library where I was overcome and I blanked out at the enormity of works I had to read: so didn’t bother.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      So you have to be spoon fed, and cannot self-teach.

      At least you admit it.

      Credit where it’s due.

      • margaret
        Posted September 3, 2019 at 5:07 am | Permalink

        Don’ t be silly , learning takes the form of self education , taught , research, experience and I as all others have experienced many ways . But if you knew anything about education then you would grasp that all the senses are involved in the learning process some at a greater degree than others You and the ideas you have just put forward are precisely the bigoted approach to education we do not want.. or perhaps you just like arguing for the sake pf it!

        • Edward2
          Posted September 3, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

          Very well said margaret.
          I thought MiC’s post was dreadful.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 4, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink


            Martin in C is clearly self taught, its why his posts are always factually wrong. He ought to get a better teacher

    • Gareth Warren
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      There is something special about a book as a way of transferring information, perhaps it is because reading requires concentration. I see Ben Carson (presidential runner and a world class neurosurgeon) did a lot of work getting libraries built in schools, he attributed his success mainly to his mother getting him to read two books a week.

      I hope the children of tomorrow enjoy the level of access I did in my youth to books

  43. Rob
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Extend school day from 8:30 to 5:30 with more exercise and patents would be able to work better.

  44. 'None of the above'.
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    I wondered if you could offer a view on a matter that I’ve been pondering today.

    I know that convention says that only the Leader of HM Opposition may table a NC motion. I have been reading through ‘The Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011 and I understand all that it states but I would like your opinion on what it does not state.

    It covers what must happen in the event of the Government losing a vote of no confidence but it doesn’t specify who must table it. I am curious as to what might be assumed from this omission. Is it contentious or does it not affect the aforementioned convention on who must table the motion?
    Thank you for your time.

    Reply Any MP can table a confidence motion but only one from the L of the O gets priority debate. If the L of the O does not support the confidence vote it is very unlikely to be the view of the House!

  45. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Michael Gove it is now being spread around the world that this government thinks it is above the law of the land, so tainting everybody who supports Brexit.

    Reply Not what Gove said

    • bookend
      Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      M Gove said today that Boris is making progress with the EU on a deal- but not true- just more Gove lies and spin

  46. Iain Gill
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Stop IR35, and encourage the freelance sector.

    Hand individuals control of their state subsidy in all areas… health, schools, housing, and away from the state madarins

    Tax foreign workers at least as much as locals

    Stop taking folks houses to pay for their old age care

    Stop all the state manipulation of the housing sector

    Dont just hand money over to the NHS, they will just waste it, target it at those patients most obviously being let down by the NHS, start funding hemorrhoid operations in England again like any other decent country…

    Companies structured to pay taxes in havens to be taxed here on turnover

    • Al
      Posted September 2, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      “Stop IR35, and encourage the freelance sector.”
      Yes, I remember when they claimed this would target rich IT freelancers. What actually happened was the “rich IT freelancers” went offshore and it did massive damage to the Agency Nursing and Supply teaching industries.

      Then we learn two unions threatened to sue the NHS over damage to locum doctors, tube repairs were delayed because Tfl couldn’t get construction workers, APSCo states outright these rules are having an adverse effect on the British labour market, and HMRC loses a succession of IR35 cases in 2019 as great cost to the taxpayer. Please fix this mess, as with the further changes due in 2020/2021 things are only due to get more confusing.

  47. Dermot
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Don’t forget M Gove was the chair of the vote leave campaign- he talked about being confident pragmatic and positive, well now he has his chance to put it all into practice- i won’t be holding my breath- there was no talk at that time of the Irish border- three years ago- it was not even thought about- am just wondering what else was not thought about

  48. ukretired123
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    It’s best not to take the bait with some of EU brainwashed agents here.
    And not stoop to lower levels of thinking.
    I am convinced nonsense is spouted just like bar gossip when alcohol clouds the brain.
    Onward and Upward to rise above the chains of EU bureaucracy and corruption.
    I am also convinced that Remainers must have deeper vested interests undeclared that will be revealed after we finally leave.
    Why would they be squealing so much as only they see a cliff edge unlike true BeLeavers!

  49. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Whether you put State debt at 85% or 65% of GDP, it’s still too high. From what you write, you are asserting that the effects of QE can be ignored. Are the gilts owned by the BoE of any use to that institution, or to taxpayers?

    Amidst all this talk of a new borrowing framework, I make one simple request – that you specify what is an acceptable borrowing requirement in the current financial year and in each of the next two financial years. Come on, quantify it. The Chancellor will have to.

    Reply. Have set out my proposed budget

  50. bill brown
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    Interesting observations and comments.

    However, the tax cuts are not giving significant extra to the Treasure in the US, so it is costing the Federal budget about US$ 1 trillion a year in deficit or 5.5% of GDP, which will amount to ((% of GDP in two years, which is most like even more tan the US can afford , if interest rates start rising

    • Edward2
      Posted September 2, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      But creating extra growth which is what matters.

      • bill brown
        Posted September 2, 2019 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        This is basic economics it is not sustainable

        • Edward2
          Posted September 3, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

          Growth is not sustainable?
          If the level of growth creates a bigger economy than the state loses in tax revenues in the medium ir long term then it is sustainable.
          You can kill the economy with too high a level of tax.
          The state just needs to reduce wasteful spending and return wealth to the people that created it in the first place.
          Basic economics…read a bit about Lord Keynes.

          • bill brown
            Posted September 4, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            You are missing the point again, if the deficit gets too big and the revenue is not coming in as is the case in the US, it will have long term negative consequences for the government to service the debt

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    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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