National resilience

Yesterday in the Commons the Culture and Digital Secretary announced a change of policy for the roll out of 5G mobile telephony. Following new official advice on national security , the government decided to ban Huawei components in the 5G network from the end of this year, and to work away to remove Huawei altogether by 2027.

The government accepted this would delay provision of the new network by between 2 and 3 years and could cost an extra £2bn. The Minister given the job of explaining this stressed that national security must come first, so this was a necessary price to pay.

This was a crucial moment in the evolution of UK policy. It marked a decisive departure from the pro China approach of the previous 15 years, where buying more them whatever the degree of sensitivity of the product or component was fine. Our policy towards China was based on the proposition that they would do us no harm and be there for us when we need their supplies. It was a grand partnership where we became more dependent.

The immediate trigger was a tougher US stance limiting Huawei’s ability to make and export. The further deterioration in the relationship over Hong Kong, the treatment of minorities in China, the aggressive approach to the South China Sea and the action on the Indian border also influenced the decision.

The UK needs to have enough control over strategic networks and over crucial intellectual property for our wider security. Immediately the UK needs to catch up with the leaders in mobile telephony.

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  1. Alan Jutson
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    I agree with the decision, but do not be surprised if Huawei start switching off, or start having problems with their elements of the system, before we have alternatives in place.

    Certainly if this happens, then that proves they were a poor choice in the first place.

    Perhaps we will now start to look at organising our own nuclear power plants, electricity generation in general, and our water and gas management systems.

    We should have never ever let the basics of life be controlled by people or Companies outside of the UK.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Alan Jutson
      I agree.

      But I do wonder if the government decision to make the wearing of masks, mandatory is because they fear a backlash from China? China is quite capable. I can’t think of any other logical reason for why, when the virus has waned, we should all be forced to wear one.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      On our development there have been about 10 BT vans for the past month.
      I asked a technician what they were doing and he showed me inside his van and it was full of Huawei equipment.
      He told me that the previous boss of BT now works for them and they bought millions of pounds worth of kit.
      I do believe that there are about 150 Chinese engineers at Hinkley Point, no doubt stealing as much technology as possible.

      • UK Qanon
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Hinkley Point – absolute madness to use Chinese money. There again Theresa May was a globalist establishment “plant”. The most incompetent Home Secretary and PM we have ever had.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

          +1 the most incompetent … anyone has ever had!

          • bill brown
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink


            You forgot to mention where Boris fits in

      • Mark
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        The French already sold EPR technology to China for the plants at Taishan which are the only operational EPRs in the world. Even with cost overruns they are said to have come in at less than half the cost for Hinkley Point.

    • Nigel
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      The Government has taken a difficult decision (but probably the right one) which will cost us money.
      Will the Government now take an easier decision, which will save us money, and cancel HS2? This is a huge investment in last century technology which will be virtually obsolete By the time it is finished.

    • Qubus
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      The UK led the world with the first ever commercial nuclear power station in 1950s. However, due to the short-sightness of the politicians, they let all the nuclear engineers retire without bothering to train any young people. We are now reaping the results of that short-sighted policy.

      • Qubus
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Rolls-Royce is capable of building small-scale nuclear power stations to order. At the moment, I believe that these are primarily for nuclear submarines … I wouldn’t imagine that there can’t be an enormous demand for them. Why not commision them to build at various strategic locations throughout the UK? Maybe then they wouldn’t have to sack so many first-class engineers.

    Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    We have Trump to thank not this authoritarian, London liberal who If left to him would have continued to expose our nation to serious harm. His embrace and your party’s embrace of a brutal form of social engineering using IP and cancel culture is sinister and is causing considerable RESENTMENT

    Why does the British voter continue to vote for the two main parties that continue to embrace a subtle form of Marxism?

    What’s it like John being an MP for a party that believes in destroying the UK, its freedoms and crushing its indigenous population by erasing their identity by importing year zero political inspiration?

    Tory-Labour authoritarian duopoly 1
    Moral British people 0

    Oh, how we so desperately need a neo-Thatcherite to purge this nation’s corridors of power of the enemy within who is intent on causing serious harm

    Your party has undermined our nation,

    • JoolsB
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink


    • jerry
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      @Dominic; “Your party has undermined our nation,”

      Perhaps yours, how is the weather on Mars by the way, here in the UK it’s fine but changeable (a bit like govt policy), neither to hot nor to cold, just nice!

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      The face masks issue has a severe illogicality about it.

      If we can’t walk around shops without one how can we sit in a pub or restaurant ?

      It is a cave-in to a bullying media.

      In one way it doesn’t seem to much to ask but clearly we are now presented with a muzzle-puzzle. What we are talking about is further restrictions on freedom on top of suspicious ones like restrictions on driving cars, smoking, opinion, movement, entertainment…

      The Leftist media lost the Referendum, they lost the general election and now this opportunity has given them all they need to revolt and to make the country ungovernable.

      Boris caves in and his wearing of a mask indicates to me that it’s over and was sickening to see – there can be no economic recovery, muzzles will not stop at shopping. All he needs to do is take the knee and the take-over is complete. Possibly after the first refugee is washed up on a French or British beach.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink


    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink


    • MWB
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      The British voter continues to vote for Lib/Lab/Con, because they are unintelligent, and only interested in the newpaper sports pages or BBC cookery/dancing programmes.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        That could be down to our NUTee teachers & marxist professors

    • Mark B
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink


  3. Nigl
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    You are making us pay because of political grand standing and subservience to the US. The national security centre changed its guidance. How convenient and no doubt after being leaned on. There are no technical grounds for this decision. The telecoms companies and no doubt the spooks have been all over it.

    We now wait for China’s response, and no doubt like the unjustifiable on scientific grounds, of wearing masks, you will say its for our own good, when again the ordinary person is the only one suffering.

    Catch up with the leaders in world telephony, in 5g we were it. You have trashed that. Once again like Covid you can’t be trusted. Only recently Boris gave an assurance about Huweii, commercial decisions were taken on the back of that that you have now reneged on.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      You’re idea of standing up to the USA as an alternative to standing up to China is a bad one.

    • jerry
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      @Nigl; “We now wait for China’s response”

      If China retaliates it will do nothing but vindicate this decision. I expect a lot of puffed out chests (there has been much already) but in the end China will take it on the chin because their economy is nothing without western off-shoring to their factories etc – as indeed is their own ‘R&D’…

      If there is retaliation we need to be resolute though, China plays a very long game to get what they want, we also need to be prepared to do like wise, and accept any shortages or price rises in the process. Nothing made/designed in China can not be made here in the UK, the Commonwealth or our allies in Europe and North America.

      “Only recently Boris gave an assurance about Huweii, commercial decisions were taken on the back of that that you have now reneged on.”

      Interesting comment, almost like it was written with a vestige interest, strange how Chinese assurances about HK count for nothing though…

    • IanT
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      There was a very slim hope of keeping tabs on the Huawei technology being deployed in the UK when it was based on US chip technology – but that will not be possible with their new products. Trying to keep track of the software/firmware being used was a nightmare challenge, without having to back-engineer their chip technology to check it. How do you know when it gets changed or updated even after that inspection – by what they print on the chip? Come on, get real.

      As a former “Running Dog of the American Imperialists” (I lived in HK for 3+ years) I have never doubted that the CCP bears western democracy nothing but ill will (we offend their idea of world order) but they are patient and plan over a very long period (something our politicians are incapable of doing I’m afraid).

      We should view the CCP as the extremely dangerous foe that they are and act accordingly. Don’t stop with Huawei, start moving all our important processes back to the West and keep them out of our strategic industries here. I’ve no problem if they want to sell us Toys and Hairdryers – but Nuclear Power Plants – No Thank You!

    • czerwonadupa
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      A typical naive westerner’s view of communism going back over a 100 years when Sidney & Beatrice Webb were invited to Russia & wrote their controversial book Soviet Communism: a New Civilisation? (the question mark was removed for the 2nd edition) & continuing to this day with marxist professors in our universities.
      During the Webbs trip in the 30s while travelling & being served caviar on the train, if they had looked out of the window they would have seen, as Malcolm Muggaridge the journalist noted, the starving peasants.
      And the same blindness is happening today.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Indeed but rather more than 15 year. The dire Ted Heath was hugely pro China circa 50 years back. I once remember Ted Heath (back then) saying something like “But China cannot be run as a democracy x billions of people). Perhaps why we wanted to destroy real democracy in the UK by joining the “Common Market” (without even asking for authority from the people). This while lying to the people that this involved “no loss of sovereignty” plus giving away our fishing waters in the process.

    He was even rewarded for his pro China stance with two Giant Pandas by them.

    • jerry
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      @LL; I seem to remember an awful lot of off-shoring to the PRC was stared during the premiership of Thatcher, in Heath’s (and later under Wilson/Callaghan) time it tended to be HK.

      In any case, like with Nixon, Heath’s mission was diplomatic, not economic.

      • NickC
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, Then I think your memory is faulty. The off-shoring during the Thatcher governments was to the EU and maybe Hong Kong (a colony, then) and Japan. At the time the PRC was a communist basket case.

        • jerry
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

          @NickC; “At the time the PRC was a communist basket case.”

          I think you are mistaking Chairman Mao’s era!

          By the 1980s China was starting to come out of the cold, by the mid 1980s Hu Yaobang [1] was instigating many political and economic reforms – indeed the outpouring of support Hu after his death in 1989, calling for his reforms to speeded up resulted in the events that lead up to the Tiananmen Square protests of that year.

          [1] successor plus one, after Hua Guofeng, to Mao

      • Mark
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        The Chinese economy only really took off somewhat after 2000 as this chart of their primary energy consumption shows

        • jerry
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          @Mark; Thanks! That graph proves my point, a quadrupling of their energy consumption between 1980 and 2000, why might that have been, certainly not home consumption. No surprise China carried on gaining market share in the new millennium, having proved its-self between 1980 and 1999 to be a good place for western companies to off-shore and maximise profits.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      So we get a temporary cut in the absurdly high Stamp duty rates but Chancellor’s is to review CGT- ‘feels like starting pistol for a tax grab’, says analyst.

      It certainly does we already have 28% an property and without any inflation adjustment this is far too high already. Plus one of the highest IHT rates 40% over just £325K in the world. Just get the government to stop pissing money down the drain on things like HS2 and all the insane war on C02 agenda any your other recent expensive green crap gimmicks Rishi! Plenty of fat to be cut out and culled.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Cannot see 28% CGT on principle residences going down very well at the next election in just 4 years time we already have stamp duty at up to 15% to stop people moving!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Increasing taxes even further from the current (hugely over taxed position) will not raise more tax and will not win elections. Cut out government waste, cut out duff degrees (circa 75% 0f them), give tax breaks for private health care and education and encourage more & more people not to rely on the state for these. Cull the TV BBC propaganda tax too.

        The solutions that would work are all obvious.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        The Chancellor has asked the Office of Tax Simplification to consider how exemptions from the levy could be reformed or scrapped, prompting fears of a raid on the wealthy to help pay for the cost of coronavirus.

        I think the tax code is about twice as complex as it was when “The Office of Tax Simplification” was formed. Do they get a performance bonus for this! Perhaps they need to change “Simplification” to Office of Very Expensive, Damaging and Pointless Complexification. Or The Office of Parasitic Job Creation.

        • glen cullen
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          We have an office called “The Office of Tax Simplification”???? who knew

  5. Ian @Barkham
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    That was always going to be the right decision. It will only cost this additional amount or have a delay as a result of virtual signaling by public companies endeavoring to extract more from the taxpayer. To much of it going on.

    For instance the BBC is doing the same with reneging on their license fee commitment.

    BT are changing is contract terms, increasing prices, after getting people to sign lengthy contracts.

    The taxpayer has become a bottomless pit that keeps giving. Those that can afford things get the handouts.

    Its time to free up the majority so the country can get moving again. Ignore the so called big outfits they are just playing the system and avoiding contributing to it.

    • Ed M
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      I strongly agree with critics of the BBC who say it is over-politicised and left-wing to a degree, a magnet to a degree for power-hungry media executives, and over-funded etc.

      HOWEVER, we still need a strong BBC in some shape or form that produces excellent and creative programmes that commercial TV simply cannot do. A BBC that is NOT left-wing and that helps to promote a sense of British Patriotism and Unity.

      I agree, this kind of BBC is not easy to create. But it’s worth fighting to re-shape the BBC into something like this.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        the only way is to remove ALL levels of management and presenters.
        I can feel the howls of anger from the Force!

      • David Brown
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        The wider debate about the BBC is interesting, management claim the BBC has lost money during the Covid crisis, well maybe within their commercial arm. However so has commercial tv and what is ironic to me is the BBC moan about loss of money to the GOV yet commercial tv says nothing and accepts the loss.

        • Ed M
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

          So much of BBC is run like commercial sector which is unfair on commercial sector and on TV license payer (who wants something different / unique / truly creative).

          I’d love to see more money paid to creatives – and less to managers etc – and hire more creatives. I bet there’s lots of really creative people out there who have got great ideas but not getting the opportunity.

          All it requires is a few big really creative programmes – and then the BBC can sell these and makes lots of money.

          Lastly, JK Rowling was poor with bad mental health (as she admitted herself) etc before Harry Potter. If she didn’t hadn’t got the creative break with Harry Potter, she might still be in the same situation as she was today.

          We need to tap more into these creative types – not just in publishing but TV as well – creative types really struggling in life but who probably have great creative ideas, that could be used in the BBC, and sold abroad (the sort of TV equivalent in TV programmes as Harry Potter), not forgetting how Harry Potter has made millions for the UK economy.

  6. Mark B
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    And US pressure. We would have lost access to Five Eyes and US partnerships in many areas. Remember, the the USA is our single biggest trading partner.

    China is not a democracy. It is a Communist dictatorship that has only embraced certain elements of Western democracy and Capitalism in order to prolong its own power. The CCP did a serious study of what went wrong in the Soviet Union and its Eastern Satellite States. It realised that they too would end up the same way if they did not change. They have changed, but as I said, to only remain in power.

    China has allowed the world to use it as its sweatshop and keeps various luxury products at a low price. We have gratefully received their products but in truth this regime has used its wealth to further its global empire, especially in Africa (Belt and Road). We may just have woken up in time to this latest Red Menace.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      The European Union’s Single Market is by far the UK’s greatest recipient of trade.

      It leaves the US standing.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Are you sure?
        40 odd per cent of UK trade goes into the EU last time I checked.
        That leaves 60 odd per cent goes to the rest of the world.
        And are you forgetting that the UK v EU trade relationship gives the UK a 90 billion annual deficit.

      • NickC
        Posted July 16, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Martin, If the EU is an empire then it is legitimate to treat it as one market. Otherwise it’s not. You can’t have it both ways.

        The vast majority of our trade (c70% UK GDP) is with ourselves, of course.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    The UK needs to have enough control over strategic networks and over crucial intellectual property for our wider security.

    Indeed we do. Just as we also need to be able to defend ourselves and supply ourselves with weapons and military equipment and indeed with PPE and essential medical equipment.

    • Ed M
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      We need to restore a proper sense of British Patriotism in this country which is ultimately something cultural not political in origin.

      Patriotism in business for example where we produce great British brands and export them abroad with high skills, productivity and so on.

      It is possible to do – look at Germany (to a degree).

      • Ed M
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        Few years ago, Boris spoke of the virtues of greed at Tory Conference.

        Nonsense. You can’t rest an economy on greed. Everyone just ends up selling out – including our valuable British assets to foreigners.

        Our economy has to be based on work ethic. Like the work ethic of the Quakers who achieved so much in business in this country (and gave so much back to the country in terms of philanthropy).

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        But you cannot define it.

        To some it is identification with the UK’s role in enlightened progress, in the sciences, arts, technology, and philosophy.

        To others it is with its history of domination and subjugation of other races, and its military achievements.

        These are very different types of people.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

          It doesn’t need defining.
          Lifelogic spoke only of the UK having strategic independence.
          You just had to spin it to your sad way of thinking about our fine nation.

        • NickC
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Neither of your examples are of patriotism, but of pride.

        • Ed M
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          I can define it.

          Love of country is like love of your family and home. It’s not thinking your family and home are superior to other families and homes just that you think they’re great and want to do your bit to make them great.

  8. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    5G is turning into another national white elephant like HS2 — Not just costly when we don’t need that extra cost, but also questionable as a technology.

    Why such a rush to implement 5G when so many who have health concerns were ignored?

    Faith in government projects cannot get much lower —they are deliberately under-costed at conception, always late, and rarely live up to expectations — Why was it so vital to thrust 5G at us when there was no sound reason to rush it?

    It always seems that the government is being led by the nose by some other authority?

    • Nigl
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      I think you should know something about 5 g before making these comments and the medical scares have been soundly dealt with for what they are, unsubstantiated scares.and it is not a government project. Very much driven by business. Our and the EU Governments with their over regulation etc have been holding it back

      Faster speeds lower latency allowing a myriad of smaller devices to be connected etc hence the initiatives with the car industry.

      Certainly not a white elephant but the future.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        I do not accept that the health scares have been dealt with in the least — They have been totally bypassed and ignored.

        When you get cities like Brussels banning it you have to consider what is going on.

        As for it being the future – Why are we in such a damned rush to get there… It’s beginning to look like a very poor deal compared to the present.

        • M H
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          Bryan Harris you are absolutely correct the health concerns have not been dealt with and you are not allowed to mention them. Censorship. Why?

        • hefner
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          Terrestrial television works in the 54-60 MHz range of frequencies, terrestrial FM radio in the 80 to 120 MHz range, 5G in the 600 to 700 MHz range, oldish cell phones in the 824 to 894 MHz range or 1850 to 1950 MHz range, a microwave oven in the 2500 MHz range.
          Have you ever been bothered by these various things?
          If there is to be a potential reason for concern, it has nothing to do with the frequency of all these signals, as they are very far on the low side (infrared) of the human eye’s visible spectrum). The dangerous ionising frequencies (X-rays, gamma rays) are on the other side (ultraviolet) of the human eye visible spectrum.
          What could be the concern? The power of the signal. A typical mobile phone is around 0.1W, a microwave oven 1000w. The 5G antennas are quoted at 250mW, ie 0.25W.

          So maybe there is no need for ‘censorship’ as only ignorant old gits and conspiracy theorists will be busy bothering about it.

          The only real problem for me is the likely density of these antennas in the landscape if for ensuring a future of self-driving cars there is a need for such antennas being set every 150 m along the streets and roads.

          • NickC
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

            Hefner, If any concern has “nothing to do with the frequenc[ies]”, then why take up space enumerating them? The fact is, nothing you’ve stated has any bearing on whether these radio waves have an effect (or not) on human beings. Stop hand-waving.

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

            5G will rely on microwaves – a type of electromagnetic radiation – will use spectrum in the existing LTE frequency range (600 MHz to 6 GHz) and also in millimeter wave bands (24–86 GHz).

            The more intense the radio wave (radiation) the more it is likely to affect us.

            Even low levels of radiation can be dangerous.

          • Fred H
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

            maybe not a great idea to have your mobile (especially 5G) in a breast pocket close to your pacemaker.
            End of health warning.

          • hefner
            Posted July 17, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

            NickC, Enumerating the frequencies was simply to show that we are already surrounded by them with all our gadgets.
            So now, be positive, tell me instead of your content-free comment which of these gadgets has been ruining your health or that of another human being.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Bryan Harris “It always seems that the government is being led by the nose by some other authority?”

      That other authority is the globalists. There appears to be a cabal of globalists who want dominance and control of the world with themselves at the helm. Global warming, BLM, Extinction Rebellion- all seem to have a similar agenda – destruction of the western society. And somehow these groups and others we’ve not yet wised up to – have infiltrated our society and are calling the shots.

      It’s quite exhausting, we’ve fought the EU for freedom- that battle isn’t entirely over yet, as I read that Whitehall are still trying to keep us closely linked in agriculture. The WA and PD are poison pills (we’ve known that all along), China is trying to buy up as much as they can….and this evil Marxism that pervades our society – did that come courtesy of the EU? Even this ‘pandemic’ – we’re having to fight for our freedoms to be returned.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted July 16, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        Nice summary Sharon – Accurate

        The EU was just the first battle – I’ve always said this. The UN would have been the next but will we survive to fight on with all these forces working together against us, along with all the other problems being foisted upon us including debt and disease?

  9. Peter Wood
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Good morning,

    A token or a real change? What about Chinese activity in:

    1. Nuclear power
    2. Ports and infrastructure
    3. Investment in/purchase of sensitive technology companies
    4. Chinese ‘research students’ in advanced technologies in our universities.

    Under President Xi, it is clear that he intends for China to be a power to be feared.

    • BeebTax
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      Exactly, if they are a threat via their involvement in mobile telecommunications then they are potential threat via all these other areas too. The government should have the guts to take on the vested interests who, for short term personal gain, would have us get into hock with the CCP.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

        The US insist that countries use their technology so that their surveillance services have access. They admit it.

        • NickC
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

          Another plug for the Chinese communists, Martin?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

            No – far from it.

            I am very unsure as to the extent to which electronic devices and systems can be analysed to detect “back doors”, and therefore of the risk posed by using any foreign – US included – supplier, but my understanding is that it is inherently significant.

          • Fred H
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

            And your ‘understanding’ is what, and where gleaned? Electronic devices ‘analysed’ – hilarious.

            Everybody knows we look for the ‘exit this way’ sign amongst the millions of transistors on a computer microprocessor chip, easy peasy!

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      Very true — The dragon has awoken and is pushing it’s interests in every direction.

      The Chinese are becoming the new schoolboy bully, and they won’t back down easily – they are very ready to take on the world.
      Most concerning is how China and the UN-WHO are so friendly.

      Watch out for the riots in America, because some high placed democrat is sure to beg at some point for the UN to come in and restore peace — that will be when China with it’s huge army allegedly under UN control will be allowed to invade the country.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      I believe you maybe correct, its not really a policy change otherwise it would effect the sectors you qouted. Hickley Point still going agead and there was recent debate about china uilding HS2

      No, the only thing thats different is that the USA told us to drop china….thats not a policy

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        There will be plenty more of that.

        So much for “taking back control”.

        • glen cullen
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

          Did the chinese telecommunication company and the chinese investment in hickley point have some bearing on our EU membership ?

  10. Nigl
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Ps we need to catch up. So create a world class manufacturing operation from the ground up to match Huweii, Nokia and Ericsson. How long will that take. Yes lets develop our own resilience but go back to a dark age for umpteen to achieve it. If it was possible.commercially viable it would have been done already. I guess your government failed to give a lead or provide the right environment. Once again lack of foresight and now desperately trying to catch up.

    You and your party trumpet global trade as the way forward but at the first hint of trouble you retreat into the protectionist shell that you criticise the EU for.

    On this topic ‘you’ win my Pinocchio award.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      We used to have world leading technology companies like Marconi and GEC but these were bought up and hived off by other EU countries.
      Another reason to leave the German dominated protectionist EU.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink


      • glen cullen
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Very true

      • forthurst
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        Marconi was taken over by GEC. GEC was never a world leader in anything as its accountant MD refused to allow ‘his’ companies to fund R&D without which no company can be a world leader. It was the taxpayer that went on risk because of course, then it didn’t matter whether the money was wasted (it was) or not.

        GEC was naturally shaking in its shoes when we joined the EU because it knew that German companies which did invest in R&D would out compete it; GEC then created partnerships with corresponding German companies who were given management control and went on to take full control of our electrical engineering industry, subsequently.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      5g is not even worth having. Talk of the dark ages will only be true if China is allowed to coontinue the long march to world domination.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        The end of US world domination need not imply its domination by another country.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

          It’s not US domination. It’s western civilization that is coming to an end.
          Happy now?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

            Well, you seem to be doing your bit Lynn, certainly.

      • glen cullen
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Agree – and world domination without firing a single shot

    • Ed M
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Well said in the sense government needs to help create a tech silicon valley here in the UK just as the US government helped to create Silicon Valley in California. If California were now a sovereign nation it would rank number 5 in the world – ahead of the UK …

      High tech involves high skills, high productivity, a sense of patriotism about exporting a great brand abroad and so on. And the high tech helps the growth of so many other related industries. High tech also involves a certain amount of job satisfaction as you get can see the product you’re developing, making and exporting.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Well Ed, we did once have all that, and did all that, but our history is brim full of letting go technical and economic leverage.

        • Ed M
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink


          Just to be clear, I don’t mean Big Manufacturing like the steal industry and all that. Trying to preserve that is a form of socialism which is an anathema to me.

          I’m talking about Capitalist government investment to help sew the seeds along with the private sector and then for the private sector to mainly take over.

          – Israeli government helped set up Tel Aviv as a major high tech sector.
          German government helps with the German car industry – positively affecting great high quality, German brands such as Audi, Mercedes, BMW etc
          – And US government with Silicon Valley

          I’m all for strong financial industry. But not all eggs in one basket. (And London will / should always remain strong financial sector for lots of reasons anyway).

          Lastly, we’ve got such excellent universities – Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial etc – that we could be tapping into more to help build up this high tech UK industry.

          • Ed M
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            Lastly, there is also a brain drain to the City.

            I know guys who work in the City. They make enough to buy house, educate kids, go on nice holidays etc … But I am sure some of them could be making a lot more and a lot easier and with more job satisfaction if they had set up their own high tech businesses / companies.

            And you can do so relatively easily and cheaply – just start off by creating some software and start from there.

      • forthurst
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        Silicon Valley has more to do with Stanford University and the lending practices of US banks who were prepared to lend money to start-ups;
        UK banks do not engage in lending so much us pawnbroking and buying and selling derivatives and paying themselves huge salaries as a reward for their brilliance.

    • Barry
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      “So create a world class manufacturing operation from the ground up to match Huweii, Nokia and Ericsson.”

      I was about to say the same thing. I’d add Samsung.

      To achieve this, we need a functional, 21st century education system that teaches science and engineering in a rigorous way, and fewer ‘soft’ subjects like media studies which are used by many to either put off working for a living, or to tick the box of simply getting a degree.

      The problem, of course, is where would we get the teachers? Perhaps we should lure a few from HK/China to replace our innumerate ones.

  11. A F Fanculo
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    It’s about time the Government woke up to the espionage potential of Huawei. There was enough warning when the Crypto AG news emerged earlier this year. The Swiss firm had been manufacturing encryption machines for years and supplied them to many countries including Iran (Russia declined). The company was owned by Germany and USA and there was a Trojan horse in the machines enabling intelligence to be extracted. Huawei could have a similar system in all its 4G/5G electronics for the CCP to use.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      So true but goes over the heads of those of the powers in control of our lives

  12. GilesB
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Life without electricity would be much more retrograde that life without telecommunications.

    Time now to review, with fresh eyes, Hinckley Point and the rapacious contracts of the Chinese and, especially, the French contractors.

    • GilesB
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      But actually, I am much more concerned about the control of Google and Apple. And Facebook and Twitter. They are all much more susceptible to political forces in the US than Huawei is to the Chinese government.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink


        They are also feeding the worlds security services through their commercial associates and partners(as the call them).

        This all happens outside the UK’s jurisdiction as the UK Government has sanctioned the removal of UK data from these shores

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

        FB states they protect your data. But the also state that using their services you permit around 30 associate outfits to collect, collate and redistribute you personnel data. Then remind you that FB has no control over this activity. Remember Cambridge Analytical they received their data from one of these associate companies and they were the ones that got crucified in the press.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        No they aren’t. That is just nonsense. Huawei is entirely under the control of the Chinese government.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

        China has Tik Tok which harvests data on behalf of the CCP.

      • jerry
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        @GilesB; It would be quite possible to survive without the four tech giants you name, many do so anyway, the only one I knowingly use is Google, and even that I use via a proxy – a bit more difficult not using backbone tech such as routers etc!

      • Jim Whitehead
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Good point, GilesB. The power to change the President of the United States is more likely to be through your aforementioned than from foreign interference, despite the Democrats devious manoeuvrings.

      • IanT
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        I certainly agree about the influence the Social giants can exert but I can control that to some extent.

        But given a choice you might be better off trusting your data to Facebook rather than Tik Tok.

      • Northern Monkey
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        This is arrant nonsense. To claim that a law-abiding democracy is more susceptible to political pressure than a state-controlled entity operating in a communist totalitarian state is far beyond ridiculous.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Tim Berners-Lee remeber him, he hates what the web has become.

        Users are the ones being farmed, cultivated and abused. Instead of free the people of the world they became the commodity.

        So he along with other like minded techs have introduced what is termed a Solid Pod. This negates the unnessasary snoping and put the user of the internet in control. Sign upto day and get it free. Or pay for a good VPN

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Well without electricity there is no telecommunication. But super fast data is not that much of a benefit over existing rates – unless you want very advance gaming at a distance or to watch 20 hi-def videos all at the same time! A bit more reliability would be nice though.

      • Mark
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        My landline has now deteriorated to 1.25Mb/sec – and unreliable to boot. I can tell you I am looking forward to the promise of a 40Mb/s FTTP connection in September. I hope it doesn’t depend on Huawei kit.

  13. Ian @Barkham
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    It is not just Huawei. The UK needs more control over the whole leaky internet. Security services from around the world are able to create model/pictures of individuals and society in general from their collection of data in the UK. Personal data is removed from the UK collated and redistributed outside of the UK’s jurisdiction, with approval of the UK Government.

    Huawei is/was a concern because of the Chinese Government control and it being deeply integrated in our infrastructure. But the same amount of information and control by the Chinese and others is derived from their attachment to social media platforms.

    GDPR offers no protection, it is required to write the threat level backwards i.e. ‘we collect you data to improve our service to you’. But deep down it says our associates(mainly un-named) collect and collate your personal data and that of your contacts for sharing selling and redistribution.

    A little bit here and another bit there and they get to control and manipulate. As all this data is removed from the UK, the UK government has no control, no say and no idea the whys and wherefores of what is going on.

    • Ed M
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      The UK government needs to focus on getting people to focus on The Family more than the State, and people becoming more responsible for themselves, and then tax will collapse – as people rely less on the State in general including Health.

      Meantime, the government needs to spend more on helping private enterprise build up our high tech industry and to protect us from those who would manipulate our economy and assets for their own benefit and not the benefit of the country overall.

  14. Peter
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    China has started throwing its weight around and making threats to those who take decisions it does not like.

    For too long the West has looked to minimise costs and thus allowed China to flourish.

    Strategic concerns have been overlooked or dismissed. It is time for major readjustment.

  15. Jack Falstaff
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    If China really wanted to cyber-snoop on the west, surely it wouldn’t necessarily have to use Huawei, given the amount of components for PCs, smartphones, tablets, laptops, pen-drives etc. that are manufactured over there?
    Most of these elements are actually marketed in the context of end-products with western brand-names. They are thus not readily-identifiable as manufactured by a Chinese corporation and this even applies to whole finished goods.
    China must have had ample opportunity to spy this way for many years now; far more than the other way round (i.e. if the west had wished to keep tabs on them), given the hordes of western companies that have outsourced production to China.
    The Huawei rejection must therefore be somewhat “after the horse… “

  16. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Correct decision. BT people seem to be too greedy or stupid to realise that buying from the cheapest supplier isn’t the best business idea when that supplier monopolises the supply. The then have free rein to increase prices. Of course BT to a large extent can pass these on, but their share price performance tells us that in a growing sector they’re not the smartest cookies.

  17. Cortona
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Radio 4 World at One analysis of this yesterday plumbed new depths. David Davis explained his concerns and then we got Prolonged hysterical Ranting from someOne from Chatham House that given the Unquestionable calamity of Brexit we shouldn’t take any such risks And need to embrace China. This went completely unchallenged and Drives me further away from BBC news even as a lifelong R4 addict. We could sacrifice our security or Values in numerous ways if maximising economic growth was our sole objective and I never understand such arguments. Does anyone really need 5G and at what cost? I’m told where it has been trialled it doesn’t work well anyway as buildings get in the way of the signal.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Every time that you add another “G” that’s another GHz of nominal spectrum availability. So going from 2G to 3G increased it by 50%, from 3G to 4G by 33%, and from 4G to 5G will be about 25%. The wavelength is getting a bit short at those frequencies, and absorption effects of walls etc. will indeed often be more severe.

      But the point is, the returns are diminishing anyway.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, ignore that – it’s incorrect.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

        • MickN
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          Don’t worry. Your posts usually are.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 4:12 am | Permalink

          Indeed it is.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

            But broadly, there are diminishing returns in going for ever-higher frequencies, as the poster suggests.

            The millimetre waves used by some 5G systems have building penetration and range problems, necessitating many more cells, and so higher costs, for instance

      • Fred H
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        It gave a lot of us a good laugh. Bit like saying motorways are always quicker than ‘A’ roads. Except when accidents stop motorways dead! Or the bulk of the journeys take place on the motorway, leaving a comparable A road empty. Or, A roads rarely suffer roadworks, but motorways have lane restrictions all the time, and at weekends, and overnight.
        Never mind Martin, your wild guess might have seemed plausible at the time.

  18. Andy
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Anti-EU, anti-China – but they still pretend to be globalists. Ironic.

    It seems they have a new cause as well: Masks.

    Apparently wearing one to keep other people safe is an outrage, according to the Brexiters.

    Isn’t it amusing that maskphobes, Brexiters, climate change deniers and anti-vaxers are largely the same people.

    One day they might be right about something.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      It will be enough to dampen any economic recovery.

      This disease has been well overestimated.

    • NickC
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Andy, “Wearing” a mask does not “keep people safe”. Unless, of course you assume that the mask is of the highest standard available and it is hermetically sealed to your face. And that the Wu-flu is not spread by contact as well. So basically you’re just spreading fake news. Again.

      Have you managed to come up with a reason yet why you think the UK, unique amongst the other 165 nations in the world, cannot be independent? That’s why we voted Leave – for an independent country.

      As for “climate change deniers” – firstly that is an abusive term, and secondly I do not know of anyone who denies the climate changes. Do you? You need to have a word with Michael Shellenberger who has now apologised for the climate catastrophe hoax, and wake up.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Andy believes the world will end in 12 years.
        A teenager told him.

        • NickC
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          Andy probably believed Prince Charles who claimed in 2009 that we had less than 100 months to save the planet. That anniversary passed in 2017.

        • bill brown
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          Edward 2

          Constable pathetic

          • Edward2
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

            One of your very best posts bill.
            Very incisive.

  19. John E
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    The U.K. needs very quickly to be more resilient in other areas such as medicine and PPE production. We have entered this fight from a weak position with a shaky and unreliable ally in the form of the US.
    There are many opportunities for the Chinese to make our lives difficult.

  20. Ban-demic
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    It feels as though life can just be *switched off*. All very well this switch to digital.


    Masks. Give ’em an inch… Masks will be compulsory everywhere soon. The pressure from our hysterical media will only increase. I think we can say goodbye to most of the economy now. There is no logic to this. We have been living without masks so far and the infection rate is decreasing.

    PS, Will there be VAT on the masks we are forced to buy ? In which case this ‘Tory’ government (gifted its 80 seat majority) will be the first government to literally tax the air that we breath.

    This on top of all the restrictions and banning that has been brought in under the authoritarian Left. Restrictions on free speech, entertainment, driving, smoking, drinking, where we can meet and with whom…

    Who’s in charge ?

    • NickC
      Posted July 16, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Ban-demic, Agree – it does seem sinister – in both senses of the word. No VAT on masks though.

  21. Iago
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Minimum, token action. The government is waiting until November in the hope that Trump loses.

    • Iago
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      This government, I struggle to find a name for it, far from speaking for England, speaks for its enemies.

  22. agricola
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    The communist Chinese do not do subtle. They have been throwing their weight about for some time now and need to realise that they have overstepped the mark. Constant aggression towards Taiwan. The annexation of Nepal. Aggression towards India. The annexation of various atolls in the South China Sea so that they can claim more extensive territory to harass those who legitimately use these waters as international waters. Tearing up the binding agreement over Hongkong. Failing to come clean over Covid 19 in time for the prevention of a pandemic. Shooting down US intelligence gathering aircraft in international airspace. And penultimately their complete disdain for intellectual property. Using their banking system to buy up/ control third world countries. Conclusion, this is a rogue state for which a line needs to be drawn in the sand. The way to do it is to close down their export markets by not buying Chinese goods. Restricting travel of mainland Chinese and certainly not allowing their employment within the democracies of the five eyes nations. Banning them from sensitive areas of university education. The above is the only sort of message Communist China will understand.

  23. Richard1
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    The reaction of the Chinese ambassador, threatening “consequences” if the govt banned Huawei shows exactly why it is necessary to do so. There can be no confidence that Huawei equipment would not be used for espionage, industrial espionage or that the Chinese govt would simply use it to disrupt should they perceive a political advantage. We should be making such decisions in concert with our democratic allies around the world. The message from them has been clear.

    Why 2027 and why leave Huawei in 3G and 4G equipment? As pointed out certain telecom companies will carry on using it and keep up a campaign to reverse or dilute the decision.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      It should have been ‘remove all Chinese equipment from telecoms by 31/12/2023’.

  24. Fred H
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Seems like Boris is finally listening to the tsunami of complaints about the Chinese regime.

    Perhaps the effects of the virus on him are wearing off, and he can think straight.

    Maybe he was advised that Trump will win again – and he had better listen to the strident tone from the USA?

    Anyway – reality is back – next step Abandon HS2? Boris’ last attempt to keep Conservatives in power? He needs to get back in the real world, else the wilderness is beckoning.

  25. Alan Joyce
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    “To err is human but to really foul things up you need a ̶c̶̶o̶̶m̶̶p̶̶u̶̶t̶̶e̶̶r̶ politician” – with apologies to Paul R. Ehrlich.

    Unfortunately for us, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others”. Churchill, perhaps?

    • hefner
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      With apologies to H.L. Mencken (Notes on Journalism, 1926) ‘Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the British public’.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      “The Government has done the right thing – finally, after having tried and exhausted all the other possibilities”

      It’s another paraphrase.

  26. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I don’t know how you can apply terms such as “national resilience” to a nation of people such as the UK nowadays.

    About seventeen million of them react to the news that they might have to wear a lightweight bit of cloth over their faces for a small part of the time as if they have been told that they are to be enslaved in salt mines, according to posts here.

    What fragile little things they are.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been working throughout lockdown but I’ve been wearing a mask this morning whilst cutting wood with a power saw.

      We know this isn’t going to stop at shops and we have a good idea that this may become a permanent way of life.

      If masks are so important why the delay ? If masks were so important why weren’t they brought in earlier ? If masks were so important why has the infection rate gone down ?

      Like the school Unions this mask issue has been brought about to destroy any economic recovery and to destroy this government. It is also beloved of authoritarians who have also brought further restrictions on smoking, driving, free speech, entertainment…

      We are destroying the lives of 10s of millions for an infection which kills 0.1% most of whom can be shielded.

    • NickC
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Martin, How do you know there are c17m who think a mask is akin to being enslaved in salt mines? I’ll give you a tip: if you can only make a point by setting up a straw man, and knocking him down, then your point is worthless.

      If masks work at all, then they should have been mandatory from March onwards. Enforcing them now is consequently just silly and authoritarian. Ohh . . . . A bit like the border lockdown which you never supported either. That should have happened from February as the USA did, or March as your favourite New Zealand did.

      • glen cullen
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink


      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        Oh, so it was I, who stopped the Government restricting entry, and from testing and detaining infected or suspected infected people – as I supported – was it?

        They have an indefeasible majority of eighty. What I, or any opposition MPs thought was irrelevant anyway.

        • NickC
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

          Well, you’re not that important, Martin. But you can hardly criticise, now, what you failed to foresee just as much as the government did, and against the advice of a number on here.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Salt mines? – – I knew Russia thought it was a great place to dump ‘difficult’ people, but with your keen knowledge of all things China – maybe China utilises them too!

      • NickC
        Posted July 16, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        China has “work” prisons where if you do not perform you are shot if you are lucky, and come out in little pieces (organ farming) if you’re not.

  27. John P
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Remove all 5G. It is an untested and extremely invasive technology that is set to reduce freedom and possibly health (that cannot be refuted as it has not been tested).

    • Fred H
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Ah. But we will have street level ‘masts’ all over the place, and you will have instant porn available at all times.
      A major step forward for the business world!

      • glen cullen
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        and we need 5g to run ‘tik-tok’

  28. Iain Moore
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Would the Government have done anything if President Trump hadn’t banned Huawei from using their tech? I doubt it. As such it would be foolish to think there has been any change of mind in the British establishment, where they have a patriotic industrial policy with ambitions for the UK’s industries and tech, from their ‘can’t be bothered. let’s flog it all off’.

    There is a decadence at the heart of the British establishment that has no industrial ambitions for our country, that prefers shipping in immigrants to training our own people, that, until stopped by the pubic, was happy to sell us out to the EU, that doesn’t have a good word to say about our country , culture or history, thus their silence over BLM, and that happily tolerates the BBC with their relentless hostility to us (probably because it fits with their own self loathing) . Huawei was something forced upon them, there has been no sea change in attitude by the British establishment , I wish it were otherwise.

    • Iago
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink


  29. Nigl
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Off topic. If the air is so dangerous that we will have to wear masks, that an exoert on your blog, Chris Dark said are ineffective, why are you encouraging us to go out?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      “The science“ is always a-changing.

  30. Sea Warrior
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    The alleged commercial benefits of 5G strike me as being as real as those claimed for HS2. We should be relaxed about a delayed roll-out.
    Now, Sir John, you and your colleagues need to show a greater concern for such things as China’s cornering of the world’s supply of rare earth metals. And the Intelligence & Security Committee should ask for a sitrep on China’s hacking operations.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      ….and their claims for the entire south china sea + build military islands

  31. Everhopeful
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    If this “pandemic” and immigration are anything to go by how can we trust or even begin to believe that banning Huawei is a reality?
    Lock you in. Go to school. Stay at home. Out you come. No back you go! No mask. Wear a mask. “ Woah, the hokey cokey ”etc….
    Full boats STILL coming across.
    They want us out of the way while they remodel what once was our world!
    God alone know what we’ll find at the end of it…probably Boris working as a Huawei engineer. Good luck with that!! Global blackouts.

  32. Everhopeful
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Constantly courting foreign involvement….selling the country off. If diversity has been a success I would hate to see failure!!

  33. Andy
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I know none of you watch BBC Newsnight – because you do not deem it to be as reliable as a news source as Breitbart, the Daily Express or your friend Kevin’s Facebook feed but I’d urge you to watch last night’s.

    They had Patrick Minford on, a 77-year-old chap explaining how the Tories new Brexit customs centres are good for trade. Now, to be fair to him, he is correct on one thing. Once we get used to this pointless extra Tory bureaucracy it will become easier. But it will still never be cheaper than it is now.

    As a 77 year old Mr Minford is unlikely to be around for the public inquiry and prosecutions. But let’s hope he is. Incidentally all of his Brexit forecasts have been wrong.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      What are you considering charging these people with?
      Or are you just having Stalinist show trials?

    • Fred H
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      You have something in common with him.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Sadly, the High Court found in Johnson’s favour, that it is not unlawful for politicians to lie to the public in England.

      That says more than many things about the place.

      However, there are always the Court Of Appeal and The Supreme Court.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        No that isnt what the high Court said.
        I’ve read the judgment.
        Have you?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

          Not verbatim, no. It spoke of “claims”.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

            So your original post was wrong.

    • MBJ
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Most of us watch a whole spectrum of things Andy . You must stop generalising . It makes you look foolish. How do you think that anyone can objectively criticise any programme if they don’t watch them. You must be getting too old to focus!

    • NickC
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Literally you cannot manage a comment without bringing age into it. You also persist with your epic failure to understand that the vast majority of UK GDP (c87%) has nothing to do with the EU, despite being told frequently. Incidentally all of your Brexit forecasts have been literally wrong.

      • bill brown
        Posted July 16, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink


        There are so many businesses owned by the EU in the UK domestic market that makes it much more than 13 % but I do not expect you to know?

        • Edward2
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          And so many owned by the UK in Europe.
          But I don’t expect you know bill.

          • bill brown
            Posted July 17, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            I am so glad we agree on teh economic integration which has taken plae, so we can all get a good deal through

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      “Public inquiry and prosecutions” rants Andy. What public inquiry and prosecutions?

      Yet another wishful teenage fantasy exhorted from our resident snowflake.

      • Andy
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        A Brexit public inquiry is inevitable.

        The behaviour of some of those in office amounts to criminal negligence. It really is no more complicated than that.

        Where they are fortunate is that Coronavirus will delay that inquiry so more Brexiteers will escape prison because they will either be too old or dead.

        But, suffice to say, when history is writ their names will not be listed alongside those of Churchill, Wellington and Nelson as great British patriots.

        They’ll be alongside Guy Fawkes and Kim Philby.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

          You do relish a nice show trial Andy.
          You seem young and lefty liberal yet you reveal Stalinist tendencies in many of your posts.

          • bill brown
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            You have very little undesrtanding of even simple variations in Socialism and Communism and now you are even using Stalinism. Are you stretching yourself a bit too far?

          • Edward2
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

            Oh yes I do understand bill.
            You start with socialism and you end up eating your pets to survive.

        • NickC
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Your knowledge of history is sadly lacking. Fawkes wanted England subject to Catholicism, and Philby wanted the UK subject to Marxism. Both therefore wanted this country dominated by a foreign ideology – just as you do.

  34. Adam
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    It is a sensible change of policy in response to changed circumstances.

  35. Andy
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    China will reciprocate of course – banning key British businesses.

    But it will wait a few months to have the maximum effect.

    China can see that the Coronavirus, followed by Tory Brexit, followed by expulsion from China will permanently kill off some major British businesses and will firmly – and permanently – relegate the UK from being a major world power to a country with significantly less influence than Denmark.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      But brexit – for its main proponents – was never really about enhancing the UK.

      It was about destroying the European Union, for the US, to which they apparently grovel, I think.

      They have failed. There has been no Domino Effect, rather, the opposite.

      This country will have suffered greatly, and in vain for their silly, reckless adventure.

      It could have been worse though.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        You two are still in your Project Fear prediction factory.
        I’m surprised you haven’t given up embarrassed by your previous failures.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

          “The euro will be dead and buried by Christmas 2012” – Nigel Farage.

          • NickC
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

            Martin, I said clearly that the Euro would not disappear back then, and I repeat that now. The reason is the EU makes rules which it does not, itself, honour. The rules are only to exercise EU power over others (as you desire). If the EU had kept its own rules, the Euro might well have gone in 2012.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

            I never said that.
            How is that relevant.
            It isn’t even really connected to Brexit as the UK never joined the Euro.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        Ever thought of script writing? You have a talent for putting out nonsense as fact, with dramatic effect, and release a fresh dose on a daily basis.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      relegate the UK from being a major world power

      What are you tallking about? A MAJOR world power! We have been a minor player on the world stage since the end of World War II.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Andy, what is your prediction on British exports to China? How much do we export to them now and what do you predict it will be in Jul 2021?

      How much did China export to the UK y/e Dec 2019? What change do you expect to this figure by y/e Dec 2020 and Dec 2021?

      • glen cullen
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        correct a-tracy

        we export almost nothing to china, have you seen their import tariffs

    • Richard1
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      why stop at Denmark which has 5m people? why not give your post more force by saying “the UK will have less influence than Iceland!!!” (popn 250k), or even “Antartica!!!!” (permanent Popn, zero, despite the predictions of Sir David King). That way we might take more notice of you.

    • NickC
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Andy, As a subject state of your EU empire we were literally not a “major world power”. You’re harking back to the days of the British Empire again.

  36. Peter Parsons
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Perhaps some information as to why Huawei equipment is suddenly considered a national security risk might help to inform those of us who have spent their careers in the technology industry that this is anything other than a political decision, and if it is, at least be honest about it.

    The UK now faces several years of delays and several billion pounds of costs so that Chinese-manufactured equipment can be replaced with equipmant manufactured in China (both Ericsson and Nokia manufacture in China too).

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Do you believe that Huawei posed no security problem at all for the UK Peter?

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        What security risk do you believe they would have represented?

        In March 2019 the UK NCSC found no evidence of malicious Chinese state activity when evaluating Huawei kit.

        6 months ago, Huawei’s equipment was judged acceptable to be used. What has changed in that time? Is it the equipment (unlikely), or is it the new US sanctions?

        • a-tracy
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          I don’t know Peter that’s why I asked. There were people on this board with concerns about security of data, tracking, and rumours about masts but I don’t know enough about it to make my mind up which is why I asked.

          Perhaps the change from six months has come from new intelligence from the USA but I’m just speculating.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

            Well, I’ve now taken the trouble to read the NCSC’s public report.

            To summarise from my view of reading this report:

            The USA’s sanctions impact and threaten Huawei’s design processes and supply chain. The view is that, if these sanctions don’t hurt Huawei, the current administration in the USA would keep trying until they found ones that do.

            The analysis is that the kit itself does not represent a significant risk in regards to things like data tracking, data security etc. as the kit already has to go through an independent assessment process due to Huawei’s historical status as a “high risk vendor” and any kit already deployed has passed those processes and is considered sufficiently safe for use.

            Where there is a threat is Huawei’s future ability to design new equipment, supply new and future equipment, and provide maintenance and support for its equipment as a result of the USA sanctions. If Huawei is put in a position where they can’t maintain equipment and that equipment fails for some reason, that represents a threat to the integrity of the telco networks, and that threat to keeping the networks up and working is considered to have a national security impact, and therefore be a risk.

            In summary, this all comes about because the USA’s sanctions have impacted Huawei’s ability to continue to operate as a business as they have done in the past, even though the equipment itself is considered acceptable for deployment.

            The decision is political, not technical. This will cause delays and increased costs, costs which will end up being passed on to us, the consumers.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          It would appear that China will be added to the growing list of nations, which have concluded that the UK is not a country with which it is possible to make a reliable deal.

          It has to appease an ever-more capricious US president, it appears, in everything international that it does.

          The brexiters were warned that it would be like this.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

            It might make China treat their workers a bit more decently and join the group of proper democratic nations.
            You would like that Martin I presume.

    • forthurst
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      It’s fear of the unknown and of course if you are a Tory (or Labour) Arts graduate MP then there is an awful lot to fearful of.

  37. jerry
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Now that we have removed the ‘Huawei problem’ from post Brexit FTA talks, is the UK govt to change its protectionist… sorry, rather nonsensical policies towards US beef and chicken, thus allowing that full and comprehensive FTA with the USA before November? Time is marching on, Nov. is but three and half months off, Mr Biden is leading in the Polls.

    • jerry
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      OT; So according to Mr Hancock, the longer you are around people, say in an office, the less likely you are to catch the virus from someone asymptomatic, but passing someone in the isle of a supermarket results in a far higher chance?!

      I take it than, Mr Hancock, Johnson and Cummings all caught Covid-19 because they had nipped out to the local mini ‘express’ supermarket near Westminster Bridge, not because the virus was circulating within Whitehall offices at the hight of the epidemic in March-April…

    • Andy
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      You have no mandate to flood our country with Frankenstein foods.

      And even if Trump wins, which currently looks unlikely, the US Congress has to approve any trade deal with the UK. Which it will not if Ireland is unhappy.

      Isn’t it ironic. The US Congress gets a say on American trade deals. The European Parliament and most EU national parliaments get a say on EU trade deals. But our MPs get no proper say on ours. This government – which promised to take back control – wouldn’t give MPs a meaningful say. Almost as if the government is scared of scrutiny.

      • jerry
        Posted July 16, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        @Andy; “You have no mandate to flood our country with Frankenstein foods. “

        I wasn’t talking about GM crops, stop showing your ignorance, but as you raise the issue; Just what is a GM, breeders and growers have been using selective modification for centuries, a cross breed is in effect genetically modified (GM) creation – your objections appear to be either were the cross-breading takes place or by who.

        A simple solution, post Brexit very clear food labelling, unlike the mishmash, clear as mud, labelling we currently have (due to EU directives), be it Chlorine washed EU fruit and veg or Chlorine washed US chickens, saline injected beef from the EU or hormone injected beef from the US, and of course produce of GM origin, no one is forcing you to eat what you do not want to.

        As for welfare issues, those are always going to subjective, a “free range” chicken is unacceptable to a vegan after all, the chicken should be running wild, not farmed for human consumption.

        “Which it will not if Ireland is unhappy.”

        Nonsense, why would Ireland will be unhappy. It is a long way around the tip of Cornwall and Shetland to the other EU 26, no land bridge for them, every lorry load to be inspected! Two can play-up ruff, if push cam to shove – besides Ireland is its-self highly Eurosceptic.

        ” But our MPs get no proper say on ours.”

        No quite, you mean the minority opposition doesn’t get a veto, same as in the EP, was UKIP and the eurosceptic group ever able to veto in the EP?…

      • Edward2
        Posted July 16, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        Firstly food will be labelled.
        Buy what you like.

        Secondly Parliament will debate the trade deal.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted July 16, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          I wouldn’t be too sure on your first claim, Ed – the US don’t want that.

          • jerry
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

            @MiC; “the US don’t want that.”

            Is that what your handlers in Brussels tell you, otherwise please cite a reliable source to back up your assertion.

            Oh and it’s not as if the EU allows the customer to know that (for example) the Ham you eat could have originated from any of the EU28, only being packed in your own country, or that your veg has been washed in Chlorine in the same way as US chicken…

          • Edward2
            Posted July 16, 2020 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

            Out of the EU we are free to label food with country of origin.

      • NickC
        Posted July 16, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Can you specify in peer reviewed scientific terms what you mean by “Frankenstein foods”? Can you list all of the foods and the relevant papers which prove your claim? Or are you making it up? Again?

  38. Stred
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I don’t see why we can’t assemble the system using cheap Chinese parts and ensure that it’s programmed to be bug free. Erikson and the others do this. Can’t BT and Vodaphone?

    • Tim the Coder
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      BT and Vodafone are network operators, not equipment manufacturers.
      You don’t buy TV’s from the BBC

      • jerry
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        Tim, are you quite sure, on both counts?…. 🙂

      • Fred H
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        given the annual licence cost – they damn well should supply the television!

      • Stred
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        BT used to be. Why can’t UK telecoms put equipment together and bolt it in? I used to make radios and recording equipment as a schoolboy. Are today’s UK technos useless?

  39. Tim the Coder
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    While I agree that reducing our abject dependence on Communist China is a good thing, do you really think this Huawei decision makes any difference?

    The European competitors’ products use the same components, manufactured in China, assembled into subsystems, in China, and programmed by software teams, in China.
    You would achieve the same “benefit” by sticking over the top of the Huawei label a new label: “Elicsson” or “Rokia”.
    Only if you cut the dependence on all high-tech components with unknown secrets embedded by a hostile nation will you make any difference.

    And I assume the ban includes Apple’s iPhones, all of which are made in China?
    No? Oh, so why bother.

    And how do you feel about one of the four mobile networks being owned & operated by a Chinese company (Hutchinson-Whampoa from the Chinese territory formerly known as Hong Kong)?

    Finally, how do you justify the behaviour of a Government telling private sector companies who they may purchase from? Is that not the very definition of fascism?

    It is good that the economy is doing so well that £2bn (or more) of tax-payers money can be spent on this virtue signalling, to replace one set of chinese components with another set of chinese components.
    It is no wonder Rory Bremner retired: it is impossible to satirise this.
    I suppose we ought to be looking for the real news this charade is intended to be the squirrel for.

  40. Iain Gill
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    There were only two big tech providers to the telco’s in this space. One was Nortel, and the other was Ericsson. Nortel went bust and its technologies split up, a lot relevant here went to Kapsch, Hitachi and Ericsson.

    Huawei were a new starter, easy to start because a lot of the manufacturing of the others was outsourced to China (cheaper anti pollution kit, cheaper electricity, cheaper health & safety requirements than trying to manufacture in Europe or US/Canada) so the Chinese had ready access to the designs they were manufacturing for others.

    Huawei hired a lot of people fully integrated into the chattering classes of politics here and elsewhere, and used that to manipulate our decisions.

    Spending more on R & D here is not going to fix much. The patents belong to the companies mentioned above. We need to attract companies skilled at managing intellectual property portfolios as much as anything, and we need to change the rules so that manufacturing here is possible instead of being drowned in the most expensive measures which just push production to China and India (which pushes up net world pollution and destroys jobs here).

    • forthurst
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      ARM Holdings has (or had) a massive inventory of IP; however, the Tories in their ineffable wisdom decided that it would be best if their bankster chums sold it off in order to enrich themselves as there was no national security implication. ARM holdings of course designs chips used in communications infrastructure as well in mobile phones.

  41. glen cullen
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    National resilience is way down on the list

    The real cancer in the UK is lack pride, culture and patriotism at the very leadership of the country

    • Fred H
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      But Westminster talking shop is full of B/S pretending to be fervent patriots.
      Oooops some are – but not for England.

  42. Caterpillar
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    To win a battle of political systems it is necessary but not sufficient to have control over some national strategic capabilities and access to resources (two battles the U.K. is already losing / has lost), but also one needs a competitive, working political system (obviously), free speech and a good level of heterogeneous education.

    The U.K’s system of confused devolution, outdated electoral system, unelected second chamber and dictatorial emergency powers is not a competitive system (- sufficient U.K. people do not support).

    The U.K. does not have free speech (the U.K. has deplatforming and cancelling).

    The U.K. does not have a good level of educational success (I have previously flagged the poor attainment at GCSE English and Maths; it is thus not unsurprising that a fashionable tweet is more powerful than a 300 page treatise) nor does it have a heterogeneity of ideas in educational institutes.

    [One could add the need to feel safe, have a suitable military and control over one’s borders].

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      We’re adrift without a mission

      China wants to dominate the whole of the far east, the USA are leaders of the free world, the EU is a new country and Saudi the religious leaders…and others who specialise in food production etc etc

      We need a plan

  43. margaret
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I am slightly sad at this brave move . We need to enhance relations not to destroy them . There will be a backlash . Perhaps intrusion into our safety should have been highlighted first and ways of prevention .

  44. Nigl
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I note the answer from the Minister about Open Ran as if it is an acceptable substitute to the problems you have caused to our economy. I note you didn’t come back with a supplementary about likelihood and time scales. I guess the answer would be somewhat embarrassing when you are trying to fool the public.

    Open ran is very immature and talking of international partners neither Nokia nor Ericsson, key players have embraced it so if he had been honest the Minister would have said that this so called international partnership is proving very difficult in the real world. Vodafone has put its European network out to tender for it so we will see.

    It is America that sees it as a way of negating china’s technological advantages.

    On the basis China Mobile was an early and still is a key player in its development how are you going to work without them or get rid of them? Especially if other countries are not so anti China as you?

    Reply I am not allowed a supplementary!

    • Nigl
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Apologies Nokia and Ericsson are members of the O-RAN forums, there remains a question mark about the pace and funding needs of O-RAN and China’s participation.

  45. JoolsB
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Totally off topic, but how do we email the Prime Minister’s office if we want to? I want to write and tell him what a disgrace he is after just telling Ian Blackford in PMQs that Scotland, Wales & NI will be getting a further 70 new powers devolved to them once we leave the EU whilst as usual not mentioning England once. Does this dimwit and all the other UK MPs squatting in English seats not realise the insult to England this talk of new powers causes especially when they continue to ignore England itself. Do they care?

    • Fred H
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Just make it clear to your MP, any door-knockers, letters to the newspapers etc.
      Time is running out, and corrective actions to follow up what we thought his mandate clarified. Huawei has taken months heaping embarrassment on us, and with luck HS2 will get abandoned but with another load of scorn.
      Cameron, May, Johnson… had enough yet?

    • JoolsB
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      John, that was a genuine question.

  46. Newmania
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    China will be quaking in its boots as a weak friendless Island , loathed by its neighbours hops from foot to foot like Rumpelstiltskin.
    One of the points of Europe being able to act in concert was to cope with the USA and latterly China both of whom are of comparable size- well I`m glad I am not responsible for the ongoing National humiliation. Reminds me of the Skibereen Eagle .Honestly have none of you got any pride in this country at all ?

    ” “We give this solemn warning to Kaiser Wilhelm: The Skibbereen Eagle has its eye on you.”……

    • Richard1
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      what a stupid post. I don’t detect any ‘loathing’ of the UK by any European country. Nor have I ever noticed in the past any loathing eg of Norway or Switzerland because they aren’t in the EU. Grow up.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        I’ve not been aware of any main party in Switzerland or in Norway appealing to its voters on the basis of a groundless hatred of the European Union, stoked by a multi-billion, highly politicised, largely US-owned press either, nor of a litany of insults directed by said at its offices, institutions, and personnel.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 15, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

          As Brexit approaches you are getting more ridiculous by the day.
          There is condition remainers can catch.
          Brexit Derangement Syndrome.

    • NickC
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      You think the EU empire was our friend??? At least with our independence on the horizon we can take pride in this country again.

      • bill brown
        Posted July 16, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink


        We are all proud of this country no matter what organisation we are a member of and anything less is only left with you Nick

  47. XYXY
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Yes – our politicians seem determined to be “nice” and hope other people are nice back. That’s playground naivete. People like Xi and Putin take that as weakness and exploit it ruthlessly.

    Remember the silly “reset button” the US took to Russia years ago? Dumb.

    Allowing China into the WTO without reform – and properly floating their currency was also an act of crass stupidity.

    We need some real politicians leading the world’s major States, not these wet liberals we seem to get for the last 30 years.

    • glen cullen
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Appeasement is alive and well

      • Fred H
        Posted July 16, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        I don’t wish to correct you really – BUT what we have done is kowtow.

        Anybody uncertain – reach for the dictionary, or even Google.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, they sneered at George Bush jnr’s intellect, but at least he saw how the Chinese were hollowing out our economies with its undervalued exchange rate, and said so. Our lot , Gordon Brown , was gushing about how we were open to business ( code for buy up whatever you want) , then that the cringe making meeting Cameron had with Xi Jinping in the pub, and that groveling welcome Bercow made must have had them rubbing their hands in glee at how easy it was going to be to to take us to the cleaners, and they have. Foreign policy became virtue signalling, national interest was forgotten about.

  48. BetterTimesAhead
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes you look at a political decision and think “that is just plain wrong”.

    Huawei – buying critical tech components from a Company linked to the national Government, which carries out industrial and Government espionage on a massive scale.
    Smart motorways, another poorly thought through decision, still being pushed ahead.

    Common sense seems to be completely absent in many politicians these days.

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted July 15, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it’s considered smart when a government gets to increase road deaths and accidents . Then blame the car

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2020 at 5:10 am | Permalink

      “Sometimes you look at a political decision and think “that is just plain wrong”

      Not just sometimes but almost all the time I find. They always want an ever larger (largely parasitic) state sector, higher taxes and more and more control and red tape. Exactly the opposite of what is needed for better and more jobs and the economy.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 16, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      These ‘smart motorways’ frequently had 50mph signs up throughout covid-19 suspended roadwork, also drivers were forced for no reason to drive at 50mph on near-empty roads for miles and miles and traffic going from 60mph to 50mph to 40mph then back up to 60mph with no obstructions in the road, so much for ‘smart’.

  49. David Brown
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Begs the question why the Gov agreed to Huawei in the first place.
    Its probably the right thing to do although suddenly blown 2 billion down the drain.
    I do think it would be better to have a more closer trading relationship with India than China. Britain has a history with India and India has mainly forgiven the darker side of British rule. India is well placed to provide many of the Made in China we currently see. I agree Britain should manufacture more however I feel there are some good trade opportunities with India inc IT, and move away from the reliance on China. At least India is a democracy although some palm greasing is often required.

    Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink


  51. hefner
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Interesting debate: I see that France appears to rely on Nokia and Ericsson for its nascent 5G core network, with Huawei likely to provide ‘dumb’ 5G stuff like antennas, following recommendations from its ‘Agence Nationale de Securite des Systemes Informatiques’.
    But if I understood well that will be a lot of them as to provide a network able to handle self-driving vehicles it could require such an antenna every 150m.
    Does anybody here know whether such a thing is plausible?

    • Tim the Coder
      Posted July 16, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      “…is plausible”
      You are correct to be sceptical.
      It’s complete hype, of the male cattle exhaust variety.
      Why on earth should a self-driving vehicle (if such a thing is ever possible) need a data connection at all?

      Children, wild animals and building skips do not have 5G terminals, so avoiding other road users is a myth.
      Sat Nav updates? Really, try to stop me laughing please. A centrally managed database updated in realtime with every local council roadworks etc? Ho Ho crunch.

      5G is just marketting junk. It’s 4G, maybe a bit faster if you can find a cell with no one else using it.

  52. Iain Gill
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    talking about national resilience probably the reliance and trust placed on India, and Indian IT companies, is at least as big a threat as China. India certainly does not have the UK’s best interests at heart.

  53. mancunius
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    I must wonder at Boris’s passive post-election acceptance of projects that needed to be shelved, altered or downgraded, as if he had no opinions or will at all. From HS2 to Huawei to Hinkley to the NI protocol and the WI itself, he just knuckled under and towed the civil service line – ‘These projects are far too advanced to rescind, Prime Minister’ – until your fellow Tory MPs finally face him down and tell him what’s what. You’ll all need to do quite a bit more of that, clearly.
    It’s fairly obvious that China feels grossly aggrieved by having successive Conservative governments – from Cameron/Osborne to May/Hammond first fawning over Huawei ‘investment’, only to have yet another Tory government finally cancelling the project. This needs sensitive diplomatic handling: it should have been discreetly and tactfully explained to Xi Jinping privately, and never have got so far into the public domain as to need such a public hoo-hah. Of course a lot of the Chinese anger at losing face is feigned, but some of it is genuine, and their threats are deadly serious.
    When China talks of ‘public retaliation’, we need to Be Prepared. China will probably now block covid-essential supplies, and probably launch serious cyberattacks intended to lame our financial and utility infrastructure. Did anyone address this obvious next step in cabinet, or parliament? Has the UK government planned for it? It’d astonish nobody if they’d made no plan at all.

  54. TooleyStu
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, I am a day late to the party.
    Some people above have noted the Health Risk concerns over 5G,
    and then immediately belittled and condemned.

    Before any of us decide we know ‘enough’ .. I would suggest purchasing and reading the following book.

    The Invisible Rainbow, by Arthur Firstenberg.

    It is a history lesson on electricity, from the 1800 through to the present day.
    And the concurrent effect on plant, human and animal health.
    400 pages, but really only 260, as the last 140 pages are citations he references.

    Tooley Stu

  55. a-tracy
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never heard of Mr Julian Lewis MP before but after reading about him today he seems the perfect conservative pick for the Commons Intelligence and Security scrutiny committee, Boris is making some daft missteps at the moment and to remove the whip immediately is such a kneejerk response, employers are told to give 48 hours notice for key staff discipline meetings, a suspension with 48 hours thinking time about how to proceed when you’ve calmed down is to be recommended.

    I thought Boris was going to be different, I thought he ran on a less institutional, less authoritarian, more merit – less sucking up to the right people or knowing the right people, he should hug this guy closer and get him onside.

  56. Edwardm
    Posted July 17, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    The government have made a number of bad decisions – HS2, foreign build of our nuclear reactors, more (un)smart motorways, too much “green agenda”, and Huawei.
    I welcome the reversal of one of these bad decisions,
    Giving the Chinese a platform within any comms system is wrong, as it provides them an internal base from which to eavesdrop or hack the rest of the system. The original advice to the government saying Chinese equipment was safe to use in certain parts of the system was simply wrong. An investigation needs to be made into how the advice came to be drawn up and who decided on it – as the advice was technically wrong and against the British interest.

    I note in the news that people high up in BT have connections with Huawei – this cannot be right to have people with divided loyalties in such positions.
    It was BT who decided to use subsidised Huawei rather than Marconi equipment in about 2003 which caused the final demise of the Marconi company and with it the loss of that engineering capability from the UK.
    Much more strategic action needs to be taken to ensure that future technical capabilities across the technical industries are retained in the UK.

  • About John Redwood

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

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