What is national security

Yesterday I joined the debate on the government’s bill to give Ministers powers to block foreign acquisitions of companies, technology and other property that could be damaging to to our national security.

The Bill attracted cross party support. Much of the debate was about the detail. Two main questions arose. How can the system be set up to act smoothly and quickly for all the many foreign acquisitions that do not entail any threat to national security, as there is the danger that many buyers will feel the need to get clearance before proceeding. How do we define national security?

I pointed out that the UK has a high level of acquisition of our companies and assets because we run a large balance of trade deficit with the EU and now run a deficit on investment income thanks to all the past sales of assets to pay the import bills. I urged Ministers to develop policies that encourage more UK investors to invest in our future, and to invest in import substitution.

Many people define the national security phrase narrowly, to encompass specialist technologies for defence and Intelligence. I raised the issue of strategic weaknesses. In the two world wars of the last century – which we do not wish to repeat- one of the UK’s worst strategic weaknesses was the need to import food, fuel and other essentials through dangerous shipping lanes subject to sustained submarine and bomber attack.

Today we are very dependent on imported food and to a lesser extent on imported electricity. Shouldn’t our strategic audit encompass doing something to correct these weaknesses just in case? The continent is too dependent on Russian gas.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The sale of business is to be expected in an open market. If you want foreign investment there has to be a prospect of a return. No return, no investment.

    As someone pointed out yesterday, the real problem are the spivs in the City. A company grows and then along comes a hedge fund and buys it then asset strips it. Or loads the purchased company with the debt used to buy it and use the profits from said company to pay for its own purchase. Stop that and you might get somewhere.

    And what of Royal Mail ? How was it that the UK Governments had to sell this ? I know it was down to EU competition rules but the Germans never had to sell their national postal service.

    Governments in the past have had Golden Shares in companies prohibiting them from being sold. What happened to that?

    I am not hopeful of change as the cupboard is how bare.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Too little too late is an understatement.

      And it doesn’t just apply to businesses but to all assets, especially real property.

      It is foreign money which has largely pumped up London’s property bubble, to the detriment of millions.

      • Graham Wheatley
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        I feel faint – I’m going to have sit down for a while…… I agree with you! LOL.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        I had a look on the internet and several sites said there were about 3.7 million households in London.
        And said there was about 100,000 owned by foreign buyers.
        So about 3%.
        They have been buying largely in the very expensive areas.
        Therefore I would suggest if these figure are correct, that the impact on prices for first time buyers is not significant.
        Not often you blame foreigners coming here and pinching our houses for our problems.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        foreign money at the top end Marty

        Foreigners subsidised by housing benefit at the bottom and middle end I think

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      First para – government puts restrictions on foreign ownership, government supports UK ownership. Hadn’t noticed a problem with this elsewhere.

      Second para – Too low interest rates and created funny money causes this problem.

      Third para – wasn’t it the pension scheme “what did it?” Too low interest rates again.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      I agree with you MarkB.

    • DavidJ
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Indeed Mark. I have lived and worked in a country where:

      – Foreign ownership of companies was strictly controlled and limited, always requiring partnership with a native company
      – Immigration was controlled through strict visa applications and annual work permits
      – proof of income required for longer term foreign residents
      – a ban on entry for several years for transgressors.
      – no support from the public purse

      That was for for many years so how could this be considered unreasonable?

      Lessons to learn for our own government, particularly in respect of immigration and sale of companies..

      • Paul Cuthbertson
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        David J – Fully agree. I live overseas and live under those conditions. No problem though.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        sounds like the place I lived for several years. I was not allowed to purchase land

        The richer locals did not like that as it stopped them cashing in but it protected the poorer ones.

  2. DOM
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    And not a hint of irony. The great threat to the British people comes directly from the British political class who appear intent on a path to authoritarianism using all the tactics afforded to them by the fascist left

    The term ‘National Security’ is now a redundant term. We have British politicians and others in power who actually despise the UK and all that it is. They invite groups in from abroad to incite riots and fear.

    Your party in government backed by malignant Labour have destroyed our nation, its culture and our freedoms.

    You have passed laws against hard working, innocent, law abiding folk that remove their voice and slander their person. Yes, your party John have said ‘aye’ to such appalling legislation for an easy political life

    Your party and that stain on humanity Labour are the threat to our nation.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink


      For ‘National Security’ read we fear the people not serve them

      • Hope
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Ristorante allowed a statue to be criminally damaged and in so doing offenses of unlawful assembly and riot committed as the statue was rolled half along a road to be dumped in the river while the police watched. Worse they defended their actions in a political way. Last Saturday 14 arrested in Bristol for a peaceful protest against lock down.

        ER allowed to break laws and lock down laws to desicrate Cenotaph the week before. Today ER allowed to commit criminal damage and break lock down laws again. Pictures taken for publicity no police action! It is difficult to believe this is not with the left wing Symonds/Johnson’s blessing. In times gone by MI5 and special branch would all over it for subverting our democracy.

    • Christine
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Well said. We need a clear out of the current parties before they put in place legislation that means they can never be removed. Their plan for an undemocratic EU has been thwarted. We need a party that stands up for the hard working people of this country and puts Britain first. We can clearly see that the current Government is not that party. Boris is weak, muddled and lacking in direction. Our Government is committing political suicide and taking the country down with it. Are there no voices within the party to stand up to this foolishness?

      • Timaction
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        Bit like Boris (or was it Carrie?) have now released their new green strategy. All petrol/diesel car sales banned from 2030! Outrageous authoritarianism from unproven science. If he was serious about our carbon footprint how about stopping mass immigration! 7-8 million people on the Tory watch (10 years!) do have an impact on CO2 and the environment you know.
        If I and many millions of other English people wanted this I would have voted green or liberal.
        Outrageous with no real plan to deliver this with electric generation or charging points. What about houses without garages, high rise flats/apartments. Millions will not have the ability to travel. Where are the raw materials for these expensive coming from. Will they be built by magic so as not to increase the carbon footprint. Boris must go and take his people with him. It’s starting to feel like Soviet Russia.

        • Hope
          Posted November 19, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          Wind mills need coal to manufacture its steel! Transport by diesel boats, diggers, lorries etc. Zero carbon my arse.

      • turboterrier
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink


    • DavidJ
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink


    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      “Boris Johnson is ‘single biggest threat to future of UK”, says Keir Starmer.
      Guardian article. Pretty rich considering who is saying it.
      But unfortunately for the tories…it don’t half ring true!

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Indeed you make very good points. Lets get fracking and abandon the Boris war on plant food lunacy.

    Bjorn Lomborg is right today in the Telegraph. Boris (under Queen Carrie it seems) has gone totally mad with his ICE car banning lunacy. Where Lomborg is wrong is that CO2 is not really a serious problem anyway. On balance more positives than negatives in a bit more atmospheric CO2 science suggests.

    In the Telegraph today.

    Don’t expect electric cars to save the planet
    Banning petrol and diesel vehicles would deliver only minor emissions savings at a vast cost to consumers.

    Vast cost and huge inconvenience too given range and recharge times and charge hassle issues.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink


      These government peccadillos are restricted to handicapping the UK. 7.8 billion people on this planet, handicapping just 69 million to do the work on behalf of them all is first order lunacy.

      • Pominoz
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink


    • Frances Truscott
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      There is only one place in the USA which has managed to clean fracking water well enough to return it to the water cycle. A village in Sussex ran out of water this summer and animals died.
      So no to fracking.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps if we had fracking and thus far cheaper energy we would then have to money to organise better water storage and distribution.

      • NickC
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Frances T, You don’t say whether that was fracking for gas or fracking for oil. They are different. Fracking for gas is far more benign than coal mining, and we have mined for centuries.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Yes the Lomborg article is good (conditioned on CO2 being bad). Somebods need to sit down with the P.M. and make him read the article. They might well need to go through the numbers with him on a chalkboard – the P.M.’s ability with numbers and data have become abundantly clear this past year.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Electric cars aren’t meant to save the planet. They are another way to control the masses. They will never be as flexible as petrol or diesel powered vehicles. They will price the poorer off the road and force them onto public transport.
      We have neither the generating capacity or charging infrastructure to support such a stupid idea. Yet again degrees in history, classics oe ppe making statements for which they won’t own.
      Boris will sit alongside May, Major Cameron etc as failures in office.
      He just needs to roll over to Brussels to complete his abject failure as a Prime Minister.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        Ho hum.
        Transport for us = feet and bikes!

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      The aim of electric vehicles is to take the majority of lower classes off the roads entirely. The rich and powerful want nice empty roads, paid for by others, to ride along unundisturbed.

      • glen cullen
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        +1 thats the message

    • DavidJ
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Indeed LL, an electric car would be a real PITA for me. All thanks to Al Gore and his falsified “data”.

    • Richard
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      The CO2 alarmist nonsense which originally came from The Club of Rome was always about control – the dodgy science was only ever a smokescreen..

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      +1 – and yes Sir John, I eat every item on my plate (even the peas) because my father was one of those in peril on the sea for the sake of feeding the nation.
      We need energy and food security as well as all the obvious things, like repelling illegal invaders, en mass or individually.

      • Hope
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Fake Tory manifesto stated it was going to deport illegal immigrants and prevent them returning. Johnson stated they should be sent straight back. Over fifty thousand in hotels and two army barracks with govt ah ding out multi billion contract for its continuance! Hardly sounds like it is inkeeping with its manifesto not a year Old! We add the mass immigration policy passed last week, worse than Mays!

        Still, you keep voting for them.

      • Timaction
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        Where are we with Priti Useless promises to stop and deport these illegal aliens? Clips on the web of many of them protesting at there new army barracks yesterday as they expect 4* hotels and free everything.
        Anything happens to my family and friends and I will be taking legal action against this Government. We have no idea who these people are or their intentions. Government failing their first duty to protect its people in favour of the bleeding hearts. Why are these foreign Nationals entitled to legal aid? As a long term higher rate tax payer I cant get it.

        • Fred H
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

          Boris merely appointed a convenient fall-guy to bear the brunt of the shambolic situation.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      CO2 is plant food. If we reduce the level too much in our ‘enthusiasm’ to save the planet from from getting a bit warmer (which is entirely expected in an INTERGLACIAL period) then we risk crop failures and the consequent famines that will ensue.

      That could actually be the trigger for another global conflict!

      • Timaction
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Indeed. I looked this up about a year ago and most of the time in the last couple of million years the planet is in repeated Ice Ages. Cyclical as it is. It has been more in Ice age than not. In between times it warms up. Now logic would suggest that if you and I can bother to find this out then someone should be giving Boris a nudge to understand the same. He might also take a look at the Milanovic cycles, intensity of the sun in particular and land use. Tectonic plates and movement over millions of years, the magnetic fields, volcanic activity in order of magnitude far greater than any manmade use. Then add in that UK is only less than 2% total of Co2 output, that China increases its footprint by more than this each year. So virtue signalling is the order of the day by people who are just…………stupid. No, I won’t ever vote Tory again. We need a Conservative alternative, not liberal fools.

  4. DOM
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    ‘The continent is too dependent on Russian gas.’ And there in one sentence is the direct cause of the Syrian conflict

    Obama war monger. Merkel. EU. Germany. Putin. Gas pipelines from the ME to Germany. Bahrain. Saudi. Oman

    Those pesky Russians have Germany (EU beating heart) by the balls

    • Fred H
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      and the Chinese doing more but using subtlety.

  5. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Plus we have a much larger population.

    This must surely be the first pandemic in which a population has grown at record levels ! Shame there won’t be much left to go around in Spring 2022 by the time the lockdowns have finished (going on the length of previous pandemics.)

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      It is NOT “population growth” NLA – they are our replacements. Our govt taxes us – to give our replacements free lives. WE have to stay in – BLM march with police escorts and the police go down on one knee in submission. All those new houses being built? – who are they for?

    • Dennis
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      ‘Today we are very dependent on imported food and to a lesser extent on imported electricity. Shouldn’t our strategic audit encompass doing something to correct these weaknesses just in case?’

      It’s the OVERPOPULATION, stupid.

  6. Sea_Warrior
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Good points, Sir John. I hope you reflect further on them when the government – ‘Carrie’s Own’ – announces, later today, its latest lunacy of sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere, for one-off storage. The money would be better spent on developing industry. It takes an Indian to develop the manufacturing of electric motor-bikes here.

    • agricola
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      I have read an apparently serious article on captured CO2 being processed into diamonds, which should put the frighteners up De Beers if they cannot buy up the technology to kill it. And we are nowhere near April 1st.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Well you would need a great deal of energy to do this. First you have to split up the C02 into Carbon and Oxygen then compress the carbon at very high pressures and temperatures. Can be and is being done though they usually start with Carbon not C02.

      • Mark
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        I doubt it will. Synthetic diamonds have been made for decades, mainly for industrial use, and de Beers are in the forefront of the technology of both vapour deposition and high pressure high temperature routes. Reducing CO2 to pure carbon is probably more expensive than starting with mined graphite.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 19, 2020 at 2:50 am | Permalink

          probably? no certainly.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    The BBC reports that the government now believes that “Green=Jobs”. If the Boris/Carrie government really think that they are deluded. Expensive and unreliable energy, pushed with tax payer subsidies and market rigging is a huge job destroyer and job exporter. The talk about hydrogen is largely deluded too. It may have a place in certain niche areas but it is an (very expensive) energy storage system not a source of energy. They say investing in hydrogen power it is really an alternative form of battery not power.

    It it very clear that no one in this government understands very much at all about science, physics or energy engineering. Either that or they know it is a con trick buy are looking after vested interests.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Meanwhile destroying all the jobs associated with fossil fuels , that pay their way, and don’t need state subsidies to sustain them.

      • glen cullen
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        Not one petrol forecourt in the UK is subsidised so why is the taxpayer having to fund charging stations ?

    • Bootsy
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      We need engineers not bean counters and inky fingered talkers

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Dear Lifelogic–Electrolyse the sea producing hydrogen (and while we are at it life-giving oxygen) and use it to dilute the CO2 emissions from petrol engines and burning natural gas. Apart from the additional fuel, this would mitigate the rising sea level (how else destroy water?) but would be potentially asronomically expensive because the sea would have to be purified (distilled?) before it could be electrolysed, but when The Thames Barrier fails and London is under water maybe not so expensive after all. One reads about excess electricity, which could be used when the wind blows at a time when nobody needs the electricity (most nights one imagines).

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Yes first they creat very expensive electricity that is worth very little as produced when not needed. They they say ah we can make almost free hydrogen from this fairly worthless electricity. The economics of the mad house.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

          Dear Lifelogic–I should have made it clearer perhaps that I was inveighing against the complete silence on rising sea levels. If we want to stop that, eventually economics has nothing to do with it–we just pay through the nose.

          I’m so daft I haven’t worked out why we cannot do a better job (polders and all the rest) of defending the East Coast from the North Sea. Instead of the Mission Impossible of strengthening the shoreline with the wages crashing in we build old fashioned granite seawalls off shore, just as if we were building a harbour, and fill in the gap. Money from the Magic Money Tree of course as proven possible recently plus abandon HS2 of course–out of date already and with no likely passengers.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Electrolysing water to produce hydrogen is expensive and requires vast amounts of electricity.
        Removing hydrogen from methane is cheaper but makes CO2.
        Carbon capture is a dream which like the takeover by electric cars will never happen.
        Farage standing at the next election promising to repeal the CCA and the banning of diesel and petrol cars will give him a resounding victory.
        Plus of course he will have to take us out of the EU after Boris caves.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 19, 2020 at 2:51 am | Permalink

          But we have first past the post!

  8. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Sounds like protectionism. That’s not to say it’s wrong.

    Off topic: Yesterday Matt Hancock was touring the studios announcing that he wasn’t ruling out making the Covid vaccine compulsory. What he neglected to say was that this would also require approval from Carrie, Boris, the Cabinet, the Commons, the Lords, and every court up to the Supreme Court interpreting existing Human Rights law, I’d expect this idea to founder on at least two of those steps. It’s not to say I wouldn’t take the vaccine, but I am going to take that decision not Hancock.

    Maybe it’s time to replace him, he is plainly drunk on power and only seems to have scaremongering as an approach to Covid. His performance so far has been adequate at best so he shouldn’t be hard to replace with someone less unbalanced.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      It’s interesting to observe the lack of media reaction to the idea of a vaccine being mandatory. I’d say ‘if you want a revolution, film the police dragging people to the doctor’s and holding them while they are injected against their will – and you’ll get one’

    • Bootsy
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink


    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      You forgot to mention in your “approval list” a VERY important person who now seems to rule here – Marcus Rashford – celebrated ball kicker – He dictates what the poorer people’s taxes get spent on – why doesn’t he get all his mega-rich mates to donate £10million each.

      • turboterrier
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink



  9. Dave Andrews
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Anyone who wants to capitalise on a business they’ve grown will have to sell it to an off-shore concern.
    No-one with money and sense will leave their wealth within the grasp of HMRC, so a business is unlikely to stay in UK ownership.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      This is the real issue; why is the tax system incompatible with creating, growing and keeping businesses? It is not fit for purpose, being based on a 19th century industrial/population model. Why did Sir J Dyson decide his electric car would be better built in SE Asia. (I know it was cancelled but the point remains valid. He designed the wrong car!) UK government, you are in the way of progress, stop micro-managing and get out of the way.

    • agricola
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Not entirely true. If the business is so good why not incorporate it wherever offshore, just like the UK gambling industry.

  10. Caterpillar
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    What is National Security? Perhaps –

    The ability to maintain an actually maintaining the economic and social well-being of a nation’s people, living free from fear, with generally accepted values of democracy, liberty, free speech and rational debate.

    This is now a moot point.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    It it very clear also that no one in this government understands very much at all about the science and risk reward balance of vaccines. Either that or they are corrupt and just looking after vested interests.

    Given that:-

    1. Covid is now killing such a low percentage of people who catch it anyway and mainly the very elderly or ill already and

    2. by the time the vaccines are available we will have largely reached herd immunity in most areas anyway and

    3. The vaccines are almost certain to cause some severe side effect in some recipients as we have already seen in some of the trials. These problem cases are likely to be more damaging than any live years saved from Covid deaths.

    It seems, to my maths, that it is going to be a very uphill struggle for the vaccine companies to demonstrate that the vaccine will be a net benefit and not a net liability in general. Except perhaps in areas like New Zealand, Isle of Man that have largely escaped so far.

    The idea of making “vaccination realists” criminals or worse still forcing people to take the vaccine in what might be a very dangerous experiment on them would surely be evil and insane.

    Huge difference between the % of positives detected by the lateral flow test in Liverpool and the PCR one. So which is correct and what are the true false positive rates?

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Going by previous pandemics lockdowns won’t be gone until spring 2022.

      There won’t be a pub or church left. The things that make this country unique from all the rest.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Oh, the micros will soon pop up again – no copies of the Sun, Express, Telegraph and Daily Mail there though.

        What’s not to like?

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          We’re starting to get to the bottom of what this is really about then.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      What would you say if it were people from outside this country who had killed 60,000, and not a virus?

      Just ignore them, they’ll go away when they get bored?

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        A pointless, contrived comparison. Few people are suggesting doing nothing. PPE, sanitiser, hand washing, masks and distancing – yes. Lockdowns with mass unemployment and poverty and massive debts for future generations (assuming the virus doesn’t get us all!) – no.

      • zorro
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        What about the discrepancy between the two tests?


      • Ginty
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        One would expect lives to be lost in the war against them.

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Yet BLM riots are “exhilarating” according to MiC.

        And “you don’t need an economy to fund the NHS” to that effect according to MiC. (So that’s why poor countries have such low mortality rates then.)

      • beresford
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Not quite. When people from outside this country kill people it is now customary to make a speech about ‘Standing shoulder to shoulder’ before changing nothing.

      • agricola
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        The indications are that the virus was the property of those outside most of the free World in September 2019. It would appear that it was the stupid or malign actions of the Chinese who made it available to everyone.

      • Philip P.
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Martin in C. – You imply a virus has killed 60,000 people in this country. How do you know? Surely you understand Covid 19 is being put on the death certificate of people who did not die of it, but merely tested positive for it in the previous 28 days, or (in care homes) were just suspected of having it. Also, they are aged 82 on average and mostly had co-morbidities which may well have been responsible for their deaths. If you don’t know this, your ignorance should embarass you. If you do know this, and nevertheless say the virus killed 60,ooo people, it’s more serious than ignorance.

        • Fred H
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

          People of all ages, but especially those over 80 often die of conditions nobody had any reason to suspect were there, or the patient wanted to ignore the onset. So, when the awful Covid comes along it merely hastens the inevitable. As would flu, MRSA, a serious fall, and a bunch of other terminal events. Decision time – is that a Covid statistic, or not?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Perhaps you did not understand.

        My point is that unless the vaccines can be shown to be very, very safe indeed (and to work well in the old especially) they are rather likely to do more harm than good. Especially as we will to be close to (or well past) herd immunity levels in most areas (this certainly by the time they are approved and are readily available.

      • Northern Monkey
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        What do you say to cancer, heart disease and old age that kill many more?

        Your comment is emotional froth, and nothing of substance.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        So why haven’t we locked down every year to prevent flu deaths ?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Not a comparator. Anyway people from outside this country, your friends on the Continent have killed very many more than that! We remembered them on 11th.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Apparently a burning ( also global) issue since the 80s has been the difficulty in discovering new and money-making/spinning drugs. And before 2007 the pharmaceutical industry was one of the UK’s most important productivity drivers. Now the rate of new drug per £££squillions spent on R&D has dropped dramatically = reduced labour productivity. Oh my!
      Fortunate then that Mr Johnson surrounded himself with “scientists” and that a nasty new virus erupted, which according to the government’s pals at the WEF will probably require constant dosing with a hastily cobbled together vaccine.
      “And here’s one I prepared earlier” …as TV chefs say!

      • Everhopeful
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        No!No! Little sheeple,
        You will be locked in,
        ‘Til you take the needle!

    • Longinus
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Most people’s immune systems are more than 99.5% effective against the SARS-CoV-2 virus so why would they want a novel vaccine that is less effective with an inadequately characterised safety profile?

  12. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Like it or lump it, we are facing a revolution in work. A lot of people are simply unemployed and there is so much to do! A lot of people (like me) are old.
    We need to get the schools and universities working to produce professional people. All the doctors, vets and dentists, for example I use are not white British not one. Where are our nuclear power stations? Where is our army, navy and silicon valley? What is going to replace the industrial heartland of the north? Why isn’t there a revolution in railways?

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      The railways are on the verge of collapse.

      I’d like to see the death rates on the roads at the moment.

      People have been moved from the safest form of travel to the most dangerous activity they can possibly do and that’s driving a car or motorcycle.

      The BBC at it yet again. Reporting deaths of people *with* CV-19 and not *of* it. A vitally important distinction. We should only be interested in people dying *of* but that doesn’t suit the agenda, does it !

      • Nigel
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        Have you noticed the BBC being more forthright in pronouncing it’s liberal left agenda since Dominic Cummins was dumped?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Plus the “with” is often just a false positive – so not actually with at all. If you look at people on mechanical ventilation the death figures from Covid (and other stats) are out of line – so many are clearly other cause deaths.

        Even more irritating the BBC’s woke idiots now talk of “fisherpeople” rather than fishermen.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

          Only “BBC think” idiots could think that fishermen, mankind, manhole, handyman, washerwoman …….. actually exclude women (or men) and that language therefore needs the BBC to mangle it so appallingly and clumsily.

      • Andy
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        Again – you are seeing conspiracies where none exist. A death certificate does not necessarily record just one cause of death. A person with a heart condition who has Covid 19 might have died anyway. But then the might not. It is fair an accurate to say more than 50,000 people in this country have died with Covid 19.

        I appreciate that many of you like to assume that everyone else has bad or ulterior motives. Actually they don’t. And when you can get over that and you can accept that not everything is a leftist or globalist conspiracy against you then you will be both happier and a better person.

        • Graham Wheatley
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink


          ONS data from their weekly updated spreadsheet https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/causesofdeath/datasets/deathregistrationsandoccurrencesbylocalauthorityandhealthboard were recording 58,000 Covid 19 fatalities when Hancock announced that the UK we had just tipped over the 50,000 mark. The ONS data are – incidentally – ONLY for England & Wales.

          So….. which is correct? If the Government’s, then why are ONS’s so high? Are they still counting any fatality *with* CV-19 on the death certificate?

          It would be nice to be able to compare apples with apples, but ‘official’ data makes that difficult – perhaps by design?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          Many of these Covid deaths are bound to be ‘false positive’ ‘Not Covid’ deaths.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          Claiming – perhaps dishonestly – to believe these preposterous things gives a moral fig leaf behind which to hide, and to justify the appalling things that some apparently wish to do to those whom they unjustly accuse of these conspiracies, but for other reasons, to which they will not admit, however.

          So they will dismiss any evidence which supports their non-existence.

        • NickC
          Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          Andy, When you can accept that Brexit wasn’t voted for by 17.4 million angry Tory pensioners, you too will be a happier and better person. When you can accept that the UK will do perfectly well without being ruled by the EU – with the same opportunities as the other 165 countries in the world, and mainly dependent on our own efforts – you too will be a happier and better person. And ditto for the non-existent 55,000 pen-pushers your fevered imagination conjures up. And also a more truthful person.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      The thing is Mike unemployment isn’t spiking because the government has stepped in to under-employ people (pay them to stay at home). When you have a vacancy in sales and marketing the response is poor, this is a core skill and requirement of business and not many people are trained in it, people do not see it as a viable career. The Universities careers won’t deal with small businesses to find employment for grads, the agencies require around £5,000-£8000 to find someone who they replace elsewhere three-six months later. John truly believes investors are the answer but all the investors in the world won’t sell the goods and services at the right price and if small employers keep being sidelined and promised extra taxes on them as they are now you won’t get innovative solutions.

      We have been told we’re dependent on other nations for ppe, essential drugs, vehicles, food (which food in particular?)

    • Barry
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      “Where is our army, navy and silicon valley?”

      Exactly. Korea, for instance, was a war-torn third world country only a few decades ago, now the South has Samsung, and more besides.

      Where is our Samsung?

      • glen cullen
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        We got rules, regulations and taxes instead

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        It also has mounted a proper, effective response to covid19, as well-governed countries with engaged, informed populations do.

    • Ed M
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink


      The deep crisis you talk of is down to a deep demise in our Judaeo/Christian / Graeco/Roman values. Values which aren’t just about morality (important as that is) but because these values bring deep, personal joy / satisfaction (it’s heresy to completely separate morality from deep personal joy / satisfaction).

      For example, the Christian value of work ethic is all about working hard, honestly, and diligently. Because it is right to do so. AND because it brings profoundly more deep personal joy / satisfaction than being lazy and/or dishonest and/or just working to be greedy. AND because it makes one feel responsible which increases one’s sense of deep personal joy / satisfaction. AND because it means you’re going to be in a much better state to find the right person, fall in love, and build a future together …. And because you’re doing your bit for your country and helping to bring down taxes and so on …

      This is just one example of a Judaeo / Christian virtue that has profound impact on the individual and on those around him – family, friends, neighbours and country. But the list of virtues and how they lead to greater happiness for the individual and country is profound. And Judaeo/Christian virtues that often overlap with the (best) of the Graeco/Roman virtues. MANY. One being the wonderful virtue of patriotism (and public duty).

      We need to be making these arguments wherever we can, and with teachers at school and university, with journalists in the media, with people in the arts and in business and so on.

      • Ed M
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        ‘For example, the Christian value of work ethic ‘ – and what I say isn’t just philosophy. We all know this from our persona lives. But if that isn’t a good enough example, look at how the Quakers, a relatively small group of people in this country, were responsible for creating some great businesses here in the UK (from the banking sector to confectionary and so on), and were renowned for their honesty, hard work and treating everyone involved well.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Things that spring to mind
      1) Sunak is paying for labour immobility
      2) Insufficient density and lack of connectedness means pool of workers for firms is limited (needs an interconnected city policy)
      3) The argument for international trade is based on increasing total welfare, this has at least two problems (i) it might not increase total welfare as most trade is not based on comparative advantage, and the monopolistic choice trade has negative externalities, (ii) any increase in welfare may not be shared around the population [This was perhaps one driver of Trumpism with more local/regional metrics and the desire that trade is good as long as all Americans saw some benefit from it, if not it isn’t.]
      4) Low income immigration reduces social mobility through competition and the impacted communities just opt out (or look for grey alternatives).
      5) Other countries have cheaper energy (and don’t charge for carbon) – hence competitive advantage to home production, also deters investment in capital intensive industry.
      6) Labour market is mispriced due to low income immigration, minimum wage and benefits, and public sector being both under and over priced. Removing minimum wage and benefits and introducing UBI plus increasing income threshold for immigration would improve, though not fully fix, labour market pricing.
      7) Failure of GCSE English and Mathematics.
      8) Industry, efficient agriculture and military have lost a branding war against wokeism and finance.

  13. Iain gill
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    It’s far worse than that. Lots of our IT is run in foreign datacentres, including lots of critical stuff. Lots of our prime intellectual property is being moved abroad to undercut us, and destroy us financially if not with weapons.
    And so much more.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Someone mentions protectionism above – not a bad approach to supply chains and service provision.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink


      Our rulers are all ‘Arts & Craft’ and don’t do logic.

      • turboterrier
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink



        • turboterrier
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

          Sorry Ian this phone has a mind of it’s own. No idea how the z got there

    • Fred H
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      and what do the National Risk Registers say about possible closure – threat, accident, act of God?
      Datacentres abroad holding UK information.
      Interconnects for electricity.
      Imports of crude oil, coal, LPG.
      Imports of rare earth material.
      Imports of trains, buses, HGV.

      We saw what happened with EU’s Galileo.
      And who reviews, updates and carries direct responsibility for the registers?

      • Iain Gill
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        what was in the risk register about viruses? what were the supposed mitigation? is the way we manage risk fit for purpose?

        • Fred H
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

          we had the need for PPE. Some stock was stored – the best before date ran out for years – then a sticker put over the dates to pretend it would still function safely.
          The authority for that should be put in a court of law to determine if it resulted in wearers dying.

  14. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    We are also woefully dependent for our PPE.

    The rip off merchants were already well accustomed to ripping off the NHS which was never underfunded but simply badly managed. They had all the positioning, systems and connections ready to rake in millions from this crisis without fear of competition.

    I broke this story to you about friends of friends raking in millions long before the tabloids got it. And I also met a drugs supplier celebrating early retirement from this year’s bonanza. If little old me has encountered this twice then surely it must be endemic.

    • agricola
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      I am more distant from it, but it is clear that the NHS is over burdened with ineffective tiers of management in need of a cull and replacement by professionals, not least in purchasing.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        a wonderful succinct summary of the NHS ills!

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Dr Clare Craig: “We Are In A False Positive Pseudo-Epidemic” is surely exactly right.

    It seems clear that lots of the Covid labelled deaths are not real Covid deaths. From lockdownsceptics.org. Interesting large variations in Covid/Non Covid deaths at weekends or weekdays for example in Scotland.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      From BMJ re COVID

      “When good science is suppressed by the medical-political complex, people die”

      “Politicians and governments are suppressing science. They do so in the public interest, they say, to accelerate availability of diagnostics and treatments. They do so to support innovation, to bring products to market at unprecedented speed. Both of these reasons are partly plausible; the greatest deceptions are founded in a grain of truth. But the underlying behaviour is troubling.

      Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health.1 Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science.”

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        Much truth in this – both on Covid, Climate Alarmism and many other red tape & regulations.

    • zorro
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Indeed, as has been clear for some time. There are no excess deaths now, only in March/April. Thankfully, the lateral tests in Liverpool have given some insight into the issue with the community-based PCR testing which is driving the casedemic.

      The positive rate for the lateral tests in Liverpool is around 0.7%!! Hello!

      We need to urgently use the lateral tests on staff in hospitals and patients too who have supposedly tested PCR positive and that should reveal the truth of the matter.

      What percentage of patients enter the hospital as PCR positive, and how many new entrants test positive after arrival in the hospital? This is why the death figures are higher because people in hospital with illnesses do actually die.


    • Stred
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Dr Yeadon has also confirmed this. The overall average is a bit up and the small increase in the deaths for other diseases is covered by the diagnosis in hospital and homes of covid. The number of heart, cancer, stroke and diabetes patients who are dying after receiving little treatment since March is matched by the greater part of the increase of deaths with Covid on the certificate. This, he thinks, is not a deliberate cover up but a mistake.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        I suspect he is exactly right.

    • DavidJ
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      +1 The evidence is emerging although too many cry “conspiracy theory” to shut down any sensible debate.

    • Richard
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      +1 Totally agree.

  16. Andy
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    The continent is too reliant on Russian gas. It’s almost as though we should generate our own (green) power.

    On this matter the blonde oaf’s green policies are welcomed – albeit it massively unambitious. Sales of new petrol and diesel cars should be banned from 2025 – with nearly all phased out by 2035.

    Long term interest free loans should be offered to homeowners to buy insulation, triple glazing, solar panels, heat pumps etc.

    Electric cars should be subsidised and free from VAT. And infrastructure for walking, cycling, scooting etc improved.

    Meat should be highly taxed. We want people eating much less of it. And there should be punitive punishments on business which continue to pollute or create needlessly wasteful packaging. None of this is rocket science.

    As for national security threats – there is none greater than the Tufton Street elite. We should be wary.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Indeed, none of that is rocket science. Most of it is not practical in terms of timescale. Hybrids are a perfectly acceptable and practical stepping stone. Cars being all electric is a pipe dream. Where is the generating capacity coming from? Where is the charging infrastructure for people in terraces or flats with no gardens?

      • Andy
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        It is absolutely practical in terms of timescale – if the political will exists to make it happen.

        For a start petrol cars are not being banned from 2030 – just new petrol cars. So most of our fleet will still be petrol or diesel for some years beyond that. Between 2 and 3 million vehicles are sold each year
        – and there are about 40 million cars on our roads. So by 2030 we probably need to have capacity for somewhere around 5m electric cars on our roads.

        You correctly identify charging infrastructure as a problem. But this is not beyond the wit of man. Presumably everyone who has a car currently has somewhere to park it. And where we need to get is to a place where many of those spaces have charging infrastructure attached to them. We already have street lights and traffic lights – and power cables under the roads. Putting in a bunch of plugs is really not that hard.

        How about this. Rather than private companies making money from selling fuel – maybe government and councils could? They put in the infrastructure and motorists pay to charge. Your money could go to making local services better rather than to buy the boss of Shell another mansion.

    • SM
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Where will all the necessary copper and lithium and metal and uranium etc be sourced from?

      How green is all the concrete needed for windmills?

      How will the land be fertilised for all that vegan foodstuff when there are no domesticated animals to provide the manure for the soil leached of nutrients by growing soya in bulk?

      How many UK homes have the sufficient space to install ground source heat pumps? Air source heat pumps are bulky, noisy and produce insufficient heat to cope with UK winters.

      How will sufficient electric power be produced in time for 2025, and have the infrastructure in place to distribute it? How will medical facilities deal with outages?

      • turboterrier
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink


        You are doing it again. Talking with common sense. Well done . Pity that very few of our politicians are interested enough to listen.

    • Ginty
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Says he with lots of money and a drive to charge his car on.

      OK. Marxism it is then. And we want all your wealth.

    • IanT
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Whether you accept Maslow’s theories or not Andy – how important do you think a Green Agenda will be to people when the economy collapses, inflation surges and the money runs out?

      We are seeing yet more money printing, asset inflation and huge trade deficits. You want us to jump off a green cliff, whilst other nations keep pumping out carbon and shipping their products to us – making all of us poorer in the process.

      Even if the Road Runner is electrically powered & carbon neutral – he will still eventually realise he’s run out of road and there’s nothing under him. It will be long way down too.

      • Andy
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Brexit. The biggest unnecessary act of economic self harm in history.

        Please don’t pretend you care about the economy. None of you do.

        • IanT
          Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

          We had a £95 Billion deficit with the EU last year Andy.

          You keep on about how we “need” the EU’s business but cannot seem to understand the damage this does to us over the longer term. How do you think that difference in trade is being paid for?

    • beresford
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Andy is right, we need people eating less meat. When our post-Brexit fish bonanza arrives we will be able to eat cheaper and healthier instead.

      • gregory martin
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        Absolute nonsense.
        The country needs to produce all its own meat to the high standards now in force. It needs to produce from a permanent pasture system on regenerative principles. This will not only secure and sequester much carbon , at a faster and more permanent rate than by planting upteen million useless trees, it will enable proper balanced nutrition to deprived and other sections of our community. This will have the further benefit of reducing the destruction of rain forest in Brazil and elsewhere, being destroyed to produce unneccessary soya, GM maize and palm oil. The nonsense proprogated about methane from a sustained population of livestock causing global warming is the most extreme of nonsense, without any substance and beyond any scientific evidence. The Carbon cycle is fundamental to our very existence, and should be universally understood. It is our destiny.
        ‘Dust to dust’ etc.
        Better to source our proteins locally, ensure that state procurement, for schools, hospitals, armed forces etc is exclusively from home production and that only British standards produced meat is available for public consumption, when available.

    • Peter
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      But highly taxing meat will make it for the elite.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      For anyone who can’t be bothered it’s an excellent article by Bjorn Lomberg pointing out the inanity of banning petrol and diesel cars, and pointing out that:-

      1. Electric cars require subsidies of approx their entire value over their lifetime to be viable. Currently almost all these subsidies go to rich people who also have a fossil fuel car
      2. The saving of CO2 emissions is minimal. Eg it takes 25% of the lifetime CO2 emissions of a fossil fuel car just to make an electric battery (in China)
      3. If the whole world – at massive cost – followed the Johnson / Biden policy and we got to 140 million electric cars by 2030, the reduction in emissions of CO2 would be 0.4%

      Challenge the numbers if you can

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      One interesting idea Boris has is small scale local nuclear plants, but as you don’t even want new homes for lower-class people in your area I assume you’ll not be wanting one of those either ?

      • Andy
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        I don’t object to building new homes in my area. New nuclear is pointless. It is extortionately expensive, it creates a massive environmental headache for our children and it is unnecessarily dangerous. There have not been many Chernobyl’s or Fukushima’s. But the danger is real. Whereas the chance of a solar panel or wind farm causing mass harm is zero.

        • Edward
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

          Buy a portable generator.
          If your policies are followed you will need one in a few years.

        • IanT
          Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

          Coal fired power stations are perfectly safe Andy. They work in all weathers and at night. The Chinese seem to love them – they are certainly still building them. So take your pick – you will need one or the other to keep the lights on.

    • DavidJ
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Seems like you would be more at home in a totalitarian state Andy. Not what most of us would want or tolerate.

      • Andy
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        It is you people like you who objects to political opposition, who calls people who you disagree with traitors , who rejects expertise and who go against the will of the people. It is just a small step from where you are to book burning.

        • Fred H
          Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          go against the will of the people? – oh the irony Andy!

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Your diatribe is just silly – I haven’t seen anything as technically illiterate and authoritarian since I looked at the Green party’s manifesto a year ago.

  17. Sakara Gold
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    From the ONS -the United Kingdom imported $690B worth of goods from around the globe in 2019. That metric reflects a 9.4% increase since 2015 and a 3% uptick from 2018 to 2019.

    Given the UK’s population of 67m people, the total $690B in 2019 imports translates to roughly $10,300 in yearly product demand from every person living in the United Kingdom.

    If we have any entrepreneurs left in the UK, the following is a breakdown of goods (not electricity) imported in 2019;

    1 Gems, precious metals: US$88.3 billion (12.8% of total imports)
    2 Machinery including computers: $84.7 billion (12.3%)
    3 Vehicles : $73.5 billion (10.7%)
    4 Electrical machinery, equipment: $63.9 billion (9.3%)
    5 Mineral fuels including oil: $56.2 billion (8.1%)
    6 Pharmaceuticals: $28 billion (4.1%)
    7 Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $19.1 billion (2.8%)
    8 Plastics, plastic articles: $18.8 billion (2.7%)
    9 Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: $11.9 billion (1.7%)
    10 Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $11.7 billion (1.7%)

    We once had a strong export performance in nearly all these categories. To regain these markets would require domestic investment on an unprecedented scale – not only in plant and tooling, but also worker skills.

  18. ian@Barkham
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    There is both National Security and National Interest and they do converge

    Most of us that visit your Blog are still amazed at the naivety of this government with respect to the purchase of ARM. It has damaged both UK security and interests. Then of course the damaging stealing of SSTL that has left the UK vulnerable and excluded by our so-called friends in the EU. Both will take years to replace as they will have to be replaced and of course be very expensive to play catch up.

    One simple rule on any foreign purchase, does the purchasing company’s own Country or own rules permit the UK to buy that company! If the answer is no then the sale should be refused.

  19. fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    So Barnier is threatening to cut our power supplies from Europe? That’s a friendly gesture if ever I saw one. What a time for Boris to be saying no sales of new petrol or diesel by 2030. Has he even thought about where our energy security is going to come from? As usual governments have left the issue of energy too late and relied on others to supply it. Why are we even around the table with Brussels for talks? They obviously want us to fail.

  20. fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Just read this in Microsoft News.
    he prime minister said: “Our green industrial revolution will be powered by the wind turbines of Scotland and the North East,

    What happens when Scotland goes independent as they surely will eventually? Will it be a case of another supplier of energy threatening to cut us off after UK taxpayers money has paid for this lot of junk?

    • turboterrier
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      F U S
      Junk? Its crap nothing more nothing less
      On the 6pm news £15k for ground source heat pumps. Central heating design is based on the steady state heat loss of the property. Great in designer low energy new build. Existing gas systems were usually designed on SSL at -1C with a two hour air change rate. The radiators were sized on a Delta T of 76.5 which is the temperature difference between the flow and return temperatures.. if they are getting heat out of the ground at say 35 degrees C you still need electricity to meet the outlet temperatures of the existing radiators then add the hot water load and you are still burning a hell of a lot of electricity just to stand still. That is why on the Scottish Islands there was a very god living to be made out of replacing ground and air source heat pumps with a good old high efficiency kerosene boiler. Lovely jDel boy would say.ubbly as old Del would say. Enjoyed sending out the final invoices every time I heard a politician keep on about green energy. People could not afford to pay their electric Bill’s. The next bubbly jobs are replacing bio mass wood chip boilers. As the cost of running them is not worth all the hassle of keeping them running. Thank you all the politicians who have not got a clue with what they are doing..

  21. BJC
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I don’t believe that strategic thinking on any level is considered a necessity for our parliamentarians, Sir John. Do you really think the Tories would hold a majority if the electorate (remember them?) thought their beloved car would be banned and costly, ineffective green policies were going to be introduced a few years down the line? Has the PM completely lost his marbles?

    Well, I’m forced to live with the “strategic chaos” of a Green MP and council’s “industrial revolution” that’s only attractive to the students they target, e.g. hand-weeding the streets in the name of biodiversity, leaving weeds to grow abundantly to destroy said streets. Of course, having inflicted their ideology on us, most students subsequently return to their home towns to live a normal life where common sense prevails. I suggest the PM visits our ghetto of a city to witness the filth of “green”, instead of listening to ideological guff.

    • turboterrier
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink


      Lost marbles? That is if he had any in the first place. Methinks along with a lot of others Princess Nut Nut is pulling his strings

  22. They Work for Us?
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    It is every citizens duty to demand a binding referendum on decarbonisation now. There is no electoral mandate for decarbonisation and it is proposed that we be subjected to great expense and inconvenience without a proper say so.
    The Conservative Party is seeking electoral oblivion with its virtue signalling green revolution, we must not disappoint them.

  23. ian@Barkham
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    CO2 is not the enemy.

    Pollution, carbon monoxide, energy shortage, over-population, egotistical governments – are all higher up the list.

    You could reason that most of the problems faced in the UK (besides inept government’s) relate to a population explosion. Population that is not growing organically needs massive resources to fund. Funds we no longer have and as each day goes past no longer have the ability to generate. This government keeps removing the ability for any of us to respond all in the name of ‘Control’

    We keep getting government’s that out of Ego, WOKE-ness, being on MsM message with the ‘Cancel Culture’ that fall into the trap of resigning a whole population to poverty while lining their own personal nests.

    Are we all in this together? Take a look at the deeds and action of those in controlling positions and the answer is NO.

  24. Mark Leigh
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I was thinking about the question posed in the post during the Tata steel travails over a year ago.

    At that time (and I guess still…) we ran the real possibility of losing our remaining raw steel production capacity.

    To claim to be the 5th largest economy, and a major military contributor to NATO, to be without the ability to make steel seemed bonkers to me……

  25. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    What a complicated mess our Politicians have got our Country in.
    We are now banning perfectly efficient petrol and diesel sales of cars in 2030, yet we have not got the power generation supply to take its place.
    Are they also going to ban the sale of existing second hand vehicles after that date as well John.

    One thing is certain if you own a garage supplying fuel your business will start to stagnate before 2030.
    People will gradually need to drive further to fill up as fuel stations close, (very green) then we have the risk that people will start storing fuel at home, just in case (not very safe)
    Guarantee it will happen, not everyone can afford to replace their older vehicles with a new or even knackered battery second hand electric vehicle, so will try and run what they have for longer.

    No point in purchasing a hybrid now as its range is very, very limited, and you will not be able to get the fuel to run the main diesel or petrol engine.
    The only hope is that battery technology improves massively, but then where do the raw materials come from for their manufacture, which unstable Countries will then gain world wide power, given the location and scarcity of the raw materials !

    Not really been thought through properly has it !

  26. Bryan Harris
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    A good set of informed consideration.

    National security must include anything that supports our survival as well as our day to day activities……

    If a lack of something causes us pain then that should be protected against being sold of

  27. Iain Moore
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Comrade Johnson’s edict in his new 10 year pan to ban us buying new petrol or diesel cars is being made because the replacement is more expensive . If they were cheaper, make travel more accessible, it wouldn’t require an edict from our green enlightened one. we would make the market choice ourselves. He is making it law because he intends to impoverish us. Mrs Thatcher must be turning in her grave at having a green totalitarian , who denies us choice , running the Conservative party.

  28. ian@Barkham
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Reading what appears to be Government pronouncements in today MsM. The sale of internal combustion engine to be banned by 2030.

    The alternative? It doesn’t yet exist. This is coupled with concept of generating more electricity to charge storage batteries. On current announcements we will barely generate enough power to warm our homes in winter in 2030. A woefully inadequate bit of chest beating.

    Where there may have been some semblance of an alternative the government has permitted the sale to foreign owners. As we know foreign owners do not contribute to the UK Exchequer, they are there to extract the health, wealth and security and remove it to their domiciled country. The UK tax system penalises UK wealth producers while rewarding those that extract the UK’s wealth and use it to finance other domains .

    As usual we get Government headlining grabbing pronouncements to try and make believe they(the Government) have a purpose a reason. When all it is pandering to personal ill-thought through ‘egos’

  29. ukretired123
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    robot Andy Cut & paste from last week. Rotten tomatoes …
    The subject changed but you haven’t stuck in a rut 2016.

  30. SecretPeople
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    >I urged Ministers to develop policies that encourage more UK investors to invest in our future

    Quite right. All government and commentators seem to talk about is ‘inward investment’, thus exporting profit (again). Completely agree that security encompasses food and energy supply – as well as passport and ID card production and so many other considerations.

  31. ukretired123
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    We should encourage the public sector to buy more of our own basics first and develop a policy to enforce it.

  32. Stred
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    If the UK is to be dependent on thousands of windmills in the sea with cables on the seabed and imported gas arriving through undersea pipelines and tankers, the country will have no defence against a well armed external enemy. Even today, with coal generation and production closed and fracking banned, we could not survive more than a few months. The enemy is within.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink


  33. Ginty
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    We were told that the first lockdown was to save the NHS from collapse.

    But it DID collapse !

    Output reduced by nearly 50%.

    Would it have been any worse following Sweden ???

  34. glen cullen
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    We do have a national security problem – it’s the collapse of the automotive manufacturing in the UK in 2030 and the resultant unemployment of millions of associated jobs

    To overt a national security I will be voting in the 2025 general election for any party other than the conservatives

    And every single MP in the conservative party is to blame for complicity and allowing this to happen

    • turboterrier
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      F U S
      Junk? Its crap nothing more nothing less
      On the 6pm news £15k for ground source heat pumps. Central heating design is based on the steady state heat loss of the property. Great in designer low energy new build. Existing gas systems were usually designed on SSL at -1C with a two hour air change rate. The radiators were sized on a Delta T of 76.5 which is the temperature difference between the flow and return temperatures.. if they are getting heat out of the ground at say 35 degrees C you still need electricity to meet the outlet temperatures of the existing radiators then add the hot water load and you are still burning a hell of a lot of electricity just to stand still. That is why on the Scottish Islands there was a very god living to be made out of replacing ground and air source heat pumps with a good old high efficiency kerosene boiler. Lovely jDel boy would say.ubbly as old Del would say. Enjoyed sending out the final invoices every time I heard a politician keep on about green energy. People could not afford to pay their electric Bill’s. The next bubbly jobs are replacing bio mass wood chip boilers. As the cost of running them is not worth all the hassle of keeping them running. Thank you all the politicians who have not got a clue with what they are doing..

    • turboterrier
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      glen cullen

      Absolutely spot on. Very few politicians are listening let alone understanding the outcome of their actions.

  35. Everhopeful
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I would tend to define National Security as that thing successive governments have gradually and covertly done away with.
    As in scarcely having an army for example.
    As in deciding to pool our defence resources with a foreign power.
    And let us dispense with any fantasies of growing much of our own food so that we have security there! The ag policies apparently in the pipeline are more to do with giving over land to butterflies and hedgehogs. And probably lynx too.
    I would bet that Boris’s “science” team is working, as I type, on dinosaur DNA clones with which to bedeck our countryside.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink


  36. agricola
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Interesting questions. On the one hand we wish to encourage investment from overseas but in certain strategic areas like power and defence we need to be much more inward looking. It would be far too rash to be dependant on EU sources for power generation. If I am to believe what I read the EU have already tried to use power supply as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations. A reversion to home grown power would be a welcome trend. In defence you only trust those you have a lengthy track record with, the USA comes to mind, but with a few caveats. Our relationship with them in WW2 cost us dearly, the details of which are public knowledge.

    Then for me there are no go areas in terms of financial involvement , technical involvement and physical presence here in the UK. Restaurants apart, I would apply that rule to China. In fact I would give support to those currently being threatened by China. India is the modern day Nepal. For me the jury is still out on the origins and motivations behind the arrival of Covid 19. China should not benefit from the effect it has had on the civilized world.

    With the above in mind, a truly entrepreneurial government can lay the ground bait, taxation wise and free port wise for an explosion of endeavour post 1st January 2021.

  37. The Prangwizard
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    The question in the second paragraph is of concern; it demonstrates weakness and lack of resolve. The view should be that all foreign takeovers should be discouraged and deterred. Courage is needed.

    If has been demonstrated beyond doubt that previous decades of laxity and generosity have resulted in our country being bled dry; determined and urgent action to turn things round is vital. Compromise and appeasement of foreign interests must stop. We must keep what we have left and grow new to keep.

  38. rb
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    No mention of Chinese nuclear reactors in Essex?

  39. Newmania
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Ok people you got that m the fact your food is expensive and bad is a good thing because we are not depending on anyone to supply it.
    Yay… back to bacon that tastes of fish , bread like Polyfilla and the rest of the miserable expensive fare forced down our throats before we started to import nice cheap things .
    It just gets better.

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, Well, whatever you are saying may go down well in Remain circles where it triggers the Remain view of Leaves, but real Leaves know it’s literally nonsense. Joining the EU (EEC) heralded much more expensive food, much less fish, watery bacon, and bread shortages.

  40. Original Chris
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Trump: ‘A Pillar of National Security Is Economic Security and Trade’ ·

    • acorn
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      OC, try not to mention “Trump” on this site. He has turned out to be yet another embarrassing losing bet for Redwoodian brexiteers. Remember, they told us we were “holding all the cards”. Unfortunately, they have never worked out which politicians were actually holding all the twenty first century approved brain cells.

      • NickC
        Posted November 19, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Acorn, Unlike Remains and many on the left, we Leaves do not make politicians into idols. Far from it – we expect democratic votes to be honoured. So if Trump does get voted out (not certain yet), then so be it.

        As for “the cards” we threw them away, as you wanted us to do. It was people like me who said we should give 12 months diplomatic notice and just Leave (so exiting in July 2017). But you didn’t want that either.

  41. beresford
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Apparently an Australian senator brought a motion before their Parliament saying that Australia would not participate in the ‘Great Reset’ and would therefore not be represented in future WEF meetings, but it was rejected by ALL the other members. Did they think they were representing the wishes of their constituents or does this show how far corruption has spread through the ruling elites? It would be interesting to see how such a motion fared in our HOC, presumably it would be rejected despite support from JR and other traditional Conservatives but it would be a useful exercise in smoking out those who are trying to impose this agenda without any discussion or democratic consultation.

  42. Original Chris
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    PRESIDENT TRUMP: ‘Economic Security Is National Security’
    ‘Economic vitality, growth, prosperity at home is absolutely necessary for American power and influence abroad’

    The UK government could learn so many lessons from President Trump with regard to this issue about economic security, instead of giving away control of key industries to China, for example. Note also the drive to cutting regulation in order to help restore economic prosperity. Two excerpts from key address by P Trump:


    TRUMP: “The second pillar of our strategy is to promote American prosperity. For the first time, American strategy recognizes that economic security is national security.
    Economic vitality, growth and prosperity at home is absolutely necessary for American power and influence abroad. Any nation that trades away its prosperity for security will end up losing both.
    That is why this national security strategy emphasizes more than ever before the critical steps we must to take to ensure the prosperity of our nation for a long, long time to come. It calls for cutting taxes and rolling back unnecessary regulations. It calls for trade based on the principles of fairness and reciprocity.”

    TRUMP:””My administration has ordered the first-ever complete review of the manufacturing technology and supply chains we need to protect our country. We cannot have national security without economic security.
    To further unleash American enterprise, we’ve taken unprecedented steps to remove job killing regulations that sap the energy, creativity, and dynamism from our country. We are cutting regulations at a pace that has never even been thought of before. Not even thought of.
    This is a groundbreaking campaign and it involves every department and agency across our government. We are requiring every federal manager to systematically review, and then remove, the regulations that destroy your jobs, hamstring your companies, and undermine your ability to compete.
    We need some regulations, but we don’t need 35 regulations to take care of one item. We don’t need to go through nine different agencies to get something taken off.”

  43. Bootsy
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Where is the money coming from Andy, we old fogies do not do loans. Thats why we are comfortable. Nothing in this world is for free , you have to work for what you need.
    Your theory Is totally flawed as you are a vegi minority. I ‘ll stick to my way of living, now light the grill for my steak

  44. NickC
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    JR, We are also dependent on imported aluminium and steel, both strategically important materials. And production of both has been hit by the government’s policy of high electricity prices – for example the aluminium plant on Anglesey closed because Wylfa closed and cheap electricity was no longer available.

  45. Jamie
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    A bit late in the day to be discussing possible shortages of food- everyone knows deal of no deal there will be delays at the ports- and we can forget about fresh and JIT

  46. Everhopeful
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I’d love to know how long MPs have known all this whilst dismissing us as conspiracy theorists.

  47. Fred H
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Companies recommended by MPs, peers and ministers’ offices were given priority as the government raced to obtain Personal Protective Equipment, the National Audit Office found. Over half of the £18bn spent on pandemic-related contracts was awarded without competitive tender, it said.
    The spending watchdog said the government was not transparent about suppliers and services. It also found there was inadequate explanation of key spending decisions.
    The findings are part of an NAO investigation into government procurement during the COVID-19 pandemic. The watchdog found not enough was done to address potential conflicts of interest by ministers and other government officials.
    It found more than 8,600 coronavirus contracts had been awarded by 31 July, ranging in value from less than £100 to £410m.
    Of these, £10.5bn-worth were awarded directly without a competitive tender process.

    Should we be surprised?

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      I can’t understand why MPs recommended or where even ask if they knew anybody that could supply PPE – we have a whole department within NHS England full of professionals that only do procurement, they are the specialists….something fishy here

      • Fred H
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        an ocean of ‘fishy’.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      The UK does not belong to the people. The people are just the worker ants to keep the Proletariat in their life style.

      Have you noticed that all the tax incentives for all government initiatives go to the people that could afford the items in the first place, funded by the taxpayer that cant get in the market. Think battery cars, big tax subsidies paid to those that can afford the fall price by those taxpayers that can’t.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 19, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Well Sir John, were you invited to submit contacts for possible contract awards? And did you think it right to join the thousands of suggestions made?

  48. Newmania
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    By the way a better use of your time than finding excuses for Brexit would be to back Mandatory vaccination . This cannot be bodged it must be sorted and anyone so selfish as to feel their supposed Liberty trumps our lives cannot be tolerated .
    It would be like tolerating people who choose to drive on the wrong side of the road and someone like yourself , associated as you are with the worst kind of person is placed to ask , just once , for some common sense and consideration.

    • Paul Cuthbertson
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Mandatory Vaccination NO way, This is part of the Reset programme. Big Brother, we know what is best for you. Wake up.

    • Martyn G
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Mandatory vaccination would be against the Law, some written parts of the Constitution, internationally agreed human rights acts and if so decreed it would be the action of a Dictatorship.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Inducements rather than compulsion should be offered if necessary.

    • SM
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Have you given 10 seconds thought to the precedent that would be set by permitting the State to make vaccination mandatory?

      “Hallo, I’m a Government-employed doctor and we have judged that you should no longer be able bear or propagate children, snip snip.”

      “Hallo, I’m a Government-employed doctor and we have judged that as a disabled person you are not economically viable, here’s a nice injection….”

      “Hallo, I’m a Government-employed doctor and we have judged that people of your skin colour/religion/political viewpoint are no longer welcome, here’s a nice injection…”

      It happened in Europe less than a century ago…

      • Fred H
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        ‘Doctor?’ — – whats that?

    • Mark
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      Totalitarianism of your brand cannot be tolerated. Let their be proper proof that the vaccines are low risk. Particularly for those who are more likely to be vulnerable – for the immunocompromised, vaccines can be very high risk indeed. You seem happy to kill them. Educate people as to the benefits and risks, and let them act accordingly.

  49. Richard
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    You make some excellent points today Sir John.

    Turning to our national house arrest scheme, Liverpool has proven the PCR test to be scandalously unreliable:
    “90,000 Liverpudlians have now been tested after one week of mass testing using the lateral flow test and only 336 of them tested positive, i.e. fewer than 0.4%. And, as Dr Clare Craig pointed out, almost all of these will be false positives.” https://lockdownsceptics.org/2020/11/16/latest-news-195/#fewer-than-0-4-of-scousers-have-covid

    The PCR test should now be abandoned. At the very least the no. of cycles should be limited to 30 as several doctors have said. We also need full disclosure of how many cycles each PCR testing centre has used, by month, since March.

    The UK death rate has now edged up to the top of the 5 year band with Lockdown deaths now offsetting the lack of respiratory deaths.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      I don’t understand what our government was trying to achieve by mass testing – surely target testing is the best use of resources, time and money

      Testing isn’t a Cure

      • Mark
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        It seems to be a competition on how much money can be wasted. The unit of measurement is now an HS2’s worth. Along the way, some people inevitably become enriched.

  50. Elli Ron
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Sir Redwood, please keep an eagle eye on the government in regards to Brexit.
    Please don’t allow them to slide and snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory.
    No to fishy fishing, No to ECJ, No to “level playing field”
    You are one of our best hopes of “getting Brexit done” and “Getting back control”.
    Please don’t let them fail us at the last hurdle.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      I rather suspect that is exactly what is going to happen and all the Covid lockdown and can we be released for three days at Christmas is for distraction purposes. We shall see what Queen Carrie decided shortly.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      That ship has sailed – its BRINO

  51. Margaret brandreth-j
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Of course there are many ways to take power none less than putting those hostile to the UK in key positions wit followers. This insidious type of takeover should be recognised foe what it is and not cloaked in equal opportunities.

    You and margaret Thatcher were condemned for the pit closures John but quite frankly after the rudeness ,lies and manipulation we have been at the end of these last few weeks , I feel many GP surgeries should be closed until the NHS is appreciated and is not misused for minor problems which we as Brits would have managed at home by ourselves.These British Values ( which many cannot seem to distinguish) were respect for individual and public services , truth telling and eyes not set on the way to make money at all costs.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      GPs don’t operate out of their former surgeries. Working from home – who needs to actually see a patient? Bring on the dial-up robot to ask questions and end up diagnosing your condition.
      They should be renamed Nurse Surgeries, where actual face to face and treatment happens.

  52. Graham Wheatley
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I think we trace this back to one basic mistake in our past – over-reliance on ‘services’, (particularly in the financial sector) at the expense of manufacturing industry and agriculture.

    How many wholly owned (or even majority holding) leading UK companies are there now?

  53. Paul Cuthbertson
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I would rather we buy Russian gas than use Chines money to fund projects.
    How nuch are we indebted to China for Hinkley Point and other large projects?

  54. forthurst
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Selling off our industrial heritage obviously helps the Current Account to balance in the short term but has the opposite effect in the long term. It is not clear how there is a direct motive connection to this process other than that ministers are short term thinkers and are unworried about the long term consequences of their actions and inactions and that our currency being weakened by the prior failure of government ministers to protect our heritage makes acquisitions cheaper for foreigners whose governments do protect their industrial heritage.

    Some time ago Warren East, an Engineering graduate from Oxford rather than a Politics (PPE) graduate stated that the acquisitions of start-ups frequently took place because initial backers wanted to capitalise on their investments and move on, but investors to replace them and fund a further capital expansion were not forthcoming; ARM Holdings itself had great difficulty, initially, in obtaining funding. Technology companies need a lot of funding for R&D before they are able to launch a marketable product and have the potential to pay dividends. Government Ministers must try to understand what is going on which affects our future potential as a putative secure and prosperous first world nation rather worry only about whether we still have the wherewithal to threaten and beat up third world countries because their backers would like it.

  55. Iago
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    This is not so tenuously connected with our security. I would like the government to have a view on the Armenia – Azerbaijan conflict, where there is once again the possibility of a massacre, if not a genocide, of the Christian Armenians in the immediate future. Turkey is involved. The situation is reminiscent of 2015 in Iraq when the Yazidis and Christians were massacred. The Western governments then chose to do little for a long time and to ignore the fate of the Christians.

  56. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    The latest idea for filling the energy gap is mini nuclear power stations, which it is claimed will be cheap and easy to construct from standard components. Let us hope so. I don’t want us to be too dependent on off-shore wind farms, which have high distribution costs. And I have yet to see any analysis showing that tidal power is cheap; if only it were.

    Just on a point of information, what domestic sources of gas do we have now that fracking has been effectively outlawed?

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Lots of wells in the southern north sea gas basin…… and we buy a lot from The Norwegians via the Sleipner pipeline.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      These are manufactured by Rolls Royce who have been producing them for the UK submarine fleet for years

  57. gregory martin
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    So we are to pay to build a village to test the efficiency of hydrogen, no doubt in time to be twinned with a village in Saxony-Anhalt



    • ian@Barkham
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      It has been working for Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police for many years now. The producers of the revised London double decker intend to produce hydrogen only versions

  58. ian@Barkham
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Gordon Brown, remember him. Desperate ego needing money, sold the UK big infrastructure Nuclear Power Constructors to Toshiba as the UK would never need Nuclear Power Generators.

  59. Mark
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Readers may be interested to see where we import our gas from, so I charted the data since 2000.


    Norway still dominates our supply, but the fall of production in the Netherlands as they move to shut in the Groningen field means that more Norwegian production is being diverted to make up the shortfall. We are starting to import more LNG again, though still some way short of the large quantities we bought from Qatar nearly a decade ago, with supply competition from the USA and Russia. The Biden presidency might remove the US export surplus. Russia is still looking to expand its markets, with China viewed as an important opportunity.

  60. ian@Barkham
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    From Conservative Woman

    Lord Lawson criticises Prime Minister Johnson for being ‘economically illiterate’
    Date: 18/11/20

    In a statement on Boris Johnson’s plans for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution,’ Lord Lawson, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

    If the Government were trying to damage the economy they couldn’t be doing it better.

    Moreover, the job creation mantra is economically illiterate. A programme to erect statues of Boris in every town and village in the land would also ‘create jobs’ but that doesn’t make it a sensible thing to do.”

    Boris’s “Green Industrial Revolution” is Economic Lockdown, for ever…

    Date: 18/11/20
    Global Warming Policy Forum

    The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) today described the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ as shallow gesture politics, but a gesture with severely negative economic implications from day one into the foreseeable future.
    And we know that this will happen because all previous attempts to create a viable green economy have failed.

    In March 2009, the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced his Labour government’s ‘industrial strategy,’ a term the Conservatives have also adopted, promising to create 400,000 jobs. Brown’s words are strangely reminiscent of today’s announcement:

  61. Ian
    Posted November 20, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    It is as Lord Lawson says, they are killing this Nation on all fronts, they will continue to bring in endless thousands of un wonted people and all there relatives we will be striped of everything.
    Will the 1922 committee continue To sit on there hands ?

  • 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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