Experts often get it wrong

The idea of democratic politics is to elect Ministers who can draw on the best possible expert advice, but then apply commonsense and judgement to it to fashion acceptable policy. Always Ministers have to balance advice on topic A against advice on topics B and C because government is rarely allowed one single simple objective. In the world of the pandemic Ministers need policies that control deaths from non covid as well as from covid, and allow the country to produce food and energy so we do not freeze or starve. They need to balance a range of needs and aims. They also often have to adjudicate between conflicting expert advice. They should not just take the official advice from government advisers if there is a danger it is wrong.

We see these tensions at play with the official advisers on covid understandably wishing to lock everything down as much as possible  as their sole aim is to eliminate the disease and only by stopping all contacts between people could you guarantee to do so this. I also note these experts  honestly tell us they do  not yet know how far and fast Omicron will spread nor how serious an illness it might induce. That does not stop them putting out estimates of a surge in cases and possibly in serious cases too to try to bias the decisions of a government trying to find an appropriate balanced response.

I see the dangers of relying on expert opinion more obviously in the world of economic policy, where the OBR/Treasury  and Bank of England have been spectacularly wrong about many things in recent years. It is easier for me to criticise as I did offer alternative forecasts and policy advice at the time. They disastrously forced through membership of the European Exchange rate Mechanism causing a savage boom/bust. They failed to control excess credit in the banking bubble of 2005-7 and then decided to bring the banking system to collapse by over correction in a hurry. After rightly offering substantial stimulus and low interest rates to offset some of the damage of the first general pandemic lockdown, they more recently have misread the inflationary pressures and then decided to sandbag the economy just when the next wave of the virus is slowing things down anyway.

The Chancellor needs to break free from the tyranny of the OBR debt and deficit austerity economics, and set about promoting growth and removing supply bottlenecks by helping boost capacities at home. I will tomorrow set out a package of measures he could announce that would start to tackle the looming cost of living crisis and the slowdown induced by too many tax rises to come.

247 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    December 19, 2021

    They do indeed. Often they suffer from group think, vested financial interests such as research grants, shares, or just cannot see the whole wood for the trees or even just pure and blatant corruption.

    The honest, independent and prepared to speak out in public scientists tend to be mainly retired I find. See Covid the expensive unreliable net zero insanity and all the magic money tree economists.

    1. Peter
      December 19, 2021

      Maybe the experts are there to justify a particular course of action rather than offer advice? One noted health expert has a dreadful track record going back to the foot and mouth crisis.

      Boris Johnson will be lobbied by large and powerful interest groups. If there is a plausible course of action that suits them and benefits Johnson personally he is the sort of individual that would take it.

  2. lifelogic
    December 19, 2021

    Good of the London Transport unions to run a reduced service yesterday. I have to get a CV test to fly to Italy. So about 40 mins crammed on packed trains on the Jubilee Line. Piccadilly line was shut. Clearly more chance of catching covid than any benefit from the test.

    Well done RMT and the dire Mayor of London for this “lets pack them in to catch covid agenda”. The tube was at least twice as packed as the aircraft will be so why a test for one but not the other?

    1. Nig l
      December 19, 2021

      Spot on. Skiing I guess. I love Livjgno. And the aircraft will have state of the art air purifying systems. Earlier in the year I was forced to isolate for 10 days and the ‘stasi’ phoned me daily to check that I hadn’t even been to a local shop.

      I was, however allowed out twice to be tested and that involved two crowded trains to and from Gatwick. Utter unthought through rubbish.

      A friend of mine, normally easy going went on his first ever protest march yesterday. That is how angry people are getting.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 19, 2021

        Skiing yes.

        1. Andy
          December 19, 2021

          How Metropolitan liberal elite of you.

          1. Richard1
            December 19, 2021

            You forget that downhill skiing as a sport was invented in Switzerland, which has never been in the EU.

    2. Peter
      December 19, 2021

      Lifelogic,

      There are frequently reduced services on trains at the weekend. Most travellers are aware of this and plan accordingly.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 19, 2021

        Plan accordingly how exactly?

        Today the dire Mayor talks of a Covid emergency in London. Well reduced levels of tubes all running packed full will certainly help with that Khan.

        1. Peter
          December 19, 2021

          Lifelogic,

          To state the bleeding obvious:-

          1.Choose a different route.

          2.Drive.

          3.Don’t travel on that day.

          4.Find somewhere closer to home that offers the service you require.

          5 Etc. Etc.

          Seasoned travellers won’t care about your minor inconvenience. Their thoughts will be with the poor souls that still have to use trains and tubes on a daily basis and cannot work from home.

          1. Your comment is awaiting moderation
            December 19, 2021

            @Peter
            2. The mayor doesn’t want people driving into London
            5. etc. etc.

            Lifelogic exposes a some of the illogical and nonsensical hypocrisy of the Covid Establishment. If they were serious about dealing with the virus we would be having public discussions about all possible therapies and strategies, not just “vaccine”, masks and lockdowns. I don’t know why the “experts” think that someone with acquired natural immunity would need mRNA with it’s attendant risks – it’s all rather suspicious.

          2. LIFELOGIC
            December 19, 2021

            My wife organised it but that seemed the best option given the timings and other constraints.

          3. a-tracy
            December 20, 2021

            Peter, this isn’t as easy as it sounds in London, people have done away with their cars many buildings no longer have parking spaces only the social housing seems to have adequate parking.

            We had a funeral on Friday a train to Kent was just cancelled, the next one an hour later would be too late for the service, the taxi quote £70, we drove down the M6/M40/M25 anticlockwise (which was all quite free-flowing – M6 and M42 slowed down to 60mph a near-empty motorway – smart!!? We took a detour to meet at Dartford the M25 was hammered, taxi then only £25.
            1. no alternate train route that would get to the funeral on time,
            2. no car as he lives in London and relies on public transport, no parking space,
            3. no choice but to travel on that day,
            4. n/a
            5. etc. etc. nothing, if we hadn’t been early using our own car our son would only have been able to attend his own grandad’s funeral by paying £70 for a taxi to the crematorium, (this isn’t fair to those on low incomes).

            This government wants more people out of cars and relying on public transport, goodness help us all when we are reliant on a small group of workers.

        2. Jim Whitehead
          December 19, 2021

          LL, +1, and contrary to popular usage, ‘Kicking the Khan down the road’ might well become an expression of decisive, salutary, and expeditious action.

    3. Micky Taking
      December 19, 2021

      they do that every Saturday…

    4. No Longer Anonymous
      December 19, 2021

      +1

      Went to a funeral of a dear uncle killed by lockdown (two missed consultations in which cancer would have been spotted.) In the crematorium (Andy’s local) all of us were wearing masks and socially distanced. In the wake we were crowded into a lounge, all of us masks off (including the vicar who held the service.) Everyone who was at the service was at the wake.

      It kept the illogical Karens among us happy though.

      Covid is a Karen’s Charter.

  3. Peter Wood
    December 19, 2021

    Good Morning,

    Question: How to get the chancellor to reverse his proposed tax increases?

    Answer: Dear Mr Sunak, you stand ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE of becoming PM if you are known as a high ‘tax and spend’ socialist leaning minister.

    1. Ian Wragg
      December 19, 2021

      They’ve lost Lord Frost perhaps the only tory in government.
      Will he be replaced by an avid europhile. Watch this space.

      1. Peter Wood
        December 19, 2021

        Why has lord Frost resigned? Is it that Bunter has bottled out on calling for Article 16, or is it the general malaise and incompetence of the PM.
        I’ve been searching for a backable Thatcherite replacement, apart from our host, I haven’t found one, any ideas?

        1. DaveM
          December 19, 2021

          Maybe Lord Frost realised that this was the final kick needed to get things to change? He was moving on anyway so this might be his way of making the inevitable wholesale changes actually happen.

          1. JoolsB
            December 19, 2021

            Can’t see any changes happening whilst Johnson, ie Carrie is in charge.

          2. Peter
            December 19, 2021

            DaveM,
            With so much backsliding on Brexit from Johnson and a failure to implement Article16, Lord Frost might have decided to resign to highlight the issues.

            Johnson would throw Lord Frost under the bus anyway if it suited. Why not beat Johnson at his own game?

        2. Nottingham Lad Himself
          December 19, 2021

          It is the logical impossibility, of what the cranky brexit fringe who are controlling the country demand.

          An infant could see that.

          1. JoolsB
            December 19, 2021

            What, you mean deliver a true Brexit and all the opportunities it offers?. Thank god for those ‘Brexiteers’ in parliament standing up for the 17.4 million who didn’t vote for all the crap your anti democratic remoaner chums in parliament are trying to force on us.

          2. No Longer Anonymous
            December 19, 2021

            NLH – The Brexit fringe aren’t controlling the country and they aren’t a *fringe* – they have won every public vote since 2016.

            Despite several major votes and elections I still find I have to keep quiet about my Brexity-ness and perhaps why you think we’re a fringe… Remainers tend to be very loud and confident people and have always been free to voice their opinion, no-one dare challenge them as they tend to get angry. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, otherwise…

            Do stop telling porkies.

            ————-

            NLH Part II

            I’ll tell you a story…

            Once upon a time there was an NHS. Around the NHS there built communities, factories, high chimneys, industry, railways, pubs, restaurants and – finally – banking…

            Because this fantasy is what your arguments and covid policy are predicated on.

            That bankrupting our economy will Save the NHS.

            On the plus side you have a very real socialist fairy tale (nightmare) being played out and the Tories are going to have to fight the next general election against a backdrop of ruined towns and miserable austerity.

            By then everyone will know that Christmas 2021 was the moment that we were tipped over the edge and for something as weak as a common cold.

            When there is a plague situation people do not need to be told what to do.

          3. Nottingham Lad Himself
            December 19, 2021

            For the millionth time, define your mythical true or “clean brexit”, along with a “pretty disembowelment” and a “neat and tidy chemical works explosion”.

        3. Len Peel
          December 19, 2021

          Frost resigned to avoid having to take responsibility for the mess he has created. Classic Brexiter!

          1. LIFELOGIC
            December 19, 2021

            Hardly he probably found a lack of political will to be sufficiently robust. Also sick of net zero and the vast tax increases it seems.

          2. acorn
            December 19, 2021

            Frosty knows his time being “point-man” for the ERG/CRG, will become more tenuis the nearer we get to the next General Election. He knows that there will come a time where he will look over his shoulder and find all his ERG troops are nowhere to be seen.

            They all will have slithered back into the bosom of the Tory party, to show a united front for the election. The prime directive is; as always, the Conservative Party MUST survive, regardless.

            Naturally, in the election hustings, punters will be told on the doorsteps, the blame for absolutely everything that has gone tits-up with Brexit, will automatically and totally be Frost’s fault.

            BTW. You can get a mere 4 to1 on Lizzy for PM now. Earlier, some of us got on at 8 and 10 to one. Admittedly, she doesn’t look as menacing as Maggie in a Challenger Battle Tank. Alas, she was a “remainer” at the referendum but switched sides to progress her political career. A true Conservative chancer.

        4. Peter from Leeds
          December 19, 2021

          Read his letter (it is on Guido Fawkes) in full. The MSM are selectively reporting it as if he has thrown his toys out of the pram. The real reason is that, with agreement from the PM, the plan was he would leave in January. But someone leaked it, which obviously completely undermines his negotiating position. Therefore he is leaving with immediate effect.

          The big problem the government currently is suffering from is selective leaking from the civil service and spads. Perhaps there is a campaign in certain EU loving parts of the establishment to undermine the PMs position. Drain the swamp?

        5. BW
          December 19, 2021

          If Boris goes and we get a remainer replacement we have been sunk. We will bend over and sign everything the EUSSR wants. Basically we will be in the EU without a say. That’s just where they want us. Just like NI is now. We must not give in to the ECJ involvement in NI. Use Article 16. If the EU want a border on the island of Ireland let them get on with it.
          Good grief. I had such high hopes. All dashed but spineless leadership.

          1. Martyn G
            December 19, 2021

            Not sure it is all down to spineless leadership BW, because I think the partitioning of the UK, which is what has happened over NI, has been deliberate throughout, government perhaps hoping that the people of NI will now, albeit perhaps resentfully, transition towards unification with Eire, since NI now effectively remains within the EU.

          2. Alison
            December 19, 2021

            Yes. Extremely worrying.

        6. Alison
          December 19, 2021

          David Jones MP. Though he probably shares many of Lord Frost’s concerns. The trouble is, the country needs a strong, skilled person at the helm which Lord Frost has left. I do worry that one reason, not flagged in the press, is some people working to undermine his position and negotiations – why on earth was a UK govt spokesman briefing a week last Friday in the way that he did (not just about surrendering the ECJ red line)?

          1. Macnamara
            December 20, 2021

            Martyn G is concerned about UK being partitioned but what about Ireland partitioned for the past one hundred years now- has he nothing to say about this – or is it just a case of looking the other way in true Tory style

        7. Terry Day
          December 19, 2021

          Frost hopes you won’t blame him for how badly Brexit is going. But you should. It’s his deal. He sold out NI, he agreed to red tape, he bungled the whole thing. And the whole thing was approved by the Conservative party.

          1. JoolsB
            December 19, 2021

            Rubbish – his hands were tied by May’s treacherous deal.

          2. Peter2
            December 19, 2021

            So are you happy he has gone or not Terry?

      2. alan jutson
        December 19, 2021

        Ian
        Yes and interesting to hear his reasons for going.
        It is what was not mentioned in his resignation letter which is also a worry.
        Now wait for the further cave in on fishing (almost given up) and Northern Ireland.

        1. BOF
          December 19, 2021

          Yes AJ and previous comments, and then wait for re entry into SM & CU.
          I believe if Bunter is not removed very soon then we will be sunk, along with Brexit.

      3. Nottingham Lad Himself
        December 19, 2021

        Frost is a quitter, like the rest of the europhobes.

        Unsurprisingly, he has quit.

        The European Union have been straight from the start on the other hand. They are not like Frost et al. It seems to be a shock for them to discover that.

        1. matthu
          December 19, 2021

          Remainers lost. Get over it.

          1. Len Peel
            December 19, 2021

            Oh we have. We are sitting back, watching your “win”. Enjoying it? As every single VoteLeave promise crashes and burns?

          2. Richard M
            December 19, 2021

            We all lost. You just need to realise that

          3. Nottingham Lad Himself
            December 19, 2021

            It is not I, who writes repeated articles here, still and forever complaining about the European Union – this isn’t one mind – it is an arch-brexiter, Sir John.

            It would appear to be these, who have some accepting to do, not Remain voters.

            That is, of the awful mess that they have created.

            We fully accept that this is exactly what it is on the other hand.

          4. JoolsB
            December 19, 2021

            They can’t and sadly there’s too many of them still running the country. Johnson has refused to take advantage of all the golden opportunities Brexit offered. That’s why Frost has resigned.

          5. Andy
            December 19, 2021

            So did Brexitists. You just haven’t figured it out yet. Which is why you are in such a mess.

        2. Micky Taking
          December 19, 2021

          more like the opposite ….the fool in 10 just wants to give away and move on to anything that is easier.

        3. No Longer Anonymous
          December 19, 2021

          NLH @ The awful mess Brexiters have created.

          A) Was there really an option to vote Leave in 2016 ?*

          B) If there was then why did the Remain PM resign (our biggest quitter so far) and why was a Remain PM installed to replace him ?

          You’re gaslighting us.

          * I think the 2016 referendum was Cameron’s master plan to see off the ‘bastards’ and to take us deeper into the EU – euro, Shengen, the lot. Turned out that Brexit was mainstream and not a ‘fringe’ as you seem to believe. Whatever. We have not left the EU – as we are being gathered into its flesh.

          1. Nottingham Lad Himself
            December 19, 2021

            You’re doing Identity Politics.

      4. dixie
        December 19, 2021

        I wonder who leaked his planned resignation 12-ish days before it was to happen, and why ..
        Sounds like an attempt to build up a critical pressure of negative events on Boris … Gove? The euphilics in cabinet?

        1. Peter from Leeds
          December 19, 2021

          Yes agreed, though it could be from outside the government.

      5. Donna
        December 19, 2021

        Nigel Farage has already loosed a warning shot across the bows of the CONs.

        1. Everhopeful
          December 19, 2021

          +1
          And The Reform Party is all ready and waiting. Kept low key warm by Tice.
          Some local councillors defecting to it apparently which might be significant?
          I can think of SUCH a good duo to get us out of this…one of them being NF.
          🤔

        2. Jim Whitehead
          December 19, 2021

          Donna, +1, and there’s a name to think about, a man who achieved so much, much more than Johnson, but his advice and co-operation was considered superfluous. Not dissimilar to the position of Sir John Redwood.

      6. Dave Andrews
        December 19, 2021

        I can only see a Europhile replacing him. No one with a Brexit agenda will be able to do the job, without full support from the PM, which isn’t going to come.
        On the other hand, a Europhile will have a purpose – to sell out the UK to every EU demand. I doubt the PM will oppose it, as he has other things on his mind.

      7. Everhopeful
        December 19, 2021

        What would have to happen for there to be a Labour coup and reinstate TB ( an article by Hitchens). What an awful thought but I (hopefully) can’t see how it could happen…unless all the left wing Tories defected….
        Please say it could not…..

      8. Peter
        December 19, 2021

        Ian Wragg,

        Yes Frost is a huge loss. The only prominent Brexit stalwart left.

        I note Brexit is not addressed in detail in his resignation letter. All he says is ‘Brexit is now secure’. This is clearly untrue but I suppose politicians say what suits on occasion.

        No mention of Article 16, yet all the speculation in the last few weeks has been about the government caving in, ECJ oversight, more concessions on fishing, etc.

        He also says Boris has been an ‘outstanding leader’ – not only obviously untrue but a laughable remark.

        Who knows what happens next. I suspect Boris will put someone in place to deliver an NI fudge, probably during the Christmas period when few are paying attention. We have been there before.

        1. Gary Megson
          December 19, 2021

          On the contrary, it is clearly true that Brexit is secure. It happened last year. It’s done, and it can’t be overturned (because the EU don’t want us back). So if you are unhappy now – and you are – you are unhappy with Brexit. Because only now are you starting to understand what trashing free trade with our neighbours really means

          1. Peter
            December 19, 2021

            Gary Megson,

            You are confusing Brexit with Brino.

            Brexit has not been delivered.

        2. Andy
          December 19, 2021

          How is he a huge loss? He’s an idiot who has negotiated the two worst deals in this country’s history. Good riddance to him.

          1. Micky Taking
            December 19, 2021

            perhaps he speaks highly of you, too.

      9. Peter
        December 19, 2021

        Meanwhile, step forward Simon Hoare MP.

        He seems to be the useful idiot extensively featured on Radio 4 in defence of the government. I expect he will do well for himself in any future reshuffles.

        I note he sings the praises of pencil-neck Gavin Barwell and his recent book. Hoare was also a Remainer and managed to upset the people of Northern Ireland and then had to apologise for it. This despite being chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee!

  4. Oldtimer
    December 19, 2021

    What passes for expert opinion is opinion based on a specific set of assumptions derived from a specific set of “What if?” questions. Often it will have a narrow focus and will produce a wide range of potential outcomes or scenarios. Often promoters of expert opinion will quote the worst case scenario to influence public opinion and the decision makers. This is characteristic of much UK public policy making today under the influence of active lobby groups and PR companies with an agenda to promote. It leads to lop sided and often bad policies, laws and regulations.

  5. Mark B
    December 19, 2021

    Good morning.

    We see these tensions at play with the official advisers on covid understandably wishing to lock everything down . . .

    Sir John. Let us back up here a bit. Your leader decided to handover control and abdicate resposibility. He did this when he declared; “We will be led by the science.” ie We will do what these people say. He abondoned the rule that we all know, that advisors advise, and Minister decide. This was an act of both cowardace and sheer lazyness. It also means that the only way to stop this nonsense it to get a leader of the Conservative Party that can actually lead and, to use an old term, ‘take back control’ !

    I also note these experts honestly tell us they do not yet know . . .

    So why listen to them ? In my line of work people ask me my professional opinion on matters. I stake my name a reputation on the answers that I have to give. If I am unsure then I make every effort to find out. These so called experts are currently enjoying power without either responsibility or accountability. This is dangerous !

    . . . looming cost of living crisis and the slowdown induced by too many tax rises to come.

    You have 18 months to turn this around. If you do not do it by then and more damaged is caused because of policies no one voted on, then your party is doomed and many Tory MP’s will be looking for new jobs.

    1. matthu
      December 19, 2021

      Boris needs to appoint credible scientists with an alternative view as advisors. They are not hard to find.

      1. Micky Taking
        December 19, 2021

        we don’t need scientists to form sensible policies that the voting public want, and in general is right.
        The MPs were elected to do just that.
        Stand up and be counted? Not a chance, our host a leader standing apart from the sheep.

  6. J Bush
    December 19, 2021

    Whilst the never-ending illogical and ridiculous rulings are not just wrong but also ruinous for the country health and economy wise, it begs the question. Does Johnson think it is wrong? I suspect not, given he has taken to parroting the WEF “build back better” mantra, as he did at the Tory party conference, the COP26 and other times?

    But don’t despair plebs, you will own nothing and be happy. Reference WEF

  7. Lifelogic
    December 19, 2021

    We should really have expert teams funded to provide balance on issues some sensible lockdown sceptics, climate realists, pro car anti road blocking transport people, small government and anti ERM EURO economists… it would save £ billions.

    1. miami.mode
      December 19, 2021

      The problem with that, LL, is that employees are generally hostage to their paymasters. How many cabinet ministers would willingly give up around £1500 a week and a limo to return to the back benches. It was pointed out that Yvette Cooper recently had to forfeit around £15,000 a year for chairing a committee in order to re-join the Labour front bench.

    2. Richard1
      December 19, 2021

      US style red team blue team exercises should be mandatory on all these major questions

      Lockdown enthusiasts and scientific shroud wavers would be questioned in public by the likes of professors Gupta, Batacharya and others, green zealots by similarly qualified sceptics, the OBR by the likes of Sir John. It would be very instructive.

  8. KarennB
    December 19, 2021

    Or, in short,Brexit and COVID are complete disasters, but you want us to believe it’s everyone’s fault except the Conservative government that’s been in power for over 11 years

    1. dixie
      December 19, 2021

      COVID originated in China, every country has been in desparate circumstances with it, although at least the UK sponsored a rapid development of an effective vaccine which has been made available at little cost to others.
      Brexit isn’t anywhere complete and it took us 40 years to force a change of course from the disaster of joining the EEC/EU in the first place. Come back a whine in 40 years.

  9. Donna
    December 19, 2021

    Gove’s statement “I think the people in this country have had enough of experts with organisations from acronyms saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong” hit the nail firmly on the head.

    But we’ve also had enough of Ministers and MPs who take don’t display any common sense or real-world experience, and instead force idiotic, illogical and impossible policies on “the little people” ….. mainly, it seems, so they can virtue-signal their superiority to us.

    I give 3 examples:

    1. The Climate Change / Net Zero lunacy. The vast majority of people do not support this: they can’t afford the idiotic policies proposed and they don’t believe they will work. Yet we are asked to believe in a lot more than six impossible things ….. just to appease Green Loonies in the Quangocracy and a generation of brainwashed children

    2. The Covid Lunacy, which has destroyed the lives and life-chances of millions. I don’t believe it is supported by the majority; the Government has only managed to maintain an illusion of support by using its friends in the MWM to suppress all dissent and scientific debate which doesn’t conform to their narrative

    3. The Woke Agenda/Cancel Culture. Just one example …. It is not true that a man becomes a woman by simply declaring that he is one. Common sense tells you that, as well as a GCSE in biology. Even if surgery has been performed, that man remains a genetic man and is very likely to be bigger and stronger than most women . Politicians are LYING when they declare that biology no longer exists – and it’s women, often vulnerable ones, who will face increased risks due to Politicians’ LIES.

    There ARE some decent Conservative MPs who demonstrate the ability to challenge The Blob and have both common sense and real-world experience. But they are nearly all on the back benches. With only one or two exceptions (Truss, and Wallace come to mind) this Cabinet is stuffed with incompetent and cowardly careerists, and that includes Sunak.

    Johnson has to go ….. as Lord Frost has clearly signalled. His replacement should not be Sunak.

    1. Nig l
      December 19, 2021

      Where is the normally voluble Gove? Like a snake in his lair quietly waiting for his victim to come to him.

      1. Donna
        December 19, 2021

        Oh yes, Gove is like a nuclear submarine. Silent, but deadly. And never forget that Cummings was Gove’s man, long before he became Johnson’s SpAd.

      2. Micky Taking
        December 19, 2021

        dancing the night away?

        1. Everhopeful
          December 19, 2021

          +1
          With strange exuberance.

          1. Micky Taking
            December 19, 2021

            specially fueled !

    2. Oldtimer
      December 19, 2021

      Agreed

      1. NotA#
        December 19, 2021

        @Donna. +1. Agreed with everything you suggest, although the collective that is Boris’s Cabinet should now be excluded. You can’t be part of the process and then suggest you want power while not wishing to keep following that failing collective path. These ministers have already proved they believe in BJ’s Socialist ideals, daily they have approved them. For the rest of us it’s a Conservative Government we want and need not another fudged ego.

        ‘Say what’s needed to get elected’ then ignore everything once there. All we would get as now a Socialist leader in office with the support of Socialist Labour to stay in office that’s the worst of all world’s

    3. JoolsB
      December 19, 2021

      + 1. . Spot on Donna. Well said.

    4. Shirley M
      December 19, 2021

      +100 Donna

  10. Sea_Warrior
    December 19, 2021

    I see that Russia is developing its gas trade with ……………….. China, giving it more economic power over Europe. We really must develop our own gas resources, to meet a number of objectives. If only we had a government able to see that.

    1. Micky Taking
      December 19, 2021

      Russia and China getting stronger and flexing muscles. USA studying its navel and riven by corporation power. Europe – what a shambles, and power waning all the time in debt for trade, and relying on the former 2 giants to survive, while pretending the USA is the threat. It suits the idiot mindset you find in the authorities there.

  11. Nig l
    December 19, 2021

    And in other news Frosty has resigned confirming what we knew and so did your elf that the Establishment is selling us out on Brexit.

    I look forward to reading what/if anything the Spartan/Bruges group,plan to do.

    Obviously you have lost your ‘champion’ and your current tactics aren’t working.

    1. glen cullen
      December 19, 2021

      You mean the Tory tactic of ‘lets wait and see’

  12. dixie
    December 19, 2021

    There is an established practice for complex/critical decision processes called “Red Teaming”
    I find it hard to believe the expert groups do not incorporate this or similar processs nor ministers and civil service insist on them or implement them as a separate counterweight.
    Without such a balance you cannot assess all the consequences of decision making particular;y with dynamic and soft problem areas.
    Is any form of this used at all by government decision makers or is the lack of it deliberate incompetence or policy?

    1. Wonky Moral Compass
      December 19, 2021

      A quick search returns “New Red Teaming Handbook published” on the gov.uk website. Published 30 June 2021. Whether it is used is another question.

    2. matthu
      December 19, 2021

      See DOM’s and Donna’s comments below about SAGE’s true purpose and why there is no Red Team.
      (Same holds true for man-made climate change.)

  13. DOM
    December 19, 2021

    Fraser Nelson’s ‘discussion’ with a male member of SAGE last night revealed in stark detail what SAGE’s purpose actually is. It is to manufacture predictions using their ‘models’ to support government policy rather model future scenarios that are then used to inform government policy. This deceitful strategy should not surprise anyone. Lockdown is now a weapon designed not to fight the spread of a virus but a weapon to fight the liberty and freedom of the people. We are being moved around like pieces on a chessboard for the fun and merriment of the Covid mafia that transcend the entire State and public sector apparatus

    SAGE aren’t experts, they are political activists with some doing the bidding of the public sector vested interest. It may help this odious PM distance himself from responsibility by suggesting he’s guided by SAGE but when the reckoning comes and it will, Johnson will become a pariah

    1. BeebTax
      December 19, 2021

      Thanks for drawing attention to that “discussion”. How can we ever forgive politicians, scientists and others who engage in, or collude with, this subterfuge?

    2. Mark
      December 19, 2021

      Exactly the same technique is applied to “climate science”, where only the most outlandish unlikely scenarios are put before the public to justify enslaving them and reducing their standard of living. Perhaps it is a good thing that the abuse has been so transparently revealed over covid, where it is probably less controversial to overturn it. But overturn it there we must, before moving on to tackling the same abuse in net zero policy.

  14. Donna
    December 19, 2021

    In the context of Expert Advice, I would be grateful for Sir John’s comments on this article and twitter-thread by Fraser Nelson (Spectator).

    It appears that SAGE only modelled bad outcomes from the Omicron variant because that’s what they were asked to model to justify the Government making decisions in order to meet their policy objectives.

    If true, that is basically LYING to the British people about the risks of Omicron.

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/my-twitter-conversation-with-the-chairman-of-the-sage-covid-modelling-committee

    1. Andy
      December 19, 2021

      Fraser Nelson – Brexitist.

      Rip it up and read something sensible.

      1. matthu
        December 19, 2021

        Andy – Remainer.
        Remainers lost. Get over it.

      2. Donna
        December 19, 2021

        Spectacularly poor trolling young Andy. Must try harder.

      3. Mark
        December 19, 2021

        It seems you rarely read anything sensible.

    2. Oldtimer
      December 19, 2021

      Thank you for posting that link. So who asked SAGE to model that way? Potential candidates include senior NHS officials and No 10 Downing Street. Both have motives. The NHS because it says it lacks beds and staff to handle a huge wave of hospitalisations, Johnson has the added motive to distract from his other well advertised problems. The responsibility rests with Johnson. He needs to go.

    3. Nottingham Lad Himself
      December 19, 2021

      A general point here – you and many commenters do not seem to know what the word “lying” means.

      It means communicating falsehoods, knowing them to be false, and, crucially, with the intention to mislead.

      It absolutely does not mean warning people of a theoretical danger, but which turns out not, in a given instance, to materialise.

      Your repeated accusations of lying against such people who do this are simply libellous, therefore.

      1. oldtimer
        December 19, 2021

        Being economical with the truth, or as in this case with modelled forecasts/scenarios, is effectively “communicating falsehoods…with the intention to mislead” as you put it. This is not the only example; it is a staple tool of governments everywhere.

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          December 19, 2021

          You really should not make accusations that you are in no position to prove.

          They, rightly, often land people in Court.

          1. No Longer Anonymous
            December 19, 2021

            The proof is on Twitter, NLH. An outright admission.

          2. Nottingham Lad Himself
            December 19, 2021

            What, someone said “I told you a load of crap, knowing that it was crap, but with the purpose of making you believe that it was true”?

            Really?

      2. matthu
        December 19, 2021

        When SAGE draws attention to a subset of scenarios without associated confidence intervals, while ignoring others which appear to have a far more likely outcome, then that can only be described as science which is likely to mislead. Assuming that this was not done accidentally, how can this be interpreted being done other than with an intention to mislead?

      3. Peter2
        December 19, 2021

        You and other remainers accuse those who support leave as lying over the last few years.
        As well as general personsl abuse.
        You can read it on here every and elsewhere.

        So what’s the difference?

    4. dixie
      December 19, 2021

      What is interesting from the twitter exchange between Fraser Nelson and Graham Medley is the seeming lack of awareness of associating confidence levels with different scenarios as an aid to decision making. That is why you include a full range of scenarios each with a confidence level.
      No red teaming, no confidence qualifiers for outcomes … sounds like these people are being willfully incompetent.

      1. Mark
        December 19, 2021

        And so are the ministers and senior civil servants. The techniques of producing a range of possible outcomes and associated probabilities to help inform decision making are standard in business. The next step is to go on to look for better ways of coping with different circumstances and developing an adaptable plan that may be more resilient than going for the most profitable plan assuming everything works out in your favour. These approaches really should be ingrained.

    5. BeebTax
      December 19, 2021

      Thanks for the link. Sadly this is not incredible. Backbenchers should be asking questions in the House about this, putting Ministers on the spot.

  15. Nig l
    December 19, 2021

    This is predicated on having democratic politics. We don’t. From the liberal elites to the Blob to my MP in Aldershot, who in my view prefers his position on the payroll to fighting for the manifesto we elected him on.

  16. javelin
    December 19, 2021

    Sajid Javid said in the DT “The most important trading decisions I made in my past career were when the data was early and patchy, but a trend was emerging.”

    I would like to point out this is the mentality
    of a trader who tries to maximise profits rather. It’s a view of trading from maybe 30 year ago. Pre risk management and risk ignorant. As traders today we understand there is no such thing as lucky or prescient by looking at patterns.

    I have spent 35 years working on trading floors. Our understanding of trading has evolved considerably. Today my first priority is to “manage the downside risk”.

    The dual risk here is that omicron is a mild disease but the next variant could be severe. The key here is that omicron won’t kill you but the next version could. This means it is a a better outcome to catch omicron than risk catching the next variant, which is likely to be milder but could possibly be deadly.

    It’s not about “cutting your losses” which would be an old fashioned view which involves regret at being unlucky. This is about objectively managing downside risk in a way that preserves your assets.

    1. Andy
      December 19, 2021

      We do not know Omicron is mild. That is the point. Limited evidence from South Africa – which is in a hugely different situation to us and has a different demographic profile – suggests it may be.

      But Omicron has run through an ageing population in winter yet. We will be the first country where that happens. You may be right – if may be mild. The experts, who I trust, say it is too early to tell.

      But even if it is more mild than delta we may end up with even more people in hospital because it is so transmissible.

      We will know far more in a month. A sensible government would take huge precautions for that month to protect its population. But we have these crazies in charge. My guess – and it is just a guess – is that we will be back up to several hundred deaths a day by late January and 200,000 dead overall now looks pretty certain.

      1. matthu
        December 19, 2021

        You will only know more in a month if you stop counting people “with Covid” as if they had been hospitalised because of Covid.

        Reports from SA indicate that people with Omicron variant are ELEVEN times less likely to be hospitalised than those with Delta variant. That is statistically highly significant and I suspect the same trend will emerge here – in fact he only reason it has not emerged here can only be that it is being suppressed.

      2. Nottingham Lad Himself
        December 19, 2021

        Since excess deaths are already way past 200,000 I’d say so, Andy.

        1. No Longer Anonymous
          December 19, 2021

          We’re not counting deaths by lockdown or within 28 days of vaccination for some reason.

          I was at a funeral this week and the only dead person there had been killed by lockdown.

      3. Philip P.
        December 19, 2021

        Wrong again, Andy. We do know Omicron is milder than previous Covid variants. Discovery Health, the largest health insurance company in South Africa, recently analyzed over 78,000 cases of Omicron. They found the risk of hospitalization was 29% lower for Omicron patients than for those infected in South Africa’s spring 2020 wave. That’s comparing like-for-like both times in the same South African demographic.

        Many elderly people with co-morbidities will sadly pass away this winter, as happened in 2019 and every year before, since time immemorial. But that is not a health emergency, and the South African evidence suggests Omicron will change nothing in that respect.

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          December 19, 2021

          A 29% reduction per case of hospitalisation is not much good if the cases increase by 1000%, is it?

          1. SM
            December 19, 2021

            Press release 19 December by S Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases:

            Positive new cases increased by 28.8% on Saturday, lower than the 30.4% increase on Friday.

            215 people were admitted to hospital over the past 24hrs, and 48 Covid-related deaths were recorded.

          2. Micky Taking
            December 19, 2021

            the 2 are unrelated.

          3. Hat man
            December 19, 2021

            Please try and understand this, lad. They’re not cases of illness. They’re PCR lab test results produced by a test that The World Health Organisation said in January was not reliable enough by itself to provide a diagnosis of infection or illness. A clinical examination of the person was necessary for that. That’s why you can have more ‘cases’ but fewer deaths and hospitalisations. Because the PCR test is not a diagnostic of infection, just of a match in a lab between a DNA sequence from the person and a reference sample held by the lab. So a dead, non-infectious piece of virus DNA caught by the person months earlier could give a positive result. And the more you test, the more you’ll get PCR positives, which is what has happened in Britain over recent weeks. It’s a shame that for some reason the WHO’s recommendations didn’t make it into public awareness.

          4. No Longer Anonymous
            December 19, 2021

            Don’t forget the vaccines, NLH. That we are taking at a rate of three per year.

      4. Micky Taking
        December 19, 2021

        Wisdom from you -amazing… ‘it is too early to tell, so let’s panic’.

        1. hefner
          December 19, 2021

          NLA, at 8 weeks a baby will have immunisations against:
          – diphtheria
          – tetanus
          – pertussis
          – poliomyelitis
          – haemophilus influenzae type B, HiB
          – hepatitis B
          – rotavirus
          – meningococcal group B, menB
          these given as two injections and drops into the mouth.
          At 12 weeks, the baby will have immunisations against:
          – diphtheria
          – tetanus
          – pertussis
          – polio
          – HiB
          – pneumococcal disease
          – rotavirus
          these given as two injections and drops into the mouth.
          At 16 weeks, the baby will have immunisations against:
          – diphtheria
          – tetanus
          – pertussis
          – polio
          – HiB
          – hepatitis B
          – menB
          these given as two injections.
          At one year of age, the child will get immunisations against:
          – HiB
          – MenB
          – MenC
          – measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
          – pneumococcal disease
          These given as three injections.

          So if I can add up properly that’s nine injections and multiple drops into the mouth in a year.
          gov.uk ‘A guide to immunisations for babies born on or after 1 January 2020’, updated 1 June 2021.

          1. Paul Cuthbertson
            December 20, 2021

            Utter madness at such an early stage in life and are they all really necessary. I would say no however all part of the plan.

      5. acorn
        December 19, 2021

        Boris will delay acting on further Covid controls until he can be sure of putting the ERG behind the eight ball. It is those right wing crazy hypocrites, who will be solely responsible for bringing the country to its knees.

      6. Donna
        December 19, 2021

        How many battered/murdered children and missed cancers do you think are acceptable collateral damage for “being cautious” as you put it (ie locking down) about a variant we DO know is mild and not much more than a bad cold for most people?

        1. Micky Taking
          December 19, 2021

          and battered wives and suicides?

      7. Mark
        December 19, 2021

        We have a huge amount of information from South Africa: not only in detailed statistics, including by age cohort, but also in terms of medical observation of the course of disease from the omicron variant. All the information confirms it is mild, and it is added to daily. You appear to be ignoring all that (as are SAGE, who nailed their colours to an alarmist mast, and will not now back down until once again they are proven wrong by events, by which time they will have caused a lot of unnecessary economic and social damage).

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      December 19, 2021

      It’s a good point and completely unaddressed elsewhere.
      Do the vaccines work better or worse than catching a mild version of the virus?

      Also what is the ACTUAL risk of catching it? Is it really worth a young crofter in the Outer Hebrides trecking to their nearest vaccine centre for a booster, when they might only meet strangers when they make that journey?

      The fact that these and similar risk/reward balances are completely unaddressed by “experts” together with their graphs and data being largely biased or meaningless cause many to be sceptical about the whole shebang.

      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        December 19, 2021

        That is a very good question and could – possibly – be a silver lining to the omicron spread.

        However, its lethality is not yet properly quantified, and so that remains merely a hope.

        Yes, hope for the best, but fgs prepare for the worst.

        The answer will arrive before too long.

        1. No Longer Anonymous
          December 19, 2021

          If we keep preparing for the worst we will get the worst. An NHS collapsed by economic meltdown.

          PS, It really doesn’t help that hospitals have been centralised. They cause a convergence of Covid infected – our medium sized town had its hospital closed down just as the new estates arrived.

          Madness.

          A) Because now the Tories tell us we must ditch cars (same with out of town shopping) and …

          B) They are a disaster for the control and confinement of disease.

  17. Sir Joe Soap
    December 19, 2021

    Today’s reflection is that the experts at least seem to be experienced in their field, albeit biased in their opinions, and can’t be seen to deviate from the “obvious facts” in their field.
    Ministers are in comparison like kids in a sweet shop, without the experience of knowing either which advice to take, or whether to take any at all.

  18. James1
    December 19, 2021

    I believe Mr Johnson shocked (to say the least), and lost the support of many when he failed to rule out mandatory vaccinations.

    1. William Long
      December 19, 2021

      Why are mandatory vaccinations any worse in principle, than mandatory lockdowns?

      1. Donna
        December 19, 2021

        Lockdowns are reversible; vaccination isn’t. And these are unlicensed, experimental gene therapies, not traditional vaccines. They have a poor safety record and no medium to long-term safety data.

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          December 19, 2021

          Call ups in wartime have a poor safety record too, rather worse than any vaccine programme.

          What would you say if 200,000 British had been killed by foreigners here, and not by the virus?

          Would you protest against property searches, having to carry ID, curfews, and whatever else was necessary to beat them?

          Nah – you’d love it all.

        2. hefner
          December 19, 2021

          When Jenner in 1796 inoculated James Phipps with his small pox vaccine, the very first vaccine of all times, he was ridiculed by the Church.
          Since then development of vaccines has hugely evolved with full genome sequencing only started in 1977 and adaptation to mRNA in 1989.
          Would you have been with the Church in 1796?

          1. Peter2
            December 19, 2021

            What a ridiculous whataboutery example heffy.
            Now back to 1796 to try to make an argument.

  19. Sakara Gold
    December 19, 2021

    What is it about history repeating itself does the “Covid Recovery Group” fail to understand? After allowing the previous waves of the Chinese plague virus to rip through the nation thanks to repetitious government incompetence, we are now faced with another.

    If Johnson had swiftly organised the “lessons learned” enquiry that the public heath and medical professionals had wanted, we would by now have a coordinated and effective response.

    Nations across Europe and the world are again banning Brits from entry. Once again we are the virus epicentre of the world. Government’s refusal to appreciate the unbelievable infectiousness of this virus and it’s extremely concerning ability to infect our highly vaccinated population is likely to make this wave much worse if we delay.

    Clearly, the vaccines no longer prevent infection. There is no other logical course of action open to us other than to re-impose temporary, but effective restrictions. As before, the “Covid Recovery Group” has got it wrong.

    1. matthu
      December 19, 2021

      No other logical course of action? What if Omicron is so mild that it is eleven times less likely to require hospitalisation than Delta variant: would that suggest an alternative course of action other than deliberately harming the economy and losing the trust of the electorate?

    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      December 19, 2021

      TBF it seems as if the omicron variant is an order or so more transmissible, and even the consensus of science didn’t expect that quite so soon.

      It also evaded identification until it was well-established.

      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        December 19, 2021

        That said, because of the appalling example said by government figures, along with a relentless misinformation campaign by the far Right, public morale and will in the fight has collapsed here, perhaps in a way unlike in many other countries.

        That is having a devastating effect on preventing the spread.

        1. R.Grange
          December 19, 2021

          In the real world, lad, you don’t “prevent the spread” of a common cold virus. It happens. Two years ago, you still knew that.

          1. Nottingham Lad Himself
            December 19, 2021

            A quite long list of countries, from NZ to China, prevented its spread very effectively, and saved millions – yes, millions – of lives.

            So “you” very much do. And they are very much the Real World too.

        2. R.Grange
          December 19, 2021

          I didn’t mean totalitarian countries, lad.

          Two years ago you wouldn’t have proposed China as a model for how we should do things in this country.

          Oh, but there again maybe you would.

          1. Micky Taking
            December 19, 2021

            He would have, he certainly would have, with a fondness for NZ and Wales both fond of sheep.

          2. Peter2
            December 19, 2021

            You are right R Grange
            NHL would love the UK to be just like China.

      2. Micky Taking
        December 19, 2021

        nonsense the S.African doctor warned that she had seen the variant growing, and knowing of travellers to UK, warned us of the likely spread. It was not ‘well established ‘ when first detected’ – barely a handful, in fact all in Scotland just one family.
        Trying to rewrite events again to suit some daft point.

      3. No Longer Anonymous
        December 19, 2021

        NLH – We’ll soon know and I’m confident that I’ll come back here in the New Year and be able to tell you that this was an overreaction.

        But “Can’t be too careful” is the way a Health and Safety rep puts pressure on a company when the LDC has failed to negotiate. I’ve been an H&S rep and know how it works.

        I am sick of people wrapping me in cotton wool and telling me to “stay safe”

        As an outdoorsy, active bloke I loathe it.

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          December 19, 2021

          There there.

    3. Hat man
      December 19, 2021

      Sakara, I think you mean Britain has allowed itself to become the *PCR testing epicentre* of the world. We test vastly more than EU countries, for example.
      Massively increase the numbers of Covid tests, and you’ll inevitably get what looks like a big increase in the numbers of so-called Covid ‘cases’. That’s pre-GCSE level maths. But the data show that the % rate of ‘infection’ out of those ‘case’ data, has remained the same, around 4.5%, since July. (https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-testing#the-positive-rate-a-crucial-metric-for-understanding-the-pandemic)
      Infection has not increased since the arrival of the omicron variant.

      1. Sakara Gold
        December 19, 2021

        Trump also blamed the insanely fast spread of the original variant in America on too much testing. 500,00o+ dead were the result. Look at where he is now.

        1. alan jutson
          December 19, 2021

          Sakara
          Simple mathematics confirms, the more you test the more you will find, as I outlined a few days ago.
          Only if the testing numbers stay consistent, do you get a better understanding of the amount of spread, otherwise there are to many variables

          I think jury is still out on how severe an infection the new variant may be, nearly all medical/scientists suggest this is the case.

        2. Nottingham Lad Himself
          December 19, 2021

          Yes, they’re well on the way to a million dead – about the same deaths per unit as the UK, incidentally.

        3. No Longer Anonymous
          December 19, 2021

          Um – Nothing to do with America being the most obese nation on earth.

          1. Nottingham Lad Himself
            December 19, 2021

            The most obtuse, possibly.

          2. Micky Taking
            December 19, 2021

            diet mostly sugar, salt, fat – oh and cola with fries.

    4. formula57
      December 19, 2021

      @ Sakara Gold – Although alongside “Government’s refusal to appreciate the unbelievable infectiousness of this virus…” we have the general public’s refusal, allied to a belief that the symptoms will be as mild as a cold.

    5. Christine
      December 19, 2021

      “Once again we are the virus epicentre of the world”

      Only because we are doing so much testing.

      Take for example Spain where I am. They offer very little free testing. To reach the nearest test centre often involves a lengthy journey. The LFT cost around 25 euros from the chemist. So very few people get tested. In fact, the only tested people I know are those who have managed to get hold of a free NHS test kit and these positives aren’t registered anywhere. Spain is also way behind us in the administration of the vaccine.

    6. Mark
      December 19, 2021

      With a virus as transmissible as omicron your temporary measures are actually quite useless. It spreads far too quickly for test and trace to work. In fact, a sensible measure would be to close test and trace until omicron has passed, reserving testing for statistical sampling of the population to monitor progress, and confirmation of symptomatic illness or protection of the vulnerable. Fortunately, it seems that there is a good chance that only part of the population will prove susceptible to it, at least so far as detectable illness is concerned, since this appears to be the case in Gauteng, where case numbers are already falling as rapidly as they rose. Moreover, the illness it causes is much less severe, with the ratio of hospitalisations to cases being much lower than for previous variants, with hospital stays being much shorter, only rarely involving ICU and oxygen, and best of all, little record of causing death.

  20. rose
    December 19, 2021

    No-one in Downing St seems to have told the Mail there is an investigation into all these damaging leaks, including this latest one “by a minister” which has brought forward the departure of Lord Frost before he can take back NI. Whoever the busy little leaker is, never seems to leak anything damaging to Michael Gove, only to the original programme of the PM.

    1. Sakara Gold
      December 19, 2021

      @Rose
      That is a very astute observation. +1

    2. KarennB
      December 19, 2021

      So Gove is undermining Boris, we learn on the blog of a Conservative backbencher. Happy campers everywhere!

    3. Beecee
      December 19, 2021

      Is it fair to think that Mr Gove is pals with Dominic and that Dominic is pals with Ms Kuenssberg? Or am I being unfair?

    4. alan jutson
      December 19, 2021

      Rose

      Agreed, far too many leaks on almost everything at the moment for the Governments good.
      Leaks on Brexit negotiations, lockdowns, so called parties and a host of other topics.

      Someone needs to make a serious effort to find the culprit !

  21. Freeborn John
    December 19, 2021

    If Frost has resigned Boris has given up on brexit and must go. He can’t surrender to the EU on the ECJ and just hand the fate of Northern Ireland over to a rudderless Remainer like Liz Truss.

    Article 16 has to be invoked now or Boris must face a leadership election.

    1. Denis Cooper
      December 19, 2021

      Maybe she will be better than you expect, but has she pledged to bring Northern Ireland fully back within the folds of the United Kingdom, completely free from foreign – that is to say, EU – dominion, even if that costs us a little in terms of tariffs imposed on our exports to the EU?

      She should do:

      https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2021/12/12/questions-to-the-advisers-over-the-pandemic/#comment-1283118

      I can think of at least two alternatives who would certainly have been a lot worse.

      1. rose
        December 20, 2021

        Yes, Denis. I was not pleased but I was at the same time relieved.

        1. Denis Cooper
          December 21, 2021

          She has now said that the UK’s position is unchanged:

          https://www.bicesteradvertiser.net/news/19799604.truss-need-quick-progress-uk-position-unchanged-ni-protocol/

          A LibDem frets “it’s like Lord Frost never left”.

    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      December 19, 2021

      I’d ask all the businesses of NI about that, FJ.

  22. PeteB
    December 19, 2021

    Sir John,

    We can predict you perfectly sensible suggestions: Scrap the NI rise, accelerate freeports, produce food & energy in the UK, incentivise new business…

    These are the points you have made before. They are great ideas. Rather than repeat then can you explain HOW you will force the Treasury and other departments to adopt these ideas?

    At the moment the Government is looking like a shower: Boris and the Buffoons.

  23. Norman
    December 19, 2021

    What you say Sir John is very true.
    Our country has known particular greatness, and is still charitable compared to many.
    But something indefinable has changed. The pressures on a modern head of government are enormous: but there’s a curious absence of the wisdom and judgement once seen in the corridors of power. ‘Smartness’ and charisma are hollow substitutes.
    False counsel, and the hypocrisy of baying hyenas, are now all too prevalent.
    It makes one grateful for what, despite our frail humanity, we enjoyed in the past.

  24. Richard1
    December 19, 2021

    Indeed experts can often be wrong, even if well-intentioned. The public can see this clearly now and it may be one of the most useful things to come out of the whole covid experience. Experts often also have their own agenda. Thus pro-eu economic experts exaggerated the costs and risks of Brexit. Left wing experts like the communist woman on sage love the idea of a command economy so promote lockdown. And of course experts are also human so have great difficulty admitting they are wrong. So we have prof Ferguson, who has been massively wrong in his previous forecasts on covid, on the airwaves again now apparently forecasting 5,000 covid deaths per day.

    Green experts and shrill and shouty leftists have foisted an irrational energy policy on us, under which we are most likely heading for an energy crisis, doing little to actually reduce CO2 emissions but engaging in lots of gesture policies to signal our virtue. In 10 years or so we will be able to see whether green hysterics have been right and humanity has become extinct. I suspect they will be wrong.

  25. Bryan Harris
    December 19, 2021

    I frequently cringe when the term ‘Expert’ is invoked. It’s an over-used and over-abused term that often means little, and adds nothing to the discussion other than that we are supposed to take the expert’s view at face value.

    Experts often get it wrong.

    Too right they do.

    Alleged experts tend to have a very narrow viewpoint, which frequently excludes common sense.

    If people with a background in a subject are to be used to substantiate, or otherwise, an argument, they should be introduced as ‘someone who has worked in this field, and has an opinion’.

    IMVHO the word should be removed from dictionaries because it is too often used. especially by authorities, to prove their case, when there isn’t one. Ministers and PM’s are all too willing to hide behind experts when they haven’t a clue what is going on, or don’t have any knowledge on the subject.

    Surely time to stop the idea that the science is settled, that there is only one correct arbitrary viewpoint, and make sure that all possible views are taken into account. THAT IS CERTAINLY NOT HAPPENING, HERE AND NOW, IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM!

    1. Jim Whitehead
      December 19, 2021

      B H, +1,
      I’m reminded of a saying that an ‘expert’ is someone who knows a little about something and is a long way from home.
      Are there many ‘experts’ to be found in their own village or local pub?

      1. Shirley M
        December 19, 2021

        Jim, I prefer Blaster Bates description of an expert, as being: Ex = a ‘has been’ and spurt= a drip under pressure.

  26. DOM
    December 19, 2021

    One senior Tory backbencher said: “The trouble is Frost speaks for the party. This is the beginning of the end.”

    We need a pure bred Thatcherite to dismantle and destroy all that Labour has created since 1997.

    1. Everhopeful
      December 19, 2021

      +1
      The Brexit elf needs to pack his rucksack and journey off to find that person!
      With immediate effect.

    2. Jim Whitehead
      December 19, 2021

      DOM, +1, and truly heartfelt

    3. Bryan Harris
      December 19, 2021

      @DOM +99

      Exactly, and there are no such figures in the cabinet that come close to that description

      It’s also worrying that BREXIT negotiation will not get pursued properly now

    4. No Longer Anonymous
      December 19, 2021

      Peter Hitchens thinks Blair is coming back.

      If he does he’d smash the Tories out of the park right now.

      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        December 19, 2021

        Interesting.

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          December 19, 2021

          Incidentally, I’d describe myself exactly as Hitchens does himself “A moral conservative and a social democrat”.

          1. Micky Taking
            December 19, 2021

            not quite how we see it, but then you don’t own a mirror nor take in what you write here.

      2. Sir Joe Soap
        December 19, 2021

        He would, so long as he accepted Brexit as a fait accompli.
        Tories would be nowhere unless a Damascene conversion happened and, frankly, it’s too late now. There have been too many hopeless PMs … Cameron, May and now Johnson.

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          December 19, 2021

          Brexit is absolutely a fait accompli.

          No one even half conscious would see it as anything else.

          Several countries would veto any application by the UK to rejoin for the foreseeable future.

          So own it, then.

  27. MPC
    December 19, 2021

    Looking forward to reading your proposals, but the problem is that we have a government led by someone who lacks the guts to do what’s right and drive change. Surely that’s why Lord Frost has resigned, he hasn’t had the backing needed. Who’s next to resign? Priti Patel?

    1. formula57
      December 19, 2021

      @ MPC “Who’s next to resign? Priti Patel?” – I would say her record suggests we can expect Mrs. Patel to make a trenchant declaration of her intention to resign but not actually carry that out.

      1. Diane
        December 19, 2021

        No! She can’t go yet, there are 917 arrivals to be dealt with from Thursday & Friday. 559 16th, 538 17th with hundreds more apparently stopped by the French authorities ( BBC – Under ‘England’ tab / Kent rather than ‘Local’ / ‘Dover’ ) which in reality is meaningless as they will just rejoin the queue. And if unofficial ‘locally available’ indications are correct there were covid cases amongst them & again, ‘locally / informally’ there are reportedly arrivals also this morning 19th.

        1. Micky Taking
          December 19, 2021

          Christmas cheer in England – stuff of dreams if you are an economic migrant, or French.

        2. glen cullen
          December 19, 2021

          At this rate we wont have any room in the ‘Inn’

      2. Bryan Harris
        December 19, 2021

        @formula57 +1

  28. The PrangWizard of England
    December 19, 2021

    Sir John was interviewed on GBNews yesterday during which he dodged a couple of direct questions, declaring his support and belief in ‘Boris’ even though he was pursuing policies Sir John opposed, but said he would only try to persuade the PM to change and not oppose him. We have seen over past months that Sir John’s points and questions are easily swatted away; only small details are accepted.

    Today we learn that Lord Frost has resigned his position in cabinet declaring that he cannot be part of ‘Boris’ direction of travel, showing that at least he a man who has courage to declare his beliefs, and to act accordingly. My view is Lord Frost believes that ‘Boris’ is going to betray the country with his weakness and lack of courage over Brexit, including sacrificing Northern Ireland to the EU, and other aspects and he can’t be part of it.

    We need more people like Lord Frost, now.

    Reply I make my views clear and vote against bad proposals. I do not have a Ministerial position to resign.

    1. The Prangwizard
      December 19, 2021

      Reply to Reply:
      You have said you believe in ‘Boris’ and support him.

      Reply Misquote. I said I want him to succeed and am lobbying for changes of policy.

      1. Bryan Harris
        December 19, 2021

        TBH – It is a bit like us being in the EU and cooperating, or ‘IN IT TO CHANGE IT’ …… That didn’t work with the EU either.
        It took direct action to remedy the problem.

      2. Norman
        December 19, 2021

        Exactly right, Sir John – well said.

  29. Andy
    December 19, 2021

    Frosty the No Man has gone.

    The man responsible for the two worst deals in this country’s history has quit to spend more time with his fantasies.

    Of course there is no link at all with the new Brexit customs checks which are due to come in in about a fortnight, which will further harm trade already smashed by Brexit. No link at all. Absolutely none. Nada.

    Cough.

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      December 19, 2021

      You’ve reduced the assembled to silence with that, it seems, Andy.

      1. Micky Taking
        December 19, 2021

        too bored stiff to bother.

  30. Lisa
    December 19, 2021

    Experts get it wrong a great deal, especially when they are in receipt of funding from big corporations. The same can be said of main stream media and politicians. I think we are going to see a lot of information coming out about who is getting what from who and it might finish off the tiny amount of trust left in society for establishment figures.

    1. Paul Cuthbertson
      December 20, 2021

      LISA -Nothing can stop what is coming, Nothing.

  31. Maylor
    December 19, 2021

    Experts are not infallible and mistakes can occur but what is really unforgiveable is the way that the reputations of eminent scientists and medical professionals are trashed if they dare to question the narrative put out by the govt and their advisors.

    Surely, before coming to a decision, all the facts/views should be examined objectively. The Johnson govt adjust the facts to their policies rather than fit their policies to the facts.

    This has been shown many times; the latest example being the Fraser Nelson interview with Sage.

    1. Everhopeful
      December 19, 2021

      +1
      Not if there is an agenda.
      The voices of reason get in the way!

  32. formula57
    December 19, 2021

    Certainly “The Chancellor needs to break free from the tyranny of the OBR debt and deficit austerity economics,…” – that or we need to soon break free from this failing Chancellor.

    In other economic news, should we not be lavishly praising the Bank of England for noticing that inflation is on the rise?

  33. Original Richard
    December 19, 2021

    Just because a person has knowledge and expertise in a subject does not mean they don’t have a political agenda. It simply means they can argue a better case.

    History has shown that Marxists believe the ends justifies the means and hence economic and social collapse is an acceptable route to power.

    So the Marxists in MSM will always interview selected Marxists in the educational establishment who are promoting any policy designed to destroy our economy and democracy, no doubt influenced by the 120,000 Chinese “students” currently in our universities.

    Hence the Net Zero Strategy and lockdowns.

  34. beresford
    December 19, 2021

    SAGE are telling Boris he must cancel Christmas before it is ‘too late’. What they mean is it will be 364 days before the opportunity comes around again.

  35. Alison
    December 19, 2021

    Experts often do get it wrong. Some so-called ‘experts’ are also often biased.

    While the OBR is full of eminent people, my own view is that some of its forecasts and reports are influenced by bias and should be taken with a big spoonful of salt. An eminent economist (writing for Briefings for Britain) recently shredded the OBR’s claim that Brexit would have a large long-term impact on the UK economy. And then there was the Nobel prize winning economist, Paul Krugman, who flagged in 2018 that the Bank of England ‘s bad-case estimates for a no-deal Brexit were very bad, and wondered about motivated reasoning. That estimate was widely broadcast, and may have fuelled the anti-wto (s0-called no-deal exit) campaign, which resulted in the disastrous Benn act.

    1. rose
      December 19, 2021

      Is it also the case that they had no idea inflation was coming? Just as in 2008, we little people can see things they can’t, just by applying common sense to their mad policies.

  36. glen cullen
    December 19, 2021

    Two disastrous by-elections, 100 MPs rebel, pact with Labour, sell-out of fisheries, flat-gate, lockdown in name, rise in inflation, christmas party shenanigans, Lord Frost resigns….dear god what will it take for Boris to walk

    1. Micky Taking
      December 19, 2021

      or pushed?

    2. rose
      December 20, 2021

      The list is quite long enough without adding the media’s by election swinging trivia. Do you really mind about civil servants eating and drinking in their work bubbles during Advent of last year? Do you even want to know?

  37. agricola
    December 19, 2021

    During Mays last year or so in government she blatently flew in the face of the electorate. Boris arrived seemingly intent on carrying out the wishes of the electorate. Get Brexit Done??? Whether he really wished to carry out their wishes is a matter for history. It is certainly manifest that there are too many in the establishment blob that do not wish it, and that I suspect is at the heart of Lord Frosts desire to step away from completely achieving Brexit. I doubt he has had the support necessary from Boris or many of the other arms of government. The way that the NI Protocol has been allowed to continue and its negotiation drag on suggests to me that there never was an intention of resolving it. Did Lord Frost realise it and resign. If so where to now.

    1. Peter
      December 19, 2021

      agricola,

      I am sure Lord Frost did not have the necessary support from Boris Johnson and just got tired of setting his case out, only for it to be undermined by his own side.

      Boris Johnson just wanted Brexit to go away, without being prepared to take the necessary action.

      Where to now is anybody’s guess.

  38. rose
    December 19, 2021

    Best bet for new Brexit Minister: the very first one, David Jones, the leader of the successful campaign in Wales. The clever man EU Ollie got sacked. Or was it EU Barwell?

    1. glen cullen
      December 19, 2021

      We need a ‘WTO’ Minister and scrap the TCA & NIP

  39. Stephen Reay
    December 19, 2021

    It’s not just covid that is slowing down the economy, its also inflation having an effect on people’s spending.
    If countries continue to go into lock down the supply chain will not heal itself, therefore inflation will continue to increase.
    Although some inflation is external there’s evidence of internal inflation increasing to.

    We must also consider greed having a bearing on inflation after all inflation is just greed.

  40. Bob Dixon
    December 19, 2021

    Has anyone read Lord Frost’s letter of resignation before sharing their thoughts.

    1. hefner
      December 19, 2021

      Reading both Lord Frost ‘s letter and the PM’s response letter to it I am really wondering what the use of a website like Sir John’s is. Both authors recognised in very similar terms that Brexit has been effected.

      If that’s so, what are people here frothing about? I am flabbergasted.

      1. Peter
        December 19, 2021

        hefner,

        Maybe because many on here are capable of reading between the lines.

        Many here are also aware that resignation letters and replies often contain platitudes and empty messages.

        1. Micky Taking
          December 20, 2021

          the door must be kept open for the next possibility of an appointment.

        2. hefner
          December 20, 2021

          Indeed, fortunately with websites of all kinds (this one included) we now have as many brexitologists as Kremlinologists of yore.

  41. Derek Henry
    December 19, 2021

    Excellent again John!

    You are on fire this week. A brilliant take on things.

    A quick look at the American Conservative magazine shows they are years ahead of us. The American Conservatives get it.

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/modern-monetary-theory-for-conservatives/

    A shout out should go to MMT economists who are the ones who have been shouting about all of these points above for over 25 years and supported Brexit long before it happened.

    Why ?

    Because they studied the balance sheets of the government accounts. Figured out how things actually work free from the textbooks. Are holding the experts to account for their actions.

    Asset price inflation would tend to exacerbate inequality since it will disproportionately benefit those who owns assets. This makes sense. But inequality is a policy failure, not a market failure. After all, a capitalist economy will always veer towards monopolistic behaviour if we allow it to. The extent to which we allow that to happen is not a failure of capitalism, it is a failure of policy makers to contain capitalism.

    If the central banks are driving investors to irrationally bid up asset prices then that must mean that prices are inflated in the short-run and likely to mean revert in the long-run. But if this is your view then what do you care?

    It simply means that prices are temporarily higher than they otherwise would be and will eventually crash when markets come to their senses. Unless of course you believe that asset prices are perpetually manipulated in which case you also shouldn’t care because you don’t think they can ever collapse which means “everybody” should just be an owner and “don’t fight the Fed”

    It’s very hard to believe that markets are so inefficient that they would never sniff out a complete manipulation of the entire system. In short the markets will sniff it out it just a matter of time. Stocks don’t keep going up forever.

    The strangest contradiction here is that the asset inflation narrative always seems to come from people who are bearish about these assets. So, they’re certain that the Fed is manipulating prices and they’re certain that asset prices will go up because they claim these policies can never end, but they’re bearish about these assets at the same time. This doesn’t even make any sense.

    One could argue that most of the asset price appreciation of the last 10+ years appears largely rational in the sense that it is supported by corporate fundamentals (record profits, record GDP, etc) and other robust economic data that is consistent with a growing economy. It isn’t just a fictitious boom as many “asset price inflation” narratives like to imply.

    How many voters take into account that Chinese regulations that actually affected coal mines in China. They increased the safety standards in mining that scared the hell out of some mining companies to the point that many closed down.

    That flowed into the Chinese economy as 70% of electricity is by coal in China. Caused major shutdowns in industrial activity in China. So producing the real resources the West needs to complete their spending plans slowed significantly.

    When it comes to shipping what they did manage to produce. In normal times shipping a container from China to the US is $2000 because of lockdown that is now $20,000. It is first come first served a bidding war.

    Once they actually get to the ports in the west. Because they have not been upgraded in decades as government spending is seen as the devil and austerity is the bank lobby god. The ports can’t cope and are struggling to find the people who are sitting at home.

    Once they get loaded on to the trucks what happens there is we have a driver’s shortage. Because drivers left as the free markets demanded poor working conditions combined with low pay. We Uberised the trucking industry on the back of the free market tooth fairy. Truckers were treated like Uber drivers. When you are paid by the load instead of by the hour. Sitting at a port for 8 hours suddenly turns it into a loss making exercise to deliver the containers so they don’t bother.

    a) These sources of inflation have nothing to do with low income families. Who have had been attacked and whose benefits just to eat and heat and pay their rent this winter have been cut.

    b) Government spending has to be increased not slashed and needs to be invested in import substitution , the ports , our whole infrastructure to help ease future inflationary episodes and bottle necks. Regardless of borrowing costs as the BOE could just simply take on the debt.

    c) The government needs to regulate how truck drivers and port staff are treated. The logistics monopoly power that port and shipping companies have, has to be regulated and curtailed. Rent seekers need to be forced to compete and not allowed to extract rent from a monopoly perch. We need a competition and monopoly commission with some teeth.

    c) None of this has anything to do with the triple lock. How will stopping the triple lock fix any of this ?

    Yet, How many believe we live with this insane neoliberal globalist belief that if we leave everything alone the BOE just by increasing or decreasing interest rates by O.25% will fix it?

    When it is as clear as day interest rate manipulation will fix none of the above and import substitution and fiscal policy will fix it by fixing the areas that they expect bottle necks and inflation pressures to appear in the future. We need to invest in this areas and plan for the future instead of reacting after it is too late.

    Yet, we consistently put ourselves in a straight jacket by imposing fiscal rules on ourselves that were specifically designed for those that are not sovereign and use the Euro.

    On the back of the ludicrous belief that fiscal sustainability should be based on the size of the budget deficit / surplus and national debt. As if HM Treasury is like a household. Which cleary isn’t the case and is the “sound money ” fantasy that does not reflect how our monetary system works in the real.world and pushed by the experts.

    Why do we keep doing this to ourselves John ?

    Why do we keep acting like a non sovereign state with a fixed exchange rate ?

    We are British , a sovereign state with a free floating currency. If ever there was a time to start acting like it it is NOW !

    1. Peter2
      December 20, 2021

      Print!
      Print!
      And Print some more!

      PS
      Inflation is already over 5% and accelerating.

  42. BOF
    December 19, 2021

    Did the quiet, determined work of the Brexit Elf have more impact than he hoped, I wonder? Did Lord Frost realise that he was getting no nearer to his dream of a true Brexit than the equally industrious Elf so made the decision to quit 1. To bring maximum attention to the looming disaster as possible 2. To bring huge pressure to bare on the party, before it is too late and a true Brexit is lost.

  43. Everhopeful
    December 19, 2021

    “The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants”.
    And Camus knew a lot about plague!

  44. Sakara Gold
    December 19, 2021

    Now that his Lordship has admitted defeat and walked – after being comprehensively out-maneuvered – the next question is, who is going to replace him? I would suggest that to take on the highly experienced and clever EU negotiators, we need someone who will stand our ground and get what we want. Making concessions smacks of appeasement….

    Clearly, Sir John Redwood would be the ideal choice, if he wishes to complete the project that he has been associated with for so long.

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      December 19, 2021

      What Frost was asking of the European Union was the equivalent of asking Egypt to fill in the Suez Canal.

      He’s not the cleverest.

  45. paul
    December 19, 2021

    It was M. Gove who done the last minute Brexit deal not the Great Frost.

  46. lojolondon
    December 19, 2021

    John, I totally agree with you here – the treasury has long let Britain down, but the most obvious current area of specialist advice failure is the prediction of Covid data.
    Since the Foot-and-Mouth epidemic in 2001, the same group of experts has been shamefully exposed as giving the wrong advise, time and again. Remember the millions of pounds spent by the then-Mayor of London on vaccines against Bird-Flu, based on the scary predictions of total apocalypse and widespread deaths? These vaccines were recently (quietly) scrapped as they were out of date, confirming the 100% waste of time, effort and taxpayers money.
    Now, with Covid, time and again the expert predictions overshoot reality, by factors of tens, hundreds and many thousands. Yet we find that the same experts are wheeled in over and over again, each time it weakens the Government’s position, every time they miss the mark, people lose respect for authority and even for the NHS. But most of all, they lose respect for the government, because if you are getting advice on important matters like lockdowns from people with a 100% failure record, that says more about the decision-maker than it does about the experts.

  47. Micky Taking
    December 19, 2021

    Welcome to the Martin hourly whinge….

  48. Micky Taking
    December 19, 2021

    Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will replace Lord Frost as the UK’s lead negotiator with the EU in post-Brexit talks. She will retain her role as foreign minister alongside the new post leading negotiations over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    She might rue the hour she answered her phone….

    1. glen cullen
      December 19, 2021

      Could Boris not find a single backbencher to promote…..she should have refused saying she’s too busy in the FO

  49. Peter2
    December 19, 2021

    I agree Micky
    He could do with his own blog.
    Whinging from Cardiff with NHL

  50. Rhoddas
    December 19, 2021

    Please Sir John, become Chancellor, give us a fighting chance!!
    Best regards

    Reply Not in my gift!

  51. Bob Dixon
    December 19, 2021

    Here in St Ives Cambs we have 60 Afghan refugees staying in one of our hotels. Who is covering the costs. Why THE NHS!

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      December 19, 2021

      Love the “our”.

      Is Cambs a collectivist of some sort, then?

      1. Micky Taking
        December 20, 2021

        well you’ve proclaimed Cardiff and now Nottingham as of some special significance in your nom-de-plume.

    2. glen cullen
      December 19, 2021

      You’re lucky to only have 60, as the Home Office record 16,000 illegal immigrants staying in hotels

  52. forthurst
    December 19, 2021

    Why are JR’s predictions on the consequences of economic policy correct when the ‘experts’ got it wrong. The reason is very simple: JR’s understanding of economics is purely empirical, having never studied the academic subject whereas the experts have, believing they have studied a theoretical science with predictive ability which actually doesn’t exist. The experts believed that the ERM and the Euro would force economies together when it simply caused grievous damage to those that did not mesh with Germany’s as JR predicted.

    When it comes to genuine science, the problem is that politicians want certainty when very often that is unavailable. Were there more politicians who understood science and maths perhaps they would be able to tease out the truth rather allowing themselves to be fed very often what the scientists believe they want to hear. When scientific advisory bodies are put together, how can politicians or civil servants with their Arts backgrounds ensure that such bodies contain the creme de la creme of the various faculties with all those relevant represented rather than simply big noises?

    Reply I did study some economics and some economic history and spent my pre MP career in markets analysing economies

    1. ukretired123
      December 20, 2021

      forthurst as an economics graduate and real life empirical observer of both the theory and practice of the subject (which is as you should know only too well) is forever evolving – Sir John is too modest in his reply as he has over decades proven beyond doubt that he knows more than most when the “rubber meets the road” in real world, real time, real consequences.
      I know who I would put my own money on. Certainly not you who I have never heard of.

      1. forthurst
        December 20, 2021

        According to Wikipedia, “John Redwood was educated at independent Kent College, Canterbury, and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he graduated BA in modern history in 1971. He was a postgraduate at St Antony’s College, Oxford from 1971 to 1972 and was elected an Examination Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford from 1972 to 1979, which later led to a distinguished fellowship in 2007.[7] At All Souls, he wrote a DPhil thesis which investigated the fear of atheism in England, from the Restoration to the publication of Alciphron by George Berkeley. He graduated DPhil in 1975.[8][9]”
        By the way I have never represented myself as an expert on economics and never suggested that JR wasn’t..

        reply And I am a Chartered fellow of the CISI passing the CISI exams with a distinction and the author of several books on economic subjects.

        1. ukretired123
          December 20, 2021

          Me too – Chartered fellow of FCCA UK and CISA USA plus other disciplines but I don’t need wikipedia to know about Sir John who has a proven and reliable track record for decades unlike MSM etc. Give him some respect.

    2. forthurst
      December 20, 2021

      I apologise for misrepresenting your background. I was aware of your banking career but had always assumed incorrectly that your historical studies had not related to economic history per se.

      1. rose
        December 21, 2021

        Sir John is a polymath.

Comments are closed.