Saturday 30 November 2019

Teflon Boris: Gotta Laugh

From today's Graun:  it's Jonathan Freedland, reporting from a focus group of (former) Labour voters:

... But guess what happened when, at the close, the scrupulously neutral moderator asked this group of past Labour voters who they would back on 12 December. All but one opted for Johnson. The same group that had declared him a liar nevertheless planned, quite cheerfully, to put him back into Downing Street. Why? ...  

The group were asked about [Corbyn] too and, in addition to calling him “indecisive”, “arrogant” and “weak”, three people offered that he too was a “liar” and “untrustworthy”. And yet while they forgave the dishonesty of Johnson, they gave no such leeway to Labour. The offer of free broadband was mocked, along with several other Labour manifesto promises. Jamie, who owns a car repair business, reckoned Labour had sat around asking themselves, “‘Who haven’t we given something to yet? I know, let’s do free dental care’. It’ll be free Pot Noodles for migrants next.” That brought laughter – and agreement. 

Another time I might cite some material from hundred-year old academic studies on Leadership.  The Johnson phenomenon is as old as the hills.


Thursday 28 November 2019

Tree hugging nonsense, election special

The election falls even further into farce today. It truly is an election special.

Labour announce they are going to plant 2 billion trees, the Lib Dems 30 million and Tories 20 million.

What is the point of all this and why have none of them thought anything through, I see Guido already had a stab at this but has got a few bits wrong, so here we go:

A) You need 45 trees to store one ton of carbon dioxide, of course this is only store so you can't go cutting them down again.

B) The UK carbon output is is 367,000,000 tons per year according to the UK Government estimates (down 38% in 10 years, which is rather impressive, almost entirely down to swtiching coal for gas power stations).

C) So you would needs 16,515,000,000 trees to make the UK carbon neutral.

So two billion trees will balance off about 12.5% of our current carbon output, at the usual density for tree planting of 2000 trees per hectare, that gives us about 1 million hectares needed - about 5 times the size of greater London or half of Wales.

The Government, including all property and building, only owns about 6 times the size of London in property.In addition, tree don't grow all over the mountains of Wales or Scotland so vast areas of wilderness you can't turn to forest. 

So for Labour, they would have to buy huge amounts of private land and return it to forest. As well as the army that would be needed to do all this planting - tens of thousands of full time people for decades. .

If you actually wanted to make the UK carbon neutral, the simpler and more realistic plan would be to buy Ireland which is quite flat, at 8.5 million hectares, and turn it all into a forest. This would make the UK carbon neutral.

For crying out loud this is so stupid. Esepcially when thanks to climate change and more CO2 more trees are going to grow anyway. Also there are actually some quite good ideas like planting billions of trees across Africa to stop the spread of the Sahara - trees are needed unlike the UK where we need arable land to feed oursleves and live in.

Wednesday 27 November 2019

You Write The Script

It seems to be widely agreed** that ol' Brillo-Pad eviscerated Corbo last night.  And he gave the fish-woman a good seeing-to earlier in the week, though I'd say she put up a better fight - actually quite competent given the extremely sticky wicket she was batting on as regards the SNP's record in power and general cred / consistency on Devo & IndyRef2.

We're also told that BoJo must submit himself to the same car-crash experience early next month.  So - what questions is Brillo going to hit him with?  What should he ask?

Answers on a BTL poscard, please.

** that said, it wouldn't surprise me if some of the snowflake persuasion didn't view the rogering of Corbo as deeply unfair to poor grandad

Tuesday 26 November 2019

The Chief Rabbi says it all for the ages

So of all the elections in my lifetime, this is one that has actually got to me the most.

The first election I can remember at all was in 1987 and it was an easy win for the best Prime Minister the country has had in recent decades.

In 1992, Major somehow won it from Welsh windbag Neil Kinnock, it was a little aggressive with Major being egged on his soapbox but was a good election to lose really with the Country stuck in recession.

In 1997 I was abroad and likely as naively excited as many were to see Tony Blair win, clearly a centrist and the Tory party was at a low ebb by then.

However by 2001 I was back in the Country and fearful of what Brown was starting to do with the finances and of the Pound being thrown away for the Euro. I campaigned quite hard for the Tories for the first time, little good did it do.

By 2005 it was an election like 1987 again, Blair was always going to romp home and duly did, likley the dullest election I can remember.

In 2010 the Financial crisis had changed the World and Gordon Brown was a terrible Prime Minister, yet the Tories were still so far behind they could not quite clinch it.

2015 was more of a surprise, a resurgent Labour and the toil that public finances had been through meant that it seemed Labour might make largest party and that at least the Lib Dems would be King makers again.

The unexpected 2017 election was a horrible time. May I knew was rubbish and had never wanted her in high office. Plus as a remainer in a brexit Country she struck the wrong tone. But up against her now was the lunatic Corbyn with a disgusting pro-terrorist record, friend of Russia and economic basket case. Surely she could beat him? But Labour were canny and started this free gifts of the young set of policies which really shored up their base. The disaster of the 2017 Hung parliament ensued.

And so here we are, another unexpected election in 2019. Te thing that actually scares me is the amount of people I meet and see now who will forgive Corbyn's antisemitism and pro-terror past in order to vote for him. Either because remaining in the EU is more important to them or because they have decided the free stuff offer is for them. Additionally, Boris has a history of lying and flip-flopping (that was the nice term we used to use, now political life is more visceral). but the really odd thing is that he is framed as a right wing extremist and accused of racism himself; as if he is a mirror of Corbyn. Of course, in reality the Tories are not centrist not right wing, as their manifesto shows. yet so hostile is the media and so effective the momentum minutes of hate campaign that there is much traction with this. The Chief Rabbi today has tried to call out the overt racism of Labour, but sadly this will fall on deaf ears, such has become the partisan nature of our political discourse.

So now we are left with just over 2 weeks to go until the polls, Labour are recovering, the Lib Dems smashed by their own revoke conceit. I doubt Corbyn will win or even be largest party but it is very possible nonetheless - and then what will we have done economically, morally and politically? Also can we recover, I hoped for a big loss for Corbyn to allow the centrist Labour party to seize back control, but it is gone now. We are to have a permanent itch for hyper-socialism in the country and that is a very sad political development as it enshrines division and hatred.

See how little has changed in their tactics in 100 years:

Image result for communist tactics 1919"

Monday 25 November 2019

They're fleeing already

So went Boris Johnson's first commons address, to much merriment and memes.

However, in these unsettling times, this is now also true of our UK utility companies. Even the BBC has had to pick up on what the Energy and Utility companies are up to.

Having viewed with some displeasure the Labour decision to nationalise their entire sector and not being entirely trusting of the goodwill that will be shown towards their shareholders, they have acted.

National Grid has chosen to open a holding company in the EU. No mistaking here that the EU will not allow such government theft as is planned by Labour so the Grid is hoping EU law will still trump UK law (which of course, under Labour it will, when they remain - odd how events work out).

SS&E have chosen Switzerland where there is an Energy law they think they can take to International Arbitration in Geneva now that they have a Swiss Holding company.

Of course, Labour have reacted with some nonsense about billionaires and evil offshore folk. All very serious as ever. 

Very sensible corporate planning by the Utilities though, much as companies nervous about Brexit have set-up already in the EU.

What it shows yet again is how hot air from Politicians have real world impacts. I have some sympathy with those saying our politics is no good when both sides lie. here is a good example of how real costs - that ultimately will be passed to consumers - are incurred by rash statement from politicians.

Sunday 24 November 2019

Nervous Times for the Comrades

I think we know what's happening here.  A camp within the Labour manifesto-drafting team always wanted to include the WASPI pension giveaway.  McDonnell overruled it as being too costly.  The compromise was to keep it up their sleeves in case the other unicorn-promises weren't doing the trick.

Come Saturday's daily war committee, there's panic in all eyes: it ain't working!  Tories pulling ahead in the polls.  OK, says McDonnell, f**k it, we'll unleash the Big One.  So WASPI it is.

But given the disbelief with which the rest of the giveaways have been greeted, is doubling down going to work the trick?  Hard to tell.  WASPI gets some very heated middle-aged ladies very heated indeed.  I'm almost surprised every party didn't offer something on this, much like they all promised 'something' for Equitable Life victims (such as, errr, myself).

It all reminds me of an episode in Blair's 1997 successful campaign.  Curiously and needlessly, halfway through he got nervous: even John Major seemed to be doing OK.  Whadawe do now, Alastair?  Campbell handed him the doomsday script: Blair put on his ashen face for the cameras, drew himself up to his full height, gripped the lecturn with whitening knuckles, paused at length for maximum effect, set his lower lip a-trembling, and pronounced the Big Lie:  "The Tories ... are going to scrap the state pension!"  

We may see a replay of one like that in the next couple of weeks, if the polls don't look any better for Corbs.  Campbell will be preparing a choice of scripts even as I write.


UPDATE:  I have just found this - a bullet-list of the entire Labour manifesto.  There (appox) 570 pledges.  Overcooked?  Looks like it.

Thursday 21 November 2019

Labour Makes Its Move

This isn't going to be a full analysis of today's Labour manifesto, just the bits that interest me most, and whether they tell us anything useful.  Let's start with the most revealing.


Notwithstanding we can all read between the lines, they've gone for maximum respectability vis-à-vis the casual reader hoping not to find a knock-dead reason for spurning Corbyn.  Support for renewing Trident (sic); 2%-of-GDP minimum expenditure; "The primary duty of government is to guarantee the security of people in the UK"; "We will maintain our commitment to NATO"; "The UK defence industry is world-leading"; etc etc.   

In short: if they've succeeded with their bribes elsewhere in the document, they're hoping this nose-peg job of their own is enough to avoid a million patriotic vetoes in marginal constituencies.

There's also a continuation here of the workerist strand that runs throughout: the defence industry is lauded for providing skilled jobs; to be encouraged as such.  There's many a Tory who'd salute that particular flag. 

You can bet there's an entire closed-session briefing for dyed-in-the-wool Generation-Wuss Trots that starts: "don't worry about the Defence section, it's for older-generation comrades who are suffering from false consciousness; we don't mean a word of it".  So far, so thoroughly, power-seekingly pragmatic.


If anybody's paying attention, this is a real bugger's muddle.  On the one hand they are hoping to bask in the greenwash they've splattered over everything in sight (though they've realised committing to zero-carbon 2030 is ludicrous, much as that will disappoint some).  Then there's the crazy distraction they propose to bring upon themselves by nationalising not only the wires and pipes (which we've known about for months) but now also the energy supply business, but handing it over to local authorities.  This guarantees (a) a decade in the courts, and (b) power-failures and general chaos.  Or, more likely, (c) a big U-turn in due course.

But overhanging it all is that workerist theme. 
A thriving steel industry will be vital to the Green Industrial Revolution. Labour will support our steel through public procurement, taking action on industrial energy prices, exempting new capital from business rates, investing in R&D, building three new steel recycling plants and upgrading existing production sites. We will ensure that new technologies aren’t just invented here, but are engineered, manufactured and exported from here. We will put British innovation at the heart of our procurement to support local sourcing and reshoring, so that every investment we make strengthens our manufacturing and engineering sectors and supply chains and creates hundreds of thousands of good, unionised jobs here at home. We will use the power of public procurement to strengthen local jobs and supply chains and will require all companies bidding for public contracts to recognise trade unions, pay suppliers on time and demonstrate equalities best practice... we will ensure the UK’s automotive sector isn’t left behind ... by investing in three new gigafactories and four metal reprocessing plants. By supporting UK-made electrical steel we will ensure robust support for an end to end UK supply chain. We’ll also take on the global plastics crisis by investing in a new plastics remanufacturing industry creating thousands of jobs ...
Square that with yer zero-carbon future!  And I think we know which one would get priority, in the party that currently supports a new coal mine in Cumbria.  It has a name, by the way: the "Just Transition".  That'll be used to cover just about anything.

It'd take a bit of squaring with EU rules, as well.  And they wonder whether Corbyn & McDonnell want In or Out!


Received Wisdom solemnly reminds UK politicians of two sobering manifesto data-points.  First is Labour's very own Longest Suicide-Note in History of 1983; and more recently Mrs May's equally ill-judged 2017 version.  Both suffered from being unable to resist sticking down everything they'd ever dreamed of - and highly counterproductive they were.

Has Labour committed the same mistake again?  The franchise for immigrants and 16-year olds is being smuggled through with all the rest of the bribes, and an adroit Tory counter-campaign should be able to make that alone fatal to Corbyn's cause.  (I did say 'adroit'.)  Is this really the election for a compendium of everything the Left has ever dreamed of?   On the Beeb at 1 o'clock, Norman Smith's only point was, what makes them think this lot can be financed?  Not the reaction they were probably hoping for.

Do they really just want to see it all written down in black and white, so that they can go to their graves saying "if we'd won in 2019, it would have been great"?  And "no-one will ever accuse us of not thinking big: we emptied the tank".

We don't have long to wait.


Monday 18 November 2019

I just wish the Tory policies would make sense

It is so frustrating this election campaign:

- Labour have gone through the looking glass entirely, I thought 2017 was bad but 2019 is that on steroids. Now we have just pure crazy for a manifesto, nationalise everything, ban everything and not do Brexit either.

- The Lib Dems have discovered the modern proverb get woke. go broke. There are few votes for Swinson outside of Remainia, a small place to start with, as she lectures people on um, being men or other such transgressions.

- Which leaves the Tories way out in front with a simple promise (albeit soon to be broken) of doing Brexit and not being mad. However, they are not very Conservative. Over the weekend, Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, weighed in to announce under the new immigration policy there would be a surcharge for the NHS. All well and good, but if people come here and have a job offer (a pre-requisite of the new immigration policy)  then they will already be paying tax, 20% of which pays for the NHS. Why should they pay twice? Conservatives amongst all parties should not be promoting such a terrible idea.

Overall the Tories are still coming out with poorly though out ideas, especially around brexit and immigration. Yes they are miles better than the Opposition but that is a very low bar, it is so disappointing to live in an age of such 'agile politics' where nothing is thought our properly.

Friday 15 November 2019

Friday Fun: One wish from the Labour Magic Lamp

So, as we have long know, social media and Brexit have destroyed our body politics. Our political class has now stopped any pretence of seriousness and just promises anything to try and bribe voters; in many ways this is the end of democracy.

Back in 2009 and 2010, we wrote a series of articles on Greece - two years ahead of the eventual terrible financial crisis. One of the main takeaways was that the politicians in the Country had reduced democracy to bribing their own voting factions and nothing else, plus the bribes were increased massively with borrowed money. The result was a bankrupt country with 25% unemployment and a ruined body politic. I recall warning we may head the same way and by a little more circuitous route we have indeed!

Anyway, it is Friday so it is a challenge day. Imagine you are a political leader in the UK and you have one last bullet to fire to get as manay votes as possibly through electoral bribery - what do you choose to make free with you magic money tree wand?

Thursday 14 November 2019

Laws of Politics (1,2 & 3)

Looking back over the blog postings of many years, it transpires I have several times cited some of Drew's Laws of Politics - most recently this week when I cited #1 and #4, which somewhat piqued the interest of our BTL visitor Andrew.  Rising, then, to the bait on a quiet GE-campaign day, I shall regale you with the first three from the list.

Some words of introduction: I started compiling the Laws when I first became a local coucillor and launched myself into the cut-and-thrust of bitterly-fought intra-councillor disputes.   They were political with a small 'p', as Party rarely came into it.  Indeed, as a back-bench member of the ruling Group (which enjoyed a comfortable majority), most of the fighting that actually mattered was within that Group itself.  As politicians are wont to say: the people on the other side are the Opposition - the enemy is to be found amongst those around you...

At the start I was young and idealistic, like Guy Crouchback upon joining the Army in Waugh's celebrated trilogy, assuming that reasoning and sound research would win the day for the causes I espoused.  Oh dear, oh dear. 

And so I developed (a) the Laws - all highly empirical and battle-tested; and (b) 'elbows' and claws.   Old Nick.  That's me.

1. Never buy off anyone at a higher price than absolutely necessary 

This one is probably already explained suffiiciently in the previous post.  Good on Boris if he's obeyed it vis-a-vis Farage.  But many is the time I've seen it flouted - sometimes to my own advantage, when I have been the holder of the ransom-strip.

2. A high-profile move flushes out friend and foe alike 

The story went as follows.  Within my majority group on the council was an old duffer whose prime years of considerable power were well behind him (I never knew him in those days) but who nevertheless retained residual power-of-inertia: a seat on the all-powerful 'Policy Sub Committee' and the Chair of a prestigious committee.  He did nothing purposeful with the latter, being what was known as an 'Agenda Jockey' (as so many idle Ministers are), i.e. doing no more than steer through the agenda presented to him by the full-time council officers of the department that the committee oversaw, whipping it through via his inbuilt majority on the committee.

The head of the council department in question (a leftist, of course) despised the whole concept of services being provided by volunteers, and inserted into the agenda a proposal to curtail the council's use of a long-standing and highly effective volunteer group.  Said group were well organised.  I happened to know one of them personally: she approached me to resist this baleful move and, being a member of the old duffer's committee, I said I would.  When my informal approaches, first to him and then to my fellow committee members, were unsuccessful, I exercised my rights and put down a motion to the next meeting of the Full Council to have the decision reversed.

All Hell broke loose.  What was a newly elected member doing, moving against an approved committee decision?  The routine pre-meeting of the Group prior to the Council meeting turned very nasty.  As a matter of kneejerk loyalty, Policy Sub supported their man, as did the older generation of backbench colleagues for similarly conservative reasons.  However, I conducted myself calmly (though I say it myself) and it was clear there was plenty of support for my position, albeit rather quietly stated and unlikely to be in sufficient quantity to win the day (even with Opposition votes added).

Then a thunderbolt struck.  An ancient backbencher with whom I'd never had any dealings stated he'd learned on good authority that my wife was a member of the volunteers, and had a financial interest in the matter!  Utter bollocks on both counts: but I was gobsmacked, and could only stammer an unequivocal denial.  The mud, however, had been flung, and Duffer was clearly fighting back with everything he could muster.  

It came to the Group decision.  The Leader of the council, a Tory of enormous standing within the national party who really wasn't interested in local squabbles, might have ruled either way, and everyone would have fallen in line.   In the event, he simply (and fairly) asked: does Drew's motion have a seconder?  I feared the matter would fall there and then: but to my delight a very solid, up-and-coming second-term councillor said he would put his name to the motion in order to have it debated.  The Leader ruled that we were permitted to bring our motion, but equally made it clear he expected (without positively whipping it) that the votes were to be in favour of Duffer's policy.

The aftermath was instructive.  A large number of colleagues came up to me privately and expressed their disgust, not only for the episode but for Old Duffer himself and his nasty little policy.  My Motion was duly lost in Council, but in debate before the vote I took care to make my points calmly and impersonally, not even taking my full allotted speaking-time.  My seconder waived his right to speak, and I waived my right to sum up.  We didn't call for voting by name, so the motion fell simply on the louder cries of No after the distinctly fewer Ayes.  Our seemly conduct in all this was well received: we'd both evidently played the game properly.  

Duffer by contrast blustered dreadfully in the debate, even seeking from the Mayor an extension to his allotted time, which went down very badly.  He won the battle but lost everything in the end: his Chair, and the seat on Policy Sub were allocated to others at the next reshuffle (and I was promoted).

Yup: you certainly find out who your friends are.

3. Pick your enemy wisely and make a conspicuous move against him

This, you will quickly realise, is closely related to 2; the positive corollary, we might almost say.  It's to be taken as a prescription:  in order to establish yourself as a Player, positively seek out someone suitable to take on, and launch your attack.  High profile and unpopular suits the bill nicely: there's always a Duffer to be found.  

Of course, I hadn't set about him with that aim: but that's how it worked.  

To be continued:  there are seven more Laws to come ...


Monday 11 November 2019

Farage Makes His Move

To the utter disgust of some of the purist BTLers on Mr Raedwald's fine blog, Farage has made his move.  An entirely logical move, and actually the cleverest use of the leverage he has carefully assembled.  And, as luck would have it, more or less exactly what Raedwald asked of him first thing this morning.  Everybody's been thinking the same the past few days - we said it ourselves in our post at the end of last week. 

Two of Drew's Laws of Politics are in play here:

#4:  The lines of logistics in politcs are short.    Meaning, (most) decisions can be taken - by the right collection of people - in the small confines of a smoke-filled room: and if they are decisive people (unlike, e.g. May or Corbyn) they can be taken quickly, in a single sitting.  

Neatly, Farage ensured he entered the fray with the shortest possible lines of logistics in the context of a democracy (more or less), his party being quite literally a one-man band reserving unilateral powers of decision-making to N.Farage, esq.  Doesn't get tidier than that, short of being J.Stalin or A.T.Hun. 

#1:  Never buy off anybody at a price higher than absolutely necessary.   One of the neatest tricks in politics, as in business, is to get oneself into a position where one can threaten to make the obviously stronger party suffer a severe but avoidable nuisance.  Then sit back and wait to be bought off; to exact a fat fee for the ransom-strip so cunningly acquired.  In practice this frequently works out much more lucratively than it should - in business, as in politics.  Just as most businessmen secretly hanker after a monopoly, (and criminals seek enrichment without time-consuming effort), so most politicians dream of unopposed election, victory by acclaim (vide both Blair and Brown in turn).  Their inclination, therefore, is to rush for the metaphorical (or actual) chequebook and do a deal.  

Fearing more inconvenience than is actually plausible, they generally pay too much.  What would Cameron give for the opportunity to recalibrate his own offer to the electorate in 2015?   What joy came to Tony Blair by giving Brown full and explicit control of both the Treasury and domestic policy?   Etc etc etc: this particular strand of human history has been playing on a loop since 4004 BC.

Though further and better particulars are awaited in the present case, it looks very much as though Boris has held his nerve superbly, and paid nothing.  And Farage, making his own calculations, needed the concurrence of precisely nobody to carry his conculsions through.

I expect much wailing and gnashing of teeth across the public domain at this hilarious development.


Friday 8 November 2019

Guardian Wimmin Worried About Election

They've evidently had one of their angst-ridden coffee mornings (are you allowed to say this? - Ed) because the Graun wimmin are worrying in unison about how things will go with the voters.  First up was Ellie Mae O'Hagan (get that shiny face!), fretting that Tactical Voting would hurt Labour.  Next came Zoe Williams, worrying that Tactical Voting would, errrr, hurt Remain.  Finally, Oor Poll reckons what we really need is another Hung Parliament (sic).

I conclude from all this that none of them give Corbyn a cat's chance in hell of getting an absolute majority.  As our BTL friend Andrew hinted yesterday, this presumably means a dirty deal between Labour and SNP, so that (as they'd see it) the Left get their hands on the levers of power for at least one last destructive roll of the dice.  Enough time to do all those vicious scorched-earth things that can never be reversed, before they are ejected forever a few years down the line: votes at 14, opening the ports, leaving NATO, scrapping the nuclear deterrent, GCHQ and the security services etc etc etc.

Is a hung parliament enough to stop them?  If Lab + SNP have an overall majority, then probably No.  The SNP would be only too happy to destroy the rest of the UK on their way to the door.  

In this leftist wet-dreamworld, Nigel Farage gets (how shall we delicately put it?) a rather unflattering write-up in history.  He really does need to think carefully what he's doing.


Update: this is quite funny, too

Thursday 7 November 2019

Labour's spending insanity - UPDATE

I really struggled for a title for this short post, insanity is not the best word. But splurge has been over-used as have many others.

However, I thought it best we try and keep an overall tabs on Labour spending commitments...

"A hundred billion here, a hundred billion there, pretty soon your talking about real money" paraphrase Everett Dirksen.

So far with Environmental green wash, NHS and new homes I get to around £250 billion.

This is a mere 25% increase in Government spending. To raise this kind of money in tax would be some serious effort, 10p on income tax a wealth tax at 5% might make a little dent in it, but likely 25% VAT too.

Of course, they won;t do any of that and instead will just test the limits of the market for Gilt issuance and let future generation worry about penury.

It is an amazing start, the pure chutzpah is incredible but in many ways I think this is a good thing for the Country, we might actually start a debate on Government Spending, tax and debt again which should always be front of mind but which Brexit has allowed to drift.

We shall see, of course it could end with Corbyn in Downing St need to put in capital controls very quickly indeed.

UPDATE: So since this morning John McDonnell has come out to say £250 billion on Green stuff and £150 billion on Housing and NHS. So now just £400 billion of extra spending - a 50% increase in Government spending. Now I really am lost for words!

Tuesday 5 November 2019

UK Fracking Saga: Here Endeth the First Chapter

And so it came to pass that Boris the Populist, observing the extreme unpopularity of fracking in many northern parliamentary constituencies of a Conservative bent, decided to call an end to the experiment.  

This, I believe, is part of what the sage Lynton Crosby calls scraping the barnacles off the boat before an election, in stark contrast to the imbecile May who danced into the 2017 gig allowing people to think she was about to offer (inter alia) a free vote on foxhunting.  FFS

And who's to say Boris is wrong?  One can of course always work up a righteous lather over points of principle and U-turns etc: but does it really matter?   No.  The moment has passed.  It had become abundantly evident that, despite the epic quantities of natural gas the frackies reckon they've identified within these shores, it would have been a very long time indeed - if ever - before it could be turned into a windfall for the economy.  The primary beneficiaries thus far have been PR companies and the serried ranks of Plods on overtime.  

Maybe things could have been done differently and better, but they weren't.  Meanwhile there's a global glut of gas anyway, which will continue unless the Chinese accelerate their usage beyond what Russia can easily supply from entirely new eastern gasfields.  The Chinese don't show much sign of this (nor India, for that matter), despite a great deal of wishful thinking in all the great gas producing centres around the globe.  

But if the glut dries up a bit, there are any number of faraway places with equally epic resources of shale gas that will be much easier to develop than hereabouts - because there are no people in the vicinity to object; and/or no democracy.  Algeria springs quickly to mind.

And, of course, if things change utterly, well, that UK shale gas ain't going anywhere ...

Here endeth the UK shale gas saga, for the next short while at least.


Monday 4 November 2019

The real election numbers not being discussed

Here is the formal UK data chart for the share of government spending 5 years ago  - total spending  £743 Billion

And here is the same chart for 2019 - total spending £821 billion ( a 10%  gross increase)

As we can see, as he numbers are so large little really changes. The big and obvious change is that Healthcare spend has gone for 17% of Government spend to 20%. Pensions have edged up a little and this offsets welfare that is down a little. Education spend remains the same over the 5 years.

The long term trend is for healthcare, pensions and welfare to increase, since 2010 they have eaten up another 5% of annual government spend. Meanwhile Education has dropped from 13% to 11% and been held there.

For an election campaign, I would have zero sympathy with the usual Labour NHS stories. The real question is how as a Country will we ever stop the ongoing march of government spending on Healthcare (hint; we need more additional private provision). I have more sympathy with the teachers as school spending has been held down and also welfare spend has had a tiny squeeze - but remains a big spend item considering the economy has generated near full employment.

It is always interesting that no parties ever frame their offer in practical terms about what they would do, how they would grow or shrink this pie and also how they would make changes to the allocations.

Friday 1 November 2019

1st cut 2019 election view

Very busy in the Cpaitalist economy at the moment, which somewhat undermines the various politico's wailing about how badly the Country is doing economically.

Anyway this is reall a short post to start a useful discussion thread. This is not a house view, but my own. That is the only way to vote in the upcoming election is to vote against the incumbent wherever you are.

Clearly, on a cost-benefit analysis it is hard to make a case for any of the major parties outwith the Tories. But I can see Lib Dems as having an interesting position bar their lunacy on Brexit.

However, the colloective behaviour of the last set of Parliamentatarians is simply beyond the bounds of acceptability. Traiturous, lying and faking their way for nearly 3 years to achieve sweet nothing.

As a result of that none of them deserve anything other than their poltiical P45. Collectively they were awful and in a private company the whole management would be removed and we should do the same on a national level. Given the abject performance, the idea propogated in the press of late that we are losing good and experienced people just shows the media only take their line from said people themseleves. The only experience they have is in rank incompetence.

So however you vote, wherever you live in the UK, my advice is to try and get the incumbent out so that we can start again and try to renew the Country.