Monday 4 October 2021

Can the Tories recover their sanity?

 Today is the start of the Tory party conference. Whilst ahead in the polls against the mad left of the Labor party, they reality is this feels alot like 1995/6 to me. Back then, John Major's Government had lost its way, focusing on some bizarre things like the Cones hotline. Their credibility was shredded by the ERM debacle and never recovered. Blair breezed to a landslide in 1997. 

Today the Tories are lost, Boris is raising taxes to pay for the pandemic, they seem to think that wage rises are the way to improve the economy and that Brexit related shortages are not their fault. The thing is, most of them are and for now the public, unhappily, are ready to accept the Covid excuses, that won't last much longer in the face or incompetence. 

Also, the lack of ability to nail some poor behaviours is not helping. Take the DVLA, as we noted here they managed to be on strike and on furlough for long periods last year. Refusing to work at the Unions behest. Now we find ourselves lacking in qualified HGV drivers, the lack of new ones can be squarely blamed on DVLA unions officiousness - if only anyone from the Government could put two and two together. Instead, despite lacking drivers, the Government is against allowing in foreign drivers at a time of desperate economic need. This makes no sense whatsoever, there is no upside to this decision. Get the drivers now and plan for the long-term - don't plan for the long-term during the short-term crisis. 

Wage rises are another example of muddled thinking. Of course, over-supply of labour pushed wages down and effectively, along with China imports, caused the deflation which has left us with record low interest rates for over a decade. Closing off both these taps at the same time is going to be inflationary - what good will that do if rising wages are inflated away? There needs to be productivity improvements to match the rise in wages for sustainable growth - automation and digitalisation are the key drivers here which should see taxes cut for business investment.

The pronouncements of Tory ministers are very far from any complex understanding of the situation they find themselves in and Boris famously has no ideology but instead divines the populist will of the moment. This means despite lots of talk about long-term there is no George Osborne sense of actually meaning it or doing much to deliver it. 

My personal view is the Tories are at the edge, reliant on Labour being so abysmal to allow them to continue, but it wont be long before this is overcome if they continue with the manifold misteps of late. 


Nick Drew said...

Paul Mason, having been a major Starmer-backer 2 years ago (and author of the 10 pledges), is all over the place these days & widely vilified

but he sometimes says something of note, and at the weekend he offered us

"frustration in times of crisis does not move in a linear pattern. As with the murder of Sarah Everard murder, you get sudden moments of utter outrage where demands for change come from below"

not a work of genius but worth remembering: and obviously Starmer's whole strategy is that a 50:50 event like that happens in the run-up to the next GE (which of course it might)

djm said...

Ain't no Tories, Bro.

We (the electorate) are presented with a loose collection of globalist parties all frotting themselves with the opportunity of imposing the will of the NWO.

Pitchfork time approaches.

klu01dbt said...

And most of the media have got very good at creating outrage.

andrew said...

I see no pitchforks on the horizon.
I do see a growing understanding that 'they' are useless and are just busking the job of being in power and have a habit of backing their mates when it is supposed to be one rule for all and handing out contracts to people they went to college with and companies that are anonymously owned abroad.

... and so if the rules are arbritary and are enforced arbritarially why should i gollow them?

We slowly become italy.

Nigel Sedgwick said...

There was, IMHO at least, an interesting comment column from David Davis MP in the Saturday Telegraph - behind its subscription wall at .

This included the following, which I thought made quite a bit of sense.

"We need a whole new, Conservative, economic strategy. It starts by dealing with the £400 billion cost of Covid. We should treat it like war debt and get it off the nation’s short term balance sheet. We should issue long-dated Covid bonds and sell them at home and abroad. Then in 50 years from now Covid will be just a distant memory and cost."

Are there any views here, for or against such a thing?

Keep safe and best regards

Nick Drew said...

war debt / covid bonds?

well, war is an appropriate analogy for a lot of what's happened. "But we should never have go into it" ... "things would be a lot better if we had never gone to war" ... "why do we need a blackout? - there are never any aircraft around here" ... "melting down railings is a crazy thing to do, it's just for pubic show" - but hey, it happened; lots of stuff needs to be done in response; and big mistakes, the size of the Norway campaign and the Surrender of Singapore have been perpetrated

oh yes, and there are profiteers, too

but war it is, and no nation has been just a spectator - not even Ireland this time

Anonymous said...

@ Paul Mason, having been a major Starmer-backer

How does that Trot hold his head up in the circles he likes to frequent?

E-K said...

Countryfile seemed to get the message at last. That we had become too reliant on the abuse and exploitation of poor foreign labour.


Brexit was never about blocking out lorry drivers but being able to choose the workers we *needed*.

It is not right to make a skilled job like HGV driving low in pay and conditions and I don't believe that paying a driver an extra £10 an hour can make much of a difference to the unit cost of a 40 tonne load of meat or Gillette razors.

This is - I'm afraid - about class again. Eric can't be paid more than Tarquin, end of.

High wages inflationary ? Well low wages and unemployment should be too as they inflate the tax bill with welfare costs. And of course housing costs are not counted in the inflation figures either.

E-K said...

I now have two friends on at death's door. One is only 53. The other is 82 so fair enough, I suppose (kidney cancer.)

The 53-year-old is (I'm sad to say) a close life-long mate and is now on a vibrating mattress like my poor dad was - the cancer has broken his sternum and means he can't move, cough, speak without excruciating pain.

Not spotted in lockdown.

Still no known deaths from Covid in my circles.

Then again - I suppose the young always paid the price of keeping the old alive in war...

Hold on a minute... this wasn't a war. When did we get into thinking and acting like it ever was ?

The objective of saving the NHS has been lost. It shut down.

Bill Quango MP said...

DVLA have also prevented anyone taking a driving test for a year. With some justification, if you allow for the Covid restrictions.

But, like the government itself, they have not planned in any way, for the demand following the reinstatement of driving tests.

Mr Drew is absolutely correct about the war view.
I gather that Lord Frost of Brexit spoke to an almost empty Hall today. Previously Brexit would have been all consuming. For MPs, media and public.

Mr Churchill, the most popular leader of all time. The victor of WW2, lost the next election.

Matt said...

Killing people by not treating them in the NHS (see E-Ks experiences), teachers giving up on children's education, killing off viable hospitality businesses, the public sector wanting a pay rise for hard work during the pandemic, doctor wanting priority access to fuel (when they don't even open surgery's to people), the mental toll of lock down, media stoking panic over everything, banning ICE cars, intermittent power from renewables, environmental insanity all backed up with massive debt etc.

And now they want to tax more to pay for the above. TPTB are pissing down our backs and telling us it's rain!

Charlie said...

"Closing off both these taps at the same time is going to be inflationary - what good will that do if rising wages are inflated away?"

Depends what your goal is.

Inflate away unrepayable levels of debt? Check.

Get the welfare bill down by lagging inflation? Check.

Grow the tax take without putting up tax rates? Check.

Allow some air out of the housing bubble without upsetting the core vote with nominal falls? Check.

Charlie said...

By the way, Boris is very, very vulnerable to the realisation that the NHS has done nothing useful for the last 18 months. By the time the GE comes round, this will be very obvious and doubtless have been seized upon (and rightly so) by the media.

The Tories' current election strategy is to "do a Blair" and occupy traditional Labour ground. It's desperate to be seen as the party of the NHS. Pretty difficult when you've got hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths on your hands thanks to lunatic reactions to Covid.

Don Cox said...

I think the main cause of the "preventable deaths" is the shortage of doctors and nurses. There were no reserves in the NHS to cover an emergency such as a pandemic.

In fact, we seem to have a shortage of useful skilled people of all kinds.

Don Cox

E-K said...

BQ - In all previous wars there were pandemics. The fighting carried on.

Bill Quango MP said...

Cap-X on the net zero target, 2035.

Discussing investment in gas.

“Asking people to invest in something you are trying to abolish by a fixed deadline only a few years away is not a very appealing prospect.”

Anonymous said...

"As with the murder of Sarah Everard murder, you get sudden moments of utter outrage where demands for change come from below"

This is more of an indicator that Mason is a sodding idiot. That guy was a one-off, a bad egg, a rotten apple (although to be fair if it had happened before DNA, CCTV, mobiles he'd stand much more chance of getting away with it. I've never been sure about the Clydach murders).

Now policemen have always been more testosterone driven than most, and this combined with the ongoing sexual revolution means that inevitably you'll get someone having sex with a drunk girl at 3 am on duty, or ending up "counselling" a domestic violence victim. Coppers in George Dixon's day weren't often exposed to that sort of temptation.

If you think your average Brit copper is a potential rapist, just wait til you're stopped by DC Malik and PC Oluwale.

Anonymous said...

The feminists were all out for Sarah Everard because she was one of them - an educated middle class career girl, probably a Remainer.

It's the same reason the feminists WEREN'T out for 1400 raped girls in Rotherham - because those girls were working class, their mums probably voted Leave if they voted at all. No demos for them, although the police failure in Rotherham was institutional and widespread, not a one-off case.

It's amazing how much today's 'left' looks like the 'right' of the late c19th.

hovis said...

If this were a newspaper, surely a perfect example Betteridge's rule of headlines?