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Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 months ago

In the light of PayPal’s withdrawal of service from the Free Speech Union one step her government could take is to replace the Online Safety Bill with a law making it illegal to deny digital services to anyone on grounds of race, creed or colour – and creed includes belief. Unless the speech is illegal, such as promoting violence or terrorism, no one should be censored or shadow-banned for political beliefs. Nor should anyone lose a bank account for saying the wrong things.

I have urged my MP to support such a proposal and hope others will press their MPs to do the same in order to reign in the fascistic anti-free speech tendencies of US corporations operating in the UK.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Perfectly reasonable point, however not sure what this has to do with the article.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
2 months ago

She’s been Prime Minister for a fortnight, she can hardly be blamed for not abolishing the Green Belt just yet! At least Truss and Kwarteng are attempting to set out a path to growth, unlike that dreary bean counter Sunak. An energy price cap is not “a clear sign of a disconnect between the words and actions of Truss’s top table”. Massively inflated energy prices will be a burden on the economy either way: the question is whether the Exchequer is better placed to carry some of that burden, or whether households and businesses must pick up the whole tab immediately. And its easy to dismiss regulation of bankers’ pay, sugar taxes, bans on foie gras, and all the rest as small beer, but cumulatively they created an environment in which it has been unnecessarily expensive to do business. We can’t afford that any more. Liz Truss almost single handedly turned the political tide on Trans “rights”. She might surprise us yet.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

As we say in Cork: “I hope it stays fine for ye!” Or to use the more modern idiom: “Good luck with that!” To be fair Truss has done a huge amount in a fortnight: sadly, every move is guaranteed to do far more damage than good.
What she should have done is nationalise the energy companies (not expensive) so that the vast profits end up in UK pockets instead of going abroad. Fat chance of that eh?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

As we say in Arcadia: “Nunc est bibendum “.(Thank you Ms Truss).

I doubt that you are old enough to recall what the ‘energy companies’ and others were like in the days of nationalisation?

In a nutshell they were lazy, inefficient, costly behemoths that hung around the neck of the UK like so many putrefying Albatrosses. With perhaps the exception of the railways we are well rid of most of them.

If they are guilty of excessive greed or usury, by all means chastise them with punitive taxation, but never, never, renationalise them, even if it means letting some of them “crash and burn”.

Last edited 2 months ago by stanhopecharles344
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago

I’m old enough. So when something is inefficient the only solution is to privatise it? You could have reformed it? BR had 600,000 employees at one time (I’m old enough to remember that too) so why, pray tell does it not qualify? And are you seriously telling me that the current gouging by the energy firms and water companies is working well? The owners of both aren’t even British fgs! The vast profits go to foreigners! The sewage is in the rivers and on the beaches! Are you living in the UK? ..or in some parallel universe?

Nick Faulks
Nick Faulks
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Yes, but that is because the regulators are in collusion with, if not actually the same people as, those they regulate. That corruption is not impossible to fix ( if there is a will ).

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

In answer to your final question, Switzerland.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Because it never works out that way. Not in Britain, anyway. State-owned business always end up as political hostages to electoral agendas and the decisions made by, or rather for, them are driven by politics, not business sense, Dominic Sandbrook’s ‘Seasons in the Sun: Britain 1974-79’ covers this ground pretty well.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 months ago

“In a nutshell they were lazy, inefficient, costly behemoths that hung around the neck of the UK like so many putrefying Albatrosses“

So what has changed with privatisation, except the workers wages stagnating and those at the top creaming off a healthy profit? Those energy companies are still all the things you’ve mentioned

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
2 months ago

Yes, much like every other State-owned business.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Which would do precisely nothing to address the serious strategic energy issues the UK undoubtedly has, make the government even more directly responsible for every investment and other key decision, plus strengthen producer versus consumer interests. We have actually tried wholesale nationalisation before, and it certainly did not result in lean efficient, consumer focused businesses!

Ben 0
Ben 0
2 months ago

No mention here of huge population growth. Why are the media wilfully, collectively in denial about mass immigration and its implications??

Lana Hunneyball
Lana Hunneyball
2 months ago
Reply to  Ben 0

Exactly. Abolish green belts and more growth – is it psychosis or stupidity – is the escalating climate chaos just not impacting enough? Are we really doomed by our own delusions of grandeur? The lack of dot joining at every level just blows my mind.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago

I know! It’s absolutely amazing isn’t it? The only possible explanation is that many of the non-deniers must really be climate deniers at heart? Either that or they don’t have children. Or possibly they don’t have hearts?

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago

What point are you making here? ‘that the world is doomed’? No it is not!

Vici C
Vici C
2 months ago
Reply to  Ben 0

They are just not being honest. Our birth rate (indigenous) has been flat lining for decades yet we “need” hundreds of thousands of new houses. Why don’t they just own up to their inviting 3 or 4 million people to UK by the end of the decade? The term nimbyism needs to be binned. Not in anyone’s back yard – the spoiling of our country is criminal. It is soul destroying and under other circumstances could be called abusive. Cheap labour is not the answer to our economy.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago
Reply to  Vici C

Then you gotta breed! If you don’t and have no immigrants there’ll be no one to pay your pension, no carers, no nurses.. you’ll have to just die at home, frozen, starving but hey, White and British!

Blaze Away
Blaze Away
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Better still, reduce taxes so that parents can afford more than one child.
Nothing to do with race to anyone except you -except you clearly hate the British

Last edited 2 months ago by Blaze Away
William Cameron
William Cameron
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

We do not need the extra 10m that have been impposed on us to look after care homes.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

‘They’ll pay your pension!’ Yes, that’s just the phrase that pops into my mind when I see the confused-looking, red-eyeballed African asylum seekers hobbling and gimping around outside the local mental hospital, or the Albanian drug-dealers driving by in their brand new Audi R8s and Bentleys, or read of the latest death by knife or gun of a ‘promising young Drill rapper’, or read evasive reports of the, er, ‘unrest’ in Leicester.
You’re in a delusional extreme-liberal fantasy. Even the Swedes are starting to wake up to the horrors, the social bone-cancer, that successive globalist governments have jammed down their throats.

Last edited 2 months ago by Peter Joy
William Cameron
William Cameron
2 months ago
Reply to  Vici C

Its far more than that . Population has gone up 10m in 20 years. 2m from ageing and the other 8m by net immigration. 12m arrivals and 4 m leavers.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago
Reply to  Ben 0

You need yo check the stats: the UK’s declining birth rate is a real economic problem looking to the future. If it wasn’t for immigrants and their higher birth rates the outlook would be much worse. Far from being a problem, immigration is a solution! I know: I know, you don’t want to hear that! The fact remains: you WASPs are unable or at least unwilling to reproduce yourselves! Someone’s got to do it for you!

Vici C
Vici C
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Your solution is a self perpetuating problem. For one we are talking about cheap labour. It would not stay cheap forever. Two, these extra people will also grow old and need social care resources. And three with more and more jobs going to AI in the future we will end up with a surplus of unemployed. You can’t just go on and on adding people to the population (of whatever creed or colour, I don’t mind) – it has to stop somewhere. Then what? It is like making a cake and adding more and more ingredients in the hope it will help. Scrap the cake and start a different model. This is about short termism, to kick up the economy but the damage will be irreparable.

William Cameron
William Cameron
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Completely untrue. The UK has increased its population by 20% in the last 20years. 10m additional people . less than 5% of those are needed as carers and nurses.

Josie Bowen
Josie Bowen
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Last year here were 214,256 abortions in England and Wales. Now, if women could only be persuaded to keep their babies, it would be a huge benefit to the population.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Bullocks, Immigration, and the consequent suppression of wages, unavailability of housing and general demoralisation and immiseration of society it has created, is one of the key reasons indigenous English people are unable to form stable families at an early age to have enough children.
Round the 10 million illegals up, send them home, and then you’d see an almost immediate improvement in living standards, national morale and the native birthrate.

Last edited 2 months ago by Peter Joy
William Cameron
William Cameron
2 months ago
Reply to  Ben 0

Quite. 10m increase in 20 years !!!

James Rowlands
James Rowlands
2 months ago

“The grammar school had certain positive impacts at a certain time, but it’s slowly become clear that they tend to favour the rich and have a minimal impact on overall attainment.”
So what?
If a parent wants to send their kid to a Grammar School then fine by me.
I want parents to be able to use a voucher to spend on the education provision of their choice. Grammar schools, state schools or yes, use them to pay part of a private school cost. It is there money allocated to their child. Why should they pay twice?
Same suggestion for NHS “healthcare”…. Especially non existent NHS dentistry.
You want to change Britain the money and therefore control, needs to move move directly to the people who use the services.

Last edited 2 months ago by James Rowlands
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

So middle class welfare then? The tax of the poor will pay to subsidise the private education of much richer families?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
2 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Not really – it’s perfectly possible to put in a system like this while simultaneously changing the taxation levels of different income groups.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ian Barton
JR Stoker
JR Stoker
2 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

No. The precise opposite if you think about it

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
2 months ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

He wont

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

OMG progressive taxation! Are you mad? The whole point of the Tory plan is to extract everything from the poor! Didn’t you read the bit about Brittania Unchained being totally opposed to redistribution? Of course it does support distribution from the poor to the rich – Liz Truss has openly stated that! It’s fair!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

How so? If the state pays a set amount for every child in the form of a voucher, which richer parents can then use to reduce the cost of their child’s private education (which is financially out of reach of poorer children), how is that anything but welfare for the already wealthy? It also leaves less money for the state schools which would then fall even further behind, reducing the opportunities for bright kids from poor backgrounds even more than they are currently

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
2 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

When we needed to arrange a care home for my father, we needed to ensure it was one which catered specifically to his religious needs. The council paid the usual amount it would for their own homes & we, the family, topped up the difference…What’s the problem with that? My father had worked all his life & paid the relevant taxes & we wanted something different to accommodate his needs. This is what happens in my community all the time. We get the same as everyone else is entitled to in the same position & if we want different for religious reasons, we the family, or our community, pay the extra cost. All faith groups should do the same in my opinion.

Katy Hibbert
Katy Hibbert
2 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The “poor” pay little or no tax and are net recipients of the tax take. They are not “subsidising the private education of much richer families”; their own children’s education is being paid for by the richer families who pay much more tax.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
2 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

What a perverse and morally twisted comment. The ‘tax of the poor’ doesn’t subsidise anyone, you Commie prevert. In general, it doesn’t even begin to cover the cost ‘the poor’ impose on society and economy as a whole.
The top 10% of earners pay about 80% of income tax. They’re the ones who are doing the subsidising, Comrade Bob.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

OMG that’s akin to Democracy and People Power! Surely the whole drive is to remove any remaining vestige of power from the 90%? The plan to keep ’em cold and hungry is a good one as cold, hungry people are too weak to riot..

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
2 months ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

How can it *slowly* become clear? They were binned 50 years ago by Crosland…50 years for something to ‘become clear’ is way past slowly?
The lesser private schools were dying on their backside when Grammars were going strong. Nowadays all the hundreds of private schools (below the top 5 or 6) are basically Grammar Schools that people have to pay for these days…if they can.
As opposed to Grammars where many working class kids went whose families can’t now, and couldn’t then, have paid., I know because I was one, and everyone I knew at Keswick Grammar was working class.

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
2 months ago

I don’t quite understand why Grammar Schools should favour the rich. I was brought up on a council estate and got a place at Grammar School along with a lot of other kids from poorer areas. My family was not at all rich. Doesn’t the comprehensive system hinder social mobility since it allows more affluent parents to move to catchment areas of the better schools which are usually in the more affluent areas. Grammar schools were fairer in that respect.
I do have misgivings about the 11plus. I think there should be a better way to select kids for grammar school.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

“Doesn’t the comprehensive system hinder social mobility since it allows more affluent parents to move to catchment areas of the better schools which are usually in the more affluent areas.”

This gets the process back to front. Aflluent people move to areas where there are already well-performing schools. This is then re-interpreted by the left to mean that because the resulting parents of attendees are affluent, the schools then (and only then) ‘benefit’ from this extra wealth. This is simply false in terms of the process.

Last edited 2 months ago by Arnold Grutt
Kevin L
Kevin L
2 months ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

In my school district (London Borough of Bexley) the catchment area for my school was the whole of the borough which included both rich areas and poor areas.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
2 months ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Not so: countless studies show that it’s class rather than the classroom that is the greatest determinant of a child’s success. Teachers (it pains me, as one, to admit) have little impact. Schools know if they lose interest from wealthy parents, results and reputation are likely to plummet. As to the success of grammar schools, the research is pretty unequivocal on the fact that bright kids tend to do well whether in mixed ability classes or streams (a grammar school itself being a top stream), whereas poorer performing children slightly benefit from mixed ability). That said, that argument (often made on the left) is also a denial of class barriers (though I suppose at that point they would row back and say they meant ‘middle class’ rather than ‘bright’)

Last edited 2 months ago by Desmond Wolf
Kevin L
Kevin L
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

I also lived on a council estate and went to a grammar school — the same one that Will Hutton from The Guardian went to. Hutton said that there were no poor kids at his school but he didn’t see the crowd of kids in their purple blazers who waited at the bus stop outside my council estate.
Hutton himself said it was a cheap way for him to get a good education. if the grammar school had not existed, he would have gone to private school. Nigel Warburton (also at my school) said the same. Going to a private school was not an option for me because we were poor. The correct comparison is poor kids at grammar schools vs rich kids at private schools not vs poor kids at comprehensives.
It may be true that rich kids have an advantage in the 11+ but studies from the USA show that the further you get from a pure IQ test (grades in class, essays, teacher recommendations, diversity selection etc) the more it favours rich kids and excludes poor kids. 11+ is the worst system except for all the others.

Kathleen Stern
Kathleen Stern
2 months ago
Reply to  Kevin L

Totally agree. Myself and my 2 sisters lived on a council estate after a post war assembled house. We all passed the 11+ and went to a convent grammar school then higher education. Parents worked 2 jobs at times to afford it.

Katy Hibbert
Katy Hibbert
2 months ago
Reply to  Kevin L

Leftards don’t like IQ tests because blacks don’t do as well in them, and blacks are Leftards’ voting block.

Kevin L
Kevin L
2 months ago
Reply to  Katy Hibbert

Is ‘Leftards’ your term for the people with whom you disagree? It seems less than kind.

Last edited 2 months ago by Kevin
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
2 months ago
Reply to  Kevin L

Amazing the self-congratulating disregard here for those pupils who don’t make it to a grammar school from those who did. As a child I performed badly on the sorts of verbal reasoning tests required to get into grammar schools. If there had been a grammar school instead of a good comprehensive in my neighbourhood it’s less likely I would have got to university (the same for my friend who at the age of 11 was put in the bottom stream at his school, euphemistically called ‘heaven,’ before later becoming one of the highest achieving students at Oxford). We will always be grateful that there was no grammar school system in our local area to prematurely siphon us of into the sort of low-skill low-wage futures to which governments have been condemning generations since Thatcher. God bless Anthony Crosland.

Last edited 2 months ago by Desmond Wolf
Kevin L
Kevin L
2 months ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

> Amazing the self-congratulating disregard here for those pupils who don’t make it to a grammar school from those who did. 
Presumably, by self-congratulating disregard, you are referring to my mention of the fact that two of my siblings and two of my nephews went to secondary moderns and have done very well in life.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
2 months ago
Reply to  Kevin L

Amazing the self-congratulating disregard here for those pupils who don’t make it to a grammar school from those who did. As a child I performed badly on the sorts of verbal reasoning tests required to get into grammar schools. If there had been a grammar school instead of a good comprehensive in my neighbourhood it’s less likely I would have got to university (the same for my friend who at the age of 11 was put in the bottom stream at his school, euphemistically called ‘heaven,’ before later becoming one of the highest achieving students at Oxford). We will always be grateful that there was no grammar school system in our local area to prematurely siphon us of into the sort of low-skill low-wage futures to which governments have been condemning generations since Thatcher. God bless Anthony Crosland.

Paul Walsh
Paul Walsh
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Have always said that they could simply change selection to top percentage from each junior school, rather than the catchment area as a whole. At worst this would mean richer parents would send their kids to schools in poorer areas.

Vici C
Vici C
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Why don’t they just improve the education in State Schools? Problem solved.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
2 months ago
Reply to  Vici C

Because the size of comprehensive schools is unmanageable and bullying is a major problem. Targeted education could be done in smaller schools.
In Northumberland, we have a three tier system, with small middle schools, including in rural areas. They are a much more comfortable environment for younger teenagers. Once they start their GCSE course, most teenagers would be able to self-select their future path, with the help of trained professionals. Parents should not be involved, as middle class parents would push out able children from working class homes, particularly if their parents didn’t value education.
A return to the grammar/technical/secondary split at high school level would be desirable. In Northumberland, the technical schools were basically agricultural schools, with boarding houses and Young Farmers’ Clubs, and were hugely beneficial for children from very remote places.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Exactly. Grammar schools only ‘favour the rich’ if they are in short supply and in rural counties. When there was at least one in every town, and several in cities, they favoured the able. They were also often single sex which, at least up to sixteen, produces better results and reduces sexual abuse in schools, particularly if the teachers in girls’ schools are all female.
Far too much money is wasted on ‘children with special needs’ who, in most cases, will contribute very little to society (I do not include bright but physically disabled children in that – they should be prioritised), whilst the children who have the potential to contribute the most to society, if they live in a poorer area, are held back by ghastly schools and ‘woke’ teachers.
Comprehensives in university towns, wealthy suburbs and affluent, commuter belt market towns are not comprehensive at all. Unfortunately, it is their products, and their parents, who set the agenda.

Katy Hibbert
Katy Hibbert
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Doesn’t the comprehensive system hinder social mobility since it allows more affluent parents to move to catchment areas of the better schools which are usually in the more affluent areas.

Of course it does. All lefties are hypocrites about this. They claim to be against private education but send their wokette offspring to private schools (Shami Chakrabarti, Diane Abbot, David Dimbleby and the ghastly Jame’s O’Brien). Or if their kids are too thick, they buy an education by moving to a wealthy area with a good comprehensive, like “Tony” Benn did.
They loathe the thought of grammar schools because bright kids from council estates may, if given a chance, do better than their leftard, woke brats. They also loathe academies and other successful schools such as the Michaela School run by the excellent Katharine Birbalsingh, for the same reason – the last thing leftards want is the working classes being too clever and uppity.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

I just said the same thing…regarding the idea they were somehow all middle class. That is rubbish. Re the 11+..in the system as it worked in Cumberland in the 60s there was a second chance of some sort a year after the 11+. I know because some friend who failed the 11+ got moved from the local secondary school into the Grammar.
I do agree about having a very flexible system for entrance, but it drives me mad when people just paint them as all middle class..they weren’t. Unlike Private Schools which were dying really back then (not the elite ones but all the lesser ones, scrapping Grammars gave them a massive shot in the arm, and today they are basically grammar schools, but only for those who can afford to pay.

Rob J
Rob J
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

I’m so bored of arguments about grammar schools from individual people based on individual circumstances, as if this contradicts the evidence from large-scale, representative-sample surveys. (It’s the equivalent of people denying that smoking causes cancer because “my dad smoked 60 a day and lived till he was 103”. Yes, he did. But, on average, there is a wildly clear negative correlation between smoking and life expectancy.) In this case, the overall evidence is clear that grammar schools have no overall positive impact on social mobility — their raison d’être in the eyes of most advocates — because, for every bright working-class kid who makes good via a grammar school, there are many other bright working-class kids who don’t get into a grammar school because the places are taken by not-so-bright middle-class kids whose parents make damned sure, whether by tutoring, moving, or whatever else, that their kids gets in (because they’re so desperate to avoid their kid going to a secondary modern or equivalent. And this is the giveaway: everyone here is advocating “grammar schools” as if they’re the only school involved in that system, but of course the majority of people go to another type of school, and the grammar school fans move heaven and earth to avoid sending their kids to that type.)

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob J

Indeed. Amazing the self-congratulating disregard here for those pupils who don’t make it to a grammar school from those who did. As a child I performed badly on the sorts of verbal reasoning tests required to get into grammar schools. If there had been a grammar school instead of a good comprehensive in my neighbourhood it’s less likely I would have got to university (the same for my friend who at the age of 11 was put in the bottom stream at his school, euphemistically called ‘heaven,’ before later becoming one of the highest achieving students at Oxford). We will always be grateful that there was no grammar school system in our local area to prematurely siphon us of into the sort of low-skill low-wage futures to which governments have been condemning generations since Thatcher. God bless Anthony Crosland.

Graham Thorpe
Graham Thorpe
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Here’s one contra-narrative idea… Why not make going to a Grammar school a choice. Free to all but with conditions. Impose a set of strict standards about things such as attendance, homework expectation, guarantees of parental support, pupils’ appearance, use of mobile phones etc, then those who are willing to sign up to it can go. The rest can go to the other alternative school where none of those things are enforceable -i.e, the present situation more or less everywhere. If you sign up to the Grammar and don’t comply you’re out.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Thorpe

Good idea, and I would add expulsion for bullying as this can be a major problem as mentioned by Caroline Watson above. What those who value education want is an atmosphere where children can have engaged teachers who want to teach well and children who want to learn.

My wife describes how the teachers at her comprehensive gave up on trying to teach three quarters of the class who were not interested and tried to concentrate on those who who actually wanted an education. Here own written English was also badly affected by stupid educational ideas by comprehensive teachers teaching whole word recognition instead of proper spelling of words. Proper punctuation was also abandoned.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jeremy Bray
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Thorpe

Nice one – curiosity and courtesy should be what count, not premature measurements of ability!

polidori redux
polidori redux
2 months ago

I gave up on the Tory Party a long time ago.
As for housing, I haven’t noticed a shortfall of new developments in South Cambridgeshire – it’s being buried under concrete. I wil oppose this vociferously as long as the Tory Party follows an open-door immigration policy.

Last edited 2 months ago by polidori redux
Vici C
Vici C
2 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

The author obviously hasn’t visited East Anglia, where an extensive and rapid programme of new build has been going on for years. It is a cliche, I know, but I really don’t recognise the place. Easy pickings for greedy developers: acres of flat empty land.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
2 months ago

Gosh, this was quick off the mark. No sooner was she made Prime Minister the Queen died suddenly, so they’ve not really had any opportunity to make major policy announcements until this week. And they’ve started with a mini budget.

The thrust of the criticism here seems to be that Truss is a failure because she has not implemented the entirety of the book Britannia Unchanged in her first week on the job. Should we give her a month or two, see what she does in that time before carping that she’s not solved decades worth of wide reaching problems in a week?

Blaze Away
Blaze Away
2 months ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

Let’s put it this way: she is printing money to pay people’s fuel bills.
The pound today fell to 1.12 euros.
Interest rates should be 10-12%. They are 2.25%.
It is savers whose wealth is being diluted by the printing and the subsequent low interest rates who are paying for all the extra public spending.
The middle class and the self-reliant working class are being destroyed with forethought

Martin Bide
Martin Bide
2 months ago

As usual there is an elephant in the room. Nearly a million unskilled immigrants last year with little social capital. This has been going on for decades. Are you looking for a reason for low productivity growth; look no further. Further more these millions of immigrants put pressure on education, housing, health and social services. One primary school teacher in West London had children with 32 different languages to teach. What hope for the English children in that school?
Economists with dishonest agenda argue that immigration is “profitable”. They argue that planning controls restrict growth; explain the history of Hong Kong or Singapore then. They argue that QE causes inflation; they have no knowledge or conception of the “Chicago Plan”. Where on earth is the intelligence in our chattering classes? Perhaps Dutton and Woodley have it right?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bide

Nearly a million? Actually less than 580,000 and if you deduct the 340,000 emigrants (who must therefore be immigrants into other countries: oh sorry they’re expats are they?)…
..you’re left with a figure of less than ¼ million. If you keep that up there’ll be as many immigrants as the current population in 240 years! (60/¼).
However, in ¼ of that time all the immigrants will morph into Kwatengs, Patels, Javids, Sunaks Bravermen and El Faijads etc. and they will be running the govt for you.. So all will be well: fear not..

Blaze Away
Blaze Away
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You’re obsessed with race. Why?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  Blaze Away

Because Ireland is one of the most racist nations in the EU, especially for black people only Finland and Luxembourg came out worse in recent surveys. Britain by comparison came out second best

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Interesting, do you have a link to the survey, please?

R Wright
R Wright
2 months ago
Reply to  Blaze Away

Irish sponges with Guardianista Characteristics

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 month ago
Reply to  R Wright

Odd comment. If, as per the previous poster, the Irish are among the most racist folk in Europe, how on earth would it follow that they would read the Guardian en masse? Logically, you can’t simultaneously accuse an entire country of being extremely racist and extremely right-on. But then again, when it comes out dishing out racist comments about the Irish, I guess any insult will do, right?  And the irony goes straight over your head lol.

Kevin L
Kevin L
2 months ago

Reading the paper on the advantages (or not) of grammar schools:
The authors compared kids who barely passed the 11+ (And went to grammar school) with kids who failed. This seems like an odd comparison.
At my grammar school, many kids struggled with the more difficult work and achieved poor results. Presumably these were the kids with low 11+ scores.
Two of my siblings went to a secondary modern and did well anyway from the “big fish in a small pond” effect. My nephew did too and ended up a bank manager by age 21.
These are mere anecdotes but I think they call into question the premise of the study.
One thing that is certain is that kids benefit from being surrounded by other kids who are smart and want to learn. Grammar school gave that to me and I will be forever grateful.

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
2 months ago
Reply to  Kevin L

A little way above I said I went to a grammar school, which I did but it was a bit more involved than that. I failed the 11+ and went to a secondary modern in what they called the G stream for kids who were marginal fails. After 2 years the local authority brought in a system where we could move to a grammar school. I did and so did quite a few others in the G stream from that school and others in the city.
The contrast between the 2 schools was stark. The secondary modern was rife with bullying and bad behaviour. If you were smart you kept your head down. Swots got bullied. It was a real eye opener when I moved to the grammar school where there was, in the main, a strong sense that you were there to study.
In the town where I live now there are big council estates in one part. The comprehensive which serves those areas is in special measure. They’ve had 4 head teachers in two years. 3 of them leaving due to stress. If you are a bright kid living in that part of town it’s an uphill struggle to make progress.
I read a while ago that some Academies are offering grammar school style teaching where students are selected and taught in separate buildings. From what I remember, the teachers unions took the government to court to force them to stop that practice but I don’t know what the outcome was.

John Thorogood
John Thorogood
2 months ago

Pretty pointless article from a so-called strategist. All criticism and no constructive ideas to offer. Complete waste of column inches.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago
Reply to  John Thorogood

I think the point of the piece is that there ARE no viable solutions! Do you have any? I do: a windfall tax on all profits and a wealth tax of say 10% – problem solved, overnight!

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Thank God that lunatics like you aren’t actually in charge.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
2 months ago

And another thing, Grammar schools most definitely worked. Our parents couldn’t afford private secondary schools and we both prospered through the Grammar system, as did many others we know. It’s one of the Left’s big fallacies that holding back talented or affluent people helps worse off people. It doesn’t, it has the opposite effect, reducing us to the lowest common denominator. Social mobility has got markedly worse since the abolition of Grammar schools.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
2 months ago

Unfortunately, the law banning promoting violence or terrorism online is totally ignored by the media groups as anyone reading certain online sites will tell you. The number of them calling for death to another particular ethnic group is vast but when you report it or any individual posting online for this, you are told it does not fall fail of facebook/Instagram/Twitter rules. Yet even mention the origin of the terrorists or those calling for such violence & you are banned/suspended at the speed of light.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
2 months ago

Another pundit mixing up the mitigation of price spikes on the poorest with stimulating economic growth. They are not the same thing and require separate strategies. The poor, the unemployed and the less affluent retired can’t spend enough to lift the economy, nor can they increase the productivity Britain desperately needs to prosper in a competitive world.

Money needs to go back into the hands of the middle to spend in order to boost the economy. Relieving the very poorest of temporary financial stress is something else and is being started with energy handouts.

I do agree that the only way to improve the supply and demand issue of housing is to build more in areas where there are jobs and where there is space. It’s difficult to socially engineer moving jobs and housing into new areas but it should be a medium term aim.
It should be possible because of the Internet and because Britain is small geographically.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

Almost correct but the money has to go to the poorest: they spend ALL their money locally! That will stimulate the economy best. Middle income recipients will save and go on packahe holidays abroad: and the rich recipients will spend theirs on foreign villas and foreign yachts: ie the richer the recipient the less will be spent in the UK.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 months ago

“Tax cuts will come in the face of short-term spending crises and long-term rising service costs meaning a decline in income and more borrowing, at a time when rates are rising, if the growth doesn’t come. ”

I remain mystified as to why every commentator implicitly accepts the fallacy that the only way to increase tax revenues is to increase tax rates. We know this is not true – the Laffer Effect isn’t just an unproven hypothesis, there are reams of data that support it as a genuine theory.

In the UK, we are presently in a period of the highest tax burden in seventy years. It must be obvious that the tax burden is presently a drag upon growth, so it follows that reducing the tax rate burden can lead to increased activity and therefore increased tax revenues. (We saw this proved a few years back when Labour’s spiteful 50% tax rate was reduced to 45% and contrary to the screeches of outrage from the Left, the tax collected under the 45% band actually rose).

I am willing to admit, however, that the tax burden is not the only form of growth sabotage we have in the UK right now: we have a ludicrously overstaffed and overly powerful regulatory system – the Blob, as it is accurately described – and if that is not got out of the way at the same time, tax cuts will almost certainly have the officially predicted effect of allowing sovereign debt to rise. There are signs that the Truss government understands this, with its sensible moves on fracking and energy generally, but it needs to be braver. Biotech needs a free hand in the UK, if this is deregulated sensibly, we can become world leaders in this area economically, in addition to the present state of affairs where we’re scientific leaders.

Finally, I really hope the government goes for nuclear by getting rid of the layers of regulation that are only there deliberately to make nuclear power slow and expensive. It has served only to shut down innovation in the industry and keep Russia happy. We’re living with the results of that now, with energy prices through the roof and a strategic dependence upon Russian energy that disgraces our policymakers far more than they’re admitting. Perhaps only tens of thousands of winter cold deaths will make the political class wake up to how unbelievably badly they have messed up on this score.

Last edited 2 months ago by John Riordan
Paul K
Paul K
2 months ago

‘Quite literally all fur coat and no knickers.’

Are you sure about this?

Last edited 2 months ago by Paul K
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul K

Much of it is faux fur!

Chris Bredge
Chris Bredge
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul K

Yes, that got me too. Quite literally NOT literally!
It struck me as in particularly bad taste to add that as a caption to a photo of Liz Truss wearing a perfectly respectable black outfit during the official mourning period for our late Queen.

Bob Pugh
Bob Pugh
2 months ago

At least Truses chains are likely to be lighter and less constricting the Sir Beer Korma’s.

Blaze Away
Blaze Away
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob Pugh

That should be the case. That’s the conservative way
It’s not clear that it actually is the case

Jimmy Snooks
Jimmy Snooks
2 months ago

It’s all bad, then. All of it. No cause for optimism.
Will Labour’s ‘plans’ be subjected to the same critical rigour? I somehow doubt it.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Snooks

Haven’t we got you to do that for us? And all the other pro Truss geniuses commenting here as well? We await such constructive criticism with baited breath.. whar say you to renationalisation of the energy companies and water companies?

Martha Halford
Martha Halford
2 months ago

It’s difficult to know how the PM’s tenure will evolve, and many people would tend to agree with the economics arguments outlined in the article. But let’s wait and see. What I would disagree with is the author’s stance on grammar schools. Having come to this country late in the day (30 years ago) and having met many people who couldn’t have afforded a private education and who could ‘break out’ of their original background (both culturally and financially) thanks to grammar schools, I’m wondering why the author is so much against them. Moreover, she says that they are the preserve of the rich, but I can assure her that all the people I’ve met, now in their 50s/60s, who attended a grammar school were far from rich, on the contrary.

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
2 months ago

When they talk about the cost of reducing the cap on energy prices how is that cost paid? I know we’ll all end up paying for it at some point but does the government give money to the energy companies to make up the difference, do the energy companies have to absorb at least some of the cost or what?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Now look! You’re suggesting the rich pay some of the cost! Wash your mouth out with soap! The poor will pay for the govt loan over time. I know, they’ve no money but their kids will pay and their grandchildren..

Paul Walsh
Paul Walsh
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

I assume you are talking about energy suppliers, they only make a small margin, you can see the calculation on Ofgem website. I guess the government doesn’t want anymore of them to go bust, so the reduction in the cap would involve the government (long term the tax payer) making up the difference. If you mean energy producers, I believe with windfall taxes there is an effective 65% tax on profits for UK produced oil and gas. I believe wind,solar and nuclear are making increased profits as due to the way the energy markets work, they can charge the going rate for gas. I understand the government are now looking at this, but it would mean re-negotiation of past contracts and may be more complex than my rough understanding.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 months ago

If legalized fracking passes and looks like a stable policy, it can have a gigantic effect on domestic energy prices in Britain. The expectation of increased natural gas production, coupled with large scale drilling, will both lower energy prices and promote economic growth. A lot of American expertise has been sidelined by Biden’s green over-regulation of fracking. Legal fracking in Britain will draw them in like lights at night draw insects.

Adrian Doble
Adrian Doble
2 months ago

Thank you John. It’s good to see such positivity. We have functioning government. Her success now depends upon her leadership qualities. What do you think about them?

Fanny Blancmange
Fanny Blancmange
2 months ago

Corporate strategist aka megaspiv’s consiglieri doubtful over Soylent Green rollout in time for Singapore-on-Thames Lifestyle Olympics opening ceremony.

Nick Faulks
Nick Faulks
2 months ago

“Quite literally all fur coat and no knickers.”
To whom is Mr Oxley referring?

William Cameron
William Cameron
2 months ago

Kwateng has said immigration increases GDP. Of course it does. So would reintroducing slavery. But if it doesnt increase GDP “per capita” it makes us poorer. The Media are letting this point be avoided.Make politicians be measured on GDP per capita.
The Media are also not commenting that in the last 20 years our population has gone from 58 to 68m an increase of 10m (Only 2m of that is from ageing) . Has it improved life , access to services etc ? No . It has made them much less accessible.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
2 months ago

‘…Johnson’s proposed ban on the importation of foie gras and furs. These are things which please the ideological Right.’ I’m confused. What element of those Far Left Nanny State policies that would please a free marketeer and libertarian? It’s reminiscent of the worst excesses of Sturgescu’s Scoatland.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 month ago

Britannia Unhinged lol. How would you have reacted if any EU politicians had written that the Brits were among the “worst idlers in the world”? Such obvious contempt for those who supposedly are her fellow countrymen and women.  
No wonder the first thing they do is to announce a top end tax cut for their champagne-swilling mates and set about paying for it with un-costed borrowing.  
This confused article is a classic extremist illustration of the old nutter’s creed (which applies to nutters of all shades of political opinion): “never mind that it works in practice, does it work in theory?”.  
The article is an unsubtle pre-emptive apologia for Truss’ looming failures by implying that all would have been well with Trussonomics in practice had she been even more extremist and if the pesky markets would have reacted in reality like they do in Truss-y and Brexit-y theory.  
The author is upset that the mish-mash of naive undergraduate theories, lazy and un-researched back-of-an-envelope prejudices and text-book extremism of Britannia Unchained are demonstrably unable to survive contact with the realities of the markets.  
It was Thatcher, a person of vastly greater intellect than the seemingly perma-concussed Truss, who pointed out that ““There is no way in which one can buck the market.””.    
What a useless article. Its inchoate pointlessness may be gleaned from the fact that much of the comments underneath are to do with grammar schools and fracking, since nobody can find anything coherent in the actual article.  

Last edited 1 month ago by Frank McCusker
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago

As Ollie Hardy might say: “Well, that’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into”. All that remains now is to wait and see how much abuse the 90% are willing to put up with?Interesting times indeed.
The British are renowned for their ability to put up with amazing amounts of govt incompetence and will laud their “betters” no matter how much legalised theft the latter metes out to them. There is also the Brexit ‘scam’ which many of the hapless 90% continue to laud despite every indication to the contrary. British unwillingness to admit it was a huge mistake means the resultant poverty must be hidden from the hated EU at all costs. But there may be a limit. I note the article although gloomy in the extreme, nonetheless makes no mention of possible social unrest. I wonder…

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Obviously it would have been so much better to have remained subject to the EU membership scam in which we paid billions a year to a bunch of third-rate bureaucrats who couldn’t get elected in a real democracy, so that they could sabotage our economy through incompetence and intransigence while telling us that we can’t be trusted with the power of self-government.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Do you think economic events have borne that out? Really? Were you that much better off with the unelected Dominic Cummings? And are you so much better of now with Liz Truss dismantling all controls on Climate, Worker rights, Food standards? Really? Good for you then… enjoy!