Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Tory Party consternation

The new British Prime Minister and Chancellor faced an early setback on Monday, when a planned cut to the top rate of income tax (45%) was reversed.

Levied on incomes above £150,000 p.a., the cut would have cost ‘only’ £2 billion, but didn’t look good at a time when the general populace is hard hit by inflation - especially in energy bills - and the prospect of recession (or worse.)

This is the week of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham and PoliticsJOE interviewed some members for their reactions:

As it happens, I was pretty much next door then, attending some of the talks arranged by the Bruges Group at the Birmingham & Midland Institute.

The atmosphere at the BMI was interesting - I saw little groups of what looked like politicos on stair landings having discussions; not panic, but definitely an air of concern.

Similarly some of the speakers at the Bruges Group sessions - I am thinking in particular of respected economist Tim Congdon - had barely restrained passion in their voices. The 1 p.m. slot - ‘Getting Brexit Done and Overcoming the Economic Crisis’ - was notable for all the things that should be done as opposed to what is being done. There is a sense that we have been overtaken by events and at a particularly bad time, with an untested new leadership and (symbolically, but it matters) the recent loss of the Queen who so long represented stability and continuity for our country.

Having said that, Sir Bill Cash MP noted that the border-trade troublemaking by the EU in Northern Ireland is in the process of being addressed via the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, now going through the House of Lords, and said there would be trouble if the Lords try to block it. Tim Congdon reminded us of how much our membership of the EU had been costing us annually; now we have the liberty to rearrange our affairs without expensive and harmful interference from Brussels.

Just in time, seeing how the destruction of Nordstreams 1 and 2 seem set to plunge Germany into a slump and the EU itself into a possibly terminal turmoil.

As for the Chancellor’s U-turn, so far I haven’t heard a proposal to reverse the decision to remove the cap on bankers’ bonuses, something that the financial sector welcomed as according to them it would ‘attract talent.’ This, I take it, would be the sort of ‘talent’ that triggered the Global Financial Crisis, that made a fortune shorting the pound last week and at the same time cost the taxpayer £65 billion in support to pension funds that had played with bond-related derivatives. My term for these vultures and incompetents is The National Lootery.

For me the question is, are we headed back to the 1970s, or the 1930s?

Worse than the present crisis is the one we face if the Blair-style revolutionary Sir Keir Starmer is able to exploit the public’s disillusion with the Tories sufficiently to win a General Election and complete the destruction of the country. Repentant former Trotskyite Peter Hitchens says:
Sir Keir’s unregretted former membership of a weird revolutionary sect (the Pabloites) is known but not understood. If he wins the next Election, we will all discover what a full-on Red-Green government is like. Good luck with that, as the taxes squeeze and the lights go out and both houses of Parliament become neutered chambers of unopposed Leftists, anxious to tax you and tell you what to think.
As for PM Liz Truss, she has previously tried to channel Margaret Thatcher in her photo ops, but Mrs Thatcher was highly intelligent, extremely hard-working and lucky. I’m pinning my hopes on Truss being very lucky; doesn’t look like it, so far.

1 comment:

Paddington said...

Well, you can only attract talent to banking by paying them much too much.

Strangely, bankers think that 'regular' people should all be paid as little as possible.