“Londoners ! Protect your homes from marauding Socialist Worker members this weekend by writing ‘Job Centre’ on your front door.” - Tweet by Comrade Skipster @SkipsterXx
People are bandying the term ‘Brexit’ around as if it has somehow already arrived, fully formed, like Athena from the head of Zeus. It has not. We don’t know what it will really mean for some time yet – and possibly not before 29 March 2019. But one fact is simply not up for debate. A year ago, the UK voted to leave the EU – by a narrow margin, admittedly, but even a margin of one vote would ultimately have been sufficient. Everything else is negotiable. Our own Brexitspeak decoder is shown below.
|What they say||What they mean|
|DiamondHead Titanium Brexit||Brexit|
|Chuck Norris Does Brexit – Twice||Brexit|
|Crashing Spectacularly Out Of Europe Like The England Football Team Brexit||Brexit|
|“Probably The Most Disastrous Single Event In British History Since The Second World War” Brexit – © Martin Wolf||Brexit|
|48 Is A Bigger Number Than 52 Brexit||Brexit|
|Didn’t Know What They Were Voting For Brexit||Brexit|
|Bad Brexit !||Brexit|
|Mongo Not Like Brexit Brexit||Brexit|
|Brexit and Colman||Brexit|
|Brexit Stage Left||Brexit|
|The Only Way Is Essexit Brexit||Brexit|
|Orgiastic Rampage Of Bloodletting Horror Brexit||Brexit|
The choice presented to UK voters a year ago was binary: Remain, or Leave.
It is wholly disingenuous for closet Remainers to argue that “we didn’t know what we were voting for”. The question posed above could hardly have been clearer. Yet the biggest sulk in political history has already lasted a year and shows no signs of dissipating.
Judging by the guarded but measured initial response to Theresa May’s offer last week to the 3 million EU citizens living in the UK, much of the Sturm und Drang over Brexit for the last 12 months has been confected by Big State special interest groups who don’t really believe in the democratic process. They will be held to account by the 17.4 million voters who do.
The Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan has already written a useful primer on life after we leave: What Next. As he indicates,
..there are three broad aspects to getting Brexit right: the deal we strike with our 27 partners; the new relationships we form with the 165 non-EU states; and the domestic reforms we undertake in consequence. Of the three, the first is arguably the simplest, while the third is by far the most important.. Yet there is no purpose in leaving the EU if we simply replicate its mistakes and build our own version of Brussels corporatism. If we want to maximize our success, we need to compete. We need lower, flatter and simpler taxes; we need streamlined welfare; we need cheaper houses and cheaper energy; we need a different approach to regulation.
To get a sense of what the UK government are up against, consider this “analysis” by the FT’s enemy within chief economics commentator, Martin Wolf, from 28 March 2017:
Mrs May has no mandate for the threat she has made of turning the UK into a low-tax, minimum-regulation country.
Lower taxes and less regulation now comprise a threat to our economic well-being ? One expects this sort of Marxist nonsense from the ‘look at me’ snowflakes over at The Guardian, but from the FT ? Now we can see why it’s printed on pink paper.
With the UK seemingly under siege by permanent political campaigning, tempers are beginning to fray. Tensions even broke out last week at the Bank of England, where Andy Haldane, the Bank’s Chief Economist, broke ranks and suggested, using the deathless prose that only central bankers speak in, that
..a partial withdrawal of the additional policy insurance the MPC [Monetary Policy Committee] put in place last year would be prudent relatively soon.
Or, in plain English: UK base rates will soon have to rise.
But this puts him at odds with the chronically over-rated Governor Messiah of the Bank, Mark Carney, whose inability ever to do anything other than cut interest rates, regardless of rising inflation, may soon mean that he will have to cross the Atlantic – on foot, no doubt – back to Canada.
Future economic historians are unlikely to treat our central bankers kindly. SocGen’s Albert Edwards anticipates that in a world of rising popular discontent, the citizenry will soon turn their rage towards the policy technocrats with their hands on the lever of interest rates:
While politics in the West reels from a decade of economic crisis and stagnation, asset prices continue to surge on the back of continued rapid growth in G3 QE. In an age of “radical uncertainty” how long will it be before angry citizens tire of blaming an impotent political system for their ills and turn on the main culprits for their poverty – unelected and virtually unaccountable central bankers? I expect central bank independence will be (and should be) the next casualty of the current political turmoil.
Faced with a crisis, one can do either of two things. Whine about it, or try and fix it. With that sentiment in mind, we invite readers to consider signing this petition, namely
Restore sanity to the public finances of the United Kingdom
UK government debt now stands above £1,700,000,000,000, excluding the future liabilities of unfunded public pensions and nuclear decommissioning. This madness has to stop – we must protect our children from the price of this addiction to debt and overspending.
We the undersigned, as concerned citizens of the United Kingdom, believing in sound money and responsible public finances, do call on parliament and the Office of Budget Responsibility to:
Our last attempt, to establish a commission to limit the mandate of the Bank of England and end QE, received 5,000 signatures. Surely we can do better this time around. Brexit is important, but balancing the country’s books and finally living within our means can’t be far behind.
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