Misinterpretation is not racism

It is extremely unlikely that Lady Sarah Hussey meant any offence when she asked Ndozi Fulani where she came from at a Buckingham Palace reception last week. She was helping the Queen Consort entertain her guests; a role she has been playing for decades having been Lady in Waiting to the late Queen, and was simply taking an interest in her guest by way of conversation. It is perfectly normal to ask someone about their background in such situations. The late Queen did so constantly and indeed liked to be briefed in advance about whom she was going to meet.

If someone asks me where I come from I simply say Croydon. If I want to extend the conversation I say my mother was Welsh and father born and bred in Oxford. Still further back my ancestors were a mixture of immigrant Vikings, Normans and Saxons. To be able to say my parents came to this country from Barbados but that I was born here and am now a British citizen, as Fulani (born Mary Headley) could have done, would be much more interesting. Why couldn’t she have just said so nicely and politely? Ancestry is a very popular subject. The BBC has a whole series devoted to it. Nobody accuses them of racism.

Much has been made of how Lady Hussey pressed the point after an initial hostile reaction, but she would naturally have wanted to clarify the situation after being taken aback.  Unfortunately it only made the situation worse, but how was she to know that? More likely Fulani was deliberately milking the situation as she appears to be making something of a career for herself insulting the Royal Family. According to returns to the Charities Commission her charity was set up in 2018 and has received £350,000 since then, but has not made any significant disbursements to anyone other than Ms. Fulani herself. The Palace should strengthen its due diligence procedures. Then she really would have been excluded!

Most of us do now know that black British citizens are peculiarly sensitive on this point. I myself have had the same experience and we learn that way. We are not mind-readers. I now avoid asking that question of black people, but that is my choice as a matter of individual moral sensitivity.  Racism is defined in the dictionary as the belief that some races are inherently superior to others. Absolutely nothing in what Lady Hussey said indicated she ascribed to such a belief. Fulani simply misinterpreted the conversation – quite possibly deliberately.

We had the same situation arise in The Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey where she revealed that “questions had be asked about Archie’s skin colour”. Note, she did not say that “concerns had been raised …..”, which is what the media invariably reported. It is perfectly normal for prospective relatives to speculate about an unborn child’s characteristics and, for example, which parent they might more resemble. In the case of mixed-race parents skin colour is an obvious interest.

It is highly regrettable now that the Palace has caved in to the criticism and thrown Lady Hussey to the wolves. If anything Ms. Fulani owes Lady Hussey an abject apology for the distress she has caused. The late Queen would am I sure have shown much more backbone. She might have issued a statement along the following lines:

“It is with deep regret that we have learned of a substantial misunderstanding last week between a member of the royal household and a black guest at a reception here at Buckingham Palace. The guest is claiming she had been subjected to racist questioning. Opinions on this may vary but may I take the opportunity to reassure our black community that no offence was intended and that we value highly the involvement of black people in British life today.

Misunderstandings are commonplace in life, particularly where people of different backgrounds come together. Let us all learn from such experiences and always try to understand the other person’s point of view. I am sure we can overcome such differences and see the good in others, as well as the shortcomings in ourselves, and that way develop peace and understanding amongst us all.”

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Was John Maynard Keynes considered a failure?

Herewith my answer to another question on Quora.

You don’t want to get too tied down by the General Theory. It’s complexity undermines its validity and he appears to have been transfixed by Einstein’s general theory of Relativity which genuinely did extend the boundaries of physics rendering what we now call Classical Physics as merely a special case. Go to the extremes of matter moving close to the speed of light or the interaction of sub-atomic particles (or waves – see Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle) and the classical laws of physics break down. But that does not mean that classical physics is redundant. It is still used for every day understanding and technology including rocket science! I suspect that Keynes wanted to be seen as having done something similar for economics, but he didn’t.

However he did undoubtedly extend our understanding of fiscal macroeconomics beyond the received wisdom of Alfred Marshall and the Cambridge school, which were largely based on microeconomics, and those theories are as valid today as they were then.

There are three broad elements to macroeconomics: fiscal, monetary and international trade. The first two are now broadly understood, but I see little evidence of any understanding of the economics of international trade amongst our politicians and bureaucrats. Free trade is commonly regarded as a general panacea but in fact it breaks down in the case of substantial deficits. A good example of this is the EU Single Market. That is free trade, yet the UK’s experience of being in the single market has been a disaster, resulting in a trade deficit now of nearly 7% GDP, which undermines investment and growth. Clearly business will not invest into a contracting market, and UK GDP/capita growth has plummeted in parallel.

How does cutting taxes help combat a recession?

This is a question recently posed on Quora where I frequently post. Here is my answer.

Depends how it is funded. If that is by corresponding cuts in government expenditure then the net effect will be zero. However if it is by increasing borrowing then net demand in the economy is increased. That is what we have seen since the banking crisis and to combat the ever-increasing trade deficit with the EU over the past twenty years which has destroyed jobs. The result is record levels of both national and personal debt. Indeed they have over-done it which is one of several reasons why we now have a shortage of labour.

It is worth noting at this point that increasing demand in the economy to reduce unemployment, sometimes referred to as Keynesian economics after the way the famous economist John Maynard Keynes advocated ending the depression of the 1930’s, is not at all the same thing as economic growth in our standard of living (GDP per capita). “Treasury Orthodoxy”, now being blamed by the Tory leadership candidates for the lack of growth, is to balance the books over the course of the economic cycle, not year by year. That allows for borrowing during a recession to reduce unemployment provided it is paid back during a boom so that debt as a percentage of GDP remains constant or falling. Whilst it has nothing directly to do with growth it does lead to a disposition in favour of inflation to reduce the debt rather than balancing the books with tax increases or expenditure reductions.  Inflation reduces real interest rates and hence savings and investment thereby undermining growth.

Internationally there is much evidence to suggest that smaller government produces higher rates of economic growth, the logic being that high levels of government expenditure uses up finance available for investment and therefore ‘crowds out’ the private sector which produces most of that growth because it is subject to competition. In the UK however the electorate demands expensive public services (eg the NHS) and a reliable welfare state making that difficult to achieve. That means separate policies are required to make public services much more efficient (the potential is huge, not least from introducing some proper accountable top management for each service) as well as finding other sources of finance, such as a Sovereign Wealth Fund or optional means-tested access to the private sector for services, if we are to reduce tax levels permanently. This is the essence of a centrist, radical economic strategy.

Over the past twenty years we have seen very little growth in our standard of living, This “productivity gap” is in fact a direct result of our increasing trade deficit with the EU, which presents British business with a contracting market and thereby little incentive to invest, and of open borders causing increasing levels of structural unemployment (the mismatch between people and jobs by skills and location. Square pegs will not go into round holes). Interestingly record levels of immigration have not provided any boost to growth. Only a quota system for legal immigration will solve that. The points-based system, which Tony Blair introduced in 2006, is too easily gerrymandered in favour of Big Business, thereby creating a self-perpetuating immigration spiral. Unless business is forced to train up British workers by a quota system the levels of structural unemployment will just get higher. A Tory government will never do this as their donors in business will not allow it.

The main condition for growth is investment by British business which carries more efficient means of production (productivity). For that you need both an expanding market and available additional labour resources. If you try to increase demand when there is a shortage of labour the result will be a combination of increased inflation, immigration and imports, the last giving all the investment benefit to foreign business. Open borders also imports wage compression which offsets the inflation and so masks the alarm bells at the Bank of England, which uses inflation as an indicator of an over-heated economy and the need to increase interest rates to control it. Hence the immigration spiral.

Many of us remember the Boom and Bust at the end of the 1980’s when Nigel Lawson’s 1987 budget cut income taxes substantially just when the economy was expanding as a result of Geoffrey Howe’s earlier cuts in credit controls. The result was that people used the extra money in their pockets to jack up their mortgages and chase up house prices.

The only way now to present British business with a sustainable expanding market is to reduce and eventually eliminate that trade deficit with the EU. This has grown steadily over the past 22 years to over 6% GDP while our trade with the rest of the world has moved from deficit to a steady 1% surplus. This divergence demonstrates clearly how the EU acts surreptitiously and maliciously to block our exports, (probably in revenge for us not joining the Euro), and the Tory deal has just allowed them to keep on doing that. Only a full No Deal Brexit will give us legal protection from such practices under the WTO’s ‘most favoured nation’ principle which applies where no bilateral trade agreement is in place. Furthermore it would enable us to use tariffs to offset the EU non-tariff barriers and take back control of our economic sovereignty as well as our legal sovereignty. Free trade on top of a deficit only increases that deficit and makes matters worse – simple mathematics!

Furthermore recovering £120 billion of trade deficit improves total GDP by that amount which in turn improves the tax base which produces about one-third of GDP as tax revenues. That means an extra £40 billion of tax revenues without increasing tax rates one iota.

It is interesting that neither of the Tory leadership candidates has drawn a distinction between the cost-push inflation that is now being imported on oil and gas wholesale prices, and over which no amount of increased interest rates will have any effect at all, and the monetary inflation resulting from government mismanagement and over-heating of the internal economy. We have to address both types separately with separate policies.

Cutting direct fuel and energy taxes makes a lot of sense to offset the imported inflation and keep domestic fuel and energy prices stable, thereby cutting off a wage/price spiral at the knees. Means-testing energy bills will also reduce the cost of this and ensure the poorest get the most help, at least pro-tem until the danger has passed. This will probably prevent most of the forecast recession. This can be done by enabling householders to direct their energy suppliers to send their bills direct to the taxman, who will pay them. The taxmen then applies the means-test to the increase since the start of the Ukraine War and recharges the householder through their PAYE code or deduction from benefits. Similarly for business, the taxman can agree to pay a percentage of the increase in return for a profit cap. For example if 100% of the increase is accepted the profit cap would be 1%, whereas for 25% it could be 4%, or some such gradient.

There has been the usual nonsense from Labour about imposing price caps, but this would inevitably lead to blackouts and supply shortages. There has also been talk of windfall taxes on suppliers without any consideration of what level of profits is normal and necessary for investment. Energy company profits comprise a significant parts of most pension fund portfolios. However a profit cap set at say 5% before tax does make sense as a general policy which should also include wind and solar farms.

Then we all the nonsense about converting to electric cars. These are now actually more expensive to run than petrol cars! Not only that, but the electricity that comes out of your socket is hybrid! If it is generated that way, as it is because of the proportion that comes from gas, then what comes out will be hybrid as there is no way of separating them in the grid. Indeed many of the blackouts now predicted for this winter will be due to electric cars. It would take massive investment to expand the National Grid to cope with everyone plugging in their electric cars at the same time, and supplying electricity in this way involves substantial transmission losses. Far better to go for hydrogen-hybrid and carry your fuel around with you just like petrol.

However in parallel with all this the Bank of England must get its act together on interest rates to get some flexibility back into the labour market. I should also like to see them given a quite separate target to stabilize house prices using credit controls, as house price inflation often leads general inflation. The former will be difficult as there are a number of other factors which have glued up the labour market. Incredibly we now have a record 8% of the working-age population who are classified as economically inactive. Whilst much of this is the result of many years of open borders, it is also due to the botched implementation of Universal Credits, IR35, the traditional poverty trap as well as hangover from the Covid restrictions.

Perhaps the silver lining is that 10% inflation on top of a £2 trillion national debt releases an extra £200 billion for government expenditure if the aim is to keep the debt at a constant percentage of GDP in line with treasury orthodoxy.  My suggestion would be to save half and spend half, and allocate half the spending to tax cuts and half to budget increases. That should be sufficient to knee-cap energy prices and provide some protection from inflation for public-sector workers and those in need as well as fund essential public services acceptably.

Old Bexley and Sidcup By-election

So now I am the candidate for the above by-election. I have done a short leaflet for the Royal Mail to deliver freepost, but have a much more comprehensive address for you here.

Before you download it, please note that some of the ideas and policy recommendations are my own and are not reflected in the Party’s manifesto. You can also download that here for comparison.

UKIP has a rolling manifesto system whereby any member can contribute a policy idea for assessment by a standing review committee and get a response. If accepted by the committee it is proposed to the National Executive who make the final decision whether to include it in the manifesto. This is a recent innovation and I haven’t had time to put all of my ideas through it yet. JOIN UKIP TO PARTICIPATE IN POLITICS.

And please don’t overlook our petition on Net-Zero immigration, on which more details here.

Climate Change

It seems to me there are at least six strands to this complicated subject as follows:

1. The Science,

2. Security,

3. Risks, costs, fear and democracy,

4. Usage levels,

5. Protection vs. Prevention

6. Government failures to date.

1. The Science.

Although I have a physics degree and understand the principles of the greenhouse gas effect, I would not claim to be an expert in the subject and could not, for example, assess the calibration of the various effects involved. Now that we have some actual results coming through for things like sea temperatures, they seem to be about halfway between the zero baseline and the original (ice-)hockey stick projections. That still leaves us with a serious problem to address.

We are faced with two sets of scientists apparently saying opposite things. Or are they? Perhaps they are both right and both wrong to a degree and the truth lies somewhere in the middle? UKIP’s traditional view is sometimes misunderstood as a denier position, but it is actually more subtle than that. Our argument has not been that climate change is not happening but that its causes are not significantly man-made, and that a panic reaction has already been and will become even more counter-productive. As a centre politician I don’t see a conflict between supporting a move towards green energy provided we do not shoot ourselves in the foot in the process. As I say, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

2. Security.

At this very moment we are facing a massive increase in wholesale gas prices. This almost certainly is to do with international politics rather than climate change, with the allegation being that the Russians are closing off the gas pipelines for their own economic advantage. We could see a similar position develop over nuclear fuel as the Chinese buy up most of the mines in Africa and elsewhere.

UKIP is all about independence, and green energy potentially gives us that independence if we can just get round the intermittent nature of wind and solar. Hydrogen is on the way and tidal lagoon generation can give us that independence, and maybe some other technologies as well.

Although very little progress has been made in developing tidal lagoon generation yet (why?), with the Swansea Bay project being refused for reasons that are unclear, mainly political it would seem, and the MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth now in financial difficulties apparently, the potential in the seas around our island is both untapped and virtually unlimited. How can the cost be significant? Tidal lagoon is basically the same as hydroelectric. Just a wall with some turbines in it, and hydroelectric has been economic for decades. Perhaps Big Business deliberately wants the expensive option?

There are many locations in our seas, such as the Severn estuary, which must be sufficiently shallow in many places and have a sufficient tidal fall to make tidal lagoons economic. We could build great big circular lagoons in the middle of the estuary and stick dozens of turbines in them. And what about all those long thin Scottish sea lochs, absolutely begging to be brought into use. Or we could be encouraging individuals to buy up old shipping containers, stick a couple of small turbines in the side, one in each direction, and plonk them in the sea. You could have thousands of such mini-lagoons all hooked up to the grid, or a local hydrogen plant, all producing green energy pretty much round the clock (except when the tide turns). Indeed if you split them in half you could phase out the turning tide as well. Not very scenic at low tide I admit, but much better than wind turbines.

3. Risks, Costs, Fear and Democracy.

There is no point in taking up an extremist position that is simply counter to the popular view just for the sake of it, even if the science is dubious. There are no votes out there. However, much of the fear relates to costs as it does to extinction, so we have an opportunity here to emphasize a balanced approach that is both responsible and practical at the same time. Fear in society is pernicious and subversive and can cause people to take up confrontational and totalitarian attitudes as they seek refuge in the simple clarity of extreme positions. The alarmist demands fall very much into that category. We have already seen the effects of fear with Islamophobia and now we are seeing it with climate change. Fear must be taken seriously in itself. As libertarians we must fight against this danger and address the fears as much as the science. Whatever populists may say about politicians doing what the people demand, they still expect us to get the technicalities right. At an election they will judge us by results anyway, and that is as it should be. It is no good delivering a disaster and then saying it was what the people demanded at the last election! We are expected to exercise good judgement.

Which brings us to Hinckley Point C. This is supposed to have a 60 year operation span starting in 2026. And they have agreed a fixed price at £92.50 pMwH, albeit subject to upwards inflation adjustments, when it is impossible to predict costs and prices six years ahead let alone sixty?!  I bet the investors are rubbing their hands, as I should not be at all surprised if operating profits turn out to be high. Those costs they have been bandying about will have been padded out to the heavens to cover the long-term risks involved, unless that is they intend to re-insure them in the City in which case the City will be rubbing its hands. Either way the customer and taxpayer are going to get screwed. We must substitute a cap and collar profit contract if this happens. That will protect both investors and consumers at the same time. Why didn’t they think of that at the outset?

Nor have we heard much about small nuclear, which benefits hugely from much lower transmission losses. Again the hand of Big Business appears to be involved, and their poodles, the Tories, will do whatever they want.

A similar approach should be taken to wind and solar farmers. How much profit after receipt of subsidy are they actually making? I don’t know but we need reassurance that profiteering is not taking place. Again, cap and collar is the way forward. This means that if profits exceed an agreed maximum, say 5%, then prices must be reduced, but likewise if losses occur prices or subsidy can be increased. Wind farms have an operational life of only 35 years. Let us aim not to have to replace them when the time comes.

The 2050 net zero target must be seen as an aspiration not a commitment. I would never sanction the closure of existing power generation if adequate and economic replacement generation were not already in place. We cannot guarantee to achieve that, but we can try, and actually I am quite optimistic about it. Hydrogen is on its way and various technologies and economies of scale are developing fast. We must also guarantee that energy prices do not increase by more than say 1% above inflation each year, if that. Recovering our trade deficit from the EU could be instrumental in financing that.

4. Limiting electricity usage.

Extinction Rebellion are current campaigning to insulate all our houses at enormous cost. But what does it matter how much electricity we use provided it is all green? It just adds to the confrontational nature of the whole thing and the idea we must all be poor in the future. Then we have the exhortation to switch to electric cars when the grid itself is still hybrid. These cars are no more pure green than a hybrid car. Green and fossil energy is mixed up before it goes into the grid, so you can’t get out anything other than hybrid. And what about all those electricity supply companies promising to supply only green energy. They should be prosecuted for misrepresentation. Likewise smart energy meters – pointless. These are all examples of totalitarian government.

5. Protection vs. Prevention.

With increasingly alarming weather events on our television screens each evening, the question arises as to what we are doing about any damage already with us, whether or not it is man-made? We hear no plans from the government about this. And what about that infrastructure tzar? Haven’t heard from him in ages. Is he asleep? Clearly adequate funds must be allocated to sea defences, river defences and other matters.

6. Government failures.

We got off to a ‘good’ start with the disastrous 2008 Climate Change Act, which artificially increased energy prices to the extent that many firms could no longer compete and went out of business, throwing thousands of workers onto the dole in the process. Coming on top of the banking crisis and the ever increasing trade deficit with the EU, the poor suffered a triple whammy leading to the riots of 2011. That should have been a wake-up call.

We appear to have the general lack of planning and concern for finding the most efficient solutions and the best protection as I have described above.

CONCLUSION.

In conclusion our policy must be to proceed with conversion to green energy in a careful and economic way so as to address all of the challenges I have outlined above, not least the imperative for national energy independence. Even if we don’t make it by 2050 that is not disaster when you consider the UK’s contribution to greenhouse gases is only 1% of the global total. Let’s just make sure we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot in a panic along the way.

In the meantime there is no reason why we should not exploit our own fossil reserves to promote independence over conversion until there is no conflict between the two and to keep costs within reason. In other words a balanced approach taking into account all four factors: independence, cost, conversion and protection.

My UKIP Leadership and NEC candidacy manifestos.

1. UKIP Leadership Statement

Our Party has just been through a very difficult two years. We are down, but certainly not out. I believe we have a unique and vital role to play in British politics as the only significant libertarian party available; a libertarian rose within a thicket of totalitarian thorns. The phoenix can and will rise from the ashes.

I have no intention of resurrecting any of the internal disputes we have experienced and will not tolerate personal remarks, but as a member of the ill-fated constitutional review team and as a professional management consultant, we were able to identify a number of ways in which I believe our constitution could be made more robust, reliable and accountable to the membership. I accept that the NEC should have the final say on such matters subject to approval by the membership and intend to work with them rather than around them, being by nature a reconciler rather than a polarizer, putting forward a series of proposals for changes to the constitution. The NEC can then call the necessary EGMs to make the changes if they agree. Likewise I hope the NEC will allow me the final say on policy, assuming I do not contravene the constitution.

I intend to ask Ben Walker to continue as Party Chairman both because I think he has done an excellent job in holding the party together and because I value an element of continuity given that 10 NEC seats are also up for election. We can consider separately whether that position has too much power and whether for example the NEC should elect its own separate chairman from amongst its members. I am keen to encourage past members to return but suspect they will want to see some constitutional change.

I intend to place UKIP at the centre of the political spectrum between Labour and the Tories as a radical, social libertarian party. Constructive change instead of the revolutionary, destructive, classist change offered by totalitarian socialism, and in place of Conservative complacency and totalitarianism now they are fully under the thumb of Big Business. Our message to the voters is simple. If you want change, change the way you vote. You have to play your part if it is to happen. Don’t worry, we will look after you. The ‘solidarity’ toted by Labour is meaningless. It is self-serving and unpatriotic. Don’t fall for it.

We already have a good and developing manifesto and I thank all those who have contributed. Even so in my opinion it requires more focus so the voters can see immediately what is both unique and valuable in our offering. So here are four headline policies I want to emphasize. You can find much more on my website at jepoynton.com. You can also find a CV for me on the UKIP party website under London.

1. A quota system for total immigration set at at least 50,000 fewer than the number who emigrate voluntarily each year. This country has suffered immense damage over the years from open borders – to our economy, our environment (25% of all animal species and 50% of all bird species may become extinct here due to habitat loss), the homeless, our public services and, yes, to cultural displacement. It is not enough to acquiesce in a reduction in immigration; we have actually to reverse the process if we are to survive. It is also a fallacy to say we need these immigrants for our economy. We don’t. They are consumers as well as workers and most on balance take out more than they put in. By restricting immigration we can force Big Business to train British citizens, update redundant skills and provide all the jobs we need. If there are still job vacancies we can simply reduce demand in the economy to match and vice versa.

2. Rip up Boris’s catastrophic trade deal with the EU and revert to trading on WTO terms as we have always advocated. Nobody appears to have noticed, least of all our dozy officials in Whitehall, that we now have a massive 6% GDP deficit on trade with the EU (in balance 20 years ago) whilst at the same time our trade with the rest of the world has moved firmly into a 1% surplus. There is only one way this divergence could have happened. Those bastards in Brussels have been deliberately and progressively but surreptitiously stealing our trade by blocking our exports. We need that £120bn a year for all sorts of things from dealing with climate change and funding our pensions to social care, the NHS and tax cuts, but Boris has now locked us into this deficit. Whose side is he on FFS? We must also wrap up the residual issues of fishing, Northern Ireland and human rights. Brexit is most certainly NOT done. We must honour our prime constitutional objective.

3. Stand up for free speech and reform the police and the management of our public services generally. Free speech is about listening to both sides of an argument. This is impossible if one side is being supressed in the name of woke totalitarianism. I would never condone gratuitously offensive behaviour and unconditionally condemn racist banter at football grounds, but ultimately it is a matter for moral persuasion not the law. To Islamaphobes I say your concerns must be taken seriously but the problem is not Islam but the failure of our pathetic, guilt-sodden establishment to bring to justice all criminals regardless of their religion or ethnicity. I also support a federal approach to multiculturalism, thereby preserving our own indigenous culture and identity as well as those of others, but that will only work with cultural demographic stability. Nobody wants to be stuffed into the socialist blender, including the incoming communities.

4. Welfare, housing and regional policy reform. Housing must be built up North where the brownfield sites are thereby relieving density in the South, with regional policy using local tax discounts to persuade the jobs and people to follow. We must also end breeding for benefits. It is crazy to be paying people to have babies in these circumstances anyway but it will also assist in reducing cultural displacement, the rate of change in diversity.

2. NEC Manifesto statement

Our Party has just been through a very difficult two years. We are down, but certainly not out. I believe we have a unique and vital role to play in British politics as the only significant libertarian party available; a libertarian rose within a thicket of totalitarian thorns. The phoenix can and will rise from the ashes.

The role of the NEC is vital in this, ensuring both the leader and the executive comply with the constitution. We must make sure all key decisions are made by and through the NEC and not behind anybody’s backs, and we must propose by EGM to the membership changes to the constitution if and when we feel these are needed. I hope we can improve the accountability of NEC members to the membership, perhaps by allocating an NEC member to each region so all members and branches know who their own representative is on the NEC.

We shall have an almost all-new NEC as a result of these elections, so let’s hope that is sufficient to draw a line in the sand over past personality issues, if possible leading to an amnesty to ex-members who have now ‘done their time’.

My consultation response to Priti Patel’s Immigration Plan

Response to Government Immigration Plan – April 2021

Foreword

This plan only addresses a small part of the Immigration Problem, namely illegal immigration and asylum. It brushes aside the far greater problem of absolute immigration and the fact that this country is now the most densely populated in Europe. Our country is NOT enriched by legal immigration and we are NOT a better country for it. Your assertions on this point are purely subjective and political, whereas in practice all immigration contributes to the following measurable and severe problems:

  • Wage compression, together with widening income and regional gaps
  • Structural unemployment (it is cheaper for employers to recruit established skills from abroad than train up native workers)
  • The housing crisis
  • The housing crisis (worth mentioning twice for emphasis)
  • Degradation of our environment (and not just the destruction of pretty green spaces – scrub land also supports important ecosystems as well as reducing population density to improve air quality and enable rain water to drain through to the water table – just to mention a couple of points in passing)
  • Increased pressures on public services leading to higher taxation and lower growth,
  • Economic mismanagement of demand,
  • Cultural displacement leading to social unrest and tensions including racism.
  • Less space to live, work and play in undermining our quality of life.

NO IMMIGRATION IS GOOD FOR THIS COUNTRY

It is often lazily suggested that educated, self-sufficient immigrants in employment are net contributors to our economy, but a moment’s thought, plus a reference to the GDP per capita growth rates, reveals that is not true. Even a highly trained, professional worker will be taking out as much as they are contributing, for the simple reason they are paid for their work. They are consumers as well as workers. Even if they are not claiming benefits they are still benefiting from the NHS, schools, law and order, infrastructure provision as so on. Only if they are higher-rate taxpayers might they just about break even.

The GDP per capita growth rate has declined steadily (ignoring the banking crisis) over the past twenty years. In 1999 it was 2.8%; in 2019 0.8%. Most of this of course is a result of the high and increasing trade deficit we have with the EU, but even so you would have thought the onset of mass immigration should have provided some sort of uptick? It doesn’t. There is not a single sign of it anywhere in the numbers. The idea that immigration is an economic benefit to this country is PURE MYTH. The only immigrants who could be described as a benefit to this country are those who have skills we cannot produce here. Academic research teams and lawyers from foreign jurisdictions would be an example, but their numbers are tiny.

Your points-based system for legal immigration.

I have to laugh whenever this is rehashed as an innovation, because my understanding is that we have had a points-based system ever since Tony Blair introduced one in 2005. It has NEVER worked and it is not going to start working now. It is not even designed to limit immigration; only to limit the numbers claiming benefits. That is all very well for vast sparsely-populated continents like Australia and Canada, but it is TOTALLY UNSUITED to a seething shoal of sardines on a tiny island like the UK. Experience over the past fifteen years shows it is also highly susceptible to corrupting political influences, with the limits being lifted whenever big business shouts.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that open borders undermine the management of our economy. Wage compression prevents inflation from taking off, which prevents the Bank of England from increasing interest rates, which allows the economy to overheat to the point where job vacancies exceed non-structural unemployment. And a Government desperate to boast about how many jobs it has created just adds to the mess. If the Bank were to be given a target to keep job vacancies in line with non-structural unemployment then control over excessive demand could be reinstated and excessive job vacancies with screams from big business for more immigration would not arise, though the brakes would be refitted to the train once our borders are under control again.

Big business will not train up native residents in favour of skilled immigrants unless it is FORCED to do so. The interests of big business and that of the nation do not automatically coincide. Furthermore it is theft of the highest order to attract here expensively trained immigrants from their home countries who need them far more than we do. In fact it is IMMORAL.

I therefore STRONGLY RECOMMEND you switch to a quota and auction system. Every applicant for a work and residence visa would require a British sponsor to pay for the quota tariff as well as for health, benefits and debt insurance. This would create an open competitive market for the skills we need. The tariff would be quoted for each future month perhaps up to six months ahead and vary day by day according to the balance of supply and demand within that month. I suggest that the monthly quota be set at no more than 20,000, resulting in NET VOLUNTARY EMIGRATION of around 50,000 a year, thereby reducing population density and increasing quality of life in this country by providing more space for all.

The quota system will also be necessary to mop up any over-flows from your illegal immigration systems, which I suspect will remain a flood. However big business will not be amused if they are thereby left with even fewer places. An alternative way of dealing with refugees is needed.

Right to Citizenship and Nationality Law

You make no mention of how long an immigrant would have to work successfully here before they have a right to citizenship, and this together with past incompetence makes for legacy cases such as with the Windrush generation. It is inhuman to disrupt lives and families who are already well established here. It is therefore important that everyone knows exactly where they stand right from the start, and your sections on this subject HORRIFY me with the amount of arbitrary discretion you are building in. That will simply result in confusion and chaos.

May I therefore suggest a few simple and binding rules that everyone can understand right from the start:

  • Work and Residency visas should be valid for up to four years. After that if they still have a sponsor (not necessarily the same one), have been self-sufficient and not picked up a criminal record, they can purchase a further four years at a 25% discount, 50% after eight years and 75% after twelve. If they can complete 16 years in good order they will be entitled to citizenship. This will also mop up many legacy cases.
  • Those who can show British ancestry should be entitled to a proportionate reduction in sixteenths in both cost and duration.
  • Entitlement at birth should be determined by having at least two out of the following three characteristics:
  •              birth in this country
  •              a British biological or adoptive mother
  •              a British biological or adoptive father.

Return of Illegals and Asylum seekers.

You are living in cloud-cuckoo land if you think the French and other continental countries are going willingly to accept back refugees just because we happen geographically to be further away from the sources of instability. Not unreasonably they want an equal acceptance of refugees across Europe. Even now they are refusing to cooperate with us on this. They are certainly not going to start doing so any time soon.

You make a brief mention of off-shoring without putting forward any concrete proposals. This of course is the only practical option remaining if we can purchase a large tract of land somewhere outside Europe as British Sovereign territory where we can set up a civilised open permanent colony for refugees and illegals. In fact they are likely to self-segregate there with the genuine refugees remaining and the economic migrants moving on voluntarily. This will not be cheap if it is both to be attractive to the host country and provide a normal way of life with jobs, security and public services for the residents. However we currently have a massive overseas aid budget doing nothing particularly useful other than assuage some peoples’ guilt complexes which can be used to set it up, and in the longer term the colony should become self-sufficient with its own successful economy using the host country’s currency to facilitate trade with it.

With a large enough tract of land, or indeed several, we could then offer refugee services to other European countries for an appropriate fee thereby spreading the cost.

Visitors, Students and Seasonal workers.

You do not address this issue at all. I don’t have a problem with any number of students and school pupils coming to this country provided they leave at the end of their courses, as well as business people and others travelling frequently. However there appears to be a huge but unquantified problem with overstayers which must be addressed.

Frequent visitors and students could be issued with smart card visas, rather like Oyster cards, to facilitate their movements across our borders. Three months per annum or the duration of their courses would be uploaded free of charge, and then additional days up to nine months in each year could be purchased online at the current monthly quota rate. You appear to have removed the requirement to leave at the end of their courses and are now giving all students a right to remain for two years after graduating. This must be rescinded both as they are needed back in their home countries and because business must be forced to train up native workers. However a compromise is provided if some extra time can be  purchased on the card at the current quota rate where employers are not immediately offering to sponsor and purchase a full resident and work visa within the quota.

Either way it is important that we have full bio-details of everyone who comes here. It is then a simple matter of placing names and photos of overstayers on a website if they fail to check out in time and offering say a £100 reward for information leading to their arrest.

Border police should come under general national police management, albeit as a separate force, so that all police across the country have a responsibility to cooperate with each other over the policing of our borders.

Conclusion.

Your plan only scratches the surface of the immigration catastrophe we are now reeling under in this country and therefore I do urge you to consider seriously the possible solutions I have outlined above. Patel is fiddling while Rome burns.

Policy Papers

Over the past couple of months a number of Whats App groups have been commenced within the party including one for policy development. This is a huge improvement on the previous arrangement where members could fill in a form on the members website and it would be sent to persons unknown. They just disappeared into the ether. Now we have a system where policy ideas can be seen by everyone and commented on as you go along.

I have now submitted the following papers which you can download and comment on here:

  1. Trade and the economy
  2. Border controls
  3. A Sovereign Wealth Fund
  4. A National Credit card
  5. Constitutional and Electoral reform
  6. Education
  7. Environment
  8. Fishing
  9. Social Care
  10. Welfare Reform