We Won Brexit but the Same Dreary Losers Are Still in Charge

There is still much dispute as to precisely what it was that persuaded 17.4 million Britons to vote for Brexit last year. Some may have done it to regain Britain’s sovereignty, some to curb immigration, some because they realised correctly that everyone on the Remain side of the argument from one-hit-wonder gobshite Bob Geldof to that preening renter of overpriced desert islands Richard Branson was a weapons-grade, copper-bottomed tick.

But here’s one thing of which we can be pretty sure: nobody voted Brexit – the biggest public vote in favour of anything in UK history – in order to get more of the same old, same old.

Brexit was, perhaps more than anything, a cri de coeur from the silent majority who had been ignored for too long. It sprung from the same impulse that saw Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency – what political economist (and friend to the Donald) Ted Malloch has argued is a paradigm shift in global politics.

If you had to sum up that impulse in a phrase, it would go something like “Enough of this shit, already.”

Sure we might differ on our preferred solutions, but we’re all agreed what the general problem is. For too long a remote, democratically unaccountable, smug, corrupt, self-serving liberal elite has been making all the rules and all the running, while the rest of us just feel poorer, less fairly treated and more constrained by stupid, politically correct rules, regulations, and taxes in a failing system which wastes lots of our money yet gives us little in return.

The good news is that, against the odds, we won Brexit.

The bad news is that in Britain we’ve still ended up with the same old, same old bunch of tossers at the top.

In the immediate aftermath of the extraordinary palace coup in July last year, where the losing faction of the Conservative party who’d voted Remain somehow managed to slime their way into all the key positions of government – Remainer Theresa May as Prime Minister, Remainer Philip Hammond as Chancellor, Remainer Amber Rudd as Home Secretary – I dashed off a despairing piece called “Brexit won the battle: But now we’ve lost the war.”

Later I wondered whether I’d gone slightly over the top. (Something, as you know, I’m always careful to avoid.) After all, Theresa May seemed to be making all the right noises – “Brexit means Brexit” and so on.

But after yesterday’s budget, I’m disappointed to learn that I was right all along…

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Osborne’s Fizzy Drinks Tax: An Unconservative Assault on Free Markets and Consumer Choice

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JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images
UK Chancellor George Osborne has used his latest budget to declare war on free markets and consumer choice – in the guise of protecting vulnerable souls from the deadly threat of fizzy drinks.

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Note the weasel justification that this will “encourage companies to reformulate by reducing the amount of added sugar in the drinks they sell.”

But as Christopher Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs points out the fizzy drinks industry already made this move years ago, without any sledgehammer fiscal nudging from headline-grabbing politicians.

Osborne says he hopes the makers of fizzy drinks will reformulate their products. They have already done so. They are called things like Diet Coke, Pepsi Max, Coke Zero and Coke Life.

If people don’t want to drink weird tasting drinks made with vile stuff like saccharine it is certainly not for want of product availability. Indeed, when I go round to people’s houses and they mix me a gin and tonic I all too frequently find myself going “bleeuch” and then having to chuck the noisome concoction down the sink because what they have given me is “Slimline” tonic made with some filthy chemical rather than proper tonic made with nice, wholesome sugar.

Snowdon has done a lot of research into the issue of taxes on sugary drinks and found them to be utterly pointless, except as a crude revenue raising tool.

 

Read the rest at Breitbart.

George Osborne and the Budget of Meh

Osborne is not stupid…

From George Osborne’s Budget speech:

Renewable energy will play a crucial part in Britain’s energy mix – but I will always be alert to the costs we are asking families and businesses to bear.

Environmentally sustainable has to be fiscally sustainable too.

The Carbon Reduction Commitment was established by the previous Government.

It is cumbersome, bureaucratic and imposes unnecessary cost on business.

So we will seek major savings in the administrative cost of the Commitment for business.

If those cannot be found, I will bring forward proposals this autumn to replace the revenues with an alternative environmental tax.

Gas is cheap, has much less carbon than coal and will be the largest single source of our electricity in the coming years.

And so my RHF the Energy Secretary will set out our new gas generation strategy in the autumn to secure investment.

I also want to that ensure we extract the greatest possible amount of oil and gas from our reserves in the North Sea.

We are today introducing a major package of tax changes to achieve this.

We will end the uncertainty over decommissioning tax relief that has hung over the industry for years by entering into a contractual approach.

We are also introducing new allowances including a £3 billion new field allowance for large and deep fields to open up West of Shetland, the last area of the basin left to be developed.

A huge boost for investment in the North Sea.

If this is the best Gideon can do it’s no wonder the markets have responded with a yawn of supreme indifference. This isn’t a Budget for growth. It isn’t a Budget for the squeezed middle. It’s a Budget of meh.

Osborne is not stupid. (At least not totally so). He knows damned well that renewables are a hopeless waste of space and money. He also knows as the second bit intimates that Britain’s abundant shale gas supplies are by far our best hope for a secure, clean, cheap energy future.

Unfortunately, he faces at least two major problems. One of them is the Guardian/green/Lib-Dem/BBC nexus, which is being given carte blanche to continue with its mendacious, junk-science claims that “fracking” and shale gas production represent some kind of major environmental threat. Last night’s lamentably misleading coverage of the issue last night on BBC Newsnight was a case in point. Nick Grealy, explains here why it was so bad.

The other problem is that though in private Osborne can sound as red-meat a conservative as Maggie Thatcher in her prime he entirely lacks her cojones.

It really, really, really isn’t difficult explaining why renewables are a disaster area and why shale gas and nuclear are our only hope of keeping the lights on and the economy alive. If Osborne needs a few tips may I recommend an excellent book. No, not Watermelons though obviously I highly recommend that one too. I mean Power Politics by Michael J Economides and Peter C Glover. A good starting point might be the section headed Ten Fracking Things Everyone Should Know. And then maybe The Myth of Viable, Industrial-Scale Renewable Energy.

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  4. We need to talk about wind farms…