Not Just Straws—Whole Haystacks in the Wind
If Ms Truss believes what she has set out in three short weeks to be her doctrinal destiny, she should consider how deep the swamp of unpopularity is to which it leads: While most people like the energy support scheme, the reversal of 1.25% rise in NI and 1% reduction in the basic rate:
- only 12%. of voters support raising the cap on banker bonuses
- only 11% of voters consider deleting the 45% tax band a good idea
- only 20% of voters want the corporate tax rat reduced to 19%
- only 12% think spend on public services will be affordable
- only 15% think the measures will grow the economy
- only 9% think that they will be better-off
- only 12% of new/Red Wall Tory voters think that they will be better-off
- only 6% support her policies if they lead to lower taxed but worse public services
(poll statistics from Prof. Matt Goddard, Univ. of Kent)
Given this level unpopularity, continuing with those policies laid out in the mini-budget—even with the 45% tax band retained—points to political, as well as financial, suicide for both Truss and Kwarteng and a 1997-scae drubbing of the Tory party in general,.
The Art of Knowing How to Stop Digging
“I’d rather light a candle than curse your darkness.”—Coen Brothers’ Raising Arizona
It may be hubris to think someone with teeth as gritted as Liz Truss might be guided by someone dedicated to dissolving the Union she loves. But in or out, Scotland will gain no benefit from England becoming the fiscal basket case it’s likely to be on her present course. Though they may appear radical, they are no more damaging than the grossly innumerate policies she is already driving toward a brick wall. What about
- Shelving “Global Britain” in military terms. This involves selling the aircraft carriers and scrapping Trident without replacement. Likely saving: ~ £10 bn a year, plus >£50bn in Trident replacement
- While we’re on things military, go through the MoD like a dose of salts because its inept procurement has wasted billions (Nimrod replacement; Warrior replacement; etc.)
- Fire Dido (Calamity Jane) Harding from Public Health England. Herr £40bn Test-and-Trace botch was bd enough. Instead, streamline its administrative “jobsworths” who let front-line staff down with meaningless KPIs, poor paperwork and software not fit for purpose.
- While we’re on health, integrate Care into a democratically accountable NHS that shares facilities in rural areas.
- Re-nationalise the railways and water companies. Both drain public money into dividends and bloated salaries and give real market privatisation a bad name
- Switzerland and Singapore may live well from Financial Services, but Sunderland never will. To stop London being the only rich region, you need to create world-class products. Rolls Royce is almost the only such example. We should be to tidal generation what Denmark is to wind, or Netherlands is to flowers and ocean towing if 67 million people are to live fro it.
- Stop giving aid to the Indias of this world, who then use their own money to build nukes and space shots and cozy up to despots like Putin.
- Use the Alliance Party to introduce a plebiscite in Northern Ireland before the NI Protocol blows up in your face and we’re back to the Troubles. Under UK care, NI has gone from the richest to the poorest part of the island. It’s time we asked then if they want that decline to continue.