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Weekend reading: Boris bounced

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Politics this week. Feel free to skip to the week’s best money and investing links!

I voted for Boris Johnson, to the horror of wiser friends.

Not for prime minister and deliverer-in-chief of a Brexit even he didn’t really believe in. By the time of the General Election his conniving was already enough for me to see even the unpalatable Jeremy Corbyn as an elder statesman by contrast.

Rather, for Mayor of London a few years previously.

I thought London would benefit from his charisma. The quotes from the Iliad made me feel smarter. I was bored by career politicians and their clichés designed not to inspire you but to have you mentally tick a box and move on without thinking.

And I was once in a room with him. He drew all eyes like a matinee idol.

All the more impressive given he plainly isn’t. Rather, like a sorrowful dog who keeps pissing on your carpet, Johnson’s entire demeanor seems a conspiracy of nature that’s been optimized for forgiveness.

You want to ruffle his hair. To sigh. Oh Boris!

An aunt of mine – a tribal Labour voter – even expressed pity as she watched an apparently now tragic Johnson finally get prised out of office this week, with all the grace of a limpet coming off a rock.

My relative had forgotten he’d won the position in his own coup – taking his shot after Theresa May had been slightly more honest about the realities of leaving the EU, and in doing so breaking the first rule of Brexit.

(Brexit rule #1: never tell the truth about Brexit.)

My aunt became angry again when she was reminded about the hypocritical parties in lockdown. And the lies afterwards.

Good riddance, she said.

Still – she had to be reminded.

It ain’t half hot mum

Once you see through it, Johnson’s charisma makes him dangerous.

The pull is still there – you can feel it needling you. But it’s more the villainous appeal of The Joker.

Long-time readers know I would never forgive him for his self-serving machinations around Brexit. For standing up and saying what he knew was nonsense to an electorate whipped up on conspiracies about experts, immigration, and alienation.

But it beggars belief that those who voted for him to supposedly ‘take back control’ can look at the post-Referendum years through anything other than their fingers.

Short of doomsday scenarios, it could hardly have gone worse. The trashing of our institutions. The purging of the Tory party. The daily fabrications. Britain threatening to renege on its international deals like a tinpot dictatorship.

Come back Brussels. All is forgiven.

That Johnson still has defenders shouldn’t be surprising, but I just can’t help it.

Do Leavers have some kind of Stockholm Syndrome?

I suppose if you are one of the few who only voted us out because you feared Britain would become a vassal state of a remote EU bureaucracy, then some melancholy feeling is understandable.

Johnson did take us out of the EU.

So if you looked at the long list of problems facing humanity and decided bogus edicts about bendy bananas from across the channel were the biggest threat to your grandchildren, you got what you wanted.

Everyone else should think again.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Some people – on both sides – are claiming that Johnson didn’t even really ‘Get Brexit Done’.

Not me.

Brexit was always a word cloud of contradictory aspirations.

No immigration. Skilled immigration.

Less regulation about working conditions. Higher wages for workers. 

New foreign trade opportunities for companies. Gummed-up trade with the EU. 

Singapore-on-the-Thames for the 21st Century. Factory Britain from the 19th.

Economic gains for the taking. Economic pain as the price worth paying.

You could make almost any change and call it Brexit – while pissing off a contingent who’d voted for some other version.

Certainly the Tories didn’t need to go Full Monty Brexit, although it was probably inevitable once Johnson had stuck the knife into both May and her slightly saner deal for his own ends.

Remember that staying in the Single Market and/or the Customs Union was once touted as a feature of some versions of Brexit, not a bug.

But political calculus and reconciling an impossible mandate meant Johnson and Co. went for a Hard Brexit – Irish absurdities and all.

Finally we left the EU.

So yes, Johnson got Brexit done.

Dad’s Army

True, even Brexit’s most ardent cheerleaders have yet to identify almost any commensurate benefits beyond (for them) the end to free movement.

Absolutely the independent trade deals we’ve done are inconsequential.

Of course Brexit has inflicted real and lasting damage to the UK economy – let alone its standing on the world stage.

But none of that is indicative of Brexit not getting done. On the contrary, it’s exactly what we should have expected.

I will concede that immigration into the UK has held up better post-Brexit than I feared it would, though the numbers are likely still muddled by the pandemic.

But that’s been the only positive surprise so far. (And given that a significant minority of Leave voters were motivated by immigration, they might feel differently about the uptick, anyway.)

I’m also aware that some Remainers thought Brexit would drive the UK economy off a cliff, which didn’t happen.

But you will look in vain for me predicting that.

Rather, I see Brexit as insidious because it drains vitality from our economy all over the place, like so many tics on a dog.

More trade friction here. Inward investment that goes elsewhere. A farmer ploughing his unpicked crops into a field. A student who doesn’t get an internship in Europe. Tedious border checks for anyone who works abroad.

A weaker pound and higher interest rates, risking stagflation.

Drip, drip, drip.

And all for what?

Most obviously: the loss of our right to live, work, and retire anywhere in a beautiful and rich continent among 450 million other human beings.

That those who voted this freedom away don’t care about it – and have given us nothing good in return – is most galling of all.

It’s a knockout

Indeed you’d hope that finally Leave voters would at least reassess their views about Brexit in light of the past few years.

Two of its chief enablers – Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson – long ago turned on each other.

People who lied there would be £350m more a week for the NHS couldn’t even come clean about partying in a pandemic.

If I’d followed this lot into Brexit hoping for some phantasmagorical economic boon – let alone superior politics – I’d be absolutely steaming.

But the polls are less than conclusive.

How the government is handling the issue of Brexit in the UK

Nearly a third of Britons still think Brexit is being handled well. I guess for most of them it’s a case of ‘better out than in’ – however stinky the consequences.

But those who were on the fence or who believed there could be net economic benefits are welcome to change their minds.

I saw through Johnson and his nonsense. Others can still do the same – and reassess his toxic legacy of Brexit.

At least if Johnson was our Poundshop Trump, we’ve dodged the equivalent of the 6 January attacks.

Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid deserve some thanks. Better late than never.

Democracy has many flaws but it has one supreme virtue, which is enabling a peaceful transition.

Similarly, my faint hope is the Conservative party will turn itself back into a party of the center again. It’s hard to recall that its Brexiteers were once a pretty ridiculous fringe faction that all-but blamed the EU for the rain in Manchester.

Can control be wrested away their fantasy politics? We’ll see.

As for Johnson, goodbye and good riddance indeed.

House keeping: Errata and MIA subscribers

The email version of our article on the Best Cash ISAs on Tuesday featured a pretty annoying typo.

It should have stated that you can put £4,000 a year into a Lifetime ISA.

Huge apologies for any confusion caused. I’d sack the offending sub-editor but unfortunately it was me, and I have an article to write for next week so we’ll have to soldier on.

Also, a half-a-dozen readers have contacted me over the past couple of weeks to report that they’ve subscribed to get our posts as emails but, well, they are not getting our emails.

In all these cases they were in our system but marked as ‘bounced’.

When a reader reports their email is on the contrary alive and kicking, I can put them back onto the distribution list.

So if you’ve subscribed yet your email box is untroubled by us, you might be in this boat too.

Check your spam folder first (the ignominy!) and double-check you didn’t subscribe with another email address. After that, drop me a line via our Contact box (link top-right) stating the email address in question.

Have a great weekend everyone. The country is in a mess, but at least a window for change has opened.

From Monevator

Best cash ISAs – Monevator

Property vs shares – Monevator

From the archive-ator: It ain’t what you do, it’s what it does to you – Monevator


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What does this week’s National Insurance rise mean for your money? – Which

UK energy bills could top £3,300 this winter, according to industry researchers – Guardian

Tesco and Heinz reach agreement in price row – BBC

Poll: 60% of Britons earning £80,000-£100,000 a year think they’re ‘about average’ – New Statesman

Twitter to sue Elon Musk after he pulls plug on $44bn deal – Sky News

One in 25 in UK probably had Covid at the end of June – Guardian

“It’s shocking” how the coronavirus continues to mutate and infect says expert – BBC

Vanguard not quite perfect, reaches a $6.5m legal settlement in the US – Investment News

The Living Standards Audit 2022 [PDF]The Resolution Foundation

Products and services

What’s the best student bank account? – ThisIsMoney

Cheapest mortgage deals revealed as rates continue to rise – Which

Open a SIPP with Interactive Investor and pay no SIPP fee for six months. Terms apply – Interactive Investor

The pros and cons of ten-year fixed-rate mortgages – ThisIsMoney

Private equity platform Moonfare doubles assets under management [Search result]FT

Open an account with InvestEngine via our affiliate link and get £25 when you invest at least £100 (new customers only, T&Cs apply) – InvestEngine

Amazon Prime review: is it worth the money? – Be Clever With Your Cash

Nationwide tops the table with a new easy access cash savings account – ThisIsMoney

Skinny homes for sale, in pictures – Guardian

Worst first-half for US stocks mini-special

The worst first half ever for US markets… – The Irrelevant Investor

…and also one of the worst rolling six-month periods – A Wealth of Common Sense

If history is a guide, we might hope for better from the next half – Quantifiable Edges

Risk capital and markets – Musings on Markets

Comment and opinion

A deep dive into art as an investment – The Manual

In defense of dollar-cost averaging – Of Dollars and Data

The catch to high investment ‘income’ – Morningstar

Should fund investors pay lower fees for making long-term commitments? – Behavioural Investment

Now is the time to focus on Financial Independence [Podcast]Motley Fool

What should long-term investors buy during a bear market? – A Wealth of Common Sense

The case for reverse mortgages [Called equity release in the UK; US but relevant]Humble Dollar

UK inheritance tax rules look broken – Snippet

Plan now for a recession [US but relevant; a deep read]Research Affiliates

Crypt o’ crypto

The case against crypto [Podcast]Rational Reminder

Chaos is a ladder – The Reformed Broker

Naughty corner: active antics

Life on the margin – Fire V London

NY Fed’s new credit stress tool; investment grade looks peaky [Tool]NY Fed

The big bad bear: first-half 2022 portfolio review – IT Investor

US bank stocks appear cheap, even given the recession risk – MarketWatch

Kindle book bargains

Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire by Brad Stone – £0.99 on Kindle

Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It by Scott Kupor – £0.99 on Kindle

Mother of Invention by Katrine Marçal – £0.99 on Kindle

Be Careful What You Wish For by Simon Jordan – £0.99 on Kindle

Environmental factors

Italy declares state of emergency for drought-stricken north – Reuters

Off our beat

We weren’t meant to see this many beautiful faces – The Face

Lifestyles – Morgan Housel

UK workers would take 10% pay cut for ‘above average happiness’, claims study – Guardian

End of the affair: London’s super-prime market breaks up with Russian money [Search result]FT

“A massive betrayal”: how London’s Olympic legacy was sold out – Guardian

Nice portrait of mathematician June Huh, the High School dropout who has just won a Fields medal – Quanta Magazine

Absurd Trolley Problems [A game]Neal.fun

And finally…

“Success isn’t found in the eyes of others: buying things you don’t need, with money you don’t have, to impress people you won’t know in 20 years’ time.”
– Scott Pape, The Barefoot Investor

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{ 73 comments… add one }
  • 1 far_wide July 9, 2022, 11:34 am

    Couldn’t agree more with all of that. There are so so many people I know suffering small or large indignities due to Brexit, and in no small part due to this utter twonk.
    As a frequent traveller, the schengen day limitations hit me but somehow worse than that is the kind of disappointed ‘oh’ I now often receive when someone abroad asks me where I’m from. Though they often quickly move on, you can tell their first instinctive association is this total idiocy, which is just such a shame.

    It’ll be interesting to see what the leadership candidates have to say about Brexit. Will it still be an active political endeavour to (let’s face it, probably futilely) try and achieve something with? Or will they just try and disregard it entirely, claiming it’s all done and dusted?

  • 2 xxd09 July 9, 2022, 11:38 am

    Great stuff as usual from one point of view
    Re Boris-he got Brexit done -whatever side of the fence you are on-it was badly needed
    -he got us all vaccinated ASAP unlike our friends across the channel-saved a lot of lives
    -he got Ukraine armed quickly so that we may yet win WW3
    -he buried Corbyn thank goodness-what was Labour thinking?
    However as per most of us humans Boris was far from faultless but he was also charismatic interesting and fun
    Competence and charisma are not assets evidently nowadays!
    It reminds me very much of Tony Blair who won Labour three elections in a row (which they are unlikely to repeat anytime soon)-removed a poisonous Putin type figure from the poor long suffering people of Iraq and yet is universally hated by the Left
    One feels no one can win -we Brits are a rather miserable bunch at the moment getting the rather rubbish leadership we deserve
    Hopefully things will improve
    Stockmarket seems to have bottomed out at least!

  • 3 Moo July 9, 2022, 11:59 am

    I’m currently re-reading an old Stephen Fry novel and therefore cannot resist playing the fusty old classicist and pointing out it is the Iliad, old fruit, even if it does make you feel a bit queasy.
    And the Singe Market sounds more like what we have ended up in, not what we left.

    As for Boris, it makes me sick to hear the repeated “he got the big calls on Covid right”. The week of delay at the start when he failed to take the advice seriously probably doubled the number of cases and deaths in the first wave – that’s the power of exponentials as all investors should know. And my mother who lives in France was fully vaccinated before my similar-aged father in England. It’s all a myth that this was so much better handled in the UK.

    Good riddance Boris!

  • 4 The Investor July 9, 2022, 12:03 pm

    @Moo — Oh dear, thank you, every week a typo at the moment. And again it’s gone out in the email!

  • 5 Lee Briggs July 9, 2022, 12:14 pm

    @TI- Well written.

    xxdo9- I have the upmost respect for your posts and wisdom. However, Boris slightly redeemed himself with the vaccination roll out. Before the vaccines we had one of the highest COVID death rates, NHS totally overrun (and still suffering)…and to cap it all off dodgy PPE contracts to chums. If the NHS had been given the extra £350 million per week after Brexit (as if)- then more people could have been treated earlier and NHS waiting lists would not be at record highs. The NHS was just about to announce the non-mandatory wearing of face masks but the spike in COVID cases and hospitalisations means that we are facing another COVID wave despite the politicians reluctance to accept we have not yet got on top of this pandemic.

    I feel like the naughty school child speaking out to the head teacher.

  • 6 Prometheus July 9, 2022, 12:24 pm

    Now we need a serious leader…


  • 7 Griff July 9, 2022, 12:43 pm

    Brexit Brezit Blah Blah Blah, more immigration bring it on. We can always squeeze a few more in London. Mmm how the over half live. Meanwhile no wage rises for the peasants we can always get someone in to do their job. As for Boris, did some things right did some wrong, let’s see who’s next aslong as its not Sir Keir and the ginger bint.

  • 8 ermine July 9, 2022, 12:54 pm

    > At least if Johnson was our Poundshop Trump, we’ve dodged the equivalent of the 6 January attacks.

    Please, please, remember that he is still there. He has resigned as Tory leader, NOT as PM. This Trump-like toxic turd feels bound neither by convention nor by rules.

    We have not dodged the equivalent fo the 6th January attacks until he is gone, and his grasping hands are off the levers of power. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, so keep the champagne in the fridge and the fireworks unlit until that time. BoJo is now at his most lethally dangerous, like the cornered rat that so impressed another autocratic old git, Putin.

    At the moment it appears that Britain’s unwritten constitution has failed us less egregiously than the United States’ legalistic written one. But the rubble hasn’t stopped bouncing, and the Greased Piglet may yet have another trick to play.

  • 9 Neverland July 9, 2022, 12:56 pm

    I honestly think the uk will be back in the EU or the EEA in my lifetime due to the economic benefits

    We were dragged kicking and screaming into the eu in the 70s after all after exploring almost all possible alternatives

    The many of the same people who voted to leave the eu will vote to join when their can’t afford their mortgage, to heat their home or fill up their car

    And the rest – they’ll be dead

  • 10 Faustus July 9, 2022, 12:58 pm

    Great to read such a coruscating takedown of BJ and his Brexit clowns. Good riddance to a three-year nightmare of encouraging corruption, law breaking, sexual misconduct, letting the bodies pile up, trashing democracy with illegal suspension of parliament etc etc.

    The arrogance of many Brexiteers, often richer old folk, who inflicted this insidious damage on the UK and younger generations, never fails to amaze; but they are so impervious to reason no volume of evidence will ever be enough to make them admit they might have been wrong.

  • 11 Chris July 9, 2022, 1:20 pm

    This article reminded me of that old Monty Python sketch “what did the Romans ever do for us?”. Just change the word Romans to Tories.
    @Faustus – let’s not forget we did have a democratic vote on Brexit – “twice!”.

  • 12 miner2049er July 9, 2022, 1:45 pm

    I don’t do politics, I’m from a working class background and know my social place and educational limits, but every decade or major political event I force myself to take a look at what the elite schooling/privileged background the “creme de la creme” have nurtured and chosen to lead the country.

    The story usually reads “hmm is that the best we have chosen or have to choose from?” hopefully i’ll be surprised this time…..

    Growing up I really enjoyed watching the tv show “have I got news for you” and was encouraged when comedian Boris became prime minister many years later similar to how the US chose the film star Ronald Reagan to be president, alas Boris didn’t work out as I had hoped and I suppose at least he can return back to his previous career in comedy.

  • 13 JBL July 9, 2022, 1:51 pm

    Thank you for a good read. I watched the Commons Liaison Committee this week and my impression was that Boris simply didnt get (or care in the least about) the importance of honesty and integrity in his role, continually trying to steer the focus away from these issues on to what he clearly thought was more important. The frustration of the committee members was obvious. He might have charisma, but is not a safe person to have in power.

  • 14 Mr Optimistic July 9, 2022, 2:07 pm

    When I don’t understand something I try to step back and figure out what I am missing, no point circling back round. If I get something wrong it is because I was wrong. Brexit was not really about money or economic well being. Had that been a strong argument the Remainers would have done a better job. The Remainers lost it by lack of coherency, complacency and inability to forge a compelling case. Leave didn’t win, Remain lost. Vague disquiet over loss of control, with immigration fears being the proxy, drove Leave, not economics. Expecting a mea culpa on the basis of a sliding doors alternative economic history is futile. How to make a better job of mitigating the effects and exploiting the opportunitues would be more productive.

  • 15 far_wide July 9, 2022, 2:09 pm

    @xxd09 “Re Boris-he got Brexit done -whatever side of the fence you are on-it was badly needed”

    From this side of the fence, it was badly needed only largely because he told so many irreconcilable lies about it in the first place – both in convincing people to vote for it, and also in continuing to claim that it could offer many benefits throughout the implementation in stark contrast to reality.

    The idea of praising him for that feels to me like trying to praise someone for the lovely rosy cheeks they’ve given you after a hard slap.

    Meanwhile, is it done anyway? The main difference between what he railed against in May’s deal and was ultimately implemented is now the very item that the Govt still threaten daily to unilaterally break the law over.

  • 16 Jono July 9, 2022, 2:22 pm

    Great piece from The Reformed Broker. Startling demonstration of how much make-believe crypto is (raging ponzi scheme) when losing $900 million market cap affects . . . almost nothing; yet the subprime collapse made (only) $600million disappear and had the whole global system circling the drain as a result.

  • 17 Ducknald Don July 9, 2022, 2:28 pm

    @Mr Optimistic That was the trouble though, we were lied to at every turn. The whole case for Brexit was built on falsehoods from the $350 million a week through to the easiest deal ever. Perhaps the remainers should have been as dishonest as the leavers.

  • 18 xeny July 9, 2022, 2:43 pm

    @Mr Optimistic
    >How to make a better job of mitigating the effects and exploiting the opportunitues would be more productive.

    It’s proving rather hard to identify these opportunities, let alone work out how to exploit them without causing nastier problems elsewhere – the more you look to diverge, the more your trade problems get worse. If you don’t diverge then you’ve still got a degree of trade restriction as well as higher inflation partly due to a more constrained labour market.

  • 19 White Dragon July 9, 2022, 2:43 pm

    Oh, where to start. I think some people on here are taking this all far too seriously, and personally.

    To misquote Anne Widdecombe, “You got what you wanted, he’s gone. Move on”.

    Of course, that’s the problem for a lot of people, and the comments above show this. Its not that Boris is a liar, or a cheat, or shy of commitment. Its the fact that he’s so linked with Brexit. Why can’t people move on? We had a vote, some people’s candidate won, some lost. All the arguments about why Brexit is bad could equally be applied to general election and why it’s the end of the world if Labour / Conservatives / [insert bogey party here] win. Yet, I don’t hear a clamour for general election results to be overturned.

    I think Mr Optimistic nailed it above – it’s not so much that leave won, as remain lost. Remain failed to articulate, in a clear and simple way, what the benefit was of being in the EU. Remainers are still failing to do that, even now.

    As far as I’m concerned, *all* politicians are lying, cheating charlatans and scoundrels. They all prove it all the time. Boris is gone. Whoever replaces him will be no better, and end up disappointing those who voted for them. That I can guarantee.

    @Neverland – we weren’t dragged kicking and screaming into the EU in the 1970s, because at that time, the EU didn’t exist. If we’re all for being accurante and all. Also, if you’re referring to the vote in the 1970s, lets just shoot another canard right there while we’re at it. It wasn’t a vote to join, it was a vote as to whether we should stay in something we’d already joined. Something, incidentally, which our politicians had been somewhat circumspect with the voters about.

    Faustus – dude, you really need to take a chill pill and stop exaggerating. All you’ve done is describe all politicians!! So your pain, I’m said to say, is far from over … 🙂

  • 20 xxd09 July 9, 2022, 3:06 pm

    I am with Mr Optimistic
    Trying to find reasons for aspects of human behaviour be it politics or investing is really my main interest now especially as I get older
    People are not machines so are infinitely variable in their responses
    There s certainly a dimension in us that is capable of responding to situations in an apparently unreasonable way but that’s only because we haven’t figured out the reason!
    When you start getting SNP,Brexit and Trump etc etc- it’s time to wake up and “smell the roses”
    A little more humility, hubris and a spirit of enquiry would a more practical response and might actually achieve some worthwhile results
    As the EU loses its second major financial contributor ie us and the lights start to go out in Germany we all need to get real very quickly or else……

  • 21 Lee Briggs July 9, 2022, 3:17 pm

    @xxdo9 (20)

    Thank you for your wisdom and non-judgemental comments on an emotive subject.

  • 22 far_wide July 9, 2022, 4:09 pm

    @white dragon, we’ve not emphasised it because the topic of this post was Brexit, but when you say “Its not that Boris is a liar, or a cheat, or shy of commitment. Its the fact that he’s so linked with Brexit”, I find this a very odd claim.

    His own party completely abandoned him, which was very clearly nothing to do with Brexit (in fact, despite it for many of them) and everything to do with having a toxic poisonous serial liar as their leader who built scandal upon scandal on an almost daily basis.

    So, yes, whilst Brexit is a factor in me not being a fan, there are many strings to that bow. More than enough outside of Brexit to consider him palpably, hugely unsuitable for the role (or even as an MP if you ask me).

  • 23 Neverland July 9, 2022, 4:12 pm

    @white dragon

    You are wrong

    Boris was not ejected for Brexit – though it will cause long term damage

    Boris was not ejected for degrading his office – although he has scored a number of dubious firsts

    Boris wasn’t ejected for breaching uk or international law – although partygate, breaking the NI protocol and sending refugees to Rwanda were all clearly illegal

    Boris was not ejected for waste and corruption – although it undoubtedly ran rampant throughout administration

    He was ejected simply for two reasons

    – he was an electoral liability to sitting conservative MPs

    – members of the government felt embarrassed when they were sent on TV with a government script to read out which then was shown to be a lie a couple of weeks later

    … and it was the second one which was the most important

    “as far as I’m concerned all politicians are all the same” is just lazy shorthand to hand wave away the fact that most of the corruption, most of the religious discrimination, most of the sexual harassment allegations and all of the tractor porn watching just come from the members of one political party

  • 24 far_wide July 9, 2022, 4:15 pm

    @ Jono, I’m glad he’s talking sense about crypto now, but it’s a shame that before doing so his firm had to dive in to setting up their own crypto index fund last year – now down 72%. There were plenty of people about last Winter who articulated the very same points he now makes in that article as a warning that it may not be a great idea.


  • 25 E&G July 9, 2022, 4:29 pm

    I like pretty much every English person I know but much like every other Scot – even Scottish Tories – fathom how any of you could even consider voting for Boris Johnson. I had thought it was just the south which would be a bit more understandable but having watched some of the vox pops it’s northerners that seemed to back him the most in recent weeks, so there appears to have been some sort of collective idiocy that afflicted most of you. At least you’ve stopped hanging monkeys.

  • 26 Tom-Baker Dr Who July 9, 2022, 5:26 pm

    @TI – I am ashamed to confess that like you, I too voted for Boris during the Mayor of London election.

  • 27 BeardyBillionaireBloke July 9, 2022, 5:29 pm

    > the Singe Market

    That may be the single market and nothing to do with French monkeys.

    Of course the EEC – EC – EU progression is about building political union and we will not be allowed to be in the single market without a lot of other stuff the referendum decided against.

  • 28 Neverland July 9, 2022, 5:36 pm


    But only a few actively voted ‘for’ Boris Johnson

    Some voted for their local Tory candidate who they rated

    Some voted for the Conservative party general ideology

    Some voted to “get brexit done”

    Some voted against Jeremy Cotbyn and/or the SNP

    In many many constituencies the majority of votes against the tories were distributed so widely under a first past the post system so a united right wing won

    Only in the mind of a deluded psychotic narcissist did the country vote in a presidential fashion for Boris Johnson

  • 29 Long_grass July 9, 2022, 7:50 pm

    So glad to see you are over Brexit. I’ve learnt that the level of political grievance on display here only occurs when someone’s personal finances and future plans are affected. Then it becomes personal. And boy, did that sound personal. Hey-ho.

  • 30 weenie July 9, 2022, 9:41 pm

    The second thought I had when Boris resigned, after “Who will take over?”, was what would be in Monevator’s Weekend reading and the ensuing comments? It hasn’t disappointed in any case – almost like reading the Daily Mail comments!

    I think history has shown that our prime ministers are charismatic/interesting one term, to be replaced by boring/safe-ish when people (or the incumbent party) tire of shenanigans, so next in line, it’ll be a Mr/Mrs/Ms Boring to try to pick up the pieces and calm things down.

  • 31 random coder July 9, 2022, 9:50 pm

    On a more financial related note, that link about the perceived wealth and standing of those with the most wealth/income – many people should take note of this.

    Regardless of your position on politics, wealth, income, education etc, many monevator readers might benefit from appreciating quite how well off they are relative to the vast majority of those in the country. Sometimes understanding quite how well off you are can make you appreciate what you have and encourage understanding of the real difficulties people less fortunate than you are facing. I really enjoy the various responses and views on everyone, even those I don’t agree with.

    On the political front, my only comment is we, the UK taxpayers, are effectively paying the salaries of our politicians and the fact they can just down tools, and spend their days arguing about who the leader should be and other nonsense, shows the different world they are living in. I wouldn’t invest in a company as disorganised, non-focussed and with ‘staff’ that clearly have no real work with real deadlines and accountabilty, yet I, and the rest of the country are funding this… enterprise? If I was running an organisation with such free time that top staff in departments can focus on things other than what they were being paid to do, I would seriously be considering laying them off or merging departments.

    Yes, I am being flippant, and my comment is politically neutral as I don’t care really about politics other than accepting democracy as being the least worst option, but seriously, we now have months where our government representatives spend their day on internal leadership matters and campaigning?

    Never mind, I will continue with my day job and navigating the tax and saving and investing landscape laid down by our government who clearly are working so hard on what we pay them for every day…

    End of rant.

  • 32 Jonathan B July 9, 2022, 9:57 pm

    An interesting theory @Weenie, I get Thatcher-Major and Blair-Brown. But I am not sure that anyone would call Cameron charismatic or even interesting, for all that May was possibly the safe/boring successor.

    And personally I never saw the appeal in Johnson, and all the possible successors announced so far seem to be too lightweight to be described as “safe” however boring they might be. (To be fair, I don’t know much about Tugendhat).

  • 33 weenie July 9, 2022, 10:04 pm

    @Jonathan B

    “not sure that anyone would call Cameron charismatic or even interesting”

    The way I saw it, Cameron gave the public the rather ‘interesting’ referendum?

  • 34 Seeking Fire July 9, 2022, 10:06 pm

    – Mortgages. 10 year mortgages seem a relative bargain at the moment vs 5 year. Someone is paying circa 50 bps additional to hedge against inflation getting out of control.

    – IHT. I have a friend whose father has recently died with an estate that I understand is worth >£10m in which they avoided any inheritance tax at all. The individual in question transferred it in name to his children a number of years ago and after seven years it fell out of IHT. He continued to live in the estate and paid a market rent to his children, which he funded by letting out parts of the estate to holiday makers and the agricultural industry. Admittedly his children were liable for tax on the rental income at the additional rate but of course they offset all of that through ploughing back the rental income into maintaining the property. They paid to have a decent tax accountant check through it albeit many readers of this blog will recognise there’s nothing rocket science about this. A prime example of the 1% avoiding any IHT at all.

    – On to the amusing rant. To my mind the most noteworthy news flow this week wasn’t the BoJo affair but the fact that the OBR warned that the UK’s finances are unsustainable and require tax rises or spending cuts. This when tax rises are near all time highs and public services are in disarray.


    With the caveat that the above is a projection, the next government needs to get the country on the economic equivalent of a war footing.

    The first question asked of any prospective leader (btw once again if you want to influence politics you have much more impact by joining the conservative party than at the voting booth where circa 100k of the electorate will decide on the next prime minister assuming it goes to a run-off) should be how are you going to generate economic growth. Because that is what will pay for everything.

    Of course I think there’s little chance of this happening and so given there’s not enough cake to fill everyone’s cake hole these days we should expect things to get a lot more tribal and shittier over the next decade. How bad they get will depend on external events largely out of our control. Could well precipitate another BoJo type figure promising to solve all our problems.

    Having thought we’d be out of the EU for a long time, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think the odds have shortened of us rejoining over the last twelve months given it’s the most impactful way we could improve our economic position short of politicians actually being honest with the electorate and explaining that we’re in increasing trouble.

    You know if we were in the single market we might have more exports, the deficit might be lower and so the pound might not have fallen quite so much, which just might mean it costs a bit less to heat your home this year? I’m not saying it totally offsets the nutter in Russia, I’m saying it might be a good idea to export a bit more.

    I think before that time comes unfortunately we’re due for a healthy degree of wealth taxes coming to most readers of this blog. Only once we’ve tried everything else are we likely to wake up to reality.

    Based on that negative view, I diversified pretty much everything except for house and some property investments out of the £ a year or so ago which has offset the rot a bit this year.

  • 35 CJ July 9, 2022, 10:33 pm

    One Tory clown on his way out another Tory clown to take his place. Clowns belong in the circus when you give them political power you get, “UK set to grow slower than every G20 economy except Russia according to the OECD “

  • 36 Jonathan B July 9, 2022, 10:50 pm

    @Seeking Fire, I assume that if your friend’s wealth had been gifted in the way you say, his estate would be assessed as very low by HMRC and be at the left hand edge of that curve.

    (It does raise the theoretical point of whether high value gifts should be taxed).

    And I am a little sceptical about the OBR’s report. Quite apart from it being based on guesswork, it seems to me the bigger danger at the moment is recession (for which government needs to stimulate the economy) rather than inflation (which is largely due to external factors not affected by interest rate rises which would have their own depressive effects on the economy).

  • 37 Gary Cooper July 9, 2022, 11:14 pm


    A bit shocked over the Absurd Trolley Problems game.
    As a recently retired grondshunter on the tube I feel several of questions need to be explored before playing.

    Are you a licenced point operator?
    Have you checked the route?
    Have you visually checked the points for wear, blades are ok and gap no larger than 2mm between blade and stock on closed side ?
    If locking points, has the lock enraged correctly?
    Lastly are you a RMT member ? and not on strike!


  • 38 The Investor July 9, 2022, 11:38 pm

    @all — Thanks for the comments. Just a broad reply, mostly on this ‘accept reality move on’ line that Brexit’s few remaining public supporters invariably turn to now as their last resort.

    Let’s have a quick recap of reality — and who isn’t accepting it and moving on.

    I said Brexit would prove basically pointless and economically damaging.

    Brexiteers said it would be great.

    Brexit has proven to be basically pointless and economically damaging.

    Brexit supporters now say like it or lump it.

    There’s no reason to debate what might happen anymore. Brexit as touted was always a semi-mystical grab-bag of nonsense but in 2022 it’s been proven to be just that.

    Nobody can find any benefits. Even the anti-immigration voters face higher immigration.

    Yet there’s one group who are conspicuously not accepting reality.

    Clue: it’s not embittered Remainers.

    Truth be told, I would have been angry about Brexit even if half of what we were promised had actually come true. That’s because I think the European Union is a flawed but progressive step forward for humanity, and that the ability for any Briton to live and work across the continent was a precious birthright not to be lightly thrown away.

    And anyone who has been to the Spanish Costas will know this was hardly a benefit only used by the metropolitan elite!

    Many leave voters though seem to see such rights as worthless — we’re told not out of any jingoistic / xenophobic tendencies but because, well, they personally don’t happen to want to live and work abroad. Charitably. That’s it.

    Am I still then cross about Brexit because I’m personally damaged by it?

    Firstly, wake up, we all are. Even Brexiteers. We’re all diminished in where we can take our lives now, and should Leave supporters not care then their children and grandchildren are poorer for it anyway.

    Secondly, guess what, I’m pretty wealthy! So I can go and live in Spain. I can get a golden visa and move to Portugal. It’s a faff but I can do it. After a few years I could even become an EU citizen again.

    But tens of millions of less fortunate Britons will, practically-speaking, never get that opportunity now.

    Indeed I suspect people don’t move on from Brexit — unlike a General Election, and the reversible decisions that follow that — because fundamental rights and notions of identity are at the heart of it.

    Tens of millions of us feel we’ve had rights taken away from us. We were Brits but we were also part of something bigger that was important to us too. Now we’re very clearly living within something very much smaller.

    Similarly, the sovereignty-minded Brexiteers – the small fringe and minority of voters who I don’t have a problem with in terms of rationality — felt a mostly future-based threat to their rights made it worth leaving the EU today.

    And maybe it would have been worth giving up those rights in exchange for something better? As opposed to what we’ve seen for the past seven years.

    Maybe the EU will eventually become a nation-extinguishing super-state, and Brexit means we dodge it? It’s not utterly impossible, though exactly why the equally nationalistic French, Italians, Germans, and all the rest will accept this meekly while we wouldn’t was never at all explained.

    The other reasons to support Brexit were either specious, innumerate, or distasteful to me. But more than that, as I said in my article they were very often contradictory.

    Well-meaning readers ask Remainers to try to understand why Brexit happened. Yet I for one feel I do, and I’m more honest about it then people who pin their particular motivation for Brexit to the sleeves of ALL the rest of the 52%, in the face of all polling and evidence.

    I totally get that people were fed up, felt alienated, and that a slice of the population feels left behind. That — in contrast to what the comment above implies — is why I’ve regularly voted against my own economic interests at General Elections.

    But the fact that people had grievances and so voted for Brexit doesn’t mean I have to agree Brexit was a solution to their problems, let alone something that could deliver on its grab-bag manifesto for anyone.

    And that’s no longer debatable — most of the promises of Brexit have proven a crock.

    As I said, everything in life is trade-off. And I would always have seen the loss of my freedoms and rights as an EU citizen as a heavy toll.

    But imagine if what they’d claimed was true?

    At least there’d be something to sanely debate in terms of profit and loss from Brexit.

    Imagine if new hospitals were springing up all over the country, funded by the bus-promised winnings. Imagine if an ‘oven-ready deal’ really had secured equally good trade terms with the EU in 2016 or even 2017. Imagine if the US had raced to sign a great and oddly superior trade agreement with our little island off the coast of the equally prosperous and yet far larger EU market.

    Imagine if genuinely-spurious regulations were there to be slashed without, you know, people dying of food poisoning or polluting our rivers — basically the reason why most won’t be — and imagine if Britain was undergoing some sort of trade renaissance.

    Imagine if Westminster had blossomed as British politicians, finally freed from the oppressive EU, had found a new kind of politics that started to make the difference voters were clearly crying out for.

    Just imagine.

    Instead we’ve got trade frictions everywhere, long queues of lorries, airports and hospitals at breaking point due to staff shortages, a pound that’s become the new peso, politics that is the laughing stock of the world, the prime minister partying in a pandemic — oh and the complete collapse of the power-sharing government in Northern Ireland that had ended the miserable cycle of kids and British soldiers alike getting blown up for decades.

    But yes, it’s me who has to wake up and smell the coffee. I see that now.

  • 39 The Investor July 9, 2022, 11:42 pm

    @Gary (not Garg I presume!? 🙂 ) — your comment made me smile.

    So often philosophers overlook the practicalities, eh? Have you ever tried getting a cat into a box, let alone hooking it up to a radioactive isotope? It’s a lot harder than they made it sound.

    Also, I googled grondhunter in vain. Let me know and I’ll edit your comment if you like as a thank you for the laugh… 😉

  • 40 Learner July 10, 2022, 12:57 am

    @random coder, interesting data indeed. Monevator readers should be comforted – as the author points out, it will be very difficult to bring in any kind of wealth tax to address rising inequality given the wealthy do not consider themselves to be so.

  • 41 Learner July 10, 2022, 1:18 am

    The lost right for any brit to live, study, work, retire anywhere on the continent be slow to fade; and that’s just one part of brexit. The whole sorry endeavor and everyone involved will not be regarded well by history.

  • 42 Gary Cooper July 10, 2022, 1:45 am


    Dont worry about correcting it.
    Yes it is Gary and should have been ground shunter. A term used in tube depots for someone operating hand worked points. A depot shunter was the person driving the train around within the depot limits.
    Nowadays both roles are performed by the same grade, ‘train maintainer’. Probably too much info…
    Using a crappy tablet with autocorrect is a problem when travelling, a fortunate occurrence once retired.

  • 43 FireSoon? July 10, 2022, 8:09 am

    Very well put, The Investor. Thank you.

  • Mogul
    44 The Accumulator July 10, 2022, 9:45 am

    @ White Dragon – “As far as I’m concerned, *all* politicians are lying, cheating charlatans and scoundrels. They all prove it all the time. Boris is gone. Whoever replaces him will be no better, and end up disappointing those who voted for them. That I can guarantee.”

    What keeps them honest? Voting them out. If you don’t punish the liars and cheaters at the top then they get a message. That message is: “it’s OK to lie and cheat. Nobody really cares. So it’s OK to move on to bigger lies and to rig the entire system.”

    If you don’t eject the liar and the cheater with their hands on the levers of power then pretty soon they don’t want to give them back.

    You’re stuck with them and eventually they look something like Putin.

    So always make people in power take responsibility for their lies. It’s our only hope of keeping them in check.

  • 45 Tugchaser July 10, 2022, 10:08 am

    If you read the Daily Express, or to a lesser extent the Mail, you will be told every day that Brexit is a fantastic success and that Europe is collapsing. Some are still naive enough to believe it.

    I am in my 70’s and will never forgive those who voted for Brexit and those who lied to convince them to do so.

    …and yes I do believe that the last election was to keep Corbyn out rather than to vote the Conservatives in.

  • 46 Finn July 10, 2022, 10:19 am

    Interesting link on reverse mortgages. As a homeowner in the south with no intention of leaving any inheritance, the huge sums paid into the house over the last few years (and hours worked to do that) is something that bothers me.

  • 47 FlyByNight July 10, 2022, 10:24 am

    Well said TI!

    The biggest lie Boris told was that Brexit was done.

    Until the Northern Ireland issue is solved it is far from done – another reason to not accept it and move on.

    The shadow of The Troubles still lives on for many. No Brexiteer seems to have an answer. We can’t move on until it is resolved.

    In my view the people of Northern Ireland / the north of Ireland need a say on the various options which will have to include a united Ireland, or a hard border.

  • 48 xxd09 July 10, 2022, 10:33 am

    Great post Investor
    We must shoot generals not the troops -the troops are all we have and what we have to live with
    Our generals have lost their way with their troops with all the irrational responses that troops will then produce- (Brexit etc)-unsophisticated people that they are through no fault of their own!
    Democracy -that pesky system !
    Leadership from our so called “educated” people has been conspicuously missing everywhere for a long time
    Competence responsibility moral behaviour are sadly lacking
    Vacuous do goodery, grievance and victimhood are poor ideas to inspire the troops
    People dislike being constantly belittled continually told they are racist bigoted etc in one of the most tolerant,safe and law abiding countries in the world
    Until these basic facts are grasped by our so called “ruling classes” we are going to continue to get a lot more serious problems than Brexit
    It’s time we stopped wringing our hands over symptoms and dealt with the disease
    I don’t presume to have the answers but “ waking up and smelling the coffee “ is the right start
    The really difficult part comes with where do we go from here remembering to take the people with us at all times or they will undo us all yet again in their own spectacular ways!

  • 49 FireSoon? July 10, 2022, 10:49 am

    @Griff: Comments like “let’s see who’s next as long as its not Sir Keir and the ginger bint.” give away rather a lot about you and what led to the debacle of Brexit.

  • 50 Chris July 10, 2022, 10:50 am

    We all seem great at highlighting the problems. Dare I say whinging even.
    As my old manager always used to say:- “don’t just come to me with a problem. Bring me a problem and your solution”.
    PS – I wonder how everyone’s SIPPs/ISA’s are doing. Maybe we should give a moment to review our investment strategies. Now there’s a novelty!

  • 51 Rob B July 10, 2022, 11:04 am

    Not a football fan but I can’t help feeling arguing over Brexit is like arguing over ‘was a penalty’ a few days later. We’re out of Europe. There’s no point looking back – we need to look forward. But my personal view is quite clear.

    Has Brexit been a success? At best ‘not yet’. At worst ‘highly unlikely’.
    Did I vote for Brexit? Yes.
    Do I regret it? Yes.
    Did I fall for the promises? Yes.
    Would I vote for Brexit again? No. Need to accept Reality vs. Dream.

    One point I’d like to share. I may not put it across too well but stay with me! Britain has a history of ‘stubbornness’. Blitz attitude and so on.

    When key individuals (i.e., Obama’s ‘back of the line’ speech) told us how stupid and detrimental Brexit would be, I do think it hit a nerve. In essence, anyone considering voting for Brexit was being called ‘dumb’. Now history may well show this to be correct. But if you call someone ‘dumb’ they’re likely to respond with ‘FU’. I do think this is a British trait.

    Perhaps it would have been much better to decry the vast benefits of being in Europe rather than belittling those that were considering Voting Leave.

    Just a thought…

  • 52 Erico1875 July 10, 2022, 11:11 am

    Of course , us Indie Scots, aren’t at all surprised by the lies.
    History does repeat. Lies and more lies.
    If Scotland gets independence then OAPs will lose their pensons. Lie.
    All the financial institutions will leave Scotland. Lie
    We would no longer be able to use the Pound. Lie
    Anyone could invade us as we wouldn’t have an army. Lie
    We are too small a population to succeed.Lie
    We would be thrown out the EU. Well that one came true

  • 53 FlyByNight July 10, 2022, 2:36 pm

    @Chris – I totally agree with you – a solution is needed to the northern Ireland question. But these seem limited. As I see it they are:

    1) UK rejoins EU.
    2) NI vote on the available solutions: united Ireland, the status quo with an Irish sea border, or a hard border.
    3) Another solution is created.

    I voted remain but wouldn’t advocate or support option 1. I can see a future where this happens but don’t think now is the time. We really do need to move on.

    Seven years in no one can answer 3. So that leaves option 2.

    I just hope the next leader of the conservatives gives the time and space to deal with this so as to not leave a terrible legacy for the children of NI who deserve a better future.

  • 54 ZXSpectrum48k July 10, 2022, 2:39 pm

    @TI. I think you are far too kind to the average Brexit voter. Not all of them, of course, but the majority are cut from the same cloth as the 40%+ of voters in the US who voted for Trump.

    The public don’t actually want the truth from their politicians. They can’t handle the truth. Instead they just want demagogues who tell them they are all amazing, they live in an exceptional country, and it’s someone else’s fault. Hence why the Tory party is now just UKIP.

    When the majority in a country prefer to believe that fairies live at the bottom of the garden than to deal in cold logic, there is no point debating with them. They are beyond redemption. Brexit is just a symptom of this.

  • 55 Learner July 10, 2022, 4:43 pm

    Apologies, final comment.

    I’ve only been following the last week by twitter and newspaper reporting, which is a different experience to watching it on telly and hearing politicians speak. The last thing – hopefully ever – from Boris I heard was a clip on FT Politics, commenting on altering the NI Protocol:

    “What we can do is fix that. It’s not a big deal, we can fix it in such a way as to remove those bureaucratic barriers but without putting up barriers on trade moving north-south in the island of Ireland as well.”

    Reneging Northern Ireland while the ink is barely dry. Not a big deal. Boris in a nutshell.

  • 56 Factor July 10, 2022, 6:43 pm

    As I said once before, in life I regularly hear or read opinion adduced as fact, and for which my acronym is OAF. Some Monevator commenters are guilty of this error.

  • 57 Cttw July 10, 2022, 8:37 pm

    @ factor. It’s just the comments section of a blog, a bit of knockabout, not the cup final. As as pointed out by zx above, we don’t want facts, just fun. Cttw

  • 58 Chris July 10, 2022, 9:19 pm

    @Factor – “Opinion adduced as Fact- OAF”. I’m going to add this to my vocabulary. Brilliant!

  • 59 Chris July 10, 2022, 9:28 pm

    @Cttw – “we don’t want facts, just fun”. Well maybe one man’s fun/another man’s farce. Otherwise known as OMF-OMF 🙂

  • 60 ZXSpectrum48k July 10, 2022, 10:07 pm

    In terms of facts all you need to know about Leave voters was very well summarised by an Ashcroft poll of over 12,000 voters taken just after the 2016 referendum.

    81% of Leave voters thought multi-culturalism was a force for ill. 80% thought social liberalism was a force for ill. 80% immigration. 74% saw feminism as a force for ill. 78% environmentalism. 69% globalisation. 71% even thought the internet was a force for ill.

    These people didn’t just like the EU. They didn’t like anything about the modern world. The majority want to hark back to some previous era based on the delusion that their lives would have been better then Except it wouldn’t have been. It’s never been better than right now.

  • Mogul
    61 The Accumulator July 11, 2022, 9:29 am

    @ Rob B – I take my hat off to you. You’re the first Brexit voter I’ve heard say they regret it. None of us like admitting we’re wrong. It takes character to do so. Perhaps there is hope 🙂

    PS – love your idea about switching to persuasion mode. If the Russians can rehabilitate Stalin, perhaps we can drum up nostalgia for European integration.

  • 62 Gadgetmind July 11, 2022, 5:04 pm

    @ZXSpectrum48k Yes, I remember that Ashcroft poll, or as it’s now called “Mainstream Conservative Policy”. The new PM hopefuls are having to pledge allegiance to scraping any low carbon plans, discouraging immigrants using any humane method and also any inhumane one, being deeply “anti Woke”, etc.

    When I read the Ashcroft poll I was shaken by how many people that I walked among held those views, but fortunately none I know well as exactly zero of my real world friends or close family hold those views or voted for Brexit. Phew!

    These Brexit voters are now wailing “This isn’t the Brexit I voted for!” and I’m perfectly willing to accept this. After all, what sane person would have voted for loss of valuable freedoms, border bureaucracy including a border down the Irish Sea, sterling kippered, exports hammered, and international reputation on the ropes? In return all that I ask them to accept is that this is exactly the Brexit that Remain voters very much voted against.

  • 63 Jonathan B July 11, 2022, 9:10 pm

    @Gadgetmind, you need to remember that Brexit was never a political plan, it was an extremist religious fervour. They are prepared to wait thousands of years for their Messiah, nothing currently could possibly achieve the aim.

    See also Al-Qaeda and Islamic State for examples.

  • 64 Calculus July 11, 2022, 9:13 pm

    The border down the Irish sea… Well, once a hard Brexit was chosen it was the only sane outcome. The majority of the NI assembly are agreeable with staying in the EU customs union without the proposed protocol bill changes. Not surprising with the majority also voting remain and given the overall outcome. Boris’s questionably legal bill is an appeasement to the now minority unionist parties… and we’ve seen that movie before. The one possible, unintended? benefit of Brexit is arguably accelerating the timetable for the referendum on removing the North-South border altogether.

  • 65 Dean July 12, 2022, 3:42 pm

    Agree entirely with the article about Brexit, and Boris’ responsibility. He strategised his Brexit support and Brexit misleading of the public to become PM and it’s his just desserts to be going. Even if you think Brexit positive for whatever reason, another Brexit being done untruth apart from NI is the fact that full EU-GB import customs checks continue to be delayed in GB for the foreseeable future. Twas implemented for GB imports across the EU since 1.1.21. But GB still isn’t ready and as Jacob Rees-Mogg acknowledged, full checks would push up costs for consumers (!)

  • 66 hosimpson July 12, 2022, 5:37 pm

    I’ve made my views on Brexit quite clear in the past so I won’t repeat myself. However, I’m worried Johnson’s replacement may turn out to be a little less incompetent and might actually succeed at privatising the NHS — by stealth or otherwise. That would put a dent in my early retirement plans.
    It’s frightening how many similarities there are between Johnson and Trump as well as their respective electorates. Fear of immigration (TI: I did not say xenophobia so you can’t delete this comment citing divisive slurs 😉 ) rules supreme in both camps. Two rich assholes with family money, albeit not that successful in their own right, elected on the platform of a vigilante maverick looking out for The Little Guy. First thing they do? The Orange Monkey guts the Dodd-Frank and a number of environmental protections while giving himself and his mates a big tax cut, and the Fluffy Muppet … after handing out a chunk of COVID funds to his mates and their spouses, well, he hasn’t managed to do very much, really, thus greatly disappointing Rees-Mogg (and may I just say, what a perfect name for a Ministry of Magic toady in a Harry Potter sequel, somebody please send a memo to JK Rowling) and his dreams of a neo feudal Britain.
    But it ain’t over yet, and the worse the economy gets the more scope there will be to reduce the welfare state.

  • 67 ermine July 13, 2022, 2:37 pm

    > might actually succeed at privatising the NHS — by stealth or otherwise.

    They’re already a fair way there. For about 10 years in Suffolk I had to pay privately to use the dentist – this included checkups. I was absolutely gobsmacked that it was possible to get an NHS dentist where I live now. It’s not universal even here, I know someone who has had toothache for the last four months because he can’t find a dentist.

    I know people who have paid privately for hip replacements rather than wait years for one.

  • 68 xxd09 July 13, 2022, 3:55 pm

    Very common here in the north of Scotland to pay for Dental care and hip replacements
    Driven by scarce resources and pain!

  • 69 JBL July 14, 2022, 10:48 am

    I also know someone who recently went private for hip replacement. They were told there was no time limit for how long they might have to wait on the NHS and that depite them being in a lot of pain and having to manage on their own.

  • 70 xxd09 July 14, 2022, 11:14 am

    Just had my daughter a GP on the phone-a patient advanced cancer fallen possible broken leg no ambulances-NE England
    My son works in a poorer part of Scotland where local dads have set up an “ambulance “ service-with some basic first aid on board
    Getting rough out there!

  • 71 Chris July 14, 2022, 11:16 am

    Anyone noticed what’s happening on world stock markets over the last few days? Anyone interested?

  • 72 The Investor July 14, 2022, 12:29 pm

    @Chris — I don’t really understand why you keep making this point. I have banging on about the stock market’s issues all year — and to general disinterest in the early months, when people saw nothing to worry about.

    Moreover we had big hand-wringing session in the previous Weekend Reading.

    Perhaps you missed it:


  • 73 Chris July 14, 2022, 2:17 pm

    @TI – Good point. Thanks for the link.

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