Welcome to Britain Watch

All the signs are that the governance of Britain is spiralling out of control: record trade and budget deficits; a swollen bureaucracy; an inadequate but costly education system; a government incapable of providing for our future energy needs; record emigration of native Britons, unprecedented levels of immigration; a mind-set putting the non-citizen ahead of the British citizen.

Britain Watch has been set up to highlight key examples of these trends and to promote practical reforms to reverse the incompetence and loss of national self belief they engender. All readers are invited to participate.

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Short News

Good News for Britain from Ineos
Ineos is one of those largely British industrial success stories rarely heard of by the British public (or even most of the British government). Instead of the miserly 1% of fracking revenues offered by the UK Oil and Gas Producers’ Association (UK OOG), Ineos will offer 4% to the owners of land where Ineos bores wells (most owners own the rights anyway) and 2% to the communities within a 39 square mile area of a 200 well cluster. Over a 30 year period, Ineos expects these payments to exceed £2.5 billion which will not only make some owners very well off, but ensure opposition to this vital development is minimal. Good News indeed. [more »]

Only a major expansion of manufacture and developing new indigenous energy will solve Britain's economic problems
As we have pointed out many times, right back to the first posts in 2008, and this author in TIME (The Importance of Manufacture to the Economy in 2000), at £110 billion per annum the goods trade deficit is an even bigger problem than the government’s fiscal deficit of about the same size. Why is this? Firstly the goods deficit is made up basically of imported manufactures, raw materials, and foodstuffs, offset to a degree by net services exports (principally technical and financial), aerospace, and oil goods, none of which the government feels it can do much about. Oil exports have declined by over 50% since the peak years 1998-2002 to a still very significant £30 billion or so, but as a result we are now, for the first time in our history, net importers of energy, getting worse as North Sea oil and gas production continue to decline. [more »]

Life in an Independent Scotland would be much worse
One of Scotland’s most prominent exports is Andrew Marr, the BBC commentator on all things Scottish and British (although he says he’s not sure what these terms mean, even after a career spent in the BBC). At Kings College London recently, in conversation with Mary-Kay Wilmers of the London Review of Books, he opined that Scottish people, in their view, “have to vote against the Union because frankly life could not be worse”. Well here are a few facts of life which would be definitely worse had Scotland voted for separation from the UK. See our post of 18th September (Referendum day) for 11 things which individual Scots citizens would definitely not be able to count on in their civic life, and 3 things which would be huge inconveniences for individual Scots in their personal lives. [more »]

New Constitution for the whole UK

Don’t miss:

Stephen’s latest letter on the Scottish referendum, published in the Daily Telegraph on 9th September. You can find it on the stephenbush.net website, in the “Politics and Education” section, under the “British and English Identity” category.

stephenbush.net

Don’t miss

Stephen’s latest letter on Scottish Separation published in the September issue of the Professional Engineer.

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Fall-out from the Scotland Referendum (2)

Devolution – More Muddle and Fudge in prospect

In our appeal to Scottish voters (18th September) “Help build a Union of Five Parliaments”, we set out our view that only an English Parliament with powers equal to those now being contemplated for the Scottish Parliament can possibly meet the English people’s demand to be properly represented in the British State.  The post on this website “Scotland and the United Kingdom” of 23rd January 2012 highlights Cameron’s insouciant sloth about the unfolding catastrophe of Scotland’s secession from the United Kingdom: the muddle and defeatism in government circles – with the lately retired Head of the Civil Service, Gus O’Donnell, in the van (if that’s the word for a defeatist mediocrity), the loss of the UK nuclear deterrent and our permanent seat on the UN Security Council, the disruption of what little immigration control we have, and the inevitable problems for the monarchy.

The responses of the Westminster political class

It may or may not surprise Alex Salmond, soon to cease being leader of the SNP, that the Westminster government of civil servants and politicians is as detested as much in England as in Scotland.

With the honourable exceptions of clear-thinking, but out-of-office MPs like John Redwood and Owen Patterson, the Westminster politicians and their media allies in the Telegraph, the Times and the BBC will do anything to avoid ever discussing how a parliament for England can be set up. This reluctance to deal sensibly with the obvious is a symptom of a much deeper instinct – and that is to suppress any institutional manifestation of the English people and nation.

Thus all the talk is of “English votes for English issues” at Westminster (David Cameron) and devolving power to cities (Labour’s Ed Miliband) – just more muddle and bodge, avoiding the key issue. …[more»]