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

Expansion of UK Airport Capacity
Many British readers will have noticed the heavy advertising from rival groups trying to get the attention of the commission tasked with making a recommendation to government on the extension of airport capacity in the South-East of England.  This commission has been asked to make its recommendation after the forthcoming general election on May 7th.  Nonetheless leaks from the commission indicate that increasing capacity at Heathrow is the preferred option. [more »]

One Cheer for British Justice
Thankfully after a five year enquiry (Al-Sweady case) before a retired High Court Judge (Sir Thayne Forbes) costing in all £31 million – a high proportion of which has passed through the firms Leigh Day (Martin Day principal) and Public Interest Lawyers (Phil Shiner principal, Mau Mau lawyer, a committed socialist campaigner), the enquiry found that British soldiers were not guilty of murdering 11 “innocent” Iraqis and disfiguring their bodies.  Hurrah – relief for the soldiers under the shadow of these appalling accusations. While Sir Thayne’s 1,250 page report castigated the “deliberate lies” and “shameful attempts to impugn the Army’s reputation” used to bring the case (one cheer), it also strayed well beyond its remit to criticise the Army’s interrogation methods more generally (no cheers).  Apparently Sir Thayne thought that “blowing gently on a detainee’s neck” “would have seemed full of menace – and the detainee would have been intimidated by it” and this “amounts to a form of ill-treatment”. [more »]

Influence that voters can have
May 7th 2015 is the date of the next British General Election, so we are entering the period of maximum voter influence as the incumbent and aspiring politicians bid for votes. Key areas where pressure can be effectively exerted include the useful but attainable New Year presents for the much put-upon British people:

  • Counting people in and out of the country (counting out only is due to come into force in March)
  • Court orders for deportation are enforced without further appeal
  • A serious information campaign is carried out across Northern Africa, the Middle East and their European enclaves such as Sangatte near Calais to tell people that unauthorised entry into the UK will be followed immediately on detection by deportation without appeal to the courts, right back to their native countries
  • The government will make it explicit under its Local Planning Framework policy that new housing and windfarms will not be permitted on “green” land, against the wishes of the people living in the parishes affected.
Here’s wishing all our readers far and wide a Happy Christmas 2014 and success in your endeavours in 2015.

More Electricity Madness
Reports in the Sunday Telegraph (19th October 2014) that the Prudential Insurance company is planning to invest in large infrastructure projects is encouraging, but its choice of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project will, if confirmed, prove disastrous for Prudential’s pensioners and the British taxpayer. [more »]

Is winning the next election more important to the Conservatives than keeping Britain in the EU?
Here is a real, momentous decision facing Prime Minister Cameron. He can have either of the above alternatives, but not both. If the Conservative manifesto contained two commitments: [more »]

Top

Greek Tragedy: Lessons for Britain

We have previously commented that there is virtually no limit to the sacrifices which Eurocrat politicians of all Euro-countries will impose on their fellow citizens to keep the Euro project alive.

With the coming to power of a left-wing government in Greece, there is now frenzied speculation among European politicians and journalists as to what will happen next.

The most important guide to the future is to realise that the European political class will do anything to protect what they regard as their greatest and proudest achievement – the euro.

The most bizarre comments are from the new Greek government itself to the effect that it wants Greece to stay in the euro – the very system which has brought it to disaster.  But of course it wants most of its debts cancelled!

The second extraordinarily bizarre comment is from the so-called Troika of the EU/ECB/IMF who would have to agree to any Greek debt cancellation within the euro framework.  The remark was to the effect that if Greece didn’t go along with the Troika’s demands, it could lead to a Greek exit from the euro (Grexit), resulting in “financial disaster” and “ruin”.

Everything points to the need for Greece to devalue its currency and the only way to do this is to re-establish their original currency, the drachma, at a rate well below the rate (341 drachma to the euro) at which it entered the euro in 2001 (perhaps 500 to the euro).

Greece is already suffering ruin

One despatch from Greece (by Nick Squires) describes the plight of one district on the outskirts of Athens.  Here doctors working on reduced wages from the state, or for a charity Médecins du Monde, see malnutrition on a daily basis, children no longer being vaccinated against polio, measles, TB and hepatitis – a disease time-bomb waiting to explode.  There are hospitals with no sterilised instruments and clinics with no doctors.  Under 24 years old unemployment is around 70%, GDP has fallen from 2008 by around 25%, about the same as in the USA in the 1930s after the crash of 1929.  This is for a country whose per capita GDP was €19,000 as recently as 2012, doubtless flattered by the effect of the loans it took on after 2001 and for which repayment is now due.

Managing the transition to the drachma

If the Eurocrats and the Greek political establishment – including now the new party of government, Syriza, would just accept the inevitability of Grexit, they would find the transition from euro to drachma relatively easy.  Clearly the external finance side would have to be managed by, in effect the sort of debt relief that Nigel Lawson persuaded the IMF to do for African countries in the 1980s, probably in Greece’s case converting euro loans into drachma loans at a rate which Greece could be expected to manage in 2-3 years’ time.

Germany has no justification for resisting Greek debt forgiveness

Before creditors like Deutsche Bank get hot and bothered by this “haircut”, they should recall that they lent very freely to the Greek public sector after 2001 to enable it to undertake massive infrastructure projects which the country actually couldn’t afford.  An outstanding example is the Athens metro system with tunnelling equipment, rails, rolling stock, ticket machines and signalling equipment all supplied by German companies, Siemens AG and Herren Knecht AG.  Keeping an exporting country’s currency low, relative to the importing country’s (which is what the euro does for Germany) is exactly what the forerunner of the ECB, the Reichbank, did during the 1930s, turning Eastern and Central Europe into German economic colonies without the need for a shot to be fired. …[more»]