Archive for September, 2020

Sunday Blog 31: No Good News

Sunday, September 27th, 2020

This will be a short blog as I have book projects ongoing which are taking up much time. But this weekend two major news threads need watching in the coming days.

Boris Johnson’s premiership is in trouble. He is fast becoming a figure of fun. His government is all over the place on practically everything from Covid to Brexit and the consequences of both. Mixed messaging, bombastic declarations, scarce on detail and low on delivery, underpin policy failures at every level. Problems in testing and the app, in a programme which has already cost an eye watering £10 billion, only to be allocated £2 billion extra, underscore that those who boast are the biggest botchers. Parliament is becoming restive and Tory rebellions are  being hatched. At the end of the day this is a weak government of second division players who are simply not up to the greatest set of challenges in modern history.

Trump’s rush to nominate a hardcore Roman Catholic to ensure liberalism is buried in the Supreme Court will, if it goes through, have catastrophic implications for the future of the United States. Mark my words.

International Thriller: Download or Paperback from £1.99

Sunday, September 13th, 2020

Dr. Rachael Benedict is an American historian and a best-selling author. She has a British connection through her estranged father Saul, an English thriller writer. Saul has spent much of his life plotting to expose secrets from World War Two, which are so sensitive they have been subject to an extensive cover-up lasting seventy years. Set equally in the United States and Britain, the narrative grips from the first page, transporting the reader to the heart of government both in Washington and London and into the darkest corners of the deep states on each side of the Atlantic. Rachael battles forward to unearth the truth both from intrigues of the Nazi era, but also within her own family, surviving three attempts on her life. Not only does she struggle to expose the truth from history, but she must delve deep into her own emotions to find the truth about herself.

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Sunday Blog 30: Three Dangers: Three Crises: Economy, Covid and Brexit.

Sunday, September 13th, 2020

Back from holiday and resuming my Sunday Blog, it is hard to know where to start, so full in the doleful menu of misfortune and mishap across the world. But the home front is where this blog lives and there are currently three simultaneous crisis points, buffeting a government seemingly losing its way. I will briefly deal with each separately. For all of them it is something of a wait and see. Things may get better, but on current projections they will first get a whole lot worse.

The Economy.

At the moment there is no certainty on the final nature of Brexit nor do we know when Covid will be brought under some kind of control. So estimates of future economic anything is guesswork and in the context of this blog pointless. But we do know that the costs of Covid thus far are eye watering. One statistic stands out as a marker. Borrowing by the government is now over 1 x GDP i.e. £2 trillion. Against this must be set the total of quantitative easing (government debt owned by the Bank of England). This currently stands at £745 billion. Technically this is held by the B of E, which is at arms length from the government, but the government owns the Bank. And that means that ultimately the government owns that proportion of its own debt.

Nevertheless we are now entering uncharted waters in modern times. Much more money will have to be printed before the economy picks up enough to to provide the tax revenue to pay the nation’s running costs. This will require the careful balancing of inflation/ currency value/ interest rates/borrowing and printing. It cannot be done without some tears for sure. If done well it will cement a strong recovery from the current nadir. But if mishandled by a Treasury hooked on irrelevant dogma about good housekeeping, it could precipitate economic mayhem.

Covid

Cases are on the rise big time. The R number is has passed 1. Hospital admissions, while still a fraction of the initial crisis, are going up. The mandatory Rule of Six comes into effect on Monday. Widely supported by medical and actuarial scientists, modellers and those on the front line of the pandemic battle, the usual gang of Tory right wingers are grumbling. It is obvious that something not good is coming down the track. The race to sort out a vaccine, track and trace, as well as improved treatment of those Covid sufferers who become really ill and need help, is well and truly on. Broadly commentators,  scientists and medics give a measured analysis of the challenges and potential solutions. Sadly when the government speaks it is often hard to extract facts from fantasy. Especially when the prime minister is doing the talking.

Brexit

This is now a big mess. The origins of the mess are Boris signing a Withdrawal Agreement which he either had not read or did not understand. Maybe both. For those who did read it, I am one such, it was obvious that if no final trade agreement were reached, there would be a border down the Irish Sea. It is beyond comprehension why this was not understood. Or was it? Was the plan always to dump it? With this unscrupulous gang calling themselves a government, anything is possible. It seams beyond credibility that they did not get correct advice from expert lawyers and officials at the time.