The Benefits of Free Trade

fair-tradeNow is the time to stick up for free trade and the huge benefits it has brought

Let us suppose you are so brave or mad as to get in your car today, and head off through the snowy wastes. Suppose you find that you are almost alone on the roads, and that actually it isn’t so hard to drive. The car is snug, the radio is on, and slowly you allow your speed to climb.

With every successfully negotiated corner, your sense of risk diminishes until suddenly – whoops – you take a bend slightly too fast, and you hit that patch of inevitable snow-covered ice.

As you begin to skid, something weird and frightening starts to happen in your brain. You know intellectually that the correct thing to do is to steer into the skid, to let the wheels regain traction; and yet every instinct is yelling at you to take immediate short-term action to correct the disaster. Brake! screams your instinct. Haul on that steering wheel! In that split second at the start of the skid your reason and your instincts are at war – and that is the terrifying moment we have reached in our response to the economic crisis.

As the downturn turns into a recession, and governments start to lose their sense of control, the overwhelming instinct is to enact swift countervailing measures to protect our economies and our labour force.

I feel it. You feel it. We all feel it. If we are going to raise British taxpayers’ money, to spend on recession-busting investments in the UK car industry, then we want that money to go on British workers and British jobs.

If we are going to have a glorious new bike-hire system in London, then we want those bikes – if at all possible – to be made or supplied by London firms. If we are going to drive forward big infrastructure projects such as new road and rail links in Britain, then we would think it pretty crazy to allow the work to be gobbled up by foreign contractors. That is why President Obama has enacted his Buy American Act, which insists that if the state is going to spend $850 billion on Rooseveltian schemes to stimulate the economy, then they must use American steel, and protect American jobs.

It is a natural assumption that in times of economic distress we should put our own nation first, and if you want evidence of the strength of this emotion, listen to the voices supporting the current wave of strikes.

It’s all about British jobs for British workers, they say. They don’t want these Italians coming here – no matter how efficient they are – and taking “our jobs”. They want government to stick up for us, the British, and to hell with all this foreign competition.

That is the mood of many angry people, convinced that globalisation has somehow impoverished them and put their employment at risk. Sometimes, frankly, their anger shades into xenophobia – and in so far as they seem to want to cut off the legitimate business opportunities of foreign concerns, and workers from other EU countries, then it cannot be said too forcefully that their sentiments are ugly, mad and wrong.

Let us imagine that the boot were on the other foot. How would we feel if some of the hundreds of superb British engineering consultancies were suddenly told that they were not welcome in China, or Italy, or any other market in which they have flourished over the past century?

It would be a disaster for those companies, and for their workers, and for Britain’s ability to earn foreign exchange. Imagine if the world were convulsed by nationalistic and chauvinistic strikes along the lines we are seeing in Britain today. There would be a catastrophic collapse in world trade, and a fall in global economic activity. The overall pie of wealth would shrink, and so would our national slice.

What kind of British industry do the protectionists think would emerge? Some sort of crazy autarkic system in which we tried to substitute imports with home-made PlayStations and home-made shoes and brassieres once again produced in the cotton mills of Lancashire? We would not only be forcing British consumers to accept second-rate goods; we would be impoverishing them by obliging them to pay more. It is terrifying that some serious politicians – including members of the Labour Cabinet – seem prepared to support these strikes, and to side with the Luddite trades unions and the far-Right BNP. Now is the time to stick up for free trade, and the huge benefits it has brought.

Remember what happened in the Thirties, when they had exactly the same instinctive and panic-stricken reaction, and a recession was turned into a slump. Remember the old truth, that when goods, people and services are not allowed to cross borders, soldiers eventually force the way. It is vital now that we complete the Doha round of world trade talks, not so much because it will liberate a great pent-up wave of trade, but because without it a signal will have been sent around the world that protectionism is winning.

We need Obama to drop the Buy American clauses of his package, because in the end – no matter how seductive the idea may be – a refusal to compete and a refusal to be open will be no good for America and no good for the world. If the world continues with its current lurch to protectionism and me-first-ism, we will end up intensifying the very phenomena that we are most afraid of. The big European banks that used to lend money in sub-Saharan Africa are increasingly directing their remaining credit to their home markets. The result is that African businesses are failing, and unemployment is set to surge – and what will be the result? Migration, of course: an irresistible tide of economic migration to Europe.

Of course people are angry, and of course they want to protect themselves and their families. But if the nations of the world decide that it makes sense for them each to discriminate against foreign competition, then we are really on the road to perdition, and a skid will turn into a prang from which it could take a long time to recover.

[First published in the Daily Telegraph on 03 February 2009 under the heading: ‘If we put a brake on free trade, the world will skid into a crash.’]

59 thoughts on “The Benefits of Free Trade”

  1. “That is why President Obama has enacted his Buy American Act” (Boris)

    President Obama stood on a platform of deficit spending and protectionism, winning support from a suprising number of British Conservatives, including if I remember correctly a certain Mayor of London!

    Isn’t it a little bit late in the day to start screaming ‘free trade’, if it was free trade you wanted you should have bit the bullet, done the unpopular thing and spoken up for it when it mattered – before the US election!

    You’re right, we do need to resist the temptation towards protectionism. However, perhaps our politicans also need to start resisting the temptation to spend too much time listening to the spin-doctors and contradicting themselves every week as a result?

  2. Hi StevenL
    I think I am a protectionist fair trader and in favour of the Buy British ethos. Sorry but I don’t think England should be a worldwide charity welcoming all foreign trade with alacrity. Surely there is a narrower interest at heart in the first instance with foreign trade following on from greater prosperity rather than the other way around? I am a great internationalist but can’t go along with all the freedom of trade that Boris is advocating while people are losing their jobs left, right and centre around me. I know what Boris would say – that is a dingbat’s thought and he would be right as I am no economist; just a minor member of the public with screaming fears that our people will end up as starved rabbits whereas America might flourish and benefit from a people who turn into much plumper richer hopping happier rabbits.

  3. The most important point to make is that you need to attend to punctuation, as Playstations were never manufactured in the Lancashire cotton mills.
    Then, to be trivial, it would be naive and ill-informed to criticise free trade, after all unregulated capitalism has not been at all responsible for the current economic situation, has it? And free traders have never exploited anyone or done any harm. They are lovely, friendly, caring folk who love children and small animals.
    Adam Smith? A man in need of swift kick in the testicles if ever there was one.

  4. A global market is not a level playing field. Companies here are trying to compete with foreign manufacturing and it’s not a fair fight. Manufacturing here is constrained by health and safety laws, minimum wage and a high cost of living regardless of raw materials, rents and energy costs. The cost of manufacturing anything here is going to be higher than in any third world country. Higher than in parts of India and China I shouldn’t wonder.

    What is the answer? Should we go back in time and abolish health and safety laws, minimum wage and child labour restrictions? Those little fingers are sometimes the only ones for some work shown in expose documentaries. No, Boris isn’t suggesting that but embracing ‘free trade’ and ‘globalisation’. Which basically means buying stuff from abroad cause it’s cheaper.

    Alrighty then.. let’s say we do that; buy our stuff from abroad. We then have a nation that produces nothing and creates no wealth.

    Civil servants and politicians paying taxes is just false accounting – they don’t pay taxes really, they contribute nothing to the pot as they took their wages out of the pot to begin with. Increasing the public sector gives the illusion of employment but does not create wealth. Wealth is created by catching something (ie.fish) growing something (ie. farming) or making something (ie. manufacturing) and succesive governments have done NOTHING to protect and nurture these industries.

    But it’s better for the people to buy cheap goods from abroad? Ok, but where do they get the money from to purchase these things? Pretty soon we’ll all be on benefits which means income from tax. Only there won’t be any tax in the pot, only government borrowing.

    We’re not on the skids, Boris, but an ever downward spiral. Someone needs to stop it.

    It can’t be stopped by ‘globalisation’ as that will mean Britain will simply be a tourist attraction. We won’t make anything or grow anything except for show. Britain will be a European theme park.

  5. All this snow does seem to have brought out an absolutely crazy streak in people. I live by Hampstead Heath and everyone is charging up the hill in droves, and then hurtling down in sledges, uttering frenzied yelps. On the hill road nearby a group of kids were sledding down a long drive and smacking into the brick wall at the end! An ambulance was outside this afternoon.

    I support the free trade idea. To me, making special allowances for British workers is as insulting as Harriet Harman saying that concessions should be made to employ more women. We have to be competitive.

  6. “Imagine if the world were convulsed by nationalistic and chauvinistic strikes along the lines we are seeing in Britain today. There would be a catastrophic collapse in world trade, and a fall in global economic activity.”

    Keep watching, Boris

  7. I completely agree with jaq, we are in this mess because it’s all been smoke and mirrors for too long….nothing of the supposed ‘wealth’ has been real! People were thinking they were better off just because of the unrealistic value of their property!

    We need to be producing something, to be selling something, to be MAKING something!

    We should totally be protecting our manufacturing industry (although it would be too little, too late now, as it’s all but finished) 🙁 thanks to years of neglect (thanks New Labour). We now need to protect our Farmers from suffering the same fate, before it’s too late!

  8. Possibly the whole of life is smoke and mirror. It could just be illusions in our heads, each of us seeing things in a totally different way.

    We need to move with the times, and astrologically, the indications are that new technology is the key to our salvation. If we hang on to things that are not working, we will suffer. I was in a job for 13 years that has totally disappeared now. (knitting designer). Then the price of wool tripled and the whole thing collapsed, which momentarily absolutely killed me. But as Boris famously said in one of his speeches, “That milk has been spilled”.

    We have to let go of things that don’t work, and I know how hard that it, but the answer is to move with the times and look to the future.

  9. As a Canadian who’s been living with NAFTA for ages, I’m all for Free Trade. Did you enjoy the snow we sent you? When are we getting our Earl Grey and Flake bars?

  10. The problem in Britain is the so much manufacturing has gone bust, abroad or bought from abroad. Here in France, things are a little different. For instance, I bought a vacuum cleaner made fairly locally by a small unknown firm: a battery powered alarm clock from another “unknown”, made 5 km away in a factory hardly more than a garden shed, but sold in a nationally established hypermarket. There are still small enterprises about France. By the way, Mr Mayor, if you can’t find a local bike maker for your scheme, Peugeot do not only make cars- they do bikes and scooters too! Another point: it’s difficult, if one is a foreigner, to get a job here. Although they could speak French, two of my friends, one an engineer and the other, a nurse, had to sell up and move back to Ireland.

  11. I agree with Jaq about the level playing field, this is a very good point.

    As for Spidey suggesting ‘wealth’ needs to be real, I’m sorry, this is just nonsense. As long as any illusion of wealth we create is good enough to fool people we can use our paper sterling to buy the fruits of their labour.

    We just need to get the money supply up and get the money moving around again.

    After a discussion on a another blog I reckon I have the answer.

    The government borrow a shed load of money and put out to tender for firms to lay fibre optic alongside the existing BT owned copper wires in each part of the country. This creates jobs for manual workers and skilled telecoms engineers.

    Once the fibre optic is laid in any particular area, government retains ownership, but sets up a government company to licence the right to traffic data through it. This creates jobs for civil servants, office workers, middle-managers and some of those out of work bankers.

    Bankers you ask? Yes, instead of the current model, where if BT own the line they are the only ones allowed to sell the bandwidth, or if Telewest own the cable they are the only ones allowed to use it, the rights are packaged into financial securities and sold to investors.

    Anyone will be allowed to deliver services through the new fibre optic providing they have the telecommunications capacity to do so (this can be rented) and providing they pay the owner of the fibre optic for the data that is ultimately transferred (which will be administered centrally through city institutions).

    This then boosts the service sector creating jobs for call-centre workers, door to door salesmen, internet geeks and all those media studies graduates.

    In other words – let’s have another dotcom boom. If we regulate mortgage lending throughout, when it all goes pear-shaped we can slash interest rates, lift the mortgage regulation and have another property boom and bust.

    Let’s just print money, shuffle it around and rope in foreign speculators, like hell do I want to work 16 hour days on a dollar an hour making trainers!

  12. What happen if there will be no more free trade?

    Well it’ll be good for the smuggling businesses then. Sure that’ll boost up some economy, especially The Local Economy along the coastal line.

    Be aware the very people who wanted free trade to end are very likely will be the people to operate smuggling businesses and the very people to buy from the smugglers.

  13. Boris is right, free trade must continue and any restriction on it such as ‘buy British’ ‘buy American’ etc will only create problems long-term. Free trade equals ‘buy competitively’ as far as I’m concerned, and we should protect that right above nationalist twinges brought on by the squeeze of recession.

  14. The difference between public bicycles and public bins?
    One you ride around on, the other you throw litter in.

    If you were to ask what they have in common, I would tell you that neither one is a proper function of government.

  15. How sad that an educated man like you is so naive and press-swallowing on the realities of trade! America is the least protectionist of the entire lot of you – the steelmakers in the US ought to drop the “Buy American” clause and instead enact the “fight protectism” clause and insist that Americans not buy steel from any country that engages in their own protection – how naive you are! Talk to someone in the steel trading business, you will find that most !countries protect their own industries through tariffs, raw material export restraints (which lower costs of course), VAT subsidies, export tax subsidies, energy subsidies etc etc etc. The “dirty little secret” is this – the US is 30% dependent on the global steel market for our steel – so we’re the largest customer for the rest of the world. What these guys in the US want is to fight fire with fire becuase what happens in the US is that whenever anybody else in the world runs into a little “demand problem” – meaning a local oversupply – the US becomes the world’s steel dumping ground. It’s absurd that an EC member would call us protectionist in steel! Where is your Chinese dog food? Where is your Chinese everything? The UK doesn’t protect, but the EC certainly does! Go over to Lakshmi Mittal’s house and ring the bell, apologize for your stupidity and ask him!

  16. Isn’t it strange that Brussels who is always making laws which apply to and must be followed by every EU member state i.e the same measuring system Kilo, Litre, Kilometre…, the unique appearance of fruit and veg on sale i.e bananas must be straight, apples, tomatoes must be in perfect shapes without blemishes… now says that according to EU laws, an UK based business is allowed to undercut British wages by employing cheaper workers from other EU member states ?!! This is asking for troubles and only causes social disruptions as employers will surely prefer foreign workers to local ones to save money and boost their profit.

    Why don’t they just set a minimum wage that applies to ALL member states, this way, people wouldn’t feel the need to “invade” any member state in search for work en mass ? Everybody would stay where they are. Of course, this might sound OK on paper, but it wouldn’t work in real life as each country has different living costs.

    The point is: The EU is just a waste of space, a grave mistake created by the left-wing loonies, the socialists and the communist wannabes influenced by and led by the Russian communists. They have been trying to rebuild another Soviet Union; only this time it is in the west.

    The EU loonies have destroyed so much of western Europe i.e telling farmers to pull up fruit orchards, let the fields run wild, don’t grow anything, don’t produce too much food… to keep the price up and receive compensation from public money in return.

    The EU will crumble, disintegrate and end up in tears just like what happened to the Soviet Union- and that is what the Russian communists like to see !

    Barack Obama is right with his Buy American scheme as this will create jobs for the local people ( right now ). Importing cheap products from abroad means no jobs for YOU. Meaning, hello job centre, here I come !

    The farmers over here should move their asses and pull their fingers out, too. Do some work instead of abandoning their fields and getting compensated with public money ( Shame on you ! ). Produce more food to keep the price down. Talking of prices, I don’t understand why they have to keep the price up. If you get paid less, goods should be cheaper, nobody needs to make more money than they need to, everyone’s happy. Everywhere. Simple.

    Peter Mandelson and Gordon Brown say that if you are not happy with the foreign workers coming here taking over your jobs then you can do the same to them by moving to their countries. Why should you ?!! Who created this chaos in the first place? It’s the EU loonies, of course. The EU should close down and let’s get back to basics- each country should manage herself.

  17. The farmers over here should move their asses and pull their fingers out, too.

    Bee I strongly suggest you find out WTF you’re talking about before you insult any more hard pressed farmers whose lives have been blighted by Labour and the supermarkets. Shame on you!

  18. Off topic but worth noting if you will allow me:

    Have you heard that soon, according to the British Journal of Photography , “new laws are introduced that allow for the arrest – and imprisonment – of anyone who takes pictures of officers ‘likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’ ” ? The terrorism excuse is to be used in worrying ways – forgive the big quote but I think this is worth reading:

    “Set to become law on 16 February, the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 amends the Terrorism Act 2000 regarding offences relating to information about members of armed forces, a member of the intelligence services, or a police officer.

    The new set of rules, under section 76 of the 2008 Act and section 58A of the 2000 Act, will target anyone who ‘elicits or attempts to elicit information about (members of armed forces) … which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’.

    A person found guilty of this offence could be liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years, and to a fine.

    The law is expected to increase the anti-terrorism powers used today by police officers to stop photographers, including press photographers, from taking pictures in public places. ‘Who is to say that police officers won’t abuse these powers,’ asks freelance photographer Justin Tallis, who was threatened by an officer last week.

    Tallis, a London-based photographer, was covering the anti-BBC protest on Saturday 24 January when he was approached by a police officer. Tallis had just taken a picture of the officer, who then asked to see the picture. The photographer refused, arguing that, as a press photographer, he had a right to take pictures of police officers.

    According to Tallis, the officer then tried to take the camera away. Before giving up, the officer said that Tallis ‘shouldn’t have taken that photo, you were intimidating me’. The incident was caught on camera by photojournalist Marc Vallee.

    Tallis is a member of the National Union of Journalists and the British Press Photographers’ Association. ‘The incident lasted just 10 seconds, but you don’t expect a police officer to try to pull your camera from your neck,’ Tallis tells BJP.

    The incident came less than a week after it was revealed that an amateur photographer was stopped in Cleveland by police officers when taking pictures of ships. The photographer was asked if he had any terrorism connections and told that his details would be kept on file …

    Liberty, which campaigns on human rights, has decried the excessive use of stop-and-search powers given to police officers under section 44 of the Terrorism Act. The group’s legal director, James Welch, said the powers were used too widely.

    In December, freelance press photographer Jess Hurd was detained for more than 45 minutes after she was stopped while covering the wedding of a couple married in Docklands.

    She was detained under section 44 of the Terrorism Act.”

    “‘There are no legal restrictions on photography in public places” admits Downing St, but “it would be an operational matter for the officer concerned as to what action if any should be taken in respect of those taking photographs” So with the thinnest excuse of terrorism the police can do what they like? The laws of the land don’t matter? Apparently so – it’s NuLab law.

    Communist authoritarian oppressors. Words fail me.

  19. jobs but I also know that there are still jobs out there and we are all forgetting that there are still a lot of people that still have their jobs. The whole world is going through a huge change as it always has done and we as a country and globally need to adapt, why not embrace this change and use it as an opportunity to do something different. If every Country is in a similar position then I see it as we are all in it together and to adopt this free trade policy is fine in some instances.
    I am being called at least twice a week from recruitment agencies trying to fill positions and I am still in the early stages of my career. People in this country are so quick to throw in the towel before they have even tried or really understood it problems.
    I do believe that we to a degree should invest in British products, meat for example, if anyone has been watching any of the cookery programmes by a certain TV chef they would know that British farmers have been struggling because meat can be produced cheaper outside of the UK. However this is to not only ours but the animals detriment. This is just one of the once flourishing industries in the UK which is now costing the government money because WE as a nation refused to spend an extra couple of pence (literally) on a pack of British bacon and bought Danish bacon instead. Not only will this inflate the effects of carbon emissions due to longer transportation from the EU but the process in which the animals are reared is in some cases cruel and in-humane. We are supposed to be a well educated nation and in the one instance that I have mentioned above there are three major problems, our farming industry becoming non existent, a higher carbon foot print and animal welfare, I am also sure that if I sat here for longer I could come up with more problems.
    We seem to be a nation of sheep, who just follow the heard, rather than thinking for ourselves and understanding the consequences of our actions. Yes, the government should know what is best for the Nation and in many instances they have failed but it is also up to us as individuals to decide what is best for us and our community; this is the place where we really can make a difference.
    But we do also need oil and salt for example which is not produced in the UK, so are we saying that if we were to adopt this Free Trade culture that we can no longer trade with other countries, as that is what we are saying to these other Countries?

  20. Chloe – oil and salt is produced in the UK. Agree with your point about meat production and animal welfare though.

  21. Jaq, I didn’t say ALL farmers. Of course, some of them still work hard for so little ( on top of being bullied by TESCO and the likes, but this is something this Labour government and the EU should have sorted out ages ago ). But, you have to agree that this subsidy-with-public-money created by the EU loonies is not encouraging anyone to work in a freezing cold field.

    Lots of them just opt for an easy life and easy money. Why else lots of them let their fertile fields run wild or turn them into camping fields and then claim subsidy-compo from the EU? Why else lots of them bought cheap infected cows from another farmer and then put them in his own field in order to claim subsidy/compo from the EU?
    ————
    Peter Mandelson said: If you don’t like people come here to take over your jobs then you can move to their country and do the same.

    Well, he forgot to say that over there they pay you less. In Poland, minimum wage is a third or half of UK’s. Their child benefit pays only £10/ MONTH to EVERY child. UK pays £20/ WEEK to first child, and £16 or £18/ WEEK to each child after that. They don’t have a council housing/ housing benefit system or a full social benefits system like UK. Their cost of living is lower.

    If you move there , maybe you will be ok if you’re single. But if you leave your wife and children behind in UK, what money you save and send home won’t be enough to support them at all. Why? Because the Polish job centre will be the one to pay your child benefits, not the British job centre.

    Here, after 2 yrs, they can apply for a council house : plus housing rent benefit if unemployed, and after 5 yrs they can apply for citizenship and hey! I’m British now, I’m entitled to all those social benefits !

    So, you can guess which member states are swamped with people from the poor member states.

    The problem with the English is they are a quiet, decent, generous and polite bunch- and this is your downfall. You won’t say anything in case it offend or upset someone; you rather moan behind closed door. Then, when you can’t bear it anymore, enough is enough, and you decide to shout to protest- it is TOO LATE. Your country is already being swamped with fake ” political ” refugees, illegal-but-not-deported asylum seekers, thieving gypsies and eastern Europeans seeking benefits.

    Right now, British workers can see for themselves that this Labour government is not really a workers’ party at all like Labour is always claiming to be. This is the right time to say something in support the workers who have lost their job and the workers on those wildcat strikes to genuinely offer them your sympathy, to pull them to your side. Too bad, Boris comes out with his ” amnesty-for-all-asylum-seekers ” and this ” free trade-free movement-mobile labour opinions. What will the British workers think?

    ————

    Have you noticed that the workers’ unions didn’t want to get involed with the wildcat strikes at first ?! These workers’ unions are led by Labour, they don’t see anything wrong with this country being swamped with workers from other member states or eastern Europe as they are all comrades. The workers’ unions are only acting to support the wildcat strikes now because they fear for their own jobs and Labour loosing at the election.

    ————-
    Peter Mandelson and Gordon Brown have been trying to persuade the British Army top brasses to recruit from eastern Europe as ” our army is short of soldiers “. Worhey !!! When they do that, they should close MI5 and MI6 down. too. When communist spies are allowed to enter the British Army openly and legally, who needs MI5 and MI6 ? Just to show you the lefties, the socialists and this whole Labour government are really communist wannabes.

    Daniel James, a former Iranian ” political ‘ asylum seeker (!!!) but changed his name by deed poll when he became a British citizen, while serving General Sir David Richards, Britain’s Nato chief in Afghanistan as his personal interpreter, handed top secret details of troop movements to an Iranian military attache.

    Google: DANIEL JAMES SPY

    This brings me back to Arnold- as soon as he won that job Calif Governor, he demanded that US should change their law so that a first generation person can be a US president ! On your bike, Arnold.

    ———–

    Talking about those wildcat strikes. They have been doing the same in France, too. The workers say they would like to chase Sarkozy from his office by the street ! Imagine Carla running in high heels and Chanel dress !

    Talking about Sarkozy. He has just sacked his French Justice Minister Rachida Dati for being not up to her job. He tried to offer her another job by asking her: ” Oui ou non- vou parte ici avec non, ou vou parte ici avec MEP ? “. Meaning, ” Either you leave here with nothing or you leave here to become a MEP ? ”

    She didn’t take up his offer, just quit and went home. But this just to show you the EU is a grave yard of political has-beens .

    Miss Dati, a daughter of Turkish immigrants, just gave birth to a baby whose father’s name she won’t tell. The rumours say it is either Sarkozy’s brother or the former Spanish PM or Mandelson. I wouldn’t call this Miss Dati’s misfortune. I wish more good-looking men would fall at my feet; but this is also my downfall.

    ———

    Well, I have done my ranting. Over and out !

  22. And I have to add: Lots of other farmers in other member states including the farmers in Eastern Europe, too, are just the same- lazy bums, doing nothing, just claim subsidy compensations for a living. Why else this Labour government has complained that we are having to chip in too much with our taxpayers’ money to subsidize their farmers over there than the ones over here?

  23. Bee, UK farmers have had a hard time for a long time now and legislation and subsidy models are not in their control. Cheap imports of any description are not the answer to a bouyant economy here for the reasons both you and others have mentioned.

    Please read my comment above February 5, 2009 @ 7:46 pm -> the news is very worrying indeed.

  24. Thanks for your comment Feb 5, 2009 @ 7:46 pm, Jaq. I had read it before I started my above rants and I had intended but then forgot to comment on it.

    Well, Jaq, this just to show you this Labour government has well influenced the British armed force and police with their communist-influenced Big Brother styled rules and law. But they are also obsessed with political correctness and their mistaken conception of human rights. How else can they explain that they refuse to deport those terror suspects back to the countries where they have committed their terror crimes for fear that they might violate their human rights?

    The result is those terror suspects are still here, living rent free in council houses, under house arrest- meaning they don’t have to go and sign on at the local job centre; their social benefit money is paid directly into their bank accounts every two weeks nicely. They stay at home all day, googling, playing games consoles, praying, ordering home-delivery takeaways from their local pizza using their bank credit/ debit cards…. British taxpayers pick up the tabs.

    Yet, they say you are not allowed to photograph a few ships docking in UK? You are not allowed to reveal any information about any police officer or soldier ? Yet, Gordon Brown said it was perfectly OK for Peter Mandelson, a working Minister of a running government, to have close relationship with a young Russian millionaire who MI5 and MI6 know is one of Putin’s right-hand men.

    And ” Lord ” Truscott was given the title by Tony Blair ( who knows damn well that he married a Russian communist-party-member-spy ) for offering advice on how to deal with Putin ( Truscott’s communist Master ! ). And I have to add here that Truscott told Tony Blair that he would only “help” Blair on the condition that Blair would make him a Lord later !

    Google: SECRET SOVIET PAST OF SLEAZE LORD THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

    He is one of the 4 cheating Labour ” Lords ” .

    Talking about titles. Isn’t it funny that these lefties, socialists and communist-wannabes who has been spending all their life spewing their venoms of anti-Royals, anti-British Establishment, anti-the upper class and anti-the middle class , BUT as soon as hearing a title is coming their way, they couldn’t move their ass quick enough running to the local fancy dress hire shop to hire a shrimp-tail suit or a fascinator hat for that Buckingham Palace appointment with the Queen to receive their title !!!

    “Lord” Truscott ( I don’t even know what his real humble, common name is !! ) is so proud of his LORD title. His Russian spy/wife is also so proud of her LADY title. They own big, grand mansions here and abroad. She dressed like the Queen in that pic; obviously copying the Queen’s dress sense. And she and Truscott are out-spoken communists !

    Then we have Peter Mandelson, a left-wing, communist-influenced socialist who proudly accepted the titles LORD and BARON from Tony Blair !

    ————–

    Oh, about ” The EU is a grave yard of the political has-beens who couldn’t even do their job back home ( according to Sarkozy ! ) “.

    If so, then why do you have to listen to these political has-beens telling you how to run your own country? At least the Irish had ONE referendum with their NO vote. But now, these EU loonies are demanding that the Irish have to vote again and again until they say YES. How comical.

  25. A new law comes into force on 16th Feb which effectively gives the police power to act however they feel regardless of whether a law is being broken or not. This means their being lawfully allowed to intimidate ANYONE, even those in the pursuit of their lawful employment, even you taking pictures of a wedding.

    This has happened without a peep from the Conservative party, without a peep from mainstream media that I’ve noticed. Has it been broadcast on the BBC? Have you heard a furor about this before now? Have Conservative MP’s complained about this on QT or AQ? This issue has been highlighted on Hitchensblog, I can only suppose it will be ignored. But what can the public do if they have no idea what is going on?

    This is no longer a ‘free country’. This legislation is not just the fault of Labour because of the mechanism of parliament. The Conservatives did what exactly?

  26. Labour and Gordon Brown are turning UK into a Soviet-KBG State:

    Influenced by their Russian communist masters, Gordon and Labour, a party of lefties, socialist loonies have turned UK into a Soviet-KGB state.

    IN RUSSIA: Russian journalists and Russian human rights lawyers critical of Putin were shot dead in the heads. Putin and the KGB have denied any involvement.

    IN UK: Gordon Brown ordered the police to arrest Damian Green, Tory MP, for receiving information from a member of the Home Office’s staff. The leaked information, not really national top secrets, reveals the Labour government’s mistakes in running this country.

    IN RUSSIA and OTHER COMMUNIST COUNTRIES: The police can intimidate the public whether a law is being broken or not.

    IN UK: Gordon Brown and his Labour Government are going to introduce the same law on February 16, 2009. The British people are not protesting, just deciding to suffer in silence again. How frightfully polite and dignified this race is.

    Google: RUSSIAN HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS AND JOURNALISTS SHOT DEAD

  27. “First published in the Daily Telegraph on 04 October 2009”

    I wonder if the Daily Telegraph can also tell us how the downturn is faring nine months from now. That would be a neat scoop.

    [Ed: Thanks, JD. LoL The date has now been corrected. ]

  28. Spot on , Jaq. Spot on.

    Oh, and British workers must not wait for their workers’ unions to help them. Remember : these unions are run mostly or swamped with lefties, socialists influenced by communism, they only protest and cause disruptions if the ruling government is not Labour. Remember Arthur Scargill and Mrs. Thatcher ?

  29. You know why I said the British was a frightfully polite and dignified race whatever the situations? Well, I spotted this piece in The Sun, Saturday February 7, 2009 today:

    In a NCP car park in posh Knightsbridge, central London, there was a queue of cars waiting to get out. They had all paid, including Chelsea defender John Terry. He was several cars back and the ticket exit machine wouldn’t accept the first car’s ticket. The cars in front of him had been there for nearly 30 MINUTES (!!!), pressing the intercom button for assistance. No one came, so Terry stopped his car, got out car and lifted the barrier up ! The ‘frustrated’ drivers had a narrow escape. Worheeeeeey !!!!!

    Terry’s spokesman said: ‘ It was just common sense.’

    See? That’s why I think the English is a very strange race who accept suffering in silence is the right, dignified thing to do. I’m a naturalized Brit and, as an outsider, I just look in and I can tell straight away. What I said about UK being swamped with EU foreign workers, eastern Europeans, fake political asylums seekers, fake refugees, social benefits, the English’s indifferent attitudes… are facts which the English DO know but prefer to say nothing out of politeness.

    My friend is an English farmer who runs a small farm with her brother. They have a small farm, few dozens of cows and lots of hens. They only got paid a few pences for a pint of milk. They were told to have their hens’ eggs to be checked for salmonella and Lion stamped which is expensive, otherwise they were not allowed to sell them, even to the village’s shops. So they stopped and now only grow grains and spuds. Sad really. I love the English countryside; so beautiful and peaceful.

  30. Brown has received another verbal clobbering – Jeremy Clarkson just called him ” an……… idiot ” on Oz’s TV ! – after his economic rescue package was slammed by Sarkozy.

    In a sensational diplomatic snub, he RUBBISHED the PM’s 2.5% VAT cut, rudely SCOFFED at his appeal for world leaders to copy his ideas and insisted British industry was dead (??).

    Last night a clearly frustrated Downing Street made clear Brown was reeling at the onslaught !!!

    Sarkozy made his extraordinary attack during a televizied address to France on Thursday night.

    He mocked: ” We won’t be repeating Gordon Brown’s mistakes. The English abandoned their industries 25 yrs ago, and now they are regretting it.”

    He said of the VAT cut, costing taxpayers £12.5 Billion :” The British chose a recovery plan by boosting consumer spending. It has brought absolutely no progress.”

    Sarkozy then boasted that France had invested cash better than Britain, adding:” We have assets, infrastructure. When you put your country into debt to pay for operating costs, you have nothing.”

    Germany, China… have already dismissed the VAT cut. Brown is desperate to show his plan is being COPIED (!!!) ahead of April’s global crunch talks in London.

    Google: SARKO’S BLAST AT GORD’S ERRORS GEORGE PASCOE WATSON THE SUN SATURDAY FEBRUARY 7, 2009

  31. Did you watch Fern Britton on her show ? If you missed it, then Google:

    FERN”S FROCKY HORROR SHOW ELISA ROCHE

    It might make you laugh… I don’t know…

  32. Google: J.T SNEAKS ONE UNDER THE BAR NEIL SYSON

    and read about John Terry, that footballer with common sense lifted the car park’s malfunctioned barrier. This will make you laugh, too.

  33. Sarkozy isn’t the only European leader to rubbish Gordon’s economic plans. Angela Merkel and her Finance Minister have expressed strong reservations. They branded our soaring debt levels “a complete failure of Labour policy”.

    The sensible, measured Dutch finance minister, Wouter Bos said “The VAT cut was not a very wise thing to do”. He added “I don’t believe it will contribute to the recovery of the country.”

    Gordon lacks looks, charm, charisma, eloquence, passion and empathy, all qualities David Cameron has in abundance. The only card he has ever had to played, and he has played it to the hilt, is his financial credibility. Now this is being trumped as one by one, Europe’s leaders line up to trash him. We can all see it, but why can’t he? He has failed utterly.

    IT’S OVER.

  34. Dear jd – Interesting dates forecast sunshine; let’s touch base then and compare notes – (as in Oct 09)> “First published in the Daily Telegraph on 04 October 2009″

  35. “In the twilight of his life, Soros has achieved the recognition he has always wanted,” Wien said. “Everything is going for him. He’s healthy, his candidate won, his business is on a solid footing.”

    Soros credits his beloved father, Tivadar, with teaching him how to respond to “far from equilibrium situations”. Captured by the Russians in the first world war, Tivadar was imprisoned in Siberia. He engineered his own escape and return home through a Russia convulsed by the Bolshevik revolution. That sojourn stripped him of his youthful ambition and left him wanting “nothing more from life than to enjoy it”.

    FT, Jan 30; The credit crunch according to Soros,
    by Chrystia Freeland

  36. Euro red tape cost British taxpayers £100 Billion in 10 YEARS !

    One fuel law alone had just £18 Million of green benefits but cost British taxpayers £400 Million.

    Should we get out of the BLOATED EU now before it is too late ? That’s the question Daily Express is asking its readers in their survey right now.

    Google: ONE FUEL LAW HAD JUST £18M JASON GROVES SUNDAY EXPRESS FEB 8, 2009
    ———–

    German chancellor’s economic advisors branded Britain’s soaring debt levels a ” complete failure of Labour policy and Labour party as the whole “.

    While her finance minister accused Brown of ” crass Keynesianism ” ( whatever it is ) and derided Brown’s VAT cut ” breathtaking “.

    Dutch finance minister said Brown’s VAT cut was ” not a very wise thing to do “, adding: ” I don’t believe it will contribute to a recovery of the economy “.

    While Sarkozy boomed: ” Jeremy Clarkson est droit. Gordon Brown est gauche – il est un idiot Ecossaise avec un oeil ! ”
    Meaning, ” Jeremy Clarkson was right – he called Gordon Brown ” An one-eyed Scottish idiot ” ! “.

    Ah, Dieu.

    ———–

    What’s this about ( as reported in The Times 2 days ago ) councils are paying their current council housing tenants £30,000 ( or swap for seaside cottages ) to move out and make room for credit crunch hit families who have had their homes repossessed by the banks to move in?

    Are we talking about pensioners who might want to move out to the seaside for a sun, sea and sex lifestyle change ? Possible.

    Are we talking talking about younger tenants who might want to move to the seaside in search for jobs – which are plentiful around Margate and the likes. Impossible.

    Or are we talking about the many current eastern European tenants who are living in council houses up and down the country. They can take the money and rent a private house ( as they will have made themselves ” homeless” their current council will not rehouse them ) and wait for 2 years then reapply for another council house. Or they can take the money, move to another UK city and start afresh, as no new councils will know whether they come from within UK or have just arrived in UK. Or they can take the money, go home, then come back and start afresh.

    Google: £30,000 TO VACATE YOUR COUNCIL HOUSE FOR THE SEASIDE

    Google: WE TRACK DOWN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT GANGMASTER NEWS OF THE WORLD

    and read the whole story about gang masters organize illegal immigrant cheap labour to undercut British workers, cheating the tax office, no need to pay NI, employee’s insurance…. making millions and millions.

  37. google: MINISTER FOR DODGY EXPENSES IAN DRURY DAILY MAIL

    and: ANYONE ELSE WOULD BE SENT TO JAIL PETER OBORNE DAILY MAIL

    about Labour Home Secretary Minister Jaquie Smith refused to use the free ministerial resident offered to Home Secretaries. She prefers to claim overnight stays in London expenses ( taxpayers money ).

    Had she accepted that free ministerial residence, she would not be able to claim any money and give that money to her sister OR keep that money for herself. Smith has claimed £116,000 in overnight stays in London so far.

    “LORD” Truscott claims his main residence is a flat in Bath. He claimed £70,000 in overnight stays in London last year alone, despite owing a £700,000 mansion in Mayfair, London where he lives with his Russian spy-cum-wife Svetlana-now- “LADY” Truscott !!!!

  38. Angela, I’m not into gossips and you know that is the truth but I was itching to inform you that Sarkozy used to have an affair with a young French girl who still works a weather forecaster on French TV – whilst still being married to his old first wife ?

    Imagine she says on TV: ” Tonight it will rise straight up… but it will come back down again in the morning ! ”

    Stop holding your breath, Angela. She’s only talking about the outdoor temperatures.

    And you know Chirac was just bitten by his dog, SUMO , and was rushed to hospital about 3 weeks ago? This confirms the rumour that he had an affair with a Japanese lady who gave birth to their son who grew up to be a professional Sumo wrestler whose wrestling matches in Japan are often watched by Chirac sitting by the ring-side. He loves his son so much that he named his dog Sumo and also keeps a framed photo of his Sumo son on the desk in his office in Paris.

    And Sarkozy just sacked his Justice Minister, Miss Dati who just gave birth to a daughter whose father’s name she won’t tell anybody, for being not up to her job!!! Rumours have it that it could have been Sarkozy’s brother or the former Spanish PM or an Italian MEP.

    Sarkozy asked her before he sacked her: ” Oui ou Non: Vou parte ici avec non, ou vou parte ici avec MEP ? “. Meaning, ” Either you leave here with nothing or you leave here to become a MEP ? ”

    She said no and quit her job. But that to show you: According to Sarkozy, EU is a graveyard of political has-beens , and he knows that well.

    Oh my sweet Lord… Truscott !!! These frogs are sooo free-spirited they make Bill Clinton look like a monk !!!

    That brings this question: Why do we have to listen to the EU and those MEP political has-beens, far away in Brussels, who could not even do their last job back home , telling you how to run your country?

    Daily Express is asking their millions and millions of readers the same question- Should we opt out of this bloated EU ?

    google: ONE FUEL LAW HAD JUST £18M JASON GROVES SUNDAY EXPRESS FEB 8, 2009

  39. Can you imagine Gordon Brown in such a risque situation? The French have the chic Miss Dati and we have…. Harriet Harman and Jaqui Smith!

    I’d love to see some well dressed little minx in government.

  40. Angela and Jaq, please do not fall out over some little misunderstanding. I know, because it has happened to me a few times. When you post a comment, it could be misunderstood by other readers rather easily. It’s different when you talk to someone face to face- you can see their expressions and you can guess what they mean in what they are saying… you know…

    So, let’s get back to debating and have a few laughs. Come on!

  41. Bee you are absolutely one hundred percent right. As far as I am concerned, I can’t remember what it was all about already!

    This answers one question though. Who is the tweetest twitter? bee is the tweetest.

  42. A while back, I promised Jaq a drink or two when the Conservatives win the next election and that offer still stands.

  43. Bee there was no upset from me but I couldn’t agree with you more – this little box is rife for misunderstanding. I know, I’ve done it myself. I just wish the world would.. get along. You know? Angela you are never wrong for checking out what someone means – language is an imperfect medium of communication.

    Trying to stand up to political and social tyranny seems so pointless sometimes. And THAT I do take seriously. Crikey I sound like the Daily Wail (think Dad’s Army) – we’re all doomed!

  44. Jaq my offer for standing you some drinks when DC gets to be our PM still stands, and I am really looking forward to that day!

  45. I disagree, it is Globalism, that has got us into this mess, destroying our own industries, fishing and farming and leaving us at the mercy of imports and foreign ownership is tantamount to setting sail on the high seas without the protection of watertight bulkheads should the inevitable storm hit, and it just has.

  46. hi guys and girls,
    I HONESTLY FEEL THAT FREE TRADE AND FREE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE
    IS BOTH LOGICAL AND MORALLY RIGHT.
    HOWEVER,IT MUST BE REMEMBERED THAT EASTERN EUROPE IS AND
    ALWAYS WILL BE A VERY DIFFERENT MINDSET TO THE OLD WESTERN EUROPEAN WAY OF THINKING.
    IT IS UNJUSTIFIED THAT SO MANY EASTERN EUROPEANS HAVE ACCESS TO THE WEST NOW,THEY HAVE JOINED UP TO THE E.U FAR TOO QUICKLY AND FAR TOO MANY.
    THESE PEOPLE HAVE LITTLE OR NOTHING IN COMMON WITH US AND IT IS NOW CLEAR THAT THEY HAVE LITTLE OR NO INTEREST IN INTERGRATING WITH OUR NATIONALS.
    THEY SPEND A MINUTE AMOUNT IN OUR ECONOMYS,SHIP VAST AMOUNTS OF THERE WAGES BACK HOME,AND ITS NOT LIKE THEY EVER PUT ANYTHING INTO THE WEST IN THE FIRST PLACE,IF ANYTHING WHERE HAPPY TO HIDE BEHIND THERE OLD IRON CURTAIN,WHILST OUR ECONOMYS FALTERED IN THE 80,S TO MAINTAINE THERE MENACING SOVIET BLOC THREAT.
    THE EXPANSION OF EUROPE WAS TOO MUCH,TOO SOON AND FROM WHAT I CAN GATHER IS A ONE WAT STREET,WITH OUR NATIONS RECEIVING NOTHING IN RETURN,EASTERN EUROPE SHOULD BRING MORE TO THE TABLE.

  47. THIS IS A GREAT BLOG,ENJOY IT VERY MUCH…I,M CHILLING OUT TO THE CURE AND THE SMITHS NOW…GOOD EVENING ALL

  48. enjoyed reading,all of the above statements.
    but i believe that protection of jobs for nationals within there own nation,was a fundimental belief of conservatism.
    i know that free trade is the best way forward,but when recession bites,we really should put our own first.both in buying our own nations goods and ensuring a british job for a british national first and foremost.
    in western europe,we need to take a look at australias policy with the above beliefs,in that when an aussie cant fill a role,then and only then can the job be filled by a non national.
    if you study wages and salaries,we will see that workers from foreign lands undercut nationals and salaries become almost frozen for long periods.
    you will find that when these nations become richer and on a kin with the old west,they will not be as obliging in outposting there jobs as we are….and we will get no thanks whatsoever.

  49. People who believe in free trade should read “The Myth of Free Trade and the secret history of Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang: The truth is free trade only benefits developed countries. A much better system of trade would be based on Quid Pro Quo. This way bloated USA farmers would not export subsidized, Frankenstein, chickens to Africa, giving locals an opportunity to develop their own enterprises.

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