If this hypocritical silence is the best ‘alternative’ The Labour Party can come up with, it will be in opposition for years.
In his article this week, Boris derides Labour’s ‘alternative’ to bringing the British economy back to a state of fiscal sanity : attacks on Fortnum’s and the Ritz and the setting of bonfires, all to be controlled — as best they can — by 4,500 policemen at tax-payers’ expense. Having paid close attention to Ed Miliband’s speech, he concludes that the ‘alternative’ amounts to “two-thirds of diddly-squat”.
Continue reading Now, about this ‘alternative’ … →
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph to-day, reports political editor Andrew Porter, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, expresses himself shocked by the levels of income tax, saying he never thought he would see the day when other large European countries had lower rates of personal taxation than those in Britain. He fears this high taxation is harming her competitiveness.
In the face of criticism that high taxation is harmful to Britain’s global competitiveness the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have been vague in assuring critics of their intention to lower it ; Mr. Osborne has refused to cut the 50-per-cent. rate on highest incomes — instituted by the Labour government — despite being urged that, although it acts as a disincentive to the entrepreneurial creators of jobs and economic activity, it generates little extra revenue for the Treasury.
Continue reading Boris urges Chancellor, “Explain how you will cut taxes ?” →
The continent is a collection of different languages and labour-market traditions and individual approaches to deficits and inflation. … Angela Merkel is plainly facing significant unrest from a growing constituency who see no reason to pay ever more in their taxes to finance … the periphery of Europe.
I think we deserve an apology. By “we” I mean all the Euro-sceptics, Euro-pragmatists, Euro-realists and Euro-hysterics who were alarmed by some of the optimism that surrounded the birth of the single currency. Do you remember the disdain with which we were treated? We were told that we were boss-eyed Little Englanders. They used to say we were a bunch of xenophobic, garlic-hating defenders of the pint and the yard and the good old bread-filled British banger.
Whenever we protested about any detail of the plan for monetary union, we were told that we were in danger of stopping the great European train, boat, bus, bicycle or whatever it was. We were a blimpish embarrassment to our country, a bunch of idiot children who had to be shooshed while the grown-ups got on with their magnificent plans.
So it gives me a tingling pleasure to report that everywhere you look on the map of Europe we have been proved resoundingly and crushingly right.
Continue reading Snooty Europhiles should eat dirt →
I deeply and bitterly resent that Orlando is about to become the official place of pilgrimage for every Harry Potter fan on earth
You know, sometimes I don’t understand what’s wrong with us. This is just about the most creative and imaginative country on earth – and yet sometimes we just don’t seem to have the gumption to exploit our intellectual property. We split the atom, and now we have to get French or Korean scientists to help us build nuclear power stations. We perfected the finest cars on earth – and now Rolls-Royce is in the hands of the Germans. Whatever we invent, from the jet engine to the internet, we find that someone else carts it off and makes a killing from it elsewhere. And now, in the crowning insult, I am being told by a 12-year-old that I have to start making preparations to take everyone to Orlando, Florida.
Continue reading Harry Potter Theme Park →
David Willetts and his new book The Pinch v Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist
“Forget the prophets of doom – I’m proud to be a baby boomer” says Boris Johnson
Oh the shame of being a baby boomer. What a bunch of shysters we seem to be.
We are the most selfish, greedy, job-hogging, pension-grabbing bunch of egomaniacs history has ever seen. Here we are, in our overpriced homes and exploiting our political power to shaft the younger generation. We use our demographic throw-weight to skew the welfare system in our favour and above all we are squandering the natural resources of the planet. You know that Goya picture of the giant eating a naked human being?
That’s us, all right – Saturn devouring his children. Or at least, that is the portrait presented by my brilliant old friend and colleague David Willetts in his new book, The Pinch, which has been received with rapture by one and all. You can see his point. We baby boomers – those of us born in the great bulge of fecundity in the Fifties and Sixties – have had it easy. We are the ones whose extravagant pension entitlements must now be met by our kids.
We are the ones who hung out at university entirely at the taxpayers’ expense – and now we tell our children they must pay tuition fees. We are the ones who luxuriate in housing equity our children cannot afford, and we are the ones whose lifestyles splurged CO2, that posterity will have to pay for. We have raided the young ones’ piggy bank, says Willetts. We have mortgaged their future; we have broken the eternal Burkean contract between generations, he scolds. Is he right? As it happens – and I speak as one who has long sat at the feet of Two Brains – I think he is wrong; or at least that he tells only a tiny fraction of the story. No, I don’t think we baby boomers have anything much to feel guilty for. I don’t think we have treated the next generation badly. We haven’t ripped off our kids. Indeed, by comparison with our grandparents I would say we baby boomers have been, if anything, excessively tender-minded and absorbed in the upbringing of our little ones.
Continue reading The difficulties of today’s economy →
With the right finance, Britain can lead the world to a greener future, says Boris Johnson.
By the time you read these words I will be airborne to Copenhagen. Why, you may ask, am I going to the climate change summit? Is it really worth discharging yet more greenhouse gases into the upper air?
As for the validity of the summit itself, I believe that it is of crucial importance for the world. We have a real chance to agree new targets for reducing CO2 emissions – and to bring in countries such as China and India which were, insanely, omitted from the Kyoto protocol. We also have a chance to do something about the politics of global warming, which are in danger of going seriously wrong. We won’t win this argument with the public, we won’t get people to change their lives, we won’t succeed in cutting CO2 if we continue to rely on a diet of unremitting gloom. It is time for a change in the psychological approach.
Continue reading Boris at Copenhagen for a greener future →
Ever since the Aztecs first worshipped the cocoa bean, mankind has experimented with various ratios of solids, fats, sugar and milk, and Cadbury has got it right.
The chocolate bar-barians at the gate are Americans.
If the Americans can afford to buy Cadbury, then let them. Sentimentality over an undoubtedly great bar of chocolate can’t stop market forces, says Boris Johnson.
There comes a time when the Brits can be pushed around no more. We may have sold Rolls-Royce to the Germans. We may have lost Land Rover to the Indians. We have yielded to the French more control of our energy and water supplies than ever envisaged in the wildest fantasies of Bonaparte. But when it comes to protecting our chocolate – the taste of British childhood – then we turn and fight.
Across the land, across the political spectrum, the forces are gathering to repel the foe. As of yesterday, a Sunday newspaper had secured the signatures of 11,307 outraged readers in a “hands off our chocs” campaign.
Antony Worrall Thompson, the Top TV chef, has said that the unique taste of British chocolate is indispensable to his key dishes. Lynne Jones, the Birmingham MP, is demanding assurances for the future of her chocolate-making constituents. Will Hutton, the leading Leftist thinker, has argued that chocolate is a key strategic industry, and that if the last great British chocolate maker were to fall into foreign hands we would see a surge of support for the BNP. Why, oh, why, asks the Guardian‘s business pages, can we not stick up for our chocolate industry when the French are so good at protecting their yogurt makers?
Continue reading The Future of Cadbury’s Chocolate →
A healthy, wealthy London is the best medicine for Scotland’s ills
The capital is the powerhouse for the rest of the United Kingdom. It deserves better, says Boris Johnson
You know, I think we are reaching the limits of Jock-bashing. It is time that we called a halt to this casual anti-Scottish prejudice, before it gets out of control.
I have lost count of the number of times I have heard someone joke that the Scots subsist on a diet of smack and deep-fried Mars Bars. I have heard it said in London that we send them our taxes, and they send us their prime ministers – and chancellors, and the whole stream of gabbling Edinburgh lawyer MPs who make up the Tartan mafia.
Continue reading Boris promotes Scotland’s interests →
We should worry that Tracey Emin, Hugh Osmond and Michael Caine are fleeing the 50p tax rate
The 50p tax rate will be a disaster for the economy – taking us back to the dark days of the 1970s, says Boris Johnson.
Not everyone will miss her as much as I will. Not everyone can relied upon to mourn the departure of Tracey Emin and her duvet. You may have seen that the gorgeous Britart supremo is off to France. She has had it with Britain, says the woman who famously embroidered a tent with the names of everyone she had ever slept with, and was shortlisted for the Turner Prize.
Some readers may feel that the country can rub along without her. Take up thy tent and walk, they may say, in the words of the gospel. And then there may be people who don’t give a monkey’s that Michael Caine is thinking of vamoosing, or that we are about to lose Eddie Jordan, the former Formula One chief, or the milk tycoon Lord Haskins. Some of you may not care a tinker’s cuss if the former bookshop king Tim Waterstone deserts these shores, and as for the impending absence of Hugh Osmond, an entrepreneur who has had a role in everything from pizza to insurance, you may feel that we just have to dry our eyes and get a grip on our feelings.
Continue reading The 50p Tax is driving people away →