I was recently travelling in the US and the television stations were covering the final days of the enquiry into the January 6th 2021 riots at the Capitol Building. US politicians were so outraged by an alleged insurrection at the Capital Building by Trump supporters, and by a President who refused to accept that he had lost the 2020 Presidential Election, that they set up a Select Committee to investigate.
Only in America, some might say. But we are suffering a similar – if not worse – democratic collapse on this side of the pond.
The rot within
Yet strangely there is no outrage from our Members of Parliament. Why? Because they are in fact the insurrectionists, aided by the media and some conveniently timed movements in financial markets.
All democracies rely on the loser and their supporters accepting defeat. Unfortunately, this has stopped happening in the UK. When the population voted to leave the EU, the new Prime Minister Theresa May did her best to subordinate the UK to EU imposed governance in perpetuity. After May’s premiership collapsed, Remain activists passed the Benn (aka Surrender) Act, making it impossible for a new leader to carry out the wishes of the voters in negotiating our exit from the EU.
When these Remainer activists (Grieve, Bercow, Soubry et al) were ousted, first from the party and then from parliament in a general election which gave a massive majority to Brexiteer Boris Johnson, the referendum losers regrouped and started again – by trying to oust Boris on any pretext they could find. Although there were policy errors they could have weaponised – they went for the cover-up of a cake at a surprise birthday party and his alleged knowledge of wrongdoing by others.
Scenting blood after removing one of the most successful Tory leaders in decades, they turned their attention to his successor – Liz Truss, a low-tax conservative, claiming that her tax changes were ‘unfunded’ (but not, incredibly, her much larger energy subsidies) and that she alone had destabilised the UK economy, as they studiously ignored the soaring US dollar; the decade of newly minted money and ultra-low interest rates; the gas supply squeeze; the Bank of England’s failure to raise interest rates in line with the Federal Reserve; and the emerging LDI pension fund scandal.
Most of the Conservative Party members I speak to expect their next choice of leader to be equally swiftly dispatched. It appears that they can select any leader they like, but only so long as the leader wants to tie the UK to the EU’s regulations, trade rules and declining economies forever, and provided the leader has been approved by a cabal of investment funds which have profited enormously from ultra-low interest rates and abundant government money printing and would very much like to keep the cash flowing, since they profit from the asset price inflation it has caused. Never mind that the over-taxed British voter will ultimately foot the bill.
Everyone’s a winner – except the winner
The system of loser’s consent that underlies our democracy has fallen apart. Now anyone who loses an election merely has to blame any external problem on the winning team, repeat this claim over and over again in the media it has primed to attack, until even supporters of the winner begin to believe it. We seem to have forgotten that correlation does not equal causation.
But the real problem is not that most of our politicians and the journalists that cover them do not understand financial markets, (although this is a huge problem), but their denial of democracy and their unshakable belief that their political choice alone must prevail. That they are entitled to rule the country – always. They may see themselves as more sophisticated than the populous that raided the US Capital Building on January 6th, but in essence our Remainiacs are exactly like Trump supporters – just much more devious.
I have been shocked by the number of MPs who have remained silent while Liz Truss’s tax-cutting policies were being blamed for a Liability Driven Investing (LDI) pension fund crisis that has been building up for ten years, but ignored by both this Governor of the Bank of England and his predecessor. MPs who were prepared to go on the BBC to spin about Boris and cakegate were mute in their support for Truss’s plans, although every currency in the world was falling relative to the US dollar. Instead, they allowed the mainstream media to assure their viewers that there was only one currency affected by the US Federal Reserve’s third consecutive 75 basis point interest rate increase. No MP, even the few with City experience, was willing to stand up to the media and say – actually that’s how floating currencies work, or a lower pound will help our industries compete, or even the Bank of England is independent and has made its rate setting decisions based on its monetary policy committee’s economic judgements, and these are outside the Prime Minister’s control.
Were the UK’s media even aware of the Bank of England’s statement the day before the mini-budget that it believed that the UK was already in a recession, or aware of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rise the day before that? All they could see was the price of the Pound against the US Dollar and UK gilt prices. Neither had anything to do with the then Chancellor’s mini-budget. All of the tax cuts and non-increases had been well flagged to the financial world during the leadership contest, and would not come into effect until April next year; the National Insurance changes won’t start until November this year; and although the energy price caps were exactly as Truss had declared in her multiple hustings – capping the average household bill at £2500 – the gas price had fallen 30% since Truss first announced this cap on September 8th, making the total cost to the government considerably less than first calculated. So why the faux market outrage – or were the City traders not even watching the budget?
But the political media jumped on this budget, declaring it was an ‘unfunded’ tax cut and solely responsible for the markets demise, while ignoring the unfunded energy subsidy – just as astutely as they had ignored Rishi Sunak’s ‘unfunded’ furlough payments and equally ‘unfunded’ – and sometimes fraudulently acquired – business payments during the covid lockdowns.
Several (CINO) Conservatives In Name Only MPs are now calling for party unity behind whatever new leader they choose to impose on the country. The irony of this cannot be measured. They were happy to oust a Prime Minister with an 80-seat majority, they were happy to oust a Prime Minister voted in to replace him by the Party membership but now they are calling for unity? That ship has sailed for good. Why should anyone accept defeat now in the new democracy-free Britain?
The ‘Conservatives’ have shown us how it is done. First Sunak increases the money supply by £500 billion, then he increases taxes on employment and enterprise, then he is fined for breaking the Covid rules (but no one notices), then he starts the avalanche of Cabinet resignations to oust Boris and now, despite losing the leadership election convincingly, he will be imposed on the country as our new Dear Leader.
The total annihilation of the Conservative Party is guaranteed to follow. But maybe that’s the real plan. Technocrats don’t care who is nominally in power so long as they pull the strings behind the scenes.
Sunak is a very young and inexperienced man. He is not an economist, he didn’t understand how increasing the money supply would cause inflation, nor does he understand how high taxes encourage large companies to find ways around them while driving Small and Medium sized Enterprises out of business. But worse of all, Sunak does not believe in democracy. And neither do his supporters.
I expect this present debacle to end in more chaos which will finally lead to an election. Keir Starmer thinks he would win it, and it is certainly his best shot at victory. But once the losers have got out of the habit of accepting defeat – why would they behave any differently under a Starmer government? Eventually I expect the IMF or the World Bank or even the EU to parachute in a caretaker leader, just as they have done in Italy, and the mother of all Parliaments will be dead.
So today we need to follow the Americans’ lead and have a January 6th style judicial review into who organised and paid for this well-run coup, and find out what Hunt was doing in Brussels and why he was plucked from obscurity to become Chancellor over so many better qualified candidates. And most importantly, why this has all been timed to coincide with the final passage of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill (Which Chancellor Hunt has apparently shelved), ratification of the UK’s new trade deals with Australia and New Zealand, and before there has been any revision to EU financial regulations or an opportunity to pass the Brexit Freedoms Bill. Is this whole coup part of a plot to keep the UK aligned with EU regulations and taxes so that we can easily re-join under a future government?
If we don’t defend our democracy now, we will lose it forever.