A brief note about myself. My degree, 45 years ago, was in mathematics from Cambridge. I earn my bread as a software consultant; I have been independent for 26 years now. I am a victim of New Labour’s bad tax law called IR35, which the Tories have chosen to enforce more and more rigorously, and which has consequently all but taken away my access to the market, greatly reduced my income, and now threatens me with poverty in my old age. If there is a silver lining to that, it is that I have had far more time to study and to write than most people who are not employed as academics. So, over the years, I have made myself into an unlicensed political philosopher. I have also acquired a measure of expertise in environmental matters.
My political views
Politically, I’m an individualist libertarian. I want only the absolute minimum of government that is necessary to deliver peace and objective, individual justice. I see the proper function of government as like a referee in a football match; keeping the game of life moving, while stopping the unscrupulous from harming innocents or unjustly enriching themselves, and otherwise staying out of the way. I consider governments today to be far too large, far too wide in scope, far too centralized and far too active. And I’m no fan of democracy as it exists today. I consider it to be merely a bag on the side of the political state, to make people think they have a voice (we don’t, of course – as proved by the Brexit fiasco), and to lend an air of legitimacy to governments that don’t deserve it.
I despise socialism, Toryism, deep green environmentalism and all ideologies that seek to subordinate human beings to higher Causes like God, Government or Gaia. And I think of today’s mainstream political parties as criminal gangs of arrogant, callous, devious, dishonest psychopaths.
I am passionate about Brexit – I regard it as the first step back from the cliff edge. It must, of course, be unconditional – no continuing commitments to the EU. None! But, despite my strong view on Brexit, I’m not a nationalist. Indeed, I regard the current political order of “Westphalian” nation states, that was devised way back in the 16th century and implemented since the 17th, as well past its last use by date.
My view of the Brexit Party
I wrote a review of the June 30th rally, which you can find here: . To sum up: I went there to find out what the Brexit Party was all about. Can it actually overturn the existing system and the establishment that system supports, and give ordinary people a proper voice? On the evidence of one day, my answer was: “I don’t know yet.” But I’m happy to add what little kindling I can provide to the fires the Brexit party is now stoking.
A number of economic policies were discussed at the rally. I can agree with cancelling HS2, and zero EU divorce payment. As to foreign aid, the huge amounts (0.7% of GDP, if I recall) that have been devoted to this hornswoggle are a hang-over from a United Nations commission of the early 1980s, headed by one Willy Brandt. So, I was disappointed that the proposal was only to reduce it, not to scrap it entirely. And the idea of cancelling interest on student loans seems to me to be a good one.
Any relaxation of red tape and onerous taxation on small businesses (whether partnerships, sole traders or companies) is most welcome. I myself would, of course, be more than pleased if IR35 was repealed. Even if that isn’t feasible, the thought struck me that to exempt people over 65 from IR35 might be a way to make it easier for skilled older people to find their way back into the work-place, particularly on a part-time or temporary basis. Such a move might both encourage flexibility in the skilled labour force, and help to counteract the problem of long-term decline in the real value of non-index-linked pensions.
One further thought, which might bring benefits (or even votes): a commitment to retain cash for the foreseeable future. (The key issue here, in my view, is one of privacy).
Environmental policy is a particular bête noire of mine. I am utterly opposed to the green agenda, and well aware of the shakiness of its scientific basis. Two years ago, I wrote a paper on the 1987 United Nations report that laid the foundations for the green juggernaut, and how the problems it raised had been dealt with. This paper was published at wattsupwiththat.com , the world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change. It will be an interesting read, I hope, even for those who are familiar with the subject; and an eye-opener for those who are not.
On the global warming front, what I would like to see in the Brexit party manifesto is a commitment to a thorough, independent, unbiased audit of all aspects of the matter. Something like what Donald Trump has been trying (but has, apparently, failed) to do with his “Presidential Committee on Climate Security,” but wider in scope, and probably using an international team. It should cover, not just the history and the science, but also (at least): The split between human and non-human causes of warming, error bars and levels of uncertainty, costs versus benefits, interpretation and use of the precautionary principle, the IPCC processes, media coverage (including the BBC), and the UK government’s role in the whole thing, including Climategate and the inquiries which followed it. I have managed to put together enough of the backstory to know that there are many, many skeletons in that particular closet, and many of those skeletons are UK politicians, bureaucrats or scientists. You can find that backstory in Part 2 of my article at .
Which brings me to cars. The article gives the backstory to the “war on cars” being waged against us by Sadiq Khan and other greedy politicians. Here, also, there are plenty of skeletons to be found. Such as: moving the goalposts, and making costly commitments on our behalf without rigorous justification. An independent and objective audit of this matter, too, could expose a lot of foul play by politicians and their minions over several decades. Such a proposal might be a vote-winner as well, attracting those who need to drive in London, but won’t be able to afford to from 2021 unless there’s a big change in direction.
Regarding pollution in general, for me the rational approach must be “polluter pays,” in which polluters are required to compensate those affected by their pollution, according to accurate estimates of the social cost of that pollution.
As to energy policy, I’ve not looked at it in enough detail to say “this is what I think you should do.” But I’d suggest that coal fired plants (with scrubbers for the bad stuff) should continue as long as they are cost-effective. Fracking should be encouraged. And nuclear power should be an increasing part of the mix. Solar power should be used primarily for off-grid applications, and wind power – both onshore and offshore – should be nixed.
All this leads to the United Nations. The globalist and green agenda has been driven by the UN for 50 years now; and since the 2016 “national emissions directive,” the EU has been its policeman around these parts. In my view, Brexit is only the first step; UNexit must follow. In the globalist agenda, the UN is the organ-grinder, while the EU is only the monkey. The EU is also, of course, the prototype for George Orwell’s Eurasia.
Immigration and population
Unlike many Brexit Party supporters, immigration isn’t one of my hot-button issues. I take the view that, if they’re good people, they should be allowed to come and live here; and if they aren’t, they shouldn’t. Myself, I would be happy with a points-based immigration system that has no fixed quotas, and doesn’t discriminate either for or against Europeans.
My concern is more with population increase in general, and the attempts to cram more and more people into places where the infrastructure is already creaking. In the borough in which I live (Waverley) the plan seems to be to increase the population by something like 22 per cent over 20 years. Even leaving aside that government shouldn’t be planning our lives in detail like that, this seems rather high. I don’t have specific policy ideas to offer here, but I do think that a big increase in transparency would be a benefit to all.
I am interested to know how the Brexit Party plans to address civil liberties issues such as the “snoopers’ charter,” Cameron’s secret courts, and low confidence in the police.
At the rally, Nigel Farage described the party candidates as “people with principle,” who will put “country before career.” This would, indeed, be a pleasant change from the existing system. But will the Brexit party actually be able to deliver the honesty and integrity, which is so sadly lacking in all of mainstream politics today? Particularly given the pressures it will be under from a hostile establishment media, that has little or no concern for truth or ethics? Having never been a member of a political party before, I have no personal experience to compare the Brexit party with. But I would expect that it will require very much stronger quality control systems than any of the old-style parties have ever had.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my suggestions, and I look forward to working with your candidate in my area. He or she is going to have his or her work cut out, as we’re up against a certain Jeremy Hunt.