Tag Archives: plan

The Tories have (again) dropped their plans for a new ‘royal yacht’

Expensive vanity project: this artist’s impression of the Tories much-desired Royal Yacht project was released when it was announced last year.

What a circus.

A little more than a year after launching a competition to build a new ‘royal yacht’ to replace the long-since-mothballed Britannia, the Tory government has withdrawn the project.

The ship was commissioned by Boris Johnson in June 2021, to host trade fairs and diplomatic events – and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced that the £250 million plan to build it had been terminated today (November 7, 2022).

The announcement came as part of the government’s search for spending cuts, and 10 Downing Street said it was right to “prioritise” spending “at a time when difficult spending decisions need to be made”.

The plan had been criticised as Boris Johnson’s “vanity project” – not least by This Writer – but in fact it has long been a Tory dream to have a new state-of-the-art maritime toy on which to gad about the world pretending to be players.

I wrote about it when the project was announced last year:

Tories have been trying to build themselves a new luxury yacht – at our expense – since at least 2012, when Michael Gove suggested spending £60 million on it to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee:

“This boat would cost £60 million, apparently – a million for every year she’s been on the throne. It would be a pointless present because, at Her Majesty’s age, she’s hardly going to be able to steer it.”

By 2016, the projected cost had nearly doubled:

“Now we learn that Conservative MPs want to give the Queen another yacht – at a cost of £100 million that could be better-used elsewhere, perhaps on benefit payments for a further £16,666 sick people for a year.

“When [Gove] suggested it, back in January 2012, the cost was said to be £60 million. Why has it nearly doubled in the years since?

“At least we have an answer to my question of the time – whether Tories try to spend our money on such unnecessary lavishments habitually.

“Yes. Yes they do.”

Amazingly, that price had remained static when the possibility was floated yet again in 2020:

“The twist this time is a proposal to split funding three ways between businesses, the public and the National Lottery (so the public pays twice).”

The idea of boosting trade has been there since Gove, and I addressed it last year:

“The point about trade deals is interesting at a time when the Tory government is desperately trying to re-establish the UK as a trading nation after severing ties with the European Union.

“But who benefits from such deals?

“Rich businesspeople, perhaps – but would they pay their taxes or send the cash to tax havens?

“If the latter, then why should the public pay for something that will not help us in the slightest?”

Exactly. Thankfully, the public will be saved from having to pay for this monumental White Elephant – this time.

How long until the idea is resurrected yet again?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Hunt rips up Tory economic plan in new financial statement

Jeremy Hunt has ripped up the government’s previous financial plan.

Trussonomics – the idea that tax cuts should be a central pillar of government policy – is dead.

Hunt’s new plan is as follows – announced early in order to stabilise the markets:

Reverse almost all tax measures not already part of legislation.

Keep Income Tax at 20p in the pound, rather than cutting it to 19p.

These measures will raise around £32 billion.

The energy price guarantee will be reviewed, with a view to ending it next April. Hunt says the public finances should not be affected by price volatility.

He says government departments must redouble their efforts to find savings and some areas of public spending will need to be cut. So: more austerity, as predicted.

He says he’s determined to bring public debt down. This is a pointless aim; public debt is merely an indication of the amount of private money that is used to contribute to the UK economy. There’s nothing wrong with asking for, and using, this money.

And of course, £32 billion is not £73 billion – the amount we’ve been told is needed to plug the hole that Kwarteng opened up.

Is Hunt really planning to cut public services in a vain attempt to make that money back?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Martin Lewis on why government must act BEFORE CHRISTMAS on mortgages

The ‘Money Saving Expert’, Martin Lewis, spoke up on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to urge the government to act on mortgage costs, saying a plan is needed before Christmas:

He highlighted three core issues: interest rates, the affordability test and correction in the house price market:

Mr Lewis also spoke about the government’s decision not to run an information campaign on how to save money on energy bills – and how it is lunacy to suggest such a campaign is too expensive when it could save millions from what the government is expecting to pay to energy firms when subsidising our bills:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Kwarteng will announce plan to deal with debt on October 31. It won’t work

The grinning Kwarteng: in his next public statement, he’ll announce a plan to deal with the debt he created in his last public statement. Who’s willing to bet he’ll cut your public services to the bone?

Who reckons he’s going to cut public services?

Kwasi Kwarteng, who by some miracle is still Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced that he will set out his new (detailed, he says) plan to cut public debt and balance the government’s finances, on October 31. That’s nearly a month before his previously-announced date, November 23.

An independent forecast of how the economy will perform in coming years, by the Office of Budget Responsibility, will be published at the same time, so we will all be able to judge whether his plan is worth the paper it’s written on.

The statement will come days before the Bank of England announces its latest decision on interest rates – on November 3. We’ll definitely know if ‘Queasy’ Kwarteng has got it wrong by then, and if interest rates rise again, it’ll be further evidence.

Today’s announcement is yet another u-turn for Liz Truss’s hapless government; Kwarteng claimed on October 4 that the plan would be announced on November 23, as he had originally stated and that “people have been reading the runes and the pauses”.

It turns out that those people knew more about the future than he did. How normal for a government that simply doesn’t know what it is doing from one day to the next.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Government doubles down over economic plan while Truss and Kwarteng go into hiding

Now you see them: but after their disastrous ‘fiscal event’, politics-watchers are now being forced to play a new game. You might call it ‘Where’s Lizzie?’, or ‘Where’s Kwasi?’

What a stunning headline to write.

The Tory government is sticking by its tax-cuts-for-the-rich, make-the-poor-pay plan, even after the Bank of England had to step in with a plan to buy bonds in order to save the economy from collapsing altogether, after Kwasi Kwarteng’s worst-budget-ever last Friday (September 23).

Government departments are already being asked to find spending cuts, though – it’s looking bad for your NHS (which, by the way, is looking like an extremely enticing purchase for US investors now the Pound has plummeted to parity-or-below with the Dollar).

Meanwhile Liz Truss hasn’t been seen for nearly a week; her only communication being to congratulate a fascist on an election victory in Italy.

And Kwasi Kwarteng has similarly dropped off the map; apart from an excruciating non-response when asked how he’d solve the problems he created last Friday, he appears to be cowering in his office, waiting for the P45 to slide under the door.

Conservative MPs – along with the rest of us – have picked up on the fact that Rishi Sunak, the former Chancellor and Liz Truss’s rival in the leadership contest on which the Tories decided to waste the summer rather than do any actual work, predicted this chaos.

He said, “Borrowing your way out of inflation isn’t a plan – it’s a fairy tale.”

It is against this backdrop that Kwarteng will have to give a speech to the Conservative Party Conference on Monday.

Well, his tenure as Chancellor looks like becoming one of the shortest in history, so he might as well make the shortest-ever speech.

“I resign” comprises only two words.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Liz Truss’s reliance on the economy improving is ‘not adult thinking’

Interesting: the head of the Resolution Foundation has said that Liz Truss’s hope that the economy will improve is “not adult thinking” – she is simply “hoping that something will turn up”.

Maximilien Robespierre correctly points out that Truss is hoping the economy will bounce back due to her tax cuts. “If that doesn’t happen, then what?”

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Unsafe wherever she goes: does Liz Truss have an energy plan and is it any good?

Speculation is rife about whether new UK prime minister Liz Truss is going to help households and businesses pay the huge energy bills they are facing over the winter.

Here’s some useful analysis showing what she might do – and how her opponents might take advantage of her choices.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Here’s the first chance Liz Truss has – to disappoint us

Liz Truss with her picture of the place where she works (she did it in crayon) [not really].

Is this wishful thinking?

Apparently Liz Truss is “expected” to freeze energy bills for households and small-to-medium-sized businesses, while bigger companies may be offered tax breaks to help them through the current period of higher prices.

She hasn’t actually confirmed it yet, though.

Here‘s the BBC:

A freeze on energy bills is understood to be one of a number of options being worked on to help struggling households to cope with soaring costs.

It is expected that energy suppliers will be able to take out government-backed loans to subsidise bills.

Energy bosses have been meeting with government officials on the matter.

A £100bn plan to freeze household bills was proposed by energy companies last month.

Under the proposal, bills would be subsidised and the current price cap of £1,971 for a typical family would be maintained for two years.

The BBC understands that a similar scheme will be used to limit the energy price increases being experienced by small and medium-sized businesses.

And bigger companies may be offered tax breaks to help them through the period of high prices.

This Site discussed the loan plan (it was put forward by Ovo Energy) last week.

The question is, will Truss really adopt it? As the slogan runs, will she “freeze prices, not people”?

Or is this her first opportunity to let us all down?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Is Starmer right with plan to cut energy bills for the rich and poor alike?

Keir Starmer: it seems he actually has a point (for a change).

To answer the question in the title, if you watch this clip of Jeremy Vine attacking Keir Starmer’s plan – to his face – you may think the answer is no:

But if it knocks headline inflation down by four points, it has to be good – right?

And in the meantime – it is to be hoped – Parliament as a whole can work on a multi-headed strategy to bring down the cost of living.

Also – you may not know this, but the Labour plan apparently saves poorer people, who don’t pay by direct debit but by pre-payment, £300 more.

This Writer is no fan of Starmer – but at least he is offering something.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Patel insists Rwanda is safe for asylum-seekers – despite expert advice on torture

Priti Patel: she’s not one to listen to advice she doesn’t like.

The Home Secretary has confirmed that she is ignoring the advice of an adviser who said the Rwandan government tortures political opponents, in pushing her policy of deporting asylum-seekers there.

Priti Patel insisted that Rwanda was a “safe country”.

She said the comments had been made by “officials in a different government department”.

She added: “But of course it is the Home Office who has led the economic development migration partnership which is our resettlement partnership to Rwanda. Rwanda is a safe country and all our work with the government of Rwanda shows that.”

She was responding to a High Court judgment that seven statements by an adviser should be made public in advance of a Supreme Court ruling on whether the Rwanda deportation policy is legal.

A judge ruled that a further four statements should not be published as they could potentially harm international relations.

It is not unreasonable – on the face of it – for the government to seek advice and then ignore what it is told.

Governments may take opinions from multiple sources before forming their own opinions and policy.

But this has the potential to blow up in the Tory government’s collective face, if the decision to ignore warnings about this foreign government leads to asylum-seekers being harmed.