FORGET partisan politics, override short-termism and emergency fire-fighting. What the people desperately need is the spirit of optimism to flow through their veins, and to see an exciting future in front of them.
The leader who can do this will release a positive, pent-up energy of enormous power in the right direction, as well as avoiding anger on the streets.
In short, we need to bring back to the fore those arcane words ‘growth’, ‘productivity’, ‘health’ and ‘prosperity’ – not as soundbite rhetoric, but based on a ten-year renaissance and growth horizon.
This doesn’t mean kicking the can down the road. We need actions, like silver bullets, from day one, with ongoing fulfilment of those decisions unfolding in front of us over the longer period. Here is what should be done …
Cancel HS2. In the firestorm of an energy, food and inflation crisis, just who cares about getting from London to Birmingham 20 minutes quicker? Especially at a cost of £100billion-plus, and counting.
Cancel Net Zero. We don’t have a climate emergency, we have a cost-of-living emergency. Cancelling Net Zero means no more green taxes. Meanwhile, set about busting open those coal mines. Get fracking. Pump more oil. Build nuclear. Let’s get moving. Let’s get self-sufficient.
Take back our fishing waters. In an island surrounded by productive seas, it’s ludicrous if we can’t feed the nation with inexpensive fish, as a number one priority. Reclaim 100 per cent of our territorial waters – fishmongers and fish and chip shops should be burgeoning in our communities.
Bring back Mike Yeadon. We need proper medical scientists over here, not charlatans beholden to Big Pharma. Entice Mike Yeadon, not with gold but with passion, to get back here and assemble a top team from the international community.
Two tasks for them: 1. Become the government adviser on the health of the nation (stuffing Sage where it belongs): 2. Begin the process of creating fully-funded, independent research and development laboratories for medicine and drugs, to replace Big Pharma, eventually becoming the non-profit UK manufacturer and supplier of all our pharmaceutical needs.
Remove all sanctions against Russia. Not in support of Russian aggression, but to stop shooting ourselves in the foot. Cease all arms sales to Ukraine – this is not our fight.
Fix the cost of a kilowatt-hour. Energy has to be affordable, as much by the poor as by business, otherwise everything will seize up, just like a lockdown. Fix the cost of a kwh – the standard unit for the sale of electricity – for everyone at a price the poor can afford. This takes the immediate pressure off the economy as a whole. However, there is no such thing as a free lunch, so fund the shortfall from general taxation.
The Government thereby becomes the biggest single customer of the energy industry, and can negotiate hard on the money. This is nationalisation by stealth, over a period of time, without the enormous upfront capital buyout.
Funding from general taxation is a fairer way of distributing the pain, but would be even fairer if certain sectors were paying their proper due. Specifically, large corporations and international conglomerates with massive turnovers get away with accounting manipulation, transfer of profits offshore, and over-generous write-offs.
Radically, therefore, I would propose that business is no longer taxed on its profits, but on its gross UK revenues, in real time, at the banking moment, i.e., one per cent of banked revenue is immediately shaved off and remitted to the Treasury.
Even if that money subsequently goes abroad, it has to go through the UK banking system first. Profit/loss declarations, or indeed tax returns, are no longer required, and no ongoing liability is accumulated. Tax is collected in real time at zero collection or accountancy cost.
Make and grow everything we can. We know our climate, our natural resources and our history. We need to become as self-sufficient as possible, growing our own fruit and vegetables, rearing our own livestock, mining and smelting our own metals, building our own vehicles, making our own pots and pans.
This means putting up tariffs against anything we can produce ourselves. Being seduced by cheaper goods from abroad comes at a very high, long-term cost – dependency and even slavery. Let’s get Britain back to work. Real work.
Reappoint PC Dixon. This is not a nostalgic yearning for the past, epitomised by PC George Dixon patrolling Dock Green in the popular BBC television series from 1955 to 1976. When you take bobbies off the street, you break the tactile connection between the police and the communities they purport to serve. It is, or should be, a personal relationship between the officer and the citizens on his or her beat. They should know each other.
To say ‘we’ve moved on from there, modern policing is more complex’ is a total misnomer – a lie, in fact. Imagine the power of ‘Good morning, Mrs Smith, how are you today?’ from a uniformed officer (not one in hi-viz or Gestapo black, please), whether to a citizen at the garden gate or to the owner of a bistro.
Of course, the officer on the beat has the benefits of modern technology – body cameras and emergency call facilities for support from rapid response units. But hiding behind surveillance cameras in darkened control rooms is not policing – it is spying, sniping and abrogation of civic responsibility.
Reconstruct the NHS. Progressively strip out centralisation and the concomitant layers of administration by making each hospital a standalone cost centre, headed by its matron and almoner.
Remove tuition fees for nurses as well as the need to have a degree in the first place – there are plenty of caring people without qualifications who would make excellent nurses, and can be trained on the job. Pay nurses more with money saved from the cuts in administration. Maintain centralisation for purchasing, to effect economies of scale.
Ban diversity, critical race theory and sex education from the National Curriculum. How did we ever get to believe that schoolteachers have the right (or the time) to indoctrinate children with such nonsense, when English grammar, English literature, mathematics, history, geography, music et al are all jostling for attention on the path to good educational development?