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Some stark front pages this Saturday morning – politicalbetting.com

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  • FishingFishing Posts: 3,800
    edited August 2022


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 47,042

    Nigelb said:

    Jonathan said:

    Nigelb said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    I am offended by the chancellor asking people to tighten their belts because there is a war. Normally when that happens it’s to support troops or a general war effort.

    Right now , we need to tighten our belts to enable fat cats to get fatter in a broken energy market.

    If it’s a war, free markets cannot function properly, so you nationalise key resources.

    I suspect the current lot don’t want to do that because someone is getting mind boggingly rich.

    Nationalise for what purpose? Do you want rationing and power cuts?
    The energy market has failed due to the war, it is currently being used by Putin as weapon against us. Nationalising is normally what happens in this situation to protect the national interest.
    Not according to Labour
    It’s the Tories who are using the war, if not ramping the wartime situation in their rhetoric. The point I am making , is if that is true, if we are at war, the government nationalises.
    You seem to want to appease Putin and nationalisation is not a solution
    On the contrary, I am sure Putin is delighted by the current chaos. He has weaponised gas prices and the government is doing nothing about it.
    So you are proposing an alternative mechanism to ration supply, or do you think nationalisation is a silver bullet that makes the problem go away?
    You clearly need an alternative mechanism to manage supply than charging people with nothing thousands of pounds and having them freeze. Absolutely yes. One way or another the government will intervene. It’s a broken market.

    Should companies profit from a wartime lack of supply?
    While I’m unconvinced that nationalisation is the solution, you at least point out the scale of the problem.

    Profits are a secondary concern (and might in any event be addressed by temporary windfall taxes).

    Of far greater concern is that the market has for now ceased to function in any rational manner, and will on the one hand likely bankrupt many companies and individuals and impose immense hardship on many more, while on the other hand providing no incentive to reduce usage for those with contracts in place at lower prices.

    Government has at best a month to come up with emergency measures to address that - having apparently not given it much thought up until now.
    Good post. If a market fails, it is the role of government to act. That also needs to be done in such a way that avoids a massive transfer of funds from the taxpayer into the producer. If that can be done without nationalisation that’s great.
    The second point point - achieving demand reduction over the winter - is perhaps key.
    Without intervention, it will happen very painfully indeed through bankrupting businesses etc. It needs to be managed, and I’m far from sure our government will be up to the task.
    Worse than that, I'm not sure what it will take to make them try.

    Maybe what we need is a wartime mentality against an actual foe. "Wasted energy puts pounds in Putin's pocket", that sort of thing.
    Well yes, recognition that they need to do something is part of being up to the task. All the evidence so far is that no one in government has fully appreciated the scale of the problem and the urgent need to address it.
  • wooliedyedwooliedyed Posts: 6,649

    Nigelb said:

    Jonathan said:

    Nigelb said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    I am offended by the chancellor asking people to tighten their belts because there is a war. Normally when that happens it’s to support troops or a general war effort.

    Right now , we need to tighten our belts to enable fat cats to get fatter in a broken energy market.

    If it’s a war, free markets cannot function properly, so you nationalise key resources.

    I suspect the current lot don’t want to do that because someone is getting mind boggingly rich.

    Nationalise for what purpose? Do you want rationing and power cuts?
    The energy market has failed due to the war, it is currently being used by Putin as weapon against us. Nationalising is normally what happens in this situation to protect the national interest.
    Not according to Labour
    It’s the Tories who are using the war, if not ramping the wartime situation in their rhetoric. The point I am making , is if that is true, if we are at war, the government nationalises.
    You seem to want to appease Putin and nationalisation is not a solution
    On the contrary, I am sure Putin is delighted by the current chaos. He has weaponised gas prices and the government is doing nothing about it.
    So you are proposing an alternative mechanism to ration supply, or do you think nationalisation is a silver bullet that makes the problem go away?
    You clearly need an alternative mechanism to manage supply than charging people with nothing thousands of pounds and having them freeze. Absolutely yes. One way or another the government will intervene. It’s a broken market.

    Should companies profit from a wartime lack of supply?
    While I’m unconvinced that nationalisation is the solution, you at least point out the scale of the problem.

    Profits are a secondary concern (and might in any event be addressed by temporary windfall taxes).

    Of far greater concern is that the market has for now ceased to function in any rational manner, and will on the one hand likely bankrupt many companies and individuals and impose immense hardship on many more, while on the other hand providing no incentive to reduce usage for those with contracts in place at lower prices.

    Government has at best a month to come up with emergency measures to address that - having apparently not given it much thought up until now.
    Good post. If a market fails, it is the role of government to act. That also needs to be done in such a way that avoids a massive transfer of funds from the taxpayer into the producer. If that can be done without nationalisation that’s great.
    The second point point - achieving demand reduction over the winter - is perhaps key.
    Without intervention, it will happen very painfully indeed through bankrupting businesses etc. It needs to be managed, and I’m far from sure our government will be up to the task.
    Worse than that, I'm not sure what it will take to make them try.

    Maybe what we need is a wartime mentality against an actual foe. "Wasted energy puts pounds in Putin's pocket", that sort of thing.
    A genuine war footing approach is going to take genuine war footing politics - cooperation/national govt. You cant have the slogan style government if the opposition immediately denigrate the absolute state of everything and blame government, it instantly nullifies the message. And i cant see Labour signing up.
  • Beibheirli_CBeibheirli_C Posts: 7,435

    ...

    DavidL said:

    ping said:

    Jonathan said:

    Don’t understand why the government isn’t going after those profiteering from the war. North Sea gas is a national resource.

    Ideology, init?

    If we’d had better leaders, we could have been in a similar position to norway, right now;

    https://www.ft.com/content/99680a04-92a0-11de-b63b-00144feabdc0
    Even at current prices most of the remaining North Sea production is pretty marginal. If we want to encourage the oil companies to invest more there to squeeze out the last bits of some pretty depleted fields some sort of windfall tax is really not the way to do it. Windfall taxes are generally a very bad idea but it is obvious that imposing something of that sort now would be to shoot ourselves in both feet, reducing production and increasing imports.

    So it will probably be announced next week.
    It would play better in the country if the so-called "Price cap" was applied to the energy companies as a "profit cap" limiting their profits with the excess being used to discount energy prices.
    How do you expect them to invest in infrastructure if they are not allowed to cream (or rather ladel) off the profits for shareholders and Director bonuses?
    The same organisations that invest the dividends in pensions?
    Yes but screwing the consumer to divvy profits out to pension funds to benefit pensioners and future pensioners who are also consumers is counter intuitive.
    It does not benefit pensioners but it certainly it will affect future generations of retirees
    Yesterday you were saying it was fine for Truss to not declare her policy on support for dealing with rocketing energy bills.

    Whilst the government policy is a vacuum support for other policies, like nationalisation, which is probably a distraction at best and a mistake at worst, will inevitably gather significant momentum.

    She needs a policy on this, she needs people explaining why her solution is right doing media rounds now, not in a couple of weeks time.
    I did not say it was fine for Truss not to declare her policy, I said she could not declare a policy as she is Foreign Secretary and not PM

    I have also been consistent in utterly condemning the conservative party and Brady in the absurd length of this leadership campaign
    She has effectively won the contest already. Sunak has also given his proposals. Boris is not planning to do anything and agrees something needs to be done. No-one is going to complain that Truss gives her proposals on energy whilst she is Foreign Secretary and leadership candidate.

    And why is she allowed to declare a policy on cutting NI and taxes on energy whilst Foreign Secretary but not allowed to declare a policy on other energy support?

    You are just making up spurious excuses for her inaction.
    Nothing spurious - Truss does not have a mandate to act yet and she has said help will be forthcoming

    The one thing I assume each and everyone of us can agree is that this protracted leadership debate has been very damaging for the conservative party and for me extremely embarrassing

    If not spurious, then please address this:

    And why is she allowed to declare a policy on cutting NI and taxes on energy whilst Foreign Secretary but not allowed to declare a policy on other energy support?
    That is a specific policy she has always supported

    The present crisis requires a policy of huge magnitude that requires a PM and cabinet to agree and announce to the HOC

    That will happen shortly and when it does, it will define whether Truss has a future
    Two important caveats though.

    There is an election going on right now. It's a bit limited, but in months to come, it's going to be the only mandate Truss can point to.

    What is stopping Truss saying "if elected, this would be my direction of travel"? Doesn't keeping sthum on the big issue of the day kind of make the election a bit phoney? You know, in a democracy shouldn't we talk about things a bit?

    More importantly, the government has apparently done nothing about the other things that will keep us warmish and solventish this winter. I don't know how much energy saving can happen in the next few months, but I'm hearing nothing. And trying to do anything in starting September will be even harder than had we started in June. Or better still, March.
    The real issue is that there has been a view for quite a long time that everything must return a profit or no money can be spent on it. This includes the sort of infrastructure that, in times like these, would have been used to ease the situation. That is why our energy storage facilities are minimal - they were scrapped to "cut costs". All those coal / oil stations that were demolished instead of being moth-balled for times like these. No one ever got off their backside and implemented tidal energy of any type, all we got was windmills everywhere and, apparently, they are not good enough because the wind is too non-uniform in terms of energy supply.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 10,764

    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the full implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I don't think there was a policy. Johnson just wanted the refracted glory of a war without the incovenience of his own Gruz 200s arriving at BZZ. It wasn't any more complicated than that.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 29,279
    edited August 2022
    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
  • squareroot2squareroot2 Posts: 4,942
    edited August 2022
    No such thing as an election best not to win when you are a politician climbing the greasy pole. No one will be able to take it away from Truss that she was PM.
    She might even be remembered as even worse than Brown, if that's possible🤣🤣🤣
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 17,927
    edited August 2022
    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    Some of us here did wonder at the time what was the precise mechanism by which seizing yachts and selling Chelsea to America brought about a cessation of hostilities but apparently that is taking Putin's side.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 43,306
    @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883
  • BartholomewRobertsBartholomewRoberts Posts: 10,172
    edited August 2022

    Liz has to ponder this: how would Maggie dress up for an energy crisis?

    In the seventies? Put on a jumper.

    image
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 21,830

    Nigelb said:

    Jonathan said:

    Nigelb said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    I am offended by the chancellor asking people to tighten their belts because there is a war. Normally when that happens it’s to support troops or a general war effort.

    Right now , we need to tighten our belts to enable fat cats to get fatter in a broken energy market.

    If it’s a war, free markets cannot function properly, so you nationalise key resources.

    I suspect the current lot don’t want to do that because someone is getting mind boggingly rich.

    Nationalise for what purpose? Do you want rationing and power cuts?
    The energy market has failed due to the war, it is currently being used by Putin as weapon against us. Nationalising is normally what happens in this situation to protect the national interest.
    Not according to Labour
    It’s the Tories who are using the war, if not ramping the wartime situation in their rhetoric. The point I am making , is if that is true, if we are at war, the government nationalises.
    You seem to want to appease Putin and nationalisation is not a solution
    On the contrary, I am sure Putin is delighted by the current chaos. He has weaponised gas prices and the government is doing nothing about it.
    So you are proposing an alternative mechanism to ration supply, or do you think nationalisation is a silver bullet that makes the problem go away?
    You clearly need an alternative mechanism to manage supply than charging people with nothing thousands of pounds and having them freeze. Absolutely yes. One way or another the government will intervene. It’s a broken market.

    Should companies profit from a wartime lack of supply?
    While I’m unconvinced that nationalisation is the solution, you at least point out the scale of the problem.

    Profits are a secondary concern (and might in any event be addressed by temporary windfall taxes).

    Of far greater concern is that the market has for now ceased to function in any rational manner, and will on the one hand likely bankrupt many companies and individuals and impose immense hardship on many more, while on the other hand providing no incentive to reduce usage for those with contracts in place at lower prices.

    Government has at best a month to come up with emergency measures to address that - having apparently not given it much thought up until now.
    Good post. If a market fails, it is the role of government to act. That also needs to be done in such a way that avoids a massive transfer of funds from the taxpayer into the producer. If that can be done without nationalisation that’s great.
    The second point point - achieving demand reduction over the winter - is perhaps key.
    Without intervention, it will happen very painfully indeed through bankrupting businesses etc. It needs to be managed, and I’m far from sure our government will be up to the task.
    Worse than that, I'm not sure what it will take to make them try.

    Maybe what we need is a wartime mentality against an actual foe. "Wasted energy puts pounds in Putin's pocket", that sort of thing.
    A genuine war footing approach is going to take genuine war footing politics - cooperation/national govt. You cant have the slogan style government if the opposition immediately denigrate the absolute state of everything and blame government, it instantly nullifies the message. And i cant see Labour signing up.
    It's absolutely Starmer's instinct to sign up, see covid. Esp given the choice of national government or general election with everyone saying what they are saying now, omg he has put the country on hold for 6 weeks to satisfy personal ambition
  • Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    I am offended by the chancellor asking people to tighten their belts because there is a war. Normally when that happens it’s to support troops or a general war effort.

    Right now , we need to tighten our belts to enable fat cats to get fatter in a broken energy market.

    If it’s a war, free markets cannot function properly, so you nationalise key resources.

    I suspect the current lot don’t want to do that because someone is getting mind boggingly rich.

    So much bs in one comment. ;)

    "There's a problem, so I'll blame my usual suspects for the problem, and use my usual 'solutions' for it."
    Where’s the BS?

    Are you saying the energy market isn’t broken?
    Are you saying some organisations aren’t getting rich?
    Are you saying in wartime resources aren’t often nationalised?
    Are you saying the chancellor didn’t tell us to tighten our belts became of the war?

    1) The energy market isn't broken. The market has seen a shock of removed energy supply and its doing exactly what it should in those circumstances.

    3) Totally wrong. Very rarely, typically in total war scenarios, does this happen.

    We aren't anywhere close to a total war. What resources did Labour nationalise for the Iraq War? For Afghanistan?
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 25,230
    edited August 2022
    There isn't a market at work in business (or residential).
    It comes down to a sheer lottery of when you fixed your energy price.
    All the efficiency in the world won't help you compete with your incompetent rival who is paying £10's of k's less for the same usage.
  • FishingFishing Posts: 3,800

    How would nationalising energy make it cheaper?

    One of these companies paid £700m in dividends to shareholders recently. Customers paid for those dividends. If they had a million customers that is £700 per customer per year.

    Nationalised industries have no shareholders, therefore.......
    Those dividends are paid in return for assuming cost and revenue risk. If the companies are nationalised, the public sector carries that risk.

    Also of course a fair amount of tax is paid on those dividends in various ways.

    But the main reason to have companies in the private sector is the higher operating efficiency of private sector companies as they rout the unions and ridiculous working practices. The energy sector cut operating expenditure spectacularly during the 90s after privatisation and once the regulator worked out what it was doing - regional electricity company costs fell by 30% from 1994-98 for example. That would go into reverse pretty quickly if the government got its hands on them again.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 28,779
    dixiedean said:

    There isn't a market at work in business (or residential).
    It comes down to a sheer lottery of when you fixed your energy price.
    All the efficiency in the world won't help you compete with your incompetent rival who is paying £10's of k's less for the same usage.

    If indeed you were allowed a ticket in the lottery at all.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 4,993

    @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883

    Great. Austerity economics during a recession from the same people who undertook unprecedented monetary and fiscal largesse during a period of full employment. It’s quite hard to credit Sunak backers with anything beyond a gcse level understanding of the economy.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 107,147

    @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883

    Fortunately for Truss May did so badly in the 2019 local elections, getting just 28% NEV and with the Tories losing over 1000 council seats, the Tories might even make gains next May when those seats are next up
  • No such thing as an election best not to win when you are a politician climbing the greasy pole. No one will be able to take it away from Truss that she was PM.
    She might even be remembered as even worse than Brown, if that's possible🤣🤣🤣

    David Cameron was our worst Prime Minister since Lord North. HTH.

    Boris is sui generis. Let's say he is the worst person ever to become Prime Minister.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 28,779

    Nigelb said:

    Jonathan said:

    Nigelb said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    I am offended by the chancellor asking people to tighten their belts because there is a war. Normally when that happens it’s to support troops or a general war effort.

    Right now , we need to tighten our belts to enable fat cats to get fatter in a broken energy market.

    If it’s a war, free markets cannot function properly, so you nationalise key resources.

    I suspect the current lot don’t want to do that because someone is getting mind boggingly rich.

    Nationalise for what purpose? Do you want rationing and power cuts?
    The energy market has failed due to the war, it is currently being used by Putin as weapon against us. Nationalising is normally what happens in this situation to protect the national interest.
    Not according to Labour
    It’s the Tories who are using the war, if not ramping the wartime situation in their rhetoric. The point I am making , is if that is true, if we are at war, the government nationalises.
    You seem to want to appease Putin and nationalisation is not a solution
    On the contrary, I am sure Putin is delighted by the current chaos. He has weaponised gas prices and the government is doing nothing about it.
    So you are proposing an alternative mechanism to ration supply, or do you think nationalisation is a silver bullet that makes the problem go away?
    You clearly need an alternative mechanism to manage supply than charging people with nothing thousands of pounds and having them freeze. Absolutely yes. One way or another the government will intervene. It’s a broken market.

    Should companies profit from a wartime lack of supply?
    While I’m unconvinced that nationalisation is the solution, you at least point out the scale of the problem.

    Profits are a secondary concern (and might in any event be addressed by temporary windfall taxes).

    Of far greater concern is that the market has for now ceased to function in any rational manner, and will on the one hand likely bankrupt many companies and individuals and impose immense hardship on many more, while on the other hand providing no incentive to reduce usage for those with contracts in place at lower prices.

    Government has at best a month to come up with emergency measures to address that - having apparently not given it much thought up until now.
    Good post. If a market fails, it is the role of government to act. That also needs to be done in such a way that avoids a massive transfer of funds from the taxpayer into the producer. If that can be done without nationalisation that’s great.
    The second point point - achieving demand reduction over the winter - is perhaps key.
    Without intervention, it will happen very painfully indeed through bankrupting businesses etc. It needs to be managed, and I’m far from sure our government will be up to the task.
    Worse than that, I'm not sure what it will take to make them try.

    Maybe what we need is a wartime mentality against an actual foe. "Wasted energy puts pounds in Putin's pocket", that sort of thing.
    A genuine war footing approach is going to take genuine war footing politics - cooperation/national govt. You cant have the slogan style government if the opposition immediately denigrate the absolute state of everything and blame government, it instantly nullifies the message. And i cant see Labour signing up.
    That's right, the split Tory Party doesn't help at all.
  • FishingFishing Posts: 3,800

    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
    Good question. How are we?

    Probably not by preventing them shopping at H&M or KFC. Certainly not by destroying our own economies and governments in the process.

    Maybe by helping Ukraine to encircle and destroy the army occupying Kherson?
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,717
    Dura_Ace said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    How would nationalising energy make it cheaper?

    Because you don't have a capital owning class stealing surplus value. Basic Marxism.
    Which has never worked whenever it has been tried. ;)

    Mainly because those in power do much more stealing - and then run the interests incompetently.
    Petrol is 45p/L in Iran. NIOC is 100% state owned.
    Even you are not so stoopid as to use Iranian oil prices as an example of 'success' in this respect- especially as they massive reserves of their own.

    "Official estimates in Iran put the total annual subsidy of cheap fuel as high as $60 billion, which is more than the country’s oil export revenues."

    https://www.iranintl.com/en/202206052726

    I'd argue that's incompetence, especially as hints at increasing the prices leads to riots.

    As an aside, Cuba's in a world of hurt because of their reliance on cheap (i.e. donated) oil. And it's got worse after an incident this month:
    https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/third-oil-storage-tank-collapses-cuba-terminal-following-fire-spill-governor-2022-08-08/
  • wooliedyedwooliedyed Posts: 6,649
    edited August 2022
    IshmaelZ said:

    Nigelb said:

    Jonathan said:

    Nigelb said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    Jonathan said:

    I am offended by the chancellor asking people to tighten their belts because there is a war. Normally when that happens it’s to support troops or a general war effort.

    Right now , we need to tighten our belts to enable fat cats to get fatter in a broken energy market.

    If it’s a war, free markets cannot function properly, so you nationalise key resources.

    I suspect the current lot don’t want to do that because someone is getting mind boggingly rich.

    Nationalise for what purpose? Do you want rationing and power cuts?
    The energy market has failed due to the war, it is currently being used by Putin as weapon against us. Nationalising is normally what happens in this situation to protect the national interest.
    Not according to Labour
    It’s the Tories who are using the war, if not ramping the wartime situation in their rhetoric. The point I am making , is if that is true, if we are at war, the government nationalises.
    You seem to want to appease Putin and nationalisation is not a solution
    On the contrary, I am sure Putin is delighted by the current chaos. He has weaponised gas prices and the government is doing nothing about it.
    So you are proposing an alternative mechanism to ration supply, or do you think nationalisation is a silver bullet that makes the problem go away?
    You clearly need an alternative mechanism to manage supply than charging people with nothing thousands of pounds and having them freeze. Absolutely yes. One way or another the government will intervene. It’s a broken market.

    Should companies profit from a wartime lack of supply?
    While I’m unconvinced that nationalisation is the solution, you at least point out the scale of the problem.

    Profits are a secondary concern (and might in any event be addressed by temporary windfall taxes).

    Of far greater concern is that the market has for now ceased to function in any rational manner, and will on the one hand likely bankrupt many companies and individuals and impose immense hardship on many more, while on the other hand providing no incentive to reduce usage for those with contracts in place at lower prices.

    Government has at best a month to come up with emergency measures to address that - having apparently not given it much thought up until now.
    Good post. If a market fails, it is the role of government to act. That also needs to be done in such a way that avoids a massive transfer of funds from the taxpayer into the producer. If that can be done without nationalisation that’s great.
    The second point point - achieving demand reduction over the winter - is perhaps key.
    Without intervention, it will happen very painfully indeed through bankrupting businesses etc. It needs to be managed, and I’m far from sure our government will be up to the task.
    Worse than that, I'm not sure what it will take to make them try.

    Maybe what we need is a wartime mentality against an actual foe. "Wasted energy puts pounds in Putin's pocket", that sort of thing.
    A genuine war footing approach is going to take genuine war footing politics - cooperation/national govt. You cant have the slogan style government if the opposition immediately denigrate the absolute state of everything and blame government, it instantly nullifies the message. And i cant see Labour signing up.
    It's absolutely Starmer's instinct to sign up, see covid. Esp given the choice of national government or general election with everyone saying what they are saying now, omg he has put the country on hold for 6 weeks to satisfy personal ambition
    He is approaching this very differently to covid. If, after whatever is announced on energy, he says 'we will support these measures but we'd look to go further' yadda yadda then yes he is playing it like Covid. I expect him to blast it as either as recklessly unaffordable or dangerously insufficient
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 107,147
    Fishing said:

    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
    Good question. How are we?

    Probably not by preventing them shopping at H&M or KFC. Certainly not by destroying our own economies and governments in the process.

    Maybe by helping Ukraine to encircle and destroy the army occupying Kherson?
    At the end of the day continued weapons supplies are probably more important to Zelensky than sanctions are damaging to Putin and this winter they will hit us too
  • boulayboulay Posts: 1,883

    @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883


    That doesn’t really make any sense - if their “personal careers” were more important than uniting the country surely they wouldn’t be actively speaking against her policies when it’s clear she is going to win. The switchers to her would fall into that category but surely not avowed Sunak supporters?

    It’s also a very one-eyed view that they should rally round Truss “ for the unity of the country” if she fucks up majorly. If anything it’s important for the unity of the country to get rid of someone if they are ballsing it all up.

    It’s like they are saying that “my guy might be shit but everyone needs to keep supporting them for the unity of the country/party” which is sort of why Boris kept power long after he should have been ditched.

    If Truss is so great and her policies are the right ones then clearly they should t be sending out these messages of being stabbed in the back before anyone has even picked up the knife as she will lead us to a glorious future. If her policies aren’t going to fix anything then maybe she’s not the answer.
  • Penddu2Penddu2 Posts: 156
    Wait till
    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    Latest Sunday Times polling shows support for Welsh Independence approaching 40%
    http://redirect.viglink.com/?key=71fe2139a887ad501313cd8cce3053c5&subId=3414711&u=https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/7lxb647ksn/SundayTimes_StateOfTheUnion_220819%20%28Wales%29.pdf
    Wait till those energy bills start landing in the letter boxes...

    That looks more like 31% to me.
    After removing dont knows it is 39% with BJ as PM and 38% with Thick Lizzie
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 28,779

    ...

    DavidL said:

    ping said:

    Jonathan said:

    Don’t understand why the government isn’t going after those profiteering from the war. North Sea gas is a national resource.

    Ideology, init?

    If we’d had better leaders, we could have been in a similar position to norway, right now;

    https://www.ft.com/content/99680a04-92a0-11de-b63b-00144feabdc0
    Even at current prices most of the remaining North Sea production is pretty marginal. If we want to encourage the oil companies to invest more there to squeeze out the last bits of some pretty depleted fields some sort of windfall tax is really not the way to do it. Windfall taxes are generally a very bad idea but it is obvious that imposing something of that sort now would be to shoot ourselves in both feet, reducing production and increasing imports.

    So it will probably be announced next week.
    It would play better in the country if the so-called "Price cap" was applied to the energy companies as a "profit cap" limiting their profits with the excess being used to discount energy prices.
    How do you expect them to invest in infrastructure if they are not allowed to cream (or rather ladel) off the profits for shareholders and Director bonuses?
    The same organisations that invest the dividends in pensions?
    Yes but screwing the consumer to divvy profits out to pension funds to benefit pensioners and future pensioners who are also consumers is counter intuitive.
    It does not benefit pensioners but it certainly it will affect future generations of retirees
    Yesterday you were saying it was fine for Truss to not declare her policy on support for dealing with rocketing energy bills.

    Whilst the government policy is a vacuum support for other policies, like nationalisation, which is probably a distraction at best and a mistake at worst, will inevitably gather significant momentum.

    She needs a policy on this, she needs people explaining why her solution is right doing media rounds now, not in a couple of weeks time.
    I did not say it was fine for Truss not to declare her policy, I said she could not declare a policy as she is Foreign Secretary and not PM

    I have also been consistent in utterly condemning the conservative party and Brady in the absurd length of this leadership campaign
    She has effectively won the contest already. Sunak has also given his proposals. Boris is not planning to do anything and agrees something needs to be done. No-one is going to complain that Truss gives her proposals on energy whilst she is Foreign Secretary and leadership candidate.

    And why is she allowed to declare a policy on cutting NI and taxes on energy whilst Foreign Secretary but not allowed to declare a policy on other energy support?

    You are just making up spurious excuses for her inaction.
    Nothing spurious - Truss does not have a mandate to act yet and she has said help will be forthcoming

    The one thing I assume each and everyone of us can agree is that this protracted leadership debate has been very damaging for the conservative party and for me extremely embarrassing

    If not spurious, then please address this:

    And why is she allowed to declare a policy on cutting NI and taxes on energy whilst Foreign Secretary but not allowed to declare a policy on other energy support?
    That is a specific policy she has always supported

    The present crisis requires a policy of huge magnitude that requires a PM and cabinet to agree and announce to the HOC

    That will happen shortly and when it does, it will define whether Truss has a future
    Two important caveats though.

    There is an election going on right now. It's a bit limited, but in months to come, it's going to be the only mandate Truss can point to.

    What is stopping Truss saying "if elected, this would be my direction of travel"? Doesn't keeping sthum on the big issue of the day kind of make the election a bit phoney? You know, in a democracy shouldn't we talk about things a bit?

    More importantly, the government has apparently done nothing about the other things that will keep us warmish and solventish this winter. I don't know how much energy saving can happen in the next few months, but I'm hearing nothing. And trying to do anything in starting September will be even harder than had we started in June. Or better still, March.
    Doesn't say much for the image of the Tory Party as a party of competent government, either.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 107,147

    No such thing as an election best not to win when you are a politician climbing the greasy pole. No one will be able to take it away from Truss that she was PM.
    She might even be remembered as even worse than Brown, if that's possible🤣🤣🤣

    David Cameron was our worst Prime Minister since Lord North. HTH.

    Boris is sui generis. Let's say he is the worst person ever to become Prime Minister.
    No he wasn't, Callaghan, Brown and Heath and Eden for starters were worst PMs than both just since WW2
  • Beibheirli_CBeibheirli_C Posts: 7,435
    Fishing said:

    How would nationalising energy make it cheaper?

    One of these companies paid £700m in dividends to shareholders recently. Customers paid for those dividends. If they had a million customers that is £700 per customer per year.

    Nationalised industries have no shareholders, therefore.......
    Those dividends are paid in return for assuming cost and revenue risk. If the companies are nationalised, the public sector carries that risk.

    Also of course a fair amount of tax is paid on those dividends in various ways.

    But the main reason to have companies in the private sector is the higher operating efficiency of private sector companies as they rout the unions and ridiculous working practices. The energy sector cut operating expenditure spectacularly during the 90s after privatisation and once the regulator worked out what it was doing - regional electricity company costs fell by 30% from 1994-98 for example. That would go into reverse pretty quickly if the government got its hands on them again.
    Whilst your argument has merit in normal times with a functioning market, these are not normal times and the market is broken.

    Besides, all that "risk" is happening now. This is what they are supposed to save for in the good times. Or are we just to assume that whether times are good or bad, we are required to fund excess profits?
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 107,147
    Penddu2 said:

    Wait till

    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    Latest Sunday Times polling shows support for Welsh Independence approaching 40%
    http://redirect.viglink.com/?key=71fe2139a887ad501313cd8cce3053c5&subId=3414711&u=https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/7lxb647ksn/SundayTimes_StateOfTheUnion_220819%20%28Wales%29.pdf
    Wait till those energy bills start landing in the letter boxes...

    That looks more like 31% to me.
    After removing dont knows it is 39% with BJ as PM and 38% with Thick Lizzie
    Given 48% of Welsh voters voted Remain either way that is sub par for Welsh nationalists post Brexit
  • HYUFD said:

    @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883

    Fortunately for Truss May did so badly in the 2019 local elections, getting just 28% NEV and with the Tories losing over 1000 council seats, the Tories might even make gains next May when those seats are next up
    Are you going to back Truss then ?
  • @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883

    The Truss ally quoted is wrong. It is not Team Rishi that will turn against Truss but her own erstwhile supporters, especially the ones whose first devotion is to Boris, and those whose main cause is Brexit, and all the others who did not back Truss in the first round when she got a mere 50 votes from 14 per cent of MPs.
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 6,901

    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
    "How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost?"

    It looks like a stalemate. Ukraine can't retake Kherson, Russia can't take Mykolaiv.

    Both Ukraine and Russia are much weaker than when it all began. There has been massive loss of life on both sides, and most of the contested parts of Ukraine are a smouldering ruin.

    This war will now drag on for some years -- until both sides finally accept they can't win it & they can't get everything they want.

    Given the characters of Putin & Zelensky, I'd guess the duration is going to be something like the Iran-Iraq War -- so 8 years.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 29,279
    HYUFD said:

    No such thing as an election best not to win when you are a politician climbing the greasy pole. No one will be able to take it away from Truss that she was PM.
    She might even be remembered as even worse than Brown, if that's possible🤣🤣🤣

    David Cameron was our worst Prime Minister since Lord North. HTH.

    Boris is sui generis. Let's say he is the worst person ever to become Prime Minister.
    No he wasn't, Callaghan, Brown and Heath and Eden for starters were worst PMs than both just since WW2
    None of them demonstrated the same contempt for the rules as BJl
  • @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883

    The Truss ally quoted is wrong. It is not Team Rishi that will turn against Truss but her own erstwhile supporters, especially the ones whose first devotion is to Boris, and those whose main cause is Brexit, and all the others who did not back Truss in the first round when she got a mere 50 votes from 14 per cent of MPs.
    Reading the telegraph this morning her projected cabinet seem to be ERG and Boris supporters and if so not sure how she will unite the Sunak camp and even worse get the country behind her
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 107,147

    HYUFD said:

    @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883

    Fortunately for Truss May did so badly in the 2019 local elections, getting just 28% NEV and with the Tories losing over 1000 council seats, the Tories might even make gains next May when those seats are next up
    Are you going to back Truss then ?
    Well obviously I will back her if she becomes Leader of the Party, even if I did not vote for her in the leadership campaign. As I have backed every Leader who has won the party leadership even if I did not vote for them since I joined the party in 1998
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 6,743

    @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883

    Good. At the moment politics is amazingly dull as parliament is absent, government is waiting for a new leader and the pundits are waiting for the boringly predictable result.

    Mrs Truss is under attack for not outlining something or other, all of which shores up her vote among the dim and self interested members.

    The coming crisis is such that every single word said in the intellectually numbing campaign will be instantly forgotten as Mrs T moves from the easy task of satisfying the membership voters to the trickier one of (a) getting back the millions (I am only one) of centrist voters who would not vote Tory at the moment however much I am bribed and (b) solving a number of completely insoluble crises.

    Dull it will not be.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 47,042

    ...

    DavidL said:

    ping said:

    Jonathan said:

    Don’t understand why the government isn’t going after those profiteering from the war. North Sea gas is a national resource.

    Ideology, init?

    If we’d had better leaders, we could have been in a similar position to norway, right now;

    https://www.ft.com/content/99680a04-92a0-11de-b63b-00144feabdc0
    Even at current prices most of the remaining North Sea production is pretty marginal. If we want to encourage the oil companies to invest more there to squeeze out the last bits of some pretty depleted fields some sort of windfall tax is really not the way to do it. Windfall taxes are generally a very bad idea but it is obvious that imposing something of that sort now would be to shoot ourselves in both feet, reducing production and increasing imports.

    So it will probably be announced next week.
    It would play better in the country if the so-called "Price cap" was applied to the energy companies as a "profit cap" limiting their profits with the excess being used to discount energy prices.
    How do you expect them to invest in infrastructure if they are not allowed to cream (or rather ladel) off the profits for shareholders and Director bonuses?
    The same organisations that invest the dividends in pensions?
    Yes but screwing the consumer to divvy profits out to pension funds to benefit pensioners and future pensioners who are also consumers is counter intuitive.
    It does not benefit pensioners but it certainly it will affect future generations of retirees
    Yesterday you were saying it was fine for Truss to not declare her policy on support for dealing with rocketing energy bills.

    Whilst the government policy is a vacuum support for other policies, like nationalisation, which is probably a distraction at best and a mistake at worst, will inevitably gather significant momentum.

    She needs a policy on this, she needs people explaining why her solution is right doing media rounds now, not in a couple of weeks time.
    I did not say it was fine for Truss not to declare her policy, I said she could not declare a policy as she is Foreign Secretary and not PM

    I have also been consistent in utterly condemning the conservative party and Brady in the absurd length of this leadership campaign
    She has effectively won the contest already. Sunak has also given his proposals. Boris is not planning to do anything and agrees something needs to be done. No-one is going to complain that Truss gives her proposals on energy whilst she is Foreign Secretary and leadership candidate.

    And why is she allowed to declare a policy on cutting NI and taxes on energy whilst Foreign Secretary but not allowed to declare a policy on other energy support?

    You are just making up spurious excuses for her inaction.
    Nothing spurious - Truss does not have a mandate to act yet and she has said help will be forthcoming

    The one thing I assume each and everyone of us can agree is that this protracted leadership debate has been very damaging for the conservative party and for me extremely embarrassing

    If not spurious, then please address this:

    And why is she allowed to declare a policy on cutting NI and taxes on energy whilst Foreign Secretary but not allowed to declare a policy on other energy support?
    That is a specific policy she has always supported

    The present crisis requires a policy of huge magnitude that requires a PM and cabinet to agree and announce to the HOC

    That will happen shortly and when it does, it will define whether Truss has a future
    Two important caveats though.

    There is an election going on right now. It's a bit limited, but in months to come, it's going to be the only mandate Truss can point to.

    What is stopping Truss saying "if elected, this would be my direction of travel"? Doesn't keeping sthum on the big issue of the day kind of make the election a bit phoney? You know, in a democracy shouldn't we talk about things a bit?

    More importantly, the government has apparently done nothing about the other things that will keep us warmish and solventish this winter. I don't know how much energy saving can happen in the next few months, but I'm hearing nothing. And trying to do anything in starting September will be even harder than had we started in June. Or better still, March.
    The real issue is that there has been a view for quite a long time that everything must return a profit or no money can be spent on it. This includes the sort of infrastructure that, in times like these, would have been used to ease the situation. That is why our energy storage facilities are minimal - they were scrapped to "cut costs". All those coal / oil stations that were demolished instead of being moth-balled for times like these. No one ever got off their backside and implemented tidal energy of any type, all we got was windmills everywhere and, apparently, they are not good enough because the wind is too non-uniform in terms of energy supply.
    Had Rough been kept open, the value of the gas stored in it would have payed for well over a decade of operation at current market rates…
  • FishingFishing Posts: 3,800

    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    Some of us here did wonder at the time what was the precise mechanism by which seizing yachts and selling Chelsea to America brought about a cessation of hostilities but apparently that is taking Putin's side.
    That kind of sanction is just empty virtue-signalling and I agreed. But the mob was annoyed that some people own yachts and football clubs and they don't.

    Proves yet again the value of dissenting voices thinking the unthinkable and why free societies are better at correcting their mistakes than dictatoships, as long as they allow free speech for everyone, not just people they agree with.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 42,433

    Dura_Ace said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    How would nationalising energy make it cheaper?

    Because you don't have a capital owning class stealing surplus value. Basic Marxism.
    Which has never worked whenever it has been tried. ;)

    Mainly because those in power do much more stealing - and then run the interests incompetently.
    Petrol is 45p/L in Iran. NIOC is 100% state owned.
    Even you are not so stoopid as to use Iranian oil prices as an example of 'success' in this respect- especially as they massive reserves of their own.

    "Official estimates in Iran put the total annual subsidy of cheap fuel as high as $60 billion, which is more than the country’s oil export revenues."

    https://www.iranintl.com/en/202206052726

    I'd argue that's incompetence, especially as hints at increasing the prices leads to riots.

    As an aside, Cuba's in a world of hurt because of their reliance on cheap (i.e. donated) oil. And it's got worse after an incident this month:
    https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/third-oil-storage-tank-collapses-cuba-terminal-following-fire-spill-governor-2022-08-08/
    Where I am, they scrapped the petrol subsidies a decade or so ago, and they now move with the oil market price. No fuel duty though, so about 90p a litre at the moment, and it just held under £1 last month.

    Everyone sensible is realising that throwing billions at subsidies is a fruitless exercise.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 28,779
    edited August 2022
    BTW re the latest Woke Hunt yesterday - increasingly looking like bollocks (so to speak).

    Mission statement 1. We serve patients 0-21 [which they do - old definition of 'children']. 2. We do this and that, carelessly reformatted to glossy corporate website

    It is, for instance, equally possible to conclude from the website that the hospital does a roaring trade in fertility treatment for 6 month olds.

    And almost certainly that phone call was with a front of house person who was using that very web page and got it wrong while trying to be helpful. This precise situation is familiar to me from work (having seen or had to deal with the results).

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/08/26/childrens-national-hospital-trans-hysterectomies/

    '“None of the people who were secretly recorded by this activist group deliver care to our patients,” hospital spokeswoman Ariana Ahmadi Perez said. “We do not and have never performed gender-affirming hysterectomies for anyone under the age of 18.”
    [...]
    In response to a request for comment for this story, Raichik agreed to an interview, with the condition that she be allowed to record it. This story will be updated to include her comments once that interview takes place.'

    As for how common the op is - and this must be in hospitals more generally, I think

    'Dr. Loren Schechter, director of gender affirmation surgery at Rush University in Chicago and a member of the [World Professional Association for Transgender Health] association’s executive committee, said he could recall only one gender-affirming hysterectomy on a minor in 23 years of practice. In that case, he said, the patient was a 17-year-old who had already been in treatment for years and had been repeatedly counseled by doctors to delay the surgery.'


  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,717

    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
    "How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost?"

    It looks like a stalemate. Ukraine can't retake Kherson, Russia can't take Mykolaiv.

    Both Ukraine and Russia are much weaker than when it all began. There has been massive loss of life on both sides, and most of the contested parts of Ukraine are a smouldering ruin.

    This war will now drag on for some years -- until both sides finally accept they can't win it & they can't get everything they want.

    Given the characters of Putin & Zelensky, I'd guess the duration is going to be something like the Iran-Iraq War -- so 8 years.
    To be fair, Ukraine hasn't really *tried* to retake Kherson yet. That might be because they will not be able to, they cannot yet, or they think it's the wrong time to try.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 28,779
    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883

    Fortunately for Truss May did so badly in the 2019 local elections, getting just 28% NEV and with the Tories losing over 1000 council seats, the Tories might even make gains next May when those seats are next up
    Are you going to back Truss then ?
    Well obviously I will back her if she becomes Leader of the Party, even if I did not vote for her in the leadership campaign. As I have backed every Leader who has won the party leadership even if I did not vote for them since I joined the party in 1998
    So, if a commie like Genghis Khan becomes leader, you'll support him? Strikingly consistent.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 107,147
    Carnyx said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883

    Fortunately for Truss May did so badly in the 2019 local elections, getting just 28% NEV and with the Tories losing over 1000 council seats, the Tories might even make gains next May when those seats are next up
    Are you going to back Truss then ?
    Well obviously I will back her if she becomes Leader of the Party, even if I did not vote for her in the leadership campaign. As I have backed every Leader who has won the party leadership even if I did not vote for them since I joined the party in 1998
    So, if a commie like Genghis Khan becomes leader, you'll support him? Strikingly consistent.
    Genghis Khan was many things but a commie certainly not
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 21,830
    Truss, the frontrunner in the leadership contest, has been deliberately ambiguous about her plans to help people with the cost of living. She has publicly committed herself to two main measures — reversing national insurance rises and abolishing green levies on energy bills — that experts have said are largely irrelevant given the scale of price rises. However, she is working on plans to provide billions of pounds in targeted support to pensioners and the poorest households and may adopt her rival Rishi Sunak’s plans to suspend VAT on energy bills. One option under consideration includes using universal credit to target households who need the most support, such as those with big families or people with disabilities

    Times today. Seems important if true
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 28,779
    HYUFD said:

    Carnyx said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883

    Fortunately for Truss May did so badly in the 2019 local elections, getting just 28% NEV and with the Tories losing over 1000 council seats, the Tories might even make gains next May when those seats are next up
    Are you going to back Truss then ?
    Well obviously I will back her if she becomes Leader of the Party, even if I did not vote for her in the leadership campaign. As I have backed every Leader who has won the party leadership even if I did not vote for them since I joined the party in 1998
    So, if a commie like Genghis Khan becomes leader, you'll support him? Strikingly consistent.
    Genghis Khan was many things but a commie certainly not
    Okay, parlour pinko then!
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 28,779

    HYUFD said:

    No such thing as an election best not to win when you are a politician climbing the greasy pole. No one will be able to take it away from Truss that she was PM.
    She might even be remembered as even worse than Brown, if that's possible🤣🤣🤣

    David Cameron was our worst Prime Minister since Lord North. HTH.

    Boris is sui generis. Let's say he is the worst person ever to become Prime Minister.
    No he wasn't, Callaghan, Brown and Heath and Eden for starters were worst PMs than both just since WW2
    None of them demonstrated the same contempt for the rules as BJl
    I do hope that is not intended to mean the start of a Johnsonian dynasty!
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 11,183
    edited August 2022

    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the full implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    In the immediate aftermath of the February 24th invasion there did seem to be a recognition that a major response in terms of energy policy was required. There was briefing that everything was on the table. Fracking and onshore wind turbines were mentioned.

    It did seem there was a possibility that the enormity of the crisis would be recognised and appropriate action taken to prepare. But then the moment passed. The opposition to onshore wind turbines asserted itself, and ultimately nothing has been done with that time, either to prepare for this winter, or for next winter.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 29,279
    Carnyx said:

    HYUFD said:

    No such thing as an election best not to win when you are a politician climbing the greasy pole. No one will be able to take it away from Truss that she was PM.
    She might even be remembered as even worse than Brown, if that's possible🤣🤣🤣

    David Cameron was our worst Prime Minister since Lord North. HTH.

    Boris is sui generis. Let's say he is the worst person ever to become Prime Minister.
    No he wasn't, Callaghan, Brown and Heath and Eden for starters were worst PMs than both just since WW2
    None of them demonstrated the same contempt for the rules as BJl
    I do hope that is not intended to mean the start of a Johnsonian dynasty!
    LOL. Of course not! However given Ms Truss' intellectual consistency one does wonder whether there might be a dynasty of the mindset!
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 6,901
    edited August 2022

    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
    "How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost?"

    It looks like a stalemate. Ukraine can't retake Kherson, Russia can't take Mykolaiv.

    Both Ukraine and Russia are much weaker than when it all began. There has been massive loss of life on both sides, and most of the contested parts of Ukraine are a smouldering ruin.

    This war will now drag on for some years -- until both sides finally accept they can't win it & they can't get everything they want.

    Given the characters of Putin & Zelensky, I'd guess the duration is going to be something like the Iran-Iraq War -- so 8 years.
    To be fair, Ukraine hasn't really *tried* to retake Kherson yet. That might be because they will not be able to, they cannot yet, or they think it's the wrong time to try.
    Whatever ... Ukraine is a very, very long way from re-taking all the territory that Russia has occupied.

    Some degree of realism is needed.

    If Zelensky's aim is to re-take all that territory, then this war will drag on for years.
  • wooliedyedwooliedyed Posts: 6,649
    IshmaelZ said:

    Truss, the frontrunner in the leadership contest, has been deliberately ambiguous about her plans to help people with the cost of living. She has publicly committed herself to two main measures — reversing national insurance rises and abolishing green levies on energy bills — that experts have said are largely irrelevant given the scale of price rises. However, she is working on plans to provide billions of pounds in targeted support to pensioners and the poorest households and may adopt her rival Rishi Sunak’s plans to suspend VAT on energy bills. One option under consideration includes using universal credit to target households who need the most support, such as those with big families or people with disabilities

    Times today. Seems important if true

    Given Zahawi says people on 45 grand a year are going to need support helping the poorest aint gonna cut it. And if she thinks im moving on to the shite Universal Credit and losing out just to access help she can do one
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 11,183

    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
    "How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost?"

    It looks like a stalemate. Ukraine can't retake Kherson, Russia can't take Mykolaiv.

    Both Ukraine and Russia are much weaker than when it all began. There has been massive loss of life on both sides, and most of the contested parts of Ukraine are a smouldering ruin.

    This war will now drag on for some years -- until both sides finally accept they can't win it & they can't get everything they want.

    Given the characters of Putin & Zelensky, I'd guess the duration is going to be something like the Iran-Iraq War -- so 8 years.
    To be fair, Ukraine hasn't really *tried* to retake Kherson yet. That might be because they will not be able to, they cannot yet, or they think it's the wrong time to try.
    According to some the counteroffensive to retake Kherson has started, but it's not going to be an armoured assault of the kind we're used to, because the battlefield is too saturated with anti-armour weapons.

    Instead the Ukrainians are methodically targeting Russian logistics so that Russian forces defending Kherson become unable to fight and are forced to withdraw.

    Not clear yet whether it will succeed, but if it does it will avoid the heavy casualties that would result from a direct assault.
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 6,743
    IshmaelZ said:

    Truss, the frontrunner in the leadership contest, has been deliberately ambiguous about her plans to help people with the cost of living. She has publicly committed herself to two main measures — reversing national insurance rises and abolishing green levies on energy bills — that experts have said are largely irrelevant given the scale of price rises. However, she is working on plans to provide billions of pounds in targeted support to pensioners and the poorest households and may adopt her rival Rishi Sunak’s plans to suspend VAT on energy bills. One option under consideration includes using universal credit to target households who need the most support, such as those with big families or people with disabilities

    Times today. Seems important if true

    Yes. Her tricky bit will be establishing a realistic basis for: low tax, sound public finances, reduction in state managed expenditure, tons of free money and excellent public services all at the same time.

    The members voting for it perhaps believe they are all possible. We shall see. The things to watch for are what happens when her lips move, what she actually does, and how she covers it up.

  • boulay said:

    @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883


    That doesn’t really make any sense - if their “personal careers” were more important than uniting the country surely they wouldn’t be actively speaking against her policies when it’s clear she is going to win. The switchers to her would fall into that category but surely not avowed Sunak supporters?

    It’s also a very one-eyed view that they should rally round Truss “ for the unity of the country” if she fucks up majorly. If anything it’s important for the unity of the country to get rid of someone if they are ballsing it all up.

    It’s like they are saying that “my guy might be shit but everyone needs to keep supporting them for the unity of the country/party” which is sort of why Boris kept power long after he should have been ditched.

    If Truss is so great and her policies are the right ones then clearly they should t be sending out these messages of being stabbed in the back before anyone has even picked up the knife as she will lead us to a glorious future. If her policies aren’t going to fix anything then maybe she’s not the answer.
    Maybe there isn't an answer.

    Maybe the only answer for the Conservatives is some time out of the limelight to rethink and regroup.

    Maybe a clustershambles is inevitable because the Conservative cupboard is bare.

    In which case, best get the excuses pinned on the scapegoat early.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 29,279

    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
    "How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost?"

    It looks like a stalemate. Ukraine can't retake Kherson, Russia can't take Mykolaiv.

    Both Ukraine and Russia are much weaker than when it all began. There has been massive loss of life on both sides, and most of the contested parts of Ukraine are a smouldering ruin.

    This war will now drag on for some years -- until both sides finally accept they can't win it & they can't get everything they want.

    Given the characters of Putin & Zelensky, I'd guess the duration is going to be something like the Iran-Iraq War -- so 8 years.
    To be fair, Ukraine hasn't really *tried* to retake Kherson yet. That might be because they will not be able to, they cannot yet, or they think it's the wrong time to try.
    Whatever ... Ukraine are a very, very long way from re-taking all the territory that Russia has occupied.

    Some degree of realism is needed.

    If Zelensky's aim is to re-take all that territory, then this war will drag on for years.
    I suspect part at least of the Donbass region is gone forever as far as Ukraine is concerned and I suspect too that there is no practical means of retaking Crimea!
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 28,779

    boulay said:

    @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883


    That doesn’t really make any sense - if their “personal careers” were more important than uniting the country surely they wouldn’t be actively speaking against her policies when it’s clear she is going to win. The switchers to her would fall into that category but surely not avowed Sunak supporters?

    It’s also a very one-eyed view that they should rally round Truss “ for the unity of the country” if she fucks up majorly. If anything it’s important for the unity of the country to get rid of someone if they are ballsing it all up.

    It’s like they are saying that “my guy might be shit but everyone needs to keep supporting them for the unity of the country/party” which is sort of why Boris kept power long after he should have been ditched.

    If Truss is so great and her policies are the right ones then clearly they should t be sending out these messages of being stabbed in the back before anyone has even picked up the knife as she will lead us to a glorious future. If her policies aren’t going to fix anything then maybe she’s not the answer.
    Maybe there isn't an answer.

    Maybe the only answer for the Conservatives is some time out of the limelight to rethink and regroup.

    Maybe a clustershambles is inevitable because the Conservative cupboard is bare.

    In which case, best get the excuses pinned on the scapegoat early.
    One wonders who is conveniently blond and shaggy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scapegoat_(painting)#/media/File:William_Holman_Hunt_-_The_Scapegoat.jpg
  • Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
    "How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost?"

    It looks like a stalemate. Ukraine can't retake Kherson, Russia can't take Mykolaiv.

    Both Ukraine and Russia are much weaker than when it all began. There has been massive loss of life on both sides, and most of the contested parts of Ukraine are a smouldering ruin.

    This war will now drag on for some years -- until both sides finally accept they can't win it & they can't get everything they want.

    Given the characters of Putin & Zelensky, I'd guess the duration is going to be something like the Iran-Iraq War -- so 8 years.
    Ukraine is significantly stronger than when it began.

    It has received massive western military aid and has been fully mobilising.
  • IshmaelZ said:

    Truss, the frontrunner in the leadership contest, has been deliberately ambiguous about her plans to help people with the cost of living. She has publicly committed herself to two main measures — reversing national insurance rises and abolishing green levies on energy bills — that experts have said are largely irrelevant given the scale of price rises. However, she is working on plans to provide billions of pounds in targeted support to pensioners and the poorest households and may adopt her rival Rishi Sunak’s plans to suspend VAT on energy bills. One option under consideration includes using universal credit to target households who need the most support, such as those with big families or people with disabilities

    Times today. Seems important if true

    Will be marvellous. "no handouts" and no to "bungs". So even if she now does a uturn and grudgingly does the opposite of what she said eleventy times, it will hang round her neck like the proverbial albatross.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,717

    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
    "How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost?"

    It looks like a stalemate. Ukraine can't retake Kherson, Russia can't take Mykolaiv.

    Both Ukraine and Russia are much weaker than when it all began. There has been massive loss of life on both sides, and most of the contested parts of Ukraine are a smouldering ruin.

    This war will now drag on for some years -- until both sides finally accept they can't win it & they can't get everything they want.

    Given the characters of Putin & Zelensky, I'd guess the duration is going to be something like the Iran-Iraq War -- so 8 years.
    To be fair, Ukraine hasn't really *tried* to retake Kherson yet. That might be because they will not be able to, they cannot yet, or they think it's the wrong time to try.
    According to some the counteroffensive to retake Kherson has started, but it's not going to be an armoured assault of the kind we're used to, because the battlefield is too saturated with anti-armour weapons.

    Instead the Ukrainians are methodically targeting Russian logistics so that Russian forces defending Kherson become unable to fight and are forced to withdraw.

    Not clear yet whether it will succeed, but if it does it will avoid the heavy casualties that would result from a direct assault.
    It may have started, but I see this as a preamble: softening the ground, as it were. To retake ground, you need to get people onto that ground, and there are no indications that Ukraine is trying to do much of that.

    The way I see it is this: Ukraine (and Russia...) know well that attackers suffer far worse personnel and material losses than defenders. Therefore it is 'best' for the Ukrainians if the Russians lost lots of hard-to-replace men and material attacking - 'best', that is, as long as the Russians do not break through. In the meantime, the Ukrainians are hammering Russian logistics and gaining more weaponry and trained troops.

    One thing I have little idea about is how the seasons affect the strategic thinking of both sides. Will winter favour Ukrainians attacking? Men from both sides will be well used to harsh winters.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 4,993

    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
    "How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost?"

    It looks like a stalemate. Ukraine can't retake Kherson, Russia can't take Mykolaiv.

    Both Ukraine and Russia are much weaker than when it all began. There has been massive loss of life on both sides, and most of the contested parts of Ukraine are a smouldering ruin.

    This war will now drag on for some years -- until both sides finally accept they can't win it & they can't get everything they want.

    Given the characters of Putin & Zelensky, I'd guess the duration is going to be something like the Iran-Iraq War -- so 8 years.
    To be fair, Ukraine hasn't really *tried* to retake Kherson yet. That might be because they will not be able to, they cannot yet, or they think it's the wrong time to try.
    Whatever ... Ukraine is a very, very long way from re-taking all the territory that Russia has occupied.

    Some degree of realism is needed.

    If Zelensky's aim is to re-take all that territory, then this war will drag on for years.
    So far Ukraine has retaken an area equivalent in size to Denmark and at a fraction of the loss of life that Russia expended in taking it. Perhaps it bores you that they’re not adopting a high speed / high attrition model of counteroffensive but their 1000 bee stings strategy will work nonetheless.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,717

    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
    "How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost?"

    It looks like a stalemate. Ukraine can't retake Kherson, Russia can't take Mykolaiv.

    Both Ukraine and Russia are much weaker than when it all began. There has been massive loss of life on both sides, and most of the contested parts of Ukraine are a smouldering ruin.

    This war will now drag on for some years -- until both sides finally accept they can't win it & they can't get everything they want.

    Given the characters of Putin & Zelensky, I'd guess the duration is going to be something like the Iran-Iraq War -- so 8 years.
    To be fair, Ukraine hasn't really *tried* to retake Kherson yet. That might be because they will not be able to, they cannot yet, or they think it's the wrong time to try.
    Whatever ... Ukraine is a very, very long way from re-taking all the territory that Russia has occupied.

    Some degree of realism is needed.

    If Zelensky's aim is to re-take all that territory, then this war will drag on for years.
    You need to be clear: only one side can end this war: Russia. And that is by retreating.

    If Russia was to magically gain the entire country today, then they'd have massive problems from partisan activities.
  • I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.
  • stodgestodge Posts: 11,219
    algarkirk said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Truss, the frontrunner in the leadership contest, has been deliberately ambiguous about her plans to help people with the cost of living. She has publicly committed herself to two main measures — reversing national insurance rises and abolishing green levies on energy bills — that experts have said are largely irrelevant given the scale of price rises. However, she is working on plans to provide billions of pounds in targeted support to pensioners and the poorest households and may adopt her rival Rishi Sunak’s plans to suspend VAT on energy bills. One option under consideration includes using universal credit to target households who need the most support, such as those with big families or people with disabilities

    Times today. Seems important if true

    Yes. Her tricky bit will be establishing a realistic basis for: low tax, sound public finances, reduction in state managed expenditure, tons of free money and excellent public services all at the same time.

    The members voting for it perhaps believe they are all possible. We shall see. The things to watch for are what happens when her lips move, what she actually does, and how she covers it up.

    Oddly enough, all this has echoes for me of the disastrous Conservative campaigns of 2001 and 2005. The message then was taxes could be cut and more money spent on public services. I recall Oliver Letwin producing some absurd figures of what could be cut from central Government without any impact on public services.

    Yes, with sufficient economic growth, you can perhaps increase spending and reduce taxes for a while - you can do one or the other for longer but we aren't in that place by any stretch.

    The traditional Conservative approach has been to cut spending to rebalance the public finances and hope in time that will allow for tax cuts. The traditional Labour approach has been to increase taxes to rebalance the public finances and hope in time that will allow for increased public spending.

    That's a tad simplistic but I think accurate. If Liz Truss wants to cut taxes she has to explain how that will be financed especially if the intention is to hand out large amounts of money to help people with energy bills. If the idea is to cut spending, fine, let's see what she intends to cut and by how much,
  • Penddu2Penddu2 Posts: 156
    HYUFD said:

    Penddu2 said:

    Wait till

    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    Latest Sunday Times polling shows support for Welsh Independence approaching 40%
    http://redirect.viglink.com/?key=71fe2139a887ad501313cd8cce3053c5&subId=3414711&u=https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/7lxb647ksn/SundayTimes_StateOfTheUnion_220819%20%28Wales%29.pdf
    Wait till those energy bills start landing in the letter boxes...

    That looks more like 31% to me.
    After removing dont knows it is 39% with BJ as PM and 38% with Thick Lizzie
    Given 48% of Welsh voters voted Remain either way that is sub par for Welsh nationalists post Brexit
    What does Brexit have to do with this??
  • Carnyx said:

    boulay said:

    @Steven_Swinford
    One senior ally of Truss thinks it’s over before it’s even begun

    ‘I think it’s beyond doable

    ‘The winter is going to be awful. If she does badly in the May election they will get rid of her

    ‘They are collectively insane, the party is on the point of meltdown’

    The Truss ally believes that supporters of Sunak will not accept defeat

    ‘It’s gone too far. The people who are backing Sunak will not lose easily.

    ‘Their own personal careers are more important than uniting the country

    ‘They will move against her’


    https://twitter.com/Steven_Swinford/status/1563455722393722883


    That doesn’t really make any sense - if their “personal careers” were more important than uniting the country surely they wouldn’t be actively speaking against her policies when it’s clear she is going to win. The switchers to her would fall into that category but surely not avowed Sunak supporters?

    It’s also a very one-eyed view that they should rally round Truss “ for the unity of the country” if she fucks up majorly. If anything it’s important for the unity of the country to get rid of someone if they are ballsing it all up.

    It’s like they are saying that “my guy might be shit but everyone needs to keep supporting them for the unity of the country/party” which is sort of why Boris kept power long after he should have been ditched.

    If Truss is so great and her policies are the right ones then clearly they should t be sending out these messages of being stabbed in the back before anyone has even picked up the knife as she will lead us to a glorious future. If her policies aren’t going to fix anything then maybe she’s not the answer.
    Maybe there isn't an answer.

    Maybe the only answer for the Conservatives is some time out of the limelight to rethink and regroup.

    Maybe a clustershambles is inevitable because the Conservative cupboard is bare.

    In which case, best get the excuses pinned on the scapegoat early.
    One wonders who is conveniently blond and shaggy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scapegoat_(painting)#/media/File:William_Holman_Hunt_-_The_Scapegoat.jpg
    Blimey.

    If you gave DALL-E the input "a scapegoat that looks like Boris Johnson", I doubt it could do better.

    But I don't think the party is ready for that. I wonder when it will be?
  • Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
    "How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost?"

    It looks like a stalemate. Ukraine can't retake Kherson, Russia can't take Mykolaiv.

    Both Ukraine and Russia are much weaker than when it all began. There has been massive loss of life on both sides, and most of the contested parts of Ukraine are a smouldering ruin.

    This war will now drag on for some years -- until both sides finally accept they can't win it & they can't get everything they want.

    Given the characters of Putin & Zelensky, I'd guess the duration is going to be something like the Iran-Iraq War -- so 8 years.
    To be fair, Ukraine hasn't really *tried* to retake Kherson yet. That might be because they will not be able to, they cannot yet, or they think it's the wrong time to try.
    According to some the counteroffensive to retake Kherson has started, but it's not going to be an armoured assault of the kind we're used to, because the battlefield is too saturated with anti-armour weapons.

    Instead the Ukrainians are methodically targeting Russian logistics so that Russian forces defending Kherson become unable to fight and are forced to withdraw.

    Not clear yet whether it will succeed, but if it does it will avoid the heavy casualties that would result from a direct assault.
    Indeed, the Russian withdrawals from territories Ukraine has targeted have typically followed that pattern, like people say about bankruptcy - slow at first, then quickly.

    Some people would have said that Ukraine forcing Russia to withdraw from strategically important Snake Island wouldn't have been possible following it falling on day one of the war, but they managed to do so.

    Ukraine is considerably stronger than when this war began, Russia considerably weaker. If there's a stalemate presently then its because they've met in the middle, but Russia is only getting weaker as time goes on, it has no manufacturing capability or supply chain needed to cope with a long war. Ukraine is only getting stronger as time goes on, they have NATO's supply chain behind them.

    The way to end the war is to supply Ukraine until they've recovered all of their lost territory, including Ukrainian Crimea and all of Eastern Ukraine.
  • stodgestodge Posts: 11,219

    I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    Just so I'm clear with this idea which presumably has already been considered and rejected by others.

    I put my house on the market for, let's say, £500k. On top of all the other costs the Seller has to bear, they also have to find another £25k as a "TST" (Truss Sales Tax). My buyer comes back and says they now can't afford my house and ask me to drop the price to £450k.

    IF I agree to do this, I'm out £50k and the TST cut goes down to £22,500 so the Government is also out £2,500. The Seller might be happy but the rest of us won't be.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 107,147
    Penddu2 said:

    HYUFD said:

    Penddu2 said:

    Wait till

    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    Latest Sunday Times polling shows support for Welsh Independence approaching 40%
    http://redirect.viglink.com/?key=71fe2139a887ad501313cd8cce3053c5&subId=3414711&u=https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/7lxb647ksn/SundayTimes_StateOfTheUnion_220819%20%28Wales%29.pdf
    Wait till those energy bills start landing in the letter boxes...

    That looks more like 31% to me.
    After removing dont knows it is 39% with BJ as PM and 38% with Thick Lizzie
    Given 48% of Welsh voters voted Remain either way that is sub par for Welsh nationalists post Brexit
    What does Brexit have to do with this??
    A lot, in Scotland it is mainly Remainers backing independence, most Leavers still want to stay in the UK and in NI it is Remainers most pro a united Ireland. However there as in Wales fewer Remainers still want to leave the UK than Leavers want to stay in the UK
  • Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 29,175
    Sandpit said:

    Are the ‘Sunakites’ really going to turn into the next incarnation of the Remoaners, determined to bring about a Labour government at the earliest opportunity?

    I think they would rather have a Conservative and Unionist Government, instead of the swivel-eyed loons backing Truss
  • FrankBoothFrankBooth Posts: 7,280
    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    We have a painful winter in front us but the economic outlook for Russia in the medium term appears to be dire. They are selling their oil to India and China at a big discount. Selling the gas to other customers which given they can no longer be deemed a secure supplier in Europe they will undoubtedly have to do will be a huge logistical challenge. They don't have the pipelines, ships or LNG facilities available nor the access to western technology to help them do so. Putin is gambling on Europe folding this winter. But even if they do, what then? The US can't be stopped and I doubt Poland will be either.
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 6,901

    Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
    "How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost?"

    It looks like a stalemate. Ukraine can't retake Kherson, Russia can't take Mykolaiv.

    Both Ukraine and Russia are much weaker than when it all began. There has been massive loss of life on both sides, and most of the contested parts of Ukraine are a smouldering ruin.

    This war will now drag on for some years -- until both sides finally accept they can't win it & they can't get everything they want.

    Given the characters of Putin & Zelensky, I'd guess the duration is going to be something like the Iran-Iraq War -- so 8 years.
    To be fair, Ukraine hasn't really *tried* to retake Kherson yet. That might be because they will not be able to, they cannot yet, or they think it's the wrong time to try.
    According to some the counteroffensive to retake Kherson has started, but it's not going to be an armoured assault of the kind we're used to, because the battlefield is too saturated with anti-armour weapons.

    Instead the Ukrainians are methodically targeting Russian logistics so that Russian forces defending Kherson become unable to fight and are forced to withdraw.

    Not clear yet whether it will succeed, but if it does it will avoid the heavy casualties that would result from a direct assault.
    Indeed, the Russian withdrawals from territories Ukraine has targeted have typically followed that pattern, like people say about bankruptcy - slow at first, then quickly.

    Some people would have said that Ukraine forcing Russia to withdraw from strategically important Snake Island wouldn't have been possible following it falling on day one of the war, but they managed to do so.

    Ukraine is considerably stronger than when this war began, Russia considerably weaker. If there's a stalemate presently then its because they've met in the middle, but Russia is only getting weaker as time goes on, it has no manufacturing capability or supply chain needed to cope with a long war. Ukraine is only getting stronger as time goes on, they have NATO's supply chain behind them.

    The way to end the war is to supply Ukraine until they've recovered all of their lost territory, including Ukrainian Crimea and all of Eastern Ukraine.
    If that is your policy -- fine.

    Now, estimate the timescales and make sure the UK has the energy it needs for the duration of the war.

    That's my point.

    It is no good just tub-thumping about the last Russian soldier leaving the Ukraine.

    Once you have your policy, it has domestic consequences, so prepare for them.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 48,985
    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    Latest Sunday Times polling shows support for Welsh Independence approaching 40%
    http://redirect.viglink.com/?key=71fe2139a887ad501313cd8cce3053c5&subId=3414711&u=https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/7lxb647ksn/SundayTimes_StateOfTheUnion_220819%20%28Wales%29.pdf
    Wait till those energy bills start landing in the letter boxes...

    That looks more like 31% to me.
    It's remarkable how indifferent people are, right across GB, to the fate of Northern Ireland.
  • Beibheirli_CBeibheirli_C Posts: 7,435
    Nigelb said:

    ...

    DavidL said:

    ping said:

    Jonathan said:

    Don’t understand why the government isn’t going after those profiteering from the war. North Sea gas is a national resource.

    Ideology, init?

    If we’d had better leaders, we could have been in a similar position to norway, right now;

    https://www.ft.com/content/99680a04-92a0-11de-b63b-00144feabdc0
    Even at current prices most of the remaining North Sea production is pretty marginal. If we want to encourage the oil companies to invest more there to squeeze out the last bits of some pretty depleted fields some sort of windfall tax is really not the way to do it. Windfall taxes are generally a very bad idea but it is obvious that imposing something of that sort now would be to shoot ourselves in both feet, reducing production and increasing imports.

    So it will probably be announced next week.
    It would play better in the country if the so-called "Price cap" was applied to the energy companies as a "profit cap" limiting their profits with the excess being used to discount energy prices.
    How do you expect them to invest in infrastructure if they are not allowed to cream (or rather ladel) off the profits for shareholders and Director bonuses?
    The same organisations that invest the dividends in pensions?
    Yes but screwing the consumer to divvy profits out to pension funds to benefit pensioners and future pensioners who are also consumers is counter intuitive.
    It does not benefit pensioners but it certainly it will affect future generations of retirees
    Yesterday you were saying it was fine for Truss to not declare her policy on support for dealing with rocketing energy bills.

    Whilst the government policy is a vacuum support for other policies, like nationalisation, which is probably a distraction at best and a mistake at worst, will inevitably gather significant momentum.

    She needs a policy on this, she needs people explaining why her solution is right doing media rounds now, not in a couple of weeks time.
    I did not say it was fine for Truss not to declare her policy, I said she could not declare a policy as she is Foreign Secretary and not PM

    I have also been consistent in utterly condemning the conservative party and Brady in the absurd length of this leadership campaign
    She has effectively won the contest already. Sunak has also given his proposals. Boris is not planning to do anything and agrees something needs to be done. No-one is going to complain that Truss gives her proposals on energy whilst she is Foreign Secretary and leadership candidate.

    And why is she allowed to declare a policy on cutting NI and taxes on energy whilst Foreign Secretary but not allowed to declare a policy on other energy support?

    You are just making up spurious excuses for her inaction.
    Nothing spurious - Truss does not have a mandate to act yet and she has said help will be forthcoming

    The one thing I assume each and everyone of us can agree is that this protracted leadership debate has been very damaging for the conservative party and for me extremely embarrassing

    If not spurious, then please address this:

    And why is she allowed to declare a policy on cutting NI and taxes on energy whilst Foreign Secretary but not allowed to declare a policy on other energy support?
    That is a specific policy she has always supported

    The present crisis requires a policy of huge magnitude that requires a PM and cabinet to agree and announce to the HOC

    That will happen shortly and when it does, it will define whether Truss has a future
    Two important caveats though.

    There is an election going on right now. It's a bit limited, but in months to come, it's going to be the only mandate Truss can point to.

    What is stopping Truss saying "if elected, this would be my direction of travel"? Doesn't keeping sthum on the big issue of the day kind of make the election a bit phoney? You know, in a democracy shouldn't we talk about things a bit?

    More importantly, the government has apparently done nothing about the other things that will keep us warmish and solventish this winter. I don't know how much energy saving can happen in the next few months, but I'm hearing nothing. And trying to do anything in starting September will be even harder than had we started in June. Or better still, March.
    The real issue is that there has been a view for quite a long time that everything must return a profit or no money can be spent on it. This includes the sort of infrastructure that, in times like these, would have been used to ease the situation. That is why our energy storage facilities are minimal - they were scrapped to "cut costs". All those coal / oil stations that were demolished instead of being moth-balled for times like these. No one ever got off their backside and implemented tidal energy of any type, all we got was windmills everywhere and, apparently, they are not good enough because the wind is too non-uniform in terms of energy supply.
    Had Rough been kept open, the value of the gas stored in it would have payed for well over a decade of operation at current market rates…
    And that is precisely the problem. Infrastructure might not return a profit, but it should be there for when it is needed. It is also why privatising Network Rail was a boneheaded decision too...
  • I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    The problem with taxing when people move is that it harms mobility and does nothing to raise money from people who buy homes to let etc

    A 1% annual tax on housing wealth would at that level raise approximately £80bn at that level. Enough to abolish Council Tax and Stamp Duty with tens of billions more leftover.

    It would also mean that if people inflate their housing value, eg by NIMBYism, then their tax goes up automatically accordingly. If house prices remain affordable, then taxes go down accordingly. Since NIMBYism etc is an externality this is an entirely appropriate tax mechanism, just like taxing pollution.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 48,985
    Jonathan said:

    I am offended by the chancellor asking people to tighten their belts because there is a war. Normally when that happens it’s to support troops or a general war effort.

    Right now , we need to tighten our belts to enable fat cats to get fatter in a broken energy market.

    If it’s a war, free markets cannot function properly, so you nationalise key resources.

    I suspect the current lot don’t want to do that because someone is getting mind boggingly rich.

    I think that's a conspiracy theory. Taxation is at a 70-year high and there are plenty in the Conservative Party very unhappy about it. There'd be no point in the Conservatives if they were just offering higher taxation and spending like all the rest, and it wouldn't be good for balance in our political system either.

    The bit they're missing is that lowering taxation is about putting more money back in people's pockets but when energy prices are this high it effectively acts as a super-tax, and that's what should be tackled first.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 21,830

    I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    It's illiquid. Perhaps 5% of homeowners can find the money elsewhere, the rest are going to have to borrow against the house at whatever horrific interest rates apply at the time. It isn't free money.
  • Fishing said:


    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    I think the problem was a massive overestimation of the effects of non-military sanctions. I don't ever recall them working against a determined dictatorship, despite dozens of cases of their being implemented. Putin needs to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine, not in the financial markets. If we could divert the tens of billions that a gas shutdown will cost us to buying military equipment, I think he'd be in a much worse place.

    (Of course that's a simplistic argument but I think it is a useful thought experiment in using limited resources to best effect - governing, in other words).
    So far as I can see, at least at time of writing, Putin still has the support of the vast majority of the Russian population. Final defeat surely can only come from within; many Germans were convinced that they had not lost World War I, consequently there was a rerun in the late 30s. However it was beyond argument that they had lost in 1945 and they picked themselves up sorted themselves out and have now returned to being, generally speakin,g a modern democratic state.
    How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost? That some very important, culturally, cities are now in another country?
    "How are we going to convince the Russian people that they have lost?"

    It looks like a stalemate. Ukraine can't retake Kherson, Russia can't take Mykolaiv.

    Both Ukraine and Russia are much weaker than when it all began. There has been massive loss of life on both sides, and most of the contested parts of Ukraine are a smouldering ruin.

    This war will now drag on for some years -- until both sides finally accept they can't win it & they can't get everything they want.

    Given the characters of Putin & Zelensky, I'd guess the duration is going to be something like the Iran-Iraq War -- so 8 years.
    To be fair, Ukraine hasn't really *tried* to retake Kherson yet. That might be because they will not be able to, they cannot yet, or they think it's the wrong time to try.
    According to some the counteroffensive to retake Kherson has started, but it's not going to be an armoured assault of the kind we're used to, because the battlefield is too saturated with anti-armour weapons.

    Instead the Ukrainians are methodically targeting Russian logistics so that Russian forces defending Kherson become unable to fight and are forced to withdraw.

    Not clear yet whether it will succeed, but if it does it will avoid the heavy casualties that would result from a direct assault.
    Indeed, the Russian withdrawals from territories Ukraine has targeted have typically followed that pattern, like people say about bankruptcy - slow at first, then quickly.

    Some people would have said that Ukraine forcing Russia to withdraw from strategically important Snake Island wouldn't have been possible following it falling on day one of the war, but they managed to do so.

    Ukraine is considerably stronger than when this war began, Russia considerably weaker. If there's a stalemate presently then its because they've met in the middle, but Russia is only getting weaker as time goes on, it has no manufacturing capability or supply chain needed to cope with a long war. Ukraine is only getting stronger as time goes on, they have NATO's supply chain behind them.

    The way to end the war is to supply Ukraine until they've recovered all of their lost territory, including Ukrainian Crimea and all of Eastern Ukraine.
    If that is your policy -- fine.

    Now, estimate the timescales and make sure the UK has the energy it needs for the duration of the war.

    That's my point.

    It is no good just tub-thumping about the last Russian soldier leaving the Ukraine.

    Once you have your policy, it has domestic consequences, so prepare for them.
    I estimate the timescale for the war ending with Russia leaving Ukraine will be sooner than the timescale of the war ending with Ukraine accepting defeat.

    If Russia remains in Ukraine then the war could drag on for decades or half a century or more, like North Korea. If Russia leaves, then the war is over.
  • IshmaelZ said:

    I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    It's illiquid. Perhaps 5% of homeowners can find the money elsewhere, the rest are going to have to borrow against the house at whatever horrific interest rates apply at the time. It isn't free money.
    If they can't afford it, they can always sell.
  • stodgestodge Posts: 11,219


    Indeed, the Russian withdrawals from territories Ukraine has targeted have typically followed that pattern, like people say about bankruptcy - slow at first, then quickly.

    Some people would have said that Ukraine forcing Russia to withdraw from strategically important Snake Island wouldn't have been possible following it falling on day one of the war, but they managed to do so.

    Ukraine is considerably stronger than when this war began, Russia considerably weaker. If there's a stalemate presently then its because they've met in the middle, but Russia is only getting weaker as time goes on, it has no manufacturing capability or supply chain needed to cope with a long war. Ukraine is only getting stronger as time goes on, they have NATO's supply chain behind them.

    The way to end the war is to supply Ukraine until they've recovered all of their lost territory, including Ukrainian Crimea and all of Eastern Ukraine.

    As an overall assessment, I wouldn't argue.

    I think there was a widespread belief when the invasion started, it would be over quickly either via the political collapse of Ukraine and the replacement of the Zelenskyy Government with a puppet pro-Putin regime or, as seemed the less likely scenario, the military collapse of the invasion and a humiliating retreat.

    This was essentially the 1914 mindset but as we now know the parallels with the First World War weren't entirely misplaced. It could take months, it could take years and there's always the worry as to what a defeated Russia will look like once the conflict has ended and how it will act in the world.

    We are, as someone else accepted, paying the price for our commitment to Kyiv and that may be, no pun intended, cold comfort for many this winter. I'd argue not since the Yom Kippur War has an international conflict had such a serious economic impact on the UK and indeed the rest of the world though I'd also argue that impact has been exacerbated by other factors.
  • stodge said:

    I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    Just so I'm clear with this idea which presumably has already been considered and rejected by others.

    I put my house on the market for, let's say, £500k. On top of all the other costs the Seller has to bear, they also have to find another £25k as a "TST" (Truss Sales Tax). My buyer comes back and says they now can't afford my house and ask me to drop the price to £450k.

    IF I agree to do this, I'm out £50k and the TST cut goes down to £22,500 so the Government is also out £2,500. The Seller might be happy but the rest of us won't be.
    People will still buy and sell houses and prices will tend to trend upwards.

    Your £500k house would have been only £400k only a few years ago.

    And ultimately the money has to be found.

    So its either from property wealth or from higher prices and higher taxes.

    Make your choice.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 48,985
    Penddu2 said:

    Wait till

    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    Latest Sunday Times polling shows support for Welsh Independence approaching 40%
    http://redirect.viglink.com/?key=71fe2139a887ad501313cd8cce3053c5&subId=3414711&u=https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/7lxb647ksn/SundayTimes_StateOfTheUnion_220819%20%28Wales%29.pdf
    Wait till those energy bills start landing in the letter boxes...

    That looks more like 31% to me.
    After removing dont knows it is 39% with BJ as PM and 38% with Thick Lizzie
    It's 31% in favour and 69% against for declared voters, like @Sean_F says.

    I can't see any path to Wales becoming self-sustaining as an independent country and, in fact, if I were living there I'd be inclined to vote to get rid of the Welsh Senedd, which seems to be dire and full of petty Hitlers.
  • stodgestodge Posts: 11,219

    I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    The problem with taxing when people move is that it harms mobility and does nothing to raise money from people who buy homes to let etc

    A 1% annual tax on housing wealth would at that level raise approximately £80bn at that level. Enough to abolish Council Tax and Stamp Duty with tens of billions more leftover.

    It would also mean that if people inflate their housing value, eg by NIMBYism, then their tax goes up automatically accordingly. If house prices remain affordable, then taxes go down accordingly. Since NIMBYism etc is an externality this is an entirely appropriate tax mechanism, just like taxing pollution.
    If you are going to tax housing you might as well tax land.
  • stodge said:

    I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    The problem with taxing when people move is that it harms mobility and does nothing to raise money from people who buy homes to let etc

    A 1% annual tax on housing wealth would at that level raise approximately £80bn at that level. Enough to abolish Council Tax and Stamp Duty with tens of billions more leftover.

    It would also mean that if people inflate their housing value, eg by NIMBYism, then their tax goes up automatically accordingly. If house prices remain affordable, then taxes go down accordingly. Since NIMBYism etc is an externality this is an entirely appropriate tax mechanism, just like taxing pollution.
    If you are going to tax housing you might as well tax land.
    Absolutely.

    A percentage tax on on all land owned in the country makes perfect sense.
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 20,393
    edited August 2022

    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the full implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    Parochialism has a lot to do with it. European countries more concerned with their petty disagreements with each other than focusing on the real danger.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 21,830

    IshmaelZ said:

    I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    It's illiquid. Perhaps 5% of homeowners can find the money elsewhere, the rest are going to have to borrow against the house at whatever horrific interest rates apply at the time. It isn't free money.
    If they can't afford it, they can always sell.
    and become homeless?
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 29,279

    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    Latest Sunday Times polling shows support for Welsh Independence approaching 40%
    http://redirect.viglink.com/?key=71fe2139a887ad501313cd8cce3053c5&subId=3414711&u=https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/7lxb647ksn/SundayTimes_StateOfTheUnion_220819%20%28Wales%29.pdf
    Wait till those energy bills start landing in the letter boxes...

    That looks more like 31% to me.
    It's remarkable how indifferent people are, right across GB, to the fate of Northern Ireland.
    I suspect, although as you say there is very little discussion of the subject, most people here are simply waiting for it to reunite with the rest of Ireland. Whether that will be overall to the gain of most people in Northern Ireland is a different matter; as a Remainer I of course believe that Joy will be unrestrained, but I recognise that a number of people in Northern Ireland will regret losing the link with the Crown.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 28,779

    Penddu2 said:

    Wait till

    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    Latest Sunday Times polling shows support for Welsh Independence approaching 40%
    http://redirect.viglink.com/?key=71fe2139a887ad501313cd8cce3053c5&subId=3414711&u=https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/7lxb647ksn/SundayTimes_StateOfTheUnion_220819%20%28Wales%29.pdf
    Wait till those energy bills start landing in the letter boxes...

    That looks more like 31% to me.
    After removing dont knows it is 39% with BJ as PM and 38% with Thick Lizzie
    It's 31% in favour and 69% against for declared voters, like @Sean_F says.

    I can't see any path to Wales becoming self-sustaining as an independent country and, in fact, if I were living there I'd be inclined to vote to get rid of the Welsh Senedd, which seems to be dire and full of petty Hitlers.
    Voting in the last election does not equate to voting in a referendum, however.
  • FrankBoothFrankBooth Posts: 7,280

    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    Latest Sunday Times polling shows support for Welsh Independence approaching 40%
    http://redirect.viglink.com/?key=71fe2139a887ad501313cd8cce3053c5&subId=3414711&u=https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/7lxb647ksn/SundayTimes_StateOfTheUnion_220819%20%28Wales%29.pdf
    Wait till those energy bills start landing in the letter boxes...

    That looks more like 31% to me.
    It's remarkable how indifferent people are, right across GB, to the fate of Northern Ireland.
    Is it really? Surrendering to the IRA was unthinkable but post partition have the English ever been that interested in the place? People rarely go there, it's seen as culturally alien and the likes of Trimble and Hume have been replaced by the DUP and Sinn Fein. A party that supported the armed struggle and one that demands a bung to support the government. If English people couldn't really get worked up about Scottish independence it's hardly surprising they don't give much thought to Ulster.
  • IshmaelZ said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    It's illiquid. Perhaps 5% of homeowners can find the money elsewhere, the rest are going to have to borrow against the house at whatever horrific interest rates apply at the time. It isn't free money.
    If they can't afford it, they can always sell.
    and become homeless?
    Or rent, or take a mortgage, or get a job to pay their own costs, or take equity release or have other options.

    Same options everyone else. Except those options are easier to face if you have the rest of the proceeds of a sale.
  • stodgestodge Posts: 11,219


    I think that's a conspiracy theory. Taxation is at a 70-year high and there are plenty in the Conservative Party very unhappy about it. There'd be no point in the Conservatives if they were just offering higher taxation and spending like all the rest, and it wouldn't be good for balance in our political system either.

    The bit they're missing is that lowering taxation is about putting more money back in people's pockets but when energy prices are this high it effectively acts as a super-tax, and that's what should be tackled first.

    The notion of the Conservative Party being the slightly lesser of two high tax and spending social democratic parties isn't without some wry amusement as that's basically what it is in the era of Butskellism from 1945 to 1979.

    I don't anyone calling the political system unbalanced when over 85% regularly voted for Jack Johnson or John Jackson.

    I've no problem with Conservatives arguing for lower taxes - my problem is them failing to be honest about how the gap in the public finances caused by the loss of revenue is to be addressed.

    Presumably it's either a) lower taxes will stimulate economic growth which will in turn generate more tax receipts which will cover the gap, b) we will borrow to make up the shortfall or c) there will need to be cuts in public expenditure but we're too scared of the public response to be honest about which areas will be affected.

    I'd love to hear Truss or Kwarteng or any of the "true believers" tell me which option they believe is the one in the current situation.
  • Beibheirli_CBeibheirli_C Posts: 7,435
    stodge said:

    I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    Just so I'm clear with this idea which presumably has already been considered and rejected by others.

    I put my house on the market for, let's say, £500k. On top of all the other costs the Seller has to bear, they also have to find another £25k as a "TST" (Truss Sales Tax). My buyer comes back and says they now can't afford my house and ask me to drop the price to £450k.

    IF I agree to do this, I'm out £50k and the TST cut goes down to £22,500 so the Government is also out £2,500. The Seller might be happy but the rest of us won't be.
    More than likely, the seller will add the TST to the price of the house and expect the buyer's mortgage to fund it.
  • EPGEPG Posts: 5,248
    To be extremely fair, I don't think PB comments was four months ahead of policymakers in recognising an energy shortage. After all, it's not like UFOs: they rely on the same media and market intelligence. It's just that it's much easier to talk about it than fix it, because even if Boris spaffs £20 billion a year, he can't do anything except move energy supply to households and away from businesses.
  • stodge said:


    I think that's a conspiracy theory. Taxation is at a 70-year high and there are plenty in the Conservative Party very unhappy about it. There'd be no point in the Conservatives if they were just offering higher taxation and spending like all the rest, and it wouldn't be good for balance in our political system either.

    The bit they're missing is that lowering taxation is about putting more money back in people's pockets but when energy prices are this high it effectively acts as a super-tax, and that's what should be tackled first.

    The notion of the Conservative Party being the slightly lesser of two high tax and spending social democratic parties isn't without some wry amusement as that's basically what it is in the era of Butskellism from 1945 to 1979.

    I don't anyone calling the political system unbalanced when over 85% regularly voted for Jack Johnson or John Jackson.

    I've no problem with Conservatives arguing for lower taxes - my problem is them failing to be honest about how the gap in the public finances caused by the loss of revenue is to be addressed.

    Presumably it's either a) lower taxes will stimulate economic growth which will in turn generate more tax receipts which will cover the gap, b) we will borrow to make up the shortfall or c) there will need to be cuts in public expenditure but we're too scared of the public response to be honest about which areas will be affected.

    I'd love to hear Truss or Kwarteng or any of the "true believers" tell me which option they believe is the one in the current situation.
    A and B.

    And Truss has said that. She's acknowledged her plan means more borrowing up-front, but then growth to pay for it.
  • IshmaelZ said:

    I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    It's illiquid. Perhaps 5% of homeowners can find the money elsewhere, the rest are going to have to borrow against the house at whatever horrific interest rates apply at the time. It isn't free money.
    It would only be paid when the property is sold.

    Its effectively a big increase in stamp duty.

    Though you could charge a portion of it via council tax each year - say 0.2% of the house's nominal council tax value which would be between £80 and £640.
  • IshmaelZ said:

    I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    It's illiquid. Perhaps 5% of homeowners can find the money elsewhere, the rest are going to have to borrow against the house at whatever horrific interest rates apply at the time. It isn't free money.
    It would only be paid when the property is sold.

    Its effectively a big increase in stamp duty.

    Though you could charge a portion of it via council tax each year - say 0.2% of the house's nominal council tax value which would be between £80 and £640.
    My problem with that is people who acquire property portfolios eg to buy to let escape the tax since they're not selling, but then people who move regularly for employment do face it.
  • ClippPClippP Posts: 1,368

    stodge said:

    I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    The problem with taxing when people move is that it harms mobility and does nothing to raise money from people who buy homes to let etc

    A 1% annual tax on housing wealth would at that level raise approximately £80bn at that level. Enough to abolish Council Tax and Stamp Duty with tens of billions more leftover.

    It would also mean that if people inflate their housing value, eg by NIMBYism, then their tax goes up automatically accordingly. If house prices remain affordable, then taxes go down accordingly. Since NIMBYism etc is an externality this is an entirely appropriate tax mechanism, just like taxing pollution.
    If you are going to tax housing you might as well tax land.
    Absolutely.

    A percentage tax on on all land owned in the country makes perfect sense.
    A good Liberal policy there, Mr Roberts.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 31,942

    It seems incredible to me that only now, more than 6 months after the war broke out, are policymakers realising the full implications of their approach towards Russia.

    Of course, I was not a fan of the policy, but that is not my point here.

    The point is -- once you have decided on an approach -- then you need to prepare for its full consequences.

    It was obvious that the consequence of the British/European policy on Russia/Ukraine was going to be an energy crisis.

    No-one seems to have thought the consequences of the policy through and prepared for them.

    The entire British/European political elite is just ill-equipped to deal with the complex & inter-dependent reality of our 21st-century world.

    In the immediate aftermath of the February 24th invasion there did seem to be a recognition that a major response in terms of energy policy was required. There was briefing that everything was on the table. Fracking and onshore wind turbines were mentioned.

    It did seem there was a possibility that the enormity of the crisis would be recognised and appropriate action taken to prepare. But then the moment passed. The opposition to onshore wind turbines asserted itself, and ultimately nothing has been done with that time, either to prepare for this winter, or for next winter.
    Neither fracking nor approving more onshore turbines would change the situation this winter.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 21,830

    IshmaelZ said:

    I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    It's illiquid. Perhaps 5% of homeowners can find the money elsewhere, the rest are going to have to borrow against the house at whatever horrific interest rates apply at the time. It isn't free money.
    It would only be paid when the property is sold.

    Its effectively a big increase in stamp duty.

    Though you could charge a portion of it via council tax each year - say 0.2% of the house's nominal council tax value which would be between £80 and £640.
    tax on mobility.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 28,779
    edited August 2022

    IshmaelZ said:

    I believe there is approximately eight trillion quid of housing wealth in this country.

    5% of that is £400bn.

    A government can do a lot with that with the money to be recouped when property is sold.

    It might not be popular with many but neither are price rises and tax rises.

    It's illiquid. Perhaps 5% of homeowners can find the money elsewhere, the rest are going to have to borrow against the house at whatever horrific interest rates apply at the time. It isn't free money.
    It would only be paid when the property is sold.

    Its effectively a big increase in stamp duty.

    Though you could charge a portion of it via council tax each year - say 0.2% of the house's nominal council tax value which would be between £80 and £640.
    Hmm.

    My owing 5% tax is not much use to the public finances right now if I stay in my house for 10 years. And is it inflation (or deflation) corrected, plus interest, at the end of that 10 years?

    And a flat percentage of council tax valuation hugely favours the well-off in expensive houses/Tory voters in SE England.
This discussion has been closed.