Welcome to Britain Watch

All the signs are that the governance of Britain is spiralling out of control: record trade and budget deficits; a swollen bureaucracy; an inadequate but costly education system; a government incapable of providing for our future energy needs; record emigration of native Britons, unprecedented levels of immigration; a mind-set putting the non-citizen ahead of the British citizen.

Britain Watch has been set up to highlight key examples of these trends and to promote practical reforms to reverse the incompetence and loss of national self belief they engender. All readers are invited to participate.

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Short News

Don't Miss Brexit Book by Stephen Bush
This illuminating study can be bought from Amazon UK for £6.99. Reviews available on site.  It’s an invaluable guide to understanding Britain’s position in negotiations on Brexit. [more »]

The Establishment - What is it?
When journalists talk about the Brexit vote on 23rd June 2016 and the US Presidential Election on 8th November 2016 being against the Establishment, two fingers etc., what do they mean by the Establishment, or believe those they refer to as “ordinary people” mean? The answer I believe is that there is not one single Establishment, sharing a home counties accent, or particular form of dress, taste in holidays, etc. [more »]

More Madness from the Climate Change Committee (CCC)
This shadowy body is a relic of the misbegotten Climate Change Act (2008) which, as a response to the EU (2003) Directive, saddled Britain with a raft of emissions reduction targets which will have no measurable impact on our climate. The CCC’s official role is to advise the government of the day on climate change matters. Its latest advice is even madder than usual. They want to start trials of using hydrogen to replace natural gas (methane) as the heating fuel for domestic housing. The “logic” appears to be that when hydrogen is burned with oxygen in the air, it releases heat and emits just water. [more »]

The Fear Campaign Worked
Polls over the last two years have shown a huge majority (65-75%) in favour of curbing immigration. On the doorstep, person to person, canvassers found that immigration was the number one reason for voting to leave.  So why was the vote for Leave at 52% so small? Reason: the fear of dire economic consequences pumped out at the British people by: the government, economists, charities, bankers, think-tanks, quangos, talking shops at home and abroad, nearly all sucking on the public sector money teat, or in the case of bankers, on their own shareholders’ cash. [more »]

Cameron's Motive
Why did David Cameron not carry out his undertaking to join the Leave campaign when he didn’t get the EU to restrain the flow of immigrants in any meaningful way? Seemingly he had everything to gain. Most, if not all, the Cabinet would have joined him, as would virtually all the Conservative Party in the Commons and the country.  Some of the 6 million Labour voters who will vote Leave tomorrow might have been permanently deflected from voting Labour again.  With Corbyn still in charge of Labour, a united Tory party would have been on course for winning big in 2020. [more »]

Top

Who voted against Brexit?

The number one category of anti-Brexiteer was (is) really a social heterarchy[1] of special interest groups (SIG) who felt (but did not actually know) that their SIG was threatened in some, usually undefined, way. The second major category included those who felt that Brexit was a vote against unfettered internationalism which they believe in.

Thus about 40,000 academics voted against Brexit, something like 95:5 on the basis of “feel” about their grants for travel and research, both for themselves and supposedly for students coming from the EU to study or research in British universities.

Yet the great majority of researchers from overseas are from the English-speaking world ABCANZ[2] mainly, but also quite a few from the former British Empire in Asia – India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaya – where English is the natural language of business and post graduate education. All of these are unaffected by Brexit, except possibly to make entry to Britain easier.

As this writer knows from professional experience, all people coming from these countries to a job in British universities go through the same process of getting (and renewing in some cases) a job permit for a stay of longer than 12 months. I have yet to hear why the much smaller numbers from the EU countries should be exempt from this requirement, or why British universities, unlike other large employers, would find it so difficult to arrange.

For EU undergraduate students the matter is somewhat different for one and one reason only. This is the fact that EU students not only pay the UK Home Fee rate (of £6,000-£9,000 per annum) rather than the overseas rate of anything from £15,000-£20,000 per annum for science and medical degrees, but also benefit from the student loan scheme of up to £40,000. That most of these loans to East European students in particular are not being paid back is indicated by the fact that the UK Treasury has been trying for some time now to sell off its student loan book at a 50% discount of its nominal value, i.e. they aim only to get back half of what has been paid out, in a scheme which has been running for only 4 years. …[more»]