More opinion – When – if ever – will the real Cameron stand up? – Simon Heffer – the Daily Telegraph – John Gelmini

I do not agree with right wing Conservatives who want to replace Cameron with Johnson.

My concern about Boris Johnson, whom I have been watching carefully for a few years now, is that he can change his opinions faster than a spin of a coin.

This, I conclude, is partially because he is an NLP “auditory” type who in the course of an internal dialogue with himself can talk himself into and out of positions at the same time as he is agreeing with someone he is talking to or appearing to do so.

Secondly, he has a propensity to not consider detail and to tell people what they want to hear rather than get them to face up to the truth which they might find distressing.

Thirdly, he does as you say think of his personal ambition ahead of the interests of the nation. Looking ahead, I think the UK has to have someone in charge who has some convictions, is pragmatic, telegenic and able to understand that “little people” have the right to be represented as well as those with incomes in excess of £250,000 GBP a year.
To me, that sounds like skipping a generation and getting someone really switched on like an Andrea Leadsom who also talks sense, is telegenic and has business experience.

If the Conservative party does split, then one can see the right wing elements of the Labour Party (people like Tristram Hunt, Liz Kendall and Ben Bradshaw et al) joining with the “One Nation Conservatives” to form a new party whilst UKIP is subsumed in a more right-wing party, including people like John Redwood. The Labour Party under Corbyn, or anyone else like him, is unelectable, as are the Liberal Democrats who represent hardly anyone.

The monarchy is safe for another generation as long as it slims itself down and skips a generation (Prince Charles is too much of a fuddy duddy) for the modern world.

The EU, in its present form and in its two stage enlarged form, is not democratic and not conducive to small government and is being shaped and directed by Germany, its strongest member. It needs to reform itself which to date it shows little sign of doing, so after the Referendum, which I suspect the Remain side of the argument will win narrowly, we will see what the future holds after Merkel eventually steps down in several years time.

Corruption is endemic and embedded in the UK which is 30th in the world in terms of value per taxpayer pound and which has fragmented governance, policing, fire and health services and procurement processes made deliberately complex to the point where financial irregularity is commonplace but is explained away as “mission creep” or mistakes or the favourite “changed requirements”. Within the EU there is also corruption which is why no-one from your former profession is prepared to sign off the EU’s accounts as “A true and fair representation” of anything other than a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale by numbers. Clearly there is much work to do on corruption and you and I will be long gone or very long in the tooth before major inroads are made.

We clearly live in troubled and turbulent times.

John Gelmini

Lesson from Cyprus: Spending Restraint Is the Pro-Growth Way to Solve a Fiscal Crisis | Cato @ Liberty

Map of Cyprus with EU flag

Map of Cyprus with EU flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an outstanding must-read article from the Cato Institute. It argues that unlike many other European nations, Cyprus decided to deal with its over-spending problem by tightening belts in the public sector rather than the private sector.

Source: Lesson from Cyprus: Spending Restraint Is the Pro-Growth Way to Solve a Fiscal Crisis | Cato @ Liberty

The article puts Cyprus on a pedestal as best practice and this will be good for Cyprus to attract inbound investment and borrow money in international markets.

However, the article ignores the political and social context.

Firstly, Germany gave Cyprus a very raw deal because she was small. German policy makers deliberately tried to destroy Cyprus business with large Russian companies.

Secondly, unlike bigger countries like France or Italy, Cyprus could not manipulate the rules of the fiscal compact.

Thirdly, the Cyprus example highlights that the EU economic engine is a sham. There is no cohesive energy strategy that capitalized upon Cyprus’ offshore gas reserves. Meanwhile, Angela Merkel, in a box domestically because of her refugee policies, was able to get the EU to stomp up EUR3 billion for Turkey.

The bottom line is that it is not possible to consider economics in isolation, social and political policies must be dovetailed.

In the case of Cyprus, the real prize will come from reunifying the island.