Opinion – Referendum result no triumph for UK – Global Times – John Gelmini

Devolution within the UK has been unwise and has led to waste, fraud and mismanagement, far from needing more of it we need less of it in order to produce economies of scale and a more unified approach.

Splittism, which the Chinese do not like, and which was carefully not mentioned in the Global Times article on this occasion, creates the conditions that Dr Alf writes about.

The romantic idea that Tibet, or the area in which the Uighurs live, could be viable independent countries is a nonsense. They could not function properly and would be no more viable than Scotland has been since the Roman Emperor Hadrian applied his own solution to the Scots by building a wall across that part of his Empire to keep them in Scotland.

These calls for more devolution, which means stay in the union, have more say and get the English and those living in England to pay more is going to fragment the country.

The Welsh, representing another un-viable economic entity, are demanding a further £300 million gbp a year;  Cornwall another economic basket case funded by curious tourists and EC budget rebates demands its own language; and devolved status, local authority Chief Executives, who are masters at wasting money, want power to raise income taxes, more control over local taxes, the power to set rents.

They in effect want to become mini potentates and kings able to waste more taxpayers money and do everything bar raise private armies although that no doubt would come in time.

The UK used to be exactly that prior to the Norman conquest, a series of warring Kingdoms each not economically viable, each with grinding poverty and each with people having no say.

China, thousands of years ago years ago prior to the time of Sun Tzu was similarly split up into different but much larger warring factions until it became one country.

We should all learn from this; you can have regional differences in clothing, accents, cooking, architecture and how people look in that some will be tall, others short, others petite and others more physically robust.

Beyond that, they should all be part of one country working for a common objective namely the well-being and prosperity of the whole nation and the uplifting of its citizens without too large a gap between those at the top and the bottom.

This may for a time involve transfer payments from richer parts of a country to help more impoverished parts but it should never be on a permanent basis because the recipients of this largess will never solve their problems and will go on asking for more as has happened with Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and now the local authority Chief Executives.

The UK must solve its own problem in this regard, not by pontificating to others and not through more devolution which it cannot afford.

Gaps between rich and poor will always exist but if they get too big societies become unstable and collapse as happened to ancient Rome where the greed of those at the top created so much poverty and insurrection at the bottom that Rome’s legions could not put down all the rebellions until one day the barbarians seized their chance and sacked that Empire so that it was no more.

That means fewer administrative units, centralized purchasing and a willingness to deal with corruption coupled with a real mission for public service. This is something we saw with Frederick the Great of Prussia and the wise Philosopher and Stoic Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Caesar whose book Meditations was the favourite reading of Frederick the Great of Prussia,Bill Clinton and the former Chinese Premier Hu Jin Tao who is said to have read it more than 100 times.

John Gelmini

Commentary: Workers’ share of national income: Labour pains ex Economist – John Gelmini

Twickenham United Kingdom

Twickenham United Kingdom (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Dr Alf poses 5 very difficult questions, which would involve Government doing things which until now they have proved to be incapable of doing. For simplicity, let me restate the questions:

Given the four economic trends in major business namely, declining unionization, rising financialization, technology revolution and globalization, how should Western Governments respond to:

  1. Take a strategic approach to economic growth, building upon strengths and cutting out public sector waste?
  2. Ensure effective taxation of profits?
  3. Increase the skill-base of the nation?
  4. Deploy the adult population effectively?
  5. Deploy Scandanavian style social policies?

1) To begin with Governments do not think strategically about anything, let alone economic growth, they do not build on strengths, and they are afraid to cut public sector waste partly because the waste and lack of strategic direction allows too much money to be siphoned off into people’s pockets.

To effect change you have to:

–Reduce public sector jobs by 67% to reflect their poor productivity(32%), and to act as a wake up call to the survivors. This would mean reducing Civil Service numbers to 15000 people, eliminating District and Borough Councils and rationalizing all County Councils, Unitary Authorities, London Boroughs and Metropolitan Borough Councils to 15 for the whole of the UK.

Then, it would mean reducing Constabularies and Fire Commands to 15 for the UK and abolishing all devolved Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, reducing management layers to 5, outsourcing all non-core services and establishing 7 shared services centers for the UK to deal with general enquiries, Adult Social Care pre-assessment, police non emergency dispatching, ambulance dispatching and fire commands.

Those displaced would be banned from the revolving door of interim engagement in any Central or Local Government Department, and from joining Big 4 consultancies and working in the sectors which they have helped to ruin.

If people wanted to retain devolved Government in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the Barnett Formula would be abolished and these parts of the UK would be granted independence on a “sink or swim ” basis.

MP numbers need to be cut to 200, they would be required to work full-time, have previous business experience and be made to take an IQ test before being put up for election and their housing allowances abolished through the expedient of a Government owned block of flats with full concierge services. Their pay would be a flat £150,000 a year free of all taxes and second homes and expenses would have to come out of that.

Radical restructuring would be applied to the NHS and there would be variable taxes on foods, a bonfire of unnecessary Quangos and the application of smart procurement and independent scrutiny of all public sector accounts, MPs‘ bank accounts, local authority workers bank accounts and the bank accounts of Civil Servants plus the spouses and children/relatives of all of them

–Effective taxation of profits needs to come by lowered and simplified taxes and the UK becoming a tax haven with a stripped down Monarchy and tightly controlled costs

–The skill levels of the nation will take decades to improve but it starts with schools,then a French style training levy and until productivity rises much shorter holidays of just 4 weeks including Bank Holidays which are an expensive anachronism.

Faster progress can be made with Paul Scheele style Photo-reading courses which would be run in Further Education colleges at nights and weekends and be made mandatory by employers of full-time staff and by the DWP for benefit recipients who would lose benefit if they refused.

–The Adult population can only be deployed effectively if there are enough jobs, Business Boot Camps to get people into business and enough exports and foreign inward investment to offset those jobs being lost by technology, robotics and globalised offshoring

Scandinavian style social policies are unaffordable for the time being

John Gelmini

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