Categorized | News


Since we are in the midst of the debate over increasing the debt limit in the United States, it may be useful to read this article by Young Turk MP Savid Javid.  Here it is at Conservative Home!

Some highlights:

This (the crisis negotiations in the US on increasing the debt ceiling) is exactly why Britain needs a debt ceiling too, and why I’ll be introducing the National Debt Cap Bill (under the ten minute rule) in the House of Commons next month.  Once the Coalition government fixes the nations finances, let’s make it as hard as possible for a future Labour government to wreck them again.

I agree!  MP Javid (who came from banking before politics) suggests that the real British debt is about 2.2 trillion pounds sterling (about $3.3 trillion dollars), although the official debt amount is about 920 billion pounds, and that market discipline is not enough to force the UK to do right.  So he recommends a debt ceiling pegged to a percentage of GDP:

Although my bill will leave it to the Treasury to define the cap level and to justify it, I personally believe that where we want to eventually end up is around 40% of GDP – which would clearly mean the cap would only kick in on a set date many years from now, perhaps with mandatory signposting along the way.  The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) could be given the task of monitoring government compliance of the cap.

The British national debt has nearly tripled since 1997 from 320 million pounds to its present 920 billion pound level.  (Of course if the UK leaves the EU, they would not have unfunded mandates and potential tax liability to the EU elites in Brussels.)

The debt ceiling will force debate over spending:

Of course, a current Parliament cannot bind future Parliaments, so the government of the day could try to raise the cap.  However, my bill will require it to secure the support of a majority of MPs – each having to justify themselves to their constituents.  Such an open debate will make it harder for politicians increase national debt by stealth and take the easy way out.

Let’s hope this bill gets Coalition support and is quickly passes.


In other Young Turk news, MP Louise Bagshawe is recently married to rock music producer Peter Mensch.  Congrats to them!

Kwasi Kwarteng MP helped police monitor traffic speed at a notorious intersection in his district where residents want a lower speed limit.  (Maybe Sean Davis should try that at Studley and Rural Point Road sometime!)  He also is speaking against a motion I find intriguing:  That the former British colonies should stop blaming the UK for their problems!  (Sounds good to me actually so I would be curious why MP Kwarteng feels the colonies should blame Great Britain!)  MP Rory Stewart spoke earlier this year on intervention to the same group. MP Kwarteng has a new book out in August:  Ghosts of Empire.

Speaking of Rory Stewart MP (OBE) he has been speaking in debate, mostly on Afghanistan.  Here’s the site to learn more.  A couple of highlights:

July 6:  I wonder whether the hon. Gentleman might like to reflect on whether US expenditure of $125 billion a year and the presence of nearly 150,000 foreign troops are not likely to undermine local capacity and Afghan society in exactly the ways that he is warning against.  (The hon. Gentleman [MP Stephen Gilbert, LibDem] agreed!)

Here is a wonderfully sober speech delivered by Stewart in Parliament the same day.  A few highlights but please read the entire thing:

I have calculated that I have been in and out of Afghanistan 57 times since 2001, and consistently every general has said, “It’s been a tough situation but we have a new strategic plan requiring new resources, and this year will be the decisive year.” It was said in 2003 by General McNeill; General Barno said in 2004 said that that would be the decisive year; General Abizaid also said 2004 would be the decisive year; 2005 was described by General Richards, now Chief of the Defence Staff, as the crunch year for the Taliban; 2006 was described by General McNeill, returning, as the decisive year; 2007 was described by General McKiernan as the decisive year; at the end of 2008, General Stanley McChrystal said that they were knee-deep into the decisive year, and this was echoed by General Petraeus in 2009; our former Foreign Secretary described 2010 as the decisive year; and 2011 was described by Guido Westerwelle, the German Foreign Minister, as the decisive year.

Stewart argues that the soldiers want to complete the work and believe just a bit more effort will achieve victory.  He also reminds us to support the troops can mean we do not send any more to die or be horribly injured in combat:

I met the same situation last week, talking to Afghanistan veterans. A man sitting in the front row was missing both his legs, and somebody in the audience said, “Are you suggesting that we have made no progress? Have you not acknowledged what we have done in Helmand? Have you not seen that the bazaar is now open? Are you suggesting that people died in vain?” We have to learn to say that no single soldier dies in vain, regardless. The courage, commitment and honour of our soldiers is connected to their unit and their regiment, not to the fantasies of politicians. We must pay them every form of honour and respect, but we do not honour dead soldiers by piling more corpses on top of them.

Try this out for a conclusion:

We are not a nation of crusades or great ideological wars, but a nation characterised by scepticism, pragmatism and deep country knowledge. If we get the withdrawal right, it will not go down in history as a symbol of ignorance or cowardice, but will represent our wisdom and our courage in sticking to the decision. There should be a realisation that our motto should be and must remain, “Passionate moderation”.

Finally enjoy this blog entry on why the House of Lords needs not to be turned into an elected body.

I blogged that Stewart may well be a future PM.  Nothing has changed my position on that.  I admire him very much.

Finally we have Steve Baker and David Nuttall.  Baker is an invited speaker to a conference in Bulgaria with this theme:

The greatest obstacle to rule of law in our time, contends the author of this thought-provoking work, is the problem of overlegislation. In modern democratic societies, legislative bodies are increasingly usurping functions that were and should be exercised by individuals or groups rather than government. The result is an unwieldy surfeit of laws and regulations that by their sheer volume stifle individual freedom.

Here are remarks in Parliament by MP Baker on the IMF.

[T]he IMF was created as part of the Bretton Woods system of currencies. We tend to talk as though our current monetary arrangements were a fixed point and had always been the same, but the present monetary orthodoxy has evolved over the years and centuries. Bretton Woods was constructed after the catastrophe of the second world war; the dollar was redeemable in gold, and all other currencies were pegged to the dollar. The job of the IMF was to stabilise exchange rates by bridging temporary gaps in nations’ balance of payments, but the IMF now seems to serve the purpose of ensuring the repayment of reckless financial institutions.

Above all, at all stages of its history the IMF has existed to bring financial stability, which I believe it has singularly failed to do. Turning to the monetary system and stability, I encourage Members to google a chart that I can make available, which shows the price of oil—[indexed to 1945, about] the origin of Bretton Woods—brought forward to today. It prices oil in dollars and in gold. I do not like to use the G-word, but I feel that since my hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough has mentioned it already, I can continue. The price of oil has been high and volatile since 1971, but only when priced in dollars. If we price oil in gold, the price has been low and stable ever since the end of the second world war.

I simply make the point that our monetary arrangements are not fixed, that the IMF has not brought stability and that in fact many of our most important commodities are far more susceptible to the effects of our present, inflationary monetary arrangements than is generally considered. I would like to finish my point about the IMF with Hayek’s words. He said:

“monetary policy all over the world has followed the advice of the stabilisers. It is high time that their influence, which has already done harm enough, should be overthrown.”

While MP Rory Stewart may well be PM, MP Steve Baker ought to be!  I would like to see him lead a shift of Tory MPs to the UKIP and be its leader.

MP David Nuttall was speaking against a smoking ban in pubs:

Councillor Bartlett was interviewed while he stood outside The Cock Hotel in Stony Stratford’s High Street. He was explaining the reasons behind his proposal, while David Nuttall, MP for Bury North, was arguing for a relaxation of current smoking restrictions and the re-introduction of designated smoking areas within pubs.

He also spoke eloquently to the Bruges Group calling for the UK to confidently leave the EU and all its “regulations and directives” and takes it rightful place among the nations of the world.   Let me add my hearty Here! Here! to that!

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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