Theresa May Is Dead Right to Want to Rescind the Fox-Hunting Ban

The real business of hunting is what the staff do – the hard-working, badly paid, highly skilled country folk.

Though I don’t think much of Theresa May’s paternalistic soft-left politics, I do like her no-nonsense style. That Q&A she did for the Sunday Times where she was asked ‘Sherlock or Midsomer Murders?’ — ‘I’ve watched both’ she replied — was hilarious in its Olympian imperviousness to the convention, established by Tony Blair, that prime ministers must kowtow at all times to popular culture and sentiment.

So too was the extraordinarily unevasive answer she gave when asked recently why she was committed to allowing Conservative MPs a free vote on rescinding Tony Blair’s fox-hunting ban. ‘As it happens, personally, I’ve always been in favour of fox hunting,’ she said.

Me too. But when you’re a mainstream politician — not a maverick backbencher like, say, the brave, lovely and wonderful Kate Hoey — you’re not really supposed to say these things. I don’t recall David Cameron ever being so upfront — and unlike his successor, he has actually inhaled to hounds. So full marks to Mrs May for her almost Trumplike forthrightness and unpredictability.

What I wasn’t so sure about, at least initially, were her tactics. I can’t be the only hunting enthusiast who listened to her words and thought: ‘Shh, Theresa! Don’t remind them we’re still here.’ Obviously none of us wanted the ban. Hunting is unquestionably the noblest sport ever invented, the finest thing any human being (or horse or hound — or fox) can do, and without it Britain would be finished. But in the 13 years since the ban was introduced by Blair — largely as a sop to Labour’s insatiable bloodlust for anything scenting of class superiority — we’ve mostly managed to circumvent it in one way or another by ‘hunting within the law’.

That’s the phrase the huntsman always uses in the (carefully videoed) statement before you all set off from the meet. The hounds are following a pre-laid trail, not cute, lovable foxes, and if, heaven forfend, the pack should stray off course and inadvertently find Charlie instead, well of course you can’t avoid the occasional accident. Which is why — belt and braces — quite a few hunts bring an eagle or an owl with them, to exploit the exemption in the law which allows hounds to flush foxes towards birds of prey. You can’t be too careful, can you?

In the days when my family still allowed me to hunt — a ban which, à la Theresa, I am working to rescind — I used to love joining so many people of all ages and from all walks of life (six-year-olds on ponies; old battle-axes on cobs; nurses; farmers; high-court judges) conspiring to very nearly break what we all knew was an unjust and (-happily) mostly unenforceable law. Hunting is the closest thing I’ve ever experienced in later life to the camaraderie, highs and illicit thrills of early 1990s warehouse rave culture.

But the point about hunting which we fairweather followers are inclined to forget amid the adrenalin and sloe-gin merriment is that it’s not about us. We’re just spectators. The real business of hunting is what the staff do: the huntsman, the whipper-in, the kennel and stable staff. These are the incredibly hard-working, woefully poorly paid, tremendously skilled country folk whose job it is to maintain and hunt the hounds, and keep alive traditions and standards going back centuries.

Read the rest at the Spectator.

A Conservative Energy Manifesto for Theresa May. She’ll Ignore It, Obviously…

conservative
Carl Court/WPA Pool/Getty

Suppose you were a Conservative leader hoping to win a stonking majority in your general election campaign, which of these two manifesto propositions do you think would win the most votes?

a) Our energy policy will remain in the clutches of a cabal of vested interests – rent-seeking, crony capitalist shysters; green ideologues with junk-science degrees in Gaia Studies from the University of East Anglia; eco-fascist lobby groups and NGOs; compromised scientists with their snouts in the trough; goose-stepping technocrats; really, really, really dim MPs – ensuring that the landscape continues to be blighted by an ever-greater-proliferation of shimmery solar panels and ginormous bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes.

We remain committed to the Climate Change Act which will cost the UK economy over £300 billion by 2030, costing each household £875 per annum; and also to the Levy Control Framework (LCF) which, combined with carbon taxes, cost the UK £9 billion in 2016 alone. Then we’ll pretend it’s the fault of the greedy energy companies by hammering them with a price cap – thus driving their share prices down (bad luck pensions and investors!), reducing competition and innovation, and signalling that we intend to be a meddling, interventionist government which has no truck with free market principles.

b) We want consumers and businesses to have the cheapest most reliable energy which causes the least damage to wildlife and the environment and which best guarantees Britain’s energy security. To this end we will scrap all market-distorting subsidies, declare a moratorium on renewables – as well as white elephant projects such as the Hinkley Point C Radioactive Money Pit and the even more lunatic proposed Swansea Tidal Lagoon project – and go all-out to exploit Britain’s superabundant shale gas reserves.

We will, furthermore, appoint a Secretary of State for Energy capable of explaining in ways even thick people can understand why it’s all OK, the baby polar bears aren’t going to drown, nor is Lancashire going to vanish into a crevice, nor are Britain’s gardens going to turn into deserts – despite all that toss you heard from the BBC’s resident Old Etonian eco-loon David Shukman on the Radio 4 Today programme this morning.

Well personally I’m going with b).

What we’re going to get with Theresa May’s Continuation Cameron Conservatives, unfortunately, is far likely to be closer to a).

This is a terrible shame for a number of reasons. As a lover of the British countryside, I’m most especially upset about the ongoing Scotlandification of Mid-Wales with more and more ugly wind farms. If ever you needed an argument against devolved government, there’s your case made for you. The troglodytes in the Welsh Assembly who allow this kind of destruction to pass are not fit to run a bath let alone a Principality.

But it’s also sad for political reasons. Prime Minister Theresa May has a once-in-several-generations opportunity successfully and unapologetically to demonstrate – without any credible threat from her excuse for an Opposition – that conservative principles of small government, personal responsibility, and free markets are genuinely the best way of creating a fairer, more prosperous and freer society.

And she’s about to blow it.

Still, here – if Theresa May wants it –  is an Energy Manifesto prepared for her today by the Global Warming Policy Forum.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

We Won Brexit but the Same Dreary Losers Are Still in Charge

There is still much dispute as to precisely what it was that persuaded 17.4 million Britons to vote for Brexit last year. Some may have done it to regain Britain’s sovereignty, some to curb immigration, some because they realised correctly that everyone on the Remain side of the argument from one-hit-wonder gobshite Bob Geldof to that preening renter of overpriced desert islands Richard Branson was a weapons-grade, copper-bottomed tick.

But here’s one thing of which we can be pretty sure: nobody voted Brexit – the biggest public vote in favour of anything in UK history – in order to get more of the same old, same old.

Brexit was, perhaps more than anything, a cri de coeur from the silent majority who had been ignored for too long. It sprung from the same impulse that saw Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency – what political economist (and friend to the Donald) Ted Malloch has argued is a paradigm shift in global politics.

If you had to sum up that impulse in a phrase, it would go something like “Enough of this shit, already.”

Sure we might differ on our preferred solutions, but we’re all agreed what the general problem is. For too long a remote, democratically unaccountable, smug, corrupt, self-serving liberal elite has been making all the rules and all the running, while the rest of us just feel poorer, less fairly treated and more constrained by stupid, politically correct rules, regulations, and taxes in a failing system which wastes lots of our money yet gives us little in return.

The good news is that, against the odds, we won Brexit.

The bad news is that in Britain we’ve still ended up with the same old, same old bunch of tossers at the top.

In the immediate aftermath of the extraordinary palace coup in July last year, where the losing faction of the Conservative party who’d voted Remain somehow managed to slime their way into all the key positions of government – Remainer Theresa May as Prime Minister, Remainer Philip Hammond as Chancellor, Remainer Amber Rudd as Home Secretary – I dashed off a despairing piece called “Brexit won the battle: But now we’ve lost the war.”

Later I wondered whether I’d gone slightly over the top. (Something, as you know, I’m always careful to avoid.) After all, Theresa May seemed to be making all the right noises – “Brexit means Brexit” and so on.

But after yesterday’s budget, I’m disappointed to learn that I was right all along…

Read the rest at Breitbart.

So Why Shouldn’t Older People Live in Large Houses?

THERE is a famous scene in Shakespeare’s King Lear where our elderly tragic hero’s horrid daughters Goneril and Regan are encouraging him to downsize.

Old Persons
The Government has advised our elderly that their houses are too big for them.

Lear, having ruled Britain for many years, has got very used to having a splendid retinue of staff.

But now he has retired and moved out of his castle, Goneril and Regan impertinently insist he really must learn to make do with fewer servants.

“What need you five-and-twenty, ten, or five?” asks Goneril.
“What need one?” asks Regan.

This prompts the moving speech which will be familiar to anyone who has studied the play for GCSE or A-level.

“O reason not the need…” laments the hapless, put-upon Lear.

O reason not the need. Yes, indeed.

These are the words I always think of every time some horrible upstart tic from the Government tries telling our elderly that their houses are too big for them and that it’s about time they downsized to make room for the younger generation.

Read the rest in the Express.

Trump, May and The Return of the Anglosphere Will Make the World a Better Place

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

“If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.”

That was, of course, Winston Churchill, talking about Britain and the US in his 1943 Harvard Speech. As so often, he was spot on.

Never in modern history have the prosperity, security and stability of the world been more assured than when the two greatest nations of the Anglosphere acted in concert. [I recommend Andrew Roberts’s book on this A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900]

We saw off the Kaiser in 1918; Hitler in 1945; the “Evil Empire” of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s.

Now – after the triumphant meeting of Theresa May and Donald Trump – we are back together again in the greatest affirmation of the Special Relationship since the days of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

President Trump gets it. Prime Minister May gets it. The good guys are back in charge and the world is all the better for it.

I’m talking like this partly because it’s so absolutely guaranteed to annoy the hell out of grisly, unpatriotic lefties like Laura Kuenssberg, the bitter-lemon-tonselled BBC News political editor who tried to sour the mood of the May/Trump love-in with a typically chippy, snobby BBC question pouring scorn on President Trump.

She asked:

Mr President, you’ve said before that torture works, you’ve praised Russia, you’ve said you want to ban some Muslims from coming to America, you’ve suggested there should be punishment for abortion.

“For many people in Britain those sound like alarming beliefs. What do you say to our viewers at home who are worried about some of your views and worried about you becoming the leader of the free world?”

If Trump thought this was representative of the way Britain really thinks, the Special Relationship would have died there and then. But he knows Britain well enough to realise that the BBC is not the voice of Britain, only the voice of a remote, unrepresentative metropolitan liberal-left elite which tried to stand in the way of Brexit and which would have much preferred the raddled, left-wing crook Hillary to have won the US presidential election.

In other words, Trump understands that the BBC is the voice of the losing minority not the winning majority.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Remember, Mrs May, You’re Prime Minister Not Tess of the D’Urbervilles

There are those – like me – who think that discussions should be used to enhance the Special Relationship and to help fast-track the bilateral trade deals President Trump is so keen to arrange with Britain.

And then there are those, such as this columnist in the Guardian, who appear to believe that Theresa May should spend the time discussing her vagina.

Not literally her vagina, perhaps. But you know what I mean. What this Guardian hack and Channel 4 news and the usual feminazi suspects and rent-a-gob female MPs generally are arguing for is that Theresa May should waste official business time parading her “gender” and trying to score points off the Donald by showing how heartily she disapproves of his alleged misogyny and sexism and locker-room banter.

For a nasty moment earlier this week it looked like Theresa May was actually going to accede to this ludicrous interpretation of her priorities, which seemed to demand that she should consider herself a woman first and the British Prime Minister only second.

Asked in an interview about President Trump’s “misogynistic and racist remarks,” May replied: “I’ve been clear about those areas where I feel some of the comments he has made were unacceptable. The whole point about [a special relationship] is that we can sit down and be very frank with each other about what we think.”

This was over-interpreted by the Mail to produce the headline: “Cut out your sexist insults, Mr President: Theresa May prepared to use first summit to tackle Trump’s abuse of women… as 2 million march in protest.”

Since then, though, May has given every indication that she intends to take a more mature and sensible approach to the encounter.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

The One Where James Smokes Weed with Dave; Gets Told Off for Talking Like Trump

You’ll especially enjoy the bit at the end where I let slip a Trumpian crudity, get told off by Isabel, and am forced to pay for her lunch as a punishment.

Also, you’ll hear the true story of how she persuaded me to go on the record about my youthful drug indiscretions with David Cameron for her unauthorised biography – co-written with Lord Ashcroft – Call Me Dave.

Basically – spoiler alert – it’s because I’m a fan. When she’s on BBC Question Time Oakeshott is one of the very few panellists you can always rely on to talk straight. This is much, much harder than you think: it requires balls of steel and an indifference to what other people think bordering on the autistic.

Everyone at home always thinks they could do better but when you’re sitting there with the cameras and a (usually) hostile audience in front of you, it’s all too tempting to mouth platitudes that will earn you a round of applause. The technical term for this is “virtue-signalling”. It is, of course, disgusting, insincere and makes for extremely dull viewing – but almost everyone does it, politicians especially. (The only politician who never does it is Nigel Farage: telling it exactly like it is is his brand.)

Another of Oakeshott’s strengths is that she rarely displays any obvious urge to suck up to the Establishment. I shan’t name names but I’ve never failed to be mildly nauseated by the way so many of my journalistic contemporaries have trimmed their sails over the years, according to whichever bunch of shysters happen to be holding the reins of power. It’s understandable, I suppose, for journalists – political ones especially – to want simultaneously to feel part of the Inner Circle and not sound too remote from the prevailing political fashions. But it makes for damn dull journalism; dishonest, compromised journalism too.

Oakeshott doesn’t believe in career safety. It was a tremendous risk, you could argue, for her to team up with David Cameron’s avowed antagonist Lord Ashcroft to write an unauthorised biography at a time when Cameron was still a figure of some significance and expected to crown what was then thought to be a successful Prime Ministerial career by winning the EU Referendum for the Remain camp.

But she clearly prefers to be with the bad boys and the troublemakers, such as Farage’s mate and backer Arron Banks – with whom she recently co-wrote The Bad Boys of Brexit.

Despite Trump, despite Brexit, the liberal elite of the old Establishment is still very powerful – and more than capable of sabotaging the populist revolution that has made 2016 such a good year for most of us in this parish.

I’m still by no means convinced, for example, that the current British government can really be trusted to do the right thing with so many Remainers – including the Prime Minister Theresa May, and the Chancellor Philip Hammond – in the cabinet.

Entrenched Establishments will go to any lengths to protect their privilege as we saw in the immediate aftermath of Brexit when the Remain camp recovered its grip far more quickly than the Leave faction did – as it showed by sticking the knife into the Brexiteers’ main surviving prime ministerial candidate Andrea Leadsom with a ruthlessness I still find gobsmacking.

We discuss this in the podcast – Oakeshott feels as strongly about this one as I do. Yes, you could argue that the Brexiteers brought disaster on themselves as a result of the Blue-on-Blue action when Michael Gove took Boris Johnson and, as a consequence, himself out of the race.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Theresa May’s Government Is Still Lying About Wind Energy

For a brief moment – a very brief moment – it looked as if Britain had finally acquired a Prime Minister with the gumption to take on the troughers and con artists of the renewable industry and restore some common sense to our energy economy.

One of the first things Theresa May did on entering Number 10 was to abolish the – entirely unnecessary – Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC); then she appeared to be considering nixing the overpriced and already outdated Hinkley Point C project; then Communities Secretary Sajid Javid made some very positive noises about fracking. All these offered encouraging auguries of even better things to come.

Sadly, it is not to be.

Theresa May is now showing every sign of being almost as deluded, cowardly, and dishonest as her thoroughly useless predecessor Dave “Husky Hugger” Cameron. One of her senior advisers Nick Timothy is known to be sceptical on green energy – he described the Climate Change Act as a “monstrous act of self harm”.

Consider this report on the levelised costs of UK electricity from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This is the department that absorbed DECC and – in the process, clearly – its army of green zealot civil servants.

If you believe the report, something truly amazing has happened to the bat-chomping, bird-slicing, taxpayer-indulged atrocity that is Britain’s onshore wind industry.

Apparently, it is now producing Britain’s cheapest electricity – cheaper, even than gas power.

image_thumb72

You have to read the small print – as Paul Homewood has done – to realise what a corrupt artefact this is.

The only reason that subsidised, overpriced, environmentally destructive onshore wind works out cheaper is because whichever shyster compiled this faux-economic pile of greenie propaganda has tacked on something called “carbon costs” – and randomly ascribed it a value which suddenly makes cheap, reliable fossil fuel like gas look super expensive.

See for yourself:

image_thumb73

And the dishonesty doesn’t end there. After all, if you’re going to price for externalities like “carbon costs”, then surely it only makes sense to price for countervailing externalities like “avian fauna sliced and diced”, “property values blighted”, “grid destabilised”, “countryside ruined by extra pylons”, “diesel generators kept on standby”, “pensioners dying in fuel poverty” and so on. If those were added, onshore wind energy would look like the environmentally disastrous, economically suicide con trick it actually is.

Remember, this nonsense comes straight from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Theresa May’s Government Is Still Lying About Wind Energy

One of the first things Theresa May did on entering Number 10 was to abolish the – entirely unnecessary – Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC); then she appeared to be considering nixing the overpriced and already outdated Hinkley Point C project; then Communities Secretary Sajid Javid made some very positive noises about fracking. All these offered encouraging auguries of even better things to come.

Sadly, it is not to be.

Theresa May is now showing every sign of being almost as deluded, cowardly, and dishonest as her thoroughly useless predecessor Dave “Husky Hugger” Cameron. One of her senior advisers Nick Timothy is known to be sceptical on green energy – he described the Climate Change Act as a “monstrous act of self harm”.

Consider this report on the levelised costs of UK electricity from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This is the department that absorbed DECC and – in the process, clearly – its army of green zealot civil servants.

If you believe the report, something truly amazing has happened to the bat-chomping, bird-slicing, taxpayer-indulged atrocity that is Britain’s onshore wind industry.

Apparently, it is now producing Britain’s cheapest electricity – cheaper, even than gas power.

image_thumb72

You have to read the small print – as Paul Homewood has done – to realise what a corrupt artefact this is.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Hinkley Point C: Theresa May Has Just Failed Her First Big Test

Apparently not.

As bad decisions go Theresa May’s go-ahead for the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor is right up there with the disastrous PFI deals made in the Tony Blair era. And for the same reasons: where was the cost-benefit analysis, where is the sense of fiscal responsibility, where is the respect or consideration for the taxpayers who’ve been saddled with the bill?

On almost any measure, the Hinkley Point C project is a truly spectacular waste of taxpayers’ money.

The EPR (European Pressurized Reactor) technology for which Britain is paying the French company EDF massively over the odds is already out of date. There are better, more modern alternatives – such as the APR1400 from South Korea – which could be brought on line more quickly and more cheaply.

The electricity it will eventually produce will be the most expensive in the world. Under a deal made by the ludicrous former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey – described as one of the “worst in history” – Britain will be obliged to pay £100 per megawatt hour (in today’s terms – but it’s index-linked, so will be £125 by the 2025 start date) almost three times above the current market rate, for a period of 35 years.

Most of this is pure subsidy: the National Audit Office has calculated that it will add £30 billion to electricity bills over that period – or a total of £1,000 per household.

According to Paul Homewood that’s an underestimate. He believes the project may end up costing Britain a total of £84 billion at current prices – half of which will be in subsidies.

But perhaps the most worrying part is what it tells us about the character of Theresa May and Britain’s future prospects under her administration.

Read the rest at Breitbart.