Britain is more or less bankrupt. The national debt is more than two trillion pounds, that is to say more than 100% of GDP. And as every day goes by that debt gets bigger and bigger. And thus the discussions that Tory ministers are having behind closed doors is not whether they will stiff we plebs with tax rises but how they will stiff us. Against that backdrop Boris Johnson has today announced that, at a cost of £4 billion, the UK is to buy extra warships to make it the greatest naval power in Europe. Once again Boris Johnson thinks he walks in the footsteps of Churchill.
This is madness. There is no way that we in Britain face a military threat from the French, Germans or Italians which will require a naval response. So what if we are the biggest naval power in Europe or have the third biggest Navy in Europe? It is irrelevant. Even after this £4 billion splurge, the UK Navy will be nothing compared to that of Russia, China or the USA. So we might achieve the status of winning the Championship but if we play a Premier League side in the Naval Cup we would be thrashed. We know that and they know that. So this is not a “speak softly and carry a big stick” policy; it is a “speak pompously and carry a little stick” policy – one Teddy Roosevelt would have flagged up as pointless but Boris thinks makes sense.
And it, like all of the green promises made by Johnson at the instigation of his partner Princess Nut Nuts, must be paid for. There is talk of a massive increase in Capital Gains Tax. Folks think this will see the rich paying. It will not. The really rich who make the big capital gains have clever accountants and offshore wheezes. It is the middle classes who aren’t rich enough to dodge this who will be hammered.
There are suggestions that as the UK moves to ban us from buying petrol or diesel cars, the Government will penalise those who do not switch to an electric motor with a tax for driving of up to £1 a mile. If you are a Notting Hill conservative in London then you drive rarely. So what if your occasional trip to the weekend home in the Cotswolds costs a bit more? You can afford it. Folks up here in rural Wales or the Grim North and Midlands in so called red wall seats have no choice. We must drive every day to buy food, to take our kids to school, to access basic healthcare.
In France, this sort of regressive green taxation beloved of the liberal metropolitan elites spawned the gilets jaunes movement. Boris, or rather Princess Nut Nuts with her degree in art history and theatre studies from the University of Warwick, have not learned anything from that.
It is hard to know what is more appalling about the Naval plans: their sheer pointlessness or the failure of Boris and Princess Nut Nuts to appreciate how those who leant them a vote last December are about to be stiffed with the cost of schemes that cannot be justified.