The latest election in the UK promised to bring about a long-overdue end to the Brexit story. Getting out the EU has been a long and winding road for Britain and the multiple delays and setbacks have both infuriated and disappointed the millions of citizens who voted to Leave, by now three times already. Ever since the referendum, all (at least, foreign) eyes have been fixed on the latest Brexit updates, however, there have been other important shifts and changes in the nation, both economic and socio-political, that could have a more meaningful impact going forward.
This is why I reached out to Godfrey Bloom, to get his perspective on these developments and to better understand Britain’s present and future challenges. I find that his refreshingly direct and no-nonsense approach really helps separate the signals from the noise, which can be especially useful for investors. His professional experience is also particularly valuable in this regard. Before entering the world of politics in 2004, he worked in the City of London for forty years and won fixed interest investment prizes. He served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for a decade and became widely known as a vocal opponent of government regulation and centralization. A firm euro-skeptic, Bloom was also heavily involved in the Brexit “Leave” campaign as an independent activist. He is an Associate Member of the Royal College of Defense Studies, holds the Territorial Decoration, Sovereign’s Medal, European Parliamentary Medal and Westminster Armed Forces Parliamentary Medal. He is also an author with seven books to his credit. He is married to one of Europe’s leading equine physiotherapists.
Claudio Grass (CG): It would appear that after the last election in the UK, we’ve finally entered the last chapter of the Brexit saga. Given how committed Boris Johnson is to “get Brexit done”, do you expect it all to be over by January 31, swiftly and uneventfully, or do you foresee any further surprises and political tensions within the country?
Godfrey Bloom: (GB): On the plus side, after one referendum and two general elections, the British electorate has overwhelmingly endorsed Brexit for the third time. However, although the government has been returned on a Brexit platform, the British establishment is still on the Remain side. The House of Lords, the civil service, mainstream media, and the majority of backbenchers are all on the remain camp.
Now, we all know that a trade deal would be easy to reach if there was mutual goodwill, but there isn’t. If it gets to no deal, the government majority could disappear overnight or the lords could block it. Of course, we will leave on January 31. But will it be the Brexit we voted for, or some kind of associate membership?
We will know more in July, and I’m disinclined to make a prediction. I have been right in my assessments for decades, but I am no longer so sure. I have been a Brexiteer for 30 years and I have known only betrayal. I am now too cynical to be objective.
Nevertheless, there is a great feeling of optimism in Britain, with the exception perhaps of some central London postal districts. We haven’t had that in a while, and I sincerely hope it won’t be cut short by another political betrayal.
CG: Ever since the referendum, the political climate in the UK has been getting increasingly polarised. Do you think these frictions and toxic divisions peaked with the overwhelming defeat of Jeremy Corbyn? Will the British society really begin to heal now, as Johnson urged in his victory speech?
GB: There has been much talk of a “divided nation”. This is an oversimpli-fication. The nation is only divided between the establishment and the electorate. The last election proved this in spades.
Public sector employees, academics, mainstream media, the political and bureaucratic establishment are lined up against ordinary working people. Butchers, bakers, mechanics, cab drivers, hairdressers, small businessmen, over 17 million of them, sent a strong and united message and showed where the division lines are really drawn in the nation.
The Times of London, the BBC and others are still campaigning for Remain. Even now, they still can’t accept the will of the electorate. And yet, ordinary folk are less divided than ever before in peacetime. But ordinary people don’t control the levers of power, and they don’t get to write headlines or determine the narrative that’s being promoted.
CG: What is your position on the break-apart scenarios, on Scottish independence and on the Remainer warnings that Brexit will revive the Troubles in Northern Ireland?
GB: Scotland returned 91% nationalist seats. Classically no one admits voting for them! Heard that before? The dilemma is that Scots detest the English, but can’t survive without English money. It was ever thus since 1707. Ironically, the English actually want to get rid of the Scots, but nobody asks them. Westminster has now 48 English-hating socialists from Scotland. Yet they have their own parliament. This position is absurd. Scotland is bankrupt and something will have to give sooner or later.
As for Northern Ireland… Nobody understands Irish politics. The majority in Ulster want to stay in the UK. The IRA tried to bomb their way into a United Ireland and failed, and nobody wants to revisit that scenario. So, common sense will probably prevail. The Irish Republic are terrified of a United Ireland, and they think all Ulstermen are crazy. But they will only tell you that in private.
CG: What about the political and economic outlook post-Brexit? Do you expect a shift towards more decentralisation, less state control and a leaner public service, or do you think the opposite is more likely?
Despite their rhetoric, the modern conservative party is a tax-and-spend, Keynesian, neo-socialist and centralist outfit. The UK national debt has doubled on their watch and their manifesto doubled down on more spending. As usual, the national debt went undiscussed at the general election. The UK tax take is currently the highest in 50 years. It is encompassed in the goal of higher minimum wages and no reform of the ludicrous NHS.
There is some hope however: Dominic Cummings, who is the brains behind this government, is committed to serious reform of the civil service. This alone is worth giving modest hope to all thinking Brits.
Claudio Grass (CG): The pound has had quite the wild ride over the last couple of years, but it would appear that it is finally stabilizing. How do you evaluate the part that the Bank of England has played so far and the impact of its interest rate policy?
Godfrey Bloom (GB): Central banks globally are the problem and not the solution, nor have they ever been. They have facilitated national, corporate and personal debt to an estimated $257 trillion. Money printing and fake interest rates have destroyed international banking, fiat currencies and ultimately pension funds. The system is doomed to collapse. Nothing can be done now in my opinion. We must just watch it play out and see what rises, Phoenix-like, from the ashes.
Regarding the future of the pound, we’ve heard too many histrionic arguments and end-of-days proclamations, all of them politically motivated, with no factual basis. However, the truth of the matter is quite simple, really. Just imagine if you will you are an economics undergraduate, and the following question is in your exam paper: “There exists a protectionist trade cartel called the EU. It is made up of 27 countries most of which use a fiat currency called the euro. One member doesn’t, it uses the pound sterling. It is an ancient currency and it is recognised globally. This member is called Britain. It is the second biggest contributor to the cartel (£14 billion pa), it is a net importer of EU goods to the tune of an 80-20 imbalance in favour of the EU. Britain has decided to leave the cartel, join a global trading platform, and stop paying £14 billion pa. Exports from Britain to the EU are falling, but rising in the rest of the world and Britain will now be free to negotiate international trade deals.
Which currency would you expect to weaken and which to strengthen? Explain your reasoning.”
CG: Speaking of the Bank of England, what do you make of the appointment of Andrew Bailey as its new governor? Do you expect him to change course or continue with the policy direction set by his predecessor, Mr. Carney?
GB: I recently wrote an article on the matter, taking a closer look at his background and professional record, and explaining my serious reservations regarding his appointment. Of course, he might seem a good choice compared to his predecessor, but that really doesn’t say much. Mark Carney did such a profoundly poor job that, next to him, anyone looks good.
On paper, Andrew Bailey ticks all the boxes necessary to gain the establishment’s approval. He has done “alright” in his previous roles, he made no waves and ruffled no feathers. However, it is obvious that he is a creature of the establishment, a card-carrying member of the same club that is directly responsible for the mess we’re in today. As such, he is seriously ill-equipped to deal with what will hit the bank and the nation’s economy on his watch. Having learned nothing from the past decade, he’ll most likely respond to the coming crisis by printing and cutting interest rates to zero.
CG: The government recently announced a 6.2% rise to the minimum wage, which many have celebrated as a step in the right direct direction. Given, however, that this is far above the inflation rate, do you think it will be beneficial to the economy as a whole?
GB: The minimum wage is a system specifically designed to deny employment to unskilled workers. Hence the growth in robots and self-service pay counters. Where these can’t replace people, the business closes or offers a poorer service at a higher price. Restaurants suffer in particular.
Moreover, there is a moral question at the heart of this issue that few seem to acknowledge, let alone be willing to discuss: is it the role of government to set private sector wages in a free society?
CG: Do you see moves like that as part of a larger trend in the country, of increased interventionism and government spending?
GB: The key is to create a low tax regulatory Britain and let the market decide. However, the incoming government had a manifesto of massive public spending, especially in the North of England. They will make the age-old mistake of letting bureaucrats apportion the money. So it will be squandered and wasted.
The initiative will fail, the government will assume they didn’t spend enough money and double up; all to no avail. The State is the problem, not the solution.
CG: What is the single biggest risk going forward for British savers, soon-to-be pensioners and investors and what do you think they can do to protect themselves at this stage?
GB: Private sector pensions are on average 35% underfunded. Stocks and bonds must eventually crash, deposits are not safe, bail-ins will crucify even the ultra-cautious.
Fake low-interest rates have pushed transfer values through the roof on final salary schemes, so it might be wise to get out whilst you can. For those with self-invested schemes, buy gold coins at the Royal Mint, which will have to be held in specie. Take the tax-free sum before they take the option away and again buy British legal tender gold coins. In the UK they have no VAT or capital gains tax.
The same goes for ordinary savers. Don’t buy ETFs. They are only bank promissory notes, and thus worthless when things go wrong and they will. Gold sovereigns are international money. If you take big positions, hold in specie at a private safe deposit company. Do not keep your assets at a bank or state-owned depository. The State is more likely to steal your money than any burglar. The American government has proven as much. Switzerland is the safest bet if you are a big hitter.
CG: On a socio-political level, it would appear that the focus has decisively shifted from the economy to diversity and now to climate change. Many officials have highlighted it as a policy priority, including the outgoing Bank of England governor. The idea that “more should be done” centrally, with policy changes, new regulations and tax money allocations, seems to be gathering steam. Do you agree with this or do you think this might be a slippery slope?
GB: I sat for a few years on the EU Environment committee. It focused my mind on personal research on the facts to hand. I am not a scientist, but I am a research economist by profession, so I am trained in how to read statistics. Funny things like reversion to the mean, the Simpson paradox, statistical provenance and such. I also put on my staff some brilliant young researchers.
It became very clear in a short space of time that the “Apocalyptic Global Warming” (AGW) hypothesis was deeply flawed. Sometimes fraudulently promoted. There is no correlation between Co2 (man-made or natural) and global warming. Quite the reverse. Atmospheric CO2 follows global warming, it does not precede it. I shared a platform with Prof. Ian Plimer, the world’s leading climate scientist whose book blows the hypothesis out of the water.
It took three years for the penny to drop with me that the AGW hypothesis is a neo political faith system to promote a form of global governance which otherwise would be unacceptable to democrats. Note the support and constant promotion by the establishment, mainstream media, international banks, academics, bureaucrats. Why is nobody allowed to raise a protest on BBC or other TV channels? Why have climate skeptics been sidelined or dismissed? Why are children at the forefront of the debate, not scientists? Even when three thousand scientists called AGW a hoax it was not reported. We now see the UN colluding with some of the most crooked institutions on the planet, Goldman Sachs to name but one.
This is all about money and political control. As solar activity decreases and we probably enter a new mini ice age, it will be interesting to see just how long the eco-fascists’ agenda can prevail against thousands dying of hypothermia. They won’t be the first people killed by green policies. They are dying as I write in Australia.
CG: Over the last year, we’ve seen economic uncertainty, geopolitical tensions and massive protests spread around the globe. What’s your outlook for 2020 and what would be your advice for the average citizen and saver in the West?
GB: The seeds have been sown for unrest in 2020 in Europe. Along with a banking crisis which might or might not come about (it could be 2021), there is a major immigration crisis which we dare not speak its name.
Northwestern European countries are committed to welfarism. The State commits to protect the citizen from cradle to grave, with public education, healthcare, social welfare, pensions, housing. This is unsustainable in any event, but with masses of unskilled labor pouring in from deeply alien countries, Sweden could become the template for us all.
Welfare was designed as a safety net for the indigenous population, not a come one come all freebie existence. Britain is taking in 300,000 every year, that is just the ones we know about. The population of a middle-sized town. It is national suicide, and Germany, France, Italy, are all the same, although Britain is considered to be the greatest prize of all.
On top of that, the crazy green agenda is crucifying some major exporting industries. Nobody goes to the barricades with a full stomach, but we can expect more layoffs in the German auto industry, which at present has no political voice. France is already on the brink of another revolution, which is not reported of course. It is assumed there is a D notice on it from the government, certainly there are no pictures on TV, any more than the historical highs of the Antarctic ice caps are shown.
My advice is to stay out of debt as far as possible, keep a gold reserve in a reputable safe depository and to be doubly safe, depending on where you live, muster the means to defend yourself and your family.