THE CITY GRUMP
The dictionary defines a delinquent as someone who “is failing in or neglectful of a duty or obligation”. The conduct of your MP in 2021 almost certainly fits that bill. Why? Because on just about every single important domestic issue, be it Covid, the NHS, energy, inflation or education your MP has done the square root of nothing in holding the Government to account. There are always a few honourable exceptions such as Messrs Swayne and Brady who, despite sounding like an upmarket Savile Row tailoring outfit, have repeatedly asked the government questions they would rather not answer. Indeed my own MP, Tom Tugendhat, does fine work on Foreign Affairs such as rooting out the latest Foreign Office incompetence on the Kabul evacuation but sadly has nothing much to say on the home front.
Do you think I am being unfair to our elected representatives? I’ll leave you to judge on the following:
Omicron comes to Covid town. Yes masks are back, travel bans and hotel quarantining are back and 2-day mandatory testing for UK arrivals. If our MPs could be bothered to stir themselves they would tell us there is no evidence that the masks we are ordered to wear make a difference; that unless every single country in the world bans travel from Southern Africa, Omicron is here to stay and they would be asking why, when there is no evidence that Omicron is a killer, has Boris pressed the panic button? Instead what do the sheep do? They vote 434 to 23 in favour of these puerile measures.
Booster roll out shenanigans. Anyone who has gone through the booster process will tell you that, compared to the jabs one and two rollouts, it is a shambles. Tuesday’s Telegraph headline is “Booster rollout at a standstill” and now the government is so desperate it is bribing our increasingly lazy and wealthy GPs with £30 every time they pop a needle into you. Our MPs know perfectly well why there is booster chaos and it is because the Civil Service “blob” is back in charge now that Kate Bingham has departed the scene. Is your MP demanding answers from the government on this? At a time when Sajid Javid is urging everyone to get their booster is Starmer’s opposition headlining the absurdity of the situation? Of course not.
More taxes to fuel the NHS. Like Audrey 11 in the Little Shop of Horrors, the NHS monster is forever crying “feed me, Seymour” (well, Boris actually) and this government responds with raising taxes to do just that. Quite apart from the efficacy of increasing taxes, how many of our MPs have held the government to account as to precisely from where Javid and the monster are going to recruit all the nurses and doctors needed to feed it? Because right now more are leaving than joining as they suffer from burnout. Much easier for our delinquent MPs to chant mindlessly the mantra “we must protect the NHS, we must protect the NHS”.
COPout26. MPs, together with the rest of the Establishment, have been no slouches when it comes to jumping on the green energy bandwagon. So much easier to virtue signal, isn’t it, than ask awkward questions about, are we going to have enough oil and gas reserves available before we are able to switch to the green nirvana? Clearly, as on Tuesday when gas prices hit an all time high, the question is of paramount importance. Yet all your elected representatives do is mutter about price caps and say nothing about the likes of Shell pulling out of developing the Shetland Cambo oilfeld.
The curse of inflation. If you’ve been shopping this year you will have noticed that prices are rocketing. Why even the Bank of England is on the point of stopping pretending that inflation is transitory with the Deputy Governor, one Ben Broadbent, admitting that the pound in your pocket will depreciate “well above 5%” in 2022. For my (depreciating) money this is by far the Government’s biggest problem now and in the future and is the most likely thing to do Boris in. You would think that MPs’ political antennae, and especially Her Majesty’s Opposition, could spot this and start asking all kinds of apposite questions as to what are the government’s policies for combatting the curse of inflation? But no, your elected representatives slumber on. Mind you, in October the Father of the House, Sir Peter Bottomley, declared that MPs cannot possibly live on £82,000 a year plus expenses and demanded an immediate 22% pay rise. So that’s alright then.
Educational wokery. Up and down the land our universities and schools are indulging in an orgy of wokery. Speakers are being no-platformed, everyone is being offended about everything, schools and halls are being renamed, anyone who had an ancestor connected in any way to slavery is being shamed, Shakespeare’s plays are now accompanied by warnings that we may find some scenes offensive and distressing, and so on and so on. Is your MP fighting back against this tide of nonsense? I don’t think so. Far easier to look the other way and indulge in some more virtue signalling wherever possible.
If you agree with all or most of the above what can you do to wake up your Representative? I suggest a start would be to send him or her this article and demand answers from the Honourable Member, sharpish.
The City Grump has spent some 40 years in the City of London. He started as a stockbroker’s analyst but after some years he decided he was too grumpy to continue with the sell side of things so he moved to the buy side and became a fund manager for the next 20 years, selling his own business in the 1990s. Post the millennium, he found himself in turn chairing a stockbroker, a financial PR company, and an Exchange. He still keeps his hand in, chairing a brace of VCTs and investing personally in startups. The City Grump’s publications are available here.