BY ALEX STORY
A few years ago, our leaders had the good taste of lying to our faces and plotting for failure behind our backs.
They pretended to care. We believed them. And, as such, given the constant failure to deliver on promises, we called them incompetent. Then, the day after the Brexit referendum, the theatre of politics was revealed.
The truth, after years in the wilderness, forced its way back to the forefront of our minds.
Our politicians were not incompetent. Their role as they understood it was to act as cheerleaders for Whitehall policies.
These had little to do with the national interest as understood by the vast majority of our countrymen and women. They had to do with the imposition of pet projects, also known as “progressive” policies, against our wishes and supported by powerful lobbies.
However, their world view only leads to self-destruction. Something which we, Brits, have historically been desperate to avoid. For them national borders don’t exist; patriotism is evil; history, and therefore memory, is irrelevant.
At the bottom of this new order is the poor white working-class boy from Middlesbrough, Wakefield or Dewsbury. His sister counts only a bit more on these theoretical matrices. Unless of course, she is groomed and exploited by unmentionable but thriving gangs. In this case, her plight is simultaneously her fault and ignored by her self-appointed Masters.
These are the collateral damage to the implementation of a borderless, culture-free, grey world, in which the citizen is powerless, because “uneducated”, and the bureaucracy powerful, because enlightened and visionary. We can see this in the way our bureaucrats treat us – across so many topics.
What would have caused a national scandal only a few years ago is now par for the course – not least the cavalier way our central banks have played fast and loose with our currencies while lacking any sense of regret at the financial devastation they wrought.
As such, the Bank of England has been the inflationary engine, destroying the value of people’s savings, living standards and the currency for which they are ostensibly responsible.
A year ago, Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the once esteemed institution, had the temerity of saying in parliament that he felt “helpless in the face of inflation”.
Inflation was 9% when he spoke. It is now 8.5%. Off the recent 12% peak it is true but still extremely high – in particular given that inflation is practically twice the level of the Bank of England’s current base interest rate.
We have been living in an inflationary environment for longer than many experts suppose which is why many across the country have seen their real spending power decline drastically over the years.
Government financial incontinence, increasing public sector pay-roll, along with unconstrained immigration among other things have substantially impoverished the nation on a per capita basis.
At its peak, the Bank of England printed around £900 billion of fresh money, or close to half of the United Kingdom’s entire Gross Domestic Product. The Bank of England is fully responsible for the inflation it stoked.
Rather than deal with problems of their own creation which steered the country from one crisis to another, not least the 2008 financial crash for which we are still paying, our bureaucrats decided to kick the can down the road, print money, enrich asset holders and impoverish the multitudes. The people were then admonished for demanding a pay rise.
The cost-of-living crisis – a term that ought to be banned as it absolves state actors from any responsibility – is a direct consequence of actions taken by our decision makers but, crucially, outside of any democratic oversight.
By voting to leave the economic straight-jacket of the European Union, the people of Great Britain have given themselves the best antidote against our nihilistic civil servants.
A good way of dealing with government financial incontinence is the ability for businesses and individuals to source their preferred goods from different suppliers the world over.
With the recent signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, there is a strong possibility that the costs associated with producing goods will fall as the input prices themselves will be lower.
No better example is that of Malaysian palm oil, which can now be imported tariff free.
The Malaysian government begins an official eight-day visit and trade mission to London and the EU today, led by Deputy Prime Minister and Plantation and Commodities Minister, YB Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
The European Union, intransigent and as unforgiving as ever, fails to recognise the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Certification Scheme (MSPO) as an important contributor in the battle against deforestation, and completely ignores the work Malaysia has done to make its palm oil industry more environmentally sustainable, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030, by placing greater requirement on the palm oil industry.
Oil palm is a source of income for over seven million smallholder famers globally and in Malaysia, smallholder production accounts for 40 per cent of total palm oil plantation areas.
While MSPO shares the same objectives and goals with certification schemes like the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil or RSPO, the MSPO does far more to address the needs of smallholder farmers and the demands placed upon them.
However, the MSPO’s objectives are based on national and regional regulations, standards, licensing, and industry best practice requirements. The MSPO works more closely with state governments to resolve land issues, in particular in relation to smallholders to improve the MSPO traceability system for the whole supply chain.
The bottom line is, in order to increase sustainability, there needs to be greater involvement of every participant in the supply chain, and that means smallholders. The significantly lower costs for MSPO certification have made it more attractive to smallholder farmers that depend on palm oil for their livelihoods, leading to 96% of Malaysia’s palm oil industry now being registered.
If, like the RSPO, it is too expensive to be certified, then cost-sensitive and financially limited smallholder farmers will turn away from any form of certification, depriving them of an opportunity to become more sustainable.
A combination of high-quality Malaysian Palm oil, tariff free and sustainably sourced, along with the inability of our companies to increase the pay of their employees in real terms, could really help the state-sponsored destruction of Sterling.
Failure is government policy. Let trade be our saviour.
Former Olympic rower Alex Story is Head of Business Development at a City broker working with Hedge Funds and other financial institutions. He stood for parliament in 2005, 2010 and 2015. In 2016, he won the right to represent Yorkshire & the Humber in the European Parliament. He didn’t take the seat.