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    Posted: 27 September 2022 at 9:13am
I'm sure everyone knows that Kwarteng is currently Chancellor of the Exchequer - or at least, he was last night. But who is Kwarteng, and what is his background? Is he some kid from the East End made good, or what?

Well, no. He went to an independent preparatory school, followed by Eton (no surprise there) and then Cambridge. He was obviously able, winning prizes and scholarship - in History. There is no record of his having excelled in mathematics. He also has a PhD in Economic History, though it doesn't look to me as if he has 'learned the lessons of history', as they say.

So - what just happened? Kwarteng refused to refer to his financial statement as a 'Budget', even though he committed to many billions of pounds in spending. By this sleight of hand, he was able to avoid a full debate and careful questioning and scrutiny of his plans. The financial markets don't like such vague uncosted statements, the pond crashed to its lowest level ever against the dollar, and the interest rate which the government will have to pay on money it borrows (to fund support for housing energy costs and to replace income from 45% taxpayers, in part) has risen sharply. This money will have to be paid back by us - the taxpayers - over a very long period.

In addition, since wholesale energy is always priced in dollars (even if it isn't oil - even 'green' energy is costed in dollars) the price for our energy will rise still further.

Kwarteng, who looked cocky last week, doubled down by saying there would be even more tax cuts in November, which caused the pound to slide still further. The only way to fund these will be further cuts to public services, already struggling after years of 'austerity'. But if you earn £1million a year, you get an extra £50,000 to help pay those school fees and private doctors. So, that's OK then.

But who benefits, really? This is from 'Private Eye' of 23 September (too late for the statement, though hints had been 'out there' about its content):

On becoming an MP in 2010, he kept up his financial interests with a £20,000 side number for providing 'political advice' to Odey Asset Management. The same hedge fund, run by fellow Brexiteer Crispin Odey, is an avid short-seller, including of government securities... However resounding the next crash, the sound for friends of Kwasi will still be 'ker-ching'.

(In case you don't know, 'shorting' means in effect to gamble that the value of 'something' will drop rather than rise - in this case, the pound and government bonds. Some investors have - historically - made millions or maybe billions from shorting in the past - economic history - and is pretty well explained in the film 'The Big Short'. You would think that Kwarteng would know what 'shorting' is. Recent events are well explained by this article in 'Fortune':


So, my question is: was Kwarteng just very stupid in what he did? Or did he know very well what would happen - in which case, why did he do it?
“You cannot reason a man out of what he never reasoned himself into.” (Jonathan Swift)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote insidehalf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 9:26am
I think he should change his name from Kwasi Kwarteng to Kamikazee Kwarteng
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 9:37am
Originally posted by aber-fan aber-fan wrote:

I'm sure everyone knows that Kwarteng is currently Chancellor of the Exchequer - or at least, he was last night. But who is Kwarteng, and what is his background? Is he some kid from the East End made good, or what?

Well, no. He went to an independent preparatory school, followed by Eton (no surprise there) and then Cambridge. He was obviously able, winning prizes and scholarship - in History. There is no record of his having excelled in mathematics. He also has a PhD in Economic History, though it doesn't look to me as if he has 'learned the lessons of history', as they say.

So - what just happened? Kwarteng refused to refer to his financial statement as a 'Budget', even though he committed to many billions of pounds in spending. By this sleight of hand, he was able to avoid a full debate and careful questioning and scrutiny of his plans. The financial markets don't like such vague uncosted statements, the pond crashed to its lowest level ever against the dollar, and the interest rate which the government will have to pay on money it borrows (to fund support for housing energy costs and to replace income from 45% taxpayers, in part) has risen sharply. This money will have to be paid back by us - the taxpayers - over a very long period.

In addition, since wholesale energy is always priced in dollars (even if it isn't oil - even 'green' energy is costed in dollars) the price for our energy will rise still further.

Kwarteng, who looked cocky last week, doubled down by saying there would be even more tax cuts in November, which caused the pound to slide still further. The only way to fund these will be further cuts to public services, already struggling after years of 'austerity'. But if you earn £1million a year, you get an extra £50,000 to help pay those school fees and private doctors. So, that's OK then.

But who benefits, really? This is from 'Private Eye' of 23 September (too late for the statement, though hints had been 'out there' about its content):

On becoming an MP in 2010, he kept up his financial interests with a £20,000 side number for providing 'political advice' to Odey Asset Management. The same hedge fund, run by fellow Brexiteer Crispin Odey, is an avid short-seller, including of government securities... However resounding the next crash, the sound for friends of Kwasi will still be 'ker-ching'.

(In case you don't know, 'shorting' means in effect to gamble that the value of 'something' will drop rather than rise - in this case, the pound and government bonds. Some investors have - historically - made millions or maybe billions from shorting in the past - economic history - and is pretty well explained in the film 'The Big Short'. You would think that Kwarteng would know what 'shorting' is. Recent events are well explained by this article in 'Fortune':


So, my question is: was Kwarteng just very stupid in what he did? Or did he know very well what would happen - in which case, why did he do it?

Excellent post Aber. As an expert shall we say in Economic history Mr Kwarteng will know full well what would have happened to the pound & bond rates resulting from his announcements. The trick for any financial journalist will be to prove how much he personally benefitted from the changes. Lets be clear he gave Mr Soros and other speculators plenty of time to make their plans by floating his plans in the press a few days before announcement. Pretty murky stuff from a cabal of very dodgy people who we have the misfortune of calling our cabinet. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 9:56am
Doesn't really matter his background... insofar as we can observe the disproportionately high percentage of old Etonians (or graduates of other elite private schools) who've played a prominent role in Government as being an example of how unfair our society is.

In any case, as I've banged on about: the Conservatives are far too closely merged (it's beyond linked) with business and media for this to be a healthy democracy. They accept large sums of money as political donations to fund their campaigns from very rich businesspeople. Their MPs are often former businesspeople or bankers. Their MPs often have second jobs advising or lobbying for business. I mean how on earth is this fair and not a clear conflict of interest? 

Facing a cost of living crisis for many low and middle-income families, Truss/Kwarteng have decided to give a massive tax payout to the richest. This has been funded by large public borrowing - money that the UK will have to pay back from future generations or risk bankruptcy.

We now see the knock-on effect of a sharp increase in interest rates which will push all those who have mortgages spend up yet further, which of course is going to hit the low and middle-income the hardest. Those of which are fortunate enough to own their properties. 

You can only conclude the motivations are: immediate short-term financial reward (a cash and grab strategy), tanking the economy so the forthcoming Labour government looks bad and paving the way for a future Conservative re-election, purely ideological. Or all three.

These three points should make them now politically toxic, although I do not underestimate the desire for self-harm shown by the English electorate, and I have pointed out that to compensate for the above the Conservative Party are incredibly effective at propaganda and electioneering, more so than Labour, aided by their superior funding and control over the majority of the press.

You can say that Johnson won based on personality etc. and that Truss/Kwarteng did not win a GE, with only a tiny minority of the public having a say in their ascent to power, however, ANYONE who voted for a Conservative MP voted for this party should have been aware of this possibility as many of the leading politicians are from this Britannia Unchained group (Truss and Kwarteng are both co-authors) promoting trickle down economics whilst [beep]ging off British workers, stating: "Once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world."

They have zero interest in supporting any public services, equality, or anything that benefits the low and middle-income earners, who provide the majority of Government funds as well. Judge how the NHS has fared in the last 12 years and how Truss and Kwerteng are doing nothing. Same for Johnson: instead of funds he stood outside and clapped. This is literally the state we ended up in. Longer term, the Conservatives have not managed the economy well at all, raising funds primarily by selling off publically-owned things (since Thatcher) or borrowing heavily. It is a myth that they are the financially stable party and Labour are spend-heavy chancers, sustained by their overlap with business and media.

This is not me being partisan, although people who dislike my opinions may well disagree, it is that the Conservatives fundamentally do not act in the interests of the majority, only a small percentage of the richest. Their political philosophy is that doing so then creates jobs, wealth trickles downs and improves the lives of the rest of us, which can at least be assessed as a theory even if I am sceptical of the success of this approach as it very much sounds like some BS justification to favour the richest to me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 10:16am
Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Doesn't really matter his background... insofar as we can observe the disproportionately high percentage of old Etonians (or graduates of other elite private schools) who've played a prominent role in Government as being an example of how unfair our society is.

In any case, as I've banged on about: the Conservatives are far too closely merged (it's beyond linked) with business and media for this to be a healthy democracy. They accept large sums of money as political donations to fund their campaigns from very rich businesspeople. Their MPs are often former businesspeople or bankers. Their MPs often have second jobs advising or lobbying for business. I mean how on earth is this fair and not a clear conflict of interest? 

Facing a cost of living crisis for many low and middle-income families, Truss/Kwarteng have decided to give a massive tax payout to the richest. This has been funded by large public borrowing - money that the UK will have to pay back from future generations or risk bankruptcy.

We now see the knock-on effect of a sharp increase in interest rates which will push all those who have mortgages spend up yet further, which of course is going to hit the low and middle-income the hardest. Those of which are fortunate enough to own their properties. 

You can only conclude the motivations are: immediate short-term financial reward (a cash and grab strategy), tanking the economy so the forthcoming Labour government looks bad and paving the way for a future Conservative re-election, purely ideological. Or all three.

These three points should make them now politically toxic, although I do not underestimate the desire for self-harm shown by the English electorate, and I have pointed out that to compensate for the above the Conservative Party are incredibly effective at propaganda and electioneering, more so than Labour, aided by their superior funding and control over the majority of the press.

You can say that Johnson won based on personality etc. and that Truss/Kwarteng did not win a GE, with only a tiny minority of the public having a say in their ascent to power, however, ANYONE who voted for a Conservative MP voted for this party should have been aware of this possibility as many of the leading politicians are from this Britannia Unchained group (Truss and Kwarteng are both co-authors) promoting trickle down economics whilst [beep]ging off British workers, stating: "Once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world."

They have zero interest in supporting any public services, equality, or anything that benefits the low and middle-income earners, who provide the majority of Government funds as well. Judge how the NHS has fared in the last 12 years and how Truss and Kwerteng are doing nothing. Same for Johnson: instead of funds he stood outside and clapped. This is literally the state we ended up in. Longer term, the Conservatives have not managed the economy well at all, raising funds primarily by selling off publically-owned things (since Thatcher) or borrowing heavily. It is a myth that they are the financially stable party and Labour are spend-heavy chancers, sustained by their overlap with business and media.

This is not me being partisan, although people who dislike my opinions may well disagree, it is that the Conservatives fundamentally do not act in the interests of the majority, only a small percentage of the richest. Their political philosophy is that doing so then creates jobs, wealth trickles downs and improves the lives of the rest of us, which can at least be assessed as a theory even if I am sceptical of the success of this approach as it very much sounds like some BS justification to favour the richest to me.

Trickle down economics is total bullpoo. Growing an economy is indeed one way of increasing government revenues but borrowing at rates vastly inflated by your own insane policies will eat up any benefits of a growing economy. Removing caps from bankers bonuses instead of putting demarcation limits on the amount a CEO can earn in relation to the lowest paid in the organisation is a perfect example, in a nutshell, of what is important to this government. The timing could not have been better for Starmer - now he has in his speech today the best opportunity he will ever have of showing the electorate that he has the policies to really level up the wealth in this country.

If Labour do not take this golden opportunity presented to them by an incompetent liar followed by a Thatcher lookalike then they will be wandering around in political obscurity for decades to come. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aber-fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 10:35am
I agree with both of you that the 'trickle-down' theory simply doesn't work as a way to get the economy moving... what are these super-rich going to spend the extra cash on, anyway? Luxury cars or yachts? There's only so many of those you can sell. If, on the other hand, your lower or average earners get more money, they can not only spend on the essentials but treat themselves to a few extras - meals out, a trip, haircut, house improvement, whatever... having a much larger effect on the economy at large.

GPR - Truss may fancy herself as a 'Thatcher lookalike', but she certainly isn't a 'Thatcher do-alike' -  I didn't agree with Thatcher's policies at all - her governments also led to a large increase in inequality -  but she was not keen on the national debt and kept that under control, unlike Truss. (I may not have approved of how and why she did this, but I'm pretty sure that comment reflects her attitude to borrowing.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oracle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 11:30am
I think with promotional representation we hopefully will never see a Conservative/ fascist goverment like this again ....one of the first hurdles that have to be addressed is the press and the ownership of the powerful media outlets ...New laws need to be brought in to ensure the facts are printed not fantasy fascism and for the sake of the young we need to rejoint the European market as we need to have a trade deal to kick start the economy otherwise they will have a life of poor wages / high interest rates 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RR1972 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 11:40am
Censoring the press is a no go for me, pr is a good idea though
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oracle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 12:01pm
I don't mean censoring the press , just ensuring that the truth is reported ...I think there used to be a self governed rule for the press, but unfortunately under this government all rules have been burned on the bonfire of standards.
The express , mail and sun are 3 examples where they post lies on front page , get caught and publish a retraction on page 14 ...2 weeks later ...the mindset has been set , job done .....fior example the mini budget is killing the economy,  and all of the edge funding insider trading ....nothing said in the 3 papers shown ....but 12 pages about labour eating a curry when on the hustings ....hidden agendas,  by unknown people brain washing the ordinary person 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 12:12pm
Make political coverage in the 6 months prior to an election illegal on all forms of media.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 12:16pm
Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Make political coverage in the 6 months prior to an election illegal on all forms of media.

A complete media black out? Interesting, although unsure how you would enforce and may also lead to an extremely low voter turn out. I know I criticise them but the media is important to hold politicians to account. So not quite sure on that.

Cap party donations, get rid of House of Lords and FPTF. None of these are democratic in my view.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 12:22pm
Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Make political coverage in the 6 months prior to an election illegal on all forms of media.

A complete media black out? Interesting, although unsure how you would enforce and may also lead to an extremely low voter turn out. I know I criticise them but the media is important to hold politicians to account. So not quite sure on that.

Cap party donations, get rid of House of Lords and FPTF. None of these are democratic in my view.

Agree with you on all 3 of those but we still need to reduce the influence of the media. As for turn out if someone does not realise that we are having an election when they get their voting slips through the post then maybe they don't deserve a vote/say. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 12:25pm
Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Make political coverage in the 6 months prior to an election illegal on all forms of media.

A complete media black out? Interesting, although unsure how you would enforce and may also lead to an extremely low voter turn out. I know I criticise them but the media is important to hold politicians to account. So not quite sure on that.

Cap party donations, get rid of House of Lords and FPTF. None of these are democratic in my view.

Agree with you on all 3 of those but we still need to reduce the influence of the media. As for turn out if someone does not realise that we are having an election when they get their voting slips through the post then maybe they don't deserve a vote/say. 

You can make voting compulsory as well, as they do in Australia. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Oracle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 12:31pm
Its interesting that 5 guys who control the uk media are all based abroad , never paying tax to our system but still brain washing the masses , whilst getting them to vote for policies that will harm them
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 12:36pm
He's so Kwasi.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ladram Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 September 2022 at 1:04pm
Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Make political coverage in the 6 months prior to an election illegal on all forms of media.

A complete media black out? Interesting, although unsure how you would enforce and may also lead to an extremely low voter turn out. I know I criticise them but the media is important to hold politicians to account. So not quite sure on that.

Cap party donations, get rid of House of Lords and FPTF. None of these are democratic in my view.

Agree with you on all 3 of those but we still need to reduce the influence of the media. As for turn out if someone does not realise that we are having an election when they get their voting slips through the post then maybe they don't deserve a vote/say. 

You can make voting compulsory as well, as they do in Australia. 
That would be interesting doc ,Lord sutch may have got in had that been in place LOL
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