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Gerald Warner sums up the position accurately. His facts are impeccable and his suggested course of action correct. I agree with his political point that if this Government is unable or unwilling to remove the UK from the ECHR it is almost certainly doomed at the General Election. These problems have been around since I was Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee in 1987;  but successive Governments have been unwilling to undertake the required change.

The Right Honourable Sir John Wheeler, DL

Channel crossings could finish off the Tories

Gerald Warner’s fantastic article on the immigration emergency was the best I have read on the subject for a long time. 

Rishi should put a James Carville style notice in No 10: “It’s mass immigration, stupid!”

If the boats can’t be stopped and total immigration numbers brought down before the next election, I’m afraid it is all over for the party.

Matthew McDonnell

Food inflation

Food inflation is a major contributor to inflation. This is because we import a huge quantity of food products from abroad. The logistic costs of this are rising rapidly. For a single example, most of the tomatoes we eat come Holland.

Farming productivity is poor. It’s much easier and very much more profitable for farmer landowners to sell or develop business parks or land for housing developments than to grow food.  The acreage of many farms is too small to sustain significant investment in modern technology, equipment and buildings. Successive Governments cosy up to the farming lobby with handouts. But food inflation cannot be contained without change, so where are the policy objectives to bring this about change?
Do we know?

The Right Honourable Sir John Wheeler, DL

Does Sunak have a long-term vision?

Most evenings I usually settle down to reading the Reaction dishes of the day knowing they will be tasty and usually not the traditional establishment fare, but on Halloween, along comes Messrs Anderson and Fox who might be mistaken for dishy Rishi’s Savile Row tailor, fitting him out for that reassuring saviour of nation look.

Bruce Anderson maintains that with Sunak now in charge the Tories are no longer hopeless. He urges his man to remind voters that his and colleagues handling of the big bad pandemic was commendable. I suggest he treads carefully there as, every day, more and more evidence emerges of painfully wrong decision-making over highly damaging lockdowns, unaccountable lawmaking on the hoof, and the rule of fear running riot. As I write this, it has been announced that the pandemic Minister of Health, Hancock, has had the Tory Whip removed as he has decided to go in for “I’m a celebrity, get me out of here” during Parliamentary time. A priceless example of poor judgement by a key Sunak pandemic colleague. Ooops.

Mark Fox declares that Rishi has seventeen days to save Britain, which thankfully is less of a challenge than Flash Gordon having fourteen hours to save the earth, but equally fictional. Apparently if Sunak doesn’t craft a budget in seventeen days time that restores basic economic confidence at home and abroad in the British government, then we are all doomed. Fact is though, the economic asteroids are moving around so fast that no-one but a fresh out of college day trader is going to pin everything on Hunt’s utterances on one day in November. The Establishment’s problems run far too deep for that to be judgement day. To quote Sherelle Jacob’s post-Halloween article, “Perhaps the public is content, for the moment, for the Government merely to manage the slow rotting of our system. They won’t be forever. Sooner or later people are going to start asking what’s Sunak’s long-term vision is for the country? What is the bright new future he plans for Britain beyond austerity 2.0?  Having junked Truss’s tax cuts and investment zones, what is his plan for arresting Britain’s terminal decline? Where is his grand strategy for fixing the NHS, the Achilles’ heel that threatens to bankrupt the country?”. Rishi Sunak is going to need rather more than the Anderson and Fox suit of words to find favour with the taxpayers/ voters.

Stephen Hazell-Smith, Kent

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