It’s not just cyber security we need to counter.

27 May 2021

by Joe Cox


The growing problem of online scammers creating nightmare stories for an increasing number of victims is worrying.  And it is a sad fact that most people caught out by scammers online rarely get their money back.

Coincidentally  it is still early days for Brexit and although there was a weekly lump sum promised on the side of a red bus for the NHS, our nurses are now feeling disgruntled by the 1% pay award after helping to clean up the mess caused by the pandemic.

The government has its excuses ready and the nation must buckle down, work hard and recoup the cost of the COVID-19 damage to the economy.

What a convenient outcome for the government this is. Conservatives will now have the option to play the COVID card in almost every eventuality where they feel spending on our public services requires cuts.

We can expect

  • below inflation pay awards,
  • a decay of transport infrastructure,
  • welfare payments slowly to be shrunk-with benefit caps already frozen.

We must not be sucked into the belief that spending is looking generous for our emergency services. A decade of cuts prior to the pandemic left the police force desperately understaffed and the only option was to start recruiting before organised crime took up a huge investment for new business within the UK.

So what benefits can we expect, having departed from the EU?

Well the latest talks to secure a trade deal with Australia have just about managed to keep pace with a flatback turtle scratching its way to the top of a tropical sand dune while dragging half of a discarded trawl net wrapped around it.  A good outcome for the UK government is to strike a tariff free trade deal, which would be good news for wine drinkers; potentially 10-12p price drop per bottle of Aussie wine. Tariffs are a way of protecting a country’s home produced goods from foreign trade flooding the markets, which could mean the death of any internal market for home produce. Any deal will help Australia defend the accusation that it has been dumping wine onto the Chinese market.

Australia is so far away, that in general it is not economical to ferry goods from the other side of the world to the UK.  However where the labour costs in any country are close to those of slave wages it is worth importing manufactured goods in bulk. In Australia the cost of living is higher than the UK with the minimum wage being around 10% higher than the UK.  China is still a cheap source for goods with the minimum wage in Beijing still around £2.40 per hour.  

The hope is that Australia will buy some of the cars we still manufacture from our failing car industry. Overall UK global car exports were down 10% last year and the year to date figures on manufacturing were down 29% at December 2020. Some of this downturn was due to Brexit uncertainty; the deal signed off with the EU earlier in the year might help the car industry to regain some of last year’s numbers.  

So last week we have it, a deal has been offered to Australia where the UK is desperate to get it all signed off prior to the G7 summit in June where the UK can try to pump up the Brexit volume.

Boris Johnson has promised any final deal will not disadvantage UK farmers due to the Australian crueller farming methods being allowed to compromise the UK’s higher welfare standards. The intention is to spend a decade and a half removing tariffs and quotas, giving the flatbed turtle enough time to get back down the sand dune having filled a nest full of turtle eggs.

Sickeningly the COVID get out of jail card could be milked for a decade until the penny drops and the Brexit scam becomes exposed for what it really is.