Welcome to Britain Watch

All the signs are that the governance of Britain is spiralling out of control: record trade and budget deficits; a swollen bureaucracy; an inadequate but costly education system; a government incapable of providing for our future energy needs; record emigration of native Britons, unprecedented levels of immigration; a mind-set putting the non-citizen ahead of the British citizen.

Britain Watch has been set up to highlight key examples of these trends and to promote practical reforms to reverse the incompetence and loss of national self belief they engender. All readers are invited to participate.

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Short News

Don't miss stephenbush.net
Stephen Bush’s personal website, stephenbush.net is now on-line. It contains four main sections, Science and Engineering, Industry and Economics, Politics and Education, People and Places. These contain published letters and papers and show the scope and development of his career and philosophy. Some of the introductory prefaces to subsections are still to be written or completed, but the archive is assembled and accessible. In the People and Places section Stephen is looking forward to receiving news and articles from past colleagues and friends.

Cecil Rhodes

Letter to the Daily Telegraph on Saturday, 20th June 2020

Your admonishment of the Oxford dons agitating against our country’s imperial past and Cecil Rhodes in particular is well deserved. One should ask what specifically is it that  they and the street mobs they are aligned with object to in Rhodes’s life. He was Prime Minister of Cape Colony in the 1890’s and brought in the common electoral roll  well before the Boer War started  in 1899,  declaring that the only criteria for admission to the roll  was income and education. Not many black Africans qualified  at the time it is true, but some did. It was the principle which mattered and the common roll provision was carried into the South Africa Constitution Act of 1909  long after Rhodes had died in 1902 as the Boer War ended. [more »]

Don't miss speech to 2018 UKIP Conference
This speech by Prof Bush was delivered on the 22nd September at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. It is an extract from a forthcoming paper “New Forms of Industrial Organisation: the Leopard Concept”.

Don't Miss Solving the EU-UK Customs Problem
This was a letter from Prof Bush published in the Daily Telegraph on 17th May 2018 called “Solving the EU-UK Customs Problem: Pay Where You Enter”.

EU Effects on the Tory Party
In his respected Times column (Thursday 19th July), Iain Martin suggested that Tory divisions over a so-called hard Brexit – which go back to the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 – will lead to the break up of the Tory party. In fact a proper Brexit, i.e. a free trade agreement like EU-Canada and EU-Korea having the present EU-UK zero tariffs and standards, maintained for say 5-8 years, after which there could be mutually agreed modifications in the light of experience – is the path of sanity and would take the EU issue right out of British politics for ever. Presumably not even the Scot Nats would support EU efforts to exclude British-registered aircraft landing at EU airports. [more »]


Directors must not use companies to advance their own political agendas

Letter to the Daily Telegraph from Prof Stephen Bush on 21st July 2023

The comment on the NatWest/Coutts Bank’s action in closing Nigel Farage’s account for political reasons has rightly focussed on the “free speech” angle, comparable in fact with the de-platforming of speakers in universities by student activists objecting to their visitors’ political views.

The particular political views cited by the Coutts Bank’s internal memorandum as being not in keeping with certain of its own values, notably those relating to so-called ”diversity”, “equality~, “inclusion”, “Brexit”, “net-zero” and “LGBT rights” raise the fundamental question as to what this particular bank’s directors believe its objectives to be.

These are actually set out in its Memorandum of Association under “objectives of the company”. It is unlikely that they could cover the highly political interpretation of the above subjects which the CEOs of both NatWest and Coutts give them, particularly, but not only, in respect of Mr Farage. Company law is quite clear: you are not permitted to use your company’s assets, its employees, or your own paid-for time to pursue political objectives unless allowed by special resolution of the shareholders.

If the directors of a company wish to pursue political objectives, they can of course do so, but at their own expense and in their own time, being careful, as many directors have been in the past, to make clear that in so doing they are not acting on behalf of their company or making their company’s employees conform to their views in any way.