We Get A Letter. From A Lord, A Real Lord!


What fun, eh?

Dear Sir,

Today I had the misfortune of reading, on-line, your evidently hard-line ‘Brexiteer’ views and your championing of the supposed wonders of the nowadays increasingly discredited ‘WTO’ in support. Simplistic, and grossly misleading, tripe from start to finish!
Whilst I would not expect otherwise from someone with a stated connection to the flagrantly elitist, ‘neo-con’, banker-worshipping and generally out of touch, bigoted and exceedingly right-wing ‘Adam Smith Institute’ as in your own case, might I just suggest that you take the trouble to read an excellent article from a world-wide and genuinely independent top academic body called ‘The Conversation’ dating from August 2018 and entitled “No deal? Seven reasons why a WTO-only Brexit would be bad for Britain”. It’s only 4 pages, but in spite of that cogent and, indeed, such article makes it abundantly clear that the imposition of tariffs is actually the least of the UK’s problems in that event. Perhaps then you might actually learn a thing or two – for once! And the relevant web-site is: http://theconversation.com in case you’re interested.

Yours faithfully [Lord] (Mark) Henniker MA(Cantab.) LLM(Lon.) FCIArb AMRAeS DipLIWA Solicitor (retired/non-practising)

To which our reply was:

My Lord,

The Conversation is not an academic body. It is a website where academics may publish articles as they please. It is not, for example, peer reviewed. It’s thus about as “top” as a newspaper opinion page but without the intervening layer of editors.

I am aware of those limitations that a reversion to solely WTO terms would imply. I have also, as perhaps you should, read Patrick Minford’s views on just such a trading position. The answer being that we in the UK should simply declare unilateral free trade. As we did in 1846 and we’ll prosper mightily now as we did then. It is possible that I am more informed than you think I am.

As to my bias a little digging – say my Wikipedia entry – would have pointed out that I have worked as a press officer for Ukip, stood as an MEP candidate for the party. Among other things in that job I used to ghost Nigel Farage’s newspaper articles and work on a House of Lords pass for Malcolm Pearson and David Verney. David, of course, having gained sufficient support among his fellow hereditaries to be elected to that House.

Yours etc Tim Worstall

I didn’t mention, as perhaps veins would have popped, that I occasionally work informally with another more recently elected member of that House as well. On, you know, arguments in favour of elitist, banker worshipping, anti-EU and so on policies….

We have an update!

Good heavens – you really have drunk the ‘kool-aid’! And I certainly wouldn’t trust Minford any more than any other of those other ‘expert’ macro-economists who led us sleep-walking into the 2008 crash and the ‘joys’ of austerity – i.e. we all have to bail out the banks apparently ad infinitum, who themselves suffer zero penalty inexcusably, and as a ‘double-whammy’ then have ourselves to suffer dramatically falling public spending to pay for it (when did a bank ever do that for anyone, I ask you?!?) – which ‘event’, by the way, I am personally convinced had far more to do with the ‘Brexit’ result (and Trump) than anything else.

As for 1846, incidentally, by which I presume you mean the Repeal of the Corn Laws etc., i certainly wouldn’t try that on around these parts where vast numbers of people were reduced to penury, not excluding my own family (esp. after the US Civil War), and British agriculture almost ground to a halt for the next 100 years or so (effectively until we joined the Common Market and had the French to fight the hypocritically ever-subsidising Yanks for us since we, as ever, were much too feeble!). And if you genuinely pin your hopes on a US ‘free’ trade ‘deal’ (ha-ha!) then God help you, as you have positively ZERO evidence from history on your side and, on the contrary, everything (including poor old JM Keynes under the Attlee Government) pointing precisely the other way indeed. Even that dyed-in-the-wool transatlanticist Americanophile Max Hastings has only recently admitted he himself has been consistently wrong about that! I only hope that all those lethally unregulated agri-products emanating from the US can somehow find a way of poisoning all of the ardent Brexiteers before the rest of us once they actually arrive on these shores – and ditto once they have ‘successfully’ destroyed our NHS (along with the ever-compliant Tories and Farage/UKIP) indeed. But no, in typical fashion, those hectoring and thoroughly cant-infected Brexiteers like Lord Nigel Lawson (the worst and most destructive and mendacious C of the E ever!) and James Dyson have made quite sure that THEY are secure by getting second nationalities, moving their businesses firmly abroad etc.!!

By the way, I wouldn’t set too much store by “peer-reviewing” these days – especially when it comes to the inevitably massive degree of speculation surrounding ‘Brexit’ even though the likes of the ever glib, self-serving and disingenuous Farage, Minford et al, always try to make everything in the aftermath sound like sure-fire ‘sunny uplands’ regardless! A bit like Hitler reviewing the work of Mussolini or the Adam Smith Institute reviewing that of the Atlantic Council – i.e. totally meaningless at best and wilfully inaccurate, selective, self-promoting and grossly misleading at worst. I myself have been involved in cases (i.e. lawsuits) involving those wholly corrupt, self-serving and inherently conflicted so-called ‘regulatory’ bodies in the US such as the FDA and the FAA – of which the recent crashes of the Super-Max 8 Boeing 737s are only the latest in a long line of seriously deadly examples, I might add – so I have absolutely no doubt whatever that the US would absolutely ‘screw’ the UK in any post-Brexit trade deal and that none of us over here would have any recourse whatever even if the entire UK populus were left dead, crippled, ruined or destitute as a consequence. After all, the US palpably breaches international law just about every day of the week nowadays and (when not actually joining in, e.g. Syria or Yemen) this country under the Tories typically says nothing. But you just ‘dream on’, sunshine!

Given your stated Minford-esque cum Farage-iste ‘credentials’, kindly do NOT bother to reply to this e-mail, please – and I certainly won’t read your reply if you do! ‘Over and out’!! [Incidentally, I have deliberately never put my name forward for the corruptly ‘pass the parcel’ and ‘dead man’s shoes’ game as regards the ‘rump of 92 hereditaries’ in the H of L (where my late father himself sat, mainly on the Cross Benches, for many years prior to the Act of 2000) – a ‘closed’ and in law grossly discriminatory and, since voting is actually a property right, illegally unrecompensed governmental thieving exercise at best and one supposed to have been abolished long since, along with all of those now pointless and themselves self-serving ‘select few’ sitting hereditaries, in any event!]

To which the response was:

” As for 1846, incidentally, by which I presume you mean the Repeal of the Corn Laws etc., i certainly wouldn’t try that on around these parts where vast numbers of people were reduced to penury, not excluding my own family (esp. after the US Civil War),”

Yes, that was the point. So that the workers could have cheap food, not the landlords high rent. But then, you know, we at the ASI are classical liberals, not conservatives.