Credit for the current issue of New Scientist for the following;
“Some of the losses on the UK side are already beginning to manifest: several businesses are relocating their activities, anticipating that the negotiations will break down completely and result in a no-deal Brexit. In short, the damages of Brexit are already becoming a reality, at a time when neither of the players in the game seems to be prepared to give any ground in the negotiations – and indeed at a time when both parties claim to be advancing no-deal planning. So why did the UK government and the EU agree yesterday to fresh talks later this month? The answer could lie in both parties’ desire not to take the blame for what appear likely to be formidable economic losses. As things stand, history will probably record Brexit as a mutually damaging divorce between the UK and EU. But we don’t yet know who will take most (or all) of the blame.
In game theoretic terms, the two players are engaged in a war of attrition (or a dynamic game of chicken) where both flex their muscles attempting to convince their opponent to give in first, while both sustain short-term costs as long as the issue remains unresolved.”
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 8th February 2019
I have to admit that while my original objections (corruption at the centre and the weight of prescriptive regulations) were valid and still stand, my hope was that everyone would get pulled up to think about it and find another solution. There was then, and is so now, as far as I can see, a choice between two options. Firstly, Brexit. Everyone here is ashamed of the UK government’s shambolic infighting. Similarly at fault is the centre of the EU itself. This idea of “make it difficult for the UK because we don’t want anyone else to leave” seriously implies that Brussels realises that there is something wrong and instead of getting everyone (ALL EU Members) round a table and see if a better way forward can be found, they sit and complain that it is all the UK’s fault.As far as I can see, there is little hope of Brussels exercising some common sense, taking the initiative and inviting the UK to discuss with all the Members how we can all produce a better EU framework. If we, all the EU, do not do that, the entire world order will be different with a less safe global environment and weakened western-economies. this is a really sad situation.
Bill Butteworth, Land Research, 13 July 18
I share your sadness.
Bentonite is often used in the drilling fluid used in drilling for shale gas, Bentonite is a pure natural clay. you can eat it, it is not toxic (but it will may you constipated).
Land Research Ltd, 27 June 18
Will there be a better tomorrow?Only if we can very urgently cut out a big slice of un-productive costs.
Some years ago, I was working for TACIS (the technology transfer arm of the EU) in Tajikistan. The economy had collapsed and my team’s job was to assist in reviving it. I remember some of the characteristics of that failed economy and draw some ominous comparisons with the UK now. We have increasing crime but have police stations closing on a wide scale. We have a growing population but not enough nurses and are closing wards in hospitals. We have poor productivity and yet we have a growing civil service. Yet we pay more taxes, or some of us do. There was a warning recently from one of the think tanks that the national debt would reach £3 trillion. That will be around £100 million pa interest, maybe more. I remember the historian, Jane Marshal, observing;
“It is in the history of the world that whenever an empire collapses and for whatever reason, those left in government in the centre pass more and more regulations (or whatever they call them at the time) in the belief that they can stop the decline. What always happens is that they stifle innovation and inhibit entrepreneurial activity and accelerate the rate of decline. That is what is happening here (the UK) and now.”
We really do need to urgently axe some layers of government, otherwise the whole lot will go.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 13 June 18
Once we have built on land, it can never again be farmed to produce food.
As I drive around the country, the rash of “toy town” building estates continues to eat up farmland much as the red blotches of measles cover a child’s body. Apparently, the “build more houses” policy will solve all the country’s economic problems. I remember Stephen Nortcliff saying at a meeting of the BSSS (British Society of Soil Science) “when land is built on, we can never have it back for farming.”
In round figures, there was a net immigration into the UK last year of over 500,000 and we built a little over 100,000 houses. On top of that there appears to be a growing policy as part of Brexit that we trade exports of manufactured goods and services for imports of food and turn the countryside into a play area for urban people. We do this as a short term politically correct expedient and our long term peril. Write to your MP about it.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 22 April 18
The Environment Secretary has repeatedly signally lately that support for farming will progressively shift from production support to environmental protection. As we already import more than half of what we eat, that presumably means that the post-Brexit trade deals we hear so much of lately will sacrifice UK agricultural production to imports, in exchange for exports of cars, armaments, fashion, university places and computer programming. That, in turn, implies a change in land values as production will be less economic and cash for the environment will be squeezed in favour of university tuition fees (or whatever is PC at the time). That implied fall in land values will then allow the builders to buy up land and build houses. Obviously an environmental improvement which will allow otters, beavers and bitterns to occupy urban gardens.
I remain unconvinced that government is thinking anything through.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 1st April 18