Mounting frustration with politicians


Last night I presented to a small group of Finance Director’s in the City, not the masters of the universe type, but the guys who keep our insurance broking and reinsurance industry on the straight and narrow.

They wanted me to talk about Brexit, I didn’t want to talk about Brexit , because I knew if I did, I would not say much useful and would divert time from talking about putting pensions right.

But we ended talking about  Brexit v Remain anyway and the room concluded, as Lord Saatchi has concluded, that the public are being presented with two dismal options, neither of which gives rise for hope.

Everyone in the room knew that the economic arguments are with remain, but few were excited about remaining, someone said that they would vote leave if he thought it would result in career-ending damage to the muppets in no’s 10 and 11. Another said he had turned when he was threatened by Osborne’s post Brexit budget, he would not be bullied. A third asked what chance Osborne might have of presenting another budget if we voted out. In short the room was livid.

Punished for not voting remain

It should be remembered that this idea of a referendum was not borne out of popular demand but out of a need within the Conservative party to heal their festering sore over Europe. Clearly it has done no such thing, instead it has shown us that the politicians that govern us are quite out of touch with the mood of the nation.

While they squabble, we try to get on with doing our work but this is increasingly difficult as Brexit, like a cancer, invades everything, including last night’s meeting.

It should be remembered that the overdue reform of our pension taxation system currently sits in the long grass- because of this unwanted debate. While we argue, the country is less productive. This week Angela Meerkat was busy signing Germany up to a whole load of trade agreements with China.

We are fighting a civil war created by politicians , for the benefit of politicians and like all wars, the cost is being picked up by ordinary people.

Ordinary people, who have borne so much of the pain of this recession are now to be punished by our Chancellor with another budget horror show, if they don’t vote the way he wants them to. But they never wanted this vote, it was the Chancellor and his coterie who wanted this referendum.

I may vote remain but it will be with no enthusiasm

The level of political debate over the past months has been so poor that I cannot align myself with either side.

Instead of presenting a positive agenda for remain or leave, we have had nothing but dismal scaremongering. I have no more love now for Westminster than I have for Brussels.

Most people I know feel the same way. My Betfair app. still tells me there is a 64% chance we will stay in. But what injury have we done ourselves if we stay? How will we hold our head up in Europe after this debate. We have made ourselves the political hooligans to rival the perception Europe has of our football fans.

For all the talk of pride in being British, I feel no pride at all in our political debate which I consider shameful.

The people who make Britain great were sitting in the room with me last night. And they were not happy.

Neither am I.



About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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7 Responses to Mounting frustration with politicians

  1. Brian Gannon says:

    I totally agree with everything you have said. A shambles. Osborne Johnson and Gove shown up for what they really are. Cameron doing his best but not passionate enough and not in touch and realising presentation without content is insufficient. Tories playing with our future and arguing like bullies in the playground. I too.will vote remain but feel no great enthusiasm. Am hoping for a remain vote and the permanent removal of Johnson Gove and Osborne from positions of influence.

  2. John Mather says:

    The Conservatives need to cull the failed politicians from their ranks. Former Chancellors and members of an unelected House of Lords lecturing us on Democracy is an example of the farce unfolding before us. As for the out leaders clearly they have mastered faking sincerity in the hope of personal gain

  3. Mark Meldon says:

    Well said, Henry! I have to agree with what you say – when speaking to clients in business that all, to a man and woman, say that they will reluctantly vote “remain”. They all say too that the recent “debate” that has turned into a playground fight between (mainly) fat blokes in suits has turned the who thing into an undignified scrap. If the vote is narrow I feel that there might have to be a General Election (heaven forbid) – be careful what you wish for.

  4. Mike Lacey says:

    The venom with which people argue their case is bizarre. From what I see, most of the really angry comment is from the “exit” camp.
    Problem is, nobody will *ever* change their mind because of another persons post and its all such a waste of electrons.

  5. Chris Greenfield says:

    Meanwhile no decisions have been made and the economy seems to have been put on hold. I wonder how is the opportunity cost?


    Vote Remain – the UK is safer and better-off in the EU

    Michael Gove : “People in this country have had enough of experts”

    If that doesn’t convince you nothing will!

  7. Peter Brown says:

    Could not agree with you more, Henry.
    I too have been attending meetings of FDs of small and medium sized companies in the last week or so. On a straw poll of hands, 82% of those present said they thought a Brexit would harm their business, the remainder either thought it would make no difference or did not know. No one thought a Brexit would improve their business prospects.
    There was also great anger that they are being put in the position that they are having to prepare for a business survival exercise purely because of the prejudices of a handful of politicians and a sensationalist scare campaign by certain newspapers. The repeated comment was we were only having this vote now because the Conservative party believed they were going to loose the election and would never have to implement their referendum promise.
    Unfortunately it does appear some damage has already been done. It appears that of the 30 or so companies represented, employing c5,000 in total, 2 companies had already started a redundancy process affecting 57 employees where the upcoming Referendum was a major contributory factor. One example was a UK company in the IT sector which was trading profitably with 80% of its sales (B2B) outside the UK. The company was taken over by a US Corporation about 2 years ago who had rebranded the UK operation as their EMEA division. The US parent has now decided to close the UK (English) operation entirely, transferring the development activities to the US but transferring the EMEA activities to Ireland (because that was “certain to stay in the EU but also spoke English and had a history of dealing with US technology companies”). They wished the profit centre to stay in the EU to match their customers to minimise issues with transfer pricing, VAT, and potential “Google taxes” targeting US companies.
    Interesting to see how those outside of the UK view the situation!

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