That Henry Porter is a sourfaced old bag, isn’t he?

So, Henry Porter spouts some nonsense about Brexit. I correct him here:

More Brexit Nonsense – Leaving Will Make Food Cheaper, Not More Expensive

I alert him on Twitter. Within an hour:

You are blocked from following @HenryCPorter and viewing @HenryCPorter’s Tweets.

Pompous git or what?

24 thoughts on “That Henry Porter is a sourfaced old bag, isn’t he?”

  1. Your article seems to assume zero food import tariffs and zero domestic agricultural subsidies.

    In that case, the price of food imported from outside the EU will fall by the current tariff, and rise by the depreciation of the pound. That’s roughly flat given depreciation so far, and a price increase assuming (realistically) further depreciation if we actually leave.

    The price of food imported from the EU will rise by the depreciation of the pound.

    The price of food currently produced domestically will rise by the effect of the subsidy, if domestic production continues, or, if imports become cheaper, rise by a lesser amount. My guess is that for most foodstuffs grown here, unsubsidized domestic production can’t possibly compete with subsidized European production. So most domestic production would end – UK farming will be wiped out.

    So Porter is right, the effect of Brexit under your assumptions is that food prices go up.

    However, as a practical matter, the Conservative party is not going to allow most UK farmers to be bankrupted. And nor would UKIP.

  2. Farm subsidies are single area payments. Additions to the rental value of the land, quickly capitalised into land values. Abolishing subsidies would bring down input costs….reducing prices.

  3. BraveFart: The sort of pompous git who although English writes zucchini rather than courgette?

    That might be more of an americanism than a sign of europhilia and a courgette is just a little courge (marrow in Frog).

  4. It is quite amazing to have this euro pound parity bollocks written in Vanity as pointed out by DJ.

    I remember vividly when the pound went to 1.02 in 2008/9 and we were part of the EU then.

    It just highlights the paucity of remainers’s arguments that they have to resort to plain lies and distortions.

    They are probably the same people who were complaining that Germany has benefitted from a lower exchange rate thanks to the euro, but a lower pound is a bad thing (I am a strong currency advocate myself).

  5. TMB

    Yes, I think you’re right given that there is also a labor in his article. He thinks he has to cater to the thick septics who may read his UK magazine.

  6. BraveFart:

    Gosh! You read it? I’m full of admiration. 🙂

    Admittedly I occasionally visit TRUK but that’s only to take one of my oddly-named personae for an ambiguously sycophantic romp.

  7. Is the same Henry Porter who a few years ago used to write quite good sense about ID cards and State Snooping generally?

    If so, he’s clearly getting a bit doolaly, the poor old dear, and ought to be pensioned off

  8. SJW – Euroland is not the only place where agriculture happens. Will trade with African nations be Euro-denominated? Have you taken into account the fact that the £/$ has not depreciated half as much as £/E and that we would be able to decrease the tariffs?

  9. Diogenes: it hasn’t? I’d say they’re both off about 12%. The euro fell against the dollar in reaction to the brexit vote (so the pound fell more against the dollar than the euro) but has recovered since.

    Under the Cotonou agreement, primary agricultural exports to the EU from Africa are tariff free.

  10. Under the Cotonou agreement, primary agricultural exports to the EU from Africa are tariff free.

    And any value-add processing attracts high tariffs. For example:

    Roasted coffee, 7.5%
    Processed cocoa, eg chocolate, 30% (rising to 60% for some refined cocoa products)

    Just another EU boot on the neck of the African farmers. And an opportunity for post-Brexit Britain to offer sensible aid by free trade and still get a good deal for British consumers.

  11. I don’t suppose African farmers would do their own coffee roasting and chocolate making anyway. I agree that it’s an unjust protectionist measure. I don’t know how much difference it makes to chocolate prices.

  12. SJW,
    I don’t suppose African farmers would do their own coffee roasting and chocolate making anyway.

    A bizarre claim that is. Are you filling in for SMFS?

  13. Bloke in Wales: And an opportunity for post-Brexit Britain to offer sensible aid by free trade and still get a good deal for British consumers.

    Absolutely right.

    How misguided can it be for a notionally conservative government to squander 0.7% of GDP on official development assistance targeted at public sector ‘initiatives’ in developing countries when its own political philosophy recognises that wealth is generated by the private sector?

  14. Smfs and sjw would say no doubt that Africans couldn’t roast coffee. Bizarre when you think about it. In SJW’s case, it is probably the need to be part of the euro bureaucracy. The same thing is evident with Simon wren Lewis. Lack of imagination springs to mind. Maybe first world paternalism. Maybe stupidity. Probably the last. They seem to have a Pangloss delusion, this is the best of all possible worlds and Brexit has destroyed it. They never adduce anything other than rigged models with unstated assumptions. And they obviously want to jump into bed with drunky Juncky.

  15. But to answer Diogenes’ point: I didn’t say that Africans can’t roast coffee: I’m sure they can. I said that African farmers would be unlikely to roast their own coffee, in much the same way as English dairy farmers are unlikely to make their own cheese,

  16. SJW: the roasting of coffee doesn’t have to be done by the farmers. It could be done by African branches of multinatinal copmpaies like Nestle, or it could be done by African companies, or farmers co-ops… the point is Africans could add the value.

    And I do recall, before the referendum, discussion of people in Kenya wanting to do exactly this, but beng stopped by the tariff barrier.

    I predict that in the next few years, new brands of coffee will hit our supermarket shelves; or the prices of the existing brands will fall.

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