The latest gossip at Tory conference is the government is pushing ahead with plans to ban smoking entirely for future generations, with an announcement rumoured for tomorrow in the PM’s main floor speech. Rishi was reported to be considering the move at the end of last month, and now Guido hears he’s made the decision, along with banning disposable vapes. This would be a long-sought triumph for nanny staters.
The rumour did the rounds last night, with a government source admitting it is currently the plan. The policy would see everyone born after a certain year – thought to be 2008 – banned entirely from purchasing cigarettes. So one day a 45-year old will have to linger outside the shop while their 46-year old pal buys a 20-pack inside…
We introduced EuroGuido as a channel focused on European affairs ahead of the referendum in 2015. We had a lot of fun over the years and ran a mainstream media-mocking series of articles with the #DespiteBrexit hashtag, highlighting the media’s– particularly the BBC’s – qualifier for any positive news that happened. At some point, political discussion has to move on from Brexit.
The political salience of EU issues among readers is diminishing and the wider world is looming larger. The Indo-Pacific tilt away from the Old World is well underway. China and India are the coming superpowers with super-sized economies whilst the European Union’s share of world trade is shrinking, and even native national populations are shrinking in absolute terms. Focusing on the Atlantic powers seems narrow. Apart from the conflict in Ukraine, there are tensions over Taiwan and ongoing wars in the Middle East, as well as instability in Africa and economic challenges in South America. There is a lot more going on in the world outside Europe.
So we’ve renamed the Twitter/X account and have updated the branding to reflect our shifting coverage. GlobalGuido will cover trade, politics and economic affairs. So expect to read about election results in Argentina, and everything from crypto-regulation to defence alliances. We’ll do it in the accessible way we have always done; serious issues lightened, perhaps, by looks at the US election – which gets saturation coverage by the UK media from a monocultural perspective. We won’t cover everything because this isn’t the Economist or Foreign Affairs. Often we will report on international policy developments with reference to UK policy. We might, for example, reference the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate moves because they set the monetary agenda for us far more than many think the Bank of England does. We will, as always, aim to do it all in an entertaining way with an underlying bias towards policies which promote freedom and prosperity.
Yesterday Argentina voted a rock-singing libertarian outsider candidate into first place in the race towards the presidential election in October. Libertarian economist Javier Milei won 30.5% of the vote, far higher than pollsters predicted. The conservative opposition trailed with 28% and the ruling Peronists were in third place on 27%. His rock-style rallies appeal to voters angry with 116% inflation and rising poverty.
According to the Economist, Javier Milei is
A self-styled professor of tantric sex and one-time frontman of an obscure rock band, he claims not to have brushed his hair since he was 13, preferring to let “the invisible hand” do the work. His five mastiffs are named after economists, including Murray Rothbard, an anarcho-capitalist, and Milton Friedman, a more conventional one. To “make Argentina a great power again”, he wants to reduce regulations, lower taxes and eliminate the central bank. He dislikes abortion, believing liberty to be unattainable if one cannot first be born. But same-sex marriage should be legal, as should most narcotics.
Milei rails against the “political caste” of the other parties – he says his mission is to “kick Keynesians and collectivists in the ass.” The self-proclaimed anarcho-capitalist wants to abolish the central bank and dollarise the Argentinian economy. His party, La Libertad Avanza, appeals to younger voters tired of the failed politics of the Peronists. “We are coming to defend against the looters of this system, which only benefits the political thieves,” he shouted at the joyful crowd last night as they chanted “freedom, freedom”. Argentina voting Javier Milei for president would be as big a shock for the global technocracy as Brexit.
During the local elections last year, Keir Starmer hailed the Welsh Labour government, under Mark Drakeford, as “incredible”, and an example of how things can be run “differently and better” without a Tory government. Well, checking in with the People’s Soviet of Wales we are currently seeing a classic example of that “better” leadership, as they plan on banning the sale of energy drinks to children on the basis consumption acts as a gateway to “alcohol and tobacco use”. As well as, somehow, school exclusions…
Responding to a question by Tory leader Andrew R.T. Davies about the assessment they’d made about the policy’s affect on personal freedoms, minister Lynne Neagle wrote:
“Our approach to the consultation which was launched on 9 June and runs until 1 September is evidence based. It has been shown that children who drink energy drinks on five or more days per week were most likely to have low psychological, physical, educational and overall wellbeing. In turn, this can cause headaches, sleep problems, increased alcohol and tobacco use, irritability, and school exclusion. We want to protect the health and wellbeing of our population and to take the necessary measures to protect our children and young people
Detailed consideration is given to all Welsh Ministers’ statutory obligations including those under the Human Rights Act. Of course, as the policy is developed, further analysis will undertake including the impact of the policy on the rights of those affected.“
Guido would warn Drakeford of the unintended consequences: for a country that allows 14-year-olds to register to vote, how on earth will they be able to engage with a Drakeford speech without the help of high-sugar, high-caffeine drinks?
Despite Boris reassuring people that Covid restrictions will be lifted by July 19th, local authorities like Croydon Council are still looking to hire Covid Marshalls, who will work on a fixed term contract until 31st March, 2022. Marshalls will be paid over £30,000 to enforce restrictions that supposedly would have been lifted over 8 months earlier…
According to the job listing posted last week, Covid Marshalls will advise people and businesses on how to follow Covid-19 regulations and “stay safe”. Guido wonders what restrictions Covid Marshalls will possibly be enforcing until next spring…
Ecuador on Sunday elected a tax-cutting supporter of free-market policies as president over his socialist opponent, putting the country on a pro-growth path. Strangely Britain’s left, so often keen on romanticising Latin American radicals, are silent about this result. Promising more prosperity, Guillermo Lasso, 65 years old, received over 52% of the vote to defeat Andrés Arauz, a 36-year-old leftist economist and protégé of ex-president Rafael Correa. Tax cuts win votes, who knew?