Friday, 31 March 2017

The UK Politburo!

Critics have accused me of predicting the future and say it is entirely unpredictable. They are right I do look ahead and I do make assumptions. I try to make them with a modicum of common sense and a reference to human nature and history. Of course I could still be horribly wrong.

Yesterday I blogged that if I were Angela Merkel I would look at increasing German defence spending and that I would revisit the idea of a European Defence Force, given Trump's wandering path over Nato, whatever Mrs May might claim. Last night on Newsnight both things were discussed with the German Defence Minister. I almost felt prescient.

I'm not getting above myself though, I know that anything could happen, chaos reigns right now. By the way Germany's Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, was yet another European politician who appears to be dignified, educated, considered, reasonable and thoughtful, and far superior to most British politicians. I find that interesting and wonder if European politicians have greater respect in their home nations than ours do here. Those I've seen seem to warrant it. Fascinating.

Yesterday's other big news was the so called Great Repeal Bill, which the media still seem to be calling it although Newsnight suggested the title has been downgraded to simply Repeal Bill. Whatever you call it, it's hardly going to be great. Passing EU legislation into UK law, simply to avoid a legal disaster was inevitable. However, the other thing I mentioned yesterday was the lust for control displayed by our unelected leader and her cronies.

The government plans to create powers to 'correct the statute book where necessary', without full parliamentary scrutiny. I've blogged previously about Britain becoming a one party state for the foreseeable future given the disarray in the Labour Party, and frankly they are not the answer anyway. In fact they largely caused the mess we're now in during the Blair Brown Project. Substitute 'Witch' if you feel so inclined.

Anyhow, we're now looking at a one party state AND executive control by a small cabinet, lets call it a Politburo just to be mischievous. The powers have been referred to as Henry VIII powers as they're similar to powers he took upon himself, and what a great monarch he turned out to be! Greedy, destructive, self centred and many more adjectives fit his bill. No wonder David Davis is smiling.

The service sector represents seventy eight percent of British GDP, our fall in manufacturing is spectacular and sad, most developed nations have seen falls but ours is almost certainly the biggest pro rata. Roughly ten percent of our gdp is generated by financial services and for all they've been a pain in the butt in recent years losing them would be worse, so Brexiteers will rejoice to hear about Lloyds of Brussels, JP Morgan buying premises in Dublin, Goldman Sachs looking to move hundreds more jobs abroad and HSBC, UBS and others considering their position too.

Labour and the TUC want all workers and human rights currently enshrined in EU legislation to be protected and some go further, wanting us to adopt anything Europe adopts in future. It's fast becoming a farce. Of course the Tories will tear up anything they don't like as soon as they can, without proper scrutiny and the Daily Mail will rejoice.

When farce turns to tragedy they'll stop blaming Remoaners like me and turn their ire on Johnny Foreigner. Bob Dylan is finally accepting his Nobel Prize For Literature and the times they are a changin'. But not for the better. If you are proud to be liberal at heart and democratic in nature then you can but hope that negotiations drag on and a general election occurs which allows a Liberal Democratic government to be elected and tragedy to turn into Churchill's broad sunlit uplands once more.

Even I wouldn't predict that but when anything can happen, anything can happen.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Simply Calling For Unity Does Not Unity Create

If I was a dyed in the wool, isolationist, anti European Brexit Lemming I'd be pretty happy with our unelected as leader, leader. However, I'm a pro cooperation, pro harmony, pro trade, pro peace, joined up world kind of a guy.

Mrs May, representing fifty two percent of the population, minus those who are having second thoughts, minus those who did not get a vote, either because they're British but not here, or are here paying taxes, working in the NHS, education etc but, oh dear, not British and minus those older Brexit voters who may have died since June, has triggered Article 50 and called for unity.

If I were not too polite I'd say she's pissing in the wind. She says she has started us an a road from which there is no return; been listening to the wrong kind of song lyrics I think, although she might well have said from which there is no recovery.

Mrs May has failed to take Scotland with her, she's failed to take Northern Ireland with her and she talks about a frictionless border in Ireland with no explanation whatsoever as to how that could possibly be achieved without letting, heaven preserve us, Europeans in by the back door of Dublin airport. She has even failed to take Wales with her and they voted to make things worse!

Brexit Lemmings still talk about 'Project Fear' as if they never employed fear of immigrants, fear of Turkey joining the EU or any other fear themselves, hypocrites and liars.

If you saw Mrs May interviewed by Andrew Neil you will doubtless have heard her many references to 'control' with no, commitment whatsoever, not even a commitment to the Tory party's own professed target with regard to immigration. Oh yes, she's all about control though.

Mrs May has used the referendum to further her own political career, without reference to the people whose referendum decision she keeps talking about honouring, but with no right to change their mind of course. Even Brexit Lemming David Davis has said that a democracy which cannot change its mind is not a democracy at all, or words to that effect.

She might have reached the top step but Mrs May now has to manage the ridiculous expectations raised by Boris and Gove et al. Those are as difficult to meet as a frictionless border in Northern Ireland, harmony in England, Wales and Scotland and the certainty business is crying out for.

Calling for unity does not unity bring, compromise and listening would be a first step towards unity. Not mocking people who want to keep their European citizenship as being citizens of nowhere. I was born here in the UK, my grandfathers went to the Western trenches, my father joined the RAF in the second world war and we've all paid taxes and contributed to British society.

However, I've also been a European citizen for over forty years and I value that, which is why I've signed the petition asking Europe to give those of us who don't want to be stripped of our citizenship and our rights, by populist isolationists and Cameron's misfired attempt to unify the Tories, to give us a European passport, as indeed they do for people living in the Turkish section of Cyprus who want one. I want it and many thousands more do too, over three hundred thousand currently. Please Mr Tusk, give us a European passport, well, in effect don't let them take it away from us.

Disgracefully and in the lowest act yet Mrs May has brought European security into the, so called, negotiations even before they begin. In the wake of terrorist attacks in Europe and in the UK, how dare she link security co-operation to article 50?

If I were Mrs Merkel I'd be increasing German defence spending. With a debt approaching one point seven trillion pounds Britain won't be doing that. I'd also be arguing for that European Defence Force since the Donald's commitment to NATO is unlikely to be sincere, and leave Britain out of it. Mrs Merkel is likely to be more pragmatic and reasonable than Mrs May however, just as most of Europe's Foreign Ministers display more dignitas and sincerity than ours. Don't expect Europe to lie down and get stamped on by Mrs May though, she will have her work cut out. Dignitas is not weakness.

So, Mrs May, not my Prime Minister, says there is no going back, but she's wrong. Lemmings casting themselves into the abyss suddenly stop and go back to their normal lives when sufficient numbers have died. Much like humanity after a world war. We can stop this madness.

Hypocritical as any politician has ever been and whilst stating there is no going back Mrs May also said to the House Of Commons 'Perhaps now, more than ever, the world needs the liberal democratic values of Europe.' Well, she got that right and there's one way to get liberal democratic values and that is to support the Lib Dems in droves.

If the 48% alone voted Lib Dem in a general election there would actually be a Lib Dem government, because the others would be divided. Furthermore Europeans resident here and paying taxes can also vote in general and by-elections, which they couldn't in the referendum on racist principles, if principles is appropriate language. Then there's the young, as time goes by older Brexit Lemmings will die of natural causes, fewer of the young pro Europeans will die off. Even as the two years plus divorce proceeds the demographic will be changing.

There is still hope, we must demand a referendum, not a second referendum, but a first referendum on where we want to be once the picture becomes clear. The Labour Party is divided, Conservatives are divided, that's what kicked this lunacy off, even UKIP Lemmings fight amongst themselves. Only the Lib Dems are united on Europe and much else besides. Perhaps the 'negotiations' will need to be extended and we'll actually get an election before the decree absolute.

In so many ways we started this idiocy, from Blair's blind support for Bush leading to the migration crisis which the USA disowns, from Brown's profligate spending leaving us in terrible debt and insecurity, to the June referendum which bolstered Trump and divided us from our true values, from one another and from our friends and allies.

The Dutch hung on to their sanity, lets hope the French do likewise, otherwise Europe may implode, which would not just be bad, but which would be terrible, potentially disastrous actually for the entire world and we, the British would have proudly started it.

Friday, 10 March 2017

I'll Take The Back Door Thanks - It's Safer

Mrs May snuck in the back way at the European summit and well she might. In the first place her Chancellor has lost the plot, not that that stopped her defending him.

Self employed people and small business people need more support not less. When a self employed person is sick, nobody pays them, when a self employed person takes a holiday no one pays them, when a small business fails the owner does not get redundancy or severance pay. When a small business makes a profit it pays tax, when it makes a loss the only tax rebate will be on tax paid in advance, the Revenue doesn't say last year you made money so the tax was a plus figure, this year you made a loss here's some money from us, your tax is now a minus figure.

No, if things go well the small businessperson pays tax and National Insurance, if things go very well, they take on staff and/or apprentices, binding agreements, red tape and work place pensions, commitments which are non reversible. If things go badly, they're on their own.

Sure you can claim benefits once all your savings and assets are down to next to nothing at all, in the meantime if you're a small businessman in trouble, then you're on your own buddy.

Those are the reasons why there should be incentives IF we want people to take the plunge, to try and innovate, invent and become wealth creators. Oh to be an employee again, especially to be an employee of the state with a nice safe fat pension. If you want to keep people down then take away all the benefits, such as they are, of going it alone. That's the Conservative way now and Hammond calls it 'fairness'. If a broken manifesto pledge can ever be called fair.

On the other side we saw a political broadcast from the Shadow Chancellor last night. Looking all doey-eyed like Clement Freud's bloodhound, if anyone else is old enough to remember that. Bleating mournfully into the camera about social care and offering no solution to Gordon Brown's near one point seven trillion pound rising debt. Of course neither Hammond nor Brexit are helping with that either.

For years, when things were not going the way they liked, the anti Europeans whinged and maneuvered until they eventually lied their way, using fear of Turkey, fear of foreigners, promises of an easy divorce and of pots of cash, to a narrow referendum victory.

Now, the sixteen million one hundred and forty thousand plus people who voted for a joined up co-operative arrangement of sensible trade and harmony with our nearest friends and neighbours are told to shut up and buckle down. Well sorry chaps, not going to happen. If a thing's worth campaigning for it's worth campaigning for. I do not want economic chaos and enmity thank you, and you can be sure when things get tough that the Daily Mail and Express will simply fall back on vilifying Johnny Foreigner.

David Davis blithely talks about a 'frictionless border' in Northern Ireland with no how about it. If the land border with the EU is open it's open, to people and goods, if it's closed it's a return to violence and death and terrorism. Barking.

Only one party has consistently supported Europe, remained united and remained in the centre ground. Why voters have to pendulum between one extreme  and the other is beyond me. And now we learn that the Tories almost certainly broke the law to attack and wipe out the LibDems in the West Country, once a sane Liberal stronghold, by spending huge sums over and above what's allowed, by law, to protect the level playing field.

I hope the Crown Prosecution Service takes notice and lets have a fair new election; if you want Mrs May and her take it, or take it approach then you can vote for her and it. I'll be voting Liberal.

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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Budget? What Budget?

Normally I write reams about the budget, but then it wasn't much of a budget was it. The biggest error was the attack on the self employed, the self starters, the entrepreneurs and small business people who are the backbone of this country, this economy.

I don't know what's got into the Tories. I do realise that the national debt code named GBH for Gordon Brown Hit us up is forecast to rise inexorably for as far into the future as anyone dare reasonably predict and frankly the only way I can see of slowing down the disaster, let alone turning things around, is to scrap Trident, scrap Brexit and invest in our economy.

Not only are the Tories biting off their own wrists by attacking the wealth creators who would normally, well, many of them anyway, would normally support the Conservative Party, but they also want both the people and parliament to give Theresa May a carte blanche to do whatever deal she wants with Europe.

It doesn't even play to her negotiating position, she won't be able to make the point that she needs a good deal to get it through parliament. Honestly, the current crop in cabinet are beyond stupid and if you voted for Brexit you voted for this chaos.

Not only that but if you think you've been enduring austerity think again. The Greeks have been enduring real austerity, when our debt reaches the same proportion of gdp as theirs THEN you'll know what austerity is. The debt, forget the deficit, the debt is nearly 1.7 TRILLION pounds, watch it sail through 2 Trillion devalued pounds at this rate. We're already the second most indebted country on the planet.

Kill Trident, kill Brexit and invest in sorting out the economy, it is the economy stupid and fake optimism just doesn't cut it Mr Hammond. #notmyprimeminister #notmychancellor.

If all Remain voters vote Liberal and the others remain split, we could have a liberal, reasonable government, that would be another huge shock, but rather a nice one for once. 

The breaking of manifesto promises and weasel words along the lines we didn't mean it like that, we meant it like this sadly, tragically actually, do not come close to shocking us anymore. The fact that National Insurance isn't ring fenced for the things it's meant to pay for doesn't shock us either and if politicians were honest then it would.

The liars and those who seek to dictate need to be cleared out, a return to honesty and British values would be nice too, before everything that's been built post war gets thrown out with the bathwater.