Thursday, 22 June 2017

Who Is Really Losing And Who is Winning?

One of the saddest things in this very realistic article from The Independent is the number of high quality professionals we're losing in academia and elsewhere. It's politically correct apparently for Remainers  to be known as Remoaners, but it's not politically correct to call Brexiteers stupid, so I won't, but I do hope people wake up to the realities sooner rather than later.

I can understand that a lot of British people, especially in my generation have a problem with immigration. We're told to be proud of our multiculturalism and tolerance and that's a view I subscribe to, but British culture has to be part of multiculturalism and must not be suppressed. Christmas is Christmas not winter festival and so on.

The thing is immigration has been going on for years and years, historic governments welcomed people from Uganda, the West Indies, Hong Kong, India and many other places. Those people brought new and good things to this country, where would we be without our national dish which appears to be curry, not steak and kidney pie.

The current flood of immigrants from places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are on the whole genuine refugees from genuine conflict. Tony Blair and George Bush Junior are in many ways culpable, for what happened there; in Libya David Cameron is also at least partly culpable. People are starving in Yemen and whilst it is the Saudis who bombed and blockaded the ports, we sold them, and continue to sell them bloody weapons.

We should own up to our part and start being part of the solution not part of the problem. Furthermore and in addition to our governments being largely responsible for creating the plight of the boat people in the Mediterranean it is also a European wide problem. These people are landing in Greece and Italy not the UK as a first stop. Indeed David Cameron sent the Royal Navy to pick people out of the sea, good decision, and then dump them on Italy, somewhat less ethical.

Since it's a European wide problem at least in part created by us then turning our backs on Europe now is pretty reprehensible behaviour. If we pay a heavy price whilst Europe prospers then good luck to them. People in this country whinged about Europe for forty years and won one vote, they're the real moaners. Remainers should demonstrate the same sticking power AND a positive attitude not a negative one. I realise my posts are full of doom and gloom right now, but I positively hope we can sort the mess we've created out!

Who is this guy??!!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

No, In Fact People Did Vote To Make Themselves Poorer

Within weeks and in some cases within days of the European referendum Brexit people were crowing about the fact that the economy was booming, which says more about their understanding of time scales than much else.

Mark Carney and The Bank Of England, printed money, flooded the High Street banks with it, cut the almost impossible to cut interest rates further and encouraged lending and borrowing. Entirely unnecessarily in my view, since 52% of the population, buoyed by euphoria would have gone on a spending spree anyway and those who foresaw inflation might well have brought forward some purchases they would have made anyway.

So where are we now? The latest Economic and Construction Market Report shows another decline in construction in May, retail sales are down by 1.2%, inflation is up to 2.9%, there is a hung Parliament scrabbling still, as I write this, to do a deal with one side of the Irish conflict to prop themselves up and Philip Hammond's speech seems at odds with the views of the PM.

Mark Carney has signalled that he's scared to raise interest rates to prop up the currency, because of the high levels of household and personal debt. That despite several of his colleagues voting to raise rates already. The National Debt is vast but people only talk about the deficit because that's less scary. The Labour Party talk about the world's second most indebted country as wealthy and there is a state of crisis in education, prisons, policing, social care and other parts of the NHS.

Meanwhile politicians talk about what they want from Brexit; what they want doesn't matter one iota but what they get certainly does. People, we are told by Chancellor Hammond, did not vote in the referendum to make themselves poorer, but actually they did.

Some voted to make themselves poorer because they didn't believe there would be consequences. Some were so anti European they voted for Brexit knowing damn well they'd be worse off but didn't care. Some like many in Wales started screaming that they didn't want to lose European grants and subsidies the morning after the vote!

The Yanks have started raising interest rates and have signalled that there are more rate rises to come on their side of the pond. The dollar isn't likely to fall in relation to the pound on that basis. Our currency is now undervalued, but not by so very much I suppose because our economy will bomb. Why do I say that? Well, people already in debt and facing inflation with no prospect of wage increases will cut back on their spending.

The Tories brag about thousands of new jobs, but most are low paid, or part time, or zero hours contracts or a combination. With our currency falling in value shares have risen, largely because UK companies paid in dollars get more pounds in effect. The idea of investing is to buy when prices are low and sell when they are high, not that brilliant Chancellor Gordon Brown quite grasped that. Mr Goldfinger.

When the currency is weak, shares are artificially high, risks are high and volatility and political uncertainty reign, then many investors simply don't invest, they wait and see. So, if people aren't spending and people aren't investing and trade with Europe is at risk expect to see the super strong economy we're constantly told we have, despite the enormous and ever rising national debt start to trip and stumble.

Oh yes, people voted to make themselves poorer alright.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

The Best Prime Minister Britain Never Had

Rising inflation, record levels of personal and household debt, no prospect of raising interest rates to protect the pound as a result and now a threat to the City Of London. So the warnings of Cameron and Osborne were a myth were they?

On Channel 4 News a Dutch comedian mourned the loss of Nick Clegg, 'the best Prime Minister Britain never had', she wasn't joking though. I concur.

Mrs May said, when preparing us for the election that the country was coming together, only parliament was not, I wonder if she can see that the country is divided now. Probably not since her disgraceful negotiations with the DUP threaten to divide the Irish too.

The English will no doubt be delighted to send their money across the Irish Sea too.

Macron is far more plausible than May, don't think for a moment that things will be easy.

Malcolm Snook

Sunday, 11 June 2017

The Hypocrisy Goes On And On

I wonder if the penny has yet dropped with many Brexit voters, that a vote for Brexit was a vote for chaos, and we have it now in spades. Worse still we have hypocrisy in spades too. In order to try and cling to power the Tories are trying to cobble together a deal with the DUP, Northern Ireland's homophobic, anti abortion religious zealots.

The DUP we are told are not pushing that agenda, it's money they want, so England can subsidise Northern Ireland to a greater degree than it already does, maybe they'll overtake the Scots for subsidies from English tax payers.

That won't be the end though, no one seems to have a practical solution to the problem of the border with the south once it is a foreign entity outside of a united Europe. I'm no fan of Sinn Fein, but they are not the IRA. I understand why Sinn Fein doesn't take its seats at Westminster, but maybe they now should, maybe people would understand. It would weaken Mrs May and the DUP still further.

Aside from the border issue there's the risk to the Good Friday agreement, which demands, in fact guarantees, impartiality on the part of the Westminster Government, how can they possibly be impartial when the DUP is keeping them in power? Brexit voters may well have started Northern Ireland back on the road to death and destruction.

Hypocrisy is not just apparent in the Tories getting into bed with people who do not share our values, nor is it just a case of breaking the pledge of impartiality in return for peace. Hypocrisy is rampant elsewhere in the party too and no more so than in the case of one Boris Johnson, liar and hypocrite in chief.

It's not right to accuse someone of dishonesty and hypocrisy without backing it up, so a little reminder. Mr Johnson has Turkish heritage and has made television programmes about Turkey. When he used fear of his own people to encourage people to vote for Brexit he knew full well that there was no prospect of Turkey joining the EU, now, or probably for a generation at least. That is cynical hypocrisy, his other lies are perhaps better known, since he tried to distance himself from them the day after the referendum. The idea that the NHS will be better off financially is laughable and what happens if European doctors and nurses leave too?

His dishonesty and hypocrisy were then rewarded by Mrs May with one of the most senior offices of state. Now he is the bookies favourite to be the next Prime Minister. I wonder if a foppish, upper class, liar and hypocrite will ever be the people's choice. Given what happened in the referendum and in the US elections anything could happen.

Isn't it amazing how sensible the French and the Dutch have been compared with us (and the Americans). EU negotiator Sophia in 't Veld was on Andrew Marr today and I was struck by her reasonableness. However, that does not mean that any UK negotiator will get what they want, all we hear is what they want; what matters is what they get and whoever negotiates for the UK they can be sure the EU is better prepared than the chaotic UK.

Things are not looking good, but dishonesty and hypocrisy will never, can never, be the road to salvation.