Debate

TV Debate
31st May 2017 BBC TV debate

I am just about to watch the live TV debate, with six of the party leaders plus the Home Secretary Amber Rudd, standing in for Teresa May. Labour think they have hit gold, because Jeremy Corbyn has lifted his ratings with his broadcasts. On Twitter Labour supporters are gloating, this might be a tad premature, Tony Blair avoided all live TV debates, and still won? In fact he benefited from it, because he sidestepped major policy questions, which could have caused a major upset. 19:30 Wednesday 31st May 2017

20:30
There have been some slight glimmers of enlightenment amongst a mainly bickering seven poor players, strutting and fretting their hour upon the stage, sound and fury signifying little. I admit they have said more than nothing, but not much more.

GE2017 rolls on, the electioneering is now in full swing, and the surprise so far has been Jeremy Corbyn not making a complete hash of things. His gains have mainly been because, Teresa May has not capitalised enough on the Conservative Party’s strengths, and has been relying on the Tory image of wealth creators. Corbyn has not improved Labour’s persona, he has merely tapped into a fantasy idea that somehow endless n be found to fund Government. How it will play out by next Thursday and polling day remains to be seen.

At the moment there is a swing to Labour, it will take some serious effort not to lose the momentum. There have been some large gaffs made by senior Labour front benchers. Dianne Abbot is a regular car crash, and is unable to do simple sums, her only saving grace is that most of the people interviewing her, are equally useless at Maths and Economics so keep to the safe ground.

John McDonnell, Labour Shadow Chancellor, and the person responsible for producing Labour’s spending plans, has no idea about Economics, except that under labour they would have a magic money tree?

Sterling money. pounds
For some reason, money doesn’t actually grow on trees?

This has meant that Labour has been careful about what it says, and has kept to broad brush policies, this is good, because it allows the freedom of generalising, something the Conservatives as the sitting Government doesn’t have.

The Conservatives are stuck with #Brexit, which isn’t as high on peoples list of worries, as many Political pundits figured it would be. Changing policy over care for the elderly, just after the manifesto was published, made the Conservatives look amateur, and tarnished the impression of consistency. Also Teresa May’s status as a potential #Brexit negotiator, is being worn away on a daily basis, nothing serious at any one time, just little knocks and chips, but they are starting to tell in the polls.

The Lib Dems have put themselves at a disadvantage, by aiming their manifesto guns at staying in EU, and suggesting a second referendum on #Brexit, this is a policy out of touch with the majority of voters on the streets. Most people in UK accept the result of a vote, even when they voted the opposite to the result, it’s called Democracy, and the Lib Dems are ignoring this at their peril.

The Lib Dems do have a manifesto built on strong Economic foundations, and will gain quite a lot of votes in the areas where the #Remain vote was strong. It will get those votes, because it has economic policies that make sense, and play to its strengths. Also, because when push comes to shove, the voter in some of these constituencies, will vote tactically. When all said and done, if you voted #Remain, then voting for a party that will at least fight your corner, and looks on paper to be able to handle the economy without nay major disasters built in, is worth a punt against either the Conservatives, who are hell bent on getting us out, or Labour who are hell bent on saying one thing and doing another?

The next week will of course be crucial, the final days of candidates out rallying support on the stump, always is. The main gains and losses will result from what people ~perceive~ to be leadership, gained from following the various media.

Wee Jimmy Krankie and Nicola Sturgeon
Actress Janette Tough on the right in her role as Little Jimmy Krankie, it winds up Nicola Sturgeon leader of the SNP that her image is often shown along side Ms. Tough.

At the current time, Ms. May looks has stumbled, now is the time for any of her opponents to grab the initiative. It is worth noting Nicola Sturgeon the SNP leader was also absent from the TV debate, in her case she had too much to lose by appearing, and although she has one game to play, namely Scottish Independence, she is an astute political animal, her absence was part of playing this game.

Jeremy Corbyn has some decent advisors, whether he is up to taking their advice, we shall see, Tim Farron suffers from a lack of presence, it is not something that is gained in a couple of weeks, in fact some people just don’t have it, but he could gain just by being a little vague on some topics, and not pin himself down.

At the beginning of the campaign, the Conservatives, in the form of PM Teresa may said she thought it unlikely that the outcome would be what the polls were suggesting at the time and that it would be a closer race than many were thinking. She is being proved correct, the Conservatives will romp home to victory, but with only a slightly increased margin. Jeremy Corbyn will hang on as leader because he will not lose by the numbers first predicted, and the Lib Dems will limp in with an increase in MP’s but not the breakthrough it should be.

We now await June 8th for the outcome.

manifestos

MANIFESTOS GE2017

So the Labour and Lib Dems have published their GE2017 manifestos.

Labour have gone for quantity, and covering all base points, however the major flaw the Labour party suffers is, costing, or lack of it. Typically it is unashamedly Socialist, so has no basis in reality. It is high on ideals, and unfortunately the ideals, are basically fantasy that leads to disorder. Anyone doubting this only has to look at events in Venezuela, where there are currently riots. Venezuela has a Socialist constitution, all 350 articles, some of which contradict each other, so average Socialist nonsense. The Labour party in the UK has elected an out and out Socialist, this was done in the belief, and I’m using the word belief in its religious sense, of not based in an Earthly reality, that a truly Socialist party has a real chance of winning a British election. Even the Biased Broadcasting Corporation, hasn’t gone for that one.

There is a ~grass roots~ Socialist movement called Momentum, who backed the extremist MP Jeremy Corbyn, for the party leadership. There is however a joke hidden here, before the election of a new leader, the Labour party had changed the rules for joining, and being able to vote for a leader. The intention of this rule change, was to encourage a younger, fresher membership, but the trouble was, it was numpty Socialists dreamt it up, and naïve half-wit Socialists implemented it, result an own goal.

So let’s put you in this position, you are a Conservative party member or long time Conservative party follower, and suddenly the main opposition party to yours, namely the Labour party, gives you a chance of voting for the worst possible candidate to represent them as leader, are you going to take it, you bet your little cotton socks you are. The changes in the Labour leadership voting rules, allowed anyone who registered as a Labour Member in January 2016, to vote in the next leadership election, the cost £3.92 (about $5.57 at the time) in fact if you were a student you could vote for £1 (or $1.42), and thousands did, all intent on voting the un-electable Jeremy Corbyn as Labour party Leader. The biggest joke is, that the Socialist pressure group Momentum are so stupid, they still they voted @jeremycorbynmp in as leader, well many did, but equally as many Conservative voters did, Jeremy Corbyn is un-electable. Momentum believe the only reason the current polls are not showing Jermy Corbyn higher in the ratings, is the BBC and all the media show their leader in a poor light.

No one needs to show the wretched man in a bad light, he is quite capable of doing that himself. Equally, the Labour policies in the manifesto are based on a magic money tree, the Labour shadow chancellor is so ignorant of Economic basics, he truly believes the fantasy of the rich getting richer as the poor become poorer, which is obviously untrue, because we are all richer than previous generations. A cornerstone of the Labour manifesto is re-nationalising the Railways, Water and other utilities, along with investing more in the NHS, a total oxymoron.

The Pre natilised railways produced the finest example of steam locomotives in the world, this is the Class A4

Steam Locomotive Sir Nigel Gresley A4
Class A4 LNER Sir Nigel Gresley the Locomotive named after its designer

The 1st time the Railways were nationalised, they were starved of funding, because the money was ALWAYS spent on the NHS, John McDonnell, is obviously as ignorant of basic Economic as he is of basic Politics, look after health and education and have a strong military. We’ll gloss over Labour’s spending plans on defence, to save them embarrassment, they boil down to being crap, and would leave UK in a more parlous state than it already is.

Meanwhile the Lib Dems have at least admitted they won’t win the next General Election, that’s a good part of the Manifesto, de-criminalising marijuana, is nearly in the right direction, but it is a faint bleat in what could have been the start of something decent.

After that it is unfortunately either barking up the wrong tree, or simply chasing phantoms that are already dead. Barking up the wrong tree, is subsidising loans for first time home buyers. Nearly, but not quite hitting a bullseye, is ensuring 300,000 homes are built by having local Councils build them. Where does the money come from? Money aside, it is a good point in the Lib Dems manifesto 300,000 homes, is a step in the right direction, and having local Councils build them might just work. But this doesn’t address a fundamental, of getting rid of the Town and Country planning Act 1947, to enable these homes to be built in Towns and Cities. One is left to presume the Lib Dems are going to rape the open Countryside further, by either building new towns. Or just expanding all the Villages and Towns throughout the Country. There are certainly no where near enough brown field sites, to build 50,000 homes, let alone 300,000. This policy would still leave a housing shortage of between 1,500,000 to 2,500,000 houses. Although it is better than no policy at all.

The Lib Dems are also going out on a limb, by suggesting an extra penny on income tax, will be enough to fund its promises, and that people won’t mind, a single penny. It doesn’t work like that, a single penny does raise a lot of money, however, it is counter productive, and this is where the Lib Dems come across as being a bit tired, if not outright lame. There are no major ideas, on how to boost trade post #Brexit, especially outside the EU as well as within. This is due to the Lib Dems absolute faith in EU, a faith that has always resulted in failure.

Another good point badly done is having a multi billion Pound increase in infrastructure spending. This is one of a number of good ideas, which should have more prominence, and the promise of more money. Forget another referendum, look at boosting industry and commerce, a Government can do this by increasing efficiency, and efficiency pays wages. Higher efficiency pays higher wages, so spending on infrastructure projects increases employment, and with it higher wages, this is only a half hearted idea from the Lib Dems, it should be being given a higher profile.

The main plank of the Liberal Democrat GE2017 Manifesto is another vote on leaving the EU, this is a plain embarrassment, we have already voted to leave, we are leaving, suggesting a further vote is un-Democratic, the people have voted, the results are in, we are leaving.

Brexit jubilation
The Democratic Revolution is here. Socialists were given a metaphorical kick in the teeth, when Britain voted #Brexit

Here though we have a failure of the Lib Dems leader Tim Farron, he has missed a trick, big time. Namely admitting we are leaving, but then suggesting better Economic tactics in dealing with EU. Here is the problem, Tim Farron is convinced the majority of British people are aggrieved with the #Brexit result. Well they ain’t. I have had various chats and listened to lots of people, those still aggrieved are so far and few apart as to not worth bothering about. My wife voted #Remain, and her view is, the people voted, we are leaving, let’s get on do it and get the best deal possible when dealing with the duplicitous un-elected EU Eurocrats. She voted #Remain purely on Economic factors, in that we were doing most of our trade within the EU, leaving would be disruptive. She was not impressed when informed by the BBC, that a second referendum was in the Lib Dem Manifesto.

Even I am surprised that the #Brexit vote is proving more beneficial in the short term than I predicted. I didn’t expect any melt down, I did expect exports to increase due to the lower Pound, I didn’t expect that the Stock market would reach new heights, this far down the line.

But the Lib Dem manifesto by saying we should have another vote, is the wrong side of History, and although it will gain some marginal votes, the losses of people who are looking to move on from the Referendum will be a lot greater. The gains will be by the Conservatives, whose Manifesto is released later today.

Negotiations

NEGOTIATIONS

Mannekin pis
All dressed up and doing the same to other Europeans, as they do to Brits, piss on us all.

There are lots of people getting their knickers in a twist over the opening shots, in the negotiations for Brexit, with Brussels meddling in the UK General Election 2017 (GE17).

Theresa May is, quite rightly, being given a hard time, the problem is, most of the brickbats thrown at her, are over her telling Brussels to sod off. Now were this merely that she was making a hash of the handling of the Brexit negotiations, it would be fair comment. The trouble is, the negotiations proper haven’t started, and already Brussels is as leaky as a sieve. Making things worse for EU was the fact, the first leak was via Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (or FAZ) newspaper, which as the name suggests is a rag produced in Frankfurt am Main. The City that, via its bankers, controls the Euro.

The News story in FAZ was about a meeting between Jean-Claude Juncker EU President, and Theresa May UK Prime Minister held at 10 Downing Street.

Juncker climbed the EU greasy pole

Oddly neither of the two participants in this reported exchange, is directly elected to their respective posts. Juncker climbed the EU greasy pole and was voted through EU Parliament, so hadn’t been elected by any system that allowed the citizens of EU to have a say, making his position as President of European Commission, not very Democratic.

The 5 Candidates for Conservative Leadership election. May, Fox, Gove, Crabb, Leadsom courtesy Guardian Newspapers

Theresa May became Prime Minister of UK, was elected into her position, by the Ruling Conservative party. This post became vacant, due to David Cameron standing down, because of the result of the Referendum last year. The position is not directly voted for by the Electorate, it is usually held by the person who can command the largest backing in Westminster, after a General Election has been called. In Theresa May’s case, there had been the Referendum deciding Britain should Exit from EU, Cameron was sure Britain would vote to stay in the Union, he made the wrong call, and Theresa May was then voted in by her fellow Conservative MPs.

There was no Constitutional reason

In my blogs back then I suggested she would go to the Country in October or November last year. My reasoning was simple, Theresa May MP really needed the backing of the Country, to help in her negotiations with Brussels. There was no Constitutional reason she needed an election. As it turned out, she chose not to bother, however in many ways her hand was eventually going to be forced. From a Political point of view it is better to call an election earlier, rather than when she was trapped by events.

This she has done, with the intention of winning the Election and so getting a clear Democratic mandate from the British people, over the Brexit negotiations.

A remarkably sober looking President of the EU Commission.

Which brings us back to the Champagne swilling Jean-Claude Juncker, and the alleged fissure that opened up during meeting with Theresa May in Downing Street. Initially Jean-Claude Juncker had said the talks were friendly and constructive, the usual diplomatic speak, for uneventful but worth having, and none of his negotiating team present, made any suggestions that differed from this.

Then the bombshell from FAZ, that the talks were far from friendly. The meeting was initially seen by all, as part of the humdrum ongoing talks. So when FAZ prints a report that the chat in Downing street didn’t go well, it gets into all the world’s media. But here is a rather curious thing, FAZ didn’t publish the whole account online, only edited highlights of the worst bits, which were likely to negatively effect the £? That sounds a lot like Frankfurt bankers at work, perhaps I should have swapped a w for a b there, because Sterling going down, is good for British Trade, and helps strengthen the balance of payments, having the opposite effect of strengthening Britain’s trade, oops.

Byzantine way EU is set up

What becomes clear from the FAZ article is that Brussels Eurocrats are determined to have reams of detailed rules concerning the UK break with EU,. However UK doesn’t need them, Brussels needs lots of rules laid out in detail, because of the Byzantine way EU is set up.

One of the so called stumbling blocks in these negotiations is about EU Citizens living in Britain, and ensuring their rights are protected, and here is highlighted the gaping chasm between EU Law and English Law. Let’s just pretend it is the day after UK officially splits from EU, there are a few millions Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Baltic States etc living in UK, what is their legal position. Well here is what few on either side of the argument seem to have got their heads around, the legal position of all these foreign nationals hasn’t changed, they have the same status before the break as after the break, their health care cover is the same, they are entitled to the same welfare, they pay the same taxes.

A Looky Looky girl selling her wares in Marbella. Spain has serious economic problems due to the Euro. Unemployment is high and imported from Germany, due to the Euro. Hence why Frankfurt has vested interest in UK doing badly.

The problems start to kick in, only when or if, these Foreign nationals choose to travel abroad and return to UK. Even here it is unclear that they would ~not~ have a right to return to a job. Certainly the Courts would defend any EU National who had gained a job legally, return to that job. It is how English Law works, once it enters the Law Courts, if there is no Law banning something, then it is allowed. Try telling that to Brussels Eurocrats, but hey they are so used to inferior European Laws it would possibly short circuit their brains?

the Labour party can be ignored

Jeremy Corbyn is being less than useless, and the Labour party can be ignored, even though under the UK voting system, they will return as Her Majesty’s Official Opposition.

Tim Farron the Liberal Democrat leader is shooting himself in the foot. His stance has been fairly clear, Lib Dems wanted to #Remain in European Union. That’s fair enough, however, once the people have spoken, trying to get the genie back in the bottle ain’t going to be possible. So Farron should be concentrating on trying to stay friends with Brussels, so that UK gets the best deal in the talks.

Farron is throwing his chances away

Tim Farron isn’t doing this, he is continually siding with Brussels, and then saying we shouldn’t be leaving. Political suicide, especially as Lib Dems have the best chance of regaining lost seats, Farron is throwing his chances away. He needs to change his strategy to one of, let’s get the best deal for UK, by staying friends with Brussels. Friends have a quiet word in someone’s ear, when they cock up, and attempt to pour oil on troubled waters. Often this will mean keeping dialogue with both sides. In Farron’s case, he should be saying that Brussels is being less than satisfactory in its leaking stories to the press. And Theresa May should be attempting to keep the dialogue as open as is possible without disclosing all the cards in their hand. May’s megaphone diplomacy is only palying to the #Brexit camp, not to both sides. Farron probably isn’t up to it, but he should try.

The talks will be complex. This is the continuous cry from Brussels, why? Yes there will be complexities, especially with regards to trade, but they don’t need to be needlessly complex, the devil is in the detail, only where people decide there needs to be exact detail, again look at how English Law works. Parliament sets out a Law, but then the Courts decide much of the detail, and if the Law doesn’t work, it is changed, at a later date, but most Laws are basic outlines, it is then for the Judiciary to battle over the detail. In Europe, the un-elected Eurocrats attempt to work out the detail in advance.

It isn’t how Democracies work, it is a prime reason UK voted Brexit.