POLITICS CORNER

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 24 Feb 2018, 10:10

In another part of the forest, today is elect a Pendle CLP Parliamentary candidate day. PPC selection today at Colne Municipal Hall. Hustings with questions for the candidates from the floor followed by STV ballot. Postal voters have already made their choice. The count will follow later in the afternoon and declared. Next week our next General Committee meeting will feature meet your candidate.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 24 Feb 2018, 11:01

Later.... see LINK for Donald Tusk's first reaction to what he can gather about the Chequers talks. It looks as though my suspicion when I heard they had 'agreed' a position was correct. It seemed to me that it must be a fudge and that is evidently what Mr Tusk has gathered as well. Oh dear.......
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 25 Feb 2018, 08:20

THIS is worth a read, a good piece of objective reporting on the subject of Jeremy Corbyn 'the spy'.
I quite enjoyed THIS. A report of Ben Bradley, the Tory MP who fired all this up having to make a complete reverse ferret, apologise, pay costs and generally cover himself with ordure. Nice! But don't think this will end the witch hunt. The Tories have to keep attacking the man they see as there most effective enemy. They are frightened of him and what he stands for as it is diametrically opposed to their policies. Their fear may be justified, let's wait and see.
Meanwhile T May has a bit of a problem. She either bows to the inevitable and takes notice of what the EU position is or she panders to the rebels, she can't do both. If she takes the former course the Brexiteers will bring the Tory house down..... We live in interesting times.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 25 Feb 2018, 10:04

Pendle Constituency Labour Party hustings yesterday. Azhar Ali was elected as our candidate for the next parliamentary election. I am glad I went to the hustings, I had pretty good idea of who I was going to vote for before attending but the presentations on the day and the rigours of the 20 minutes of questions for each candidate changed my mind. In my view there was a clear divide of knowledge of the diverse subjects offered by the questions and the way that they were handled and answered. A very confident delivery from Azhar with broad knowledge of local issues from his roles on Parish, Borough and County Councils, and finger firmly on the pulse with national issues as well. I got the feeling from the meeting and chatting with comrades afterwards that quite a few others had come with preconceived ideas but then changed their minds when reality was presented.
I have known Azhar for quite some time as he became active in the party not long after when Sally was a councillor. He's an experienced campaigner and will do for me.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 26 Feb 2018, 04:02

In that case he will do for me as well Ian, I trust your judgement and you are at the heart of things.
T May and her 'friends' are in for a difficult week..... I have absolutely no sympathy for them.
See THIS BBC report on the impending Corbyn speech. It looks as though Labour have decided to get off the fence and come clean. Good! From what I can understand their official stance is as good a negotiation as we can hope for and one that will alleviate most of the chief problems.
Liam Fox our Minister for Overseas Trade gets bullish about Brexit, I suspect we'll see more of this now. I still suspect PE knows something about his friend Mr Werrity, they keep slipping in little asides....
Good piece in PE this week about the mess that Grayling's outsourcing when he was in charge of Justice instigated particularly the Probation Service. Will Gauke do anything about it or continue to bail the private sector out?
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 26 Feb 2018, 09:01

Came across this quote in Alan Clark's book 'The Tories' some of comments are rather scathing.
House of Commons speech by Aneuran Bevan directed at Chamberlain.
"The more blunders he makes, the more necessity there is for unity and for no criticism to be heard. The bigger the catastrophe of which he is the architect, the safer he is."
This is exactly the same position Mrs May is in. The worse the Brexit situation gets then the less chance that anyone would dream of taking her job.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 27 Feb 2018, 04:49

You're right of course P and god alone knows what is going to happen this week. The Tories will be desperately trying to keep the lid on the pot but Corbyn's contribution yesterday, while not perfect, must have rung bells with moderate politicians of all parties. Is there a glimmer of hope that some element of cross-party consultation might emerge? The present position is so obviously wrong and it's only the self interest of bad politicians that is holding the creaking structure together. A complete mess, no wonder we are confusing our many friends in Europe..... It's no exaggeration to say that it is becoming a death wish.
Later.... see THIS Guardian report on the impending hard version of the 'divorce agreement' that the EU will publish today and finalise tomorrow. The general opinion is that this is going to be bad news for the divided Cabinet. There will be no options left and though they will still attempt to get some adjustment it looks as though this is going to be useless. It's crunch time!
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 28 Feb 2018, 06:30

Things are going from bad to worse (as if that were possible.....). See THIS report of Boris's latest inspired intervention on the question of the Irish Border. He cites the London Congestion Charge as a model for future border supervision. It would be funny if this buffoon wasn't our Foreign Secretary. It will certainly brighten the day in Brussels, can't you just hear them hooting with laughter?
Today, in keeping with the EU track record to date of publishing policy papers and being perfectly transparent they will publish their current position on the negotiations on the Big Three problems. There will be no surprises and T May has got to find some way of squaring the circle, leaving the EU Customs Union and maintaining open borders between Ireland and the UK. On the face of it, whatever she does is going to start a revolt not only in the Cabinet but in UK-Ireland relations as well. Then there is the knotty problem of the Northern Ireland Parliament and the reliance on the DUP for a majority. What a mess! Watch this space as the most horrendous mass suicide in history progresses.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 01 Mar 2018, 05:04

I get the impression that Barnier is losing patience and that he is reflecting the mood of the 27.
This process started badly with May doing her 'bloody difficult woman' act for home consumption and I am afraid that she set the tone. Our procrastination since has just made things worse. This started badly and is not improving. What a mess......
There is speculation that fomenting our refusal to face the facts on the Three Questions is a deliberate ploy on the part of the rabid Brexiteers intended to ensure failure and a 'hard Brexit'. Speculation of course but it fits the facts.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 01 Mar 2018, 08:52

This Conservative led coalition government can now be officially classified as being a dog. Unfortunately its a dog with three tails, The Brexit hard liners, the remainers and the DUP, all wagging the dog in different directions. The hard liners are of the old school of thinking that's based on aspirations and opportunities but in reality is the thought of a quick profit at the expense of everyone else. The remainers are more realistic in their outlook and although things are not perfect they offer our best option. The DUP, not quite sure what they are after but it looks like trouble. All this is leading to a mighty cock up which could bring the government down.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 01 Mar 2018, 09:46

I never thought I'd be on the same side as Tony Blair but I am as far as Brexit is concerned, and with John Major too. I still think the whole issue will meltdown in the face of insurmountable problems and Brexit will have to be abandoned. Of course, the Brexiteers will blame it all on the Remainers when the truth is the project was always, obviously, a Bad Idea on a grand scale. One day we'll wonder why it was ever taken seriously.

Why do the Brexiteers think folk in the Irish Republic should want to cosy up to us instead of the EU? Have they forgotten their school history lessons?

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 02 Mar 2018, 04:20

" All this is leading to a mighty cock up which could bring the government down." You are quite right P but that is the least worse possible consequence!
Tiz, not surprising because you are observing the scene, listening to the arguments and applying logic untainted by personal ambition, outdated tribal DNA or 'Party Loyalty' and simply considering the facts. I too agree with Major and Blair. Major in particular has been consistent and accurate in his criticisms. I fear Blair is tainted by opportunistic tendencies, he hates Corbyn and has seen his sphere of influence in the middle East crumble.
I watched the talking heads last night on the news frothing at the mouth as they accused the EU of 'tossing a grenade into 10 Downing Street' and reflected that all Barnier and Tusk are doing is reiterating what they have said clearly from the beginning, that there will be no kid glove treatment of the UK in respect of obtaining advantage from leaving. The DUP, The Irish Republic, and the Brexiteers all have something in common, they are speaking entirely from their own point of view and are convinced that they are right. This applies to T May as well, she has never admitted that once the Article 150 letter went in, we are supplicants and lose any initiative we had. This was obvious from the start, she imagined she would sit down with Tusk in a back room and hammer out a cosy agreement. The EU doesn't work like that, they have a democratic structure, make decisions, are completely transparent about the result and stick to the letter of the law.
Bruff was dead right when he pointed out the Irish problem, so was Major, he went to Ireland and flagged up the danger as soon as he saw it (where was Blair?).
There are sensible voices here and there even in the Tory Party. Ken Clark has always been sound. Anna Soubry has it right. There will be many more that I am unaware of. I have said it before and will say it now, this matter shouldn't be the preserve of one party, we should have a genuine cross-party debate listening to all the arguments and making logical decisions.
Of course it's too late for that. They have frittered the time and opportunities away and are now painted into a corner where no matter what they do, the whole house of cards collapses. It would take something earth-shaking like a government melt down and an emergency U turn to avoid disaster. Problem is you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube and we could never get back to the privileged position we had pre-referendum.
Let's not forget where all this started........
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 02 Mar 2018, 06:40

See THIS for a report on the May approach to Brexit. I don't expect any clarity on Ireland, it's the biggest can of worms we are facing.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 02 Mar 2018, 10:20

Michael Heseltine chipped in this morning on Today. Heseltine, Major, Blair, Clarke - all people with a lot of experience in politics, government, world affairs. All trying to prevent Britain from jumping off the cliff. The less experienced Rees-Mogg, Davies, Gove, Johnson et al shouting `Jump'. Experience versus nationalism and isolationism.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 03 Mar 2018, 04:28

And self-interest allied to total ignorance of the damage that is already being done in the country by Tory 'Sound Money' policies.
The tragedy is that it's all totally self-inflicted and unnecessary. We should be in Europe helping to shape the future, not sniping from the sidelines!
The curious thing is that if you disregard the Imperialist waffle about 'sovereignty' and take a pragmatic view of immigration, the answer is dead simple. We can have all the advantages we are seeking to cherry-pick by staying in the EU.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 04 Mar 2018, 10:06

`Tories’ Brexit unity fades as Heseltine slams May’s speech' Observer
`Tory hopes of uniting the party behind Theresa May’s latest vision for Brexit faded as former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine dismissed her latest speech as just more “phrases, generalisations and platitudes” which had done nothing to make a deal more likely. While most Conservative MPs and peers gave the prime minister a period of grace after Friday’s address, Heseltine said all May had done was offer more detail on a set of demands that the European Union had made clear all along it would never agree to.'...

.....`The only way forward, he said, was for the issues to be put back to parliament, and then to an election or referendum. “The downsides are becoming more evident as time passes. We have had a serious devaluation of the currency. We have turned ourselves from the fastest growing to the slowest growing economy in Europe and we have made a complete Horlicks of the Irish border. I am totally with the view of Tony Blair and John Major that this matter has got to go back to parliament and possibly to a referendum or a general election."'

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 05 Mar 2018, 04:29

And I am sure he is right Tiz. What the Tories still haven't grasped is that the EU's main preoccupation isn't finding a way to help us exit, it's to ensure that whatever the manner of our departure there is nothing in it to encourage others to cherry-pick as well. It is in their interests to see us be visibly worse off outside the union. They are still in some sort of la la land where Britannia ruled the waves, the sun never set on the empire and the lower orders were firmly controlled by depriving them of rights and income. We are already seeing the fall-out from the devalued pound and lack of economic activity in domestic consumption, add the shift to online retailing under the assault of the multi-national giants, include the threat of a US trade war and show me where the 'golden future' lies....
Eight years ago I said that the policy of austerity was, in the long run, a disaster. I pointed out the fact that the Tories were making the same mistakes that had led to the inter-war depression. Then I read Piketty and had the reinforcement of his brilliant research and analysis. I continually warn that the risible growth figures that are held up as evidence our economy is OK would have been regarded as stagnation ten years ago.
May telephones her mate Donald and tells him that his trade war is a mistake. At the same time the EU warn the US that they will retaliate. Which interjection carries most weight do you think?
The only hope I have at the moment is that the Tories are slaughtered in the May elections, lose control, of councils and get pressure from that direction. I am not holding my breath. I have never seen this country as badly managed.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by chinatyke » 05 Mar 2018, 09:43

Stanley wrote:
05 Mar 2018, 04:29
I have never seen this country as badly managed.
You've got a short memory then!

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 05 Mar 2018, 22:36

Good reply China. How long is your short memory? Does it go back more than 10 years? say to Gordon Brown. or 20 years to John Major? And then what was the main specific feature that made it worse than what we have now with the Brexit fiasco?
Always ready to listen to other peoples views.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 06 Mar 2018, 04:11

I have a very good memory China and can remember some horrible mistakes but never anything as bad as this in terms of stupidity and dire consequences.
I watched T May castigating property developers for making money and appealing to their patriotism in the provision of social housing. Apart from the bizarre sight of a Conservative PM attacking the mores of a whole sector of construction like this, there was no indication that she had any intentions of taking effective action.
Since 2010 the Tories have shifted their focus from providing housing at economic rent, the basis of the Council Housing that has served us so well since 1945, to encouraging home ownership which carries the in-built fault that it ignores anyone who can't get a deposit together. Then Cameron and Osborne introduced the cunning wheeze of subsidising first time buyers. This stimulated the market which already existed and resulted in a shortage of such houses and a price rise across the board which made it even more difficult for savers to reach the level of the rising deposits.
What is needed is a complete reversal of these policies. The developers have no interest in being 'patriotic', they are looking for dividends for their shareholders, a healthy balance sheet and the headroom to make bigger bonuses for themselves. Any money available for subsidy should go directly into social housing provision via the local councils.
Apart from the Economics 101 aspect of the problem what is betrayed here is a total disregard for the whole underworld of misery ranging from rough sleeping and the bed-and-breakfast scandal to families living in daily fear of eviction for no reason by landlords who are also not patriotic, they are chasing the rise in the rates in the rental market.
Sorry PM but vision laden speeches don't cut it. Like the wider problems of Brexit we need less fudge and aspiration and more concrete action based on a clear sight of what is obvious to many intelligent observers. Failure to do this has harmed us already and there is no sign of any improvement.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by chinatyke » 06 Mar 2018, 13:40

Harold Macmillan’s famous declaration that “most of our people have never had it so good” came in July 1957 ...

The same could be said today. Be thankful for what you have. :extrawink:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 06 Mar 2018, 14:49

Maybe you should return to live in the UK if everything is so rosy here.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by chinatyke » 06 Mar 2018, 20:56

PanBiker wrote:
06 Mar 2018, 14:49
Maybe you should return to live in the UK if everything is so rosy here.
Now that's a good answer. :smile:

It's even more rosy here!

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 07 Mar 2018, 06:36

This could be a significant day. Donald Tusk will lay out the latest EU guidelines for the route the negotiations will take this morning. Perhaps more accurate to call them 'red lines' a la May. Ireland is certain to be there and citizen's rights but I suspect the headline catcher will be whether London's financial services are going to be passported into any new arrangement. I doubt it because in the long run there are such obvious advantages for Paris and Frankfurt if it is made difficult in London. Add to this the clear warnings coming from the European owners of what used to be the General Motors stake in UK car and van manufacturing that the future of their Ellesmere Port factory has to be decided soon with the expectation that if they can't keep tariff free access to the EU, the future of Ellesmere Port is bleak to say the least.
The other matter that caught my ear was the government's 'initiative' on obesity. Once again, instead of wetting in place definite regulations they are appealing to the food industry to do the right thing and giving them until 2024 to comply when they 'might' step in and regulate. How much difference will this make? The effort should be attacked at the other end by investing in efficient education of children on nutrition but this won't happen because it will cost money....
Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, D Trump has another small local difficulty.... His chief economics adviser Gary Cohn has resigned in protest against the Trump tariffs. (LINK) Trump raises the ante by threatening retaliatory tariffs if the EU reacts. Raising trade barriers at a time when global trade is showing signs of recovery is beyond stupid. This man is an existential world threat.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 07 Mar 2018, 10:14

The recent Radio 4 Bottom Line episode `Who Owns British Companies?' is worth listening to. ONS figures show foreign investors now own over fifty per cent of shares listed on the stock exchange. We tend to think of it being our pension funds, but not any more - it's more likely to be foreign pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, equity funds etc. Individuals as investors are rare now. Our pension funds are no longer in the hands of the companies we worked for, they've been sold off and, like my pension, more than once. The podcast is available here: LINK

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