Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Real Labour Party

A paltry seven escapees from the Labour Party formed something called The Independent Group, six MPs I've never heard of and the mildly charismatic Chuka Umunna. They mostly came over as working class kids who made good and could easily have been fronting the grittier end of the Conservative Party but they were die-hard Labour, of course, who claimed their views had never changed - always a bad sign - and that Corbyn led Labour had mutated into something they did not recognize, rife with anti-Semites and vicious put-downs of those who dare criticize the leadership. Tony Blair did not pop out of the woodwork, though all seven want to remain in the EU. They have yet to form an actual party... I initially thought The Classic Labour Party might be a suitable moniker but maybe Real Labour might work better. Or given our electoral system perhaps Hard Labour!

Meanwhile, as predicted on this site, Honda are indeed shutting down their Swindon factory at the end of 2021, along with a Turkish offshoot. Nothing to do with Brexit, they say, just consolidation of all their manufacturing into their massive Japanese factory, the flip-side of singing up a free trade deal with the EU and doubtless later on the UK - no tariffs, no need to manufacture abroad. Guess they also had one eye on a future Labour government's ambition to take ten percent of the wealth of all large companies. Or was it Mrs May's penchant for telling foreign companies what they want to hear and then doing something completely at odds with that reassurance?

Auto-workers who voted for Brexit on the back of not wanting the country overrun with foreigners and ending Freedom of Movement may eventually work out - tick, tock - that the result of ending of FOM is that they have locked themselves out from all those well-paying auto jobs in the EU!

Expect Labour activists to go into a frenzy in Swindon as such massive jobs losses will leave the sitting Conservative MP's an easy target. Unconfirmed rumours already circulating that the drawings of the Morris Marina have been dusted off with the intention of converting it to an electric vehicle so that Labour can promise to use the factory for a new nationalized car industry, a socialist fervour doing the rounds that everyone in the country will exult in equality by being forced to drive the same car! This will also revive the bicycle industry because each car will need a bike in the boot for when it breaks down and the driver has to take the battery to a charging point. The cost of the car will not matter because no-one will be allowed to actually own one.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Love the EU March...

If those "striking" kids wanted to do something actually useful, they could have had a march from all over the country into Westminster to promote staying in the EU. The government and police would not know how to deal with a mass child protest, any form of restraining them would be political suicide and letting them run riot over Central London would cause total chaos. Fun Times.

On saving the planet, each child born does huge ecological damage compared to a whole fleet of diesel cars so the kids are the actual problem... not something they can get their minds around, I think. On the other hand, the melting polar ice is already going to f..k us over...

Friday, February 15, 2019

Voted Down Again

Last night Mrs May lost yet another vote on affirming support for her strategy. The Brexiteers, and others, abstained. Much angst and bed-wetting by the reporters but this is all down to Mrs May not moving forward on removing the backstop and some worries about no-deal being taken off the table. She goes around telling people what they want to hear, adding up to a set of promises that are not compatible with each other. Arguably, this strengthens Mrs May's hand because it is clear that some fudge will not get through parliament, so the EU will need to do something radical if they want a deal and no hard border in Ireland.

Meanwhile, the Labour leadership looks pretty useless, reflected by the latest polls which show the Conservatives nicely ahead despite their basic incompetence at doing Brexit that requires a fundamental downwards shift in government spending and intrusion into people's lives. The Brexiteers get that but don't have enough support for a very British coup.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Brexit and energy...

The absolutely disgraceful way, over the last decade, that consumers have been treated by the energy companies  and the government looks likely to deepen post-Brexit. Individuals will have less redress, losing the ability to report energy companies to the EU bureau of consumer affairs rather than the largely toothless UK ombudsman and there will be no change in the way energy companies are allowed to make a five percent return on capital... a crooked set-up that encourages them to increases costs and prices so they can justify ever increasing turnover and hence a bigger profit.

The complete incompetence of government bodies supposed to impose some restraint on these companies has managed to knock out many smaller energy companies whilst constraining tariffs in such a way that there is no encouragement for low energy users. Such is the depth and length of the rip-off of energy consumers that a radical attack on tariffs is needed to rebalance the current outrageous state of affairs. All standing charges need to be removed, companies allowed a single tariff with discounts for fixed direct debits (the idea that people should allow energy companies to vary their direct debits a modern absurdity that emphasizes the contempt in which consumers are held) and, to encourage miserly energy use, the first £20/month should be at a fixed rate that is half the price of the current rate. And, post Brexit, low energy use would be zero rated whilst higher users would pay twice the current 5 percent.

A further benefit of Brexit, zero tariffs and taxes on solar panel and air-source heat pump imports whilst at the same time smart meters would be configured to run backwards to credit the consumer directly with any excess energy produced in the summer/winter. No other incentives needed, well insulated houses using heat pumps would probably overall be self-sufficient in electricity and not need gas, payback on (now much cheaper) solar panel installation then being measured in years rather than decades.

Post Brexit, all this would go down well with the populace and redeem the dreadful way the government has allowed energy consumers to be treated. At the same time, phasing out council tax in favour of increasing taxes on business would then radically reform the fixed costs of living in the UK, freeing up cash to keep the general economy ticking over.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

When the going gets weird, the weird...

Weird day yesterday. Mrs May, talking to Irish businesses, said she wasn't going to replace the backstop... WTF? The only way to get the deal through parliament is to replace the backstop... Did she mean she wasn't going to replace it but get it moved from the withdrawal deal to the trade deal? The DUP adamant that the backstop had to go, if she somehow got it through parliament with the backstop tempered by a codicil in the trade deal, the DUP would then kill the government in a confidence vote.

The Irish were adamant that the backstop would stay in the withdrawal agreement, as were the EU, but when you ask them what would happen if there was no deal and the PM kept to her promise of no hard border in Ireland they have no answer, only that the UK can extend or revoke Article 50 rather than have no deal... don't think so! Dr Fox reluctantly admitted that the zero tariff option was under consideration - zero tariff applied to all imports from around the world, that is. With the UK happy with an open border in Ireland how are the EU going to react to no deal, zero tariff products streaming into NI by the boat load?

Then Mr Tusk, one of many rule-loving bureaucrats in the EU, was so annoyed by the British character - which tends towards a dislike of excessive rules - that he opined there was a special place in hell for those who promoted Brexit without an idea of how to implement it. As said before, the EU has dug itself into a hole over the backstop because if they don't get rid of it, no deal looms which means they then face down their own contradictory positions - no border in Ireland and no access to the single market for non-members of the EU. 

The sad thing is, Mrs May still has not got her head around the strength of her position and still undermines herself by suddenly saying she is not going to replace the backstop.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

No respect for MPs...

Brexit has intensified the lack of respect that the general populace have for MP's. In a system where government and councils takes an incredible amount of tax off people and slashes many services there does not seem to be any democratic way to punish MP's and top civil servants for their ongoing incompetence - if there was a referendum on whether MP's and civil servants should have their income capped at 25k, guess how the result would go!

The bigger side of this is the incredible intrusiveness of the Big State and councils into people's lives at the same time as the contempt with which they are held by the people they think they are trying to help increases. The obvious conclusion is to roll back, as far as possible, both the State and councils, allowing them to concentrate on real problem areas rather than having an endless roll out of pointless laws, commissions and other annoying intrusions. However, telling those in power that they will have a lot less power and a lot less money to waste does not go down at all well...

Monday, February 4, 2019

Mass exodus...

The only way a no-deal Brexit is going to work is by a complete downsizing of the State and massive reduction in taxes for both businesses and individuals. The Singapore model is much touted but that won't work here because there is too much government ownership of land and housing in Singapore, the UK needs to be even more radical than Singapore! Unfortunately, politicians equate their success to the size of their departments and Mrs May's power trip includes an ever expanding State to cater to all the needs of the populace. Falling revenues post Brexit and an already massive debt pile means radical reform is the only way out of the mess that Gordon Brown made of things, one that continues to dog the country. 

Labour would double or even treble the size of the State, wasting trillions of then hugely devalued pounds, still enamoured of the Venezuela model and barely able to restrain themselves from sprouting Marxist mantras.

Between the incompetence of the current government and the prospect of a massive wealth grab by Labour, is it any wonder that companies and individuals want to fast exit?