Saturday, June 15, 2019

What next for Brexit?

Boris becomes PM but no chance of a new exit deal from the Brussels bureaucrats who all have the look of someone wearing diapers, these days, but Merkel and co finally come out with a better deal than they offered Cameron to stay, mostly based on a much stricter residence test before access to benefits, tax credits, social housing etc - that means Boris has an excuse to call a second referendum on no deal v remain. He gets that through by saying no deal will win but then decides to go neutral, let the British people decide, only here to serve, etc.

The very restrictive freedom of movement rules that mean anyone can come here but they have no access to benefits etc for the first five years takes the bite out of remaining in the EU for the hardcore Brexiteers whilst the sixty percent of the populace who want to remain will be much relieved. Boris and Farage will then have to fight it out on who wants the smaller state, lower taxes for the next GE. Labour and LibDems/Greens will also split the left vote. Boris should still be able to slam his way to power, though, especially if he offers Nigel a top job if he joins the Conservatives!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Here Come the LibDems?

It has taken a long time for remain voters to suss the Labour party, the old quip of having a monkey as leader would still see them getting support from the heartlands. Corbyn will doubtless come out with some tosh about a referendum on a deal then say he was only talking about an opposition deal and not his own deal, if he ever got into power. 

The LibDems and Greens need some kind of electoral alliance and to tell the electorate that if they win a majority in a GE they will revoke article 50, that gets to sixty percent of the electorate and should sweep the board... the level of political honesty of the LibDems will, however, be shown if there is any attempt to throw in nefarious policies such as land tax on the back of their unusual popularity. 

No, they should concentrate on PR. doing something useful like building an excess of social housing and radical tax reform that moves some of the burden of taxation from the individual to companies - such as phasing out council tax in favour of a turnover tax on companies, taking the opportunity to also replace business rates and employer NI with a similar tax. That will free up some much needed spending power for individuals and level out the playing field between online and real shops. Turnover taxes are useful as it is much more difficult to obscure than profit.

Staying in the EU with a responsible but caring government should finally rescue the UK's reputation and result in a nice little boom, whilst PR will change British politics once and for all.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Euro's prediction

Labour will lose their youth vote to the Greens, Change and UKiP will not get a serious vote, and LibDem/Greens vote will be closer than expected to the Brexit Party. Labour will do nearly as badly as the Conservatives, both in single figures. The GE may be even more interesting with a Green/LibDem/Change coalition - the dream ticket would be Caroline Lucas as leader and Sir Vince as chancellor, getting most of the youth vote but not on the back of Labour's fantasy economics, so plenty of older voters would also be able to support them. The LibDem's would be the biggest problem as they burst into tears if confronted with nasty realities such as excluding foreigners from the welfare system until they have been here for five years; necessary to keep the Brexiteers from going into riot mode. Would they win against a Thatcherite Brexit Party in cohoots with a right-wing Tory party? Would depend where we are on the Brexit road.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Mrs May does not get it...

The Cameron/Osborne combination worked well for as long as it lasted. Cameron gave the Conservatives a very British - in the best sense of the word - front whilst Osborne was able to slash public spending and taxes, keeping the Conservative base support happy, or at least not enraged. There was relative restraint in bringing in new laws rather than the endless stream that politicians like to enact to justify their excessive salaries and very existence. 

Enter Mrs May, one of the reasons she got in was undoubtedly nostalgia for the days of Mrs Thatcher. Whilst Madame May has a similar determination to the Iron Lady she lacks any kind of vision other than hanging on to power by all possible means. She seems to believe that the main purpose of the State is its expansion by means of endless laws and often finds her ideas straight from the mouth of wannabe Marxist Corbyn. 

The great mass of Conservative supporters want none of this nonsense but this mostly goes unsaid or even unrealised, such is the intensity of angst and rage about Brexit. Gordon Brown cleverly set a massive trap for the Conservatives by making a vast swathe of the populace dependent on in-work benefits such as tax credits and housing benefit, the mere hint of their removal having voters running to the Labour party for salvation. The result the ever so nice Cameron then Mrs May's flirtation with socialist policies.

This is suicide for the Conservative Party. Not only does Farage's Brexit Party want to do a clean exit from the EU, it is also into the small state, minimal welfare and slashing taxes - if we believe Nigel's mutterings on his radio show. Put Farage in a wig and dress, arm him with a large handbag, and it would be easy to believe that Mrs Thatcher is back!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Confused...

I really want to support Nigel Farage's Brexit Party but I also want to stay in the EU. Farage's take on the State and Establishment is that he wants to close down huge chunks of it and give the money back to citizens in the form of tax cuts. Cameron (and Madame May is worse) got so carried away he was once heard about supporting the populace from cradle to grave. A majority of Conservatives are really pissed that the Party has moved so far away from Thatcherism. A majority also want complete freedom from the EU. Combine those two threads then the Brexit Party will get huge support in the MEP elections, if the Conservatives are really decimated then that momentum will flow through to a general election.

If we are actually going to leave the EU then we need to do so properly, with a massive rollback of the State and slashing of personal taxes to energize the country. Recall how a dismal Labour party got a massive shift in support, during the last election, by offering to pay university costs that saved many families 50,000 quid... Nigel can up the game by offering to phase out council tax, an outrageously expensive tax that is taken regardless of income and largely wasted on fixed costs and council inefficiencies, that would really kick the main political parties between the legs.

Just a thought, if the Brexit Party wants to get taken seriously, George Osborne as chancellor-in-waiting and armed with a tax cutting agenda on the back of slashing the size of the State, would surely hammer home the death of the Conservative Party.

Friday, April 12, 2019

The Brexit Party

Sad thing is, I agree with Nigel Farage on rolling back the state and low taxes but not exiting the EU. Farage has just launched his new party to fight the MEP elections, hoping that those who don't normally bother to vote will turn out to support him... the bookies odds are 3 to 1 on the Brexit Party getting the most votes! A Conservative wipe-out could well happen... big question then becomes will the 200 Tory MPs who want a no-deal exit become part of Nigel's party - probably not those who want to be PM! Will Change UK force Labour over to the remain camp if their five million voters who support Brexit decamp to Nigel's party.

First speaker after Nigel's rant, Jacob Rees-Mogg's sister Annunziata Rees-Mogg who has left the Conservatives to stand as a Brexit Party MEP. Sky news then shut down any coverage of the rest of the candidates but, no doubt, the newspapers will be full of it tomorrow.

BTW, it costs £25 to become a registered member of the Brexit Party, a bit on the heavy side for all those working class Labour voters who might be tempted but probably just the cost of a glass of champagne in the circles in which Nigel moves - some of the MEP candidates property developers and financial advisers, not exactly the salt of the earth.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

End of the Conservatives?

The LibDems generally did a good job in the Coalition government but were hammered in the next elections, partly down to them not standing up against tuition fees and partly down to Labour promising Lefties that they would turn the country into a socialist paradise. Despite being the only main party to promote staying in the EU, the LibDems still languish at less than ten percent in the polls and show no signs of a popular revival. Change UK may or may not eat into Labour's vote and may or may not completely wipe out the LibDems.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives aren't doing that badly in the polls despite the tribulations of Madame May and getting on for 200 Tory MP's wanting to fast exit the EU without a deal. If Madame May ends up giving in to demands for a second referendum, her deal versus remain, and the latter wins where would that leave the Conservatives in the next election? Possibly as many as sixty percent of their voters would be seriously pissed off, which would be annihilation in the polls. Given that she only did the referendum after pressure from Labour, none of those young voters are going to give her credit for it. Whilst stalwart Labour Leavers will blame the Tories for not leaving rather than Labour.

That just leaves someone like Boris to meander merrily along for a year or two, hoping that a hefty bit of tax cutting will get the troops back in line and the thought of a Marxist Britain will frighten the shit out of the half of the populace who have a bit of money. Bad odds on a Conservative win, I would say.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Here we go again...

Madame May has come back from Brussels with a six month extension to Oct 31st with the option of fast exiting if the WA is passed by Parliament beforehand. No changes will be allowed in the WA and MEP elections will have to take place, though they can be cancelled at the last moment if the WA is passed before they need to sit. Bizarrely, Labour is shown way ahead in a poll on the MEP elections with the smaller parties doing not very much, what the f..k are the Remainers thinking?

The ERG are still going on about leaving on March 29th but the only way they can leave without a deal is via a second referendum. The Remainers want a second referendum in the hope that the polls showing 60 percent in favour of staying are actually true. Come on then, guys and gals, the only way forward is a second referendum on remain versus no-deal, if MP's passed that Madame May would have to step down as she would look ridiculous, having wasted three years on a deal no-one wants.

Incidentally, seeing the French president flouncing around, railing against the Brits, will most likely get a lot more voters going over to the no-deal side. 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Boris to the rescue?

Parliament won't allow no-deal and Mrs May has now said no-deal is not possible. How to get no-deal and unseat Mrs May from her throne? Boris Johnson needs to provide an alternative that the Conservative party can rally around and the only thing that makes sense is to call for a referendum in six months time, with remain versus no-deal. This should make both remainers - who will assume they will win - and leavers happy, who will have the combined power of Boris and Farage to lead their cause. Even Mrs May would not survive the complete dropping of her deal from the referendum, Boris then as PM leading the charge to fast exit the EU would reattach the Tories to their electorate. But a further twist would be to ask for an extension until the end of the EU's fiscal period, thus giving no-deal 14 months of breathing space if they won... we would still be exiting the EU on the same date if you add in the transition period mandated by May's deal. Meanwhile, there would be little to stop Boris from making radical changes to tax and welfare, promising yet more if Brexit happens.

Another thought, if May had to stand down as PM and MP then her seat could be given to Nigel Farage, that would really reset the Conservative party...

Even if no-deal lost the second vote, the Conservatives could still claim to have given the people their chance for a say and would not have alienated remainers, unlike now.

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Blame Game

Mrs May looks set to blame the EU for insisting on a long extension - if there was any sanity left it would be 20 months, until the end of the EU's fiscal period - rather than her now repeated demand of June 30th. She can blame Labour for not compromising and agreeing to her demands for needing such an extension and then, hopefully, both Labour and the EU for demanding a second referendum if she is going to have a decent reason for a long extension. The ERG now hopeful that a long enough extension will give them a chance to replace Mrs May and go all hardcore on the EU. The DUP find the EU intransigent, Mrs May ludicrous and Labour completely beyond the pale. Meanwhile, Farage is looking for his Brexit Party to dominate the MEP elections and cause so much havoc in Brussels that the EU will lose all patience with the UK, throw them to the wolves of WTO tariff terms.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Going Gets Tough...

With one motion coming out a draw and an actual law passed by one vote, Parliament emerges as genuinely deadlocked on Brexit. However one vote is enough to get a bill through, this one tells the government to ask the EU for an extension, the length of that extension to be determined by parliament. The EU will only give a long extension if there is a good reason for it, so if parliament demands a one year extension by implication a second vote comes much closer to reality.

Meanwhile, not since the Falklands war has the general populace been so immersed in politics, the general comment made that we should have just left rather than messing around with a hardcore EU bureaucracy. Totally unrelated forums and subjects often interjected with opposing comments on Brexit. No idea what will happen next...

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

All Good Fun...

It is notable that when Trump gives a statement he usually hangs around to take questions from journalists - sometimes for more than an hour - whereas Mrs May will make a statement and immediately do a disappearing act. We all wait with baited breath to see if she emerges for the next statement hand-in-hand with Corbyn, having picked up a few Marxist mantras along the way to lull her into a dreamless sleep. We are at that point where the process has to feed Mrs May's ego, a mindless determination to step down with the job of exiting the EU well done. 

The compromise position will possibly be a permanent customs union for all of the UK, which the DUP may grudgingly accept as it sort of solves the border problem and, more importantly, treats NI the same as the rest of the UK. The Brexiteers will scowl and howl but as long as it is in the non-binding political declaration then they will not be too worried, a new leader equals throwing that away so they are no worse off than at the moment.

Corbyn's party want a second referendum, something that might split the Tory party as it would mean the end of Brexit... so does Corbyn want out of the EU more than he wants to destroy the hated Conservatives?

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Democracy...

Everyone loves democracy when the end result is in agreement with their wishes... when it isn't there is much muttering and discontent but the thought that the next electoral cycle will sort things out. A referendum sort of throws a spanner in the works and can only be sorted out by another referendum if things go all awry. With sixty percent of the populace wanting to remain, seventy percent of MP's  being remainers and even Mrs May probably really wanting to stay if she hadn't gone all robotic,  and like many of the Labour front bench, become enslaved by meaningless mantras, something has to give.

Meanwhile, the USA hints at the sunny uplands of a massive free trade deal, including financial services, and if the UK was really lucky in its timing we could sort of slide into the pending USA/India FTA, not to mention Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, large chunks of Asia and then there's the other Commonwealth countries... if Dr Fox suddenly pops up with that lot, no-deal might become almost a necessity and save the day for Mrs May and the Tories. It could happen. Tariff free EU imports for six months with the threat of penal tariffs if they don't agree to a FTA might sort things out there, with someone like Boris as PM... the country flooded with cheap food, cars, etc and that good feeling from calling the EU's bluff. Might work, might go all horribly wrong - we might find out shortly!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Another failure...

Monday looks to be crunch time, after the WA failed yet again, can parliament agree on something that will convince the EU to give the UK a longer extension? Most likely, May's deal plus confirmatory referendum. Many calls for a general election but not sure how that will resolve anything as Labour will use half-truths and the Conservatives have neither a leader nor an idea to coalesce around. A general election would be a terrible idea, anyway, as it would completely destroy democracy because it would be about Brexit, but both parties would also run on stuff that half the country would strongly object to. It may just come down to a vote on no-deal versus revocation at the last possible moment.

Last Chance for the WA...

Mrs May seems to have very little interest in the country at large, her main concern to have the legacy of leaving the EU with her deal signed off. Legal beavers have gotten around the Speaker's ruling by just bringing back the withdrawal agreement for a final vote, leaving the political declaration for another day... MP's weren't amused at this trickery and spent most of the day mouthing off but achieved little other than straining their vocal chords. Most of the time in parliament spent in arcane nonsense rather than doing something useful, the mother of parliaments reduced to a sad state of farce that continuous TV coverage exposes to a disbelieving public - if they felt disconnected from MP's at the beginning of the Brexit process by now they must be thinking they are living in a time warped parallel universe.

No-one thinks that the WA will win the day, unless an amendment to make it subject to a confirmatory referendum slips in - with nowhere else to go, the government might just back it at the last moment despite the threat of hard-Brexiteers exploding in rage. Mrs May won't yet step down, though, still more work to do but the EU's summer recess does give the Conservatives a few months to run a leadership battle.

That just leaves the question of who do Remainers support in the MEP elections. The LibDems are the obvious beneficiary but weak leadership and silly policies won't inspire many. TIG are yet a political party and Labour are not a remain party - Corbyn's reluctance to front the second referendum cause has pissed off many natural supporters. Meanwhile, Farage's Brexit Party might yet sweep through the country as May will still be the leader of the Conservatives and even a hard Brexiteer will be constrained by whatever extension May has signed up for.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

All change, no change...

MP's indicative votes had the confirmatory referendum and staying in a custom's union as the top choices but neither yet had a majority... MP's will narrow things down on Monday, may well end up with a demand for a long extension and second referendum. If people really want to stay they will have to get out and vote for the MEPs, the LibDems the only party with the remain message but they have a failed leader and a penchant for making up for the coalition years by being more left-leaning than Labour (another set of wealth grabbing policies that will reduce the country to nothingness) with an open immigration policy... do TIG have the time to set up a new party to run in the MEP elections?

Meanwhile, Mrs May has agreed to step down if her deal passes on the third attempt... otherwise she is going to do what? Boris her likely replacement. If the referendum plus May's deal gets through parliament then Boris will be in the curious position of having to promote May's deal which most Brexiteers think is worse than staying in the EU... or would Mrs May stay on until after the referendum? Mrs May defines the old quip about being promoted to your level of incompetence...

There are about two dozen really hardcore Tory Brexiteers who would rather eat their own heads than support May's deal. They were out in force yesterday, absolutely unable to get their heads around the legality of the exit date change, despite it already being done in international law, spewing forth a huge amount of venom... they have not aged with any kind of grace; Corbyn and co look positively lovely in comparison and you can see the kind of madness that Cameron had to keep in check... I say this as a Thatcherite so I can imagine the horror and angst amongst the Lefties. 

Neither have the DUP changed their minds, lucky they that the Tories don't have a majority, otherwise the backstop would be replaced with a new sea border. I have yet to see a NI or Eire politician who doesn't have a glimmer of stern conviction in the rightness of their thinking that makes them somehow robotic... give Blair and co a round of applause for taking the violence out of the situation there and see an echo in how much wealth peace in Europe has generated.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Boris Johnson running out of time...

Brexiteers have to accept that they are not going to get no-deal via parliament and because of the Northern Ireland border they are not going to find a better deal than that done by Mrs May. Once they get they head around this - if all the fuming hasn't burnt out all their brain cells - they have to move on to the only remaining step, a second referendum with remain versus no-deal. Now if Boris charges in with this and leads the no-deal squad and wins the second referendum, he would have to be the new PM. If Mrs May throws a fit at this idea she should resign and allow an interim PM for six months, with a year's extension to allow for a referendum and a period between the end of the referendum and actually leaving, to have up six months to sort out a no-deal exit if that wins through. The second referendum would be final and binding; anyone telling porkies during the contest would end up in prison.

On reflection, probably better to have a 21 month extension so if no-deal wins there is time to get all the trade deals signed up. If the EU thinks we are going to be flooded with cheap foreign food and medicine they are likely to forget tariffs and go for a FTA with unseemly speed but that long extension does remove the cliff edge fear from remainers and give business time to react. At the moment, Remainers are at close to sixty percent but with Boris and Farage scheming away it is not inconceivable that they can win through. If they lose then the  Conservatives have to switch to a youthful Remainer for replacement PM rather than Boris but it is all win, win, with a Marxist opposition, running around like headless chickens trying to support both remain and leave.

Post Brexit could be a real disaster for individuals...

Because the country does not have a written constitution, and has sort of relied on being part of the EU to restrain any real madness from politicians, if Brexit happens then the next government may well have five years to do absolutely anything it likes to the people in the UK. This assumes that the next government will have a decent majority so they can push through highly damaging laws that, in the case of Labour, will add up to theft of individual and business wealth so that the politicians can make the rest of the country completely dependent on them and thus ensure that they are re-elected. The mediocre will rise up and the clever people leave the country, ending in some Marxist utopia where only the politicians have access to real wealth, poor old Sterling left not much better than Monopoly money.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Where's Mrs May's Petition, then...

The revoke article 50 petition is set go over four million, breaking all records and repeatedly crashing the site. You would have thought that one of Mrs May's friends would have done a petition on her deal to see if there is popular support, especially as she is convinced that she knows what the British people are thinking. No?

Meanwhile, my best guess is that a second referendum will win out on the indicative votes on Wednesday but it will have to be remain versus no-deal to stop the Brexiteers going crazy... roughly a third of MPs and a third of the populace support no-deal. Mrs May would go all neutral for the six months it takes to organize the referendum, then stepping down... the new leader of the Conservative party probably a Remainer, have to be someone young enough to get into the youth vote - Jo Johnson?

If Mrs May was really clever she would redeem herself with the youth vote, not just by allowing a second referendum but also by letting 16-17 year-old's take part.

Friday, March 22, 2019

More of the same...

The EU has allowed a new deadline of April 12th if May's deal is rejected in parliament again, after that the UK will have to allow MEP elections if it wants a long extension. If May's deal is agreed then the UK will have until May 22nd to pass all the legislation needed... presumably if we get to April 12th and don't want to do MEP elections we will have until May 22nd to exit on a no-deal basis with no option to revoke article 50 because we didn't have MEP elections, required under EU law... or does the fact that we did not have MEP elections mean we can not be in the EU beyond April 12th even though they are not going to sit until July 1st? No, if we can stay in until the 22nd to pass legislation should be able to stay in to that date to leave on no-deal... you can sort of see it gives the UK/EU some wriggle room to do a no-deal exit on painless terms if both sides want to (perhaps a transition with similar payments to the previously agreed interim period?).

If the speaker allows a third vote on May's deal then it should be the final vote, either Mrs May comes up with a new concept or she lets parliament do so but given the utter hopelessness of the opposition leadership don't hold your breath. Commonmarket 2.0  would be an utterly pointless Brexit and a bit dangerous as we would have little say in EU laws but still have to obey them - as a (five year) transition period it might not be too bad, though.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Millions set to sign revoke article 50 petition

At the time of writing, nearly a million have signed the petition to revoke article 50 on the parliament site, despite numerous crashes and slowness of the confirmatory email. Worth joining in, not sure what database parliament it is using to confirm ID, most departments having access to both the driving licence/passport database and NI database, often cross-check them if you are trying to access government services. Requires name, email and postcode, so work that one out for yourselves. Find the petition here.

Over two million have signed the petition at the time of this update but it took about six hours for the confirmatory email to turn up and then had to wait until late at night until the site worked well enough to take the link... so probably a lot more than two million have tried to sign up. BTW I am not on the electoral role so they are not using that to confirm ID.

All jeer now...

I think many voters will find the idea that Mrs May knows what they are thinking somewhere between highly objectionable and laughable, I would imagine that if we really had a Big Brother State (which she would love) that had cameras in the TV then she would have seen a majority of the populace jeering at the TV screen when she just came out with the same old mantra.

I do absolutely agree with her that a Brexit that isn't based on her redlines is rather pointless but because of the NI border those same redlines can't exist... I just had a vision of Mrs May running around in circles like a dog chasing its own tail.

High drama, though, Parliament refuses her deal, EU refuses an extension as it does not want more of the same, Parliament rules out no-deal again, she refuses a ratification referendum and... she either does a disappearing act at the crucial moment (rather likely given past form)- no deal happens regardless - or Parliament votes to revoke article 50 and mass happiness breaks out in the UK!


Hopefully, the Conservatives can still redeem themselves with a new leader such as Boris Johnson and an iron chancellor, slashing taxes and rolling back the State... keeping the Brexiteers happy will be top priority post-May, getting back to core Tory values a priority.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Corbyn's People's Vote...

After meeting with other opposition parties - all of whom want a second referendum and appeared surprised that Mr Corbyn was more enthusiastic about a People's Vote - our future PM explained to reporters that he was really enthusiastic about a People's Vote as long as it was a General Election. Hard to know if you should scream or burst into tears... pathetic sums it up.

Meanwhile, Mrs May has evidently been told by the EU that she can't ask for a short extension with the option of it being turned into a long extension, has decided to ask for a short extension until the end of June. Despite being told there has to be a fundamental shift in policy or a second referendum or general election to get any kind of extension. She seems to think she can resubmit her deal to parliament a couple of more times, despite being told she can't do that by the Speaker, until everyone runs out of time again and are panicked into agreeing to doing something they don't want to do. Pathetic again.

Both Corbyn and May seem to share the same intransigence and indifference to the reality of the situation, neither will be able to offer the electorate anything they actually want should there be a GE, people will vote just to avoid things they dislike!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The End of Mrs May...

The Speaker has decanted that Mrs May can't bring her deal back to parliament for a third vote unless there have been some fundamental changes to the deal. The EU has said there will be no changes to the deal. The EU has also said there will probably be no extension unless there is something new on the table from Mrs May. The ERG hopeful that this means no-deal is more likely whilst the Remoaners think either revoking Article 50 or a second vote will need to happen. Mrs May has to act in an original and innovative manner but has shown no ability to do so during her political career. It would, of course, be a disaster for the feminine cause if Mrs May ended up like Mrs Thatcher, not quite all there at the end of her reign... just imagine such flakiness - to put it mildly  - coinciding with one of the most historical moments in the UK's fiscal history...

The only solution may well be to revoke Article 50 whilst simultaneously introducing a very tough, retrospective, residence test that would exclude people who have not been here for five years from access to welfare, social housing and the personal tax allowance. Exceptions made for front-line personnel such as nurses and as it would be non-continuous, Brits who have gone abroad and come back would not necessarily be caught by the test. Because the rules apply equally to Brits and foreigners, no EU permission needed.

When rough sleepers find themselves moved into social housing previously claimed by foreign families and low end jobs are suddenly vacated by foreigners who have been supported by tax credits and housing benefit, the pain of not doing Brexit will suddenly be lessened for the majority of leavers. The poorer end of society actually shocked that the government has listened to them!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Monster Raving Loony Party...

Whilst Boris and JRM tend to amuse the general populace, some of the more extreme Brexiteers being showcased by the media appear quite frightening, almost frothing at the mouth at the sheer outrage of not getting their way and surely more at home in the Monster Raving Loony Party... a poll showing Labour nicely ahead possibly not disconnected from these gentlemen gaining wide media attention. I say this as someone who thought Mrs Thatcher was wonderful; ever hopeful that Lord Tebbit might be wheeled out of retirement to sort out excessive government spending. So God knows what the populace at large think of them!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

May's third attempt could work...

Hints from the ERG and DUP that they might come onside with May's deal but with no-deal off the table will Remainers stay with the deal? Be hilarious if May finally got the Brexiteers' reluctant backing only to have the other side of her party deciding not to support it. That then leaves an extension or revoking Article 50 - will the EU chance no extension in the hope that Article 50 would then be revoked? Hard to believe Mrs May will come up with anything new on her deal, only option there is to agree to a ratification referendum, her deal versus remain, which the EU would happily agree to (they can still bring in an improved deal over what they offered Cameron). Overall then, best thing for the country is for May's deal to fail, win-win for Remainers.

Friday, March 15, 2019

People's Vote Down...

On the face of it, not much support for the People's Vote amendment but that was down to the nature of the vote - it was important for the original motion on the extension to get through, if the referendum amendment had passed then the Tories would have had to whip against their own extension, plunging the country into even more chaos. Let's hope that the EU insists on a ratification referendum if the UK wants a long extension. From these couple of day's voting, looks like there are a hardcore of 200 MP's who want a really hard Brexit, not enough to bring it to fruition. May's third vote on her deal next week likely to be undermined by soft-Brexiteers deciding to no longer support it because, ironically, no-deal will be off the table if the deal fails.

Time for the EU to step up with a better deal than they offered Cameron, thus heaping more madness into the mix.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

How to get harmony back...

No deal is off the table and Mrs May looked like she was about to eat her own head whilst some ERG members looked like they were about to explode in rage. Today, more amendments to the extension motion, a free vote so, again, anything can happen...

What should happen, a 21 month extension to the end of the EU's fiscal cycle. A change in EU law so that the UK does not need to have MEPs but can opt out of any legislation that arises. The EU then decides to negotiate the trade deal without the withdrawal agreement being ratified by the UK, a twelve month deadline for the final trade/withdrawal deal with the implication that the backstop will not need to be used because the trade deal will make it obsolete.

That extra nine months needed because once the trade deal has been agreed this can then act as an interim period to sort out roll-overs of existing trade deals and finalize other trade deals. It is also needed because there will need to be ratification referendum between the final deal and remain, the EU will need to insist on that if the UK is going to get that long extension. That's not all, if a suitable trade deal without the backstop can't be agreed then the second vote will be on remain versus no deal, keeping the ERG on side.

DUP happy, ERG kinda happy, PM happy as she would still have plenty of levers of power against the EU, Remainers happy as they would have a second vote...

Oh, one final twist, whilst the trade deal is going on, the government would have a second negotiation with the EU on improving the deal they offered Cameron, mostly centered on muting the attractions of freedom of movement by having a tough five year residence test. That would satisfy about 75 percent of the Brexiteers. 

Dr Fox doing the trade deal and Amber Rudd doing the improved deal for staying in the EU?

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Revoking Article 50...

With time running out and MP's likely to vote to take no deal off the table today (hopefully the original motion will be amended to actually make some sense), the next step seems to be to revoke Article 50 - no point having a General Election as Corbyn won't run on staying in the EU (dismal performance last night) and the Conservatives won't run with May at the helm; no point on a People's Vote on May's Deal versus Remain because the ERG can't now turn round and say they support May's deal, so no serious politician is going to lead the Leave side on that basis. So by a process of elimination all that is left is to Revoke Article 50, supported by roughly 60 percent of the populace. Mrs May would have to stand down after doing the deed but both she and Corbyn, for different reasons, look near the end of their tether and could benefit from hitting the nearest retirement home. 

Boris Johnson would have to saddle up pronto, save the country from chaos by bringing in a retrospective, five year residence test that barred access to welfare, social housing, the personal tax allowance etc, to placate the bulk of Leavers who dislike Freedom of Movement. Some nimbleness in rolling back the State and cutting taxes, including phasing out Council Tax, would steady the Tory ship and send Labour ever leftwards. Throw in some further reforms to the EU to allow the euro country to integrate further and it would all work out in the end.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

EU holds firm...

Predictably, given that no-deal is almost off the table, the EU is not giving any ground on the backstop despite the UK's negotiators shouting loudly at them, a trick that may perturb and even shock Conservatives in favour of Empire 2.0 whose fore-bearers did very well on the back of shouting at foreigners who did not speak English. Meanwhile, Labour is still trying to get out of supporting a second vote, preferring a pointless, very soft Brexit. The LibDems carry on whining about almost everything and TIG are trying to convince the world they are still, er, Socialists - expect the ex-Conservative trio to do a disappearing act any time soon.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Too many laws, too little enforcement...

The UK works as a lightly policed society because the civilised majority of the populace recognise that it's much more pleasant to have a rule based country than one where anything goes. If people aren't able to step up to life in such a society they need to be dealt with by the police and lawyers. The law, though, has been brought into disrepute by the sheer excess of minor laws spewed out by Parliament, most only there to justify the excessive salaries of the MP's. You end up with absurdities such as a council being able to fine you £5000 for changing a window without permission whilst people who enter the country illegally are not immediately thrown back from whence they came (the same councils perhaps using these fines to house and feed the illegal immigrants).

Whilst minor laws can come with outrageously high fines, serious laws are often accompanied with laughable prison terms - prisons where the criminals are allowed to replicate their outside hierarchy and commit even more crimes which largely go unpunished - knifing someone, for instance, very rarely getting decade long terms of incarceration. All this spews up rage under the veneer of civilised society, especially when such crimes creep out from the ghetto into mainstream areas. 

This all starts in the schools where the lack of discipline encourages youths to act out the stuff they see on social media and parts of the UK regress to third world status where gang members gain initiation by mugging/knifing innocents. With Brexit meaning much less government spending, school class sizes will have to increase and that won't work unless there is serious redress when kids play up. I am sure a lot of older Conservatives have fond memories of the cane and can't wait to get that going again...

Brexit is an opportune moment to roll back all these minor laws and concentrate on serious punishment for the important stuff... the current government has a disturbing penchant for rolling out endless laws that are so poorly thought out that they have repercussions beyond what they are supposed to fix and is largely unfit for purpose, albeit infinitely preferable to the Marxist inspired alternative... best hope at the moment, Boris Johnson will ride to the rescue (reigned in by a proper Conservative chancellor such as John Redwood).


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Energy consumers raped post Brexit?

Where you have a bunch of crooked energy companies ripping off consumers for a decade or more you really do need to have recourse to a body with bite, such as the European Bureau of Consumer Affairs. The UK ombudsmen laughable in its effect and whilst the energy regulator has got its head around connecting consumer rates to the cost of production did not rebase the rate level to take into account the decade of rip-off prices. It should have looked at the cost of gas and electric ten years ago, compared it to today's cost and then worked out how much consumer prices should have risen over that period. Then used a multiple of energy prices, decreasing over time, to rebase the rates consumers pay before allowing any increases.

Absolutely no chance of any of that post-Brexit when lack of effective consumer rights will allow energy companies to rip people off left, right and centre... the latest scam is upping standing charges - akin to printing money for the energy companies - despite a need to reform the industry to reward low energy users not penalize them with ever higher standing charges. 

Nationalizing them a waste of public money but shutting them all down in favour of a new system, worth thinking about - after all, these scammers don't actually own the grid that supplies electric and gas, nor do they directly own the companies that produce energy - all they do is sit in the middle, taking meter readings and employing vast numbers of people who don't seem to actually do anything worthwhile. A new generation of smart readers that let you pay with a debit card in your own home and then sends that payment direct to the grid owners would eliminate a whole, parasitic industry and give consumers a huge reduction in pricing, itself an ideal moment to get rid of standing charges and rebase the rates to encourage minimum usage.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

21 months extension...

The EU should offer the UK an extension up to the end of their fiscal period, 21 months, but let the UK leave at any point up to that date, the remaining period being then a transition period or managed no-deal period, the same money paid into the EU regardless. It sort of gets the UK away from a cliff edge exit and keeps the EU in easy money for an agreed period. At worst, the UK just pays what it would pay as an EU member for access to the single market. The problem of the UK not having any MEPs would have to be fudged with some agreement between all parties - the general public could not give a shit about MEPs, as they are seen as being powerless in comparison to the bureaucrats and leaders of individual countries.  Being still in the EU we would have a veto on all the important stuff.

The ERG and DUP, as soon as they solved the Irish border issue, amended the withdrawal agreement to suit, could then get us out of the EU. Meanwhile, because the backstop is so interlinked with the trade agreement, everyone else can use the 21 months to finalise the trade deal without actually singing off the withdrawal deal - takes power away from the EU but about bloody time! Once the trade deal is done and dusted the backstop doesn't really matter as a trade deal that allows frictionless trade is the only option to keep the Irish border open.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Heat Turned Up...

Beautiful day cut by a sharp breeze of reality... Mrs May has decided to allow MP's to vote on whether they want No Deal if they reject her deal and then vote on whether they want an extension... that is going to make the EU stand firm on the backstop, not sure how the ERG will then react - looking like we may yet escape Brexit via a second vote. The EU still has a card to play, offering a better deal than they offered Cameron, especially around a strict residence test (as described in previous posts) to make freedom of movement acceptable to Leavers. I keep banging on about this and expect to get a Knighthood for my efforts when the politicians finally take note. It would literally stop the country descending into anarchy, especially if applied retrospectively. Chances of remaining in the EU are now much greater than before...
😼😼😼😼😼😼😼😼


Monday, February 25, 2019

Youth Vote Kicks Corbyn into 2nd Referendum

Labour now supports a second vote, May's deal versus remain, totted as a confirmatory vote, the amendment going down on March 12th. Fear of losing the youth vote to The Independent Group most likely the cause of this change of heart though Labour were keen to point out that it is already their policy. The timing is crap, though, because it takes things right down to the wire and the actual vote will be very close. If it was better timed then the EU could stonewall Mrs May and still have space to alter the backstop at the last moment if the amendment failed. Now it could stonewall and find that no deal is the result. On the other hand, the ERG might change their minds and go for Mrs May's deal regardless of the backstop just to stop the second vote, not sure where that would leave the DUP on a subsequent confidence vote, though. Mrs May is under pressure to take no deal off the table, both via an amendment this week and from her own cabinet. Anything could happen...

If a general election happens any time soon and Labour supports remain, expect them to wipe out both The Independent Group and the Liberal Democrats - they will lose some pro Brexit, working class seats but with more than 60 percent of the electorate  wanting to stay in the EU the numbers are going to be on their side. Labour restrained by EU laws a lot more palatable than a Labour post-Brexit that can do anything it likes to businesses and individuals. 

The Nasty Reality Party...

Gordon Brown cleverly made so many people dependent on the State via welfare and tax credits that it is very hard for a right wing Conservative government to get enough votes to win an election. Hence Mrs May's insistence on the centre ground and big State. Corbyn and Co would love to make everyone dependent on the State, ensuring that the Tories could never win an election again, at least until the UK's economy implodes from a ruined currency after endless printing of funny money. The Left has already convinced itself that Gordon Brown didn't all but bankrupt the country and doubling or tripling government spending is the way to solve all the country's problems, ignoring the reality of what happens to every full-on socialist country. 

Interestingly, and hopefully, this removal from reality is most deeply embedded in older Labour members rather than youth, who at the flick of a finger on their smart phones can view what is happening in Venezuela - the Left, of course, blame the USA for blocking trade rather than socialism for that country's fall from grace. You have to laugh, or should that be cry? Reality back in the UK is that the absurdly generous welfare budget is eating up all the money that should be spent on schools, hospitals etc, and no party is openly promoting this view because too many people are addicted to "free" government money, seen now as a basic human right.

So where does that leave us post Brexit? Whether or not May gets a deal, now delayed to March 12th, the reality will be falling government revenues over the next five years but absolutely no plans for an emergency budget to take 50-100 billion out of government spending, which if not done will send Sterling spiralling downwards as the BOE has no stomach for getting ahead of the game by  upping base rates to above inflation. Tariff free imports won't produce lower prices if Sterling falls dramatically and exporters don't seem to benefit that much from the ruined value of the pound...

How will the new centre ground, wannabe party, The Independent Group, address these fundamental problems if Brexit happens. Whilst happy to produce dire warning about the consequences of Brexit my guess is that any upcoming manifesto will completely ignore them! I don't think they would be impressed by the idea of naming themselves The Nasty Reality Party.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Managed Decline...

The Left, when talking about the plight of the poor, always goes on about the UK being one of the richest countries in the world, conveniently forgetting the debt pile that Gordon Brown built up which the Conservatives almost doubled in trying to get the deficit down to sane levels without crashing the system - a very soft austerity. Without that debt - and its ever increasing servicing cost - current deficit and spending would be quite reasonable but in the context of the actual debt is still far too hight. 

With Brexit about to happen, the only way the UK is going to survive in the big, wide - highly competitive - world is to cut the government back much further, taking a much needed opportunity to roll back a highly intrusive State (and councils), ensuring that the power of politicians over the populace is much diminished rather than their current power grab from Brussels. The alternative to a much smaller State is a ruined currency and managed decline, with ever higher taxes thrown away on wasteful government projects that only serve to bolster the incomes of the political class and their ever expanding retinue of lackeys.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

New Policies for The Independent Group...

1. Make Freedom of Movement acceptable to Leavers by having a very tough residence test, 5-10 years before any access to benefits, social housing, welfare etc and possibly the personal tax allowance. Exceptions allowed for frontline personnel such as nurses. The residence test period would be non-continuous so that Brits born here who have gone abroad and come back would not necessarily be affected. Applied equally to Brits and EU citizens then EU permission would not be needed. Probably a step too far but could be made retrospective.
 

2. Burden of tax shifted from individuals to companies, council tax to be phased out and replaced by a turnover tax on business – hugely popular with the electorate. This turnover tax expanded to replace business rates and employer NI, rebalancing taxes paid by high street and online companies. Turnover tax much harder to fiddle than profit numbers.
 

3. Simplified tax system with employee NI integrated into income tax rates (pensions and benefits then based on residence rather than NI contributions), new tax rates starting at 10 percent through to 40 percent, angled at improving net income of those earning less than 25000, whilst tax reliefs for pensions and charity would be restricted, tax rollovers abolished. Capital Gains and inheritted money treated as income, not so popular but does emphasize new fairness in the tax system. 

4. Energy tariffs to be realigned to encourage low energy usage - standing charges will be abolished and the first £20/month will be set by the government at half the current rate. Each company then allowed to set a single rate for higher usage with the same discount for online and direct debit payments, making it simple to compare offers. Once this has settled down the top rate to be limited by a multiple of the actual energy cost, over time that multiple would decline to force efficiency into the system. 

5. Solar panel and heat pumps to be removed from the tax and tariff system to lower prices. New installations to have smart meters that run backwards so the owner is always credited with excess energy produced (which will be used by industry during the day) so that they will have a radical drop in energy costs. No other incentives then needed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Gang of Eleven

Three Conservatives have joined eight MPs from Labour to bolster the Independent Group, the whole lot of them coming over as intelligent, honest and capable - something of a rarity in modern politics. They are doing okay in the polls but I suspect that is down to their pro-EU stance and call for a People's Vote. Beyond that they have put out a rather vague statement of intent which few sane people would disagree with. Meanwhile, the LibDems make conciliatory noises but look like they are creaking at the seams, Sir Vince taking on the aura of a tired B-movie extra rather than someone who is going to save the country from Brexit. 

The LibDem's have the machinery of a political party but a lot of their members are out to prove a point, that they are more left wing than Corbyn, salivating at the prospect of confiscatory wealth and land taxes. In their hearts they know that is a non-runner electorally so tolerate a more centre-left leadership and MP's, who are still dogged by the coalition detritus where they ended up described as Orange Conservatives. However, the IG are expecting the LibDem MPs to cross the floor to join them rather than the other way round.

Presumably, the IG are hoping that the 60 percent of the populace who want to stay in the EU will be so outraged by Brexit that they won't need to be prodded by the electoral machinery to vote for the new party and social media will hum with a song of hope. Or something. 

Just a thought, Ken Clarke - a moderate but ultra loyal Tory - has been very quiet on the new party but he could possibly finish off the Conservatives by crossing the floor...

Helping Honda Swindon's workers...

Swindon is well located with regards to transport links, especially rail along the Bristol to London route. Its role as a commuter town for those working in London, though, is ruined by exorbitant rail fares if you so much as think about travelling towards London - a complete and utter rip-off. So maybe the best thing the government can do is give Honda's workers a five year rail pass that would let them shoot around the country looking for work and commute in for free when they found it?

Careful what you wish for...

Every time the government gets tangled up in an immigration scandal its poll rating goes up a bit, much to the annoyance of whining LibDems and Labourites. Thus the Home Secretary's shocking decision - given the past history of the government letting known terrorists live on benefits - to revoke the citizenship of Shamima Begum will come as a welcome surprise to most of the British populace who were half expecting her to be flown home at the tax-payer's expense and lavished with benefits. Hopefully, an investigation will be made into the parents to see if they aided her on her way to Isis...

Post Brexit, expect to see the government acting in a similar hard edged way to recent immigrants, or their children, who are aiding or becoming terrorists; each click up in the polls will encourage a hardening of the government's stance. However, post Brexit individual rights will be weakened because it will be government bodies, rather than external EU courts, that determine the validity of their rights so whilst clearing out those who are aiding terrorists is to the good, it could easily become the first step on curtailing the rights of people whose only sin is being a bit different to the unholy mass of the populace.

The Great Honda Disappearing Act

I suspect there are two possible reasons why Honda is closing down its Swindon factory. The first is technological, the UK's program to make it the place for battery design and manufacture is already out of date compared to what either Japanese government or Honda's research have discovered. This ties in with Nissan's decision to not build an electric vehicle in the UK and arch Brexiteer Dyson to move his operations to Singapore. Battery tech is the key to winning the electric car war but Honda is also the world's biggest manufacturer of motorcycles and a step-change in battery design would be even more important to them.

The second reason could be diplomatic. The Japanese government has gone from enthusiastic about a free trade deal with the UK to lukewarm. Given the crassness of the UK's government's Brexiteers it is not beyond the realms of possibility that one of them grievously insulted either a member of the Japanese government or a high ranking executive at Honda Japan. The Japanese would have smiled politely, only to go into a rage once back in their own enclave. What better way to teach the British a lesson than closing down the jewel in their crown that a month ago was described as producing the best quality cars in Honda's network and assured that they would not be affected by Brexit?

It could be a combination of the above, the offer of innovative battery technology and payback for some perceived diplomatic insult. The UK government has a notorious history of wasting tax-payer's money on auto related projects that come to naught and the current mob don't inspire much confidence, do they?

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?

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

We're British, no backstop, please...

Parliament now supports Mrs May's deal sans the backstop. The EU says the withdrawal deal can't possibly be modified in any way. Yet the result of that will be no deal and the EU has said there will be no hard border in Ireland, then has an open border with a free trading UK... the EU seems to have destroyed it own argument with the logic of its position. So something will have to change.  With Ireland dependent on NI and UK trade to a much greater extent than EU trade, if they want to survive no deal they will have to have a "border" with the EU rather than the UK! Where that ends up will be amusing!

Meanwhile, SNP MP's are furious but by the same logic they can only leave the UK and become part of the EU - post Brexit - if they have a hard border with the UK, which they would have to agree to pay for pre-referendum and build before they left. Also by ignoring the overall democratic mandate of the UK's referendum, they are also going to have to respect the democratic mandate of the border countries, moving the border northwards if the border countries vote to remain part of the UK. Scottish independence likely to end up an even bigger mess than Brexit.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Retail falling apart

Whilst the stale politicians try to bore the populace and fellow MP's into compliance with the same endless, senseless mantras, the poor old retail sector is falling apart at the seams. The core of the problem is the ruination of Sterling making imports too expensive whilst the clever consumer refuses to pay more to allow retailers to make up the difference. Some companies, like Poundworld, are simply squeezed out of the market whilst the department stores and supermarkets are offering eye-watering discounts to steal each other's customers - the clever shopper able to get a discount on a discount. These deflationary prices do not appear in the measures of inflation which are based on retail prices that may well have gone up but few are willing to pay such ticket prices. Lovely if you have the time to be a clever shopper.

The fall of Sterling was originally caused by the incompetence of  the Brown/Blair era, having convinced themselves that the boom-bust cycle had been abolished they racked up public spending to a level that left no escape room when the bust came. Then the Coalition did a softly-softly style of austerity that didn't quite address the underlying problem of excessive State but had Brexit not happened would probably have got the spending finally in balance by now with Sterling on a strong recovery path and BOE rates above inflation (with house prices coming down a touch). 

But Brexit happened Cameron ran away and Osborne was sacked, the new PM failed dismally to correct the spending problem and the BOE didn't rush to Sterling's aid with reasonable interest rates - and poor old Sterling sank, with the aforementioned problems working their way through the retail sector. Just like Brown ignoring the entire history of boom-bust the BOE ignores what happens if you don't get ahead of the game on interest rates, at some point they then have to go up by a huge amount to save the currency!

Friday, January 25, 2019

General Election?

Completely beyond me how Mrs May can call a general election when her party has no cohesive policy on Brexit - what would they put on the manifesto? No idea. Would Labour actually start doing the new politics it was originally muttering about and lasted about five minutes before the usual screaming half-truths took over, in between endless Marxist mantra chants, and actually opt for cancelling Brexit, plus a much muted (by EU laws) manifesto that would also pull in the voters? At least if Labour then won we could all fast exit to Spain or Portugal without worrying about being chucked out later on...

Best guess at the moment, the Brexiteers will do a rapid U-turn and support Mrs May's deal at the next vote, they would die a death if Labour got in with or without a promise to cancel Brexit.

Friday, January 18, 2019

EFTA?

Personally, the only problem I would have with joining EFTA is how long it would take our useless politicians to change their minds and start the Leave process all over again. Labour because there would still be too many rules holding them back from pillaging business and individual wealth to fund their spending plans. The Conservatives because they still want to free the UK of all EU shackles. EFTA would solve the Irish border problem, keep freedom of movement and get that all important ease of trade. The EU would still demand its pound of flesh for access to the single market - if we are lucky 5 billion quid a year - but we would be free to farm and fish to our heart's content. No individual trade deals but it would lock us into the existing free trade deals and some kind of fudge would be needed for the UK to play a role in future trading deals via the EU.

Immigration was one of the big reasons to leave, FOM would have many people screaming their heads off but my much mentioned 5-10 year retrospective residence test, with foreigners moved out of social housing, before any access to welfare, etc., would balance that out.

Whether the existing EFTA countries would let us join is another matter, though having the weight of the UK behind them would make their position more powerful in future negotiations with the EU. Swings and roundabouts.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Same old same...

The no-confidence debate was the same old stale mud slinging contest with the notable exception of Michael Gove who brought some religious fervour to the debate. Corbyn stuck to his Marxist roots by not moving on to the People's Vote after failing to get a general election, presumably horrified at the idea that businesses and individuals would remain protected by a myriad of EU laws if Remain won. Mrs May continues to dig her way through to Australia, if she wants to keep her deal on the table the only way is to ratify it with a second referendum... come on Mr May, whisper some sweet reality into her brain!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

May's deal goes down...

Mrs May's reaction to the historical defeat of her deal was to offer parliament the chance to bring forward their ideas... as long as they were negotiable or in May-speak as long as they agreed with her own ideas. The only thing really surprising was that Sterling didn't tank, the markets think there is a good way out of the mess, presumably a second vote that remain wins. Corbyn got so excited over his no-confidence vote that he started to sound like a Dalek... exterminate, exterminate!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Crucial Vote Amendment...

If Mrs May wants her deal to go through parliament today then it should be amended to be subject to a People's Vote with the deal versus remain. QED

Sunday, January 13, 2019

EU must sweeten a bitter pill

Whether we end up revoking aritcle 50 or in the EEA or having another vote or something else entirely, the EU can make such a change much more acceptable by doing the following:

A very strict, five to ten year, residence test that excludes newcomers from the whole welfare system, social housing, benefits, etc. Made retrospective, it would free up circa 200,000 social housing units for British people. Possibly, even the personal tax allowance would be included. Exceptions for nurses and the like so as not to impinge upon essential services.

Freeze net payments into the EU, over time they will decrease in real terms and in relation to the size of the UK's economy. This in recognition that the UK won't be joining the eurozone or further integration. Currently some of the money the EU gets from the UK comes back into the country, over time this would move back into control of the UK.

Some easing of control of the European courts over our ability to deport foreign criminals and some easing on the fishing and agricultural limits.

These changes would need to be implemented before a second vote and people need to see foreigners moved out of social housing so that they know that at long last the government is taking them seriously.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Pro EU Centre Party

The problem with proposed pro-EU parties is that they tend towards the parallel belief that the Big State is a good thing whereas I want minimal taxation, only essential welfare and a light-touch State but also want to stay in the EU... I have the perverse view that the further away the centre of power is from the individual the less likely is its wrath to descend upon my tender head. No idea, then, who I should vote for...

Ruined currency makes UK less attractive

The UK has a long history of our crooked politicians using currency devaluations as means to keep on spending excessive amounts of tax-payers' money whilst still making it an attractive place to invest, the ruined currency makes assets and investments cheap unless you are British and have all your dosh in Sterling.

Normally, this would be accompanied by high rates of inflation but this time around there is no price elasticity, companies put their prices up and find sales dive. Often they have to offer steeper discounts than before, the end result for the careful shopper is actual price deflation (you can often get discounts on discounts if you play the system).

High ticket items like cars and motorcycles, we have more crookedness with dodgy leasing deals trying to bolster high retail prices but the consumer is not so easily duped into never owning the purchase and having to roll over the finance to infinity, often with absurdly high interest rates. Falling sales the result, with knock-on effects for the big producers of job losses and perhaps closures - my money is on Honda's Swindon plant to be the first to close if no-deal Brexit happens. If you shop around you can find 15-20 percent off the retail prices!

Meanwhile, exporters into the UK find their margins hammered with the result that they start looking for more profitable markets elsewhere; even before Brexit the supply chain begins to be disrupted by lack of supply that has not yet fed though to higher prices because the market won't take any increases.

Where all this ends up is anyone's guess...

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Post Brexit Data protection going to zero

The government runs two huge databases. One based on driving licence/passport information, the other on national insurance numbers. Access to government services is moving to cross-checking these databases to limit fraud possibilities. Voter registration by councils has access to the work and pensions database (based around NI numbers) to check on would-be voters but then distills this information on to the voter's registration database, which can be searched by an endless array of dodgy companies and by individuals if they pay a small fee to these companies. 

There is a strong possibility that such a movement of individual data is illegal under EU data protection laws - certainly, if you refuse to give your NI number to the council they will back off if you mention such protection rights. Usually, the council just cross checks the info they have on the voter with the database, without informing the voter nor giving him or her the choice of whether they want their NI number and DOB on the voter's register (whether the public search box is ticked or not it makes no difference to the access of information on the database as far as the companies that access it are concerned). 

Of course, MP's and serious VIPs have the option to register via the anonymous register which can only be searched by the likes of the police and tax man. Joe Public has to get a court order to be included on this register, along with dire warnings that things like mortgages will become impossible as banks, etc., won't be able to access this information.

Then, a database exists that protects individuals' information but they aren't allowed on it because the government deems that information not important enough to protect! Arguably, as well as a breach of EU data protection laws it is a breach of European human rights.

The idea that one branch of the UK government will protect individual rights against another branch of that government is, at best, optimistic, especially when compared with the fear with which UK govn workers exhibit when you threaten them with being reported to various EU bodies. Post Brexit, then, the ability of individuals to protect their data needs to be urgently upgraded so that they have the basic right to stop non-government bodies from accessing it!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Boris says no deal closest to what people voted for...

Boris may be correct that a majority of leavers voted for a quick, clean cut with the EU but the then chancellor George Osborne pointed out that for this to happen there would have to be a large cut in spending to make the country ready for life under WTO rules... two years later the government has done nothing to balance the books, the BOE hasn't protected the currency by increasing interest rates to above inflation and the only achievement from Mrs May is that she has negotiated a deal that ends Freedom of Movement whilst forcing the UK to keep its laws in alignment with the EU. End result is the worst of all worlds if we leave with a deal or leave without one!

Apparently, Boris is already sanguine about a second vote, saying Leave would win it easily despite the polls suggesting that circa 60 percent of the populace actually want to stay in the EU. The only way that Boris will get on to the final leadership ballot will be by saying a second vote is going to happen, thus appealing to the majority of remain Conservative MPs whilst at the same time telling leavers they can win such a vote. Once in power, all bets will be off.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

More Control...

The only people who are going to have more control post Brexit are the politicians and large companies. One of the good things about the EU is the ability to impose taxes right across the region so that big companies can't easily escape them. The burden of tax urgently needs to shift from individuals to companies and the only radical way to do this is to impose an EU wide turnover tax. This tax needs to be variable so that companies that do something useful would pay a low rate and companies that are seen to rip people off pay a much higher rate.

Another problem with the EU is the dislocation of people from the elite rulers, the parliament - the nearest normal people get to having a say - seen as largely sidelined and useless. Imagine then if there was a mechanism that allowed EU citizens to vote on the rate of turnover tax applied to the often cartel-like actions of some companies. Energy companies act like cartels, for instance, then people could vote to hit them with a much higher turnover tax. The same for finance companies that charge sky-high interest rates. The list is endless...

My own experience already suggests that UK companies are shit-scared of being reported to EU institutions but happily laugh off threats of complaints to UK ombudsmen. Imagine how they would react to the threat of a higher turnover tax if they are caught ripping off people. The use of a turnover tax is important because it is the one area where clever accountants can't fiddle the actual figures, unlike off-shoring profits or balancing them against loans from areas of low taxation.

Imagine how people would feel towards the EU bureaucracy if they said there would be a 5-10 percent reduction in income tax, the revenue to be replaced by the turnover tax. Individual countries would still be able to change the income tax rates back, bringing in all that extra revenue, but it would be political suicide to do so.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New Year, New Hope?

The worst possible result of Brexit is a fast exit from the EU and then a Marxist Labour government conning its way into power. Sterling completely ruined, huge rises in taxes and the government hovering up all the surplus wealth in the country. The rich and clever will fast exit while they still have something to exit with, the welfare class will expand exponentially whilst the political class will reward themselves with huge, tax-free expense accounts whilst they rush around dipping their snouts into all available troughs. Not a pretty picture, comrades.