Research & Brexit

In most cases it’s too early to determine and gauge IT tech and its customer’s response to the UK’s Brexit vote. The sudden change in economic expectations and the reduction in concrete business opportunity has taken me by surprise as both sales opportunities are reduced and investment plans are re-evaluated and at the best postponed. The cause is thought to be uncertainty, both the uncertainty around the UK’s short term economic performance which last week’s Bank of England response, they reduce interest rates to .25% shows the seriousness and uncertainty around the long term end-state of the possible reconfiguration of the UK’s EU membership agreement. I am personally not convinced the UK will actually leave and we certainly don’t know if the alternative is an associate agreement or reliance on the WTO terms.

One further very visible indicator of short term disadvantage is that we are beginning to see UK scientists being excluded from the EU R&D budget grants; again this is premature but people are playing it safe; if the UK Universities and companies fail to form or participate in syndicates in the current bid process this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We should consider that the multiplier effect in basic & applied research is higher than investment in plant, and probably even the arts, the programme is designed to create massive leverage and any loss is forever!

2nd Referendum

I am absolutely of the view that when the terms of Brexit are known, there should be a 2nd Referendum. The current so-called mandate was issued without knowing the end-game and is therefore useless. These terms of exit must be negotiated in good faith, which only the Tories can do. This is a principled reason enough for Labour and the other pro-EU parties to vote against an early election. They broke it, they can fix it.

Trot Hunting

Trot Hunting

This was written about the noise created as Labour’s bureaucrats massaged/purged the membership. Good Grief! We might have noticed 350,000 trotskyists over the last 20 years. This was originally a storify. It looks at Momentum.

They’re not frightened of Jeremy Corbyn, they’re frightened of us!

Irrational

The Labour Party NEC won their appeal for the right to define “precise eligibility” and a “freeze date”. The ruling is here…. To take some emotion out if it, I think they are right in that the NEC has the right to define precise eligibility and a freeze date. However, given the statement on the new membership web page that new members would be allowed to vote in the Leadership election, I can’t see how it is anything other than arbitrary, capricious, perverse and irrational to exclude 25% of the membership, who have been promised a vote from voting for the leadership. The Court of Appeal stated that,

We consider that a power constrained by requirements of absence of arbitrariness, capriciousness, perversity and irrationality is extremely unlikely to produce an unreasonable result.

and yet it did and they, the Judges, let it happen. I see no mention of the promise to permit the vote or why, since it must have been authorised by the NEC or through its delegated powers, they are allowed to use their powers, under the rules, to revoke a previously made promise.

 

Corruption

I was just checking out Transparency International’s web site and in order to get a handle on what the numbers mean I checked out the UK pages. ; the UK is assessed as the 10th= least corrupt country in the World, however when you read what we i.e. UK Citizens (or maybe residents think, a different story emerges.

ti-ukopinionsnip

Nothing does well, but Politics, Parliament, Business and the Media have a particularly bad reputation. The Judiciary at 2.8 does better than most

British Trotskyism

Last month, Mark Steel, in reply to those who claim that all Corbyn’s supporters are all Trots observed that we might have noticed 350,000 Trotskyists waiting to join the Labour Party, and he points out that since 130,000 waited until this year, they must be lazy Trotskyists. Professor Colin Talbot of Manchester University and an ex-member of the IMG shows how Steel might be wrong. He argues all those burned out student lefties have to have gone somewhere and many will still have a residual loyalty to the causes of their youth.

Rationality

Yesterday the court ruled that Labour’s NEC cannot impose a retrospective longevity requirement on which members can and cannot vote in the Leadership election. The Judge’s ruling is here …, you can read it for yourself, I plan to offer you some highlights later, but the ruling is that it can’t impose a retrospective longevity requirement which excludes 25% of the membership. (It seems there’s a rationality test, but the judge didn’t need to apply it, probably just as well.)