Why inflation?

Why inflation?

Have we returned to the Phillips Curve which described a macro-economic policy choice between inflation and unemployment? The Bank of England predicts an inflationary blip, and yet Labour shortages in the UK seem endemic. The Govt’s policy is to constrict labour supply by restricting immigration. It’s not wages that are problem, although in many sectors they remain are too low and subsidised by in-work benefits, but a lack of candidates. Time for the QMT loonies to pull their heads in. …

Wiggle room on human rights law

Wiggle room on human rights law

I made a linkedin blog on the ECtHR’s margin of appreciation. I was reading up on the UK’s post Brexit data sharing arrangements with the EU, and under the terms of the GDPR. I was diverted by the ECHR’s doctrine of a “margin of appreciation”.

Broadly speaking it refers to the room for manoeuvre the Strasbourg institutions are prepared to accord national authorities in fulfilling their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Steven Greer Reader in Law, University of Bristol,United Kingdom

Human Rights law is designed to constrain governments but will always require interpretation. The doctrine means that the rights of interpretation are shared between the ECtHR and the signatory states, who themselves will divide this between their courts and executive branch.  

This seems sensible, as I observed, when the British courts were busy interfering with the CPSA in the ‘80’s and undermines the argument of foreign interference because where there is a benefit of doubt, the ECtHR can allow the otherwise infringing government that benefit.

With respect to the cross border transfer regulation, this might make it easier to comply with the law, but there are several outstanding problems. With respect to international data sharing, the most relevant to the doctrine of appreciation and this article is that, the UK is now an ex-member-state and while the Commission argues this means that the UK’s data protection regime is suitable, the fact it is now a 3rd country means that the UK has less legal privileges to exercise its “margin of appreciation” as the powers granted to member states to vary/diminish the protections in Article 23, no longer apply. This was observed and commented on by the House of Lords Select Committee report on Brexit in 2017. See also,

I was reading this article, which makes it much clearer, that the ECtHR looks to defer to national institutions, where it can,

According to the classical position of the ECtHR State authorities “are in principle in a better position than the international judge to give an opinion” on the “necessity” and “proportionality” of a derogation or restriction authorized by human rights law. As a consequence, international courts “should grant national authorities an important degree of deference and respect their discretion” with regard to the implementation of exceptions. Thus, without precluding judicial review of a State’s action in this field, the doctrine intends to “limit the scope of this review” and to impose some degree of judicial self-restraint where an assessment of the attitude of national authorities is concerned.

Theodre Christakis

 …

On economic migrancy

On economic migrancy

The dirty secret that makes a non-racist immigration policy difficult is that economic migrancy is demand led. Post Brexit, we are short of farm workers, lorry drivers, hospitality workers, and health workers because they’ve gone home and aren’t allowed back in or don’t want to come because of the xenophobia. All of this is causing food shortages, price increases and reduced and delayed health delivery.

On the whole immigrants are younger and of working age; as our population ages we need more people of working age, to produce stuff, deliver services and pay for the pensions of our old and education of our children. The quid pro-quo must be that we offer them citizenship and treat them as neighbours, not to harass them using the hostile environment laws.

A further problem is that the work not being done reduces the tax income of the treasury.

Migrants and young workers pay old people’s pensions.

I salute those who made the single market and freedom of movement the centre of their opposition to Brexit; the facts on the ground today show them to be right, and this is before we consider those Brits in Europe who’ll have to give up their homes and jobs, and those people who travel to Europe for work, such as musicians and actors and others, it’s not just building workers anymore.

If it’s in our interests to welcome migrants, then there’s only one reason for behaving as our government is!

ooOOOoo

The ageing of the global north, and its funding sustainability was observed and publicised by the IMF in the paper,  “Immigrant Swan Song”. For more, from me see tag:immigration

I was thinking of linking to a video clip from “Auf Wiedersehen, Pet”, but the quality on youtube is not good and it’s probably not as funny or insightful as I remember. …

Without Track & Trace, it’s just herd immunity

Without Track & Trace, it’s just herd immunity

Today should have been either Freedom Day or a more mundane, lifting of all lockdown restrictions. It isn’t. It’s been postponed by four weeks. I remain uncomfortable about the Govt’s (and Labour’s) approach and its sole reliance on vaccines. I came across a tweet today from Deepti Gurdasani , who has taken up the issue of pandemic response and, in my mind, talks about the fact that the Govt. are still pursuing a herd immunity strategy and the the failure and loss of trust in track and trace is a critical weakness in the UK response. She also pointed me at the serious escalating evidence of the crippling damage of “long covid”. and at the John Snow Memo.

It seems to be about 1 year old, and says, among other things,

In the absence of adequate provisions to manage the pandemic and its societal impacts, these countries have faced continuing restrictions. This has understandably led to widespread demoralisation and diminishing trust. …

Any pandemic management strategy relying upon immunity from natural infections for COVID-19 is flawed. … Furthermore, there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection and the endemic transmission that would be the consequence of waning immunity would present a risk to vulnerable populations for the indefinite future. …

Effective measures that suppress and control transmission need to be implemented widely, and they must be supported by financial and social programmes that encourage community responses and address the inequities that have been amplified by the pandemic.

The John Snow Memo

We, i.e. the UK, need an effective and trusted track and trace, which we don’t have, thanks to Hancock and Harding. Without it, we are just using sticking plaster to mend a broken leg! …

About Chesham & Amersham

The Chesham and Amersham by-election. What’s the headline? Tory vote collapses, or Labour loses deposit. A bit of good news and bad news. I doubt that Labour’s leadership will be think that doing better than they did in the Richmond Park by-election is a winning line, nor that we weren’t really trying.

This may be a dramatic reinforcement of what was hinted at on May 6th, that traditional Tory voters in the South of the country are sick of Johnson’s UKIP retread party. It’s a shame that they didn’t wake up in time to save Dominic Greive’s seat and the 150,000 dead from CVB19; it’s not a national trend as Ben Houchon’s strong mandate in Teeside shows. Houchan’s victory also undermines the argument that the red wall is collapsing because Labour are the establishment as do the victories in Preston and Manchester.

Chesham & Amerhsam was a remain seat, 55% – 45%.

Here’s a chart, showing among other things, Labour’s 2017 vote and its historic second place.

There have been some famous by-election upsets in the past, although few with a lasting impact. I wonder if this is any different today. The politics is, and voter loyalty is much weaker than it was fifty years ago.  …

About CLP affiliate delegates

About CLP affiliate delegates

I was asked on a Facebook Group, if it was normal for Constituency Labour Party affiliates to change their delegate nominees after a Labour Party branch AGM in order to install people that had lost in the election at their branches. I replied, possibly at length, and have decided to reproduce what I said here. I wrote,

Is it normal? Dunno, but in my view it’s indicative of cheating and this isn’t the first time I have heard of this happening. If the certification of the delegates is not signed by the affiliating entity’s secretary, I would doubt that the unit has met or voted to send delegates. The key here, in generating my suspicion is the timing, the affiliate will only have days, and in the other case I have seen, the fact that the individuals named were not active or retired steel workers.

The rules on what may affiliate are named in C7.IV. Trade Union regional committees may not affiliate. New affiliates must be accepted more than 60 days before the AGM. Only socialist society branches may affiliate.

The rules require that all affiliates name the unit affiliating. It would seem normal to expect that the unit’s secretary would be named so that the CLP can fulfil its communication responsibilities, but it is not, most Unions do not inform the CLP of the affiliating branch’s secretary. I have at times sought to disaffiliate those affiliates that will not tell us who their secretary is and whose notification was not signed by the unit secretaries. I did not succeed. The affiliation should be on letterheaded paper (or digital equivalent) and certifiably dated.  

With respect to socialist societies, only local branches may affiliate. Ask for the branch name, the branch secretary and the date of the meeting at which the decisions were taken. I have helped deregister delegates who were nominated other than by local branches and rejected a soc. soc. affiliation on these grounds.  (In fact, I joined two of the socialist societies to ensure they kept to the rules. I approve of those organisations, it wasn’t parasitic entryism. In fact, I am still a member of the LME.)

I recommend that a CLP adopts the policy that any money sent to the party by affiliates without cross referencing a delegate nomination is treated as a donation. i.e. refuse to recognise affiliations without delegate nominations.

However trying this with a Union will probably bring the attention of Regional Office who may seek to ‘persuade’ you that what you’re doing is against the rules and that you or your party will be suspended. Ask for any instructions in writing.

I have previously expressed similar views on this blog in articles entitled, Phantoms, Secretaries and Localism. …

Crisis in the hospitality business

Crisis in the hospitality business

While it seems people are desperate to get back to the pub, the staff don’t seem so keen. Across the country, pubs and restaurants are having difficulty in recruiting staff. Here’s the BBC, here’s the FT and again, here’s the Manchester Evening News. Even Tim Martin, the arch Brexiteer Weatherspoons boss is complaining. This is another lesson to us about how our economy is out of kilter, essential work is not well paid!

While much of the reporting suggests a desire for a better life work balance, I wonder how much Brexit and the end of Freedom of Movement has to do with this.  …

Free Palestine

There was a demonstration in London over the weekend in solidarity with Palestine and Palestinians. Eye witnesses tell me it was very large, some report it as 100,000. This is as a result of the resuming war in the Middle East, the siege of Gaza, continued oppression of the West Bank Palestinians and also of their ecumenical and secular supporters within Israel. I wasn’t there, perhaps I should have been.

António Guterres spoke to the security council last week, this reported by the UN whose press release includes the following,

… the past week has seen the deadliest escalation between Israeli military forces and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza in seven years, as well as dramatic scenes of violence across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. In the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, there have been protests and clashes over the threat of Palestinian evictions by settler organizations. Meanwhile, in the Old City, including in the Holy Esplanade, violent clashes have unfolded between Palestinians and Israeli civilians and police. Police deployed a heavy presence in the area in the context of large numbers of visitors for Ramadan prayers, protests and Israeli extremist demonstrations, leading to clashes.

Tor Wennesland,UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process
 …