That’s you that is!

I am beginning to find the debate on Brexit with with local party comrades very frustrating, specifically those who believe that leaving the EU is a path to a better society; my frustration with the triangulators is different.

During the Referendum, everyone who didn’t like the EU voted No, with views from what has become Norway+ to those who want to leave on WTO or no terms. In a very short while, if not already, the terms of leaving become/became specific and they will need to decide whether these terms are suitable. It was fantasy against a reality, or more accurately several fantasies against a reality and the leaver’s fantasy has disappeared.

The choice between a specific exit and remain is different and they will need to make a new choice, they will need to make a judgement as to the specific terms on offer are satisfactory, that is unless you take the view that disruption caused by leaving the EU on any terms will cause a mass rising of “left wing” revolutionary conciousness. This argument is rarely made outside the Socialist Party.

Terms written by the Tories for purposes of party unity are unlikely to or shouldn’t satisfy socialists and yet we still find some of them supporting “Brexit” without stating their terms, strategy or how they’ll make society better or what their better society would look like, except that a Corbyn led government will make things better, irrespective of whether their policy will make this more likley or not. On the other hand, we have a bunch of Labour MPs other than the usual suspects, who are preparing to break the whip, and break Party Conference policy if offered May’s deal or No Deal.

As a left, we should unite to stop the Tory Brexit.

I repeat what I said, without quoting David Baddiel this time, if we leave, it’ll be bad, or very bad and everyone who can be blamed will be.

I ask, “What will they say to those who lose their jobs or suffer other oppressions, including deportation, restriction on medical treatment or restrictions on movement, such as being unable to visit their family, or bring them here, because of Brexit and I do not mean this as how to express empathy; what will you suggest they do to make their lives better through political action and why would they listen to you?”

ooOOOoo

For more, see also, The ground is shifting …

Dark clouds over the sea

Dark clouds over the sea

A friend and Labour Party member writes,

Problem is the next election won’t be fought on our ground or the manifesto it will be all Brexit. More precisely the fall out and ongoing shambles that will be Brexit. It will be a very fluid and febrile political environment. That will make normal politics difficult and in my view setting the campaign agenda will be next to impossible. It will be a relentless buffet at the hands of the wider political winds. All due respect by the Party is kind of shit at reactive PR and messaging.

The economic fall out of what I now about 75% anticipate will be a no deal crash out on 29th March will be crippling. I predict the UK economy shrinking by enough that we drop out of the G7 inside 3-5 years. I also anticipate unemployment in the several millions maybe as high as 5/6 million across roughly the same period. Some of this could be alleviated if Tories used big time stimulus spending by way of PQE type money creation. Although that gets capped to an extent by currency values declining and the overall productive value of the UK economy. But it is more likely the Tories will decide super austerity is the answer and start slashing and burning every aspect of the Public sector. As Parliament is Sovereign and there won’t be an EU there is no limit to what they can do. I predict a labour market that will look a lot like the US one inside a relatively short period. I have worked in the USA, (actually in banking, boo, but I did hate it). You can be fired at will and have no legal recourse.

Now factor in Scotland having Indy Ref 2 (they will) and most likely waving good bye (with 40-50 non Tory MP’s gone). Scotland leaving is another major economic shock and the shift from sterling being valued as a petro currency to being based on the English/Welsh/NI economy will weaken it again. NI is not self sustaining economically and it is very vulnerable to the areas that a hard Brexit will hit hardest. Agri Business is 10% of NI GDP a hard Brexit is going to cripple it. Sheep farming will be wiped out in NI and dairy and beef will be badly hurt. NI won’t be a productive part of the UK economy and it is unlikely Wales will be either. The whole weight will be England and the SE will dominate that at the expense of the North. We will be in an economic position that will be at least as weak as it was in the early 70’s after the oil shocks and probably worse because our economy is now so heavily service and finance based and Brexit is going to hit them very hard.

I could go on but you get the picture. Politically Tory slash and burn may shift public mood to wanting a change and give us a chance. I am not entirely convinced that will be how it plays out. In times of fear and crisis people want leaders who offer the answers and seem strong and certain. In truth that is the worst kind of leadership but it is a natural human reaction to seek it at times of crisis. The prolonged Brexit crisis may push voters towards a strongman type right wing leader rather than Labour so I don’t see unfolding Brexit disaster as necessarily delivering up conditions for a Labour GE win. It might but it might not.

Even if we got a GE win in say 2021/22 the idea we will be in any kind of position to push the big spending priorities in the manifesto is unicorn thinking. If we still have the Fiscal Credibility Rule and apply it then we will more likely be delivering Labour austerity. If we dumped the FCR we might be able to use greater stimulus spending by PQE but without productive growth and an economic base this is a more limited option. No point printing money to build bridges or infrastructure in economic wastelands. It would only push a short term boost. The longer term rebuilding of the economy from Brexit will be very difficult and in my view will be a 3 to 5 decade project. The options will be a slow rebuild and restructure over 30-50 years or the other option that will quite likely arise as a political force will be to re-join the EU. Problem with that is we don’t get the same conditions as now we might have to join the Eurozone. That changes the dynamic and makes re-joining far less attractive. If we could avoid the Euro maybe but unless it is reformed it is not a good economic deal for the UK (what will be left of the UK).

Again sorry to be pessimistic and bum everyone out. This is why I have been so cross about Brexit and the Leadership approach to it. I personally think JC doesn’t get the right info because of the bunch of Stalinist twats around him in LOTO. Whatever the cause it is what it is and most likely the die is now cast for a hard Brexit. How to ride that torrent in the near to medium term is going to be very difficult and sorry to be critical but I don’t have a huge amount of confidence in the Party’s ability to be strategic and nimble enough to cope with it effectively.

 …

Trade & Brexit

Trade & Brexit

A friend posted a link to Larry Elliot’s article, “Ignore the free-trade evangelists. Brexit can create a fairer economy“, suggesting its critique of international trade implied some sunny upland in a post Brexit world. The article is sub titled “Free market economics created a world fit for multinationals. But we need less frictionless trade and more local control”., using a global context argument and yet diminishing the regulatory power which we share with the rest of the EU. The EU have sanctioned Microsoft, Intel, Apple & Google. The EU killed the ACTA & TTIP trade agreements. (Although not CETA, the Canadian version of TTIP). That is local control.

In no post-Brexit world, where we will take years to join the WTO and make new agreements with the 92 countries whose agreements we will have voided, will there be a vibrant British or Sterling economy, Elliot, and his fans are with Prof Minford in permitting if not encouraging the so-called legacy manufacturing industry to off-shore.

We should note that our Balance of Payments has been in deficit for, well forever really but is current running at £100bn p.a. about the same size as the crisis debt/deficit level that the Tories, supported by both the LibDems and rump New Labour used to justify austerity.

The UK will be poorer, and this misery will not be shared evenly and people will get angry. Anyone, with their hand dirty will be blamed. …

Oops

Oops

Carole Cadwalladr discovered and interesting document on the Electoral Commission site, it is the proposal to recognise the lead campaigning organisations for the referendum. Here’s her tweet, she’d like some help in reading it.

and as you will find the document seems to have gone. Fortunately some people got there first. …

  1. https://t.co/19HOe8Oc1Y | The EC site!
  2. http://bit.ly/2N1PUN3 | @sutherlandweb.co.uk
  3. @the wayback machine
  4. on this blog
 …

May to Corbyn: ping pong

I got my blog on Corbyn’s letter to May out just in time, she replied yesterday as I was writing it. Opinion be divided as to what she says, the Guardian commented and published a copy of the letter which I have mirrored on this site and below/overleaf.

The Guardian documents her refusal to countenance a customs union and everything else falls from there on in. She is seen by the BBC as encouraging further talks on the backstop i.e. let’s go back to my plan which parliament has already rejected and waste some more time.

The open letters and the lack of agreement makes it seem like two seals fighting, by which I mean the amount of noise.

I am however surprised at her warm words around the Common European Arrest Warrant, she must know that its corollory is the CJEU & the Charter of Fundamental Rights. … …

Another Red Line

I wrote this as an after thought to my article on Corbyn’s letter to May on Labour’s new Red Lines because it fascinates me; the European Arrest warrant is only available to full members of the EU, and in order to join or use it, it is necessary to comply with the CJEU and the Charter of Fundamental Rights to have access to it. Frankly the Good Friday Agreement needs that too. This would seem to be a trojan horse to put the Court and Charter of Rights back on the table. I wonder if they realise? … …

Cod Wars 4.0

Cod Wars 4.0

While writing Labour’s new Red Lines, I looked at Common Market 2.0 which promises to exit the Common Fisheries Policy. How can we do that? The British quotas were sold and bought by other EU member entities. Who’s going to compensate the current quota holders? Are we to return to the Cod Wars because the EU is not Iceland and the French by themselves now have more surface warships than the Royal Navy. …

Labour’s new Red Lines

Labour’s new Red Lines

Here’s Labour’s new Brexit Red Lines on Brexit, which includes the text, and here is Paul Mason, Stephen Bush and Paul Cotterill.

Mason and Cotterill think it’s a move towards remain or a final say, and this is especially true if the Tories reject the offer. Mason feels that it puts the Tories in a difficult position but if they reject the offer, it puts Labour’s parliamentary Brexiters in very difficult position. Cotterill feels it’s the on ramp to a 2nd referendum and is especially excited by the requirement that the commitments to be made in the political declaration are to be backed by legislation. Bush considers it to be move towards soft brexit which maybe very attractive to the Labour sponsors of Common Market 2.0. He also says, that with the exception of free movement, it is specific and achievable and so, is on the Brexit off-ramp in a way that the six tests were not. He also notes that the new Red Lines are silent on free movement, which he argues is a better position than that previously held.

Is this good or bad?

I think I am with those who think it’s clever and resets the question in Parliament, which needed to be done. It interrupts May’s attempts to run down the clock and offer the Parliament or even the people a choice between her deal and no deal. It increases the odds of a final say between, May’s deal and Remain. In terms of an outcome, it’s nearly acceptable, although it now moves into the pointless end of the spectrum.

My one true fear is that it means Labour accepts the withdrawal agreement which will throws those Brit’s living in the EU under the bus, and the will permit the Tory government to implement another Windrush by placing EU citizens in the UK, having lived here for months or years under the same hostile environment applied to other alien immigrants and subject to uncertainty about their rights to remain. For me this might be a price too high!

There’s more below/overleaf …  …

Pivoting

One of the problems with the vitriol issued by Labour’s Lexiters and self declared ultra loyalists  over the issue of a “Final Say” referendum on Brexit, is that it makes it hard for Labour’s Leadership to pivot. If the UK asks for an extension of the Article 50 deadline, or need to fight a general election, we need a better, more flexible position than the PLP front bench’s current cakism. Our Remain supporting voters and activists need more hope than that! …

History today

Last night, the House of Commons voted to reject the Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement by a historic margin. The press reaction is summarised in the Guardian.

Labour have tabled a motion of No-Confidence in the Government, which the Tory/DUP are likely to win but if it weren’t for the Fixed Term Parliament Act, May would be gone. I may still happen, but the so-called “Men in Grey Suits” seem to be scarce and taking to ground however, I think that she’ll resign as Prime Minister.

The debate on Brexit now moves to No Deal, New Deal or Revoke Article 50 notice. The first is unacceptable and catastrophic, the second requires a new Prime Minister and time i.e. an extension of the Article 50 time period and the latter needs to be genuine. It may be past the time for a referendum. …