Intergenerational Equity

Intergenerational Equity

In this article, in the FT, Sarah O’Connor argues that the impact of high interest rates is less effective at demand suppression than has historically been the case. The exclusion of the young from the housing market and the impact of older people having finished paying off their mortgages has led to reduction in the number of households with mortgages, from 40% to 30%. It interests me, that the author argues the purpose of increasing interest rates is demand suppression and yet its effectiveness as a demand suppression tool is less than it once was. This article also looks at the role of tuition fees in discriminating against the young and asks if demand suppression is an effective tool in reducing inflation. Fore the whole article, "read more" ...

A good day for justice

Have the judiciary, & MPs found some back bone; here is the front page of today’s Guardian.

Good news for progressives. The Rwanda exile scheme is illegal, those Boris fans in the House who expressed a contempt for the standards committee inquiry may be ‘pursued’ and the inquiry into MI5/Special Branch covert surveillance of various left wing groups in the 80’s has declared the operations to an overeach. A good day for justice.  …

Mercantilist acquiescence is not enough

Prof Jacob Oberg writes, “Psychologically and legally, we have to accept we have no special way back in. But with realism and political will, it’s not impossible.”

There are two takes on this; the first is that he presents a catalogue of process to be overcome, the other is that he is criticising so-called rejoiners because we over estimate how easy it will be because we think we are re-joining, not applying to join. I say, this is semantics.

The opt-outs are gone, and recognising this is part of proving ourselves suitable candidates, to show we’ve learned. It is unlikely that they will ask us to amend our constitution, mores the pity but since we have only just left, meeting the market economy rules of the Copenhagen Criteria is simple, and meeting the rule of law criteria is equally simple although this time there can be no opt-outs from the Charter of Fundamental Rights nor the justice pillar of the Lisbon Treaty.

The task of rejoiners is to build a sustainable majority for rejoin which recognises that the EU is political project.

Mercantilist acquiescence is not enough and demands for extrawürst only prove we are not ready.

Apart from showing ourselves to be suitable & better partners for the future, there is nothing we can do to change the EU’s process and the views of the member states and so worrying about it is pointless. …

The trillion dollar coin

Last month, the US passed through a politically created fiscal crisis; commentators were suggesting that for the third time Congress would cause the Federal Government to run out of cash and default on bond and salary payments, and 3rd party bills for goods and services. This is a tactic pursued by those who don’t like government expenditure unless its on arms. I argue that there were three ways that the Government could have sidestepped this piece of legislative extortion. The most amusing route would be to mint a $1Tn coin. I conclude, overleaf, by arguing that, progressives should be wary, this idea of legislating, or embedding fiscal policy in treaties or constitutions is designed by people who support the founding fathers, who while they opposed taxation without representation, were almost equally opposed to taxation with representation. NB The EU’s stability and growth treaty commits its signatories to a level of national debt and a level of national deficit. They need to change this, these decisions need to be under democratic control. There's [much] more overleaf ... ...

Fringes and solidarity

I enjoyed the fringes that I attended; all the ones I chose were activist led. Learning from such activism was reinforced by giving activists time at the rostrum, most importantly probably speakers from Amazon; the video stream starts here.

The fringe meeting I attended were the Apple solidarity fringe where I met the leadership of the recognition campaign; they’re impressive people. I hope we can bring similar success to London and also the fringe meeting hosted by the Migrant Democracy Project and the session was chaired by Lara Parizotto, who used to be in our branch. The speakers were from the voice of domestic workers, and the Bureau of investigative journalism. It also heard from Marcela Benedetti from migrants for labour, who spoke about the difficulties that Latinas had in making a home in the UK. The highlight for me was Emiliano Mellino from the Bureau of investigative journalism who presented, on his investigative project on the state of the living conditions of migrant workers working British farms, and finally I went to the Justice for Columbia campaign fringe. It was good to be reminded of the fact that in Columbia they have elected a left wing president, and established a peace agreement to bring the guerrilla movement into politics. They also announced their campaign of solidarity with ex-fighters; they are collecting money for a farm truck.

I say more overleaf ...

GMB23; the war in Ukraine

Congress then moved onto debate international issues, which this year, means the War in Ukraine. This was captured on the video stream, and I post the text of the main composite motion which was on the Ukraine war and a second motion on the arms industry and defence. I have clipped the video stream to include the whole debate. Both motions were opposed by a speaker from the floor, who unlike at Labour Party conference was heard and replied to with respect.

I didn’t speak in this debate, there follows below/overleaf the motions and the qualification. The clip above has the whole debate, including the CEC qualification speech together with the one speaker who opposed the two motions. … …

Immigration and Solidarity at GMB23

Immigration and Solidarity at GMB23

I was privileged to move M178 Immigration and Solidarity, which it would seem the video engineers did not record; they only turned it on in time to capture the second half of Lara Johnson’s excellent speech on M182 so they missed my & Joe’s speeches moving M178. I have posted the words of the two motions below/overleaf.

Our branch motion was designed to ensure that the Union and the Labour Party stood for an immigration policy based on decency and compassion, which are Starmer’s words from his ten leadership pledges an applied to all those seeking to come here, whether for work, to make a home or because they were fleeing war or political persecution.

I had been inspired by one of the fringe meetings, about Migrant’s Rights; a central piece of my speech in which I address part of the qualification, was,

If I had attended yesterday’s London Region Fringe, “Rights for all, organising and supporting migrant workers” before writing this motion, I would have focused less on the economics and more on the people but one of the purposes of the motion was to challenge the canard that migrants are an economic burden. It wasn’t true in 2016, and it isn’t true today. …

It is the view of the movers of this motion that the current immigration system which ties workers to jobs inhibits their ability to join unions and fight for their rights. Again the stories of the corruption and cruelty shared yesterday in the Organising Migrants session are an illustration of the truth of this.  Low wages aren’t caused by migrants they are the result of weak unions and poor enforcement of minimum wage and health and safety laws.

The video link above, has Dean Gilligan of the CEC presenting the CEC Qualification.

Both motions were carried with qualification.

See below for the words of our motion and full notes of the speech I made. I have also posted the words of M182, Support and solidarity with Migrant Workers. … …

The GMB and the single market

The GMB and the single market

The GMB voted to rejoin the EU’s customs union and align with the single market yesterday. The text of the motion is below/overleaf as are the notes I used to make the speech. The debate is posted on youtube, I was supported by Joe Dharampal-Hornby. In the GMB, the Central Executive Council has the right to make amendments to all motions, these are called qualifications. The regional delegation, the moving entity,  have the option to accept the qualification or have the motion opposed by the CEC. I have reproduced the qualification below. We took the view that the qualifying comments on migrants and wages are an observation not a negation of the need to re-establish the reciprocal right to find and perform work throughout the EU. The debate followed the General Secretary, Gary Smith’s interview in the Observer. …