Reeves and Immigration

There I am sitting in my living room, considering that maybe Starmer and Reeves domestic policy promises weren’t so bad, playing with my phone when a clip from Sky News comes on with Rachel Reeves, saying that the problem with the Tory immigration policy is there aren’t enough deportations. This is the moral sink that competing on competence takes you. Labour’s Conference Policy at lab19 and lab21 is clear and based on an anti-racist, internationally legally compliant, rights based, compassionate, and humane approach. We must do better than this.  …

Labour’s macro-economics, “Back to the Future”

Labour’s macro-economics, “Back to the Future”

Starmer made another speech on economics on Monday 25th July. It is reported in the Guardian.

Starmer has been trying to pitch Labour as the party of fiscal prudence and will say: “With me and with Rachel Reeves [the shadow chancellor], you will always get sound finances; careful spending; strong, secure and fair growth. There will be no magic-money-tree economics with us.”

From the Guardian,

This article looks at growth and debt, Starmer and Reeves flirtation with Osbornomics and Reeves' rejection of nationalisation on the grounds of cost, I note countervailing views from Murray and Long Bailey and note that Reeves places herself in the sad queue of shadow chancellors undermining Labour's election chances by 'telling the truth'. There's more overleaf ...

Rachel Reeves at GMB Congress

Here are my notes from Rachel Reeves speech to GMB Congress. It comes as a surprise to me that she’s a member of GMB, I thought she was in Unite, but possibly like so many MPs , she’s in more than one. The full speech and Q&A session is available online. Some of what she said, I have heard before, but interestingly she promised the biggest programme of in-sourcing in history. Some might call this nationalisation!!!

Another slogan I picked from the speech is having a buy British first policy, admittedly the options are much narrower after Brexit as so many European suppliers now choose not to sell to us because the cost of delivery is so high.

She highlighted the Tories shrinking of the UK’s gas storage capability which is one of the prime causes to the volatility of the level of prices.

Labour will increase SSP, although no targets announced. They will introduce sectoral collective bargaining, starting with social care and prohibit the use of scab agency labour.

She announced that new Infrastructure Bank will only lend on the basis of a jobs/wages contract. She will also ensure that there is a worker director on the board. This was very popular but the jobs contract is the more important promise.

There were a number of questions raised.

London Region asked a question on the WASPI women, while RR condemned the Tories for  letting the problem arise, her promises to put this right were harder to find. Perhaps the question should have covered all the Tory pension theft some of which is much more hidden.

In reply to a question, she announced the end of Tebbit’s Rule, defending people’s right to make a home and the government’s duty to have a comprehensive levelling up programme which brings high pay, high skill jobs to the whole country. It’s a task when one considers that many communities in the UK are the poorest in Europe.

One delegate got the cheer of the week asking why Starmer couldn’t support the rail workers. Reeves did not answer although spoke of her own committent to the Union movement and the labour link. She was very unsure in her reply to this question. She was strong on strikes, less so on Kier on which she was silent.

It’s GMB so I have to report on the question on domestic nukes and hydrogen. We want’em, and she’ll give them to us. …

Not for 50 years

Not for 50 years

Starmer gave a speech in Newcastle in which he says there is no case for rejoining the EU for 50 years.

This is nonsense, if we want the UK to be more than an offshore money laundering factory, then re-joining the EU is inevitable.  It will only happen when membership becomes a non-partisan issue, or its partisan opponents are once again an irrelevance. The queues and delays at Dover, the developing maritime routes between Eire and continental Europe, and the declining trade balances as our export trade with the EU dies, all require remediation. To these problems we can add the labour shortage-based inflation as the plutocrats’ essential services, i.e. sandwich & fast food shops and restaurants can’t find staff and the people’s essential services are under funded and failing.

The short to medium term task for those who want to rejoin is to show & highlight Brexit’s failings, show how these failings are as a result of the Tories’ deal and that a better deal is possible. I outline my first five steps (my blog, Labour’s policy forum, medium). Other’s have points to add, but by offering a better future, we will win people to the position that we can do better than what we have. We need a better deal and we need to build a stable majority for a better relationship with the EU and see where it goes. Other’s have pointed me at this which is a better way of dealing with the policy issue.

Some argue that the EU’s own developments will strengthen opposition to the EU in this country but more importantly it’s possible that we will have problems meeting the EU’s requirement to have  “stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities;”; the House of Lords (and maybe Parliamentary Sovereignty & FPTP) and the “Hostile Environment” are all problems. The most rapid short-term changes in the EU today are its adoption of the Budget Conditionality Regulation, designed to sanction Hungary and Poland; this is because of their attacks on the independence of the judiciary, behaviour being repeated by our Tory government. Progressives should welcome this chance to examine and improve our democracy.

The problem with Labour under new management ‘s slogans, Fix Brexit and “Not in 50 years”, the latter a slogan used by both Starmer and Rachel Reeves is they do not allow Labour to criticise the current deal, and it looks like it’s designed not to. It also inhibits arguments for reform of the Brexit deal; this also looks to be by design. It denies Labour a role in scrutiny in Parliament or in the deal’s scrutiny structures. It’s also is trolling the membership and the majority of Labour’s voters. Their loyalty is not as strong as that of the old trade unionised workers, and New Labour lost 5m of them between 1997 and 2010. It adds to the evidence that they want to disassemble the new class coalition that voted for and is voting Labour. A quick look at politico.eu’s, poll tracker shows what happens when Labour loses the support of its remainer core vote as it did in the summer of 2019.

 That Starmer’s 10 pledges have been broken is probably priced in but interestingly he was silent on the EU and Brexit, and his Labour under new management is a policy vacuum, merely following the Tories on COVID, much of its authoritarianism and now on Brexit. Someone should explain that triangulation involves minimising the differences not eliminating them because people can tell the difference between the echo and the shout, They’ll trust the Tories to do Tory things before they trust Labour. Triangulation legitimises your opponents politics and policies. It’s not a strategy for principled people.

This comes from a mindset where focus group driven triangulation  remains cute, it is an electoral strategy based on letting down and ignoring those who vote for us. Last time we did that, we lost 5m votes and laid the ground for 2019 when the old steel and pit towns finally voted Tory. …

Reeves on Macro-economics

Reeves on Macro-economics

It came as a shock that she spoke for an hour, given that delegates who might want to oppose her, only got 1 minute. I summarise the speech here, as much of it was just political ballast, although sometimes you need to build a justification for what we do.

She started with a litany of Tory failures, and repeated the lessons that we can, post-pandemic, clearly see who are the essential workers in our economy and see how poorly they’re paid. She noted Angela Rayner’s announcement of a series of welcome protections and improvements to the social wage and employment protection law and segued to the need for an effective economy that works for all of us.

She started with a litany of Tory failures, and repeated the lessons that we can, post-pandemic, clearly see who are the essential workers in our economy and see how poorly they’re paid. She noted Angela Rayner’s announcement of a series of welcome protections and improvements to the social wage and employment protection law and segued to the need for an effective economy that works for all of us.

I say more overleaf, where I mildly praise the good bits, and critique the missing bits.

Reeves on the EU

Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow spokesperson for the Cabinet Office, made a speech/webcast about Labour’s current Brexit policy, reviewed in Labour List, with the headline, ‘“We won’t be back in the EU”: Rachel Reeves sets out Labour’s Brexit policy’. It just raises the question, where did she get the mandate? It seems she believes that we have returned to the days when Labour’s policy emerged from the back pockets of the front bench spokespeople. This is not why I joined the Labour Party and to go from remain, to only leave if the terms are acceptable, to saying that the UK would not be back in the European Union under a Labour government, without even stating why the Tories deal and strategy is harmful, is shameful and gives evidence to those on the left who say that the people’s vote was merely a trojan horse to undermine the Corbyn project.

Her statement ignores, of course, freedom of movement, Erasmus, flight regulations, and the European Medical Agency and it all assumes that we get a trade deal. We can see the Tories, are not going to sign a reasonable deal and Labour should be putting our stake in the ground, otherwise any deal will seem a victory and even if shite, people will ask where we were.

This policy position will also test the theory that a pro-brexit promise will win more votes than it gains. It’ll go down like a ton of shit in a fan factory in Scotland and London. It must be remembered that Reeves has form for stretching Labour’s consensus, her time as shadow spokesperson on welfare include some disgraceful speeches and I have previously reported on her channelling of Enoch Powell. Giving her a second chance was a mistake. …

Rachel Reeves on Immigration

While doing some reading while writing the last article I had reason to have a look at Rachel Reeves views on immigration. She made a speech in 2016 which the independent reports, with a headline of “Labour MP Rachel Reeves: Riots could sweep streets of Britain if immigration is not curbed after Brexit” [my mirror]; this is pretty much exactly what Enoch Powell said in his infamous “Rivers of Blood” speech, which led to his political exile and while I predicted a vicious debate on immigration in the wake of Conference 2016, I didn’t expect anyone in the Labour Party to go this far. If accurate, it’s unacceptable. …

Starmer’s Cabinet and more Brexit failures

Gabriel Pogrund is re-circulating the rumour that Starmer will appoint Rachel Reeves as Shadow Chancellor. My first instinct is that this would be a poor start for a man who claims to want to unify the party, since her record is as a central thinker for those opposing Labour’s turn to the left.

Anyway I have googled her, and she is another ex-Bank of England employee with an impressive education in economics, unless we take the view that it’s academic economist’s lack of heterodoxy that is one of the key causes of the 2008 crash. Obviously this would come lower down the list of causes than the greed of the ultra-rich and the structural contradictions in late twentieth century capitalism. For more see below or oveleaf … …