Europe Coalesces as Britain Falls Apart

Jonathan Fryer

D1AF3920-7B78-406C-A1FD-FA42B713BF62In last year’s European Referendum, UKIP and other arch-Brexiteers argued that the European Union is sinking and is bound to break up, whereas the developments of the past few months have shown that, on the contrary, the EU is pulling together while Britain, mismanaged by a Brexit-drunk Tory Party, is steering the country straight for the rocks. A year ago, the UK was one of the fastest growing countries in the OECD, whereas now it has sunk to the bottom. In contrast, even the previously afflicted nations of Southern Europe are picking up. Moreover, since Emmanuel Macron became President of France, there is a new spring in the EU’s step; “Mutti” Merkel is no longer the sole voice of EU strength. The Franco-German alliance is back with force. The great tragedy is that Britain ought to be one of a troika helping direct the EU, at a moment when China…

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The Fantasist and the Failed Technocrat

May and corbynThe performance of Corbyn & May at their respective Conferences has highlighted just how unstable our current political situation is and that neither Labour nor the Tories have answers (or the ability) to the country’s problems

Corbyn had the difficult task of one hand wanting to appear to be hoping for an immediate General Election while all the time hoping the Tories hang on until the Brexit negotiations have been completed.  The worst outcome for Corbyn would be to win a 2018 election by a narrow margin (and no polls are predicting a Labour landslide) and having to conclude the negotiations with the EU.

This would leave him not only having to deal with the inevitable post-Brexit recession but not being able to blame the certain bad deal we will get (and even a no deal will be a terrible deal) on the Tories.

One certainty will be that none of the grandiose plans he outlined in Brighton will be able to be implemented as the UK will not have any money to spare, indeed any post-Brexit administration will most likely have to start implementing swinging cuts in all public spending,

Still, Corbyn did what he is very good at, a talented orator & campaigner on issues, he gave a great speech, full of flowing phrases, making expansive promises for action that would, if implemented, bankrupt the nation even if we had a robust economy, not one tottering on the edge of the Brexit cliff.    The only thing missing was any credible ideas of how to pay the promises or how they would be implemented (and remember nor toft heh Labour Front Bench have any experience in running very much!).

 

May also had a difficult job to do as well.  In the face of a Cabinet tearing itself apart as they jostle for prime position to replace her, with the Brexit talks going from bad to worse with, a worsening economic climate (also brought on by Brexit) and after the disastrous (and unnecessary) General Election in June, May had to try to reinvigorate her party and give them a sense of purpose, not an easy task for a charismatic leader and a great orator and May is neither.

She is an efficient technocrat with a tendency to micro-management but she has never been accused of being a deep political thinker & strategist so it was no surprised her speech was flat.  Even with the excuse of the coughing fit, it was not a speech that will send her depleted troops out to battle for her.  Even her “Big ideas” don’t stack up, £2bn for 20000 social homes means on about 50 in each local council area across the UK, not so fantastic after all and even the Tories were rubbishing the Energy Bill freeze when Labour proposed it.

 

So where does that leave us?  One party lead by a fantasist leader with no grasp on the reality of power and the other party, falling apart and lead by a failed technocrat with no vision.  Neither has any grasp of what is needed to unite the country, neither has a realistic vision that will allow everyone in our county to have a better future, both offer a dark future with little hope for the young, the poor & the disadvantaged.  Time to look elsewhere for leadership.

Rent Control does not work

Corbyn FarageCarl Assar Eugén Lindbeck, the left wing Swedish economics professor said in 1971 “Next to bombing, rent control seems in many cases to be the most efficient technique so far known for destroying cities

Does Corbyn want to destroy all the cities in the UK?  Because that is what will happen if he is serious about implementing Rent Control in them.  Landlords will cease to maintain in their properties or simply stop renting them out altogether if they can’t get a return on their investments.  How will this help those wanting to rent?

The best way to lower rents in our cities (and in towns & villages which have the same problem) is to invest in  new social housing & renovate existing homes,  As the 2017 Lib Dem Manifesto said, we need to build 300,000 homes a year, allowing councils to build the houses that families need rather than the ones developers can make the most profit on.

While it sounds a great policy from a Party Conference podium, rent controls won’t work without adjusting the supply of housing to make more homes available.

Just like Farage and the other Brexit campaigners, Corbyn is guilty of trying to sell the equivalent of snake oil to the people on the UK, warm words, great sound bites, empty promises.  It might fool some of the people some of the time, but we can’t build a better future for our nation on such policies.  In the end, if Corbyn gets his way, it will be the poor and the young who will struggle to find affordable housing, the very people Corbyn pretends to support.

 

Another sad day on the road to Brexit

British Prime Minister Delivers Landmark Brexit SpeechToday has been another sad day as we heard our Prime Minister make yet another speech of surrender to the forces that would drag us out of the EU

When our PM says the United Kingdom never felt at home in the EU, she does not speak for me.
She does not speak for the millions of other Britains who are proud of their European Citizenship, who look forward to visiting friends and family across our continent, who are as at home in Worksop as in Dusseldorf or Rome or Trondheim or Madrid, who enjoy visiting and living in other nations across the EU.

Indeed, I have never been so ashamed of being British as when I hear this xenophobic rubbish from the likes of May, Farage and other short-sighted, small brained, politicians.

What made this speech even harder to stomach was the paucity of vision

The Brexit Referendum was June 2016, Article 50 was invoked in March 2017, yet in September 2017, our PM finally gets around to trying to explain that she thinks the rest of the EU should allow us special status as part of the Brexit process, even though much of that has already been excluded as a possiblity by the EU.

Is it me failing to grasp the interlaces of a complex negotiation or is it simply that May has no idea what the EU will allow us to have, has no clue in how to negotiate and is at a complete loss as to how to proceed?

How can May promise a Transitional Period or anything else from Brexit? It is not in her (or anyone else in the UK) power to do this. The EU nations (as well as the Commission, European Parliament and a number of Regional Parliaments) have to agree to this.  She can ask for this but she is a supplicant in no position to demand anything.  By making such demands she risks even getting any deal and we will be left in March 2019 with no Transitional Deal, with not trade agreement, and probably with no trade either

Brexit was already going to be a car crash as the realities of it mean we will lose much of our biggest market for export, drive investment away and make the UK a place people did not want to do business.

Not having a plan of how to proceed, not having a realistic idea of what we can get from the negotiations and ignoring exactly who has to agree with the final deal will mean that Brexit is going from being a car crash to a motorway pile up with the mislead and lied to working people of the UK being the ones who will suffer the most

I have fought to keep the UK in the EU for the last 2 years, I will carry on that fight until the thought of my country being outside of the biggest Trading Block, the biggest Union of Sovereign Nations working together for mutual peace and prosperity is nothing more than a bad memory.

Nothing I have heard from the Government or the others who want to drag us out of the EU has made me waver from my position.  There has been no evidence, no hint that there is even a glimmer of hope for most people in the aftermath of Brexit

Like many others, #ExitfromBrexit is not just a slogan, it is the only way to secure a better future for me, my children and my grandchildren.

We must not let Brexit happen.

How the press lied about the little girl staying with Muslim foster parents. Here are the facts.

The post is disturbing on so many levels, not least because of the disregard for the truth by journalists. No doubt the false version is now lodged on the minds of those who read these sad excuses for newspapers and will be dragged up in anti-Muslim propaganda in the future.

Pride's Purge

The tabloid press (and I include The Times in that description) lied about the story of the little girl put into care with a Muslim family.

Here are 10 of their worst lies – along with the real facts of the case as we know them:

1) According to court documents, it was the police not the local authority (as stated by the tabloids) who decided the child should be put into foster care:

2) According to court documents, the foster family criticised by the tabloids was a temporary placement.

3) According to court documents, the child herself is from Muslim heritage and her Muslim grandmother has now been cleared by the courts to look after her. This fact is only disputed by the girl’s mother but none of this was mentioned by the tabloids as it would obviously totally destroy their narrative:
foster muslim 4

4) The temporary foster…

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Never Again

I have just read a worrying post from someone I have know for decades. We were in the same Jewish Youth movement and lived on the same Kibbutz in Israel.  For many years, he has lived in Southern USA bringing up his family there and made his, very successful, life there. This what he wrote:
 
“In January [his spouse] and I had a discussion about our “red lines”. How we would be different from the German Jews in 1933, could we foresee the changes that would lead to a country so anti Semitic that would make our situation untenable? If we could predict this then we could escape in time. At that point, I did not believe that such a situation could develop here. I no longer believe this, there is clearly a Nazi sympathizer in the Whitehouse, maybe that is a bit generous. I now believe that the forces of evil have been legitimized and unless the Republican Party immediately deal with the situation then we will see a slide into chaos generated by the right and the “militia”. With the tacit support of the Justice department and the Presidency they will grow in strength and the decline is inevitable. We are renewing our U.K. passports. I really hope we don’t need them.”
 
I never though that I would read such words from someone living in any modern western country.  We live in supposedly civilised times, we know what happens when extreme forces are stirred up by demagogues trying to cover up their own failures & mistakes. We know what happens when people start to blame the others, those that can be identified as different and it isn’t pretty and it doesn’t end well for anyone.
 
I hope my friend isn’t forced to flee the land he has made his home. I pray that people across the US (and, lets be honest, here and elsewhere) realise that the path of the extremists is not the path to take and turn back towards sanity, where we can discuss and disagree with each other but not threaten those who oppose us with violence; where people are judged on their deeds & words; not on the colour of their skin, their religion or where they or their parents come from; where we can celebrate our common humanity along with our differences.
The threat of the fascists, the Nazis & the bigots is on the rise again and all it will take for it to succeed  is for good people not to stand up against it.  Other countries have made that mistake before, we cannot let it happen again.