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.

Corbyn is as bad as Farage

Corbyn FarageI used to be quite well disposed to Jeremy Corbyn.  While I disagreed with many of his ideas and policies, I thought he was at least honest and straight forward. I always had the idea he was principled, he has stood up to Blair, rebelling literally 100’s of times against the Labour Party in Commons votes, and, while obviously not up to the job of leading the Labour Party, he was going to give to it a go and try to change how politics is done.  He always seemed to be a bit embarrassed by the excesses om the Momentum group but he was too loyal to criticise them publicly.

I was annoyed he hadn’t be more vocal in the Remain campaign (although at the time he professed to support staying in the EU) but, given the way the media reduced the arguments down to a split in the Tory party, it wasn’t surprising. Many other Labour politicians did the same as well

However, my views about Corbyn have changed in the last few months.  The Labour Party Manifesto was an uncosted hard-left plan for the future of the UK which ignored the fact that if the UK leaves the EU and the Single Market will mean widespread job losses mostly affecting ordinary workers and leaving the UK economy in a recession that will make the one Labour gave us in 2008 look like mild downturn.

Too many of the policies put forward looked good at first glance but on further examination failed to help the less well-off (the people Corbyn claims t be fighting for) more than richer people. A good example was his plan to summarily do away with Tuition Fees.  Pitched as a way of getting more people from poorer backgrounds into higher education, it ignored that (because of the changes made by the Lib Dems to the way the Tuition Fee loans are repaid) we currently have record breaking numbers of such young people at University.

Another area was Corbyn’s pledge to abolish Zero Hours Contracts (where employers do not guarantee any work but only pay for the hours an employee actually works).  While there are no doubt many abuses of such contracts by bad employers, they are also very good for some who want to work but (for many reasons) do not want to commit to working a set number of hours every week.   Rather than try to deal with the abuses in such contracts (exclusivity, shortness of notice that people aren’t needed, pressure to accept any hours offered, etc), Corbyn though that a short snappy headline was better even if it meant those who want to such contacts (and benefit from the flexibility they give) would be penalised.

Since the election last month, Corbyn has grown stronger and more bold .  Labour MPs who have (unusually) been pro-EU and worked hard for the last 2 years in the Remain Campaign have been forced to abstain on votes to keep the UK in the Single Market and sacking shadow spokespeople who ignored Corbyn’s diktat (rather ironic considering Corbyn’s own record).

Then yesterday, Corbyn revealed himself to be nothing more than a two-bit popularist, willing to lie and dissemble just like others in the Brexit camp, just to secure power.  Two statements stand out and show him up to be without principle.

Firstly, during the elction campaign, he worked hard to give the impression that not only was he going to abolish Tuition Fees but that he was going to wipe existing Student Loan debts.  Agreed, he never said exactly that, just that he would  “deal” with it, he left it to others to “expand” on it and say they would do that.  Yesterday, he denies ever saying such a thing.

Secondly, he spoke on the Andrew Marr Show about Brexit and said we could not be in the Single Market if we left the EU (ignoring the fact that other non-EU countries are), possibly a genuine mistake or possible a lapse of memory but still wrong and not corrected.  He then went on to say “has been used to “destroy” the conditions of British workers“.  This directly contradicts the findings of a LSE report on “Brexit and the Impact of Immigration on the UK” that has been available for over a year.  One of its findings was “There is also little effect of EU immigration on inequality through reducing the pay and jobs of less skilled UK workers. Changes in wages and joblessness for less educated UK born workers show little correlation with changes in EU immigration.”

By using such inflammatory speech about EU migrants who have come here to work and contribute to our society, Corbyn has shown himself to be no better than UKIP & Nigel Farage.  We already have rising violence against people from the EU in many party of the country and Corbyn has, intentionally or otherwise, given yet more justification to those who take part in such racist attacks.

Corbyn is no longer worthy of any respect and, unless the Labour Party and its members condemn his remarks, neither is the party he leads.

Corbyn ruling out Single Market is betrayal of future generation

Jeremy Corbyn today ruled out membership of the Single Market, claiming on the Andrew Marr Show today that it is dependent on membership of the EU.
Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

“Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to stand up for the Single Market is a betrayal of future generations who will suffer most from an extreme Brexit.

“He is parroting the lie used by leading Brexiteers that membership of the Single Market is the same as staying in the EU.

“The Labour leadership is now part of a coalition of chaos with Theresa May, determined to drive through a hard Brexit no matter what the cost.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. The Liberal Democrats will work with MPs from all parties to oppose an extreme Brexit and give the people the final say on the deal.”

(Text from Liberal Democrats Press Office)

A year ago I was in tears

brexitI had been up all night at my local Referendum Count watching the votes pile up for committing national suicide. However, I didn’t think the rest of the country would follow suit.

After I got home, watching TV as the other results come in from around the country, I was shell shocked and heartbroken at what the lies and deceits from the Leave campaign had done, compounded by the Tory Party Leadership who had chosen to endanger the country’s future to fight an internal party power struggle and by a Labour Party that sat on its hands too scared to frighten voters away.

As the next few days unfolded, it became clear that many of the politicians who had supported Leave had not got a clue what pulling out of the EU really meant, that they were as shocked and bewildered as the rest of us, that they were trying desperately to row back on the lies and false claims they had made. All the while the Pound plummeted against the Euro & Dollar and it became clear that, far from the Project Fear, the Remain campaign had, if anything, understated the effects of what a Leave vote would mean.

Today, a year on, we are still no nearer understanding what form Brexit will take. Our Government is limping along, fatally wounded by calling an unnecessary General Election and carelessly losing its majority.  The Official Opposition now cares more about ousting the Government that saving the country. Both are still wedded to ideas of Brexit that have now been shown to be impossible and the nation limps onwards to a cliff edge Brexit on March 29th 2019, out of the EU, out of the Single Market, out of the Customs Union but with nothing ready to take their place.  In short, a complete disaster awaits us.  To cap it all, we have seen Government ministers saying it is “unpatriotic” to question what is going on

Already we can see investment into the UK is down, the Pound is still down, EU citizens coming to work in hospitals & fields is down, and only inflation is up.  Companies big and small are looking to move as much of their operations as possible into Europe to be sure of staying in the EU’s Single Market.  Even the Chancellor of the Exchequer is admitting that a Hard Brexit, of the type his Government is perusing, will make life harder for many in the UK as the economy suffer is at least the short to medium term.

So, one year on what can we do?  I honestly don’t know the answer except to keep on telling the truth about Brexit.  What I do know is that I, and many others who think (over 48% last year) that we are better off in the EU, will not stop keeping on about it.

Those who lead the Leave campaign, those who pretended to want us out of the EU, would like nothing more than for people like me to shut up, accept the Referendum result and ignore the mess it has landed us in.

Well I am not shutting up.  What is more with every price rise in the shops, with the growing staffing crisis in the NHS & in Social Care, with the absence of people to harvest the crops in the fields, more and more people are now seeing Brexit for what it is.

Together we can stop this madness.  Already we are seeing cracks appear in the big political parties as they realise that their position on a hard Brexit is unsustainable, already we can see those who still want us out of the EU making ever more implausible statements or simply attacking those that tell the truth.

If we keep up the pressure now then the truth will slowly dawn that Brexit will not only be economic suicide for the country but also political suicide for the politicians & parties that force it on us.