News commentary and predictions of political trends and what the future holds

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A diary of the politics of the future and their consequences.

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Trump

Has Donald Trump gone too far, yet?

The attacks on the Democratic candidate smell strongly of trolling by the Republican camp. The invitation to Russia to hack Hilary Clinton’s emails reminds me of Watergate dirty tricks being hidden behind a veil of inviting Russians hackers.

The attacks on the Republican candidate seem to originate from most of planet Earth, except his own faithful, it seems.

Trump’s threat to Putin over Ukraine sound more like a rambling old alcoholic ready to take over the world than a statesman ready for international negotiation.

America lost its premier position in the world after GW Bush’s stupidity. Is it truly ready to be launched into dismal failure as this man takes over its military?

Imagine a standoff between Trump and Putin.  Waving little hands and “Nyet”.

Foreign ownership and democracy

Comments on this article: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/22/britains-economy-shrinking-at-fastest-rate-since-2009-says-survey#comment-79670273

 

nalex

If they are buying British companies at a super discount due to the lower than actual value UK£ – the effect is a disproportional reduction in British Sovereignty. The FTSE100 is higher, indeed, when measured in UK£.

And we just keep selling our ARM shares for less than we could have. Does it matter? Not to anyone (other than the British).

 

ID5708273

What, do you mean all those foreign based companies making massive profits within the UK but paying no or little tax here whilst gaining considerable income from us as consumers meaning that there is a double whammy of our money going offshore whilst we are left with less to pay bigger bills!

No – I don’t think most people would get their head around that.

It would be like trying to understand all those years of being told our Government is not competent enough to run our utilities and railways as an excuse to sell them to companies owned by foreign Governments who apparently are more competent than ours!

 

nalex

I doubt the “nationality” of a company that services our needs really matters as much as if they are more efficient or effective at providing a service. We run a heavily import oriented economy, so of course we are more prepared to purchase than produce. It is exactly our own policies and activities that create that imbalance, not EU membership or where a company pays its taxes. Foreign ownership and the floating currency are both part of being part of the world. Does it matter? If they are better at running our utiities, building our power stations and distilling our petrol, then we import their services/products. If not, then we buy them back. I think our dominantly conservative economically oriented governments prefer not to be involved in producing electricity or running trains. So they sell to the highest bidder and provide laws to qualify which companies can compete in that market place. The alternative of us owning them ourselves does not seem like progress to me. Do you think we can run things better ourselves?

 

ID5708273

You are correct but only to a point.

Where the wealth ends up matters if it is outside your economy. That is why being in the EU is better for us, and why moving towards a global State to match the Global Economy is better.

Currently the drain outwards of British earned wealth and unpaid taxes reduces the internal cash flow and also the investment funds available. This draws upon more investment ultra our economy hastening the drain down terminally.

On the privatisation model you are correct again about the Government position, but again fail to consider the implication in reality. Instead of a single tier of trading, so cost represents the service plus management costs there is a multi tier contractor and sub contractor arrangement. This increases what we as consumers must pay without increasing the service we get in return. The extra cost converts to wealth received by the various tiers now engaged, which mostly means drained outside of our economy again.

 

nalex

The ownership of companies in private hands is supposed to incentivise the reduction of wasteful costs: so does foreign ownership work the same way as private ownership vs Government operation of public assets?

When there is a local sub-contractor, there is economic benefit to our tax base, but if we “must” sell assets into “foreign” hands (to satisfy the political order of the day) it follows that we are better connected into that consortium as you say, being in the EU has its benefits by creating a greater stabilisation of forces that result in real growth than a more isolated democratic fluctuation that may build and destroy in tandem.

The Brexit vote appears to me to have been excited by a need to blame forces out of our own control for our own problems. We are just as good at making inefficient models but without the massive buffering effect of a larger entity, we are going to become more exposed to the effects of rapid shifts of capital.

Sometimes democratic choices are wrong, and this one is also not fully democratic.

The British Disaster

The British had a disaster in its political life. Although the leaving of the EU is the most traumatic and in my mind stupid decision, the respect for democratic choice should be honoured with more than an afterthought. There should be an examination of the vote and the lies told to the electorate and at some stage in the not too distant future, the nature of the decision should be revealed. For example: votes cast in PENCIL could be subject to doubt; inadequate margin for a constitutional change (a Brexit campaigner started a petition to ensure that REMAIN did not win by the narrow margin LEAVE won by, and 4.1 million signatures indicated dissatisfaction with the “result” being such a slender margin, and a decisive victory for REMAIN in Scotland brings the unity of the UK into question); complete falsehoods being told to the voting public; a committed campaign of anti-immigration propaganda; the departure of all the LEAVE campaigners including the laziest and most absurd politician in history, Nigel Farage.

No, the disaster is the one that has just ended. The era of David Cameron and George Osborne; the blaming of the previous more successful administration for anything that was wrong for the first five years of Cameron’s reign, followed by a year of bullying and condescending humour at the Ballot box during weekly self-congratulatory PMQs, an opposition that has become neurotic about the choice of leader by its grassroots.

We welcome Theresa May’s new administration with trepidation and justifiable fear. Anything is better than being lied to, but it is the sacking of the old school tie, the removal so far of the worst front bench under David Cameron that is to be celebrated: Michael Gove, George Osborne, Nicky Morgan, Jeremy Hunt, Micheal Whittingdale: ALL GONE.

Let us hope that Boris can grow up and apologise to the British for his lies. Let’s hope he can start to realise that our relationships with other countries matter. I have a sneaking suspicion that he has been with May all along, sick and tired of the antics of the previous administration that factually can be blamed for causing the near breakup of the United Kingdom.

Labour and Brand

Maybe now that faux-socially-aware Cameron has fallen, the Labour party will have some cachet in the occupation of the middle ground?

Corbyn has been a refreshing nuisance, a politician who actually is convinced his point of view aligns with the voters and it seems that is correct.

It is the 174 MPs who have no-confidence in a genuine socialist who seem to be in the wrong party. They appear to be liberals, not socialists. They still call themselves “Blairites”? Surely “Social Democrats” is a better name for them, and their electoral chances are better under an accurate name and flag, than pretending they have the ear of the average Labour voter?

Get out of the way of candidates that can follow Jeremy Corbyn bringing socialist values back to Labour, where they belong. We do not need another Thatcherite party calling itself Labour competing with the Conservatives, we need representation, preferably proportional, and with accurate political branding.

This empahsis on “leadership” is simply distraction. Labour do not deserve power when 174 of their MPs are not Labour.

If you vote Labour while the party is populated by Blairites you are voting for Social Democracy at best, or perhaps should vote for the Lib Dems. “Labour” failed to get a majority under Ed Miliband: Blairism was right of Thatcher.

Labour is doomed if it does not establish its identity. Maybe after this government, we will need a socialist party to compete for our votes. Corbyn is one of the best leaders in our Parliament, in my opinion, but I am not a Labour voter.

It rather depends on what “leadership” means. If it means setting policy objectives and behaviour by example, then Corbyn appears to be setting up a socialist plank which has its audience. The Blairites – or Social Democratic lobby – also have a very good plank but it is not “Labour”. It is entirely, in my view, an issue of brand confusion brought about by Blair, by taking over the centre ground, he defined a new breed of centrist, who are basically neo-liberal economically but socially aware on “issues”. I would say the real inheritor of this brand is Cameron but he is over the top insofar as austerity went, and not very successful either. Theresa May has already defined herself to partly take this “centre” ground with her announcement of Miliband’s ideas about worker representation on boards. I understand your point of view is seen as common sense, but I have a very different perspective. I have seen a successful Left Wing modernised Labour party win 2 terms under one PM and then 4 terms in office under the next, bring about a surplus without harsh austerity while banning nuclear weapons, ending discrimination against gay people and minorities (New Zealand, under David Lange and then Helen Clark).

I am not 100% behind Corbyn, but he is brand Labour, and the “Blairites” are not left-wing. When they achieve growth through liberal policies and then become Left leaning (as their brand dictates), like Gordon Brown tried, they lose power.

Yes, I do agree that Corbyn will not win an election until socialism becomes possible, but it is important that we have a range of real options to vote for. I do think that if Labour split and the Neo-Liberals took over from the UKiP vacuum, that they would win the next General Election but they will not as Labour, as that brand is not what they are.

The referendum showed how their constituancies did not follow with their thinking, that their brand of socialism did not appeal to Labour voters. Blaming Corbyn’s leadership is simply illogical. They did not follow his lead and have lost the hearts and minds of the people who elected them. People vote for MPs, not simply a “leader”. This media led thinking that we only vote for a PM is as logical as a return to Royal rule.

For democractic representation to work with Party politics – we have to understand what we are voting for. I appreciate your arguments are reasonable and the goal of winning a GE is laudable, but if you do not sort out the brand, then voters will only be disappointed.

Deadly Air Pollution

The WHO warns that air pollution is killing millions in cities. It is a growing problem – cities in China and India covered by thick smog. In the UK London has exceeded its NO2 levels for 2016 a few days into the year. Politicians are questioning the value of expansion at Heathrow if it increases the level of air pollution and makes millions more at risk.

President Obama Achievements

A list of over 300 major achievements mark this president’s New Year and the most successful period of fiscal growth of any, including Ronald Regan.

Guns and America

Contradictory values lead America into thinking they are safer with the proliferation of guns into the general population with Donald Trump infecting the conversation with suspicion of Muslims as the source of terrorism. Far more innocent people have been killed by American guns than by terrorism. President Obama calls for stricter gun control and the Republicans think this endangers Americans?

Since, and including the tragedy of 9/11, the comparison is stark:

3,380 dead from terrorism
406,496 killed by American guns

The US is insane to listen to the false ranting of a merchant of fear, Mr Donald Trump is the current leading source of terror in the minds of Americans. And the frightening thing is, they buy it. Lock stock and two smoking barrels. Violence is inflicted by American guns, not infiltration. Homeland Security should reassess its remit.

Question of Airstrikes

David Cameron wants to launch airstrikes over Syria and is going to bring this to a vote in Parliament. It is a “modern decision” – being a political animal, instead of an actual strategy to resolve the pressures that causes human suffering on a massive scale, instead of an actual path that removes Assad from power (if that is the will of the Syrian population) while destroying Daesh: we have the dichotomy: bomb them or do nothing.

There is a precedent: previously Cameron brought a vote on bombing Assad. When that failed, there appears to be no other military option taken to improve matters in Syria, until Parliment voted almost unanimously to bomb ISIL in Iraq.

To bomb, or not? Why is that the question? Is it a lack of imagination or simply that it is a military decision, and not a political one? Parliment could be ruling on a more generalised intention, and then engaging a wide-ranging strategy.

The insistence upon bombing Syria or not drowns out other intelligent voices.

The use of social media by ISIL is the weapon of communication, that our bombs seek to silence. Dead terrorists can not post to their twitter accounts, being the theory. Unfortunately, they can and do have an influence. As martyrs, these murderous forces seem to increase the potential of their voices, even if it is spoken by others.

Bombing them is providing a pretext for their families to also turn against us. We lay wreaths and say “Lest we forgot”. Victims of bombing do not forget, either. Some are taking revenge, in memory of their own fallen. How can we learn from the mistakes of the Iraq war when Chilcot is stale bread in the oven? The Government’s actions in Libya and Iraq were a military fantasy.

War is horribly expensive but our “let’s get it over with” summary attitude ignores the fact that our actions are not solving the problem. The forces of parliamentary democracy seem not lead us to a solution but a choice between ill-fated paths.

It is a vote that nobody should “want”. Cameron and Osborne both attempt to destroy the Labour party, and this “vote” is designed to do just that. How are we served by a Government that spends more time trying to destroy Her Majesties Opposition than improving the lot for its voters? The language of Government should not be divisive, it should be inclusive. The PM acts more like an election strategist than a leader. He shuts down debate.

Corbyn, right or not, at least he wants to employ our best weapon: our ears. Correct and truthful analysis before the actions in Libya and Iraq would have worked for better outcomes. We elect these great minded individuals and political parties to examine the truth to prepare the ground for progress.

Going to war to be more popular is destructive. Terrorism is the last gasp of a failed ideology, buying votes with bombs is corruption.

See also – article Eight Ways to Defeat ISIL

Attacking Syria

The latest craze indulged in by Western Governments seems to be dropping bombs on Syria. It is intended to stop Daesh/ISIL from its path of terrorising civilisation but there are so many consequences that can not be sensed from 30,000 feet above. Bombs kill people, destroy lives and property as well as terrorists.