Archive for August, 2017

Tory Leadership: May Changes The Game

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

This blog has already commentated on the political game changer of Labour’s decision to back the UK staying in the customs union and single market. Now May has seized the moment and announced that she is, in political terms, here for keeps, i.e. until after the 2022 general election. This turns on its head the supposition that she would go at latest in 2019 and more likely much sooner. It also re-establishes effective government both at home and abroad because once again there is a prime minister in charge of the government, rather than the reverse. Whatever your politics that is good news, because a leaderless country is bad for everybody.

And it is a leaderless country in which we have been living since the June Tory electoral disaster. To the rest of the world the UK and Brexit has become a rudderless muddle drifting in a sea of its own disunity and unable to articulate the specifics of its aims. The reality is that May was too damaged to exert her authority, Davis, Boris and Fox were running Brexit and Hammond was struggling to get them to recognise the economic priorities of the whole project. The rest of the cabinet was demonstrating serial incompetence in departmental management.

But times have changed. Labour has taken a Brexit posture supported by business, the City, trade unions, science and the majority of voters. Boris has become an international joke and a national embarrassment, variously branded with the attention span lasting only moments, a liar and a clown. Davis is making very heavy weather indeed of the Brexit negotiations and the EU is becoming exasperated, as are foreign investors and business leaders. Fox is revealed as a fantasist who knows next to nothing about the realities of business and trade.

There is absolutely nobody who could seriously mount a leadership challenge without bringing the whole government down in the process. The Tory party had one helluva fright in June. It is not going to throw itself over the edge now. It knows its survival and May’s cannot now be separated. May has several things running for her. Her rivals are discredited, there is nothing the Brits, especially Tories, love more than a loser who bounces back and if she can deliver a form of Brexit which does not seriously damage and disrupt the economy, she has a pretty fair chance of winning outright in 2022. Interestingly we are now seeing the real May, freed from the clutches of that odd couple kicked out of Downing Street after June 8th. She could turn out to be more formidable rather than less. Instead of being forced to cut off her right arm, she may have freed it from a bind.

The EU will be pleased to have a leader it can rely on from the UK once again. Labour will have to rise to a challenge it was not expecting to face. Its best chance is to bring down the government within the next eighteen months. There might be good opportunities to do that.

Politics will get exciting again.

Easy Reads from .99p: Download or Paperback

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Ideal holiday/travel reading. From departure lounge to beach, two compelling reads with a spooky touch. From .99p download and £4.99 paperback. ($1.29 and $.7.99)

Whilloe's First Case       Satan's Disciple  Click Images  U.K.

U.S.                U.S.

May In Japan

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

May is arriving in Japan to drum up interest in fixing a trade deal post Brexit. She touches down just as the country is caught up in the North Korean missile crisis. She will offer words of solidarity and encouragement, but really the UK is hardly a player in this strategic area any more. She will also find that Japanese corporations, already heavily invested in the UK, are becoming increasingly nervous at the drift and ambiguity of her government’s negotiating record thus far with the EU.

The trade position is further complicated by the fact that Japan is just about to complete its own trade deal with the EU, to which it is giving priority. The Japanese are not time wasters and when nobody knows what Britain is willing to settle for with the EU, there is scant prospect that, beyond polite words, they will do much. May’s staff have been briefing that perhaps it would be possible, to speed up the process, to use the EU/Japanese deal as the framework for a UK post Brexit deal.

Good idea, but if that is where we wind up, would it not be better still to stay in the EU and have our cake and eat it?

And what are and where are the actual material advantages of leaving the EU?

Is it not time for somebody to offer some hard evidence and real facts?

Downfall In Downing Street: Download or Paperback

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Downfall in Downing Street: Power, Corruption, Lies and Sex by [Blair-Robinson, Malcolm]



Labour and Brexit: Not a U-Turn

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Hard Brexiteers are  naturally accusing the Labour leadership of a U-Turn over Brexit, because as the realities become ever clearer, it has decided to advocate the only course available to reduce the negative impact of the whole Brexit folly. This is to support a transitional period when, after formally leaving, we remain inside both the single market and customs union for however long it takes to reach a final settlement. During that time all the current rules will have to apply including the four freedoms. After that it may be even possible to remain in both the market and the union on some Norway style deal.

In case anyone worries that this may damage Labour’s electoral prospects it is worth recording that research has revealed that two thirds of Labour voters voted Remain, even in heavily Leave voting  areas, so Labour has no choice but to put the economy and jobs first and above whimsical sound bites about Global Britain, which mean nothing. In the EU we are a leading member of the world’ largest trading area and common market and through that relationship we have trading deals with 37 other countries. All of that goes if we leave and we have to start from scratch with everybody. Even to get back to square one could take years.

Daily it becomes ever clearer that the deal offered in the referendum was never available in the terms described with the outcomes promised. As the  truth of one of the greatest political cons in history dawns, the mandate would be reversed if put to the test. The majority in the country know this, the EU knows this, and all the political parties in the UK know this save for three, the Tory party, the DUP and the near defunct UKIP. They are in denial, but soon even the for them the truth will become impossible any longer to avoid.

Downfall In Downing St: A Hot Summer Read

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Downfall in Downing Street: Power, Corruption, Lies and Sex by [Blair-Robinson, Malcolm]



Brexit: Labour’s Dramatic Move

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Like many key events which occur in politics today, Labour’s decision to go for remaining in both the Customs Union and the Single Market during a transition period and additionally not ruling out remaining in both as part of a Brexit settlement, is a game changer. So far few commentators have remarked on it in those terms.

There is now no chance of the government pushing through some type of hard Brexit, or cliff edge leap at the end of negotiations failing, because the Parliament now has an overwhelming majority for a soft Brexit, which puts the economy first. Practically every organisation representing either business or the workforce, science, education, the list goes on and on, is pressing for this. In the commons Labour, the SNP, the Lib Dems and a good part of  Tory MPs, together with the House of Lords would not allow such madness through. A Brexiteer dash to the country for a mandate for WTO rules etc. would court disaster for the Tories, even oblivion.

So the Brexit of the Red Bus has unraveled. Yesterday we gave Boris a good mark for his Libya efforts. Today that is cancelled out. As the cheer leader of the dishonest and ignorant Leave campaign, he must take his responsibility for this turn of events. Nobody did their homework; they were all clueless about what was involved. And they were, to use Boris’s own turn of phrase, wildly optimistic.

Hess Secrets: Download or Paperback from .99p

Saturday, August 26th, 2017


Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy and right hand man, flew to Scotland on a mysterious peace mission in 1941, which has never been convincingly explained, to meet unidentified politicians who wanted to end the war. The truth has been covered up for generations because to reveal it would somehow undermine the honour and constitutional fabric of the United Kingdom. Who was plotting against Churchill? What were the peace terms on offer? What happened to Hess? Was he killed in the War? Was the prisoner in Spandau a double?
There are many questions to which in the modern day one man, Saul Benedict has all the answers, because his parents were players in the drama involving Churchill, Hitler, leading politicians and an important Royal. Saul is an author and declares his intention to write a book to reveal all, but he is shot dead, apparently accidentally by a poacher. But was it an accident? Rick Coleman an investigative journalist determines to find out and in doing so to uncover the mystery.
Taking place in the modern day but with flashback chapters which gradually unfold the hidden secrets, the novel is a fast moving and compelling read based on the family knowledge of the author whose parents had connections to both Hess and Hitler and to British Intelligence.  

                  Amazon UK 

Trump White House: Now Gorka Goes

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

General Kelly was tasked with sorting out the dysfunctional White House. He appears, with the sacking of Sebastian Gorka, to have completed the main phase. Some will ring their hands in anxiety and wonder if the Trump project is on the rocks. Regular readers will know that this blog judges Trump on his actions. Sometimes he is right, sometimes wrong, but he is the President of the United States and it is in none of our interests if he cannot govern, whatever our politics.

The problem in the early months has been that Trump was not a politician, which is why he was elected, but neither were most of his early appointments. If that were all, they would have quickly learned on the job, but unfortunately in many cases, particularly Bannen and Gorka, they were also ideologues. And the problem with ideologues is that they put ideology first and deliverability second. That leads to chaos. That is because democratic government is about compromise.

It is about governing for those who support you as well as those who do not. It is about building consensus among competing interests and egos. Moreover this is especially the case with the US Federal system which is designed to do nothing if consensus cannot be built, unless there is a substantial majority uniting both the legislature and the executive on a course of action. Theoretically the Republicans control all three organs of government, but in practice the Republican party is composed of factions who cannot agree. In the country Trump has a pretty solid base around 40% of voters, but he won the electoral college while losing the popular vote.

So for Trump to achieve a solid record sufficient to inspire his base and win over uncommitted voters, he has to deliver beyond the scope of Executive Orders, useful tool of presidential government although they are undoubtedly are. He has to get through Congress legislation to enable tax cuts for business, infrastructure renewal and a workable healthcare plan. He also has to deal with North Korea, IS, Afghanistan, Fair Trade, re-patriation of jobs and immigration.

Whether this is your agenda is irrelevant to this post. It is Trump’s agenda and the one upon which he was elected. He has to score well on all these issues and he can only do that with a White House which has delivery skills entirely absent from his original line up. If you cut through the media feeding frenzy over every word the free-wheeling Trump utters, to try and detect a different meaning to what he said on the same issue an hour ago, there are already signs of steadier hands at the wheels of state in the Executive Mansion.


Boris and Libya: He Is Right

Friday, August 25th, 2017

It is not often that the blog comes out in support of Boris, but the Foreign Secretary’s visit to Libya, a minor coup for him, revealed a far more realistic minister than the showman clown we have become used to. He told the Libyans not to make the same mistake as Theresa May and call an election before they were ready and also admitted that the UK government (of which he was not then a member but TM was) was wildly optimistic about its Libya intervention and getting rid of Gaddafi  was a tragedy for the Libyan people. This candour is both realistic and refreshing. Well done Boris.

It may not go down too well in Downing Street. But Boris is not fussed about that. They can just whistle.