Archive for September, 2017

Tory Civil War: A Dysfunctional Government

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

Once again Boris has set out to undermine May, offering conditions for the progress of Brexit. He does so with impunity because the government’s position is itself so vague that it is hard to nail the Foreign Secretary for being disloyal. Meanwhile as the Tories gather in Manchester, some have shut their eyes and are hoping for the best, some, including senior figures, are calling for  hard Brexit and yet others are calling for a softer Brexit which amounts to staying in  everything but the political institutions which run the EU.

Both these latter strands of passionate opinion have a certain integrity. What does not is the government’s official negotiating position. This is  full  aspirational rhetoric but light on specific detail on each of the contentious issues, leaving  the country and the EU baffled by the ambiguity of it all. Moreover it is full of contradictions which are impossible to square in reality, for example free access to markets without adhering to the rules or the membership fees. If there are options that will never be one of them. And remember this is not a party enjoying the luxury of arguing in opposition; this is the government tasked with the biggest peacetime restructuring since the Romans up sticks and left.

So this is a very worrying time for the ordinary person in the street. What would help would be for the soft Brexiteers to come clean on the ongoing political and financial cost of staying in the customs union and the single market. Even more important is for Boris and his gang of pipe-dreamers to quantify even a single advantage of leaving the EU, while setting out in cold hard figures the short and medium term economic damage of hard Brexit which will scupper the hopes of a generation. Boris’s hero Churchill, he see himself as a modern incarnation of the national Icon, in exchange for blood toil tears and sweat, offered the people one simple goal. Victory. What exactly is Boris offering? My suspicion is he is only offering Boris.

Aung San Suu Kyi: Big Questions

Friday, September 29th, 2017

The world is shocked by the scale of the horrors unfolding in a country it was thought was coming in from the cold. When the Nobel Peace Prize winner became its leader there was hope everywhere that Aung San Suu Chi would herald a new beginning for her country. The brutality of the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, over half a million of whom have fled to neighboring Bangladesh, is stunning and raises multiple questions about her integrity as democratic champion of human rights.

A junior Foreign Office Minister has said, following a visit to her, that she assured him that the Rohingya would be allowed to return. Really? To What? All their villages have been burned to ashes and many family members killed. As the UN has declared, this is a terrible humanitarian emergency. Its resolution will require a good deal more than the worthless assurances of this discredited icon.

May: Another Speech? But They Listen to Corbyn.

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

She makes a lot of speeches, this Prime Minister. But it is all talk and no delivery. So the break through of Florence becomes the latest deadlock in Brussels. It is a long and boring story which today we will skip. The latest effort, much trailed for delivery at the Bank of England, extols the free market economy. Why, when there are clear problems of inequality, asset inflation, low productivity and chronic austerity, do that? You may well ask. The answer is it that is what she was brought up to, skipping barefoot through the cornfields. It is all she knows. She turns out to be somewhat wooden and rather dull.

By contrast her rival, Jeremy Corbyn, who began as a no hoper, a fruitcake pedaling yesterday’s ideas, has become the man of the moment with rock star status, pulling thousands to cheer him wherever he goes. He declares the present model of capitalism broken, failing the many, while enriching the few. His party has now moved back to its socialist roots pulling the centre with it, finding its lost voters, millions of them, and adding members so that it has more than all the other political parties in the UK put together. It has just had its most successful conference for a generation and in the words of its leader is poised for power. Power to change and the confidence and courage to change almost everything.

This Blog has supported Corbyn from the beginning. In May 2016 I published Turn Left To Power. Almost all of it is now official Labour practice and policy.Product Details


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Labour: Mandatory Re-Selection

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

This has always been a sensitive issue for labour. I have never understood why. Of course constituency parties must have a chance to select their candidate before each general election and there is nothing repressive or left wing about the notion. It is democracy. Becoming an MP is not a job for life. Sometimes it turns out to be, but that in itself is wrong. It is this Blog’s view that re-selection of candidates by every political party before each election should be mandatory by law and that no member of the House of Commons should serve more than three terms.  If and when the Lords are elected similar rules should apply.

Being a parliamentarian is not a profession, it is a public service. For the system to work well, it needs a constant input of fresh ideas. Experience of politics in counter productive and causes time to be spent on business of interest to politicians, which too often leaves the people cold. What is needed is experience of life. Life out there and for real. Not in the Westminster village.

Bombardier: An Object Lesson?

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Without going into the technicalities of why the US authorities have issued such a punitive tariff against the Canadian plane maker and its Belfast factory, it is important to make a general point about trading with the United States.

In spite of the Special Relationship with America and notwithstanding the enormous inter-connection between UK and US businesses and investors and the fact that we are both the largest foreign investors and employers in each other’s countries, we have never had a comprehensive trade deal together. The reason is that regulations, business practices and investment controls are very different in each country to the point where the gaps are unbridgeable. It has thus been the practice for both countries to expand the reach of their businesses by setting up subsidiaries in each other’s homeland, subject to compliance of all local rules.

When you compare the venomous attempt to bring a competitor of Boeing to its knees, with the sunny prospect of a tariff free trade deal with America to  replace some of the losses of Brexit, you see just how unrealistic an aspiration that is. If free trade were practical between the UK and US, we would have organised it a century ago.

Kurdish Independence: It Must Happen

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Much of the current crisis in the Middle East can be traced back to the arbitrary drawing of national boundaries by colonial powers after WWI, following the collapse of the last vestiges of the Ottoman Empire. Tribe, nation and language were ignored as the new countries of Iraq and Syria were created, mixing Sunni and Shia. The Kurds were abandoned altogether and found themselves living in everywhere but without a homeland.

That is now and was then plain wrong. It can no longer work. Neither should it. The Kurds have been the toughest fighters and the best organised of all the militias involved in the fight against IS and have been reliable and essential partners of the US, UK and their allies. Independence is their right and must be their reward. Not straight away in the midst of the ongoing IS war, but not too long after its end, now in sight. This blog will always support the right of a people to independence if they seek it and a majority back it. It may not always be convenient for everybody else, but it is the first building block of democracy and the first principle upon which it is founded. It is the inspiration and foundation of the United States itself.

It is now the Kurd’s turn. They have earned it.

Labour: Conference Reading from .99p

Monday, September 25th, 2017

2017 Labour Can Win by [Blair-Robinson, Malcolm]

Turn Left To Power: A Road Map For Labour by [Blair-Robinson, Malcolm]















Is The UK Government Imploding?

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

In the strict sense of what a government is supposed to be, it already has. The show of cabinet unity for the Florence spectacular was carefully stage managed, but according to reports, rumour and briefings, there is still a war going on between hard ideological Brexiteers and those who want to put economic interests and political reality at the centre of policy. If there was nothing much going on, this would be fine. Perhaps.

But we are now engaged in a process unique in British history, which is already affecting almost every aspect of national life in a negative way, without having yet revealed a single tangible advantage of the course chosen. There are piling up a bewildering volume of treaties and commercial relationships which have to be renewed even to keep the lights on and the food shelves stocked. The status of the citizenship of every Brit is uncertain, as are their rights and future prospects, while not a single opportunity for advancement has yet been revealed by an increasingly frantic Brexit faction. Latest opinion polls show a re-run of the Brexit referendum would reverse it. In other words there is no longer a majority in favour of this suicidal adventure.

May struggled to get the draft of her speech, which might have offered something to break the deadlock with Brussels in its original form, past her cabinet and the watered down version, of which a gleeful Boris is claiming to be the author, while conciliatory in tone, failed once again to offer the detail of how all the unbridgeable contradictions of our negotiating posture are going to be resolved. So once again the EU is perplexed and wondering what the next round, due to start tomorrow, will bring.

What Britain now needs above all is a government united enough to govern. Without it disaster beckons.

More Hess Secrets

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017


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Hess Secrets Revealed: Download or Paperback

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

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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.  

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