Archive for the ‘British Politics’ Category

Brexit is dead! She lived for 13 months and one day. Murdered in her infancy by bumbling practitioners of Liberal Conservatism.

RIP Brexit

Team Brexit was never going to work. Too many passionate remain supporters in Theresa May’s cabinet and Whitehall were always going to kill the newborn baby Brexit. They didn’t expect her to be born at all. They had no plan therefore to keep her alive. Yes a few wise men came to revere her, Davies, Fox and Boris. But they were also surprised at the immaculate conception. Her mother “UKIP” had showed no signs of gestation, it was considered by the media as a phantom pregnancy.

But we now know that her life support has been switched off. There will be a slow transition into the afterlife, we’re told sometime between 2022 and 2027. That’s how long it will take for her mourners – 17.4 million of them – to either die themselves, or simply move on to another cause. At least that’s what the government is hoping for. The wise men have accepted the transition into the next parliament in 2022, by which time further procrastination and clueless maneuvering will see us through to the end of that term in 2027. That’s always assuming the Conservative party win

Sir Jacob of Somerset

in 2022!

There is a slim chance a crusader knight will revive the unfortunate Brexit child, Sir Jacob of Somerset is his name, he has many non believers to slay and will need divine intervention if he’s to prevail.

 

Throughout the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg is waggishly referred to, by his contemporary colleagues – and even by his own party as – “The member for the early twentieth century”.

Invectives, no matter how humorous or cutting, often turn out to be quite accurate! Mr Rees-Mogg is not only a politician who would harmonise perfectly with the governments of Baldwin and Balfour, but probably Disraeli too!

Rees-Mogg seemingly has no affinity with modern political figures, nor should he seek to! He’s his own man, an anomaly in 21st century British politics.

Always at ease

In today’s heavily scrutinised world of envy and class division, he is regarded as a privileged toff, an elite! A throwback to the black and white days of oppression and servitude. We are meant to be, not only tolerant of brash northern MPs, or cockney ex union reps, but positively grateful for them. Many politicians on the left try to hide their Oxbridge, grammar school accents by dropping their Ts and Hs. So that the word “university” becomes “universi’ y”! Those who practice these “glottal- stops” as they are officially called, seem either ashamed of speaking correctly, or afraid to give away their secret of a good upbringing and education,  in case their working class constituents decide not to vote for them. I personally think it’s the latter.

The Conservative Party on the other hand still have a fairly large contingent of well spoken, privileged members in the House of Commons. Some tone down their posh accents, but most behave according to their standard of upbringing. They’re not too ashamed to speak correctly in other words.

Speaking with a superior accent is by no means all that is required to appear upper crust and dashing. Throughout the 18th, 19th and early twentieth century satirists have mocked the aristocracy for their ritzy accents, naive views and snobbish silliness. The archetypal Jeeves and Wooster characters are a typical example. Ridiculed, derided and cruelly targeted by their less privileged cynics, who instinctively know there will be little or no empathy for their victims.

Which brings us to Jacob Rees-Mogg and the growing cult of centre-right supporters he is amassing. The media – and to be honest – those who are in the business of political whataboutery, are at a loss to explain it. How has this junior member for North East Somerset who has never held even the lowest level of office suddenly become the darling of the Tory grassroots movement? Even the young are joining the cult of JRM veneration,  or Moggmentum as it’s frequently called.

My attention was first drawn to JRM immediately after the 2010 general election. He was part of the new intake that contributed to David Cameron’s victory and subsequent coalition with the Lib Dems. He was just 18 days short of his 41st birthday. From the outset, the new member for NE Somerset was an outspoken critic of Cameron’s coalition. Rees-Mogg was no admirer of the socially liberal Cameron, who would have been classed as the wettest of wets in Margaret Thatcher’s time. Despite going to Eton and Oxford (within 3 years of each other) their educational outcomes were antithetical.

Though giving the appearance of a traditional, grey-suited Tory, Rees-Mogg is nothing of the sort. He possesses a rebellious streak that reflects the mood of the country. Constitutionally there is no more learned member of the house. A passionate historian, Rees-Mogg is always on hand to inform his peers of their inaccuracies or relate a distant anecdote to a current political situation. He delivers oratory with ease and conviction, often spiced with good humour and hugely appreciated by all sides of the house.

On analysing Rees-Moggs past performances, both in the house and on TV, it is without doubt, this swift and stupefying blow delivered –  deservingly – to David Dimbleby on an episode of BBC Question Time a couple of years ago that endeared him – not only to Tory supporters but also to the general public. The audience reaction was collective and appreciative and rarely does that happen in support of a politician. Dimbleby’s embarrassed chuckling was all the proof, if needed that Jacob Rees-Mogg is not to be messed with.

As the disastrous results of the 2017 general election came in on the 8th May – sending the Tories into a tailspin – all thoughts turned to a new leader. The usual big beasts were thrust forward, Boris, Davies, Hammond Fox… the list was continually updated and analysed by the media. Prospective candidates were uncertain whether to go on manoeuvres or modestly protest their support for their fumbling leader Theresa May.

The government had been dealt a near fatal blow! The Tory core vote had held firm, in fact it showed a modest increase. The swing to Labour in certain areas was unfathomable, and has recently been attributed to the unexpectedly large turnout of younger voters, mainly students, who not only bothered to get out of bed for the first time in electoral history,  but in many thousands of cases did so more than once!  (The electoral commission and police are looking into this as I write).

In the uncomfortable weeks since the last election the Tory party machine has rallied -mostly unconvincingly – around their lame-duck leader. The country is yet again divided into three, with Corbyn supporters demanding another election – encouraged by their lead in the polls, moderate Labour who dread the very idea of a Corbyn premiership, and a weak Conservative government who are fearful that the youth vote would actually increase and

Vote early vote often

deliver them the mortal blow!

For now at least, despite the mischievous left-leaning media, there is little appetite for a leadership contest, let alone another general election.

Right now, the cabinet is behaving like a bunch of reluctant guests in the drawing room of a country hotel at the beginning of a murder mystery weekend, not knowing if their next move will expose them as the protagonist, victim or the detective! No! Let’s make that a theatrical production with an audience of Tory activists and supporters.

Now just imagine Jacob Rees-Mogg entering that drawing room from stage right! His demeanour one of calm, collected authority, eyeing the assembled, shifty cabinet with disdain and suspicion. Pulling a cigarette case from the inside pocket of his dinner jacket and tapping his chosen smoke against the lid, he begins to question the sweating assortment of delinquents.

You can imagine it can’t you!! Rees-Mogg is that authority figure. He is more than capable of establishing himself as the authority in the company of any individuals from Brussels, to the House of Commons or any TV studio in the land. He possesses the gravitas, intellect and conviction.

Returning to our theatre audience of Tory grassroots, they would lap up the masterful performance of Detective Inspector Mogg. But what if that audience were made up of the general public, or ordinary voters as we should call them? Would he be seen as the convincing, trusty policeman or a posh oppressor?

Hard-core remainers spend the vast majority of their time spouting vitriolic abuse at those who chose to leave the EU! Social Media is full of it. Friends unfollowing friends on Facebook, followers blocking followers on Twitter – the divide has become quite nasty, scary even!

No one could have predicted the post Brexit polarisation of Britain. Even diehard politicos have been disturbed by the resulting tribalism following the referendum of 23rd June 2016!

Since that remarkable day, those who voted to remain in the European Union have been found out! From AC Grayling to Gary Linaker, George Osborne to Harriet Harman – Not only have they been unable to name one of the several presidents of the EU, or identify a European Union directive that benefits the UK, but not one of their doomsday predictions has ever come close to being true. The wretched remoaners either cling to the slogan on the red bus, or insist the apocalypse hasn’t happened yet because Britain hasn’t left! Despite the fact all the Armageddon prophecies were supposed to happen the very day after the referendum!

The latest trend adopted by the Europhiles is soft Brexit, in other words, remaining in the EU hoping for a deal that will never be offered, in the vague hope that after a decade or so of procrastination, the British public will just forget about it all and we’ll just stay in by default!

But the horrifying thing is, this could easily happen. The article 50 negotiations are expected to take 2 years before a settlement with the EU is reached. That, my dear readers, is never going to happen!  Brussels has never concluded trade negotiations with another friendly country in 10 years, let alone 2! It must also be emphasised that the EU doesn’t look on the UK as a friendly country. Brussels is determined to punish the UK to deter any other member from contemplating the very idea of leaving the bloc. No former member can be seen to strike a better deal than the remaining member states.

After over 50 years, the European Union has never struck a bilateral trade deal with a major world economy. There are too many vested interests on agricultural policies for France and Spain, whilst German industrial car manufacturing giants won’t allow Japan, China or India a shred of their lucrative markets. Prominent leave voters are only too well aware of this as the Twitter thread below illustrates.

 

Take the BBC article above for example, highlighted by Twitter user @Alichat66 – and commented on by @SirTrevSkint – both I should add, are British expats living in Europe. Despite the misleading headline, not only has a free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan not been agreed, but after five years of stalemate between the two – principally because France, Germany and Italy have vetoed several articles, but the EU was happy to kick any further negotiations into the long grass.

Now comes the shocker! After Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential race, announcing to the world “America First” in essence, following a more inward looking, protectionist trade policy, and shunning the EU by walking away from the anti-American TTIP agreement, Brussels panicked. Britain was leaving the EU and so was the US! Suddenly Brussels needed to show the people of Europe that it was making successful trade deals with the world’s greatest economies. But, as Sir Trev Skint points out, after five years of procrastination and inflexibility towards Japan, suddenly they have become the EUs “new best buddy”!

A further 15 years are required to see through the trade “transition” – Brussels speak for chaotic EU infighting and member state self-serving protectionism! If their past record is anything to go by, the European Union will have excelled themselves to ink a trade deal with Japan within 20 years.

The UK will certainly not achieve anything like a bilateral trade deal with Brussels in 2 years. Better to go straight to the World Trade Organisation now and walk away from these unachievable on-going irreconcilable deliberations.

The United Kingdom can then freely sign bilateral free trade agreements with the US, China, Far East, the Commonwealth, South America and a hundred other dynamic world economies, allowing the diminishing EU member states to either implode, disintegrate or, as is most likely, come begging to us for a no-strings-attached free trade deal.

Perhaps the more accurate headline should read; Fat-Cat business vs. Bloated public sector?

Depending on which side of the political divide you come from, you will get a different answer! Why should that be the case I hear you ask! Well put simply, or dare I say, crudely, the leftists have always favoured state-owned monoliths, over-manning and heavily unionised workforces. After all, if you’ve detested capitalists for the entire history of your party, you’re not going to be comfortable taking hefty donations from fat- cat industrialists who make their profits off the backs of the working class when you can be more virtuous by taking largesse from fat-cat unions who make their profits …. well. !!…. off the backs of the working class actually!! Yes I know, it doesn’t make sense, but that’s just the way it is!

There was a single exception to Labour’s socialist mind-set; Tony Blair! He was “extremely relaxed taking money from the filthy rich!” (His words, not mine!)

With a foot in both camps, he couldn’t fail. Business and industry fell for the snake-oil salesman; Teflon Tony charmed their wallets open and still managed to keep the die-hard unions’ on-side. Of course, it could not last forever, and it didn’t!

That’s why we now have Jeremy Corbyn! The Labour movement were just as deceived as the capitalist bosses, but the hard-left felt the shame hardest. They realised Blair was the most extreme example of greed they had ever witnessed, he would think nothing of forcing your children up a chimney, putting grandparents in the workhouse, privatising the NHS and introducing tuition fees!!

Our NHS – Not really!

How the hard left must loath themselves for allowing themselves to be so gullible and used!

So with the above in mind, it’s hardly surprising that fat-cat private business and industry have scurried back to the Tory party and the bloated public sector has got behind the big-state Marxist Corbyn!

There is now a clear divide between private and public sector!

Perhaps now is a good time to look at the recent history of the conflict.

Whilst there has always been a public sector in our long and proud history, it was mostly confined to our military and civil service, particularly during the growth, and even the demise of our empire. The real change came during the Second World War with the Beveridge report of 1942.

Prior to the Beveridge report, the Liberal party from as far back as the 1830s had pressed for social and working conditions reform in efforts to relieve the burden and improve life expectancy of the poor. All very creditable stuff and slow progress was made. The old age pension and many housing and working conditions acts were forced through parliament, often voted down by the Tories! Not entirely unexpected as during those times they were the landlords and employers who were most likely to take a hit in their profits in all this – turkeys don’t vote for Christmas do they?

This changed everything

But then came the two world wars and through the necessity of national security of means of production and transportation, nationalisation of the railways, mines, utilities and communication, to name but a few, was instigated. It’s worth noting that the United States never nationalised any of these industries yet still managed to win the second world war through industrial might and go on to become a world superpower in military and production terms. However that is a discussion for another day!

In post war Britain, austerity prevailed, whilst the US boomed with the American dream, an abundance of food and luxury goods!

In 1945 Labour won their third general election and enthusiastically adopted the recommendations of the Beveridge report, in effect, the beginning of the welfare state as we know it today. The National Health Service was the most significant, and, as we now know, the most controversial.

Throughout the 1950’s, 60s and seventies, nationalisation and the welfare state – “The Public Sector” – eclipsed the “Private Sector” by swallowing up shipbuilding, car manufacturing and steel production; it was a socialist’s wet dream come true! The unions flexed their muscles and bullied successive governments with unrealistic pay demands, holidays and pension deals. If they couldn’t get what they wanted, they would bring the country to its knees by way of strikes and withdrawal of utilities, in the knowledge that if prolonged, private enterprise would fold and mass unemployment would follow, with the public pointing the finger of blame at the incumbent government! It was a ghastly time to live through.

 

With the major industries in public ownership – the private sector was far smaller and stupendously heavily taxed – the successful and wealthy were a target for high taxation, some of our greatest entrepreneurs were paying over 90% of their earnings to the exchequer. Many fled to the colonies; such as the US, Australia and Canada! The Rolling Stones and Tim Berners-Lee (British inventor of the internet) were just two of what became known as “the brain drain”. The nationalised industries never turned a profit, in fact they consumed eye watering subsidies, the Taxpayers were made to foot the bill. Interest rates and inflation were well into double figures and Britain became known throughout the world as “the sick man of Europe”. In the late seventies the international monetary fund (IMF) were called in by Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson and his chancellor Dennis Healy. Austerity, cuts and pay restraints were inflicted on Britain, in fact they were so severe that Labour Chancellor Dennis Healey cut more in 1 year 78/79 than George Osborne managed to achieve between 2010 to 2015! Just let that sink in!!

Throughout the extensive, uncontrolled growth period of the 1970s, the public sector became infested with socialists who could not see themselves working for private businesses and corporate enterprise! Teachers, nurses, civil servants, the fire service, police and local authorities became the natural home for those idealists who chose to consume profits instead of making them. They simply had no respect or understanding of the private sector, in fact they deliberately did not wish to. It was distasteful and repugnant to them. Public Sector employees had never really experienced a pay and pensions advantage over their Private Sector rivals. In fact, for many years they had been the poor relation, public service was seen as a privilege, a duty by many in those innocent times of need. Income parity was their initial goal and through the powerful union movement during those years of state ownership and intervention of the 1970s Public Sector pay and conditions became the overriding aim of the union barons. It was also during those times that recruitment in that sector began to expand exponentially.

From the early 1980s – under Margaret Thatcher’s stewardship, this direction of travel in the United Kingdom was significantly halted. As soon as the powerful miner’s union was despatched, the whole of the Public Sector became ripe for culling. Margaret Thatcher knew the power of the Public Sector was not because of the size of the trade unions, quite the reverse, the power of the trade unions was because of the size of the public sector! She took an axe to those nationalised utilities and loss making monoliths by selling them off to private investors, either for profit or, more controversially, asset stripping. Her motive was clear, reduce the Public Sector payroll and you starve the union beast of its funding. Yes, it was idealistic, but it was also a logical way to inject cash into the economy and reduce the subsidy burden on the hard pressed taxpayers.

Beating the Miners Union

With deregulation of the city of London’s stock market, Britain became a wealthy, aspirational place to live, many other countries around the world created their own “Big Bang”. Margaret had enacted the capitalist dream and turned it into reality.  The right to buy further turbocharged the consumer market at home, but more importantly created a whole new army of Blue collar, home owning Tory voters.

Anti-union legislation was passed by strong Conservative government after government, benefiting from large majorities and the weak Labour leadership of Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock were powerless to intervene. It was during Margaret Thatcher’s second term of office that Corbyn was elected to Parliament. He was an open sore during Kinnock, Blair and Gordon Brown’s leadership of the Labour Party.

In 1997, Blair and Brown began to expand the public sector. Quangos, Local Authorities and the NHS were just some of the areas stuffed with left leaning acolytes – jobs for the boys – Universities and the media swelled their coffers and ranks with glee, it was the Public Sector and Labour’s equivalent of the “Big Bang” – funded by PFI, stupendously profligate borrowing, uncontrolled consumer growth, deregulation of banking and of course, selling off the gold!

The Public Sector headcount spiralled with health and safety officers, diversity officers, risk assessment managers, community liaison personnel and dozens of non-job box tickers! To hell with potholes and bin collections, those jobs were for the working classes and the Labour party had moved on from those awful, black and white days of class struggles, Blairism was now focussing on the immigrants, in-work benefit subsidies and the Public Sector middle classes for their core vote! They even had the Richard Bransons and Alan Sugars aboard, though they’d prefer to forget the Philip Greens and Fred the Shred (RBS), despite bestowing knighthoods on them.

By 2007 Blair was exposed as a Red Tory – his greed, warmongering and lack of conviction for social justice became his defining legacy – Nevertheless, he’d probably have won a 4th term in 2010 had he been unchallenged. But Gordon Brown had galvanised what remained of the hard left and besides, during their now infamous lunch at the trendy Granita eatery, he had promised Gordon he’d resign during his third term as Prime Minister, all was set for a new wave of Socialism using the now gargantuan Public Sector as their core 30% vote share, plus immigrants (as a result of the Blair years, there were now an extra 3 million of them) all bolstered by a new class of private sector workers who depended on in-work benefits to top up their low wages (low-skilled immigrants had actually forced wages down).

By now the Public Sector had not only surpassed the Private Sector on pay deals, but they had secured index linked

The Gap Widens

pensions, early retirement,  jobs for life and no expense was spared on their working environments! They even enjoyed more holidays, sick leave and maternity benefits. It was a socialist’s utopia and it was still growing. Under Labour, state teachers became gods, local authority employees’ demigods and the NHS a religion!

When the financial crisis struck, Britain was spending 250 billion pounds a year more than it received in revenue, even today that annual deficit is 50 billion pounds, despite 7 years of so-called Tory austerity! Gordon Brown lost the election in 2010, and the newly elected Tory/LibDem coalition government attempted (unsuccessfully) to reign in the profligacy and steer the country towards living within its means. Their only fulfilled pledge was to reduce the public sector headcount by half a million whilst compensating those job losses with one million new private sector positions. This they have achieved, and a little more besides. Local authority funding has reduced in real terms by 40%. Defence and education spending has also seen a squeeze. But unfortunately, health, welfare and overseas aid provision have not been reigned in. There are billions to be shaved of these budgets in efficiency savings whilst improving user’s experiences. But the political will is nowhere to be found, what’s more, the government has failed to increase its majority at the last election, there is no prevailing mood of confidence to address these funding black holes.

At present, the 6 year Public Sector pay freeze is under attack from all sides. As terrorist attacks and the Grenfell tower tragedy thrust our emergency services, NHS and local authorities under the spotlight, a cynical, far left Labour party, led by Marxists Corbyn and McDonnell are politically determined to capitalise on these events, unashamedly grandstanding on the bodies of the victims, supported by their left wing mainstream media colleagues at the BBC, Sky news and Channel 4. Galvanising the gullible public into a blind frenzy, demanding unrealistic Public Sector pay increases despite the fact that the private sector is still lagging behind them in all aspects of pay, pensions, holiday entitlement and working conditions.

So in answer to the title of this article, NO! How can it be fair to boost Public Sector pay when the private sector, which was far more effected by the financial crisis than the Public Sector has still not achieved the parity it deserves.

The staff at Westminster Wing wholeheartedly urge our readers to vote Conservative for security, the economy and Brexit closure.

 

 

If you think 2015 was a tough year for the Labour Party,  just imagine being a Lib/Dem!

It’s worth reminding ourselves that this once great British institution went from being a party of government in 2010, to suffering a virtual wipe-out

Once relevant!

Once relevant!

five years later. With 57 seats in the coalition government and several respected heavyweights in their ranks, the Lib/Dems had enviable influence between 2010 and 2015. Influence today’s Labour Party can only dream about.

Now reduced to just eight seats and saddled with a leader who lacks gravitas or any kind of public profile, it is a party in permanent decline.

Starved of publicity, mainly due to the overwhelming media interest in Labour’s public imploding and lacking its big beasts, most of whom were expunged at the 2015 general election, the Lib/Dems seem to be heading in the same direction as one of those popular, but now out of date 1960s

sitcoms.

Yes, they could try a revival, but they’re never the same as the original.

Under Ed Miliband’s leadership the once mighty Labour Party became nothing more than a protest movement for the militant public sector monilith and

beatles-tribute-band

A Poor Substitute

hopeless welfare claimants. This was bad, very bad – particularly for those die-hards who spent their entire life supporting,  representing or simply depending on this vital parliamentary beacon for the working classes throughout the UK.

But since Jeremy Corbyn seized control, there is now a real possibility that Britain’s second most successful political party will become a sad tribute band, offering incipit, unconvincing impersonations of its former glorious past.