Category: brexit

Brexit: Is it Worth It?

Brexit: Is it Worth It?

Bus itinerary:

  • Wednesday 21st February: London (Camden, Westminster, Dagenham, Hammersmith, Sutton)
  • Thursday 22nd February: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Worcester
  • Friday 23rd February: Cheadle Hulme, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds
  • Saturday 24th February: Edinburgh, Glasgow
  • Sunday 25th February: Tynemouth, Durham, Middlesborough, York,
  • Monday 26th February: Birmingham, Stratford upon Avon, Oxford, High Wycombe, Reading
  • Tuesday 27th February: Basingstoke, Southampton, Portsmouth, Chichester, Brighton
  • Wednesday 28th February: Dover, Canterbury, Maidstone, Luton

http://www.isitworthit.org.uk/

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Why not read Jeremy Corbyn’s “red rag” speech for yourself?



On Tuesday February 20th 2018 Jeremy Corbyn gave a speech to the EFF confederation of British manufacturers about Labour’s economic strategy. The response of the Evening Standard (edited by former Tory Chancellor George Osborne) was to publish a front page hatchet job describing the speech as a “red rag” to the City of London, and Jeremy Corbyn’s economic strategy as a plot to turn London into “the last Soviet era city west of Pyongyang”.

Shockingly hundreds of thousands of Evening Standard readers will have uncritically accepted this ludicrously hyperbolic appraisal of Jeremy Corbyn’s speech without even referring to the source material and judging it for themselves.

So here’s the speech so that you can judge for yourself whether George Osborne’s minions at the Evening Standard were justified in claiming that Corbyn’s speech is some kind of proof of his intention to turn Britain into a Soviet style state where private industry is banned, or the outline of a sensible economic strategy to undo the damage and reduce the private debt mountains caused by four decades of hard-right economic dogma:

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Industrial revolution

Britain was the birthplace of the industrial revolution and many great inventions from the cash point to the jet engine. Manufacturing continues to punch way above its weight accounting for 10% of output, but 44% of exports and a massive 70% of business investment in research and development.

Output per hour is £4 higher in manufacturing than the average for all sectors and the average annual earnings of someone working in manufacturing are nearly £4000 higher than average earnings from across the whole economy.

I know from my childhood the value of manufacturing jobs. My dad had one, as an electrical engineer who worked successively for Westinghouse, English Electric and GC. He enjoyed good, satisfying work with decent pay. The contributions of manufacturing of all of you to our economy cannot be understated, and the case for supporting more manufacturing jobs and industries is undeniable. And yet for too long Government hasn’t done enough to support you. 

Lagging behind 

Businesses are crying out for infrastructure investment. We are lagging behind other leading countries, but the Government simply isn’t delivering. That’s why we have pledged to create a National Transformation Fund to upgrade our transport, energy and digital infrastructure so that it is worthy of the 21st Century.

We must also invest in our people as well as our physical infrastructure. We have, on the one hand, university graduates who can’t find a suitable job while thousands of underemployed workers can’t get the skills they need to advance. And on the other hand, businesses are struggling to recruit workers with the right skills.

Time and again, businesses tell me how difficult it is to hire employees with the skills they need. And that far too often school leavers are unprepared for the workplace. Life-long learning Labour’s National Education Service will tackle that problem head-on, providing free, life-long learning to all, so that anyone can retrain or upskill at any point in their life.

We will put vocational education, too often the poor relation of our education system, at the heart of the National Education Service ensuring that science and technical learning starts early in primary schools.

Children should engage in practical learning from a young age not just in the classroom, but through play and activities.

And we will build links with industry into the National Education Service, to make sure that our education system keeps pace with the changing needs of our economy, expanding the type of training that qualifies under the Apprenticeship Levy so that businesses can actually use it for the skills they need.

The Tories’ approach to Brexit is threatening to turn our skills crisis into a catastrophe, especially for manufacturers who rely on recruiting skilled workers from overseas.

Labour said from the start; we would give an unconditional guarantee to EU citizens of their right to stay in the UK. Not just now but during the transition period as well.

This is not just because of the valuable role EU citizens play in our economy and in many of your businesses, but because they are people who have built a life here.

Unlike the Tories, we will not use people, mothers, fathers, neighbours, friends as bargaining chips.

Brexit position

Brexit is for many an emotive subject. But for business, it is first and foremost a practical matter.

To make decisions about where, when, perhaps even whether to invest, you need to know what markets you will have access to, what regulations and product standards you will be subject to, who you will be able to recruit, what will happen to our supply chains, which we all know are currently integrated across many national borders. That’s why Labour has from the start taken the practical position of accepting the result of the referendum and insisting the economy must come first.

We are leaving the EU, but our businesses must not withdraw from European markets. Business needs clarity and with four out of six of the Government’s “Road to Brexit” speeches already delivered, the Tories approach to Brexit is if anything less clear.

It’s time for the Cabinet to stop fighting and the Government to say where it wants to take the country.

And it’s not just in its approach to Brexit that the Government is failing to put the economy first. For too long manufacturing has been undervalued.

Those who make things 

For all their warm words, whether Osborne’s “March of the Makers” or this government’s new-found enthusiasm for the words ‘industrial strategy’ for decades now, the Conservatives have created, encouraged and sustained a system that rewards those who lend and speculate over those who make things.

Thatcher’s progressive abolition of restrictions on financial trading culminating in the ‘Big Bang’ deregulation of 1986 placed the needs of speculative finance at the helm of British economic life.

When Thatcher took office the ratio of private debt to GDP was 60%. In the 30 years that followed, that trebled.

That increase wasn’t due to banks supporting a healthy and productive economy by lending to businesses represented here today. It was because banks started lending to households and inflating asset prices on a scale never seen before. At the same time, investment banks began trading new kinds of financial products, packaging up debt in increasingly opaque ways and becoming ever more removed from the real economy.

Now let me be clear, finance has a central and essential role to play in a functioning economy.

Oiling the wheels

Without access to finance, how would the entrepreneur or business person just starting out find the means to get their idea off the ground?

How would a growing company afford new equipment that will make their business more productive and more profitable? Or expand their activities by opening new premises?

Finance is the grease that oils the wheels of our economy, and without it, economic activity would seize up.

But when private debt is twice the size of the real economy, when traders no longer understand the products they are trading and banks are funding speculation, rather than productive investment, something has gone grossly wrong.

Banks should be helping the real economy not suffocating it. Let me remind you of the words of John Maynard Keynes when he said: “There cannot be a real recovery . . . until the ideas of lenders and the ideas of productive borrowers are brought together again . . . . Seldom in modern history has the gap between the two been so wide and so difficult to bridge’.

“ Keynes was writing about the Great Depression of the 1930s but the gulf between finance and the real economy may be even wider today.

Money flows away

We know the results, money flows away from the productive activities that you are engaged in that create jobs and exports to instead inflate asset prices, concentrating money in the hands of a few owners, not producers, while households become more reliant on borrowing.

And we end up with an economy with more risk, more volatility and more instability.

It was a “heads I win, tails you lose” gamble for the banks, not my words, but those of the Governor of the Bank of England. And we’re all still paying for the inevitable crash.

When the last Labour Government stepped in to shore up our major banks as they stood on the brink of collapse it prevented a total meltdown. But the public should have been given a say in how the banks, propped up by our money were being run.

And there should’ve been a much more concerted effort to rein in banks’ speculation to refocus on productive lending.

We need a fundamental rethink of whom finance should serve and how it should be regulated.

Sluggish economy

There can be no rebalancing of our distorted, sluggish and unequal economy without taking on the unfettered power of finance.

For forty years, deregulated finance has progressively become more powerful. Its dominance over industry, obvious and destructive; its control of politics, pernicious and undemocratic.

The size and power of finance created a generation of politicians who thought the City of London could power the whole economy.

Out of control financial wizardry and gambling were left barely regulated, while the real economies in once strong industrial areas were put into managed decline.

The welfare state was left to pick up the slack with sticking plaster redistribution to the people and places held back by the finance-led boom of predominantly the South East of England.

For a generation instead of finance serving industry, politicians have served finance.

We’ve seen where that ends, the productive economy, our public services and people’s lives being held hostage by a small number of too big to fail banks and financial institutions.

No more. 

The real economy 

The next Labour Government will be the first in 40 years to stand up for the real economy. We will take decisive action to make finance the servant of industry not the masters of all.

The reign of finance doesn’t stop at the gates of the City of London. Its extractive logic has spread into all areas of life with short-term performance and narrow shareholder value prioritised over long-run growth and wider economic benefit.

Take GKN, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious engineering firms with a big factory in Telford where I grew up. It employs 6,000 workers across the UK, contributes an estimated £1.3 billion to the economy, paid a healthy £174 million in tax each year and invested £561 million in Research and Development in the UK alone.

And yet GKN is currently facing a hostile, allegedly debt-fuelled takeover bid by Melrose, a company with a history of opportunistic asset-stripping.

A quick buck

It’s an all too familiar story like when Kraft took over Cadburys. A valuable company could be sacrificed so that a few can make a quick buck.

We rightly praise the growth of companies like GKN and their location in the UK. And yet when we are faced with the possible destruction of that company, the Government refuses to act.

That’s why the next Labour government will broaden the scope of the ‘public interest test’ to include explicit consideration of the needs of our economy taking advantage of new freedoms outside of the EU to allow Government to intervene to protect our industrial base.

An important step towards reprogramming the economy, so that it works for the many, not the few.

Reprogramming our economy; to reward good business practices, reining in speculative finance so that it serves – not distorts the whole UK economy – backed up by a strong industrial strategy, as well as investing in our physical infrastructure and our people. This approach is vital if we are to develop our manufacturing strength. That is what the next Labour Government is committed to working with you to achieve. 

Thank you very much.

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Anyone with a grain of sense should be able to see that Corbyn isn’t outlining a plan to abolish private industry or the financial sector, he’s just calling for a better, fairer system that is geared more towards those who make things than those who recklessly gamble with other people’s money.

He’s not saying there’s no place for speculative finance, but that finance should be used to fund new businesses, new infrastructure, and better services, rather than for unregulated gambling on extraordinarily complex derivatives that even most of the traders don’t even understand.

You could see why city traders who have enjoyed four decades of enriching themselves at the expense of the real economy would object to any effort to get them to invest in the real productive economy rather than gambling away with impunity, knowing that they’ll be bailed out by the taxpayer again whenever they next fail.

But Corbyn’s speech should be music to the ears of anyone who values the real economy above the selfish interests of a tiny clique of city speculators who see it as their right to live off the backs of the rest of us, and have us pay for their economic crises through austerity dogma while the government actually lavishes handouts on them.

And even if you think that the interests of city speculators should trump the needs of the real economy, you’d have to be absolutely clueless to accept the idea that a call for more financial investment in private sector manufacturing is some kind of Soviet style communist plot.

Sadly though, there are actually people thick enough to accept such brazen Tory propaganda at face value, hence eight years of ruinous Tory austerity dogma damaging the future economic potential of the UK, rather than anything even remotely resembling an actual plan to make sure the financial sector insolvency crisis can never happen again.

 Another Angry Voice  is a “Pay As You Feel” website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.



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Brexit UK ‘won’t be Mad Max-style world’

Brexit UK ‘won’t be Mad Max-style world’:

unknownpoliticalobject:

Brexit as promised in 2016:

Brexit as promised in 2018:

Britain will not be “plunged into a Mad Max-style world borrowed from
dystopian fiction” after it leaves the EU, the Brexit secretary has
said.

Well, that should set the bar nice and low. Brits can expect something slightly better than a Mad Max style wasteland. 

Revealed: rightwing groups plot to ditch EU s…

Revealed: rightwing groups plot to ditch EU safety standards on food and drugs:

mirandaskye:

An unprecedented drive to lobby ministers to ditch strict EU safety standards in order to secure a US trade deal is being drawn up by a transatlantic group of conservative thinktanks, it has emerged.

Organisers of the self-styled “shadow trade talks”, which are set to include 10 leading rightwing and libertarian groups from the UK and the US, are preparing to push their “ideal free trade agreement” that would allow the import of US meats, drugs and chemicals banned in Britain.

The conservative groups involved include the Heritage Foundation, which has pushed for the lifting of environmental protections, and the Cato Institute, co-founded by billionaire oil barons Charles and David Koch. In Britain the project is being overseen by the Initiative for Free Trade (IFT), an organisation founded by the hard-Brexit advocate and Tory MEP Daniel Hannan.

FuckofffuckofffffffuckOFF

Why is a supposedly pro-Labour Twitter group sharing George Osborne’s anti-Labour propaganda?



The #FBPE hashtag on Twitter started off as a pro-EU movement on the continent, but it’s clearly morphed into a radical anti-Corbyn, anti-Labour rallying cry in the UK.

People who use the #FBPE hashtag repeatedly claim to be opposing Brexit, but a scroll through the latest #FBPE hashtags at any time usually reveals hardly any Tweets criticising Theresa May, but dozens of comments attacking Jeremy Corbyn and Labour, despite the fact that Labour actually voted against Theresa May’s hard-right and profoundly anti-democratic EU Withdrawal Bill.

Why would anyone who opposes Brexit spend more time attacking the party in opposition that is at least trying to moderate the shambolic hard-right Brexit that Theresa May is pushing, rather than criticising the Tories who are actually in power and pushing this extremist interpretation of the Brexit vote?

There seem to be three main camps within the anti-Corbyn #FBPE campaign.

  • The most obvious are the ever-cynical Lib-Dems, who see creating divisions within Labour as their best chance of scratching together a few extra votes in the vain hope that people will have forgotten how their wilful collusion with ruinous Tory austerity dogma and their unprecedented wage repression policies created the wave of public anger that made Brexit possible in the first place.
  • Possibly the largest component of the anti-Corbyn #FBPE mob are the politically clueless. They’re not blaming the opposition rather than the government and spreading blatant lies about Labour on purpose. They’re just genuinely clueless people who are shockingly naive about the reality of the situation. They simply don’t care that Labour voted against the Tories’ anti-democratic EU Withdrawal Bill, and they simply don’t care that the “sore loser” cancel Brexit position they want Labour to adopt would render Labour totally unelectable (like the Lib-Dems at the 2017 General Election) and actually end up being a massive gift to the Tory Brextremists who are the ones who are actually imposing Brexit!

In this article I’m going to look at one extraordinary Tweet from a group calling itself Labour Against Brexit to illustrate the shockingly naivety that abounds in this third #FBPE demographic of politically clueless people.


The first thing to note about this extraordinary Tweet is that it legitimises hard-right Tory austerity dogma by presenting it as an unavoidable consequence of any post-Brexit economic crisis.

It doesn’t matter a jot to these people that Tory austerity dogma has spectacularly failed over the last eight years, they just see the threat of more of it as convenient propaganda to fear-monger with.


The reality of the situation is that the pre-Corbyn incarnation of Labour made Brexit possible in 2015 with their strategically inept failure to oppose ruinous Tory austerity dogma head on.

Had Labour harnessed the public anger at the disastrous consequences of Tory austerity dogma and their unprecedented campaign of wage repression, they could have won the 2015 General Election. But instead they squandered it with their austerity-lite strategy, and thus allowed UKIP and the hard-right fringe of the Tory party to co-opt the public anger at the consequences of hard-right economics by blaming the consequences of Tory right-wing extremism on immigrants and the EU instead.

Despite losing an easily winnable election as a consequence of the woeful austerity-lite strategy devised by the likes of Ed Balls and Chris Leslie, and allowing the hard-right to co-opt public anger against austerity in order to drive the Brexit vote, it’s clear that there are many within the Labour Party who still actually believe in austerity dogma!

Another thing to note about this extraordinary Tweet is the source material. The current editor of the Evening Standard is George Osborne, the former Tory Chancellor who was the man responsible for the implementation of austerity dogma for six ruinous years!

So here you have a man who was clearly and undeniably responsible for six years of economically devastating hard-right austerity dogma, who is now using his propaganda rag to pin the blame for future Tory austerity onto Labour!

This is the man who tried to dress austerity dogma up as a good thing for six ruinous years now using his propaganda rag to attack Labour by trying to hold them responsible for Tory Brexit, the Tory post-Brexit meltdown, and any future Tory decision to use this meltdown as an excuse to impose even more of his ruinous hard-right austerity dogma!

And them when you look at who the author of the piece is, it’s none other than Chris Leslie, one of the clueless Labour right-wingers in the 2015 Labour shadow cabinet who gave George Osborne such an easy ride by meekly imitating his hard-right austerity dogma, rather than confronting it head on.

After chucking the 2015 General Election with their inept austerity-lite strategy Chris Leslie and his ilk should have resigned in shame, but instead here he is scrawling anti-Labour pro-austerity propaganda in George Osborne’s propaganda rag for the Tories to use as a hard-right wedge strategy to attack the current Labour leadership with!

The worst thing isn’t that pro-austerity right-wingers are colluding to use such a ridiculously cynical piece of concern trolling to attack the current anti-austerity Labour leadership (such dishonest and manipulative propaganda is bread and butter to the Tories and the ever duplicitous Labour right), it’s that this brazen propaganda has actually been picked up and recycled by a supposedly pro-Labour group!

The Evening Standard article is clearly hard-right concern trolling, because the editor who commissioned it is Mr Austerity Dogma himself, and the author is one of the hard-right pro-austerity Berserkers still embedded within the Labour Party.

Yet the shockingly clueless people behind the Labour Against Brexit page have uncritically lapped it up and Tweeted it out to their followers as if it’s a genuine critique of Labour’s Brexit stance, rather than a deliberate right-wing wedge strategy designed to split the Labour Party, present ideological austerity as an unquestionable response to economic crises, and allow the Tories to carry on ruling in the interests of their mega-rich donors with as little opposition as possible.

It would obviously not be Labour’s fault if the Tory Brextremists get their way and trigger an economic meltdown with their extremist version of Brexit, then the Tory government uses this self-made crisis as an excuse to impose even more destructive hard-right austerity dogma on the British economy.

However it is increasingly difficult to see how Labour could ever govern efficiently when the party is infested by people who are ideologically wedded to the hard-right theory that more austerity dogma is the only conceivable response to an economic crisis, and so gullible that they can’t even spot right-wing divide and conquer concern trolling tactics, even when it’s been published in a newspaper edited by the former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer!

 Another Angry Voice  is a “Pay As You Feel” website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.



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Regular

If the chain reaction of bullshit that was started by the Brexit vote ultimately ends with Jacob Rees-Mogg as Prime Minister, then nobody who is pro-Brexit can ever claim it was a victory for the disenfranchised working class ever again.

ayeforscotland: At the end of the day this is…

ayeforscotland:

At the end of the day this is what it comes down to. A Brexit backed by both leading parties will lead to complete economic disaster that will culminate in the UK breaking up.

This has been pretty obvious from day one.

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Tory Brextremist Daniel Hannan is absolutely crap at lying

The Tory MP Daniel Hannan is a profoundly dishonest Brextremist. In this article I’m going to analyse just one of his Tweets to demonstrate what a spectacularly untrustworthy propagandist he is.

On February 8th 2018 Hannan Tweeted this graph from the Bank of England to illustrate his claim that real wages are rising. He also included a claim that the pound has recovered back to where it was before the EU referendum.


As you can see from the picture, over three hundred impressionable people liked this Tweet, and it was Retweted over 170 times, but it hardly takes any work to establish that both of the claims he makes in the Tweet are outright lies.

You don’t even have to resort to Google to see that the first claim about real wages being on the rise is a lie, you just have to look at the graph he’s Tweeted.

What the graph shows is that wages (the blue line) are currently rising at a slower rate than inflation (the red line). This means that in real terms wages are falling because they’re rising at a slower rate than the cost of living.

Hannan is such a crap liar that he has Tweeted out a picture proving that he’s lying.

What the graph actually shows is the Bank of England are projecting that wages will overtake inflation at some point in mid to late 2018, which would have been OK if Hannan had explained it that way, but he didn’t, he lied that wages are already rising faster than inflation.

Even if Hannan had explained that he’s happy to put his faith in the economic projections that real wages are set to rise (rather than just lying), here he is just the week before dismissing negative Brexit economic forecasts as the work of “scheming quangocrats”


So if Hannan doesn’t like the economic projections he describes them as a conspiracy by corrupt “quangocrats”, but if he likes the economic projections he misleadingly presents than as being true now, rather than being mere economic projections.

You couldn’t really ask for a clearer example of the toxic brew of confirmation bias and outright dishonesty that pervades the Tory party.

Now let’s consider the meaning of the part of the graph I’ve highlighted here:


This period doesn’t look much if you don’t follow economics closely, but the part I’ve marked on the graph actually represents the longest sustained decline in workers’ wages since records began!

This spectacular and unprecedented collapse in the value of workers’ wages happened as a result of the Tory party imposing ruinous austerity dogma and extreme wage repression policies on the post-crisis economy.

If I was a member of a political party who had overseen such a catastrophic collapse in workers’ wages, I certainly wouldn’t be drawing attention to it by Tweeting it out in a graph!

Now we can turn our attention to Hannan’s claim that the value of the pound has risen back to pre-referendum levels. 

It doesn’t take much effort to Google the exchange rate between the pound and the euro, and lo and behold it’s roughly 1.14€ to the pound.

The graph next to the exchange rate makes it pretty damned clear that the pound has not risen back above the pre-referendum level, but for the avoidance of doubt, here are the precise figures from the Pound Sterling Live website:

So in Daniel Hannan’s world, a range between 1.122€ and 1.136€ is higher than a range between 1.284€ and 1.305€.

Either that he’s just absolutely crap at lying.

Conclusion

Daniel Hannan is a liar.

He’s such a liar that he lied twice in the same damned Tweet.

And he’s such a crap liar that he included the evidence that he was telling lies in the same damned Tweet as he told the lies in!

Liars like Hannan are dangerous. Liars like Hannan prey on the gullible. He know perfectly well that his target audience has no interest in understanding the graph that he attached to the Tweet, he just put it there to add a veneer of legitimacy to his lies.

Beware of liars like Daniel Hannan.

 Another Angry Voice  is a “Pay As You Feel” website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.



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