27 July 2017
End-of-Term Diary of a Corbynista
Now off to the marginals
by Don Urquhart
Simon Hart is a Tory MP who is organising a Westminster Hall debate about abuse of MP’s. He has tried to blame Momentum for this but there is also ample evidence of organised defamation of Corbyn supporters, Diane Abbott in particular. Yvette Cooper has also sought to implicate Momentum and Theresa May has criticised Jeremy Corbyn for not speaking out against the online abuse.
Its official name is the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. Unofficially it is the Repeal Bill. All EU legislation will be subsumed into UK Law. It is a lawyers’ wet dream. Where on Earth do you start? What does the legislation look like? When does it come into force? Does our legal system fall off a cliff because the framework changes dramatically from one day to the next? And what are these “battles” promised by Tim Farron and Keir Starmer?
Nicky Morgan is to head up the Treasury Committee and will seek to widen its brief. Philip Hammond might feel uneasy that the committee will be dealing with the problems of household budgeting. This goes right to the heart of the austerity crusade. She also wants Brexit included in the remit so the government has another source of friction to deal with while negotiating with the EU. David Davis meets Michel Barnier again on Monday. He will find it difficult to dispel the impression that our negotiating stance is in total disarray.
Barclays have announced plans to move offices to Dublin and many other financial institutions are planning big moves to various European locations. One wonders how this goes down with the politicians. They can attempt denial – only minor moves – they are bluffing. Or they can take the view that the economy needs to rely less on financial services anyway. It seem that there are two ways to go strategically – either we expect and plan for the worst or bust a gut to revoke Article 50.
Lord Bew chairs the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Theresa May has asked him to review measures that can be taken to deal with abuse of politicians. Without a shred of evidence, the BBC slipped in the accusation that Jeremy Corbyn and Momentum are the catalysts for this. Condemnations of Rhodri Colwyn Philipps, 4th Viscount St Davids’ facebook threats against Gina Miller have filled many column inches. As far as I know he has no Momentum card nor does he profess to be a Corbynista.
Chris Grayling announced the companies who will be constructing HS2. Isn’t it worrying that one of them, Carillion, has just issued a profits warning? And why is there so much foreign involvement? It’s big money with many unanswered questions and a very long payback. In the wake of the Hinkley project which again has huge investment, long payback and is run by the French and Chinese, it sets a frightening framework for our finances should either go wrong. Most likely they both will.
Justine Greening has announced a further £1.3 billion for schools but it appears to be just a reallocation within the existing budget. Some of it will come from Free Schools. It looks like knee-jerk – they have to be seen doing something for schools given the strength of public feeling exemplified by a mass demonstration of peaceable parents, children and teachers outside Parliament as she spoke. Justine has extracted concessions as surely as Arlene Foster but I suspect that they will not be transforming the prospects of many kids. Schools have already put in place their money saving measures for September and will not be holding their breath for any tangible improvements to be realised soon.
Elizabeth Campbell has taken over from Nicholas Paget-Brown as the leader of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council. So she is now a public figure. At last night’s council meeting her promises to build 400 social homes in 5 years and to purchase homes for the Grenfell survivors over the next few weeks rang hollow with the local people in the public gallery. More apologies, but they achieve nothing after so much non-delivery and inaction. That council is a very rotten institution.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that businesses will be implementing Brexit contingency plans. Richard Gnodde, the CEO of Goldman Sachs International requested that the Government announce transitional plans very soon as Goldmans are in the process of implementing contingency plans which will soon be irreversible. I would have thought that any sensible company would have been implementing plans way back assuming a cliff edge end to the negotiations. It would just seem that the downside of not being cliff edge ready is so much worse than not being ready to embrace Dr Fox’s cornucopia of opportunities once our negotiating finesse has triumphed.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) reports that 120,000 children are housed in temporary accommodation and the figure is increasing by 900 per month. Theresa May’s rousing speech on the steps of Downing Street in July last year is predictably revealed as empty rhetoric. She has done no single thing to address the “unfairness” she castigated that day and under her aegis the fate of the poor has gone from bad to worse. In this respect she has continued David Cameron’s legacy while maintaining as he did that only the Tories will grow the economy and thereby bring salvation to the underprivileged.
Apparently Baroness Armstrong was Chief Whip for Tony Blair. Now she gets airtime on the MSM because she recalls that Tony Blair would not call for the deselection of Jeremy Corbyn. It fits with the establishment agenda of rubbishing Corbyn at every opportunity. They will try to turn it into a front and centre political issue just as they tried with Corbyn and Sinn Fein, Hamas and Hezbollah. It cannot be a shock that members of Constituency Labour Parties are losing patience with MP’s who do not support the party leader.
The IMF has issued forecasts. The UK and the US both have depressing outlooks. The EU generally is on the up, but the trend is uneven. Germany, France, Spain and Italy are forecast to grow pleasingly. However there are 23 other countries in the EU so suspicions of a two-speed organisation resurface. The UK apologists point to more jobs and deficit reduction as evidence that we are on the right track.
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