Merkel Speaks Out

There is an article in The Economist about Angela Merkel’s comments at a Bavarian political rally that Europe no being able to rely on the USA or the UK any longer and that Europe must forge its own destiny and such like stuff: http://www.economist.com/blogs/kaffeeklatsch/2017/05/what-s-brewing-germany

Whilst unusual for a cautious woman, her comments should be seen in the context of the early days of German election campaigning plus a recent brush with “The Donald” at both NATO and the G7. Continue Reading →

Slaughter in Manchester

Much has been written about the appalling events in Manchester last Monday night when a suicide bomber killed 22 people and changed the lives of hundreds of others, survivors with injuries and all the family and friends connected to each and everyone.

I will not add to those countless words both written and spoken centred on the immediate tragedy and its aftermath but perhaps some general thoughts on the inevitable question that arises, Why ? Continue Reading →

Home Truths

I was reasonably pleased with the Conservative Manifesto that Theresa May launched the other day because she didn’t repeat the mistake that David Cameron and George Osborne did in 2015 with promises not to raise taxes that tied their hands completely, she has left herself enough ‘wriggle room’ which makes most sense in uncertain times.

But she did something else which is just as important if not more so, she made the point that if things were going to get fairer in British society then some reallocation of resources between different groups in society is inevitable, this is truth long overdue and something that politicians of all parties should acknowledge, despite the general election. Continue Reading →

The Penny Hasn’t Dropped Yet

There is an article in this weeks Economist concerning the job threats of automation to retail workers in the USA. It is a reasonable article but what struck me most about it was its narrowness of view and a failure to grasp the broader, wider implications and realise that this applies right across the global economy and will impact far more than just retail jobs. It will inevitably impinge upon not just the way businesses run but how society reorders itself to deal with the economic consequences.

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21722020-shopping-mall-not-factory-where-american-jobs-are-most-risk-how-prepare Continue Reading →

Surely Impeachment Beckons Now ?

My views on the now former head of the FBI, James Comey and his behaviour over the Clinton private email server I have already written about last year – http://baldysblog.co.uk/2016/10/30/misconduct-in-high-office/

That he deserved to be removed from his job back then, was obvious but for Donald Trump to do so now whilst citing Comey’s behaviour back then which Trump praised loudly at the time, is little short of a totally stupid act by “The Donald” and may well prove fatal to the Trump Presidency. Continue Reading →

President Macron’s Problems

The second round of the French Presidential election has run its predictable course and France now has a President Macron in no small part to people voting to keep Marine Le Pen out plus more than the 11 million who voted for her, either abstaining or spoiling their ballot papers. These elections have often in the past delivered a winner by default rather than a President seen as the “man for all of France” and this is really where the problems begin.

Equally of no surprise, along with a huge sigh of relief in Brussels, The Economist penned a ‘joyful article: http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21721808-mr-macron-who-never-previously-stood-election-faces-divided-country-and-heavy Continue Reading →

The Problem is Still the Euro

As I have written before, my view last June when I voted to ‘Leave’ was that ‘Remain’ would win by at worse 60/40 and more likely 70/30 so I was as surprised as the next person to wake up that Friday morning and find that we had voted for Brexit. However and despite my expectations for being on the losing side, it wouldn’t have troubled me over much because my belief was and still is that the EU as we know it today, will not exist in 5 years time and the reason ?

Simply the existence of the Euro and the fact that it is so poorly constituted that even the countries that are part of the eurozone must question whether it is a good idea. The question today as we gear up for Brexit negotiations is whether the unreality and Alice in Wonderland world created by it, are already spilling over into those negotiations. Continue Reading →

The French Presidential Elections

The Presidential race did at least produce a ‘surprise’ in that the two candidates through to the second round are both outsiders to the mainstream political parties that have been in power for more than 50 almost 60 years. However between Macron and Le Pen in the second round, it must be certain that Macron will win hands down as the supporters of the other failed candidates rally around him just to keep Marine Le Pen out, it is the French way of doing these things. Continue Reading →

Shooting Foxes Too…

The main reason for calling this general election hinges around the Brexit negotiations, Theresa May having a big enough majority to ensure that she has sufficient room for manoeuvre when striking a deal with the EU without being constrained by a minority within her own party much given to back seat driving be they Leavers or Remainers.

But it is also something else too, an opportunity to ditch the 2015 Conservative manifesto which laid far too many constraints on a ‘new’ Tory Government and as a side issue, it also has the effect of shooting the foxes of a few other people in the process. This may not be considered very “sporting” in some circles but, it is rather effective. Continue Reading →

Probably the Right Move

Theresa May’s announcement that she would seek a vote in Parliament to call a snap general election is probably the right move on a number of important levels and especially with regard to the Brexit negotiations. Regardless of the opinion polls which show a huge margin over Labour, if in the end she can increase her majority to 30/40 seats in the House of Commons, she will be far better placed both domestically and in Brussels to deliver a good deal for both sides.

Of course, a landslide victory is unlikely given the partisan nature of politics in the Celtic Nations. Continue Reading →