Rule as a Minority Government

It has been a truly shitty passage of time recently in the UK with the Manchester massacre followed by London Bridge and now the dreadful events at Grenfell Tower where the death toll is likely to exceed both the previous events. The result of the General Election was not great either but regardless of whether I agree or disagree with the result, my instinct is to trust the gut reaction of the British electorate.

If politics is the ‘art of the possible’ then perhaps Theresa May and the Tory Party should grasp the point that handled rather better than their general election campaign was, she may well have have been dealt a very strong hand and might be best advised to rule as a minority government. Continue Reading →

We Live in Interesting Times

To me there is a bit of Deja-vu about this election that recalls the one Ted Heath fought because of the miner’s strike, the electorate ran away then too ! There will be much musing over the runes and entrails by political commentators over the next few days, no doubt but the bottom line is simple:

She was right to go for a longer Parliament than she had to deal with Brexit and regardless of whom the next PM is, that is a bonus secured for the UK but the campaign was flawed and wrongly drawn around her rather than other policies. The Tory Manifesto was quite right about the upcoming problem of Care Costs but in political terms, it was unwise to mention it, the public are often truth averse however irrational that might be. David Cameron deliberately ‘bribed’ the OAP vote, Corbyn did the same with young people and the promise of “Free Universities”, it’s mucky, it’s nonsense but it is politics. Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

A Personal Luxury

Whilst it is true that currently I am more focused on my ‘pictures’ website so that I would be concentrating less on blogging here, there is another facet to all of this which is worth stating. This is the sheer luxury afforded to me by being someone who is posting personal opinions on a website they finance for themselves and does not have to answer to an editor or deadlines the way professional journalists have to.

Where this certainly plays out well is when it comes to the current state of Brexit negotiations. Continue Reading →