POLITICS CORNER

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 28 Feb 2020, 16:01

As may have been noticed - I check the betting odds on political events. Sir Keir is now 'home and hosed' according to Mr Power at odds of 1/20 . Shortened from 1/12 two days ago. Bearing in mind that the favourite has a bad record in this heat - is there room for an interest in Jeremy's fancy - Mrs Long-Bailey at 14/1 or even Ms Nandy at 20/1?
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 29 Feb 2020, 03:49

Very true Tiz but isn't that on a par with all the other 'Brexit Information' we have been given over the last three and a half years? Is there ever such a thing as a well informed debate and vote?
As for odds on the Labour Leadership... another case in point, I've expressed my preferences but they are not well-informed, only personal choices. Will it really matter who gets in in the long run? It seems to me that we are in an era where political principle always loses out to selfish greed and the interests of large capital holders, exactly as Thomas Piketty predicted in 'Capital in the 21st century'. ( Karl Marx was on the money as well almost 200 years ago!)
What we are looking at now is regression to old fashioned Feudalism which we all thought had been consigned to history. Before you scoff consider the modern equivalents of the magnates and their serfs...
If you accept a definition of 'serf' as one who has no control over his/her own life how is that any different from the growing number of people who are on the bottom tier of the benefit system?
I remain convinced that this state is the agenda of the extreme right wing of the Tories. No Deal at the end of this year would, in their view, be a huge step on that road.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 01 Mar 2020, 03:59

Not long ago I asked whether the Johnson government really thinks there is no downside to attacking the Civil Service. Then we had the implausible sight of Ms Patel stood shoulder to shoulder with her Secretary of State denying adverse reports about Ms Patel in the press. We now have him resigning and suing the government for constructive dismissal saying he doesn't believe her denial of being implicated in the attacks on him. This is disruption on a seismic scale, question is, is it also constructive?
Like them or loathe them (and I quite like our Civil Service) they are clever, supported by the Establishment and will still be there when this government, like all administrations, fails. Sun Tzu says choose your battles wisely, I think this one is a big mistake. At the moment No. Ten is convinced it is all powerful and can do whatever it wants to. Pride comes before a fall. Tin Hats on Lads!
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 01 Mar 2020, 09:44

Why do I get the feeling that nobody knows what's going on and worse still nobody is in charge even if they did know. With the coronavirus we are in the 'containment' phase hoping that this will last until summer when the current pressure on the NHS may ease off. (summer time starts 29 March). This raises the question 'what are the plans to improve the NHS' if the situation doesn't ease off? Bringing doctors out of retirement has been suggested. The problem here is around payment, many are retiring to avoid the stringent tax regime. Also their exact role is not clear. We also have a suggestion that Johnson could close parliament. Perhaps that is what he has in mind by all this frenzied inactivity.
The EU trade deals are following the tried and tested 'walk-a-way' strategy with doom written large. Across the pond Bernie Sanders may oust Trump leaving us with 'no great deals' to fall back on.
At home the railways are gradually going belly up with Corbyn's nationalization (wash your mouth out) on the horizon. Meanwhile a bit of inclement weather can safely be ignored, Johnson has other things on his mind, like damp nappies, to be concerned with the odd flood here and there.
Don't worry, all is under control says Priti Patel.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 01 Mar 2020, 10:08

`South Carolina primary: Joe Biden on course for large win' LINK
Will all this change in two days time, on Super Tuesday? :smile:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 02 Mar 2020, 04:02

Tiz, remember the US elections are essentially a media fast. Advertising revenues soar and hype rules. Only a fool would make any bets....
P. Lovely, I think you covered all the bases there. Like almost all governments the Tories are still campaigning and not governing. Like Trump and his Wall, Johnson has a lot of embarrassing promises hanging over him. Cummings solution is to reform everything, he couldn't care less about promises. (Don't forget he is 'reforming' Defence strategy as well).
Meanwhile, if you watch all the essential indices, which, though at best are inspired guesses, are all pointing South. Bit of a phoney war really, it will be six months before the crap starts hitting the fan and then we will all get a share of it. Note that there are no concrete statements at all coming out of the Cabinet Office, only anodyne holding statements and aspirational speeches. The news coming in from the grass roots from Mark Carney through police chiefs and manufacturing down to High Street occupancy rates is universally a picture of confusion and doubt.
One thing is clear, the destructive trail of Grayling reforms and achievements meanders through society like a particularly noxious trail of slime. If you doubt that read THIS Mirror editorial on murders committed by offenders supposed to be being monitored by Grayling's privatised security companies.
Johnson says he has "full confidence" in Ms Patel, so that's all right then..... Where have I heard that one before...
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 02 Mar 2020, 09:03

It was announced this morning that our "team" will be starting negotiations with the EU about a trade deal. The talks are due to last four days so that's alright then, job done. I would lock them all in a room for the rest of the year until it's sorted. Double benefit, it would get the job done, or not but would also guarantee that none of them fell over with the presents super virus, (not sure about the Italians though).
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 02 Mar 2020, 10:36

After his scathing Times article on Priti Patel Matthew Parris has now written an equally scathing one about David Frost, our lead man in the EU negotiations. The essence of it is that Frost is totally unsuited to negotiating, he's a man on a mission to kick Johnny Foreigner's ass. :smile:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 03 Mar 2020, 04:15

Private Eye made the same point in the last issue Tiz.
See THIS BBC report on the latest evidence to surface about Ms Patel. I heard Jonathan Powell, Blair's Chief of Staff yesterday on R4 and his opinion is that she will go. All that is holding her in place is the fact that losing a Chancellor and a Home Secretary in a new government would be a savage indictment of the administration. That sounds about right to me. Too much bull in a china shop for my taste but what can I possibly know about these things.
Another criticism I have is that after listening to Johnson doing his usual waffle type interview with Laura Kuenssberg my mind went yet again into compare and contrast mode. I thought of Lady Hale when she delivered the Supreme Court's ruling on the Prorogation and Hillary Mantel in her long interview on Start the Week yesterday. Both admirably clear, well structured precisely delivered. Johnson is the polar opposite of these attributes and this applies to all political statements at the moment, they are worthless and contain so many weasel phrases and woolly aspirations.
I remain convinced that the strategy is already set in concrete, sabotage the EU talks by being obdurate about red lines and then blame the EU for intransigence and declare a walk out leading to No Deal. The only modification I make is that I expected this at the end of the process in December, that deadline has now been arbitrarily set by Johnson as end of June. Once again I get the feeling we are being ruled by the rabid wing of the Tory Party and that this is all part of the grand strategy that Cameron started in 2010, to take us back to the laisser faire attitudes of 19th century dominance of capital holders. Anything else is a sideshow to distract us and this includes Cummings.
This strategy leaves us free to initiate serious trade talks with the Trump administration in the US and that is the ultimate goal, to get a quick and dirty deal with the US as a defence against the consequences of No Deal.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 03 Mar 2020, 09:29

...and meanwhile the Opposition fades away...
`Labour: Party 'braced for losses' in May's council elections' LINK
`The challenge facing Labour's next leader has been laid bare by internal research suggesting the party is facing "one of its worst" results in recent history in May's local elections. An internal party document, passed to the BBC, says it should brace itself for the loss of councils including Plymouth, Amber Valley and Harlow. In a worst-case scenario, Labour risks losing 315 seats and control of historic strongholds such as Sheffield..'.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 04 Mar 2020, 04:42

I'll believe those predictions Tiz. So sad.....
Meanwhile, see THIS BBC report of even more evidence of Ms Patel's abrasive management style coming to light. Tory insiders say dark forces are at work. I think what they actually mean is that light is being shone in dark places. She is of course perfectly secure, Johnson says she has his complete confidence....
I note that she is sending Cover Your Arse emails to her staff.....
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 04 Mar 2020, 09:26

The evil Dr Griffin has emerged from the cellars of No 10 and come up with the government's coronavirus emergency plan.
The Covid-19 battle plan warns:

Coronavirus compared to Spanish Flu
Outbreaks could come in multiple waves
Police will concentrate only on serious crime
Tax mitigation for businesses
Expected increase in deaths
Medical supplies will be stockpiled
School closures and working from home urged
Non-urgent NHS care to be delayed
The Army on standby
Pressure on society will become 'significant and clearly noticeable'


We are also told that it could affect up to 80% of the population with 50% being off work. Plus a 15% death rate for the over 80s.
Much of the above are statements of what may happen for which they have no control whatsoever. The 'Plan' will be determined by how the population reacts not how they would like the outcome to be. Events Dear Boy?

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 04 Mar 2020, 09:40

The worst case or Armageddon scenario of 80% infection. Lets hope the 20% left are all the medics or we will be truly stuffed. Boris's announcement sounded very much like an "abandon all hope" kind of stance, why they just didn't leave it up to the Chief Medical Officer who was stood right next to him to deliver the plan god only knows. What caught my attention more than what was said was the presentation with three crested lecterns, with Boris in the middle, looked more like a dictate from Trump. :sad:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 04 Mar 2020, 10:20

Three and a half years spent trying to negotiate a Brexit and now a deal, still not done, we're in a climate crisis and now facing a virus pandemic. We need nations to work together on these problems. Tell you what, how about joining the EU! :smile:

In the US, it looks like Bloomberg will put his billions of dollars of power behind Joe Biden now in order to expel trump from the White House.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 05 Mar 2020, 03:35

If and when the EU negotiations fail, we do a No Deal and the crap hits the fan, Covid19 will be a handy excuse to trot out as we slide down the tube.
The reason why Johnson did a Trump style presentation is because he needs to show he is in command. Accusations of him being part time have evidently hit a nerve. Holiday in Mustique (that went quiet all of a sudden), 14 days under the duvet at Chevening? (Remember him being on holiday as London mayor and 'rushing back after 3 days had elapsed?)
Two things that strike me... The volume has been turned down on Cummings and Russia is the place to be, no reports of any Covid19 from there!
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 05 Mar 2020, 10:36

There's a lot of fake news circulating in Russia on the covid virus.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 06 Mar 2020, 04:25

Ms Patel is getting blanket support from the Tories, losing a Home Secretary on top of a Chancellor is a powerful spur to aiding her. Something that might be in her favour is a feed of reminders about the mistakes and cock-ups her Principal Secretary presided over, he is getting the blame for Windrush amongst many other matters in his career. Someone somewhere is working hard on this one!
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 08 Mar 2020, 04:39

The clamp down on political news is a disgrace, The public are not being told anything about what is happening in the Westminster Village apart from endless briefings on Covid19 which is of course an ideal diversion topic.
Sooner or later this will have to end and the Budget may stir up some real reporting. Be prepared for a gloomy picture when it does.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 08 Mar 2020, 08:56

Infrastructure Utopia. Prior to the 'Get Brexit Done' election our Mr Stephenson MP said that the Lancashire/Yorkshire master road/rail plan would be ready early next year. It was then promised as part of the March budget as the flagship part of the super get Britain moving infrastructure big spend. The newspapers say that this item could be delayed a few days or possibly a couple of weeks. No 10 has briefed it that it could be months. Now that Mr Stephenson is the No 2 cog in the transport machine we would expect him to be pushing for Pendle's share of the Northern Powerhouse promises but I would gamble that it goes back in the long grass for yet another review.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 08 Mar 2020, 17:11

Boris has been to, Bewdley to visit the victims of the recent flood. Can't help thinking of the Two Ronnies quiz show sketch, in which Ronnie Corbett answered the question before last. :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 09 Mar 2020, 03:23

And I'll bet you are right P. Stephenson will do exactly what his boss Shapps tells him to do and I doubt if Pendle or even the North is at the top of his agenda!
"The NHS will get "whatever resources it needs" to cope with a coronavirus epidemic, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said ahead of Wednesday's Budget." So that's all right then.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 09 Mar 2020, 10:52

Keep in mind that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is was a venture capitalist so he'll probably make sure the NHS gets it's money by selling it to Donald Trump. :smile:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 10 Mar 2020, 04:23

Private Eye has already noted that at some length.
I saw Johnson's three podium set up yesterday for the first time. Someone commented that it was Trumpean and they are right. Johnson has had enough bad press in his time to learn that news management is a powerful defence and he's instituting it in spades. I note that even Mr Cummings appears to have been gagged!
Events Dear Boy are piling up and diverting the Johnson administration from their course. I suspect many 'election promises' are going to vanish into limbo and of course if any one comments it will be 'current conditions' that will be trotted out as the excuse. The Red Walls should not hold their breath!
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 10 Mar 2020, 10:06

I notice that Hammond got top spot on Today this morning. With the current batch of ministers banned from the media I suppose we now depend on the previous batch! :smile:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 11 Mar 2020, 03:48

That has struck me also Tiz. I'm sure that, like me, you can remember when unfettered access by the Press to the affairs of state was seen as a vital part of democracy even though at times it was embarrassing. 'News Management' and spin doctors have put a stop to that. Add to that the general decline in investigative reporting and the public have largely become victims of the Mushroom Farm syndrome. In that context I watched the damning Panorama programme on the 'hostile culture' employed against the disabled by the DWP even to their own staff. We need reporting like that and the excellent Private Eye to keep us informed. (I note that Peter Hitchens has submitted a piece to the annual Paul Foot Awards.....)
News that Nadine Norris has tested positive for Covid19 could get the attention of the government, unlike the floods, it is now inside the doors of Parliament!
Later... she attended a reception hosted by Boris Johnson last Thursday.... I'll bet that has concentrated minds!

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