The UK Politics & Brexit Thread - Please no Covid talk!

MikeInWimbledon

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Well it's future would be as the Metropolitan 'Labour' Party that represents a mix which consist of a significant middle class that don't identify with the Libdems or Conservatives. (Meanwhile that evolution of Labour has left a forgotten legacy group of voters looking for representation - which Mr Johnson and the Conservatives benefitted from last time around.)
Agreed 200%, and it's needed.

Which is why Starmer isn't the man to do it. Blair, Macron, and the "Other Miliband" could have but they're not available - at the moment.
 

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"must make sacrifice?' As in queue for planes to take them to Turkey for two weeks in a 5 star Resort for half-term? Wilson, Callaghan, Health and Thatcher wouldn't recognise what "others make sacrifice" means in a world where people happily pay £285 a pop to go to Glastonbury.

The cost of living crisis is a problem, for sure, thanks to the disruption in the oil supply, but is there really a future for Labour as the "Collective Bargaining" Trades Union Party, led by a confused Barrister, in a world where half the entrants to the world of work are carrying "degree-level" pieces of paper?

Blair was unpopular three years in, as was Bush, it was part of the reason they invented the War on Islam. Ditto Thatcher, who grabbed the Falklands as an opportunity to bolster her flagging popularity three years in.

BBC NEWS | Politics | Tony Blair: Highs and lows

View attachment 128257
Some good points. But maybe those still paying for these trips and festivals haven't recognised the direction of flow.
Will they falter (possibly seriously) as wages 'may' be depressed, and more relevant as interest rates drain their bank accounts via the mortgage.
Many live in the moment, I'm not sure i blame them with so much being so unreliable these days.
On saying that spending is said to be falling.

I see Labour as a possibility only as an alternative as masses start to feel the Tories must be to blame for their harder times.
But no I don't think Labour are viable.

Beside what with constituency border changes, blatant election overspending to see off the likes of UKIP, and the electorate being bribed with their own money (a bubble that must burst if it hasn't already), and taking on the opponents policies, I see the Tories are good social engineers.

A small though,
was Steven Woolfe a Toy plant within UKIP, he did get planted for sure?
Is Kier Starmer serving the Tory strategy well enough?
 

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Agreed 200%, and it's needed.

I'm not sure it's needed - so much as what we already have and are likely getting more of.

We live in strange times. A profligate Conservative adminstration that is handing out extraordinary sums of money. And a Labour opposition that simply has not tangibe answer to it. All the fighting across the benches seems to be about personal conduct and not government actions.

As a comparison New Labour with Gordon Brown in charge of the purse strings now looks closer to the pre-Sunak/Johnson Conservatives and astonishingly looks more fiscally sensible as well.
 

MikeInWimbledon

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As a comparison New Labour with Gordon Brown in charge of the purse strings now looks closer to the pre-Sunak/Johnson Conservatives and astonishingly looks more fiscally sensible as well.
Aye, but Gordon Brown created the Scottish end of the Global Financial Crisis that put us into this whole "Spend, Spend, Spend cycle." (And yes, he pushed the two Scottish banks into over expansion which left us in a far worse state when the sub-prime fiasco hit. HSBC and Barclays recovered long ago whereas RBS and Bank of Scotland aka Lloyds are both still basket cases)

Who forced the Spend Spend Spend cycle in 2019 ? If you remember John McDonnell's Labour were promised increased NHS spending, free meds for everyone, increased benefits, increased social housing, free social care for all over-65's (me included), £250 billion (sic) worth of housing energy improvements and the nationalisation of electricity, gas, water, sewerage, post and the railways.

As for Covid19: should we have spent so much? At the time, everyone, on both sides, seemed to just nod it through. Both the States and Europe over-cooked it, and now we're paying the price through inflation and people and resources in the wrong place for the recovery.

It's hard to look at Government spending to GDP and say that Brown was holding spending back. He wasn't: he increased it from 35% of GDP to 45%

Government spending as a percentage of GDP.


Screenshot 2022-06-07 at 18.46.36.png
 

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While there is a (rightful, imo) awakening to the issues of high inflation amongst our commentariat in the UK, it's worth keeping an eye on what's happening in the eurozone too.

Yields on sovereign debt amongst the most indebted eurozone countries were the trigger for the last Euro crisis of 2011/12, and are rapidly heading to the sort of levels they were when that crisis bit. Yield on 10-year Italian bonds now stands at just over 4% (last week it was 3.3% and at the beginning of 2022 was 1.25%) which is not that far from the 6.7% level it reached at the zenith of the last crisis when there was serious fear of an Italian default. Yield on 10-year Greek bonds is now over 4.4%, having doubled in the last few weeks.

Both those countries are now in much greater debt than they were 10 years ago - Italy at 148% of GDP and Greece at 186% - and the higher interest rates mean greater debt servicing costs too. Last time this happened, Draghi (who ironically is now Italy's Prime Minister) when head of the ECB ran the printing presses to fund the purchase of debt. This time, that's not such an easy option as to do so will stoke inflation further, but if the ECB doesn't it may have to concede that some of the eurozone countries are, fundamentally, broke.

If only they could float their currencies...
 

MikeInWimbledon

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If only they could float their currencies...

Dang ! You beat me to that punchline.

One of many reasons why the Euro is at a two decade low against the dollar.

$1.04 - a level last seen in 2002
 

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Another interesting thing to consider is that the EU's "Covid Bond" scheme effectively mutualised some of the new debt. Bearing in mind France's precarious economic position (it always pretends it's sound, but reality will catch them out eventually), I'm not going to take bets that they won't be arguing for further debt mutualisation in the near future, and that Germany - as always looking after itself, even though it's a "good" EU member ;) - will stoutly resist those calls. One logical outcome of that is the creation of a narrow "DM" zone, that won't include Italy, Greece, or France come to that, and not many other eurozone members.

2022 looks like being an even bumpier year than we thought.
 

st13phil

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Good article summarising the precarious nature of France's finances:

"After Brexit, France aspired to regain the position she occupied before the first world war as Europe’s banker, with Paris once more at the heart of European finance. That dream came to nought. Now the scenario is more that of France after the first world war: mired in debt, stalemated in policy and with the broader modern prospect of seriously contributing to a new eurozone debt crisis."
 

MikeInWimbledon

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Anyone fancy a complete tax holiday on buying petrol and diesel over the next year ?

Across the pond, President Biden is contemplating tax free fuel for a year.

The saving? A heady 8c a gallon, or $90 a yearBiden Considering Gas Tax Holiday, But Any Relief Would Certainly Be Modest

Should the UK follow? The saving would be slightly greater.
 

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Across the pond, President Biden is contemplating tax free fuel for a year.
Closer to home, Germany has reduced the taxation by (istr) €0.20 per litre as an emergency measure.

I would absolutely support a reduction in motor fuel taxation. As there are no goods that you buy in a shop or online that haven't been transported by road, it wouldn't just benefit individual road users by reducing the direct cost of their fuel, but would also feed through into the price of goods, having an instant effect on reducing inflation.
 

MikeInWimbledon

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Better still, why not drop the sanctions on oil and gas altogether?

They harm the West - right across the board.

And increase the amount of money that Russia receives from the sale of (much less) oil and gas to its customers.

Yes, Russia gets more money than usual because of the sanctions. How stupid are we?

All other sanctions, confiscations and inconveniences to remain in place. (Ie the ones that actually harm Russians)
 

st13phil

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Better still, why not drop the sanctions on oil and gas altogether?

They harm the West - right across the board.

And increase the amount of money that Russia receives from the sale of (much less) oil and gas to its customers.

Yes, Russia gets more money than usual because of the sanctions. How stupid are we?

All other sanctions, confiscations and inconveniences to remain in place. (Ie the ones that actually harm Russians)
You are making the assumption that Putin wouldn't unilaterally cut the supply line at a time convenient to him, like in the middle of next winter. My bet is that is exactly what he would do, so much better to make getting alternative supply lines in place a priority - even if it is painful.

That much of Europe has become dependent upon a rogue regime for its energy supply is the root of the problem. Getting out of that hole now is difficult and painful, but what's the alternative?
 

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MikeInWimbledon

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You are making the assumption that Putin wouldn't unilaterally cut the supply line at a time convenient to him, like in the middle of next winter. My bet is that is exactly what he would do, so much better to make getting alternative supply lines in place a priority - even if it is painful.
For sure. But who wants to pay another £3,000 - £4,000 a year on energy (heating, petrol, diesel & cost of delivered services) to mitigate that risk?

Just to re-emphasise: The oil and gas sanctions give Putin billions of dollars more, not less, as he sells less fossil fuel, but for much more money, internationally.

Russia is on track for a record trade surplus



20220514_fnc199.png
 

st13phil

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But who wants to pay another £3,000 - £4,000 a year on energy (heating, petrol, diesel & cost of delivered services) to mitigate that risk?
Answer: no one, but surely the alternative - of the risk being realised - is worse?
The oil and gas sanctions give Putin billions of dollars more, not less, as he sells less fossil fuel, but for much more money, internationally.
Germany alone currently accounts for over a quarter (around $220m) of Putin's daily revenues from fossil fuel sales, while China and India (surprise, surprise) are also taking advantage of deals offered by Putin to undercut global prices of oil.

EU sanctions solidarity? Haha - what a joke - their sanctions studiously avoid the tricky matter of Russian gas coming into the bloc, meaning that the one lever they could have pulled to have a real effect on Putin, they've avoided.

The green movement have strengthened Putin's hand in all this by stymying any attempt to develop fossil fuel extraction closer to home over the last couple of decades. The reality is that globally we are not in a position to survive without fossil fuels for at least the next two or three decades, so running down production "to pressure development of renewable energy" is now being shown to be the folly it always was. Add in Germany's shift away from nuclear energy based on nothing more than superstition, and the UK's idiotic energy policies of the last 20-or-so years and we're in a bad place.
 

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Anyone willing supporting Putin is aiding and abetting a murderer which makes them criminals too in the eyes of the law. The moral question is what amounts to aiding and abetting. Supplying Russia with armaments most certainly would be and even China won't risk doing that but several countries seem to judge that buying oil and gas is not aiding and abetting. It's a shame it isn't a realistic possibility but what we should ideally be doing on moral grounds is sanctioning China, India and anyone else buying up cheap Russian oil and gas. I'd actually include Germany in that if they don't show some sign of living up to their initial condemnation of Russia. Obviously none of this isn't going to happen but I would hope we don't forget what they have done. Some things we can do. Shortly after the war started there was a call to cease UK aid to India because they didn't vote against Russia. I hope that has been acted on and that we have stopped aid to any other country still supporting Russia. We should send the aid to Ukraine instead.

I believe the world could easily bring Russia to it's knees if every country played it's part. The fact that many countries are ignoring Russian atrocities and doing business as usual is one of the sadder aspects of this conflict. The global economy is all very well but it's seems to have come at a hefty moral price.
 

MikeInWimbledon

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Precisely. By applying sanctions specifically on oil and gas to Russia, we have increased Russia's income from Oil and Gas.

And have so increased the cost of living in the UK by maybe £4,000 per family

It matters not who is buying oil from Russia, the point is that the sanctions have priced the global price of oil up, So Putin's grinning all the way to the bank. As are all the other oil producing nations.

So why are we applying sanctions on oil and gas?
 

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Precisely. By applying sanctions specifically on oil and gas to Russia, we have increased Russia's income from Oil and Gas.

And have so increased the cost of living in the UK by maybe £4,000 per family

It matters not who is buying oil from Russia, the point is that the sanctions have priced the global price of oil up, So Putin's grinning all the way to the bank. As are all the other oil producing nations.

So why are we applying sanctions on oil and gas?

Even understanding the hope that denying Russia of revenues by the oil & gas sanctions, I considered that 'if' it meant Putin sold less of it that Russia would become more powerful in future as they would have a greater inventory for longer.
Seemingly now he has the best of both revenue and retaining his inventory for longer, minus some as supplied to China and India.

Apparently there is tanker loads of fracked gas arriving from the US.
Is it efficient to transport it across the Atlantic?
Is the supply sustainable?
I was never happy with swapping the dependency from Russia to the US anyway. Even if it is Europe that are swapping suppliers, as we get the majority from elsewhere.

At least we can get oil from Saudi, and be proud of their ethical treatments of their neighbours.
 

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