Wednesday 31 May 2017

Corbyn's Financial Transaction tax

never thought I would have to write at all about what a hard left might do.

In all the hullabaloo over the election and the government  sudden decision of the young people to vote for free education for themselves, we have missed the main trick.

The Financial Transaction tax is a very bad idea for the U.K. It would instantly move all non-equity trading to Europe and FX too if applied there. Right when Brexit is already making waves and causing enough problems.

Brexit and FTT really would kill the City. Killing your goldnen goose would be the silliest idea of all time and effectively a national suicide for the UK - after all, London subsidises every other region bar the Home Counties. The vast bulk of this extra cash comes from the City and related services.

No one has even mentioned this ludicrous proposal, which when the EU made it was enough to push even George Osborne to consider leaving the EU.

Now, in the firmament of a hard left manifesto, it is not even noticed. More is the pity.

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Nuclear Fallout for Macron - And Us

Longtime readers will be familiar with my decade-long refrain that the French badly need
other countries to dig them out of their nuclear morass.  Their fleet of nukes (across France and, let it be remembered, the UK) is the biggest in the free world: they are ageing badly:  they have not been making anything like adequate provision for decommissioning:  their chosen strategy of extending the lives of the monsters is equally unaffordable:  intelligent frogs (and readers of this blog) have seen this coming for a long time.  

Their solution will centre on blackmailing their neighbours into contributing to a nuclear version of the CAP.  Brexit muddies the waters a bit for them; but they have other plans for the UK's role in all this - the exorbitant but government-underwritten Hinkley Point electricity price, plus the local blackmail of what's to happen to EDF's 8 existing reactors in this country. And, lest we forget, we are frequently** downwind of France ...

Enter the shiny new socialist technocrat Macron, who knows all this as well as anyone.  His official plan is to cut French nuclear capacity from 75% of their total generation to 50% by 2025; and his newly-appointed energy minister, one Nicolas Hulot, is a prominent anti-nuclear Green.  They can't afford that plan, either - and sensible people know that, too.  Rumours of a push-back by EDF are already flying.

Fun and games ahead.  A shame we don't have the leadership to make the best of our hand.  I first concluded May was going to prove useless when she rolled over on Hinkley in the face of threats from Hollande, and nothing we've seen since really changes that.


** Mark W says: sometimes, but not frequently

Friday 26 May 2017

An interesting election campaign - quelle surpise!

Not really what anyone was expecting a few weeks ago in the UK.

However, Labour's message of hope (er, free stuff for all) versus May's message of woe (less stuff for all) was not perhaps something expected - even if so, it was not expected to work by the media or dare I say Tory Central Office.

Then the terrible atrocity in Manchester has really affected the country as a whole. One would think this would be bad for those weak on security like Corbyn, but he is quite willing now to say whatever he thinks he can get away with - his speech on security today was weird, but much more caveated than anything in the past.

Will it last? For the Tories to get a big majority looks tough from here, the collapse of the Lib Dems as well as UKIP has evened things up for Labour.

With momentum (literally?) behind Corbyn maybe he could win, indeed, it looks like he will win on his own terms of increasing the Labour vote and preventing a Tory landslide.

Definitely an interesting few days left of campaigning - what do you all think it will work out to in the end?

Thursday 25 May 2017

UKIP Manifesto

In surreal way, the launch of the UKIP manifesto is very well timed today. No doubt the liberal left will be making fun jokes about how horrid it all is....but..

Personally, I have really noticed after the atrocity in Manchester that the debate is very restricted in the UK, with media in particular very, very careful in its political correctness. In part, this is right after all we don't want to make a dreadful situation worse in the current climate.

However, it also quickly extends to any real discussion about what to do. UKIP are the only party that really means it wants to reduce immigration and improve the defences of the country. The Tories are broadly happy with things as they are and Labour want to encourage more immigration and open borders.

Yet nearly everyone I speak to, in hushed tones, asks why we let people back in the country who have been to Syria or Libya on 'extended holidays with family' or 'charity work.' Surely b taking these actions you have forfeited your right to remain in the UK and can have your passport voided so that you can't even board a plane back here.

Other countries don't do this, in Dubai for example, you will vanish straight jail for an indeterminate period and then swiftly be extradited. Tough love, but I see few terror attacks there considering they are a den of western sinners and shame.
Of course, we do it differently in the UK, but I really fear that over the years the authorities continue to rely on the security services whilst not joining the dots on radicalisation and visiting failed Islamic states - the time has come to be far more robust, from the IS perspective this is war, we should treat it as such too. Failure to do so will condemn the country not only to more terror but also to increasing division between muslims and non-muslims.