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Why is the Northern Ireland protocol still an issue? Actions have consequences | Fintan O'Toole

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 23/07/2021 - 5:00pm in

Someone tell Boris Johnson: you can’t bake your ‘oven-ready deal’ and then remove a key ingredient (even if it’s a sausage)

Ask a stupid question and you get a stupid answer. The Northern Ireland protocol is a stupid answer: it imposes a complex bureaucracy on the movement of ordinary goods across the Irish Sea. But it is the only possible response to a problem created by Boris Johnson. The reason it keeps coming around again and again, like a ghoul on a ghost train, is that it requires Johnson and his government to do something that goes against the grain of the whole Brexit project: to acknowledge that choices have costs.

There used to be a gameshow on American radio and TV called Truth or Consequences. It was so popular that a whole city in New Mexico is named after it. It’s where we live now. In each episode, the contestant was asked a deliberately daft question – and when they failed to answer it, they had to perform a zany or embarrassing stunt.

Fintan O’Toole is a columnist with the Irish Times

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Co-operation should be us

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/07/2021 - 8:13am in

Have just attended – via Zoom – the new book launch of ‘Ours’ by the American thinker and author, Peter Barnes. His concept is that Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics (click to enlarge): allows us to ‘capture’ money from natural resources as well as from state facilitated functions such as financial trading or individual property rights... Read more

More Brexit commercial reality

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 07/07/2021 - 6:17am in

The Nikkei, the newspaper with the financial world’s largest circulation, had a headline yesterday on the unstoppable decline of the British financial sector, which, they consider, is driven by Brexit. This shows the share of international trade represented by £ Sterling – vanishing fast: And, indeed what else would drive it? While Britain has one... Read more

Revisiting the causes & effects of Brexit – New Statesman video interview

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 24/06/2021 - 5:52pm in

Here I am conversing with New Statesman’s George Eaton, reflecting on five years since the EU referendum, Scottish independence, a UK progressive alliance, and whether the EU can stay relevant post Brexit.  Lest I be misunderstood, viz the New Statesman’s title: Given the EU’s post-2008 trajectory, & its behaviour more recently, if I were a Brit I wouldn’t want the UK to re-join. My dream is that those of us still in the EU succeed in transforming it into a Union the UK might want to join.

The post Revisiting the causes & effects of Brexit – New Statesman video interview appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

The religious principle…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 22/06/2021 - 6:41am in

This picture is apposite when we know that the US has frighteningly many more deaths from food poisoning than does the UK or any other country in the EU, where the precautionary principle has served so very well…... Read more

Bristol South Labour Party’s Motion Demanding Action and Leadership from Starmer and Dodds

Mike has put up a chilling post this morning revealing a hidden truth about the recent Lib Dem by-election victory in Amersham and Chesham. They won not because there is actually a revival in that awful party’s fortunes, but because of tactical voting and the almost complete collapse of the Labour vote. Labour got only 622 votes, 1.6 per cent of the total, and lost their deposit. And I don’t doubt for a single minute that it’s because of Keir Starmer’s abysmal leadership. He has spent all his time and energy as leader persecuting the left, all under the specious pretence of fighting anti-Semitism. He has broken every one of the promises he made to support Labour’s genuinely popular manifesto commitments. These were for nationalised utilities, a renationalised NHS, a proper welfare state, and strong unions and workers’ rights. He showed his contempt to the party’s Black members through his offhand, lacklustre support for Black Lives Matter and by refusing to investigate or punish the bullies responsible for the racist abuse and treatment of Diane Abbott and other Black MPs and activists. And more significantly, he has done precious little to attack the Tories and hold Boris Johnson accountable for the deaths resulting from his bungled Covid policy, the corruption which has seen the Etonian fraud grant government contracts to his friends’ companies, the continuing assaults on democracy and free speech, the absence of any genuinely beneficial trade deals for Britain as a result of Brexit, and the descent into rioting and unrest in Ireland.

All of these issues are open goals. But I’ve seen precious little comment from Starmer on any of them. One internet commenter has already posted that Cummings seems to be doing more damage to the Tories than him. And I agree.

As a result, Bristol South Labour party passed a motion Thursday night to invite Anneliese Dodds down to the constituency to hear our concerns about the lack of leadership. It’s an amended motion. The original explicitly called upon Starmer to make his presence felt and start showing that Labour had good, viable policies. This was altered because some members felt that Starmer was already doing something towards this with his policy review.

“Social Change Motion

The dark days of WW2 exposed a desperate need for radical social change in Britain.  The Labour Party took on the challenge and delivered the miracle of our Welfare State.

Most of the years since then have seen a Tory hegemony; the last decade in particular has brought about a devastating erosion of all our public services; the crisis today is scarcely less urgent than that of 1945. Just as during the war, the Covid pandemic has thrown into harsh light how grievous the levels of need have become – in health, education, housing, social care and now, of course, climate change.  The whole country is witnessing this and is desperate for signs of future hope and change.

Hope can come only from a Labour Government in power with a bold and radical agenda for change.  We know, however, that to achieve this will require extraordinary action – not only an inspired and inspiring manifesto but an imaginative co-operation within the parties of the Left.  Clearly. some form of PR will be necessary if the Tories are to be held in check in the long term.  Equally clear is the need for Labour to stop its factional infighting and concentrate on winning the next election.  

Our Leadership’s current policy of holding the Government to account for its handling of Covid and for its many other failings is right and necessary but it is nowhere near sufficient to the country’s needs.  The time for radical change is now.  The country is ready to listen now and it is high time for it to hear what the Labour Party stands for.

The path to victory in 2024 must be opened up without delay.  This branch therefore calls upon our Leadership to set aside their present caution – and reliance on focus groups -and respond to the country’s urgent needs.

Action: to invite Annelise Dodds** in her role in co-ordinating the NPF consultation to a Bristol South CLP meeting to hear and address the concerns expressed above.

Amendment to add: Action: Invite Annelise Dodds** in her role in co-ordinating the NPF consultation to a Bristol South CLP meeting to hear and address the concerns expressed above.”

The motion shows the depth of concern Bristol South CLP has with the lack of action and leadership on Starmer’s part. Some of those who actively campaigned during the council elections said they were told by people on the doorsteps that they were voting Green, because they didn’t know what Labour stood for. The party has some excellent Green policies, but these haven’t been sufficiently communicated to the public.

I honestly don’t know what would come of inviting Dodds down to hear the concerns of the constituency party. Given the highly authoritarian and dictatorial leadership style, precious little. It seems that Starmer’s and the party bureaucracy’s response to criticism is to suspend the critics. But they and Starmer are leading the party to disaster. He can’t blame Corbyn, or the continuing power of the left. Labour’s poor showing in the elections is due to him and him alone.

He should now either start showing real leadership and demonstrably oppose Johnson, or he should leave and make way for those who will.

Labour suffers worst by-election result in party’s history. Will Starmer accept the blame? | Vox Political (

Immigration’s brexit is only just beginning..

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 19/06/2021 - 6:30am in

This is a great article on Byeline Times from Jonathan Portes – and that is an almost surprising sentence for me to suggest. Although I’m not in favour of his interpretation of Labour’s economic policy this article seems entirely on the button. It concludes: What difference will it make if, in 2030, nearly one-tenth of... Read more

Not our happiness but his…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 18/06/2021 - 6:34am in

I post this clip, not because I believe it’s true, but to indicate what this government has to take into account as part of its support… It is rather indicative that Swayne seems to take no regard – or seems even aware – of the concept that his own freedom might imperil the freedom of... Read more

Johnson negotiated in full knowledge

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 16/06/2021 - 6:01am in

Quite remarkable that he has to say this – but Johnson justifies with knobs on the ‘perfidious albion’ nomenclature. I’m really proud to be British… Not.... Read more

Amid all the fuss – what Macron actually said..

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 14/06/2021 - 7:17am in

It is instructive to watch this French Television piece, which indicates that Macron knows precisely what the United Kingdom is and is not trying to split it up. He is so obviously clear it has to be doubted whether the UK government’s version is related to fact or fantasy – in fact knowing the truth... Read more