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The ‘I’ on Labour’s Manifesto Policies

Thursday’s edition of the I, for 10th October 2019, carried an article by Nigel outlining Labour’s election promises. The article ‘What will be in the Labour Party election manifesto’, stated that ‘Jeremy Corbyn aims to target areas for radical change’. These were itemised and described as follows

Brexit

The plicy issue likely to be at the heart of the election campaign. One in office, Labour would spend three months negotiating a new Brexit deal with Brussels to enable Britain to remain in customs union with the European Union and be closely aligned to the European single market.

It would then organise a referendum within six months, offering voters a choice between Labour’s deal and remaining in the EU. Labour would hold a special conference to decide which side it would endorse in the referendum.

Taxes

Labour says its tax-raising plans would only affect give per cent of taxpayers. It is currently committed to increase income tax rates to 45 per cent for salaries over £80,000 and to 50 per cent for salaries over £123,000.

Cuts to corporation tax would be reversed and the rate would be fixed at around 26 per cent. 

Infrastructure

Labour is pledging to spend £250bn on upgrading the UK’s transport, energy and broadband infrastructure. Another £250bn of capital would be provided for businesses and co-ops to “breathe new life into every community”.

Nationalisation

Labour would bring the railways, Royal Mail, the water companies and the National Grid into public ownership so “essential services we all rely on are run by and for the public, not for profit.”

Minimum Wage

Workers of all kinds would be legally entitled to a UK-wide minimum wage of £10 an hour. LOabour says the move will make the average 16- and 17-year-old in employment more than £2,500 a year better off.

Free Personal Care

A new National Care Service would help elderly people in England with daily tasks such as getting out of bed, bathing, washing and preparing meals in their own homes and residential care, and provide better training for carers. The £16bn annual cost would come out of general taxation.

Free Prescriptions

Prescription charges would be abolished in England. They are already free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

More than 80 per cent of English prescriptions are already issued free of charge, but in other cases patients pay £9 per item.

Boost Doctor Numbers

The number of GP trainees in England would rise by 50 per cent to tackle a recruitment crisis. Labour says it would mean an extra 27 million GP appointments per year.

Scrap Tuition Fees

One of the party’s most popular policies at the last election, Labour is committed to scrapping university tuition fees in England and Wales, which currently stand at a maximum of £9,250 a year.

It would also cancel existing student debt, which the party says has reached “unsustainable” levels.

End Rough Sleeping

Labour would end rough sleeping in five years by allocating thousands of extra homes to people with a history of living on the streets.

Outlaw Fracking/ Increase Renewables

Fracking would be banned “once and for all”, with Labour putting its emphasis on developing clean and renewable energy.

The party wants 60 per cent of UK energy from zero-carbon or renewable sources by 2030 and would build 37 state-owned offshore windfarms. it is pledging to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in a Green Industrial Revolution.

Scrap Ofsted

The schools inspectorate, which the party claims causes higher workload and stress for teachers, would be abolished and replaced with a two-stage inspection regime.

A Four-Day Working Week

Labour would cut the average working week to 32 hours within ten years, but with no loss of pay. It would end the opt-out from the European Working Time Directive, which lets firms sidestep EU rules on limiting hours to 48 a week. Zero hours contracts would be banned.

Overturn Union Legislation

Margaret Thatcher’s union legislation would be scrapped as a priority, and moves begun towards collective bargaining in different sectors of the economy.

Reverse Legal Aid Cut

Labour would expand legal aid as a priority with help focussed on housing cases and family law.

These are all policies that this country desperately needs, and so you can expect the Tories, the Lib Dems and the lamestream media, not to mention the Thatcherite entryists in the Labour Party itself, to scream ‘extremism!’ and do everything they can to stop them.

And you can trust that the party is absolutely serious about honouring these promises. Unlike David Cameron, Tweezer and Boris Johnson, all of whose promises about restoring the health service and reversing cuts, bringing down the deficit and ending austerity, have proven and will prove to be nothing but hollow lies.

Private Eye on the Hedge Funds Supporting Boris Against British Prosperity

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 04/10/2019 - 7:09pm in

Yesterday Labour’s John McDonnell wrote to Cabinet Office Secretary Mark Sedwill requesting an inquiry into J. Peasemold BoJob’s connection to hedge funds. His request was based on statements by BoJob’s sister Rachel and the former chancellor, Jeremy Hammond, that Johson was being funded by currency speculators making money on shorting shares. This means effectively betting against the companies they invest in. These companies believe that Brexit will ruin the economy, which means that they, paradoxically, will make immense money from it. Boris’ connection to these financial interests and his determination to bring about Brexit whatever happens are thus highly suspect.

Inquiry demanded into claims Boris Johnson backers will profit from ‘no deal’ – and it can’t come soon enough

It isn’t only McDonnell, Rachel Johnson and Hammond, who are suspicious of the Boorish Generalissimo’s connections to the hedge funds. Private Eye has been discussing this issue in a series of articles since last year, when they first noticed that the hedge funds were heavily backing his campaign for the Tory leadership. Now that Boris is Tory leader, they’ve published several highly critical of his connection to them.

In their edition for 9th-22nd August 2019, the magazine published this article, ‘Shorts Story’ on page 7.

“The people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts,” boomed Boris Johnson in his first prime ministerial speech. In fact the betters-against-Britain are the only true winners in Brexit Britain – as the new PM should know.

One big beneficiary is Johnson’s long-time supporter and funder, hedge fund manager Crispin Odey, whose latest gift was a £10,000 cheque for the leadership campaign last month and most of whose funds are domiciled in, er, Ireland, as Eye 1482 pointed out in November.

Odey was public about shorting the pound last year as the process hit Britain’s currency, then earlier this year reversed his position as the market bought into the idea that a no-deal Brexit would be avoided. (Odey’s funds are also profitably shorting major British names including Royal Mail, AA, Debenhams, Autotrader and shopping centre-owning Intu – hardly a vote of confidence in UK plc).

Now that Johnson’s “do or die” Brexit policy and outright rejection of the Irish backstop has sent the pound tumbling again, the short-sellers can cash in once more. As former Goldman Sachs banker and Treasury minister Jim O’Neill told a Radio 4 interviewer last week: “Foreign exchange and hedge fund-type people [are] probably looking at what’s being said coming out of the UK as almost close to a free lunch.” A government that is deliberately promoting the no-Brexit [sic] risk” has left the traders saying “thank goodness for Boris – he’s giving us a chance to make some money”.

In the days before Johnson’s win, and with his coronation looking secure, hedge funds’ bets against the pound rose to more than $6bn worth, according to Reuters. The ensuing fall will have benefited them to the tune of more than $100m. Somebody’s certainly losing their shirt – but it’s not those betting against Britain.

This fortnight’s Private Eye has another piece about the hedge fund’s connections to Boris, and how they are keeping part of their currency trading secret. The article’s titled ‘Crash and Earn’ and it’s on page 7. It runs

Good to see former chancellors and top former Treasury civil servants catching up with the Eye’s concerns over Tory backers profiting from Brexit-induced turmoil. Last year the Eye (issues 1482 & 1485) pointed out how Boris Johnson-funder Crispin Odey was trousering large sums from shorting stocks heavily exposed to the UK economy, and pound itself.

Last month the Byline Times added up the sums bet against UK stocks by hedge funds that had donated to either the prime ministers’s leadership campaign or to Vote Leave. Its finding that there was an “£8bn bet on no-deal crash out” was roundly pooh-poohed – with some justification, given the crudeness of the calculation and the host of other reasons for shorting shares. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t hnefarious motives in the cross-over between short-selling and political influence, as non-conspiracy theorists ex-chancellor Philip Hammond and now ex-Treasury permanent secretary Sir Nicholas Macpherson have observed.

“Mr Hammond is right to question the political connections of some of the hedge funds with a financial interest in no deal,” tweeted Macpherson last weekend. “They are shorting the £ and the country, with the British people the main loser.” Alas, as the Eye put it last year, “there may be rules against rigging the financial markets, but not if the move is big, brazen and political enough.”

Nor is it possible to find out who is placing bets through currency trades, where the political/economic link is most direct. Post-financial crisis, significant share short-sales are publicly disclosed, but currency trades remain secret. Surely time to change this, and for more disclosure of the real financial interests behind those filling Boris Johnson’s boots.

Given the immense profits these people stand to make from the desperate misery and chaos that will follow a no-deal Brexit, it’s perfectly justifiable to call Johnson a traitor, and his backers economic saboteurs. McDonnell is right to call for an inquiry. Legislation needs to be passed forcing currency speculators to disclose their actions, if not a complete overhaul imposed on the financial sector as a whole.

And Johnson needs to be turfed out of parliament, and replaced with Corbyn.