Daily Archives: May 30, 2017


A Manifesto We All Should Support

I am delighted to say I can offer my full and unreserved backing to the SNP manifesto, launched today.

Key points are:

1) No Trident missiles
2) Full reversal of Tory benefit cuts
3) £118 billion of extra spending over the parliament for investment and to end austerity
4) Reversal of NHS privatisations
5) 50p top rate of income tax
6) Raising the minimum wage to the real living wage, and ending public sector pay caps.

There is of course much more and you can read the full manifesto here.

It is absolutely plain that there is a broad consensus among progressive parties in the UK, and that under Corbyn, Labour has regained the right to be considered a progressive party. Of course detail is not precisely the same, but Corbyn and the SNP are recognisably motivated by similar values of social justice. That is why I continue to urge Corbyn supporters in Scotland to lend their votes to the SNP in order to return the maximum number of anti-Tory MP’s to Westminster.

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The Sins of the Father

UPDATED: Having spent the afternoon researching, the evidence tends to support Emma Barnett’s claim that she had been personally unaware that her family’s wealthy lifestyle was funded by the pimping and sex-trafficking activities of her parents. The emails between herself and her father about “whores” referenced by the Manchester Evening News, contained denials by her father to Emma that he remained involved. I therefore have here deleted my earlier entry which suggested the existence of these emails may argue against her claim of ignorance.

But it is the wealth of her background rather than the source of the funds which concerns me here. As a Telegraph and Sunday Times columnist, it is pretty hard to argue that Barnett is not “out” as a wealthy Tory – just like Robinson, Kuenssberg, Paxman, Andrew Neil et al. In choosing a Telegraph columnist to interview Corbyn today for Women’s Hour, the BBC yet again is making no attempt at all to hide the massive Tory bias of its political journalism.

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“No Deal is Better than a Bad Deal”?

These are some of the inevitable and automatic consequences of “No deal” with the EU:

1) A fenced hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, likely re-igniting the Troubles
2) 900,000 UK citizens resident in EU countries have to return back to live in UK
3) Tariffs on all UK goods exported to the EU, almost certainly triggering a major recession
4) Massive bureaucratic non-tariff barriers to British exports – sixty pages of forms for every consignment
4) No access to the Schengen database and other EU security and policing resources
5) British citizens need to apply for visas to visit EU countries and stand in two hour long queues at many EU airports
6) UK universities removed from World’s leading scientific and research programmes.

Those are just for starters. These are the natural consequences of not being an EU member. They could be seriously mitigated by negotiating a deal. But they are inevitably what “No deal” means.

I have not included the massive harm that would hit the UK economy if EU citizens were deported as a result of “No deal”, because that is not a necessary consequence. The UK could unilaterally decide to allow them to stay. Sadly such wisdom is improbable.

So when Theresa May states “No deal is better than a bad deal” she is talking absolute nonsense. It is a ludicrous display of machismo from the “leader” of a country which has put itself into an extremely weak negotiating position.

“No deal is better than a bad deal” went down very well with the leaders’ audience on Channel 4/Sky last night. It is shorthand for “we will reduce immigration and we don’t care how much it hurts us”. Both Brexit and the Tories represent at base a visceral xenophobia, nothing more and nothing less. The slogan appeals to racists.

Jeremy Paxman failed to push Theresa May at all on the stupidity of the “No deal” slogan yesterday, instead just giving her the opportunity to repeat it again and again to the applause of morons. I like to believe that Theresa May is not stupid enough to believe what she is saying, but the more I see her…

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