Moon of Liberty Newsround

Moon Newsround



Blasting News UK – Matt Snape on his personal experience of left wing bias in schools and universities

London Evening Standard Comment – The Mayor must do more to stop knife Crime – Kit Malthouse MP

The SpectatorNUS forced to apologise for leaving Judaism off a form asking people for their religion

Order OrderKier Starmer revealed to be the DPP who decided to refuse allow 75 allegations of rape by now released John Warboys to move to prosecution.

Conservative Home Figures reveal Labour MP’s out tweet Tory MP’s by two to one

Daily TelegraphProductivity in the UK jumps to highest level since 2011

The Moon Of Liberty The Benefits of Brexit – Kevin Alcock

Huffington PostEmily Thornberry claims Labour cannot back Iranian protestors as it is unclear which side is in the right.

CNNBlue collar jobs are booming in America

BBC News Plans for a Northern Forest given the go ahead by the UK Government

The Guardian CommentWhy the UK’s economic performance has not led to Brexit buyers remorse – Larry Elliott

Jewish ChronicleSuspended Labour member to picket Labour Antisemitism disciplinary hearings.

Daily TelegraphEmily Thornberry refuses to condemn John McDonnell’s ‘Stain On Humanity’ remark about newly appointed DWP Secretary Esther McVey

GBC NewsGibraltar finance minister to attend Blockchain Conference in Miami

Daily Telegraph New wave of abuse and death threats aimed at Esther McVey

BBC NewsChris Williamson resigns from the Labour front bench after suggesting doubling council tax

ITV News Angela Merkel faces make or break coalition talks in attempt to form a German Government



Moon Comment – The Benefits of Brexit



Those who are pro leaving the EU on Twitter will often get the question thrown in ‘Give me one benefit of Brexit.’ This of course is a trolling ambush attempt, by giving one it allows the questioner to come back with something along the lines ‘of ‘Is that it, is that all you have got?’ Which of course is nonsense because they only asked for one. Also the benefits to one person will not be considered such by others, it is subjective and the intention of the questioner is to rubbish your response on their own terms. On Twitter the best way to deal with such a question is to ignore it in my view.

However the benefit of a blog rather than 280 characters on Twitter challenged by a rabid pro EU Supporter is you can answer the question in your own terms. So what are the benefits of Brexit? To answer this I am go to start from an assumption that is not likely to happen in practice. I am going to assume the post Brexit arrangement is acceptance of an EFTA deal which includes, yes that’s right, includes accepting free movement. In doing so I reduce my own scope to answer the question, as I take away my right to include something very obvious.

Many would argue if we accept free movement then we are still in the EU in all but name and surely then there are no benefits. But most polls show the number one reason for voting leave was sovereignty and the freedom the nation has to make it’s own laws to go with it. As a result there are still many benefits. An EFTA deal would mean we have to accept Single Market Rules, but this only account for roughly 20% of EU law. 

1) 80% of EU law is returned to be determined by the UK.

Within that there are several policy areas that Britain will now be back in full control of

2) We leave the CAP. Decisions on subsides or how that money is distributed, or indeed not, will be in full control of the UK. This could include eliminating subsidies for rich land owners to do little. (Michael Hesletine is in my head, not sure why)

3) We will leave the Common Fisheries policy and fishing rules will be back under the control of the UK. This policy is considered so bad by Norway and Iceland both refuse to join the EU on the basis of this alone. It was also the main cause of Greenland asking to leave the EU

4) We will no longer be part of the European Home Affairs policy, in it’s early stages but something the EU wanted to take control of and would, had we remained in the EU, watered down the Home Offices control over UK internal security. This will now be back in full control of the UK

5) We will no longer be part of the EU security policy and will be free to commit more resources to the five eyes intelligence service (Including the USA, Canada, New Zealand & Australia) Which is the cornerstone of our international intelligence co-operation. This may also encourage France to consider joining it, which so far they have refused to do, as the EU no longer has a member state involved in this vital organisation.

6) We will have full control of Foreign policy and no longer part of the emerging Common EU foreign policy. We will be free to continue to pursue our interests, which are not always the same as that of the EU.

7) We will leave the emerging European defence policy and free to renew our commitment to NATO as the cornerstone of our international defence commitment, the only credible guarantee of peace and security in Europe and wider western democracy.

We would no longer be part of the Customs Union or common external tariff as EFTA members are not subject to this. This leads to two further benefits

8) We will no longer be forced to impose big tariffs on imports outside the EU. This means we can back up our commitment to international aid and the work of many charities helping the poorest in the third world, including Comic Relief, by reducing or removing these tariffs and helping the poorest economies the chance to trade and grow, which can play a big role in reducing poverty too

9) We are free to sign trade deals with whomever we wish, which we are banned from doing as a member of the EU through having to accept the Common External Tariff rules.

So all of those policies will be back under UK control even if we stay in the single market and accepted free movement. You can hear Corbynites shouting ‘What about workers rights.’ Good point. Remaining in the EU would mean in time common policies on workers rights, acceptance of EU minimums. Therefore opening the door to legal challenges should a nation state go beyond those minimums. Leaving the EU ensures.

10) UK policy on maternity leave giving a minimum of 52 weeks pay cannot be reduced to the EU minimum of 14 weeks.

11) We will be able to maintain legislation giving workers 5.6 weeks holiday, and not have it reduced to four weeks which is what EU policy mandates

12) The living/minimum wage in UK law does not exist in EU law. We will be able to keep it without legal challenge to the concept.

All of these things would be open to an ECJ challenge if we remained in the EU as common policy in these areas develops, as it will. In addition integration will also continue to develop. Since the Referendum we have seen briefings on plans for further integration on defence, economic policy and Martin Schultz call for a United States of Europe by 2025. That may be ambitious, but it is where the EU is going. Thus it is inconceivable that had we stayed in the EU, two key opt outs would credibly stay in place. Leading to two more major benefits of leaving.

13) We will never be pushed into joining the Euro from outside the EU.

14) We will never have to sign the Schengen agreement outside the EU.

Some will claim these would never happen. For me they are kidding themselves. Remaining in the EU and not signing up to those key areas of the EU in the medium term is simply not credible. The only way to ensure both never happens is to leave the EU. This is also true regarding places on international bodies too. The EU has before eyed up the places of the UK and France on the UN Security council. I wish France luck in resisting this as they will be under more pressure but for the UK leaving the EU means

15) Our place as a permanent member of the UN Security council, including the power of veto, is secure for the future

All of these things happen even if we accepted the Single Market in full. But there is a myth that the EU makes all the Single Market rules. The Single Market without EU Membership means taking rules but having no say right? Well in a few cases this is true, but not that often in reality. The majority of Single Market rules are made by the WTO or a range of sector specific bodies, usually run through the UN that the WTO presides over. Right now our vote at these bodes lies with the EU Commission. We can speak as the UK but have no vote and no say. After we leave the EU however

16) We will have our own seat, vote, even at times veto, at the WTO & other international trade bodies. Meaning while now on many of these issue our vote within the EU is actually meaningless because we cannot block the measure made at WTO level anyway, we would then have a meaningful position in these negotiations.

There are also those what the Daily Mail unkindly called ‘enemies of the people.’ The judiciary. The reality is an Independent judiciary is an important part of a sovereign nation even if you don’t always like the calls they make (Which is actually the fault of politicians for creating a system ambiguous enough that the judicary can make those calls.) In leaving the EU

17) THE UK judiciary will be free to make calls based on UK law and UK law alone, not based on EU law or have to take into account ruling from the ECJ. (With the small exception in regard to citizens rights for a time limited period, as agreed in the phase 1 Agreement between Theresa May and the EU)

So as you can see, those who wanted sovereignty would get plenty of what they wanted even if we accepted what for many is the worst scenario of staying in the Single Market & free movement. If you now ditch that assumption you can add

18) Control of immigration policy return to UK control

19) We no longer have to discriminate in favour of immigration applications from the EU and against those coming from outside the EU

20) The few areas under EFTA we would have to take laws without a say, would not be the case.

Some will argue that some or all of these last three are worth trading for an EFTA deal and it is an argument not totally without merit. As I said at the start, what constitutes a benefit of Brexit is subjective. That is true between leavers with different views on the future as it is between those keen to leave and those desperate to stay.

I’m sure there are things I have missed, quietly developing EU policies. I am unaware of that we will no longer be part of and a range of opportunities that will come that are as yet unknown. Even so for those who ask for one I have given you potentially 20. Even if you prefer the first 17, you can rest assured there are plenty of benefits to leaving the EU if you believe in a free independent nation as opposed to believe in an EU single entity. And don’t forget those trying to block the process believe in the latter, as it is the inevitable consequence of their position, even though many of them, whether through naivety or knowing complicity, claim they don’t or claim it isn’t going to happen. It is, it will, and Britain is better off out of it.



Moon of Liberty Newsround 04/01/2018


Moon Of Liberty Newsround Digest 04/01/2018

Political Betting – Keiran Pedley looks ahead to the US mid term elections in November & the current US political scene

The Moon Of Liberty – Editorial on the politics looking ahead to 2018 – Kevin Alcock

Arbuthnot Latham – Ruth Lea predicts cautious optimism for the UK economy in 2018

Daily Mail – Students could be cut from the UK immigration figures in proposed changes

The Sun – The RMT Union reportedly paid zero tax on a £5.1m profit

London Evening Standard – Leading pollster Lord Hayward predicts a difficult night for the Conservatives in May in the local elections across London

CNN – a clear Supermoon closed out the first day of 2018

BBC News – Boris Johnson says Foreign aid decisions will take British interests more into account in future.

Daily Telegraph – Rumours around the likely upcoming cabinet re-shuffle could see Theresa May promote a number of women into more high profile roles.

Daily Telegraph – Michael Gove to look at food labeling rules for Kosher and Halal meat

CNN – California to legislate on guns, tampons and diapers in 2018

CNN – Michelle Bachman to consider running as GOP candidate for Seanate seat in Minnesota

Digital Telegraph – Labour must stop trying to sabotage Brexit – Kate Hoey

Order Order – Corbyn supporting social media platform Navaro News is struck off Companies House

Reuters – Labour’s Shadow Education secretary Angela Rayner says Labour’s economic policy is a high risk gamble

Political Betting – PB editor Mike Smithson predicts the Tory v Labour polling deadlock will continue throughout 2018


Moon Editorial – The politics of 2018


Reflections of the Moon

2017 was a crazy year in politics. It began with Theresa May in total control, calling an election that looked like a landslide and ended in failure as she lost her majority and ended up relying on the DUP to stay in Number 10. She regained some control at the end of the year with a successful end to the first phase Brexit deal and the polls showing the Conservatives statistically tied with Labour, when given the upheaval, you would expect Labour to be marching miles ahead. Much of the reason they are not has to do with their leader, who despite doing better than expected in the election, is a long way still from proving he is actually electable.

So what of 2018. The pattern could follow the same as the last six months. It will be dominated by Brexit yet again. There will be gamesmanship on both sides with at times May looking very weak. Then as time moves on and the March 2019 deadline looms, we will probably end up with a deal late in the day yet again. Whatever red lines are being thrown around now, it is likely to be a Norway style transition until December 2020, followed by a permanent Canada style deal, with some details tweaked. And yes, free movement may well stay until 2020, those with a problem with that will of course squeal if it happens. The base will be that little will change in relation to the Single Market aspects of the EU, but we will leave the rest of the EU’s activities (Which don’t forget accounts for roughly 80% of EU law)

This year will also see the completion of the withdrawal bill. The likely pattern is the Lords will pass a small number of amendments, will be rejected or a compromise found to allow the Lords to back down on the rest in the end. The bill should be passed and ready to be enacted into law by March 2019. 

In May the local elections will likely give Labour something of a boost. This year’s local elections are heavily biased towards urban cities and London, where if General Election patterns are sustained, scope for some major gains for Labour are possible.At local level signs the Lib Dems are recovering are also showing in local by election results, There is scope in London for them to recover ground lost during the tuition fee row years. t could be a tough night for the Conservatives, given the terrain which the elections will be fought, coming close to holding what they have would be a success.

Elsewhere housing will likely be the biggest focus but it is an area with no easy answers. Will action match the talk? Time will tell. Michael Gove will also continue his campaign to make the Tories take more notice of animal welfare issues. This is a good thing from a Conservative point of view, the specter of a Fox Hunting vote and the suggestion of backtracking on the Ivory pledge definitely lost the Tories key votes in June. 

Overall barring some big totally unexpected event it will likely be a fairly quiet year and I expect the polling to look much the same at the end of it as it does now, with no General Election and no change of leadership. What is more exciting is to watch the development of the influx of young Tories who are leading a social media fight back. Where will they take this in 2018, hopefully even further getting more people involved still to fight the barrage of hatred and abuse and Fake News that is the hallmark of Labour’s social media machine that needs desperately to be taken on and defeated.

2018 is in some ways the start of a five year cycle that will determine a lot about the future of Britain for a long time to come. While the window for those who want to stop Brexit looks small, it being done or not will have much longer effects. Then comes the next General Election, assuming it is in 2022, who will take control of post Brexit Britain, the Conservatives or the Hard left of Corbyn’s Labour, in a world where many more powers will be available to the winner, will also have long term consequences for the country. I have little doubt Britain outside the EU with a Conservative majority Government come 1st January 2023 is the best outcome. 




Moon of Liberty Elections – Local by elections 03/08/2017


Local by Election Round-Up

It was a big week for Labour in this week’s local by elections. They made three gains with big vote share increases in Worthing, Margate and Swale. The reason for these big wins will also vindicate Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit as all three victories came as a result of Labour taking the bulk of the collapsing UKIP vote, or in the case of the Worthing gain against the Conservatives, taking the bulk of a large UKIP vote where the party did not stand. The evidence is leave referendum voters have been driving these victories, which follows on from the General Election where Labour took far more leave voters than many expected, a key part of why we ended up with a Hung Parliament. a dilemma for those critical of Corbyn and who want a more pro-EU line from Labour.

The Conservative did not see huge vote share drops and made a technical gain from Labour in Kings Lynne where the Labour councillor elected in second place in a multi member ward last time stood down, and the Tories who had most votes in the ward last time overall, maintained that to take the seat. The is why though there was a small swing to Labour, it was still a Conservative gain.

One trend that continues from the General election is than the two big parties remain dominant. UKIP’s collapse drove this weeks result but the Lib Dems are making no progress at all and the small Green vote collapsed where they stood this week too. The era of two party politics appears to be here to stay for the time being.

Labour’s big week sees them move in front on projected UK vote share for the first time since Corbyn became leader. They lead the Tories by 0.9% after this weeks results. All the current up to date numbers can be found on the Elections and Polling numbers page.




Local by Elections 05/08/2017

Loughborough Spelthorpe (Charnwood) Lab 595 Con 591 LD 92 UKIP 29Lab HoldSwing (May 2015) Con-Lab 2.8%

Marine (Worthing)Lab 1032 Con 846 LD 246 Green 55LAB GAIN FROM CONSwing (May 2016) Con-Lab 17.1%

Margate Central (Thanet)Lab 454 Con 190 UKIP 52 LD 33 Ind 24 Green 23 Ind 13LAB GAIN FROM UKIPSwing (May 2015) UKIP-Lab 24.5%

Milton Regis (Swale)Lab 573 Con 255 UKIP 151 LD 86LAB GAIN FROM UKIPSwing (May 2015) UKIP-Lab 19.8%

Penshurst, Fordscombe & Chiddingstone (Sevenoaks)Con 438 LD 253 Lab 54Con HoldSwing (May 2015) LD-Con 2.6%

St Margarets & St Nicholas (Kings Lynne & W Norfolk) – Con 253 Lab 210 LD 173 Green 63CON GAIN FROM LABSwing (May 2015 top vote) Con-Lab 1.7%




Moon of Liberty Editorial – Brexit & The Trump Wing


Editorial – Reflections of the Moon

Brexit – It’s the outcome that matters

The process of the UK leaving the EU is in a precarious position. Despite their being in my view not a shred of evidence the decision to leave the EU being a mistake, for some reason those who want to block the process from happening are appearing more confident. Much of this is to do with splits in the cabinet, with Chancellor Phillip Hammond calling for a 3 year transition period and Trade secretary Liam Fox declaring free movement of people, which would be part of any such arrangement, must end in 2019.

Meanwhile post the failure of Prime Minister Theresa May to win a majority, she looks powerless to stop the cabinet battles, which are a proxy for what they see as the inevitable leadership contest to come, from going on around her. Ultimately while these day to day machinations will fascinate the press, what actually matter is the final outcome. Expect the process to continue slowly until the final moment when, as is the EU way, the path to a deal will suddenly speed up.

Whatever happens in the deal, or whether there is no deal, no option is in my view worse than remaining in the EU, the consequences will be in effect accepting the Superstate the EU wants to move to and the end of a Free Britain. This is far more important than the wranglings in the run up, the final outcome is what matters and the defeat of those wanting to stop the process is essential to ensure we remain in a free country in whatever form it ends up.

The Trump Wing

Fans of the Drama series ‘The West wing’ could be forgiven for thinking the current US administration is another series of their favourite entertainment show. The President’s health care plan is voted down by a member of his own party after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Two members of the administration leave within days. Never ending controversy via the President’s twitter feed. It is a script any top drama script writer would have issues making up. 

The only thing President Trump has in his favour is that it is debatable if there is anyone in the Democrat Party who can seriously take in on and he continues to have an army of support who will dismiss any bad news as fake new or mad up by the media. As bizarre as this White House looks, can a second trump victory in 2020 be ruled out? No it can’t. Talk of him being impeached over something like the Russian issue is likely overblown, the Democrats must think hard if they are to come up with a way to oust him, it will be more difficult than many believe.




Moon Of Liberty Editorial -The next Brexit battles


Reflections Of The Moon

The next Brexit battles

Last week saw an historic turn of events. Nearly 500 MP’s voted to start the process of Leaving the European Union, something until a very short time ago would have been unthinkable. Regardless of if you thought that vote should have occurred or not (and I don’t), it was unquestionably an historic moment. Does that mean it is all over? No, there could still be battles in the House of Lords to come, although the size of the Commons majority and the threat of future sanction if the unelected house tries to stand in the way of the will of the public Referendum makes that less likely.

Some key battles will come this week in the commons however. Last weeks vote was only the second reading, this week will see the committee and report stages as well as a final (for now anyway) 3rd reading vote. It could come back to the Commons at the end if the Lords ask the Commons to look at some of their amendments. These stages allow MP’s to table their own amendments to add to the bill. Many amendments on all sides have been tables, from the SNP the Lib Dems and the Labour side. Not all will be considered, that will be for the Speaker John Bercow and his team to decide. Given how Bercow has operated however, the more contentious ones will likely be chosen and debated.

Two serious possibilities will be to guarantee the rights of foreign nationals already here and a debate on the terms of the vote Parliament will get at the end of the process. As for the foreign nationals issue, it is unlikely a deal on this will not be done in the negotiation, or separately if there is no free trade deal. This would be a difficult one for the Government to weigh up, ideally this is still a negotiating card the Government would like to keep, however there is a majority in the commons to get it through if the MP’s really want to push for it. It is not inconceivable that if the Government thought they may lose, they could conceded this anyway. I support all foreign nationals right to stay here and have no problem with this getting through. Indeed, the good will it would create may create the conditions for a better deal in the end to be obtained.

The other battle over the type of vote is more complex and could prove more important.. The Government’s position is that if there is a deal, Parliament will vote for the deal or for no deal. But what if there is just no deal? For most this would be a case of tough luck, however those desperate to stay in the single market sense an opportunity here. If there is no deal surely Parliament should have the opportunity to accept an alternative to no deal.. Theresa May has said as far as she is concerned no deal is better than a bad deal. That means trade returning to WTO rules. By pushing their amendment those pro the single market hope to keep their hope alive by forcing a vote in which the alternative would either be the EEA option, or worse still for those more cynical of the motives of some of those MP’s, there is the other option of this being a back door way of staying in the EU, as Tim Farron has proposed as the alternative in his Referendum.

It is tough to say whether any amendment based on an alternative vote could get through. In theory there may be enough Tory rebels, but some Labour MP’s will be against it as well and accounting for abstentions and perhaps the DUP backing the Government, it would still be a tough ask to win the vote. If this is called by the speaker it is one the Government must fight, their position of bi lateral deal or no deal is the right one for this country and it’s negotiation and the executive must not lose control of the terms of the final vote as it could hand those who still hope Brexit won’t happen a small window of opportunity. The Government has set out the right course, this week could see attempts to blow it off course, this must not happen. Battles this week may in the long run prove more important than last weeks vote.