Moon Politics – PMQ’s verdict



Prime Minister’s Questions


Outside of the main May v Corbyn exchange

Prior to Jeremy Corbyn standing up Catherine McKinnell (Lab Newcastle North) opened raising the issue of apprentices affected by the collapse of Carillion & Simon Hoare (Con North Dorset) raised the recent strong manufacturing & productivity figures.

After the main exchange SNP leader Ian Blackwood promoted the Scottish Government’s economic analysis on Brexit, May hit back pointing GDP figures were lower in Scotland than elsewhere. Desmond Swayne (Con New Forest West) encouraged the PM to build on Iceland’s decision to go plastic free. Zac Goldsmith (Con Richmond Park) pushed for a judicial review of the John Warboys case. 

May v Corbyn

Today’s PMQ’s was one of Jeremy Corbyn’s worst. Part of his problem may be he had nowhere to go. Normally he likes to ignore what everyone else is talking about, today he had no choice but to go on the Carillion collapse which could have made it easier for Theresa May to prepare. He was schooled by Theresa May on the realities of Government. During the exchange May explained to him what a profit warning was, how Government contracts work, she was ready with the facts on the Crown Representative to Carillion procedure which Corbyn wrongly claimed had been left vacant with nobody taking responsibility. She even had time to put Emily Thornberry’s heckling in her place by stating she is aware of Thronberry recently praising Carillion, which was later proved correct.

At one point Corbyn embarrassingly forgot to even ask a questions which May pointed out to the cheers of the Tory benches. Corbyn also seemed to be of the view the Government is, or if not should be, responsible for the Management of a private companies. May responded by saying they were a customer of Carillion, not responsible for their management, yet again explaining reality. Corbyn finished with a rant about the private sector in general, exposing his statist authoritarian ideology. May’s final line in the exchange was to point out most people work in a private sector Labour dislike, quoting Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell saying business are ‘The Enemy.’ She ended by claiming this Labour Party put “politics before people”

Corbyn struck the wrong tone, trying to make the awarding of contracts political when a combination of the last Labour Government, the Welsh Labour run Government and Labour run local authorities had done so. He also perhaps more importantly moving forward demonstrated a lack of basic knowledge of how things work as and exposed his own statist ideology. Surprisingly he did not make so much of the difficulties people could face on the ground either and it was May who came across as more empathetic, as well as Prime Ministerial and on top of the facts. She also drew clear lines between the Government’s role and where it stops, which for Corbyn seems to be nowhere. Her final comment that Corbyn had put ‘Politics before people’ totally summed up Corbyn’s miserable afternoon. Today he could have been forgiven for a quieter tone he has used in the past, bizarrely he went for cheap politics first. It failed badly.


Theresa May 4 Jeremy Corbyn 0

A PM on top of the facts, looking Prime Ministerial and showing a full understanding of the realities, while in contrast a Leader of the Opposition lacking knowledge of basic principals, May’s most comfortable win since she became PM.





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 Editorial – The UK Energy Market & Trump needs to get back to policy


Moon of Liberty Editorial

Reflections of the Moon

It’s up to customers to create the market

This week British Gas announced a 12.5% electricity price rise despite low wholesale costs. The excuse was the same as always, they but in bulk, plus they argue they held off previous price rises unlike other companies. It’s funny of course how we never get price reductions because traders who buy in bulk bought too low in advance. The left, and increasingly many in the Tory party, seem to think intervention is the answer, there is no market they argue. Theresa May has even launched an investigation this week.

Well actually, there is as anyone who has listened to the excellent Martin Lewis and frankly any other expert on it who is willing to help the consumer will explain, there are plenty of options out there, mainly relating to switching and often to smaller suppliers. The ‘Big 6’ as they are known ultimate rely on loyalty and the fact consumer cannot be bothered to switch.

It’s understandable, many people do not know how easy it actually is to do so. If millions switched to smaller companies tomorrow, the Big 6 would have to act. We saw an example of this and how it can work a few years ago when Opus Energy reduced their prices and took some market share with it. It panicked the Big 6 into rare price reduction they had no intention of making.

In the end however it is for consumers to create the market. Too many remain loyal when they have no reason to. State intervention is not the answer, the much maligned, wrongly in my opinion, free market is the answer. The public are the ones who can take advantage of it, if they don’t, don’t expect state intervention to be of any use, in the end, it won’t.

The Trump administration needs to focus on policy

The US congress has gone into recess with Shaun Spicer, Reince Preibus and Anthony Scaramucci all gone from the Trump administration. The administration is in danger of becoming, it it has not already, all about personalities and not about policy, which in reality is where it is strongest.

Whether it be decisive steps against the horror going on in Venezuela, a regime scarily, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn here in the UK seems to continue to back. Or it be getting unanimous agreement in the UN for sanctions on North Korea, or it’s agreement with a Japanese firm to create a large factory and thousands of jobs in Wisconsin, a key state Trump would need to hold if he stands again in 2020, there are areas where this administration actually has a better story to tell than many may think.

Can anyone get a grip on this crazy administration before it spirals out of control and get the President back on the front foot? It appears now to be in John Kelly’s hands as the new chief of staff. For the administration to succeed he needs to be a success and there a while, not another notch on the ‘you’re fired’ list.




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 Polling & Elections – YouGov, Ipsos-Mori & by election in Bromsgrove


Polling – YouGov & Ipsos-Mori

Current trend of a 100 plus Tory majority projections continue

Two polls were released on the 19th January, a new polls from YouGov and the first from Ipsos Mori since I began calculating the seat breakdown on the new boundaries. YouGov sees rotten news for Labour, Their voting intention down to 25% with a battering in the North of England and Yorkshire would see a projected Conservative majority of 144. Ipsos-Mori is not quite that bad, but still sees a Tory majority of 114 and similar figures in the North and Yorkshire regions, the only real difference is they lose slightly less in the Midlands and Wales than YouGov showed. Either way it continues to look very healthy for Theresa May and very poor for Jeremy Corbyn. On both sets of figures Copeland where there is an upcoming parliamentary by election would fall to the Tories, it will be interesting to see if the by election bares this out.

Both polls showed the SNP below 50% and while they remain well ahead in Scotland, they appear to be falling from their peaks in line with recent Scottish local by elections where their invincibility of a couple of years ago is not as strong as it was. Ipsos-Mori also has some good news for the Liberal Democrats with some stronger figures in London and the South, the first and so far only sign in national polling of their local by election successes since the Referendum coming through. It is the first poll under the new boundary calculation that gives them a double figure seat return.

The new figures increase the Tories average projected lead on Voting Intention to 12.2% and their average projected majority increases from 112 to 124. Labour are currently projected to be on 164 seats. All the up to date figures can be found here

By-Election in Bromsgrove

There was one by election this week in Bromsgrove and some happier new for Jeremy Corbyn and Labour. While the Tories held this safe seat the incredibly low turnout enabled Labour to come surprisingly close to winning it with a swing in their favour of over 11%. This is out of line with recent performances and could be to do with the fact The Tories took their big majority in May 2015 for granted here. Labour will hope to the contrary that it is a turning point rather than a one off. The Lib Dems who have been very strong in local by elections recently did not stand here. The strong performance from Labour sees the Tories projected share lead over the Reds based on local by elections fall from 8.2% to 7.6%. All up to date figures can be found here The details of this by election and the two polls discussed are below.




Voting Intention

YouGov (19/01/2017) – Con 42% Lab 25% UKIP 12% LD 11% Green 3% – Con lead 17%

Ipsos-Mori (19/01/2017) – Con 43% Lab 31% UKIP 6% LD 11% Green 4% – Con lead 12%

Regional based seat Projection

YouGov – Con 372 Lab 156 LD 5 SNP44Plaid Cymru 3 UKIP 1 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18

Con Majority of 144

Ipsos-Mori – Con 357 Lab 169 LD 11 SNP39 Plaid Cymru 3 UKIP 2 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18

Con Majority of 114


By Election 19/01/2017

Norton (Bromsgrove)Con 219 Lab 186 UKIP 82 Green 20Con HoldSwing (May 2015) Con-Lab 11.3%




Moon Of Liberty Newsround – 13th Jan 2017

Blue_Moon2News Digest 13th Jan 2017 @ 9.30 pm

Institute of Economic Affairs video – Jeremy Corbyn’s maximum wage ‘an absolutely terrible idea’

The Moon Of Liberty/Winning At Politics – Thursday’s local by election round up

Fox News – Rosie O’Donnell calls for martial law to stop Donald Trump’s inauguration

Bloomberg – Deutsche Bank says Brexit is driving up Berlin house prices

Sky News – Nationwide eyes £2.7bn sale of property arm assets

BBC News – Exorcist writer William Peter Blatty dies aged 89

Independent – Tristram Hunt is named new V&A director amid concerns they will start charging

NBC News – US Congress moves a step closer to repealing Obamacare

Irish Times – CIA prepares for unprecedented challenges that a Donald Trump Presidency could bring

London Evening Standard – Top public schools team up with Tottenham Hotspur FC to create a new sixth form

Order Order – The Daily Politics guide to Brexit

Independent – McDonalds to hand out thousands of free meals to the homeless

BBC News – MP Tristram Hunt resigns to become V&A museum director, forcing a by election in Stoke On Trent

Daily Express – Donald Trump predicts the end of the EU as aides ask which nations will be next to leave



Moon Of Liberty Newsround – News Digest


News Digest – 12th January 2017 @ 10.40 pm

New Statesman Comment – Jeremy Corbyn’s internal critics have a perfect diagnosis, but no cure – Stephen Bush

Telegraph – George Soros loses £1 billion betting against Trump

Daily Express – ISIS warlord confirmed dead in President Obama’s final kill

Telegraph – Professor Silver who made complaint against Amber Rudd’s conference speech, admits he has not even heard it

Reuters – Marine Le Pen seen at Trump Towers

BBC News – Visa free residency for Cubans in the US to end

Fox News – Amazons sees rapid growth, plans 100,000 new US jobs

RTE News – President Obama awards Vice-President Joe Biden the US Medal Of Freedom in surprise ceromony

Bloomberg – Donald Trump hires another executive from Goldman Sachs