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

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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.

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

WAP

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.

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MOON OF LIBERTY ELECTION RESULTS

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%

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

WAP

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.

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MOON OF LIBERTY POLL SCOREBOARD

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

MOON OF LIBERTY ELECTION SCOREBOARD

By Election 19/01/2017

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

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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

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Moon Of Liberty Newsround – News Digest

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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

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Moon Of Liberty News & Politics – News Digest

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News Digest – 12th Jan 2017 @ 4.10 pm

New Statesman comment – Green Party Co-Leader Caroline Lucas on why Jeremy Corbyn should make the case for Freedom of Movement

Reuters – Oil price rises as Saudi’s tell Asian customers of output cuts

CNN – Confirmation hearing for Donald Trump’s Secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson begins

Independent – Theresa May says Norther Ireland devolution collapse will not delay invoking Article 50

CNN – Allies of Paul Ryan are spending $1bn to pitch replacement for Obamacare

Spectator Comment – Obama fell on his own myth – Daniel McCarthy

NBC News – Kellyanne Conway defends Donald Trump’s use of Twitter in appearence on the Seth Myers show

The Moon Of Liberty – Yesterday’s PMQ’s verdict – Kevin Alcock

LBC – Donald Trump accuses intelligence claims about him to be all fake news

Daily Mail – Donald Trump calls intelligence dossier against him a ‘disgrace’

Sky News – Donald Trump vows to be the greatest job creator

The London Economic – Study finds Trump and Farage are more trusted as they don’t speak like normal politicians

BBC News – Bank Of England Governor Mark Carney says Brexit risks to the UK now much lower

Trading Buddy.com – FTSE on course for new record highs.

Haaretz – Top Israeli diplomat to visit Turkey in symbol of thawing relations

CNN – Donald Trump says he was offered $2bn of business in Dubai over the weekend, he turned it down.

Reuters – China aircraft carrier sails through Taiwan Straight in symbolic show of aggression

Dayton (Ohio) News – Publication asks what was President Obama’s biggest achievement?

Daily Mail & The Sun – Heartless teachers at Broad Oak Community School in ST Helens tell five year old alopcia sufferer to take off her wig, ST Helens Council hide behind ‘Health and Safety’ to justify it

Wall Street Journal – Ex British intelligence office Christopher Steele named as the man behind the Donald Trump dossier

Fox News – James Mattis says he will bolster the US military if confirmed as new US Defence Secretary

London Evening Standard – US ethics committee not impressed by Donald Trump’s plans for his businesses while President

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Moon Of Liberty Politics – PMQ’s

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Prime Ministers Questions – 11th Jan 2017

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Corporation tax call sees Corbyn throw victory away

The first Prime Minister’s Questions of the New Year saw Jeremy Corbyn begin on comfortable ground. He started with condolences to a member of the armed forces, which quietly embarrassed Theresa May from the off as it is normally the PM who brings that up first in the early backbench questions.This is something David Cameron always did and for Theresa May to be doing it in response to the Leader of the Opposition is poor.

Unusually for Corbyn there were no surprises in the tack he took, straight on on the NHS problems which is one area he and Labour still have some strength in the public mind. He raised the Red Cross claim that what has happened is a ‘Humanitarian Crisis.’ May responded the Red Cross claim was ‘irresponsible and overblown.’ Corbyn the backed up with quotes from the BMA and Royal college of Nurses. May began waffling about the ‘hard work of medical professionals’ as means of diverting from the issue.

Corbyn accused May of being in denial and then raised a real life scenario of ‘Sian’ who had clearly written to him. In the David Cameron days this would bring huge groans from the Tory benches and his case would normally fall apart, it is a nod to how strongly Corbyn had started that this was not the case. May’s response of ‘I accept there have been a small number of cases’ by contrast were met by groans of derision from the Labour benches. Corbyn mocked the ‘shared society’ with more sharing trolleys, corridors etc. Corbyn at this point was on top. It was good stuff.

The turning point was Corbyn mentioning May’s focus on mental health and welcoming that. Not the ting to do when you are on top. He talked about an increase in mental health patients ‘having to go to A&E, May pointed out they should not be going to A&E, using a visit to an Aldershot Hospital and the importance of appropriate care for the individual. On this she spoke with passion and conviction, then Corbyn agreed these people should not be going to A&E after first saying they were forced to.The shambolic Corbyn of the last day or two was back.

May re-iterated the point ‘He may find it difficult to believe people may say the same thing they aid a few weeks ago.’ Poking fun at yesterday’s series at U-Turns. She then resorted to an old David Cameron tactic, that you can’t have a strong NHS without a strong economy. Corbyn then showed his weakness and fell into the trap, calling for Corporation tax cuts that have been shown to bring in more money to be scrapped. May pointed out he has spent that money that would immediately be saved eight times over, weakening the economy in the process.’The last thing the NHS needs is a cheque from Labour that bounces’ After a poor start enough to leave the Tory benches cheering at the end of the exchange, a score draw today that tells us Corbyn can score on the small picture, but May wins on the big picture.

Outside of the May v Corbyn exchange

SNP Leader Angus Robertson brought up the Northern Ireland crisis to call for Article 50 to be delayed, raising derision from both sides of the House. This was rebuffed by May who stated the plan to invoke Article 50 by March is still on course. Norman Lamb (Lib Dem MP for North Norfolk) stated MP’s from all parties had come together to call for a Health convention and wanted May to meet with them, she stated she would.John Woodcock  (Lab MP for Barrow In Furness) raised the special NHS service issues due to remote locations in Cumbria. Caroline Johnson (Con MP for Sleaford & N Hykeham) got to ask her first questions since her by election win, raising her local NHS (She was a doctor prior to becoming an MP.) Gavin Robinson (DUP MP for East Belfast) Praised May’s considered response to the Northern Ireland issue. Finally in the will anyone get told off by the Speaker this week watch, John Bercow reprimanded Paula Sheriff (MP for Dewesbury) for poor behaviour.

MOON OF LIBERTY VERDICTThresea May 2 Jeremy Corbyn 2 A PMQ’s of two halves, Corbyn took the first half, May the second

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