Moon Of Liberty Politics – Editorial

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PM May’s impressive start

New Prime Minister Theresa May has made an impressive start to her Prime Ministerial career. Overall her Cabinet appointments were smart. The trio of Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and David Davis did much to reassure any doubt around Brexit. Setting up a department for International Trade also sent a clear signal, as no such department would be credible if we were not actually going to leave the EU. Phillip Hammond as Chancellor was smart as the markets will want a safe pair of hands. The appointments of Amber Rudd, Justine Greening, Liz Truss and Priti Patel, as well as the role for leadership Rivals Andrea Leadsom are all welcome.  The departures from the Government of George Osbourne, Michael Gove and Anna Soubry were deserved given their behaviour in recent times. I am sad to see Theresa Villiers and John Whittingdale go, but the overall the re-shuffle gets the thumbs up. May has also been impressive in her meetings with Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel, and also had time to wipe the floor with Jeremy Corbyn at PMQ’s  A strong start The Moon Of Liberty hopes will very much continue.

Labour’s woes continue

Something rather suggests that Labour MP’s did not resign on mass from the Shadow Cabinet and then give Jeremy Corbyn a vote of no confidence to emerge with a contest where the challenger is little know MP for Pontyprydd Owen Smith. Smith’s announcements so far include not ruling out a second Referendum on the deal, although I am unsure if he knows what this means or is aware an alternative of remaining in the EU on current terms is not an option by that point.He also want to re introduce a 50% tax rate which brings in less money for the treasury. So the alternative does not look good, it’s unlikely it will matter though as Corbyn is still likely to win again. What happens then is anybodies guess. Even in the unlikely event of Owen Smith winning however, the Tories must be confident they could beat him easily as policy wise he is confused in some areas and not much different from Corbyn anyway on the current evidence. The Moon Of Liberty will not back either man, and hopes neither ever become Prime Minister.

Trump heads left – The Moon Of Liberty endorses Johnson

Donald Trump is now officially the Republican nominee for President. He did not the the dream convention however, primary Rival Ted Cruz refuued to endorse him and his own speech moved him to the left. It is clear he is against free trade by suggesting he will want to re-negotiate the USA’s role in NAFTA and has refused to confirm he will continue Nato’s promise to protect all NATO’s members. He also still wants Mexico to pay for a wall. It’s clear a Trump America will be a more isolationist America, in stark contrast to the vision of the British people who voted to Leave the European Union in order to become an outward looking, global nation. I have long considered backing Trump as I have little time for the politics or personality of Hilary Clinton either. This speech puts that beyond the pale, many who but the media rhetoric will find this an odd thing to say, but Donald Trump is just too left wing for me. Therefore The Moon Of Liberty will be backing Gary Johnson, the Republican candidate despite the fact he has no realistic chance of winning.

Another attack in Munich – Time to end Free movement

Attacks appear to be coming common place in mainland Europe at the moment. There was Paris, Brussels , Nice and the rape attacks by Islamist extremists in Colonge which the German authorities disgracefully tried to cover up. Now we have a new attack in Munich, as I write it is still not confirmed if this is a far right group or another Islamist extreme group who carried this out. The pattern however is clear, they are feeding one off of another. Merkel did not help herself of course by encouraging Syrian migrants (of which many were not Syrian anyway) to come over and offer a virtual open door to Europe, the fact this has allowed Islamist extremists to enter Europe is beyond dispute and once in, the EU policies of free movement and open borders allows planning across boundaries to go on easily. The irony of course is this nonsense open door policy will be at the heart of the Brexit negotiation dispute. Let us hope by then the European political class will get the message and end this of their own accord. Border checks would make picking up suspicious activity and movements easier and may save some lives along the way. The European Union policies is a contributory factor to this problem, will they listen? If not, expect more to come if the EU continue to make it easy for the Terrorists to plan, and continue policies of destroying freedom that goes with the nation state, handing the anti-democratic, freedom hating ideology of both Islamic State and Far Right groups victories by default that will encourage them ever further.

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PMQ’s – Corbyn throws it away

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Prime Minister Questions’ 21/10/2015 12.00 pm at The House Of Commons, The Palace of Westminster

Today Jeremy Corbyn had victory in his grasp. he began on tax credits and he should have stayed there. He had David Cameron squirming, desperately talking about tax cuts and a living wage, unable to deny that some, perhaps many working people would be worse off however noble the cause. Corbyn even read out an effective question from one of his email crowd, pointing out Cameron had made a ‘solemn’ promise not to cut tax credits before the election. it was all looking so good for Jeremy.

For a few moments maybe this was the week Corbyn delivered a sustained blow that would last for the whole six questions. A performance to cheer even his critics on his own side. This was the first real punch that had landed on the Prime Minister since Corbyn became leader. With Cameron on the ropes would Corbyn build and then go for the kill, er no, he decided to change the subject.

Corbyn then moved to the steel industry and recent plant closures and redundancies. No doubt a series issue, but it allowed Cameron to fight back. It allowed him to set out things he was doing to try and help. Cameron then landed a blow setting out his plans on helping businesses with energy costs pointing out Labour were against these measures. He was also able to contrast his record in regard to steel production and employment in the industry that was favourable to Labour’s record. Corbyn had let Cameron off the hook with a lacklustre performance himself on this issue and despite in theory having many lines to go at, failing to do so.

So with Cameron having battled back Corbyn had one final question and called it wrong. He went back to his comfort zone, calling for the UK to comply with a UN inquiry into disability abuses. The inquiry is an irrelevance and it’s finding done with varying unpleasant political agendas written all over it will rightly be ignored by the Government. Corbyn backing it is a nonsense. Again Cameron set out positive record on disability. He chose not to attack the UN which he would have been justified in doing, but he knows the report produced by a committee full of nations with awful human rights and disability rights records. will have no impact anyway. Corbyn choosing to align himself with such a report is a reminder of the sort of unsavoury measure or group he likes to back. Today he was winning and if he had stuck to tax credits could have stuck it to the PM, he lost ground on steel, and threw it all away with his final call, typical of his poor judgement again and again..

Moon Of Liberty VerdictDavid Cameron 3 Jeremy Corbyn 2 – In football parlance this would be a comeback from 2-0 to win due to the opponents atrocious decision making at key points.

By Election round up

WAP

There were five by elections this Thursday and in line with recent polls, it sees the Conservatives comprehensively in command in battles with Labour. The only slight disappointment for the Tories will be a light decrease in their vote in Pontefract North where UKIP scored a small swing against Labour in a safe Labour seat. Elsewhere, in East Anglia and on both sides of the Midlands, The Tories vote rose with universal swing to the Tories against Labour to hold seats with bigger majorities than before. Two of these were last fought on General election day, thus the Tories are doing better and Labour worse than in May.

MOON OF LIBERTY ELECTION SCOREBOARD

By Elections 24/09/2015

Pontefract N (Wakefield) – Lab 909 UKIP 453 Con 299 Yorkshire 1st 123 LD 86 TUSC 24Lab Hold – Swing from May 2015 Lab-UKIP 2%

Blakebrook & South Habberley (Wyre Forest) – Con 595 UKIP 252 Lab 247 Green 173 HC 167 LD 54Con Hold – Swing from May 2015 Ukip-Con 7%

Loddon (Norfolk CC) Con 1094 Lab 357 LD 235 UKIP 233 Con Hold – Swing from May 2013 Lab-Con 6%

Chedgrave & Thurton (S Norfolk) Con 260 Lab 93 LD 69 UKIP 64 – Con Hold — Swing from May 2015 – :Lab-Con 4%

Derwent Valley (Derbyshire CC) Con 1107 Lab 466 LD 314 UKIP 285Con Hold – Swing from May 2015 Lab-Con 5%

Projected National Share (Based on last 20 by elections fought) Con 35.2% Lab 31.1% LD 17.4% UKIP 9% Green 3.3%

Conclusion

Conservative – An excellent night defending their four seats where normally a Government 5 years in should be struggling to defend some of these type of seats. The two big victories in Derwent Valley and Wyre Forest are of most significance as they demonstrate the Tories hold on the midlands is greater than they even had in May, in line with the polling in the midlands region. Having gone through the history it’s also worth noting the Derwent Valley result is the Tories best in that ward since the early nineties. To increase their vote in Norfolk in seats they started from a big base already is also very good news for David Cameron & Co. his week is more evidence that the Tories remain in command in this post new Labour world, even in spite of the weeks difficult headlines for the Prime Minister.

Labour – While they will be pleased to win Pontefract their vote dipped below the 50% mark they achieved here in May, so even their best result has it’s caveats. They were down everywhere else and their failure to compete in Derwent Valley and in the Wyre Forest seat will be hugely disappointing, especially Derwent valley as two MP’s went there to help the Get Out The Vote effort. If Labour were hoping for either a Corbyn bounce or that piggate and all were going to do the Tories some damage, their hopes are in tatters after this weeks polling, and even more so after these by elections. Those predicting Corbyn would be a disaster electorally for Labour, are so far being proved more right than even they probably imagined.

Lib Dems – Although not competitive in any of these seats, the Lib Dems will be pleased with their rebuilding of their vote this week. Both Norfolk and the Derwent Valley seat saw them take support from Labour even though Labour were supposedly the main challengers. Something to watch, a new form a tactical voting where people who cannot bring themselves to vote Tory,vote Lib Dem instead to thwart Corbyn’s Labour Party could be being created.

UKIP – UKIP have held two second places this week with an increase in Pontefract. Maybe the first signs of them bottoming out in local contests after a difficult period. The high profile of immigration on the current political agenda may have helped, it’s worth remembering despite those of the left calling for more what they deem ‘morality’ in calling for more migrants/refuges to be taken, most polling shows that most people think the 20,000 Cameron has committed to is too many already. Ground for UKIP to build on. It’s also worth pointing out UKIP’s fall in local elections has not been matched in the national polls. UKIP are far from dead as some sort of electoral force..

Ipsos-Mori – the first post pig gate poll.

WAP

Ipsos Mori have released a poll at the end of a week of embarrassing headlines for the Prime Minister relating to the publishing by the Daily Mail of the more sensation parts of a new unauthorised biography of Cameron by Lord Ashcroft. I won’t go into detail but the most shocking thing in the book involves an initiation ceromany and a dead pig that an unmamed MP claims Cameron took part in. It needs to be stressed there is no hard evidence and even the book and it’s authors make clear they cannot know for sure if it happened. The book also appears to confirm Cameron did smoke cannabis. This is something Cameron has never confirmed or denied.

After a week of such headlines the Prime Minister will be pleased to see this Mori poll does not appear to have done him or the Tory party much damage. The Conservative headline score is up on the last Mori poll to 39%. Labour are also up to 34% primarily to taking support from the Greens. Mori unlike other polls, also continue to have UKIP well down and below the Lib Dems, albeit with the Lib Dems on only 8%. There is no conference bounce for the Lib Dems seen in this poll.

The regional breakdowns suggest some good news for Jeremy Corbyn in Wales where the Labour vote appears to be doing a little better. This was seen in the two previous polls last week published by Com Res and YouGov. However, In Scotland the improvement seen in those other polls is not matched, the Scottish sample has the SNP on 53% and the Tories ahead of Labour. In England the news continues to be weak for Labour, the Tories are doing better in the north and the poll sees a 5% swing to the Tories in the midlands (Against the May result), an absolutely key battleground where there has been no evidence at all that Corbyn is anything but a disaster for the Labour vote and brand. Labour see an improvement in the south, I have written before though about how this should be treated with caution when other English trends are going the other way due to the difficulties of sampling a 27% Tory lead there. The other problem Labour has is even if this is true, they still need to do much better before making any serious southern gains.

Another finding of note in the wider poll is Jeremy Corbyn’s personal satisfaction rating of minus 3. Mori have asked this same question about leaders for many decades, Corbyn is the first leader of the opposition to ever start (This is Mori’s first poll since he was elected) with a minus rating.

MOON OF LIBERTY POLL SCOREBOARD

Ipsos Mori (24/09/2015)

Voting Intention – Con 39% Lab 34% LD 8% UKIP 7% Green 4%

SNP Vote share in Scotland – 53%

Regional seat projection – Con 358 Lab 205 SNP 56 LD 8 UKIP 1 Green 1 NI 18Con Majority of 64

Conclusion

In a sense this poll demonstrates the folly of the Corbyn strategy. On the face of it 34% is not a disaster and as those votes are being taken from the Greens this is actually part of Corbyn’s approach, to try and reach out to those on the left and bring them into the Labour fold. However when broken down the gains come in areas that make little difference, where as where the Tories are making gains are in areas that can actually affect seats, and thus the outcome of the election. a 5% lead is a small swing to Labour nationally but it is not helping them due to where the votes are coming from. They must find a way to take Tory votes especially in the midlands. So after a tough week for David Cameron, he will be relieved by this poll, piggate has not really done him any damage and he is still beating a weak Labour Party.