Moon Politics – PMQ’s verdict

MOON POLITICS

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Prime Minister’s Questions

AT THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, WESTMINSTER

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.

MOON OF LIBERTY VERDICT

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.

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Moon of Liberty Newsround 04/01/2018

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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

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Moon Editorial – The politics of 2018

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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 Midweek Newsround

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News Digest of the week so far at 10.15 pm on 2nd August 2017

London Evening Standard – Theresa May’s spokesman says freedom of movement will end in 2019 after cabinet row

Huffington Post Opinion – The case for votes at 16, afterall, you can have sex with your MP at 16 – Cat Smith MP

BBC News – Anthony Scaramucci out after just 10 days as White House Communications Director

Fortune.com – Venezuelan currency now worth less than World of Warcraft money

BBC News – British Gas to raise electric prices by 12.5%

Daily Post – 3000 homes to be built in Anglesey after council decision

The Independent – UK Manufacturing unexpectedly strong in July

City AM – Deutsche Bank commits to the City of London easing Brexit fears

Baltimore News – The Queen apparently has four cocktails every day

ABC News Brisbane – 2016 census reveals Australia’s most ‘normal’ town

ABC News Brisbane – Home Ownership beyond most of the young in Queensland

The Independent – President Trump launches ‘Real News’ presented by his daughter In Law

ITV News – Human Embryo editing breakthrough could help find answers to numerous genetic diseases

BBC News – Prince Phillip Carries out final public engagement (BBC News) 

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Moon of Liberty Editorial – Brexit & The Trump Wing

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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.

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Moon Of Liberty Editorial -The next Brexit battles

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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.

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

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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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