A government paralysed?
Theresa May started so well, stamping her authority on the body politic. But that reputation is starting to crumble as the government seems unable to make a decision. London’s airport decision: delayed. Hinkley Point decision: delayed. Article 50 invocation: delayed. Watch it, Theresa. You’re starting to look pusillanimous and indecisive. This is particularly critical in the post-Brexit environment when we want to show that Britain is going places, is open for business, and is a great place to invest. In particular we want to show that we’re keen to maintain business links with our neighbours, even though we’re leaving their political union. Cooperation with France would be a great way to demonstrate that. This latest wobble comes at a very bad time, and sends all the wrong signals.
Theresa May: “I’ll get the best EU deal”: The Express devotes its front page to the Prime Minister’s claim that she’ll get “the best deal” – despite her dilatory approach to Article 50. She places special emphasis on immigration, and trade deals. But she needs to understand that no one will believe we are serious, and many on both sides of the Atlantic will not enter serious and substantive negotiations, until we put our cards (and Article 50) on the table. The Americans have said that. Brussels has said it. We can’t expect major powers to devote time and resource to major trade negotiations on a “What if?” basis. Bite the bullet, Theresa. Make a decision for once.
Merkel: No going back on open door immigration
Angela Merkel is in “Hear no evil” mode. Ignoring the very justified concerns of the German people – including crime, terrorism and widespread sexual assaults, in addition to overcrowding and the impact on social cohesion – she insists on pressing ahead with her open-door policy. She fails to understand that democracy involves paying at least some attention to the legitimate concerns of constituents. She is also imposing a burden on Europe – since these immigrants will never return – so they will eventually, one way of another, gain German/EU citizenship and be allowed to travel where they choose.
“They’ll go home after the war”: Merkel has apparently sought to reassure German voters that Syrian refugees will go home after the war is over. Hands up anyone who finds this credible. No one? I thought not.
31 in a house: Meantime back in Britain, the Express reports that thirty-one migrants have been found living in a single house in Brent. I think this is what we call “Pressure on social infrastructure”. It’s not an isolated case – the Express quotes a number of examples.
Financial Times economic analysis
In a piece entitled “Earnings expose stark divide in post-Brexit slow-down”, the FT moderates its normal “Project Fear” positioning to admit that there are winners and losers, and that exporters, and manufacturers of essentials, are doing well. Good to have a more balanced view from the FT.
IMF apologises for its “disastrous love affair with the €uro”
Ambrose Evans Pritchard writes that the IMF is having a fit of “Mea Culpa” after its disastrous interventions over the €uro. Christine Lagarde and her predecessors had such blind faith in the €uro currency that they had no plan to deal with a €uro crisis, and their ad hoc response attracted criticism around the world. Oh well – there is joy in Heaven over one sinner that repenteth. Until the next time. Lagarde still doesn’t understand that the €uro, and the EU project, are doing more harm than good.
There has been a reported rise in the level of “hate crimes” against foreigners post-Brexit – though we have to see this in the light of (A) the very broad definition of hate crimes, which now seems to include wolf-whistles; and (B) the probability of higher reporting levels in a post-Brexit context. But the Indy has no doubt, with Adam Lusher laying the blame fair and square on Brexit, and implying that a desire for independence and self-determination is intrinsically xenophobic and racist. Let’s say it again: UKIP condemns verbal and physical abuse against anyone on grounds of nationality or ethnicity. UKIP’s points-based immigration proposal is less discriminatory than our current UK/EU immigration policy.
May reassures Poles in the UK
On a more positive note, we welcome the Prime Minister’s reassurance to Poles living and working in the UK. The Leave campaign always insisted that EU citizens legally resident in the UK before the referendum would be protected, and has been disappointed that Theresa May would not endorse that commitment, preferring to keep EU citizens in the UK in reserve as bargaining chips in future EU negotiations, disregardless of the anxiety and distress she was causing to millions of people. She has now, however, reassured Poles in the UK that their residence status will be protected, at the same time condemning (as we do) racially or nationally motivated attacks. I’m not sure where that leaves the bargaining chips.
We in UKIP have always been particularly positive about our Polish neighbours, remembering their unstinting service in the Second World War, and the Polish cemeteries in Eastern England – not to mention their 21st century reputation as conscientious and reliable employees.
Branson’s five-point plan
Sir Richard Branson has written a five-point plan for Britain’s economy. He seems to have come to terms with Brexit, simply calling for a liberal trade settlement (with which we can all agree). And his five points generally make perfectly good sense. Worth a read.
“Freeze on hiring men”
In a burst of politically correct social planning, the European Commission has said that it will put a freeze on hiring men if its gender targets are not reached