Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “Capitalism”

Copeland and the Search for Opposition

The Copeland by-election result is being played as “disastrous” for the Labour Party and is once again raising questions about the Labour leadership. In some respects the Labour Leadership is not the issue – but a search for opposition is.

In this respect we have to be careful about reading too much into the Copeland result. Read more…

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Reasons to be Fearful – 1,2,3

  1. Putin
  2. May
  3. Trump

Possibly in that order! Read more…

Pay up £571M or lose your knighthood

The above headline (from the Daily Mirror 25 July 2016) reflects the exasperation that many feel at the behaviour of Sir Philip Green – former boss of BHS.

But surely this is muddled thinking?

Read more…

Labour won’t find its soul by navel gazing

… last year’s election defeat could be reduced to two key factors – Labour’s failure to pay enough attention to “economic competence”, and the fact that “the public did not perceive Ed Miliband as a credible prime minister”.
The Guardian, 1 January 2016 : When are Labour party ‘moderates’ going to do more than just moan?

But behind that there is a rejection of Labour’s attempts to hold power by trying to ape the Tories – they can never be “better Tories than the Tories”. If unrestrained global capitalism is the name of the game you might as well vote Tory.

But if unrestrained global capitalism is not the name of the game … Read more…

FCA has no stomach for regulation

The City regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has shelved plans for an inquiry into the culture, pay and behaviour of staff in banking.

The FCA had planned to see whether pay, promotion and other incentives contributed to misconduct seen in previous years.

The review was meant to be a major piece of work by the watchdog.
BBC News Website, 31 December 2015 : Banking culture inquiry shelved by regulator FCA

Are we surprised? No not really, and that is what makes it so damned sad. When they need bailing out we bail them out, but when we want to look at why they – as a sector – failed, “we” (i.e. an anonymous “they”) do not have the stomach for the fight. Read more…

British left vulnerable to hunger after welfare reforms, warns Justin Welby

Initially I read the above Guardian headline as referring to the “British Left” being vulnerable before realising that it was about something far more serious – or something that should be more serious.

Archbishop of Canterbury claims benefit sanctions and bureaucratic delays in welfare mean government is partly to blame for ‘tragedy’ of hunger.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that government policies on poverty and welfare reform have left too many people in Britain unable to feed their families. …

Welby also urged a widening of the political debate around welfare away from the pillorying of people dependent on benefits to one which recognised the value of social security as an expression of a national belief that “we are one people with care for all”.
The Guardian, 10 December 2015 : British left vulnerable to hunger after welfare reforms, warns Justin Welby

It is serious, but “Archbishop warns about poverty” is hardly news – is it?

What we have to ask is why is this situation not just a constant but actually getting more severe?

Read more…

Nudge Taxes

For a couple of months we (in England, UK) have had a “plastic bag tax” of 5p per bag. It is actually a compulsory levy as the proceeds do not go to the exchequer but to good causes.

What is remarkable is the impact this tax has had and how this compares to the uproar in certain areas about the idea of a sugar tax.

Read more…

Political Honesty or Automata?

Oh dear, we say we want honest politicians who are not political automata, we want authenticity, but then when we start to get it there is uproar!

(But does the uproar come from the wider electorate or the professional commentariat?) Read more…

Steeling ourselves for industrial collapse

Administrators from PwC have been appointed to run some parts of the Caparo group empire. …

Steel giant Tata is expected to announce major job losses on Tuesday. Recently the UK’s second largest steelmaker, SSI, went into liquidation. …

Matt Hammond, lead administrator [of Caparo] and partner at PwC, said: “This is a significant business with a wide range of interests across steel, engineering, vehicles products and technologies. Its scale and reach into significant customers and its importance to suppliers cannot be understated. We will be rapidly assessing all options for the businesses through this week and beyond.”
BBC News website, 19 October 2015 : Caparo steel goes into partial administration

There are numerous reasons for the problems, but there seems to be only one reason for the collapse of this industry; Read more…

Is work the be all and end all of success?

… speaking to Times columnist Danny Finkelstein at a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference, Mr Hunt [Health Secretary] said: …

“My wife is Chinese and if we want this to be one of the most successful countries in the world in 20, 30, 40 years time there is a pretty difficult question that we have to answer which is, essentially, are we going to be a country which is prepared to work hard in a way that Asian economies are prepared to work hard, in a way that Americans are prepared to work hard?

“And that is about creating a culture where work is at the heart of our success.”
BBC News Website, 12 October 2015 : Tax credit cuts promote hard work, says Jeremy Hunt

This all depends on how you measure success and what you are prepared to do to achieve it. Read more…

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