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What you want to say – 13 November 2019 November 13, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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As always, following on Dr. X’s suggestion, it’s all yours, “announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose”, feel free.

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1. Paddy Healy - November 13, 2019

Freezing Contributory Social Insurance Payments In Budget Was Part of A Long Term Government Strategy to Means Test Contributory Fringe BenefitsMinister Outlined Her Plan Last July-3 months before Budget Full Article https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ma
All State pensions should not be equal, says Minister, Kitty Holland, Irish Times Saturday, July 6, 2019,
It is not “fair” that some older people receive State pensions that are more than they need while others on the same amount live in poverty, Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty has said.Ms Doherty said she wants to reform the welfare system and bring an end to €5 top-ups on every welfare payment being announced on budget days.

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2. Dermot M O Connor - November 13, 2019

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-election-polls-latest-today-labour-tory-lead-a9200166.html

A Survation opinion poll gives the Conservatives a 6-point lead today, the lowest since early October – so does this mean the election race is becoming closer?

Survation puts the Tories on 35 per cent and Labour on 29 per cent, a result that could give Boris Johnson a majority of just 18 seats, according to the model used by the Electoral Calculus website.

The average tory lead in a poll of polls is 9% which…

…still suggests a Tory majority of 92 seats, which only goes to show how sensitive seats estimates are: a 6-point Tory lead translates into an 18-seat majority; a 9-point lead translates into something close to a landslide majority of 100.

So this is INTERESTING. Tories need a 6 point lead for a thin 18 seat majority, so presumably a 5 point lead puts the HOC near or in hung territory, as they were before GE, and leaving BJ in Theresa May territory.

Craig Murray wrote a while back that Cumming’s strategy of pissing off the soft side of the party and going hard brexit was dangerous because much of the new Tory support would be stranded in parts of the country where it won’t deliver a seat; coming second means SFA.

https://www.politico.eu/europe-poll-of-polls/united-kingdom/

Big hill still to climb though. Fingers crossed.

*

Jo Swinson may be awful, but saner people clearly exist lower down the party. Candidates pulling out where they might split the anti-tory vote.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/liberal-democrats-leader-general-election-news-remain-members-latest-a9201146.html

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tafkaGW - November 14, 2019

The gradient of the Labour increase is quite promising. However so is that of the Tories. You have to add to that the Brexit Party voters who will come home to vote Tory, unfortunately.

Infuriating has been the intervention of the Lexiteer trades union boss, Len McC, who has succeeded in making immigration more of an issue in the election. You couldn’t choose a better issue to emphasis if you want to favour the Tories.

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Alibaba - November 14, 2019

Yeah. Curse on Len McCluskey for arguing against “any greater free movement of labour” as voted for at Labour’s annual conference.

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Paul Culloty - November 14, 2019

Corbyn put out a useful video on the subject:

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WorldbyStorm - November 14, 2019

Thought McCluskey’s intervention very unuseful in the context of deeply problematic attitudes swirling around immigration to start with. And tactically unwise in respect of the membership – not a good look to be essentially trying to deflect their intent.

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tafkaGW - November 15, 2019

Good response. That’s the meta-level at which this sort of dog-whistle stuff should be treated.

I suspect the Lexiteers are up to something else within the BLP but will remain silent about it until after the election.

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3. Paddy Healy - November 13, 2019

No mention in Social Welfare Bill of Commitment in Government Pensions Roadmap to index Contributory Social Insurance Pensions and Benefits to average industrial wage.
Instead these are frozen in 2020 despite 1.4 billion euro surplus of contributions over pay-outs from Social Insurance Fund in 2019, and an accumulated surplus of 3.9 billion over the last four years Full Article https://wp.me/pKzXa-1ma
Was ICTU sold a pup by Government???
Lorraine Walsh, Irish Independent , August 20, 2019
Plans to ensure the State pension keeps its value are being blocked by a Government department, it has been claimed.
A senior union official, Pensions Policy Officer, Dr Laura Bambrick, ICTU, said the Department of Finance is putting the brakes on proposals to give older people greater security.
This would be done by ensuring the value of the State pension never drops below the equivalent of 34pc of the average wage.

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4. Alibaba - November 13, 2019

Karin Dubsky, a marine ecologist, will be the Green Party candidate in the Wexford by-election.   

‘Up to now, she was not a member of the Green Party but was invited last week to stand and was ratified in recent days. “I have never been in a party but will use the platform to shout for biodiversity and the marine, and coax others to take it seriously . . . it’s a critical time,” she said.’

It remains unclear to me what other ideological baggage she brings, though I suppose it was logical for the Green Party to court her.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/karin-dubsky-among-green-party-candidates-for-by-elections-1.4059154 

Meanwhile Cllr Joe O’Brien will contest the Dublin Fingal constituency for the Green Party. He is said to be a long-time advocate for homeless and immigrant rights and here’s his pitch: 

https://www.independent.ie/regionals/fingalindependent/news/obrien-bids-to-return-fingal-dil-seat-to-the-green-party-38526065.html

Liked by 1 person

5. roddy - November 14, 2019

Kate Hoey says she will vote DUP.

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WorldbyStorm - November 14, 2019

Hoey, the great progressive. Says it all.

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Daniel Rayner O'Connor - November 14, 2019

Q: Does the bound Kate have a vote in a Northern Irish constituency after all her years representing London. Could it be that she has an illegal double vote? Or is the DUP targeting Vauxhall ?

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6. roastedsnow1 - November 14, 2019

Looks like LPNI are running in the north in Fermanagh ST as Labour Independent. Caroline Wheeler, a Trade Union activist, the candidate on Labour anti austerity policies. What the SDLP will do about this as the sister party?

Aontu and Greens are not running there. Tight fight between Major Tom UDR/UUP and Gildernew SF.

This week the UUP are for Remaining in the EU as a sort of last option. The dairy farmers have got to them!

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - November 14, 2019

Scorn not the dairy farmer! 🙂

Liked by 2 people

7. Dermot M O Connor - November 14, 2019
roddy - November 15, 2019

6 county polls never turn out to be accurate.

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Dermot M O Connor - November 15, 2019

I wonder if any of the blasted things are accurate at this point.

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tafkaGW - November 15, 2019

All you can extract useful information from, to a certain extent, are the differentials.

i.e. compare a particular poll with one conducted by the same outfit under the same conditions a week ago. Then look at the changes.

The aggregate changes were reasonably good predictors of the rate of change last time around.

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tafkaGW - November 15, 2019

To take a concrete example: The latest YouGuv poll (12th Nov) showed that the Tories have gained 3 points while Labour gained 2 points with respect to the poll conducted on the 8th of November.

Their absolute numbers depend on their models and techniques and only the election will show who’s is the best.

When one poll’s differential confirms that of others, then it’s likely there’s something real going on there.

So in general my takeaway is that Labour’s support has grown over the last week but slightly less than the Tories’ has grown.

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8. tafkaGW - November 15, 2019

Electoral Calculus has a pleasing ‘direction of travel’ update:

Conservative majority cut by updated political geography
Using the latest detailed opinion poll analysis, using regression-based techniques, Electoral Calculus has a new baseline political geography. This is used as the basis for all our predictions by estimating how votes for the parties are distributed over the country.

This latest update has cut the predicted Conservative majority from over a hundred to below fifty. We have also improved the handling of seats where parties do not stand candidates, and improved the tactical voting feature in the user predictor.

Following the Brexit party’s decision not to stand in half the seats, our predictors now assume that Brexit support is only counted by respondents who live in a seat where there will be a Brexit candidate. Using this convention, measured Brexit party support will appear to have halved, being around 4pc-5pc rather than 8pc-10pc. YouGov have announced they will poll on this basis, but other pollsters might not. When using the user predictor, use the smaller number to avoid over-estimating Brexit support.

Independent candidates have now been included in Devon East (Claire Wright), Beaconsfield (Dominic Grieve), Broxtowe (Anna Soubry), Guildford (Anne Milton) and Hertfordshire South West (David Gauke). Due to lack of specific constituency polling data, the independent vote share has been manually estimated and may not be a good guide to the election result.

Posted 14 November 2019

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dermot - November 15, 2019

Excellent news T! That and the need for the tories to get a 6% lead for a majority suggest all to play.

Now if the Guardian could just with-hold their anti-semitism smears / libels for 4 weeks. (They ran another one yesterday, they just can’t help themselves).

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roddy - November 15, 2019

Describing support for Palestinians as anti Semitism is similar to describing support for an end to British rule here as sectarianism.

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Colm B - November 15, 2019

If you look at local by-elections rather than opinion polls, the pattern over the last few weeks is fairly clear: Lib Dems making big inroads into Labour’s vote all across England, Tories holding their own or slipping a bit and the SNP cruising to victory in Scotland mainly at the expense of Lab though the Lib Dems also taking votes from Lab there. The Brexit Party hasn’t stood in most by-elections so it’s impact not clear. Of course anything can happen but that’s the way people are voting right now.

Every week there’s a few local by-elections caused by cllrs dying, resigning etc. so it’s possible to track trends across the whole of Britain. I think it gives a better feel for what’s happening on the ground than national opinion polls.
For the election nerds amongst you the britainelects website is where you can get all the data and the quirky weekly review of by-elections by Andrew Teale is a joy to read.

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Dermot M O Connor - November 15, 2019
9. Joe - November 16, 2019
10. CL - November 16, 2019

“Lord of the Flies, William Golding’s classic novel of societal breakdown, is part of the standard high school curriculum in Hong Kong. But today everyone in this most genteel of cities is witnessing a real-life lesson in the fragility of what we call civilisation, as the territory descends into tribalism and scenes of obscene violence….
Demonstrators and police officers are experiencing a kind of epiphany when they realise there are no repercussions for smashing the thin veneer of civility. As a consequence, the range of acceptable behaviour has widened dramatically and the most brazen and outrageous actions are becoming normalised. This is fed by social media echo chambers. Pro-Beijing government supporters see and share only the vandalism and beatings carried out by demonstrators, while protest sympathisers focus only on police or triad violence.
This willingness to stomach previously unthinkable acts is astonishing in a place ranked seventh by the UN in terms of human development, with some of the healthiest, longest-living, best educated, richest and most worldly citizens on earth.
If this breakdown can happen in Hong Kong it can happen anywhere.”
https://www.ft.com/content/f9256f8a-0537-11ea-a984-fbbacad9e7dd

“Analysts say Beijing will eventually lose patience and use force. “This kind of extreme, violent, and destructive activity would not be tolerated or accepted in any country or society in the world nowadays,” said Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng as he met with Lam early this month in Beijing.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/china-pushes-hong-kong-toward-civil-war?ref=home

“HONG KONG—In a highly symbolic action, mainland Chinese soldiers in black shorts and olive drab T-shirts jogged out of a barracks here to clear streets of bricks, metal bars and other debris left by demonstrators after one of the most violent weeks in five months of pro-democracy protests.”
https://www.wsj.com/articles/mainland-chinese-soldiers-take-to-hong-kong-streets-for-first-time-since-protests-began-11573907250

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CL - November 19, 2019

“Hong Kong lawyers and scholars keen to safeguard the territory’s vaunted legal independence were alarmed on Tuesday by a statement from a Chinese parliamentary body questioning a Hong Kong court’s decision to overturn a ban on face masks imposed to quell months of violent protests….
The court said the ban was excessive and unconstitutional under the Basic Law – the document that outlines the extent of Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy, and has guided relations with Beijing since the 1997 handover from British colonial rule.
Issued by the legislative affairs commission of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the statement said Hong Kong courts had no power to rule on the constitutionality of the city’s laws, the official Xinhua news agency reported.”
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-protests-law-explainer/explainer-beijing-hints-at-looming-pressure-on-hong-kong-courts-idUSKBN1XT1NO

Brenda Hale, the President of the UK’s supreme court, is also a judge on Hong Kong’s court of final appeal.
The current rebellion was triggered by a proposed extradition law that would remove alleged offenders from the common law jurisdiction of Hong Kong to be tried by China’s totalitarianism system.
Honk Kong is a key node in global finance capital. Other such nodes, e.g. New York, Singapore, and London also have common law systems.
So the conflict between mainland China and Honk Kong is cultural and linguistic,-Cantonese vs Mandarin-but also there is a clear conflict between legal systems that seems impossible to resolve by compromise.

“With fierce protests testing the territory’s legal system, its attraction as a financial hub is at stake”
https://www.ft.com/content/077054fe-06d9-11ea-a984-fbbacad9e7dd

“China’s parliament has attacked a Hong Kong court ruling that overturned a contentious mask ban, threatening to inflame tensions in the territory where a police siege of a university has entered its third day.”
https://www.ft.com/content/e7c40a1e-0a62-11ea-b2d6-9bf4d1957a67

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CL - November 20, 2019

” deeper anxieties fuelled concern – a staggeringly unequal economy benefitting the wealthy while leaving many young people behind and political decision-making dominated by an alliance between Beijing and the city’s out-of-touch tycoons….
By some accounts, nearly 80 per cent of the territory’s seven million people have at some point been exposed to tear gas in the past five months. At the same time, just as civilians in Belfast were blinded by rubber bullets, the use of such weapons in Hong Kong, including the case of a young woman and an Indonesian journalist both hit in the eye, added to public fury….
By the time the Northern Ireland authorities grudgingly conceded some of the basic civil rights demands in the early 1970s – an end to gerrymandered electoral districts, equal opportunity in housing and jobs – it was too late. Growing numbers of Catholics came to see the Northern Ireland state itself as illegitimate. Demands for specific reforms gave way to calls to overthrow the system altogether….
As in Northern Ireland, government intransigence and police over-reaction have transformed a peaceful protest campaign into a movement demanding sweeping change. While stopping short of calls for Hong Kong independence, the protests have so alarmed Beijing that it has denounced the movement as a “colour revolution” intended to break Hong Kong’s links with China….
As was true with the rise of the IRA, frustration and anger among radical activists and the general public is growing, heightened by the continuing heavy-handed tactics of the police and what Amnesty International has described as “torture and ill-treatment” of those arrested. One recent Amnesty report documented cases of Hong Kong police beating detainees, threatening to apply electric shocks to their genitals and shining laser beams into their eyes.”
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/could-hong-kong-go-the-way-of-belfast-1.4088369

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11. Starkadder - November 18, 2019

“I have always regarded and written of monarchy as a profoundly corrupting influence upon our national life, imposing an intricate snobbishness on our dominant classes, upon our religions, educational, military, naval and combatant services generally, burking the promotion of capable men and reserving power in the community entirely for the privileged supporters of our Hanoverian monarchy.”

H. G. Wells.

After seeing that appalling interview with Andrew Windsor, where he showed no insight or regret over the Epstein scandal, I’d agree with old Bertie.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - November 18, 2019

Incredible he thought that was a good idea – quite apart from the substance of it all which is poison for him, if he only had the self-awareness to realise. A shocking lack of empathy for those who Epstein abused.

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12. Paddy Healy - November 19, 2019

Tax Credit for 80 Days Per year at Sea is A new Strategy to hold Down Pay and Conditions of Defence Forces and Public Service Generally https://wp.me/pKzXa-1kf
The use by government of a Tax credit rather than a pay increase or a pensionable allowance to increase remuneration has serious consequences for all defence forces staff and, indeed, public service workers generally.
Clearly it is part of a new government strategy to prevent staff shortages being used by employees to drive up pay or even to force full immediate or more rapid restoration of cuts in pay and pensions
Disadvantages for Staff
It is not a pensionable increase in pay or allowances
IT IS TEMPORARY and specific task related remuneration. It is very narrow in application-only for those who spend a minimum of 80 days at sea in the year concerned. If in a subsequent year a sailor spent 79 days at sea it would disappear!
It is easier for government to prevent it being successfully claimed by other defence force personnel and others—it is a strategic device to keep down public service pay generally by plugging gaps in staffing in an ad hoc and retractable way which is completely at the discretion of government

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13. Joe - November 19, 2019

Just saw a clip of Jez in his debate with the fat tory bloke. Jez very concerned about potential damage to the Union in the tory Brexit deal, especially concerned about the deal treating Northern Ireland different to the rest of the UK. Strange days indeed 🙂

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WorldbyStorm - November 20, 2019

Hmmm… it’s all very tactical. Got to say I wonder does it convince anyone?

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14. Alibaba - November 20, 2019

Varadkar comes under pressure reportedly to remove support from FG’s by-election candidate’s racist and well wide of the mark comments:

https://www.thejournal.ie/fine-gael-tds-verona-murphy-4897781-Nov2019/

Will Verona Murphy be deselected? No. Will Varadkar canvass for her? Of course he will. It’s not only shameful, it’s truly dangerous.

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CL - November 20, 2019

Varadkar is pandering to racism. Fianna Fail is not much better. They are encouraging the bigots. Shameful and dangerous, yes.

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tafkaGW - November 20, 2019

That’s how the racist right achieve hegemony, if their allowed. They seek to shift the window of expressible prejudice in the parties of the extreme ‘centre’ and thus make them malleable for agenda setting and coalition.

It’s indeed dangerous. That’s how fascists have come to power. h Vrad should know that if he’s any kind of democrat.

So far the RoI has been spared a party who makes racism, xenophobia their selling point.

Liked by 1 person

15. CL - November 21, 2019

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