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Trade Plan A September 28, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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A follow up to last week’s post on trade deals and the centrality of the US one to Brexit proponents world view. 

When Truss was international trade secretary, a free-trade agreement with Washington was very much Plan A. It was to be the crowning glory of Britain’s triumphant liberation from Brussels: an apotheosis of economic sovereignty and transatlantic solidarity. In Eurosceptic mythology, the Washington deal was a bridge to utopia, and the slam-dunk rebuttal to all those gloomy remoaner economists who fretted over the cost of leaving the EU single market.

That Tory party ‘doomsday cult’ September 28, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Never thought I’d read this from this quarter, an analysis of the Tory ‘mini-budget’ (I see David McWilliams latest podcast also picked up on the phrase above).

Investors ‘inclined to regard Conservative Party as a doomsday cult’, says analyst

Investors seem inclined to regard the UK Conservative Party as a doomsday cult, according to Paul Donovan, chief economist of UBS Global Wealth Management.

In his morning comment, Donovan gives an absolutely blistering verdict on the government’s plans:

The global signals from the UK’s mini-budget matter. Modern monetary theory has been taken into a corner by the bond markets and beaten up. Advanced economy bond yields are not supposed to soar the way UK gilt yields rose.

This also reminds investors that modern politics produces parties that are more extreme than either the voter or the investor consensus. Investors seem inclined to regard the UK Conservative Party as a doomsday cult.

Tax cuts are unlikely to give the UK a meaningful medium-term boost (the supply constraints in the UK economy are more about health and education). A short-term “sugar high” is likely but may be limited. A high-income earner’s rational response would be to increase savings in anticipation of future tax increases.

That point about ‘modern politics producing parties that are more extreme than either the voter or the investor consensus’ is intriguing. Who could he be talking about? It would seem reasonable to suggest that these are parties of the right – the Republicans most obviously, but also similar manifestations across parts of Europe and indeed in Italy most recently. That the markets, or rather those who represent them in some imperfect fashion, have woken up to this aspect is interesting, but have they realised how damaging they are more broadly in economic terms? Perhaps they have. But markets are notoriously unable to be self-controlling, as we have seen time and again. Getting the message sure, but too late. 

Podcast – The National Group September 28, 2022

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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Founded in 1924 , the Party was a split from Cumann na nGaedheal caused by the treatment of Army Officers in the 1924 Army Mutiny. This episode covers the Party as well as the Army Mutiny. The Group were also known as The National League and National Party
  1. The National Group
  2. The Independent Dublin Dream Team Band
  3. Post Office Candidates in Roscommon in 1991
  4. The United Labour Party
  5. Militant Labour

Founded in 1924 , the Party was a split from Cumann na nGaedheal caused by the treatment of Army Officers in the 1924 Army Mutiny. This episode covers the Party as well as the Army Mutiny. The Group were also known as The National League and National Party

The Budget September 28, 2022

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Well, which one? For there are two. The one in the UK has seen friction, apparently, between the incoming Prime Minister and her Chancellor. For the Guardian notes;

Downing Street rebuffed talk of a split between No 10 and No 11 over how to deal with the market reaction to the mini-budget, and denied that there was a row.

However, Whitehall sources said there was talk within the civil service of an argument between the prime minister and chancellor at the meeting on Monday morning.

Sky News said Truss had been resisting Kwarteng’s suggestion that a Treasury statement was needed to calm the markets.

On the one hand the anti-Tory in me goes, excellent. Keep this up PM. Go your own way. Damn the torpedoes. And so on. On the other hand all this means so much misery on the ground that another part of me looks on appalled. Yet another part of me wonders at the political fantasy that this represents. How did seemingly adult people arrive at this situation where sterling has tanked in the first couple of weeks of their leadership. 

As to the ROI Budget. There was none of the drama of the UK one. Much to be said for living with a pan-national currency, not that this one was every likely to trigger economic weather of that sort. The best comment I heard on that was from a friend who noted that there was nothing in it to address systemic issues. It’s not that it’s an awful budget – there are some good points – but it is a budget that deals with symptoms, not causes. In some instances that’s understandable. To address the roots of energy cost inflation will take years, and in some aspects is entirely outside the control of the state in the short to medium term (though as was put to me, why not take energy supply into state hands?). But in other instances – as with the unwillingness to address housing using the weight of the state, one has to wonder. Do they truly appreciate what is coming down the track politically? That light up ahead isn’t the end of the tunnel. It is vastly more likely to be the SF express. And that party won’t make this mistake. But then perhaps it truly is a case that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are simply ideologically unable to address housing in a way that would provide clear tangible evidence that they had moved beyond market driven approaches.

The problem is that if this Budget seeks to ameliorate these issues and the public perception of them it is only half done. More, much more, is required. And if they won’t do it, well others will, sooner or later.

Any thoughts on the best and worst aspects of the Budget?

What you want to say – 28th September 2022 September 28, 2022

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

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

Flying to safety September 27, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Interesting to read that some US military personnel are amongst those who have volunteered in a personal capacity to work with groups such as this in ensuring those seeking abortions and other healthcare across state lines can get them.

Unsupported political assertions and facts September 27, 2022

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Some of the media is in trouble over statements as to numbers at the march on Saturday, and proper order too if such statements can’t be supported. But here’s another example of a not dissimilar dynamic. For during last week RTÉ reported this:

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl has “rejected outright” a statement made in the Dáil yesterday “that the Chair was not providing protection to the Government from opposition heckling and interruptions”.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin had yesterday said that there were frequent heckles and interruptions when he was speaking in the chamber, adding that those who were interrupting were not being “pulled up”.

Which sent the Ceann Comhairle and the Clerk of the Dáil off to review Leaders’ Questions and the Order of Business. 

And, surprise, surprise, this is what they found:

It revealed “a typical session with interruptions and heckling from many sides,” he said.

“What I also saw was the now normal habit of some leaders ignoring the chair, its requests and its remonstrations,” he added.

“So, reverting to the chair only when the temperature rises in the chamber, in light of the foregoing, is in my view understandably futile and unfair,” he said.

Isn’t it notable the rather unlovely phenomenon of the government’s largest formations bemoaning the supposed heckling and interruptions, and indeed criticism from the opposition (much of this directed against a particular opposition party). An interest in political activity has unfortunately had me watching Oireachtas debates across the last twenty odd years. I can’t say I’ve seen any great difference between the present situation and that, of say, the interactions between Labour and the then FF-PD governments, or indeed the GP during the same period. Oppositions oppose, governments defend. Sometimes it gets heated, sometimes not. What I have seen, and factoring in that SF is, like all opposition parties far from angels in the crucible of parliamentary exchanges,  very heated attitude to SF from some in FF, almost a willingness and overwillingness to take or find offence. One can certainly suggest that that attitude hasn’t been of much use to FF in that time if polls are to be believed. It doesn’t seem like a stretch to argue that many of the complaints being made are a function of that.

Do these people understand the GFA/BA? September 27, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Thought the following comments by Peter Kyle, shadow NI Secretary for the BLP were fairly innocuous. But no. Apparently not.

Northern Ireland unionists have expressed alarm after the shadow Northern Ireland secretary, Peter Kyle, said he would be prepared to call a referendum on Irish unity if certain conditions were met.

Kyle would set out the criteria for calling a border poll if Labour were in power, he told the BBC’s Sunday Politics show at his party’s conference.


“If the circumstances emerge as set out in the Good Friday agreement, I as secretary of state, would not play games. I would call the border poll,” he said. “I am saying I am not going to be a barrier if the circumstances emerge.”

As the Guardian notes:

Under the 1998 agreement, a secretary of state must call a referendum if it appears likely a majority of those voting would want the region to leave the UK – but the agreement does not specify the criteria, a vagueness that the UK government and unionists have been keen to maintain.

Beattie’s contribution is curious. There is currently and has been since Brexit considerable interest in this topic. Was the shadow Secretary not to speak on this? Is that somehow forbidden? Would his stature or credibility be enhanced by refusing to do so? That makes not a whit of sense. 

As to the News Letter. Well, it is entirely reasonable given the GFA/BA for unification of the island as a political entity to be pursued as determinedly within constitutional politics, as is the case for those who seek to maintain the union. So it’s dispiriting to see a media outlet pretend that it is otherwise or that those trying to clarify aspects of the GFA/BA dispensation are somehow unreasonable in attempting to do so. 

Indeed a bit of clarity around all these issues would be of considerable benefit.


Budget Day September 27, 2022

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Amazing how much appears to be known already and is covered in the media.

No comment… September 26, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Never a good look when a currency plunges and a government won’t talk.

Liz Truss’s spokesman has declined to comment on today’s market moves, following the hammering given to UK government bonds this morning, and the pound’s slide to a record low overnight.

The spokesman said (via Reuters):

“The chancellor has made clear that he doesn’t comment on the movements around the market and that goes the same for the prime minister.”

The spokesman added there are no plans to make any changes to the measures set out in the so-called ‘mini-budget’ by chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng on Friday.

That may disappoint investors who were alarmed by the scale of the tax cuts in the mini-budget, and the surge in borrowing needed to pay for them (as Mohamed El-Erian explained this morning).

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