It’s 4 pm so nominations for candidates in next month’s general election have closed.
after a short delay a full list of potential members of parliament for
all 650 seats should be available to the voters. A list that should be
notable if only because of the number of changes since the last national
vote. Even without all the schemes for tactical voting – ie voting for
someone you don’t like so has to disadvantage someone you like even less
or just not fielding a candidate – there were around seventy seats
where the previous MP is not standing.
that there are also seats where the previous MP is standing but has
changed allegiance the total number of new MPs must be approaching a
hundred. And that does not allow for the fact that the Labour Party has
switched from – at best – neutral to firmly pro-EU. A move that that
will change voting patterns that have been in place for decades in some
the political turmoil of the past few years the 2019 result is going to
be hard to predict – but it is quite possible that Friday the 13th will
see the no end to the unrest …
The role of
president of the European Central Bank (ECB) is vitally important for
the prudent management of the euro. A tricky task when it is used in
nineteen countries with widely-divergent economies.
last week the role was filled by Mario Draghi and under his management
trillions of extra euros were created and mainly used to fund government
borrowing and EU industries through buying their bonds. This was
intended to have the effect of getting businesses to expand.
Friday Christine Lagarde started her eight year term as ECB president –
and set out with a commitment for further euro printing. But that was
arranged by Draghi before he left. An unusual move in the circumstances –
and one that was opposed by seven of the twenty-five strong governing
council. A body that reflects that basic problem with the EU – the
differences between the financial policies needed in, for example,
Greece and Germany. It is also a body that Mde. Lagarde will need for
help – since she lacks any central bank experience herself.
that never stopped her at the IMF so the chances are that the euro will
not fall into terminal decline – despite various predictions in recent
years. Just as long as the Germans can keep their economy buoyant …
and stick with the euro.
November and the UK’s position with the European Union remains
unchanged. Despite all the promises we are still paying the EU vast
amounts so that they can spend our taxes on themselves and their pet
schemes in Europe and on aid around the world.
Now the mythical
leaving date has been moved to the end of January 2020. This gives the
politicians just thirteen weeks to complete their scrutiny and implement
some form of exit plan.
the first six of these weeks will be spent campaigning in a general
election. Then at least the next three will be spent getting the new
parliament in place and taking a Christmas-New Year break. Then no more
than four weeks will remain for the new balance of power to take control
and finalise a plan.
Of course the numbers are critical in determining how these four weeks progress – if at all. The so-called Liberal Democrats (George Orwell’s fictional NewSpeak
becomes fact!) intend to revoke our request to leave if they get the
chance. And there are constituencies that voted to remain in 2016 where
today’s voters think that this is acceptable practice. With a number of
MPs switching their allegiance the party could gain seats – but perhaps
not enough to have another female Prime Minister just yet [sorry Jo]
the Marx Brothers – and Sisters – say they will delay leaving yet again
so that they can negotiate a better leaving deal and then campaign to
remain through a second referendum. One that excludes the option to
leave as a free agent under world trade terms. Considering that many Grandads
from outside of Greater London who voted to leave in 2016 are also
traditional Labour voters this approach seems doomed from day one. The
only question is how many seats will Labour loose?
At the Shrine of the Dead Donkey the Conservative position is let’s back the May-Robbins-Johnson deal and move on. This policy could be good enough to convince enough voters and so add enough seats for a new government to have a working majority. Its major weakness is that it leaves the country shackled to our friends in Europe. And that man Barnier is already lined-up to extract the maximum punishment in the trade talks still to come. Given the time and effort spent to get to the current position – and what has happened with other trade deals – we could be suffering at the hands of the EU for many more years.
we have the party that highlighted the problems created when widely
divergent nations are tied to a common bureaucracy. In this election the
Brexit Party will suffer from being seen as a one issue party – and
from the Conservatives reluctance to spell out what their deal really
means. The voting public are smart enough to treat Euro elections
differently to domestic ones. So the TBP will not gain as many seats as
they did earlier this year. However they have the possibility of gaining
some and these could be critical in influencing the outcome of those
four weeks in January.
all depends on how well the implications – and shortcomings – of the
current deal can be explained. And if the new parliament reverses the
no-deal block that was imposed by political scaremongers in the last
Time to book some holidays away from all of this …