This article in the FT is worth a read. It’s relatively balanced as you would expect from the pink pages.

It seems to me that Mrs May is no diplomat. Laying down the law in advance of even the triggering of Article 50 and before any negotiations have begun sounds like a weak position made to look tough.  But hey, what do I know? I’m not a negotiator. I’m not an economist. I’m not a politician. Thank heavens.

But the head of the Treasury probably knows a few things about where the money comes from and goes to. And I suspect that it’s one thing to have a Singapore-style economy in tiny Andorra (80,000), Monaco (38,000), Jersey (100,000), Guernsey (60,000), etc… and a rather different kettle of fish if you are trying to make it work over a population of 65 million in a medium sized land mass.

I suppose the question is, are we prepared to forgo a reasonable health service, passable pensions, social security, and a decent infrastructure so that a small area of the UK (City of London) can continue to prosper and give the UK an outward appearance of riches?

Or would we prefer a decent Scandinavian-style society that looks after its people and stops pretending that it’s playing at the big boys’ games?



    1. I’ve actually subscribed to FT now. I resisted for ages and ages because I’m not really interested in business news. For Brexit, however, it is the only reliable news source.

      Some other interesting bits and bobs in that article include the prospect of deregulation of the UK financial industry. That means removing the bonus cap and encouraging hedge funds back (from Switzerland, mainly) by removing EU regulations. Another was the prospect of withdrawing from the EU corporate tax avoidance directive, which was championed by George Osbourne and isn’t yet even in force. Howzat for unpredictability? None of these are not going to encourage a Scandivanian-style society.

      Hedge funds, of course, came under repeated tabloid attack back in 2008 because they gambled against the economy and made huge profits as everyone else lost their shirts. There was a general feeling that they exacerbated the problem by helping to engineer a self-fulfilling prophecy of market pessimism. Do we never learn?

      The good news is that G20 membership place some limits on the available options. I suppose the UK could also leave the G20 and the OECD. Nothing would surprise me any more. The tanking pound might mean our G7 membership is purely a nod to history.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had the feeling that a lot of that was “threat” and an attempt to keep City jobs in London… an maybe get some European institutions thinking about moving there, free of all these pesky regulations.

        Membership of prestigious world organisations G20, G8, OECD… I’m not sure that the UK would want to give up their place at the top table of any of these organisations. Old folk may die in hospital corridors, sick people may die in the Jobcentre, ex-soldiers may starve on the streets, but let’s not risk the grandstanding opportunities of being “important”.

        I agree that the FT is the best bet of the papers when it comes to Brexit.


      2. I think you’re right that it was a threat but I think she would do at least some of these things, no matter how irrational they might actually be. Any remnants of rational thinking about this is long gone. The problem with her threat is that it will push the EU to bring Euro financial products back to the EU. They won’t want the Euro suffering the swings of a deregulated trading floor outside their influence. All they have to do is resurrect their long-shelved plan to issue passporting rights only to Euro nations. Let battle commence.

        The Government’s position is utterly self-contradictory at the moment: stand up for the just-about-managing and deregulate their jobs; bring back control but also lock the UK to the obligations and dispute panels of multiple trade deals; protect jobs but also slash tariffs to import stuff we already make; promote free enterprise but offer secret deals to car manufacturers I don’t think they even realise the absurdity of it all.

        A lot of this is definitely about feeling important again.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I just find it absolutely incredible that they could be THAT incompetent.

          Do none of them have the foggiest idea the consequences of what they are proposing. As you say, contradictory.

          Not very sure that Trump has a clue either. If he brings all these jobs home, no one will be able to afford the product they make…Unless they all get paid 4 times as much as they do at the moment, in which case, won;t the prices have to go up again.

          The only way that ordinary people can afford all this disposable garbage they seem to need is if it is made in sweat shops in low wage economies.

          You can’t have it all, people.


      3. I often wonder about the competencies of the UK Government. Can they really be that incompetent? Surely, it is all an act and there is a cunning plan behind their irrational outbursts. Then I remind myself that Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary.

        Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary. Arggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh. Run for the hills! Build a massive bunker!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Tell you. It’s a dream. We will wake up and find out that none of this has happened and Douglas Hurd in Foreign Secretary, and Boris is the presenter of Have I got News for You? or Jackanory


  1. Everything T May is driven by internal Tory Politics. To be frank, she is no Leader just a machine politician trying to inhabit the mantle of Margaret Thatcher wrt lippy angry woman, just like the NI First Equal Minister, Arlene Foster and look where that posturing & snarling got her.

    Submarine May is in great danger of her House of Cards coming unravelled suddenly; events dear boy.

    Running to the bastirt prodigal “former” Colony to save he hide tells us she is making it up as she wakens each morning. It really is all PR, spin and Press control.

    She is buggered

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Imagine the opinion she has of herself, imagining that she could steer the UK through this mess. Even funnier, though only marginally so, is the idea that we nearly had Andrea Leadsom!

      Now that would have been a REAL laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Something I’ve been thinking about, when trying to understand May’s strategy (she has to have one, right?)

    I don’t think she’s actually the one planning her strategy. She will have advisors/handlers making sure she works to the Conservative Party’s leadership’s plan. (Because we all know that the Leader of the Conservative Political Party isn’t the one who sets their agenda and plan)

    What if she’s being set up as a Rabban Harkonnen? (Go read Dune if you don’t get the reference) Think about it for a moment. She’s been put in an impossible situation, and being told that she has to achieve even more impossible goals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Part of me wonders sometimes if all this mess was actually planned by the UK’s europhobic establishment. Think about it – May holds the Home office for six years and does very little about immigration. It becomes a rousing populist issue through the media constantly beating that drum. Now a significant chunk of the electorate wants to leave the EU.

      However, knowing from the very start that such an exit would be economically devastating, what’s to be done? Saddle responsibility for the decision upon the electorate, by using a blank contract referendum. Order the civil service not to draw up any plans for a Leave victory in case any of those plans are leaked and reveals the economic dangers in depth.

      After the win, to ensure the Remain cause is well shelved, they got the Lib Dems to loudly take up the banner. Tony Blair made noises about coming back to fight for Remain. The Government acts surprised and shocked, spelling it out to everyone that they did not expect to lose. Cameron goes into well-compensated ‘exile'(at Davos, etc.), taking the public blame for not planning, nor triggering A50, with him.

      It’s a scary thought. What if this apparently shambolic Brexit is actually the result of over half a decade of planning, priming and preparation rather than a two year old accident?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lordie, you’re another deep one.

        Mind I have to admit, it is so ridiculously incompetent, that there MUST be some deeper purpose behind it… OR, they really are a bunch of thickos.


        1. There’s Keir Hardie, but he’s dead and Malcolm Chisholm, maybe. But he’s retired.

          Apart from that. You’re having a larf, ain’t cha?

          Kez has no one to blame but herself. First she said that Corbyn would be a disaster; then he was elected and she said he’d be good.

          Then they had their ill-judged second contest (i see what you mean: I could have told them that would end badly, even if they did try to disqualify the wrong people from having a vote), and during that contest she said once again he was a disaster and she would be backing the instantly forgettable Welsh bloke, whatshisface, and when Corbyn won again (sigh), and she said he was great and they would work well together.

          So she can’t really expect him to agree with anything she says.

          The great thing is that if they actually believed in anything; if they actually had a principle between them, then maybe there would be some consistency. But they don’t. What they say is what happens to suit at that moment. No intellectual rigour in it. Not even a thought.

          This is why they have as much chance of being elected as, well, Keir Hardie.


  3. Has anyone noticed how little coverage Davos has had this year? I did catch the end of a radio piece where someone was warning them that they needed to do something about inequality before the populace came at them with pitchforks.

    For my part, I think the speaker was a bit behind the times. Kalashnikovs and drones would seem more appropriate for the 21st century to me. That said, I just went and looked for images for the former item as I had not a clue what they looked like. Now I know, sort of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Possibly becasue there is so much more going on?

      Trump and Brexit?

      I did hear that the Chinese President was there, and if Trump is going to concentrate all his efforts on being isolationist, I suppose that gives Xi the world stage to play on.

      Someone said that Mayhem was there too. Yawn.

      Pitchforks? Seem to com in all shapes and sizes. For those, like BSJ and me, who didn’t have a clue. Here you are:


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