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Corbyn more scary than Brexit

It is Wednesday, so a truly short blog. We have to proof read the final copy edit of our Macroeconomics textbook by the end of the next fortnight. Tough ask. But apart from a music journey today, the richest people living in Britain are planning journeys as I write (they certainly are not sleeping) because they are scared witless about what Jeremy Corbyn will do to them once he is elected. This fear is even greater than anything Brexit will bring and the proponents of this narrative have also admitted that Brexit will not alter Britain’s position as a “global wealth hub”. Pity about that. I was hoping they would take all their banks and dodgy financial companies with them. Anyway, I am an Australian, as I am being increasingly told these days by those who claim I should stay out of British debates. Primer: I am not uncertain about my nationality. And, I am fast becoming a major critic of Modern Monetary Theory … read on.

MMT is crazy stupid

On the Macroeconomics text, I wonder why it has been even written.

I think I am going to become a major critic of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) in the coming period.

I am starting to believe that it has become so flaky when you consider what it omits, although I haven’t been bothered reading much of the literature.

I stick to Twitter that is as deep as one needs to go to see how vacuous MMT is.

These MMT types claim that fiscal policy is very powerful.

They rave on about monetary sovereignty but it is obvious the government cannot build cities on Neptune, much less Mars?

The MMT academics have never considered resource issues that would be required to get to Neptune.

So we can easily conclude that the government is not sovereign because it can’t do everything, including ensuring all teams in the football win each week.

What? A team has to lose for another to win?

My you are an unpleasant person. I am going to block you immediately.

What? A currency-issuing government like Australia can buy whatever is for sale in its own currency, including all idle labour?

Ha, what happens if they want to buy a BMW car? Then they are screwed aren’t they?

They would have to stump up euros and everyone knows they don’t ‘print’ those.

What? You saw BMW cars are for sale in shops in Australia with AUD price tags?

That doesn’t mean the Australian government can buy one of them with its currency does it?

What? It does?

BMW cars are from Germany. Australia is Australia. How do they get here? Answer that one.

MMT academics have never considered that have they?

You are not only unpleasant but also incompetent.

Not that I have read their work on this issue. I refuse to read it. I just know they won’t have considered it because they are just cultists.

Show me on SnapChat where they have written about that in detail! Yeh, told ya!

What? The government just sends an order to the BMW shop for a car?

Idiot, don’t you know that most imports are invoiced in US dollars and the Australian government doesn’t ‘print’ those, does it?

What? The data shows that only 51.9 per cent of international currency usage is accounted for by US dollars and that settlements for cross-border transactions are often in local currencies, because the exporter desires local currencies to reduce risk exposure?

That sounds like the sort of nonsense that Mitchell would write about. Not that I have bothered to read up on it.

Show me on SnapChat where the MMT academics have written about that.

And, pray tell what happens to the money that the government might pay if it wanted to buy a BMW car in Australia?

The MMT academics haven’t worked that one out have they? It is very complex, well beyond their intellectual grasp. Cultists!

What? You don’t hand over US dollars to the BMW shop down on the corner?

That is what I would expect an MMT academic to say.

But who pays the invoice for the car to enter the port? That is what the MMT academics cannot tell you, can they?

What? You saw some claim that the Australian dollars never leave the Australian monetary system if they are deposited in Australian banks or Australian dollar-denominated accounts elsewhere?

What a load of bunk – what happens if they are deposited in a bank in Germany.

What? They can’t be?

I can deposit Australian dollars in my bank in Britain?

What? I can’t unless the bank accepts AUD deposits?

No, I let the bank convert them into pounds for me. They rip me off with a fee but I get my pounds sure enough.

What? You saw a government official in an official car that had the BMW logo on it?

Well if that is true, then the currency will crash. Almost immediately. No one in the forex markets will tolerate that.

What? Capital controls?

I thought these MMT academics wanted flexible exchange rates. How can they advocate capital control? It is simply nonsensical.

What? You can allow the exchange rate to float within a regulative environment that includes capital controls?

The MMT academics have never said that. Show me on Twitter where Bill Mitchell has written 2000 words on that topic.

What? There are many blog posts and tens of thousands of words where he has done that?

Well I don’t bother reading them anyway. They are too long for my attention span. And I deny they exist.

What? Don’t start me on the Job Guarantee!

I saw something about that the other day. First time I have heard of it. It is obviously ridiculous.

Not that I have read anything in detail. But it is obviously a very difficult thing to organise and I bet no-one has put their minds to anything like that. They just have some slogans like ‘full employment’ and expect us to believe them that it is possible.

What? Governments organise much more complicated systems than the Job Guarantee would represent – like the tax system, the systems of traffic lights in cities, putting a person on the moon 50 or so years ago?

But these are not ‘make work’ schemes where people just fill in holes they have dug, are they?

See, that is all the MMT academics would have been able to come up with. Make work schemes.

Not that I have read anything on SnapChat about it. I only heard of the concept 5 minutes ago but it is ridiculous anyway.

And getting back to the main topic, where on Twitter does Bill Mitchell show that the government can build cities on Neptune?

See, all this MMT talk of monetary sovereignty is just hot air.

My transition – in a matter of weeks …

When the Brexit referendum results were announced and I expressed public support for the Leave decision I was called

When British Labour announced its Fiscal Stupidity Rule I was called “incompetent” and a “cult leader”.

More recently, my shifting personas have accelerated.

I am now variously, a “poor economist”, the “most unpleasant person” (ever) and this morning I achieved the ultimate status of being an “abomination”.

And plenty of other descriptions in between.

Most of these compliments are from those who claim to be on the progressive side of the macroeconomics debate.

And all because I write about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT).

I call it progress.

Quaking in his boots

Jeremy Corbyn must be quaking in his boots after the UK branch boss of a Swiss bank claimed that the prospect of the “left-wing Labour Party gaining political power in the U.K.” represented:

… a serious threat to the country’s super-rich.

Yep, you read it correctly.

The Bloomberg article last week (November 1, 2018) – Corbyn ‘Dangerous to Big Fortunes,’ Says Swiss Bank’s U.K. Chief – said it all really.

The London-head of a Swiss Bank (Pictet) claimed that:

Corbyn is very dangerous for big fortunes … is one of the main issues our clients are losing sleep over …

The poor darlings. Life is so threatening with Corbyn on the loose.

Bloomberg claimed that “the U.K.’s wealthiest individuals and families” have accelerated their plans to take their money and run (leave Britain).


… the U.K.’s top 1 percent is now more concerned about him than the fall-out of the country’s exit from the European Union

Now if you took all this seriously then you conclude that Brexit is a non-issue if Corbyn is all that is worrying this gang.

The article lists a number of cities where this lot are seeking refuge – Monaco, Jersey, Guernsey.

And, as I have noted before, the “crown dependencies” can only serve as a refuge from British tax regimes if the British government allow them to.

Many of the money laundering schemes operate ‘within’ Britain because the British government turns a blind eye.

Mr Corbyn will fix that won’t he.

So they better not go to Jersey for example. That little island will see a clear out of the richest people in no time at all.

This comes from a company (Pictet) that (Source):

… uses a letterbox company in Panama and a tax loophole involving investments in London to gain German millionaires as clients.

Adami, himself (with wife):

… hold two of three seats on the board of directors for a shell company in Panama called Odicel, through which Pictet routes large commission fees.

The arrangements included transferring massive amounts to Panama and “Adami himself oversaw these transactions personally.

Adami set up a scheme where a German would invest, say €1 million in a gold trading enterprise under British law, and then “count that purchase price as a fully tax-deductible business expense” against their German income.

The London loss offsets the German income.

When the gold is sold, only the profit is counted as taxable income in Britain and incurs no further tax obligation in Germany.

So an August outfit all round.

The Pictet boss, one Heinrich Adami, though did blow the whistle on all the scaremongering over Brexit that concerns the financial sector.

He told the media there were:

… 10 reasons why the U.K. will remain a global wealth hub, ranging from its high density of family offices to the quality of schools that wealthy families can send their children.

And the fact they all want to stay registered with the FTSE!

The problem is that the post-1976 Labour Party DNA believes the sort of nonsense that these rich characters are in some way influential.

It would be of no consequence if they packed their bags and sought ‘tax’ refuge elsewhere.

They are probably already laundering huge income flows in low tax regimes anyway. Corbyn and Co should also announce a huge land tax on ‘non-residents’ who own property in London. That would disrupt their sleep even further.

This is a blue wave …

With one of the worst Presidents in history one would have thought the Democrats so-called ‘blue wave’ was a shoe-in.

Well it doesn’t seem to have happened even though the results suggest they will take the House of Reps majority.

Which means the progressive wing of the Party should start cleaning out the leadership as soon as possible.

You know the ones I mean – those politicians who think it is smart to rail against the fiscal deficit when employment growth is improving and more people are getting work.

I know a lot of the fiscal position is underpinning the Military-Industrial establishment. But that should be the issue rather than the size of the deficit.

Bad luck to Tim Canova in Florida.

This video is a ‘blue wave’ …

The beautiful Hammond B3 organ

Regular readers may or not know that I love Hammond B3 organs. While I am not very oriented towards material things, two possessions would go down well: (a) and old Hammond with Leslie cabinet; and (b) a 1920s Steinway Grand Piano.

Here is a classic example of the beauty of the Hammond.

The track is from Lou Donaldson’s 1968 album on Blue Note Records – Midnight Creeper – with the track ‘Bag of Jewels’ (written by Dr Lonnie Smith).

Lou Donaldson is the alto player who set out during the BeBop era, which means Charlie Parker is in his music.

He is thought of as the ‘father of funk’ given his albums of the late 1960s, which are among my favourites and on my often play list.

This album features some of the best jazz players:

1. Blue Mitchell on cornet

2. Lonnie Smith – Hammond

3. George Benson – guitar before he got the weird idea that he could and should sing.

4. Idris Muhammad – drums

9:44 of pure funk and soul the whole way.

This is one of the reasons I fell in love with the Hammond organ

That is enough for today!

(c) Copyright 2018 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

This Post Has 29 Comments

  1. Dear Bill,

    “….then they fight you, then you win.”

    You are at stage three of four. Well done!

    Mr S.

  2. Dear Bill,

    I’m sure you already talked about it elsewhere, but can you spare some words on Brexit? I can understand Italy or Greece leaving the currency union, but for Britain it seems like an unnecessary meassure. I fail to see the impasse due to the EU when I go through the UK situation:

    – currency sovereign
    – floating, non-convertible exchange rate
    – faces no penaltys for non-compliance with the growth and stability pact

    Given that the Uk is, however, relying heavily on food and energy imports, I would have thought that there was some value in remaining in the common market.

    Wouldn’t it be best, if the UK was to show the way from within the Union? Just plainly doing the opposite of the mainland partners, i.e. engaging in massive public investment programms and sending the neoliberals a clear message to them?

    I feel like there are unnecessary conflict and friction losses involved in Brexit given that Britain had so much policy “freedom” to begin with. In fact, it is my perception that the only little bit of market regulation in Britain, e.g. in the financial sector, came out of Brussels.

    To formulate it as an easy question: What part of the EU is halting the UK from engaging in appropriate deficit spending or the implementation of a JG?

  3. There is a concerted action from so-called progressive neokeynesian economists against MMT. Even in Spain. Up till now we were getting attack from Austrian “economist” Juan Ramón Ralló, who has written not one but two books against MMT (including a cover with Friedman’s analogy to explain the origin of money, a helicopter dropping bank notes) But now the attacks are coming from the socioliberal spectrum. A sign that they are scared s*less. This is ironic. If they were real progressives you’d think they woud embrace MMT. It is so contradictory that it inspired a piece I wrote: Imagine a Marxist right. Unfathomable, right? But you do have a Neoclassical Left.

  4. Hermann, The Brexit Blog by Chris Grey is a reasonable source for Brexit issues. He takes a quite measured approach.

    “What part of the EU is halting the UK from engaging in appropriate deficit spending or the implementation of a JG?” None of it. The major problem is the incompetence of the government itself. It would have been a decent solution to show the way from within, as you put it, but this group of incompetents have alienated everyone, even many on their side. And May must be one of the most rigid, intractable personalities I have seen in a long while. In addition to her seemingly insatiable need for secrecy. Even the DUP are fed up with this. And then there is the arrogance. I could go on but I will save your sanity. The best thing that might come out of Brexit would be the destruction of the Tory party.

  5. @ larry:

    Thanks for the hint regarding the blog. I’ll be sure to look it up.

    From what I understand from your post, it would seem that you too view Brexit as a means to “punish” incompetent/corrupt or simply bad politicians. The immediate consecuences of Brexit are in my opinion too high a price to pay for a lesson that won’t be learnt by those clowns. On top of that, the tabloids will have two thirds of the electorate blaming “the left”, the EU, Raheem Sterling or whatever boogeyman they fancy nowadays.

    I guess hope dies last and maybe Labour can grow a spine in the coming months, but I’m certainly not holding my breath. I do belive that Corbyn is a decent and principled fellow, but those are traits for which politicians are not commonly rewarded.

  6. Sounds like a good deal of “group think” going on among the twitter crowd; one of the reasons I avoid it. Short but potent, if misleading, narratives are the advantage of the mainstream and it’s proponents. MMT almost always requires more words, because MMT has to do the double duty of explaining how things actually work, while at the same time, debunking the mainstream myths that have been nurtured so carefully.
    MMT’rs almost have to work in pairs like old time comedians with one playing the neoliberal/mainstream foil, for good contrast.

    There are people like myself who are not economists ,and yet, even lacking that background, knew something had begun to go terribly wrong with policy by the latter part of the 1970’s. I had always understood the federal government to be the monopoly issuer of money so the debates about federal debt etc never made any sense. Reading about MMT put flesh on the skeleton of an understanding I had. It was a breath of fresh air.

    What’s stunning to me is how few others ever begin to question the bunk neoliberals propagate. The first reaction upon learning the truth is always anger though.

    Love that Hammond B3 sound!

  7. Hermann, I agree with you when you write:

    ‘Wouldn’t it be best, if the UK was to show the way from within the Union? Just plainly doing the opposite of the mainland partners, i.e. engaging in massive public investment programms and sending the neoliberals a clear message to them?’

    Brexit is acting as a neoliberal decoy tactic – get the populace absorbed with things that are fundamentally a diversionary activity. It is sucking up energy and creating a daily Tsunami of misinformation and lies. ‘Neo-liberal Central’ (to borrow Bill’s apposite term) must be laughing themselves silly.

  8. Dear Hermann,

    The issue is with “free movement of capital” (please search for “capital movements” on the European Commission’s website) and with Article 126 of the Lisbon Treaty (“Member States shall avoid excessive government deficits.”). These two limit the policy tools available for a non-Euro member states. One of the worst examples of the damage done to local populations because of the broad interpretation of the “free movement of capital” rule were foreign-currency denominated mortgage lending scandals in Hungary, Poland and Croatia. (The loans were extended in local currencies and then a series of transactions involving a cross-currency interest rate swap (CIRS) and spot forex were used to re-denominate the loan to a foreign currency, the goal was to lower the interest rate at the cost of fully exposing the borrower to the exchange rate risk).
    Without restrictions to the movement of speculative financial capital especially derivative trading, currencies are exposed to speculative attacks what may force governments to run more restrictive and monetary fiscal policies (not because “money printing” itself weakens currencies but because running the economies close to full capacity leads to trade deficits which seem to be semi-persistent, financed by inflows of speculative capital, until an exchange rate readjustment occurs, leading to a liquidity crisis involving the central bank). This was tried and tested many times in the 1970s and later.

    How is then possible for some Central European governments to go ahead with the “re-Polonisation of the banking sector” or with similar activities in Hungary? How can they defy Mrs Merkel and the Bundesbank officials? This is a matter of who is in power and who supports the government. Jarosław Kaczyński and Father Rydzyk, two most influential politicians effectively pulling all the strings in Poland are hardly liberal democrats or “progressives”. They have hired Mateusz Morawiecki, a former bank executive and staunch nationalist to run the economy. Despite all the effort of the “Eurocrats” to undermine it a balanced-budget-multiplier fiscal stimulus approach seems to be working… Crucially they have Jerzy Osiatynski who was a student of Michał Kalecki and is well-know as the editor of his works, in the Monetary Policy Council (Polish central bank). Also – for Germany Poland is a buffer country isolating it from Russia and all what’s bad in the East. Mrs Merkel is too pragmatic to go after Poles even if she doesn’t like the current government.

    Things which are possible in Central Europe won’t work in the UK. They might work in Italy but this is a different issue. The West “proper” has a different mentality, nationalism is defined in a different way and the City of London is far more influential than Polish “oligarchs” who can easily be controlled by politicians. There has been a few hundred years of liberal tradition in the UK. In Poland the experiment with “liberal democracy” ran between 1922-1926 ended up in a bloody coup. The second experiment with “liberal democracy” ran in the late 1990s-early 2000s ended up with the current government being elected when the crucial middle-class voters were turned back due to the CHF-denominated lending scandal (see above, over 500000 families had negative equity). So it is true that Poland and Hungary can be seen ignoring some of the principles enshrined in the Treaty of Lisbon (but not running the extensive budget deficits – this would be too risky) however this simply wouldn’t wash in the UK as the political system works differently and attempts to run truly progressive policies in the UK would be easily subverted. Personally I believe that this is going to happen anyway. A nationalist government in Poland of Hungary can easily mobilise a mob to kick off the traitors and disloyal bankers-bloodsuckers out of the country, if necessary. If a currency crisis is engineered then maybe more people may turn against the ruling party but otherwise the system is stable.

  9. “…the progressive wing of the Party should start cleaning out the leadership as soon as possible.”

  10. J Christensen… very much my trajectory.
    The worst offenders, IMO, are the Koukoulases, as they talk to a large pro Labor/progressive audience (around 36.7K Followers, as I recall). The ‘look at what *you* lot have done to the Deficit!’ is reaching a crescendo of sorts. Intervention is sometimes attempted, taking special care on phrasing, nuance, and ‘attitude’. Taking a deep breath and counting to 20 is a good start before hitting the keyboard.
    Bill’s B3 link took me straight back to the 70s, an open air Saturday gig by Tamam Shud at the beach end of Manly Corso. Lesley in full whirling tilt.

  11. I suppose that where you stand on the reformability of the EU is just a judgement call. In my view, it is impossible for UK voters to persuade German policymakers to relinquish their “fight inflation first” obsession. But by contrast it is eminently achievable for UK voters to elect an MMT-informed House of Commons majority that enacts policies of full employment, price stability, sustainable resource use, and drastically reduced inequality of income and wealth.

    I am under no illusions about how difficult it is to win a House of Commons majority that would enact those policy changes.

    But there is at least a possibility of that happening.

    There is zero possibility of UK voters influencing German technocrats.

    So I see the EU as a lost cause, like USA Gymnastics. It should be disbanded. Since the Maastricht Treaty the EU has been incorrigibly committed to pro-austerity, economically illiterate policies. The EU’s treatment of Greece demonstrates sociopathic tendencies in EU technocrats. I will never trust the EU to abandon neoliberalism and to promote the active use of fiscal policy to achieve societal and environmental wellbeing.

    All the good elements of the EU – environmental regulations, quality control standards for goods and services – can be enacted by the UK Parliament by statute. It is not necessary to be part of the EU to benefit from those things.

    Plenty of non-EU nations enjoy healthy diplomatic and trade relations with the EU.

    I think that the Remainers overstate the difficulty of leaving the EU.

    With appropriate use of fiscal policy to assist the transition, the UK will be fine.

    I know that it is difficult to persuade the UK’s political class to embrace active fiscal policy, but the probability of achieving that goal is surely higher than the probability of persuading “fight inflation first” zealots in Germany to drop their obsessions and become economically literate and humane.

    I acknowledge that as an Australian citizen who resides in Australia, I don’t have a direct stake in this issue. My opinion counts for little.

    I just hope that progressives in the UK can embrace the opportunities afforded by leaving behind the silly, arbitrary debt to GDP and deficit to GDP ratios prescribed by the EU.

    I hope that progressives in the UK take the constructive step of using national political processes to improve the wellbeing of the people and natural ecosystems of the UK.

    EU membership is probably not as important as the Remainers believe.

    The House of Commons existed centuries before the advent of the EU and I predict that the House of Commons will endure long after the EU has disbanded.

    The people of the UK should be proud of their political institutions. It makes sense for them to use their own political institutions to advance their wellbeing and to set a good example for other nations to emulate. The EU has performed poorly and does not deserve the deference it so often receives from progressives.

    UK voters have the power to hire and fire UK parliamentarians. They have no such power over German technocrats.

  12. Used to play bass in a band with a bloke on Hammond B3 and Leslie box, in the late 60’s. Was a proper bastard to get them set up on stage and off again. They weighed a ton!

  13. Nicholas,
    I totally agree with your view that it is much easier to get your national Gov. to accept and act on MMT than it would be to get the EU to do the same.
    IIRC, the treaty says that to change the treaty you must get unanimous agreement.
    In the US we tried that with the Articles of Confederation during and right after the Revolutionary War. We had to call a convention and illegally write and ratify a new constitution to allow Amendments with just 3/4 of the states.
    So yes, getting the treaty changed will never happen until a large number of nations have already left and more are threatening to.

  14. @ Adam K:

    I’m not informed enough to assess your point about the “free movement of capital” but it immediately raised a red flag in my head. Whenever big finance is offered a little window to opperate in a shady fashion, they’ll make a big door out of it. Still, as I pointed out before, it’s not like the government in the city is big on financial regulation anyway.

    I understand the feeling that it is easier to change the system on a national rather than a EU-wide stage, but as I also stated before, the situation of the UK is different than that of other member states because it is NOT subject to sanctions if it infringes the Maastricht treaty as other members do:

    “All EU members had to take part, but some, like Britain, who had decided not to use the Euro were not bound by the penalties.”

    The EU-honey-pot is too precious to countries such as Poland to risk upsetting the paymasters in Brussels too much, so they have to tip-toe around deficit spending policies.

    As for changing all of Europe’s mind, let’s be honest, the only ones that need convincing are the german sadomonetarists. I know, I know, people like Schäuble would rather have everybody jump off a cliff than incuring deficits, as long as they jumped off in an orderly manner.

  15. “The EU has performed poorly and does not deserve the deference it so often receives from progressives”

    They – the ‘progressives’ – have, since the 1980s, seen the EU as the antidote to Thatcherism.

    After 40+ years of being in the EEC->EC->EU, there is almost no concept in the UK, particularly amongst younger people, of being a country in your own right.

    If you put democracy first you are labelled a fundamentalist.

    If you want to stay a democracy then you have to put democracy in pole position. But ‘how will my vote affect my purse/wallet?’ has overtaken concern for democracy. Apparently, democracy isn’t worth much if it makes you financially poorer – democracy itself has been reduced to a money-making enterprise.

    So in the UK for 40+ years we’ve lived in a society which is just what Jean Monnet et al hoped for: people willingly turning away from democracy and instead rushing headlong into the arms of technocrats as their economic savious.

    And they say voting against supranational government is ‘self-harm’ because of its effect on the economy. The effect on government and on democracy doesn’t count for anything. But then, one thing almost all politicians and bureaucrats agree on is ‘don’t let the public think too much about how they’re governed’.

    The UK should serve as a warning to countries like New Zealand, Australia, and Canada to stay well away from this kind of thing. Preserve your knowledge of what is means to be a country in your own right. There are people who want to take it away from you, and they are very clever, capable people who are in it for the long-haul (just shy of a century so far), which is one way they’re able to easily outsmart politicians – and public – who function at the level of electoral terms.

  16. @Herman – Adam K is absolutely right about FoM of Capital – and for me it’s existence is a good enough reason alone to leave the EU. Almost all meaningful regulation of the City of London could be curtailed or restricted by an endless list of corporations crying off to the ECJ at any whiff of an infringement of this, the most pernicious of the four freedoms.

    One aspect of the Brexit debate that is often overlooked (certainly by the pro-EU left in the UK) is that the EU that was on offer was one with even MORE opt outs and concessions for the City thanks to the unspecified (but gleefully accepted) concessions negotiated by David Cameron prior to the vote.

    A post Brexit UK government will be in a unique position to do something truly significant about financial corruption and the global economy – with significant changes possible at the stroke of a (Corbyn) pen. To acheive anything similar inside would require the development and successful steering of a pan-European progressive movement capable of overcoming the corporate capture and diffuse power structures of the EU (an argument made by @Nicolas above – although I feel no pride in UK political institutions).

  17. Nicholas, US gymnastics a lost cause? How would you incorporate Simone Biles into this view? As an anomaly?

  18. Larry, USA Gymnastics (capital G) is an organization. The United States Olympic Committee wants to revoke its status as the sport’s governing body in the United States.

  19. Nicholas, what to they expect to put in its place? Without a proper structure Biles will have difficulty either improving or surviving, as the great gymnist she indoubtedly is. I would have thought. Any thoughts?

  20. My point is simply that at some point an organization is no longer worthy of supporting and needs to be disbanded and / or replaced with something different. In my view both the EU and the Eurozone have long since passed that point.

  21. Well, this blog’s not only a great place to learn what’s going on behind the scene of political ideology and policies. But really groovy music postings. Having been a fan of the B3 genre myself with standouts Shirley Scott and Charles Earland, I’m going to expand the list with Lou Donaldson. Thanks Billy!

  22. Dear Mahish (at 2018/11/13 at 3:35 pm)

    Both great players. I loved Brian Auger and Trinity with Julie Driscoll.

    best wishes

  23. @HermantheGerman
    “As for changing all of Europe’s mind, let’s be honest, the only ones that need convincing are the german sadomonetarists. I know, I know, people like Schäuble would rather have everybody jump off a cliff than incuring deficits, as long as they jumped off in an orderly manner”.

    For someone able to make comments as insightful (and funny) as this – and quite a few others – it surprises me a lot that you miss so much of the point of Brexit. Nicholas – an Australian living in Australia – gets it in one. I urge you to fully digest his comments if you want to know the answer to your question.

  24. @HermanTheGerman

    As a rider to my previous comment on your question, I would dissent from this answer from Larry:-
    “The major problem is the incompetence of the government itself. It would have been a decent solution to show the way from within, as you put it, but this group of incompetents have alienated everyone, even many on their side”.

    I think Larry is falling (and maybe you are too) into the same trap as many left-wing Remainers who continue to believe – or claim to – that it would have been possible to reform the EU from within. There was never the slightest chance IMO for Britain to have “shown the way from within” (a pretension which reeks to my mind of condescension rather than of “decency”).

    The suggestion that the principal obstacle to realisation of that totally unrealisable ambition is the “incompetence” of the Tory government seems like a (not very successful) smoke-screen to me. I hold no brief for the Tories but, with respect, their competence or lack of it has nothing to do with your question one way or the other.

    Incompatibility always was, and has become more so with the passage of time, the fundamental factor. de Gaulle was right all along albeit for the wrong, Machiavellian, reasons. (It’s truly risible to picture what *his* reaction would have been to the idea of la France being “shown the way” by an ineffably “decent” Britain!)

  25. Judging by the ‘deal’ the Tories are reported to have struck with the EU, both are fearful of a future ‘Corbyn’ type of government.

    Hoping to tie the UK to on-going restrictions on any activities that might ‘distort the market’ (re-nationalization, state aid etc.), both are clearly trying to protect the corporations they serve and calm the nerves of the massed lobbyists in Brussels.

    What was it Neil Wilson would always remind us? ‘…no parliament can bind a successor or be bound by a previous parliament…’. The EU and the Tories appear to want to change that before they are done with the UK. As I understand it, one of the things that attracted Ted Heath to Common Market membership was that it would cement in place measures to prevent future governments implementing socialist economic policies. No surprise that it still appeals the Tories.

    Hopefully, this will now clarify for many the fact that EU and Tory economic policies are perfectly aligned to adhere to Thatcher’s TINA mantra. The EU are not punishing the Tories for taking the UK out, they are punishing any future governments that might want to put the people before the corporations. The mask has well and truly slipped, but I see a lot of ‘progressive’ commentators on social media are describing the proposed deal as a ‘Tory stitch-up’ or similar. They seem willfully blind to the fact there are two parties to this deal and only one of those parties has the power structures required to impose on-going rules on a nation that constrain democratic choices around how the economy is run. The same commentators suddenly see these rules as unacceptable when applied to one nation outside the EU. So how can then be acceptable when applied across a continent? The Tories are now hoping to use the power of EU’s supranational governance to impose a permanent economic model on the UK. Conclusive evidence that you should never outsource such powers.

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