British politics

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UK shooting range uses Shamima Begum image for targets

photos of a Muslim girl used as targets, but no photos of Jihadi Jack. In fact almost no mention of him in the media. No Tommy Robinson videos about him. No radio phone-in shows about him, even though as a male he was far more likely to be involved in ISIS fighting than this girl. I wonder why not...
The government has bowed to MPs’ pressure over the post-Brexit rights of EU citizens and reaffirmed pledges to give the Commons a veto on a no-deal departure, after the latest parliamentary wrangling over Theresa May’s deadlocked plans.

A day that had been heralded as the moment when backbenchers would seize control of the Brexit timetable from the prime minister lost some of its drama after May and her ministers gave way in a series of areas where they were likely to lose Commons votes.

The concessions meant that the set of votes on the government’s latest Brexit motion, tabled in lieu of a still-elusive revised departure plan, was the first without a defeat for May.

In one development that could gain in significance in the coming days, a Labour frontbench amendment proposing their own Brexit plan was defeated by 323 votes to 240, which under the new party policy should mean Labour will now push for a second EU referendum.

In a statement afterwards, Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would back a public vote while also pushing for “other available options”, including a general election and Labour’s own Brexit plan.
Desperately seeking votes ...


Nov 18, 2013

King Boonen said:

This man needs an extremely stern talking to in my opinion.
Even if every word was true he should have known how it would be spun and how it would look and the damage it would cause. tool.
The number of suicide attempts on the Tube has fallen for the first time in five years, figures show.

The slight drop comes as transport bosses hailed efforts by staff to be more responsive and sympathetic to vulnerable passengers and increase interventions across the underground network.

Transport for London (TfL) data showed there was an average of 2.8 suicide attempts per four-week period in 2014-15, 3.1 in 2015-16, 4.2 in 2016/17, and 5.5 in 2017-18.

Analysis of the first eight months of the current financial year shows there were 48 attempts – an average of 5.3 per four-week period, the first time since at least 2014 the rate has not increased.
Things must be bad when good news is people not killing themselves.
MPs' basic pay set to increase by more than £2,000 in April

MPs' basic pay is set to increase by more than £2,000 in April, taking their salary to almost £80,000, the parliamentary expenses watchdog has announced.

The above inflation increase has triggered a backlash from campaigners and some MPs, who have compared the rise to that of civil servants and parliamentary staff.

The annual adjustment - effective from 1 April - means MPs' salaries will increase from £77,379 to £79,568 - a hike of £2,089.
That's the way to get public support - up your wages!
and following on from the previous post -
U.K. Inequality Runs Deeper Than You Think

Of course, it is legitimate to argue that Britain has a problem. The top 1 percent earns around 7 percent of total disposable household income. The Gini coefficient stood at 25 percent in 1978, rose steeply under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and now hovers around 32 percent. This is why Labour is pushing for more radical policy proposals, including restoring sectoral collective bargaining.

Still, the evidence shows that the main form of inequality dogging Britain – much like the rest of Europe – is the one between generations. A report from the Intergenerational Commission found last year that disposable incomes are no higher for millennials who have reached age 30 than they were for the previous generation at the same age. This contrasts, for example, with the steep improvements enjoyed by the baby boomers relative to their own parents. The report also found that while in 2001 those aged between 25 and 34 were consuming the same as 55-64 year-olds, they are now consuming 15 percent less.

Britain's failure to tackle this issue does more than instill a sense of unfairness among its youth. It also breeds resentment and political apathy, which can hamper future economic growth and productivity if it prevents young people from investing in their human capital.

May has done little to address this issue. Last autumn, chancellor Philip Hammond promised “the end of austerity”, as he moved to inject money into the National Health Service, increase the funding of universal credit (the government’s new welfare benefit) and raise the threshold for the personal allowance and higher rate taxpayers. But there was little in the budget for the young, except for an increase in the national living wage for the over-25s, and some more money for homebuilding. sooner had the prime minister announced miniscule amounts of new funding for economically maligned areas that just so happen to be represented by Labour MPs who she might need to vote for her Brexit deal, than they have lined up, one after the other, to tell her they would not be “bribed”.

It is not, strictly speaking, a bribe, in the sense that there is nothing stopping Labour MPs from accepting the cash and not voting through her deal.

Indeed, quite the opposite – there is very little they can do to prevent their areas getting the money, should they so wish. But so derisory are the sums involved, there has evidently been absolutely nothing to prevent them risking the ire of their constituents by pointing this out. It would be generous even to describe it as pork-barrel politics. It is scarcely a packet of Frazzles.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has called it a “desperate bribe". Anna Soubry, no longer of the Tory parish, said “voters will not be fooled” by it, which they won’t. Labour MPs from Leave supporting areas, Lisa Nandy and Ruth Smeeth, have called it a “failure” and “extraordinarily pathetic” respectively. Gareth Snell, who represents Stoke Central, Britain’s most pro-Brexit constituency, said: “There is no price on my vote.”

In practically every area due to receive a slice of the £1.6bn funds, the slice is significantly smaller than the amounts that have been cut from local council budgets. The entire £1.6bn is also half of the £3.2bn spent under the coalition's Regional Growth Fund, scrapped after the Conservatives won their majority in 2015.
The government has come under immediate pressure from its own MPs over a £1.6bn funding boost for deprived English towns, as it emerged the guaranteed spending in some regions would amount to as little as 58p per person per year.
The UK was by all accounts bankrupt in 2008 and ever since it's been selling off the family silver to pay the gas bill and living on Tiddles food.

Edit - update - I look at Dan Roan's Twitter feed and see this -
Labour has admitted it will not support a new referendum on Brexit in all circumstances, in a major blow to those in the party campaigning for one.

Sources close to the Labour leadership confirmed that the party is not advocating a referendum on anything other than a “damaging Tory Brexit” and will not support one if Britain leaves the EU on terms that Labour backs.

The Independent has learnt that the issue was the subject of a row between Mr Corbyn’s shadow ministers that pitted Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry against Brexit-backing frontbenchers led by Jon Trickett.

As it dawned on Labour Remainers today, a prominent MP who backs the People’s Vote campaign warned that a failure of the party to follow through on the pledge to back a new referendum would be seen as a “betrayal”.

It comes as deputy leader Tom Watson is in the process of forming a new “social democrat” group within the party, while eight MPs have quit the party, in large part over Brexit policy, to form the new Independent Group.
What divisions will appear next? The Titanic is still heading for the iceberg.
Theresa May has urged parliament to “get it done” and back her Brexit deal in an impassioned speech which, however, offered no new concessions for wavering MPs ahead 0f next week’s crucial vote.

Speaking to energy workers in a dockside warehouse in the leave heartland of Grimsby, May also repeatedly declined to accept any personal responsibility for the ongoing uncertainty, or give any clues as to what she will do if the vote is lost.

Instead, she urged the EU to make new concessions over the Irish backstop insurance policy – the issue that saw many of her MPs vote against the deal the first time – before expected last-ditch talks in Brussels this weekend.

May also lashed out at Jeremy Corbyn for, as she put it, seeking to frustrate Brexit, and implored Labour MPs in leave-voting seats, such as the Grimsby MP Melanie Onn, who was there, to back her deal.

If her plan was voted down again in the Commons on Tuesday, May told the crowd, the result would be more economic uncertainty and delay, and the possibility of Brexit being either watered down or even overturned.

A vote against the deal would mean “not completing Brexit and getting on with all the other important issues people care about, just yet more months and years arguing”, May said. “If we go down that road, we might never leave the EU at all.”
May says vote for my deal or face the consequences - and it's all EU's fault! :D
Brexit talks between the UK and the EU remain deadlocked, Downing Street has said, just a day before MPs are due to vote again on Theresa May's deal.

Mrs May spoke to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on Sunday night after a weekend of negotiations failed to find a breakthrough.

Talks will resume on Monday morning with the aim of securing changes to the deal before Tuesday's vote.

The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March.

The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg said the chances of Parliament approving Mrs May's deal appeared "very remote" at this stage.

...Mark Francois, a member of the European Research Group of Brexit-backing Tory MPs, said unless "something amazing" materialised, the outcome of Tuesday's vote would be similar to that in January - when the government lost by a record 230 votes.

"In very simple terms if you ask the same question, you get pretty much the same answer," he told BBC Breakfast.
Corbyn is pretty pathetic. Electoral gains is all he seems to care about, and that is failing miserably, which is quite an achievement with the train-wreck that is the Tory party.

"Jeremy Corbyn says the house must unite around a proposal that can be negotiated. That plan has been put forward by Labour, he says.

He says Labour will put its plan forward again.

May has run down the clock. Maybe we should have a general election, he says."
So after yesterday's non-surprising no vote, it's time for a vote on no-deal -
MPs will vote later on whether to block the UK from leaving the EU without a deal on 29 March, after again rejecting the PM's withdrawal agreement.

Wednesday's vote would not rule out the prospect of a no-deal exit later this year, if talks are extended but the UK is ultimately unable to agree a deal.
MPs will vote on a government motion, which says: "This House declines to approve leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement and a framework on the future relationship on 29 March".

Mrs May, who is currently chairing a cabinet meeting, has said Tory MPs will get a free vote.

That means ministers and MPs can vote with their conscience rather than following the orders of party managers - an unusual move for a vote on a major policy.
So how long can a withdrawl agreement be punted down the road - indefinitely maybe? :D
Seems like both UK & EU see an extension as the only way forward -
Tusk says he will urge EU leaders to back long extension to article 50 if UK cannot agree Brexit plan

Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, has just posted this on Twitter.

Donald Tusk @eucopresident

During my consultations ahead of #EUCO, I will appeal to the EU27 to be open to a long extension if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its #Brexit strategy and build consensus around it.
This is probably helpful to Theresa May, because it reinforces the argument that she is making to MPs that, if they fail to vote for her deal, she will have no choice but to seek a long extension of article 50.

Robert5091 said:
Seems like both UK & EU see an extension as the only way forward -
Tusk says he will urge EU leaders to back long extension to article 50 if UK cannot agree Brexit plan

Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, has just posted this on Twitter.

Donald Tusk @eucopresident

During my consultations ahead of #EUCO, I will appeal to the EU27 to be open to a long extension if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its #Brexit strategy and build consensus around it.
This is probably helpful to Theresa May, because it reinforces the argument that she is making to MPs that, if they fail to vote for her deal, she will have no choice but to seek a long extension of article 50.
"My deal, no deal or no Brexit" vs "we will only give them a delay which is long that there will be enough space for new elections or a new referendum"
MPs have voted by 413 to 202 - a majority of 211 - for Prime Minister Theresa May to ask the EU for a delay to Brexit.

It means the UK may not now leave on 29 March as previously planned.

Mrs May says Brexit could be delayed by three months, to 30 June, if MPs back her deal in a vote next week.

If they reject her deal again then she says she will seek a longer extension - but any delay has to be agreed by the 27 other EU member states.
Will Farage and the crazies take to the streets now? Or is everyone sick and tired of the whole circus now?
The House of Commons Speaker has thwarted any attempt by Theresa May to bring a third meaningful vote to parliament, unless there has been substantial change to the Brexit deal.

With Theresa May’s plans thrown into chaos by the move, one of her chief law officers warned the government could be forced to cut short the parliamentary session and restart in order to bring back the Brexit deal.

John Bercow’s shock move, which drew immediate criticism from May’s allies, suggested he believed such a fundamental change would involve a renegotiation at EU level rather than clarification of the legal advice written by the attorney general, something that had been suggested this week.

The solicitor general, Robert Buckland, said the decision was a “constitutional crisis” and that the government might have to consider the drastic step of ending the parliamentary session early and restarting a new session.

“We’re in a major constitutional crisis here ... This has given us quite a lot to think about in the immediate term. There are ways around this – a prorogation of parliament and a new session – but we are now talking about not just days but hours to 29 March,” Buckland told BBC News.

“Frankly we could have done without this, but it’s something we’re going to have to negotiate with and deal with.”

Downing Street was blindsided by the announcement and unable to give a response at its regular afternoon briefing for journalists. “The speaker did not forewarn us of the content of his statement or the fact that he was making one,” May’s spokeswoman said.

Ministers described the government as being in a state of shock. “It’s miserable, I think the first thing is the government having to come to terms with it,” one said.
and just when you thought it could not become more ridiculous.
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