Theresa May

Theresa May is still in her honeymoon but I believe it will not last. She seems to me to be very rigid. Her determination to complete Brexit it in two years is dangerous and will damage the economy. There is no need for this. As George Osborne said in the debate on triggering Article 50, her focus is on immigration and getting out from the European Court of Justice. These are both issues she carries over from the Home Office. She is now the Prime Minister and should give consideration to a wider set of issues.

Her behaviour is partly explained by the fact that Labour is so dysfunctional. The right thing for Labour to do on the vote on triggering Article 50 was to put down a detailed amendment calling for more careful preparation and a considered transition period and then vote against the main question. This would have given in the House of Lords more space to propose some sensible amendments would come back to the Commons and also given an opportunity for Tory remainders to voice their concerns. As it is she is simply responding to Tory ideological Brexiteers.

Jeremy Corbyn

I am afraid the problem with Jeremy is not that he is unrealistically left-wing, it is that we hear nothing from him about what Labour is proposing. And when he does speak there is no authority in the way he speaks. There is no doubt that Jeremy is a nice human being and has been sincere over his 30 years in the House of Commons in very frequently opposing the leadership of his own party and standing for purist positions. But now he has a different task, he needs to make proposals that make radical change realistic in peoples minds and he needs to manage his party and keep it together. He has no experience of either of these things and neither have the people who manage his office or hold senior appointments. And because large numbers in the PLP triggered a leadership election without thinking through the fact that the membership was still overwhelmingly in support of Corbyn, there is no way forward in the present situation simply has to play itself out.

But Labour’s problems are not all caused by Corbyn. Social democratic parties are in trouble everywhere. I think this is because they embraced neoliberalism  and decided their job was simply to redistribute the proceeds of the market economy. Thus they had no answers when the market economy ceased to provide funds to spend because it is all been blown on the rescue of the banks and they had no solutions to the growth of inequality and insecure low paid employment.

Donald Trump

Trump’s electoral base his people who have lost out under the sway of neoliberalism that they have been led to believe has been caused by globalisation. But his policies will bring them no benefits. He has appointed billionaires, senior Wall Street figures and generals to run his administration plus Steve Bannon who I understand thinks Judaeo-Christian civilisation is under threat and that war with China is inevitable! He is promising tax cuts for companies and getting rid of the regulations that were brought in to control the banks after the crisis of 2008/9. He says he’s going ahead with the ridiculous wall between the US and Mexico where there is already a fence. It is estimated to cost $20 billion and all the building work done in that part of the country employs Mexican workers and uses Mexican firms to supply concrete! He is also promising a growth in defence spending in what is already very bloated budget. Beyond that his promise of the general improvement in infrastructure across America has gone very quiet. The question is when will his voters start to feel cheated and how will they react? Will the attacks on Mexicans, Muslims and the Chinese keep them happy as their economic situation fails to improve?

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