petej + deregulation   126

How Brexit Broke Up Britain | by Fintan O’Toole | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
Another word for “control” is “regulation.” The fundamental appeal of Brexit is that the British have had too much regulation imposed from Brussels and desire in the future to regulate themselves. Thus the British will control their own environmental safeguards, their own food safety, their own labor standards, their own laws on competition and monopolies. The EU does indeed do many of these things and there is a perfectly coherent argument to be made that the British state should do them instead. It is a safe bet that this is what most people who voted for Brexit want and expect.

But that’s not actually what Brexit is about. The real agenda of the Hard Brexiteers is not, in this sense, about taking back control; it is about letting go of control. For people like Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, the dream is not of a change in which regulation happens, but of a completion of the deregulating neoliberal project set in motion by Margaret Thatcher in 1979. The Brexit fantasy is of an “open” and “global” Britain, unshackled from EU regulation, that can lower its environmental, health, and labor standards and unleash a new golden age of buccaneering hyper-capitalism. Again, this is a perfectly coherent (if repellent) agenda. But it is not what most of those who voted for Brexit think it is supposed to be. And this gap makes it impossible to say what “the British” want—they want contradictory things.

The second question is who is supposed to be taking control: Who, in other words, are “the people” to whom power is supposedly being returned? Here we find the other thing that dare not speak its name: English nationalism. Brexit is in part a response to a development that has been underway since the turn of the century. In reaction to the Belfast Agreement of 1998 that created a new political space in Northern Ireland and the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 that did the same for another part of the UK, there has been a rapid change in the way English people see their national identity. Increasingly, they are not British, but English. This resurgent identity has not been explicitly articulated by any mainstream party and surveys have shown a growing sense of English alienation from the center of London government in Westminster and Whitehall. Brexit, which is overwhelming an English phenomenon, is in part an expression of this frustration. In Anthony Barnett’s blunt and pithy phrase from his 2017 book The Lure of Greatness: England’s Brexit and America’s Trump, “Unable to exit Britain, the English did the next-best thing and told the EU to fuck off.”

There is stark and overwhelming evidence that the English people who voted for Brexit do not, on the whole, care about the United Kingdom and in particular do not care about that part of it called Northern Ireland. When asked in the recent “Future of England” survey whether “the unravelling of the peace process in Northern Ireland” is a “price worth paying” for Brexit that allows them to “take back control,” fully 83 percent of Leave voters and 73 percent of Conservative voters in England agree that it is. This is not, surely, mere mindless cruelty; it expresses a deep belief that Northern Ireland is not “us,” that what happens “over there” is not “our” responsibility. Equally, in the Channel 4 survey, asked how they would feel if “Brexit leads to Northern Ireland leaving the United Kingdom and joining the Republic of Ireland,” 61 percent of Leave voters said they would be “not very concerned” or “not at all concerned.”
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  customsUnion  MayTheresa  ToryParty  CorbynJeremy  LabourParty  opposition  ThornberryEmily  StarmerKeir  referendum  regulation  deregulation  control  neoliberalism  hardBrexit  England  nationalism  NorthernIreland  dctagged  dc:creator=O'TooleFintan 
november 2018 by petej
Some praise our gig economy flexibility. I call it exploitation | Larry Elliott | Opinion | The Guardian
Language matters. There was a time when these trends would have been described as casualisation or exploitation. They would have been seen as symbolic of a one-sided labour market in which the deck was stacked in favour of employers. These days, though, it is evidence of “flexibility”, and who could object to that?
gigEconomy  zeroHours  underemployment  self-employment  casualisation  exploitation  employment  flexibility  deregulation  pay  wages  interestRates  dctagged  dc:creator=ElliottLarry 
april 2018 by petej
After the Fire | Abi Wilkinson
Ultimately, this is a story about contempt. The contempt for human life displayed by whoever was responsible for choosing to go with cheaper, more flammable cladding to save a measly few thousand pounds—in a borough where wealthier residents will happily drop that sort of cash on a last minute weekend break or a fancy bottle of wine. The contempt towards social tenants shown by a council which clearly believed its primary role was to represent the interests of those more affluent voters, and god help anyone who dares get in its way. The contempt of Theresa May for the people who suffer as a result of the policies her party promotes—proudly cutting public services and health and safety regulations—and really for anyone who might answer back.
GrenfellTower  fire  KensingtonAndChelsea  KCTMO  safety  socialHousing  inequality  cladding  costs  deregulation  standards  accountability  contempt  dctagged  dc:creator=WilkinsonAbi 
july 2017 by petej
Why Grenfell Tower Burned: Regulators Put Cost Before Safety - The New York Times
But in Britain, still no changes were made. “The construction industry appears to be stronger and more powerful than the safety lobby,” said Ronnie King, a former fire chief who advises the parliamentary fire safety group. “Their voice is louder.”
GrenfellTower  fire  safety  construction  cladding  high-rise  regulation  design  deregulation  business  OmnisExteriors  Arconic  UK 
june 2017 by petej
Grenfell is political. The right can’t make that fact go away | Suzanne Moore | Opinion | The Guardian
Rightwing ideology, currently in crisis, insists that politics takes place in a safe space, a well-defended zone away from the everyday. Everything else that happens is just the natural order of things.

This fire and its aftermath has consumed these foolish notions. Politics is about power, who has it and in whose interests it is wielded. The freedom of the market and the freedom from red tape meant people were trapped in a flaming building. No one is “playing politics” here except those desperately trying to police the boundaries of acceptable emotion and acceptable politics.

Grenfell is as political as it gets. To deny that is an insult to the dead and an assault on the intelligence of the living.
GrenfellTower  housing  politics  anger  McDonnellJohn  regulation  deregulation  fire  safety  dctagged  dc:creator=MooreSuzanne 
june 2017 by petej
The end of the Long 90s | Flip Chart Fairy Tales
The campaign for Brexit was, for the most part, led and financed by the libertarian free-market right; people who want more deregulation, less tax and a smaller state. It is beginning to dawn on some of them that Brexit may deliver the exact opposite. For Andrew Lilico, one of the relatively few economists to support Brexit, all that matters now is stopping Corbyn.

Everything else is secondary now to stopping him. Austerity, Brexit, public services reform, trade deals with the US, foibles about doing deals with Irish politicians or Lib Dems – even new anti-terror laws. Everything else is secondary and expendable for the moment.

It was their own fault. The Brexiters fanned the flames of populism and re-introduced people to the notion that voting might change things. They thought that the new post-Brexit Britain would be theirs. Now they realise it probably won’t.

When historians and political scientists look back, in a decade or so, one image will define the Summer of ’17. It won’t be a distraught Theresa May or a waving Jeremy Corbyn. It will be the burning Grenfell Tower. It is still way too early to be clear about what went wrong and who’s fault it might have been but, regardless of the causes of the fire, as the Guido Fawkes blog complains, the political fallout is already damaging the Conservatives. It doesn’t really matter how much of a role austerity, a scrimping Tory council, outsourcing and deregulation had in making the catastrophic blaze more likely, the story fits the spirit of the times. Grenfell was a tower block housing the poor in the middle of one of the country’s richest constituencies, the one in which, less than a week earlier, Labour had overturned decades of solid Tory majorities. It may, in time, become a symbol of the point at which British politics turned.
UK  politics  economics  economy  liberalism  privatisation  deregulation  diversity  Blairism  livingStandards  immigration  Brexit  ToryParty  UKIP  LabourParty 
june 2017 by petej
Driverless Ed-Tech: The History of the Future of Automation in Education
We hear it all the time. To be fair, of course, we have heard it, with varying frequency and urgency, for about 100 years now. “Robots are coming for your job.” And this time – this time – it’s for real.
I want to suggest – and not just because there are flaws with Uber’s autonomous vehicles (and there was just a crash of a test vehicle in Arizona last Friday) – that this is not entirely a technological proclamation. Robots don’t do anything they’re not programmed to do. They don’t have autonomy or agency or aspirations. Robots don’t just roll into the human resources department on their own accord, ready to outperform others. Robots don’t apply for jobs. Robots don’t “come for jobs.” Rather, business owners opt to automate rather than employ people. In other words, this refrain that “robots are coming for your job” is not so much a reflection of some tremendous breakthrough (or potential breakthrough) in automation, let alone artificial intelligence. Rather, it’s a proclamation about profits and politics. It’s a proclamation about labor and capital.
technology  automation  education  edtech  ThrunSebastian  SiliconValley  Uber  UAV  driverlessCars  autonomousVehicles  robots  jobs  employment  capitalism  politics  regulation  deregulation  disruption  libertarianism  RandAyn  individualism  cars  driving  publicTransport  personalisation  control  precarity  surveillance  algorithms  dctagged  dc:creator=WattersAudrey 
april 2017 by petej
Terrifying Trump | by Elizabeth Drew | The New York Review of Books
In fact, Trump’s hold on power may be more tenuous than it appears. It’s not just that his hubristic dismissal of valid ethical concerns could produce a scandal at any time; he took office under the cloud of at least one investigation into possible underhanded if not illegal dealings with Russia on his part and continuing questions about the relations of some of his political associates with Putin or his associates. The ambiguity of Trump’s election victory complicates his presidency: having lost the popular vote by nearly three million, he started out as a minority president with a large mass of people feeling they’d been cheated and motivated to arise against him. This partly explains Trump’s fixation on the electoral vote and his and his associates’ insistence—incorrect—that he’d won an electoral vote “landslide.”

Trump’s possible mental deficiencies are also a troubling question: serious medical professionals suspect he has narcissistic personality disorder, and also oncoming dementia, judging from his limited vocabulary. (If one compares his earlier appearances on YouTube, for example a 1988 interview with Larry King, it appears that Trump used to speak more fluently and coherently than he does now, especially in some of his recent rambling presentations.) His perseverating about such matters as the size of his inauguration crowd, or the fantasy that three to five million illegal voters denied him a popular vote victory (he got these estimates from a dodgy source who has yet to offer documentation), or, as he told CIA employees, the number of times he’s been on the cover of Time (sometimes inflating the actual number) has become a joke, but it also suggests that there may be something troubling about his mental state. Numerous eminent psychologists and psychiatrists have written about or expressed their concerns about Trump’s mental stability.
TrumpDonald  USA  politics  PenceMike  SessionsJeff  BannonStephen  MillerStephen  tax  deregulation  business  environment  Obamacare  Mexico  immigration  refugees  travel  ban  Muslims  foreignPolicy  Iran  media  journalism  YatesSally  judiciary  authoritarianism  mentalHealth  power 
february 2017 by petej
Jobs for all? In the US that idea is about to be tested to destruction | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
Across the world, in fact, what remains of the left and centre-left remains stubbornly wedded to visions of crowded production lines and the glories of the archetypal worker.

A more future-fit politics, built around the declining importance of paid employment and the need to rebuild policy accordingly, has yet to take shape; for the moment, the left and the hard right are awkwardly united not just in their disdain for globalisation, but also in their belief that politicians can get their countries back to an idyll of factories extending to the horizon and jobs for all.
USA  TrumpDonald  jobs  employment  manufacturing  infrastructure  protectionism  deregulation  automation  technology  delusion  nostalgia  post-work  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn 
january 2017 by petej
Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trump’s triumph | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian
"The paradoxical result is that the backlash against neoliberalism’s crushing of political choice has elevated just the kind of man that Hayek worshipped. Trump, who has no coherent politics, is not a classic neoliberal. But he is the perfect representation of Hayek’s “independent”; the beneficiary of inherited wealth, unconstrained by common morality, whose gross predilections strike a new path that others may follow. The neoliberal thinktankers are now swarming round this hollow man, this empty vessel waiting to be filled by those who know what they want. The likely result is the demolition of our remaining decencies, beginning with the agreement to limit global warming.

Those who tell the stories run the world. Politics has failed through a lack of competing narratives. The key task now is to tell a new story of what it is to be a human in the 21st century. It must be as appealing to some who have voted for Trump and Ukip as it is to the supporters of Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn.

A few of us have been working on this, and can discern what may be the beginning of a story. It’s too early to say much yet, but at its core is the recognition that – as modern psychology and neuroscience make abundantly clear – human beings, by comparison with any other animals, are both remarkably social and remarkably unselfish. The atomisation and self-interested behaviour neoliberalism promotes run counter to much of what comprises human nature.

Hayek told us who we are, and he was wrong. Our first step is to reclaim our humanity."
neoliberalism  politics  Hayek  Thatcher  Thatcherism  inequality  state  welfare  deregulation  privatisation  TrumpDonald  dctagged  dc:creator=MonbiotGeorge 
november 2016 by petej
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