petej + policy   654

Without a transformation on Brexit, Labour's election chances are dead
Labour was right, after the 2017 general election, to respect the referendum result. There was no concrete Tory Brexit plan laid out; there was every prospect of negotiating a Norway-style deal; and the toxic xenophobia of the 2016 referendum campaign had dissipated.

Three years on from the referendum, the political dynamics have changed dramatically. Since July 2018 it has been clear that no form of Brexit acceptable to the Tory party can get through parliament. The only Brexit MPs could vote for is unpalatable to the Tory right. Among the right-wing electorate, support for a no-deal Brexit has grown. As defined by who wants it, Brexit is now a right-wing project.
UK  politics  LabourParty  EU  Brexit  policy  McCluskeyLen  MarrAndrew  CorbynJeremy  Remain  Leave  TheLeft  referendum  generalElection  FarageNigel  JohnsonBoris  BrexitParty  ToryParty  workingClass  LaveryIan  NandyLisa  class  race  xenophobia  migrants  BlueLabour  tradeUnions  SWP  ReesJohn  DempseyEddie  Stalinism  Lexit  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul 
16 days ago by petej
‘Socialism for the rich’: the evils of bad economics | Inequality | The Guardian
Much of the inequality we see today in richer countries is more down to decisions made by governments than to irreversible market forces. These decisions can be changed. However, we have to want to control inequality: we must make inequality reduction a central aim of government policy and wider society. The most entrenched, self-deluding and self-perpetuating justifications for inequality are about morality, not economy. The great economist John Kenneth Galbraith nicely summarised the problem: “One of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy … is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. It is an exercise which always involves a certain number of internal contradictions and even a few absurdities. The conspicuously wealthy turn up urging the character-building value of privation for the poor.”
economics  policy  inequality  Thatcherism  tax  socialMobility  morality 
27 days ago by petej
Stumbling and Mumbling: The irrelevant Independent Group
The Independent Group claims to value an “open, tolerant and respectful democratic society” and to oppose Brexit. It wills the ends, but not the means. It fails to see that Brexit and intolerance are the product of economic conditions, and is silent on what to do about those conditions. It looks therefore like a bunch of narcissists complaining that people are not like them whilst offering no real solutions.
UK  politics  IndependentGroup  centrism  growth  stagnation  intolerance  austerity  finance  crisis  economy  policy  dctagged  dc:creator=DillowChris 
february 2019 by petej
The Attack on Public Housing
The attacks on Osamor, who is black, are undeniably racial but also carry the unpleasant subtext that people who live in social housing should not be MPs. Parliament is still broadly unrepresentative of British society: there are still far more men than women, the number of black and Asian MPs is still shockingly low, and the class make-up of practically every legislative body throughout the United Kingdom skews heavily middle class, with the number of MPs educated at Oxford and Cambridge an embarrassment. Hounding an MP for daring to remain in the council home she has dwelt in for thirty years highlights how few MPs come from more ordinary backgrounds.

Crow and Osamor were right to defend their living situations and to call for more people to be given secure tenures that help people escape the exorbitant rents that private landlords extract from tenants. Individual actions will do little to solve the housing crisis; but defending social housing as a political good, and arguing that housing should be a human right that offers the best start in life, rather than yet another source of private profit, is essential. People attack this position because it upsets the status quo — because it forces the public discourse to acknowledge that our housing system is rigged, and tenants need both more rights and a second national house-building program.
UK  housing  socialHousing  OsamorKate  CrowBob  Thatcherism  rightToBuy  homeOwnership  tenancies  community  construction  policy  dctagged  dc:creator=FosterDawn 
december 2018 by petej
Mis-sold, expensive and overhyped: why our universities are a con | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian
For two decades, Westminster has used universities as its magic answer for social mobility. Ministers did so with the connivance of highly paid vice-chancellors, and in the process they have trashed much of what was good about British higher education. What should be sites for speculative inquiry and critical thinking have instead turned into businesses that speculate on property deals, criticise academics who aren’t publishing in the right journals – and fail spectacularly to engage with the serious social and economic problems that confront the UK right now. As for the graduates, they largely wind up taking the same place in the queue as their parents – only this time with an expensive certificate detailing their newfound expertise.
education  higherEducation  universities  expansion  fees  tuitionFees  pay  wages  salaries  marketisation  debt  class  socialMobility  UK  policy  dctagged  dc:creator=ChakraborttyAditya 
september 2018 by petej
Thirty years of HE policy - and the future | Wonkhe | Comment
However, there is an alternative scenario. This is one in which our political leaders and the media and other interests that have supported them own up to the blind alley up which these policies have led us over the past forty years or so. They are prepared to explain to the electorate that you cannot have European levels of public services with American levels of tax (and tax avoidance). They are no longer prepared to put up with the excuses of what is left of UK-owned business for their failure to match international standards of investment (including investment in people) or even the investment record of foreign-owned firms in Britain (at least pre-Brexit).

They are willing for the Government to be more actively engaged in managing economic demand, in combating market concentration, and in promoting and supporting industrial innovation. They work with the EU and other governments to control the offshore and other activities of multinationals and to regulate the cross-border movement of goods, services, capital and people. Above all, they believe in and extol the virtues of public goods, working with civil society organisations like universities to rebuild the public infrastructure and the (now frighteningly decayed) public realm.
education  higherEducation  universities  UK  policy  funding  expansion  fees  tuitionFees  marketisation  competition 
april 2018 by petej
Economist Paul Johnson: ‘We are nowhere near out of austerity' | Business | The Guardian
Even without Brexit, the challenges facing the UK would be formidable. With Brexit, they look cataclysmic. “The economics are obvious,” he says. “If you make trade with your biggest, nearest and richest trading partner more expensive, you will make yourself worse off. The truth is there is no dispute about that. Of course there is a case for Brexit. It’s just not an economic case. It’s a controlling-immigration case. With everything – and this is what’s frustrating about a lot of political debate – there are trade-offs. Do you want control of your borders or do you want to avoid taking a hit of a couple of per cent of GDP? You can’t have both.
economics  economy  UK  austerity  policy  cuts  publicServices  tax  NHS  welfareState  HammondPhilip  politics  democracy  Brexit  JohnsonPaul  IFS 
march 2018 by petej
Austerity, not Brexit, has doomed the Tory party | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian
The problem with competence is that you can only bluff it for so long – and then your reputation is shot for good. That, in a nutshell, is the Tories of 2017. Austerity was a political tactic that Cameron and Osborne passed off as a long-term economic plan. It was no such thing. Now May and Hammond have been lumbered with a botchjob for a fiscal strategy and a reputation for ineptitude. Ditch the first and they might just about lose the second. Sadly, I see no chance of them doing either.
UK  politics  ToryParty  austerity  policy  OsborneGeorge  CameronDavid  MayTheresa  dctagged  dc:creator=ChakraborttyAditya 
november 2017 by petej
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