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Sunday, 2 July 2017

Home-Grown British Bananas

The descent of the United Kingdom in the league table of banana republics continues apace.

The Mail on Sunday tells us that Mrs May is tempted to undertake a U-turn on student fees ahead of the anticipated election that is at present expected to deliver a Corbyn government, perhaps even this year. If the Tories plan to buy back any significant proportion of the student vote, plus the votes of people who are repaying student fees, plus those of parents who have made sacrifices to spare their children the full burden of potential debt incurred in higher education, they are going to have to throw billions of pounds a year into the pot. Since it is problematic whether students and ex-students will be conned so simply, it will be necessary to recover lost ground with the old: so guaranteed real-terms pensions and free transport will have to be retained, even if the winter fuel allowance is to be means tested.

Ministers are openly talking and writing, lobbying and leaking about the imperative need to retain some votes from the 25-60 age group by ending the arbitrary 1% cap on public sector pay increases in the face of rising inflation of the goods in the shops. Relaxation of that cap is inevitable if the National Health Service is to survive and the forces of law and order are to be maintained. As the probability of Mr Corbyn going to Downing Street is proclaimed more and more, so the potential that some self-appointed 'patriot' will attempt to assassinate Corbyn [whose record justifies extreme hostility to him in some quarters] increases. The level of protection allocated to Corbyn needs to be at least as much as the serving prime minister, regardless of cost: the nation could not afford another Jo Cox type of tragedy if some aide to Labour leader were to be struck down in an attempt on his life. So more millions of pounds will have to be found, whether Corbyn wants it or not.

Meanwhile the chaotic wanton self-destruction of the government continues. It is now announced that they intend to abrogate the 1964 London Convention by which fishermen from some European countries, including France and Germany, can fish within British waters up to six miles from the coast. The Convention was signed a decade before Britain's accession to the Treaty of Rome, so it cannot be construed as any part of our membership of the EU. But the government announces the intention to repudiate it now, carefully souring the attitude of the Continental members of the EU ahead of the Brexit negotiations. It will be interesting to see what other irritants and insults the government will be able to find, to ensure that the 27 remaining countries in the EU feel that they are well rid of us; and that they owe us no concessions at all.

It is increasingly painful to try to keep up with the News.

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