Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Britain’

The debate over a second Brexit referendum

Posted by hkarner - 19. Januar 2019

Date: 18-01-2019
Source: The Economist

How Britain embraced referendums, the tool of dictators and demagogues

We can go from “the people’s vote” to “a people’s veto,” says Robert Saunders of Queen Mary University of London

With the possible exceptions of race, sex and Theresa May’s dancing, no subject has inspired more hysteria in British politics than the referendum.

In 1945 Clement Attlee denounced it as “alien to all our traditions” and an “instrument of Nazism”. Harold Wilson, the prime minister who would hold Britain’s first national referendum in 1975, had previously dismissed the idea as “contrary to our traditions” and “not a way in which we can do business”, scoffing that a referendum would probably abolish the income tax. His Conservative opponent, Margaret Thatcher, called the referendum “a device of dictators and demagogues” that would be dangerous to minorities and destructive of parliamentary sovereignty. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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The great rescrambling of Britain’s parties

Posted by hkarner - 18. Januar 2019

Date: 17-01-2019
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

The country may be headed for a repeat of the 1850s

PEOPLE HAVE been talking about the collapse of the British party system for decades. Now it may actually be under way. The government has lost its authority. Parties are dissolving into factions. Factions are forming left-right alliances. Backbenchers are seizing the limelight while frontbenchers are hiding in the bushes.

Theresa May’s historic defeat on January 15th showed how far the disintegration on the right has gone. Just 40 Tories who are not on the government payroll voted in favour of the deal; 118 Tories voted against it. Now the focus is shifting to the left. Having lost the vote of no confidence in the government—and hence his chance of engineering a general election anytime soon—Jeremy Corbyn will face mounting pressure to call for a second referendum. This will expose deep divisions within his party: between Remain-supporting middle-classes and the Leave-supporting workers; between Labour’s high command and the bulk of its activists; and between Mr Corbyn, who dislikes the idea of another vote, and his chancellor, John McDonnell, who is more open to it. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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2018’s Biggest Loser Was the Liberal International Order

Posted by hkarner - 2. Januar 2019

Date: 31-12-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead
Subject:The runners-up are China, the U.K., France’s Macron and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed.

It’s been a year of tumult and chaos in world politics. In Japan, a national poll selected the kanji character sai, meaning disaster, as best reflecting the national mood. Perhaps 2019 will bring better news. In the meantime, here are the states, individuals, institutions and ideas that were 2018’s biggest losers. Next week: the winners.

• China’s Belt and Road Initiative. In 2018 Beijing began to learn how hard it is to build an international system. The BRI isn’t only a massive infrastructure project intended to build an integrated commercial area centered on China; it is an attempt to translate China’s economic might into geopolitical power. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The elite that failed

Posted by hkarner - 23. Dezember 2018

Date: 18-12-2018
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

Britain’s political crisis exposes the inadequacy of its leaders

In the past year the British body politic has endured an astonishing list of maladies. The cabinet has lost a foreign secretary and two Brexit secretaries, not to mention lots of lesser fry. Parliament has voted to hold the government in contempt. The Conservative Party has held a vote of no confidence in the prime minister and left her badly wounded. And it is going to get worse. There is no parliamentary majority for any Brexit deal, and no way out of the impasse that won’t break promises—and possibly heads.

There are two popular explanations for this mayhem. One is that Europe was always destined to tear Britain apart, since too many Britons loathe the evolution of the common market into a European Union. A second is that Brexit has provided a catalyst for a long-simmering civil war between successful Britain (which is metropolitan and liberal) and left-behind Britain (which is provincial and conservative). Both explanations have merit. But there is also a third: that the country’s model of leadership is disintegrating. Britain is governed by a self-involved clique that rewards group membership above competence and self-confidence above expertise. This chumocracy has finally met its Waterloo. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Our end-of-year awards celebrate the worst in politics

Posted by hkarner - 9. Dezember 2018

Date: 06-12-2018
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

And the winner is…

One of the highlights of any political journalist’s year is the Spectator dinner. Politicians and hacks drink fine champagne, eat good food and exchange juicy gossip, while the magazine’s editor hands out awards to Members of Parliament. But this year’s dinner, held on November 28th, had a surreal air. It was as if the Russian political class was toasting its brilliance in 1917 or the German one celebrating its triumphs in 1932.

The awards are supposed to recognise the best of the British parliamentary system. That system is convulsed by its worst crisis in the democratic era, as politicians fall over each other to make fools of themselves and ancient traditions crumble. Everywhere you look you can see politics at its worst: conspiracy, back-stabbing, grandstanding and chaos. So, in tune with the spirit of the times, we present an alternative set of awards.

Starting with the minor gongs, let’s honour the seat-blocker of the year. The one thing that the Conservative Party has going for it is a rising generation of talented mps, but their progress into government is being stymied by ministers who should never have been promoted. Liam Fox, the trade secretary, and Andrea Leadsom, Leader of the House of Commons, are strong candidates for this award, but nobody can hold a candle to the transport secretary, Chris “Failing” Grayling, whose combination of incompetence and unpopularity put him several lengths ahead of the rest. Not only did Mr Grayling mess up the introduction of a new train timetable so badly that whole sections of the railway system seized up, but he tried to palm the blame off on everybody but himself. This week a parliamentary committee produced a report on his performance so withering that, in normal times, he would have had to resign. But Mr Grayling had taken the precaution of being the first cabinet minister in David Cameron’s government to back Brexit, thus making himself unsackable. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The NHS genomic service could transform medicine

Posted by hkarner - 29. September 2018

Date: 28-09-2018
Source: The Economist

Its size, universal coverage and lifelong health records make it uniquely valuable for research

FORTY per cent of the babies born in Britain in the week starting on March 3rd 1946 became the first subjects in a project that eventually achieved global scientific renown (and inspired its share of laboratory envy). Along with children from three younger generations, 58,000 in total, those babies have been followed by researchers throughout their lives. Troves of data on everything from child development to ageing have helped to shape health care in Britain and beyond.

Now the National Health Service is launching another big-data programme that could be just as transformative. From October, NHS England will begin to routinely carry out a standard set of genomic tests for some cancers and rare diseases, filling in the patchy use of such tests today. Crucially, for patients who consent, the data from these tests will be held at a national research centre along with their health records. The NHS’s size, universal coverage and cradle-to-grave health records promise to make the database uniquely useful. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Labour’s creep towards a second referendum creates more uncertainty

Posted by hkarner - 29. September 2018

Date: 27-09-2018
Source: The Economist

The party backs a motion that leaves all options on the table

THE most striking mood-swing at this year’s Labour conference was the growing hostility to Brexit. In place of previous ambivalence, badges screaming “Bollox to Brexit” were everywhere. Fringe meetings were thick with members denouncing a Tory Brexit designed to benefit corporate interests at the expense of workers. And when Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, declared that parliamentary deadlock might justify a people’s vote, adding that nobody could say that Remain would not be an option, he received one of the conference’s biggest standing ovations.

Sir Keir claims that the party is united on Brexit, but it is not. A long and much-contested motion, passed at the conference, leaves all options open, including another vote. For all Labour’s pretence at being constructive this week, Sir Keir’s six tests mean that the party is all but certain to oppose any deal Theresa May brings back from Brussels. The party leadership is more Eurosceptic than the membership. It is also more dubious about the idea of a second referendum. Some big trade unions, as well as quite a few Labour MPs, are unhappy being seen to challenge the democratic decision of June 2016. Although polls show rising support for a fresh vote on a Brexit deal (see chart), party leaders fret that calling for it to include a Remain option could drive Leave voters in Labour seats into the Tories’ arms. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Londoner Bankenlobby warnt vor ungeordnetem Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 27. September 2018

Die Londoner Bankenlobby warnt davor, dass Millionen Versicherungspolicen und Verträge im Derivatehandel am 29. März 2019 ungültig werden, wenn nicht vorher eine politische Lösung gefunden wird.

Die Londoner Bankenlobby warnt vor einem ungeordneten Brexit. „Ich bin sehr besorgt, weil ein ’no deal‘ schlecht für uns alle wäre“, sagte Catherine McGuinness, Policy-Chefin der City of London Corporation, dem „Handelsblatt“ (Mittwochausgabe) laut Vorausbericht.

Sie warnte davor, dass Millionen Versicherungspolicen und Verträge im Derivatehandel am 29. März 2019 ungültig werden, wenn nicht vorher eine politische Lösung gefunden wird. „Dann ist die Finanzstabilität in Gefahr“, sagte McGuinness. Die europäischen Brexit-Unterhändler beharren bisher darauf, dass die Unternehmen das Problem der Vertragssicherheit selbst lösen sollen. Aufgrund der Masse an Kontrakten ist das McGuinness zufolge nicht möglich. „Es bleibt nicht genug Zeit, um alle Verträge umzuschreiben.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The clown prince: Boris Johnson’s bid for the Tory leadership

Posted by hkarner - 15. September 2018

Date: 13-09-2018
Source: The Economist

Will the support of the party membership be enough to make him prime minister?

ONE of Boris Johnson’s favourite phrases is aut homo aut mus: are you a man or a mouse? The former foreign secretary, classicist and contender for the Conservative Party leadership is going out of his way to prove that he is no rodent. Barely a week passes without his lobbing a missile at Theresa May in the form of a newspaper article, speech, bon mot (or faux pas). He uses his weekly column in the Daily Telegraph to explain why she is making a mess of things. On September 9th he took to the pages of the Mail on Sunday to deliver his most incendiary one-liner yet: “We have wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution and handed the detonator to Michel Barnier,” he wrote, referring to the EU’s chief negotiator.

Never a strong leader, Mrs May has been weakened by her travails over Brexit. On September 11th members of the European Research Group (ERG), an 80-strong collection of Brexit-supporting MPs, met in Westminster to discuss the mechanics of bringing down the prime minister. Mr Johnson is the prime contender to replace her. But what are his chances?

She will be at her most vulnerable in November or December when (and if) she returns from Brussels with a deal—presumably a modified version of her Chequers proposal—on which the House of Commons will vote. Steve Baker, the shop steward of the Brexiteers, claims that he has 80 votes gainst Chequers. That could trigger a confidence vote on the prime minister.

Mrs May might well win such a vote, if only because Mr Johnson is so unpopular among Tory MPs. His problem is not just that the majority of Tory MPs voted “remain” in the referendum, and hate him as leader of the Brexiteers. MPs of all political persuasions regard him as a cad. One senior Tory says that “it’s 100% inconceivable that he’ll become leader of the Conservative Party…He’s a media clown, not a serious politician.” “He’s a shit who doesn’t give a shit about anything but himself,” says another. The list of charges against him is long: he doesn’t believe in anything but his own advancement; he doesn’t lift a finger to help his colleagues; he was a disaster as foreign secretary. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The other barely managing Britain

Posted by hkarner - 18. August 2018

Date: 16-08-2018
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

A depressing number of Britons are struggling to keep their heads above water

THE first thing Theresa May did on becoming prime minister in July 2016 was deliver a speech promising to help the just-about-managing. Since then she has done almost nothing to make good on that promise. Brexit has consumed her attention. Bold initiatives have mouldered on her desk. Life for the JAMs is more of a struggle than ever.

A good place to see this is Birkenhead, next door to Liverpool, not least because of its thoughtful local Labour MP, Frank Field. Birkenhead looks like a stronghold of the respectable working class—all neat houses and well-tended gardens. But you do not have to look hard to see that society is fraying. Supermarkets such as Marks & Spencer are upping sticks. Pound stores, gaming emporiums, pawn shops (“We loan cash”) and cheap pubs (“Three pints for £5”) are on the march. Zero-hour contracts are depressingly common. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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