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Posts Tagged ‘Johnson’

The Monetarist Fantasy Is Over

Posted by hkarner - 19. Februar 2020

Robert Skidelsky, a member of the British House of Lords, is Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at Warwick University. The author of a three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes, he began his political career in the Labour party, became the Conservative Party’s spokesman for Treasury affairs in the House of Lords, and was eventually forced out of the Conservative Party for his opposition to NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, determined to overcome Treasury resistance to his vast spending ambitions, has ousted Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid. But Johnson’s latest coup also is indicative of a global shift from monetary to fiscal policy.

LONDON – The forced resignation of the United Kingdom’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, is the latest sign that macroeconomic policy is being upended, and not only in the UK. In addition to completing the ritual burial of the austerity policies pursued by UK governments since 2010, Javid’s departure on February 13 has broader significance. 

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Boris Johnson will find there is a price to pay for No 10’s power grab

Posted by hkarner - 18. Februar 2020

Date: 17‑02‑2020

Source: the Observer

Previous experiments with control‑freak premierships have not turned out well

Boris Johnson has spent his career disguising cunning plans as unintended blunders and dressing up stupid errors as machiavellian strokes. So there has been much understandable confusion about whether the defenestration of Sajid Javid was by accident or by design. In the immediate aftermath of his resignation, Number 10 didn’t much object to suggestions that the prime minister engineered the chancellor’s removal by ambushing him with a demand to sack all his special advisers, a demand that the prime minister knew the other man could never accept. This version of events appalled a lot of Tory MPs and generated much finger‑pointing at Dominic Cummings, who I won’t call the prime minister’s Rasputin because he likes the label too much.

It then suited some of Mr Johnson’s friends to spin that it was not a cunning plan at all, but an innocent cockup. Not: ha, we screwed Javid. But: oops, we lost Saj. On this account, the chancellor reacted with more hostility than anticipated when, towards the end of their conversation on the morning of reshuffle day, Mr Johnson asked him to dispense with his closest aides. The prime minister, so this story goes, was genuinely surprised and sad to lose his services. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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This revenge reshuffle has a dangerous message: absolute power resides in No 10

Posted by hkarner - 16. Februar 2020

Date: 14‑02‑2020

Source: The Guardian by Polly Toynbee

The removal of Sajid Javid – and anyone who ever queried Boris Johnson’s progress – is a demand for craven cabinet obedience

Sajid Javid: ‚Any self‑respecting minister‘ would reject PM’s demands

No self‑respecting chancellor would accept such terms: that was Sajid Javid’s reason for resigning. So in Rishi Sunak we have an alarmingly obedient new chancellor ready to take the job on any terms. His advisers will be fused with those of No 10, his power base diminished, and his office under the control of Dominic Cummings, intimidator‑in‑chief. Sunak will struggle to shake off shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s charge that he is nothing but “a stooge”.

Demanding the heads of Javid’s advisers can have only been a deliberate provocation on Boris Johnson’s part. The prime minister has cut the Treasury down to size in a way unimaginable under any previous government. The historic tension at the top of government between prime minister and chancellor – think Blair and Brown, Thatcher and Howe or Major and Lamont – has been a necessary division of power, a creative pluralism and a democratic safeguard. It can’t be abolished as easily as Johnson may think. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Try to stop me’ – the mantra of our leaders who are now ruling with impunity

Posted by hkarner - 7. Februar 2020

Date: 05‑02‑2020

Source: The Guardian by George Monbiot

Trump, Bolsonaro, Modi, Johnson. Across the world, flouting the law has become normalised. We have to stop it

‘Like other killer clowns, Trump may now feel he can get away with anything.’ Narendra Modi and Donald Trump embrace at the White House.

It is not a sufficient condition for fascism to take root, but it is a necessary one: the willingness of political leaders not only to break the law but to revel in breaking it is a fatal step towards the replacement of democracy with authoritarian terror.

We see this at work in the United States today, where the Republican party’s blatant disregard for the constitution will allow Donald Trump to escape impeachment.

If Trump is elected for a second term, he will test to the limit the potential for wielding unconstitutional power. But the phenomenon is not confined to the US. Several powerful governments now wear illegality almost as a badge of honour.

It’s happening in the UK too. The Brexit vote was secured with the help of blatant illegality Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump’s Poodle

Posted by hkarner - 15. Januar 2020

Boris Johnson: Replace Iran nuclear plan with ‚Trump deal‘, says PM

The PM has said the Iran nuclear deal should be replaced with a „Trump deal“.

Boris Johnson said he recognised US concerns the 2015 deal was „flawed“, but there had to be a way of stopping Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

„If we’re going to get rid of it then we need a replacement,“ he told BBC Breakfast. „Let’s replace it with the Trump deal.“

His comments came as the UK, France and Germany triggered a dispute mechanism in the deal after violations by Iran.

There are growing fears for the future of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was abandoned by the US in 2018.

Iran has suspended all limits on its production of enriched uranium, which can be used to make reactor fuel but also nuclear weapons. It has said it is responding to sanctions reinstated by the US.

In a joint statement, the three European powers said Iran was not „meeting its commitments“ and it was referring the issue to the body which enforced the agreement to try and ensure Tehran returned to compliance as soon as possible.

„We do this in good faith with the overarching objective of preserving the JCPOA,“ it added.

‚Need a replacement‘

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Remainers aren’t going to vanish on 31 January. We fight on, sure of our cause

Posted by hkarner - 14. Januar 2020

Date: 13‑01‑2020

Source: Observer by Will Hutton

Brexit is a Tory invention and pro‑Europeans must still fight our EU exile

Dom Mckenzie The Observer Comment European movement illustration

In less than three weeks, Britain leaves the EU. Those vast marches, the crowded public meetings, the indefatigable Remain campaigners, the great speeches, the parliamentary wheeler‑dealing and principled resignations were all for nothing. The “get Brexit done” Tories, exploiting the least electable Labour leader ever, won the election and were handed an 80‑seat majority. The die is cast.

For the political class, the issue has become toxic. Boris Johnson wants Brexit expunged from the lexicon so that the new normal is for Britain to be wholly outside the EU. Labour, flattened by its epic defeat, is agreed that to be pro‑EU is political death. Remain Britain – half the population – has no champion.

It is a first order political miscalculation. The Conservative party created Brexit. It must own it. Labour, after 2015, made two monumental miscalls: first, not sufficiently opposing austerity and later voting for article 50. There must be no repeat now. Brexit must be opposed in every dimension. This is a Conservative project. The Tories must be its sole sponsor and live with the consequences. I think it will break them. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boris wants to play tough with Brussels

Posted by hkarner - 8. Januar 2020

Date: 07‑01‑2020

Source: The Guardian by Mujtaba Rahman

Subject: Brace yourself: the next phase of Brexit is going to get messy

With the clock ticking, a low‑alignment deal with the EU now seems likely, but it comes with great risks

‘Although he now commands an 80‑strong parliamentary majority, extending the transition would seriously anger Eurosceptic MPs and some voters.’ Boris Johnson at an election rally in November.

Boris Johnson’s honeymoon was always going to be short‑lived. The immediate, unexpected, reason is the sudden escalation of tensions between the US and Iran. But it won’t be long before Brexit once again dominates the headlines.

With the UK set to leave the EU on 31 January, and both sides set to embark on trade negotiations shortly thereafter, the prime minister, his senior ministers and his key aides are keen to lower the temperature. “We want to see Brexit on the business pages, not the front pages,” says one ally. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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King Boris’s First Test

Posted by hkarner - 25. Dezember 2019

With the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union now set to take effect on January 31, 2020, the most important challenge facing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is negotiating his country’s new relationship with the bloc. He has every incentive to keep that process as non-controversial as possible.

LONDON – Wars end when the belligerents give up fighting. The surest way for this to happen, and sometimes the least destructive, is through a decisive battle that leads to unconditional surrender. Boris Johnson’s overwhelming victory in the United Kingdom’s general election this month was such a battle. With the opposition parties completely routed, Johnson now enjoys the unlimited power bestowed on British prime ministers with large majorities. Britain’s unwritten constitution dispenses with the checks and balances in other national constitutions, allowing an absolute sovereignty to the majority in Parliament often described as elective dictatorship.” 

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Boris Johnson and the Great Realignment

Posted by hkarner - 19. Dezember 2019

Date: 18‑12‑2019

Source: The Wall Street Journal By William A. Galston

Working‑class voters again cast their lot for nationalism and against socialism.

The revolt of the working class against the center‑right/center‑left establishment is the biggest political story of the past decade. For the most part, the working class has moved right rather than left, fueling the growth of conservative populism throughout the West.

Last week’s U.K. general election underscores this shift. As an analysis by the Financial Times shows, there was a strong correlation between a district’s share of working‑class voters and the swing toward the Conservative Party. In seats with high shares of these constituents, the Labour vote share declined on average by 14 points.

This shift has momentous policy consequences. With working‑class voters ascendant in conservative coalitions, nationalism beats socialism, and government spending trumps austerity. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The four faces of Boris Johnson

Posted by hkarner - 4. November 2019

Date: 01-11-2019
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

Player, gambler, Machiavelli or piglet?

Boris johnson at last has his rendezvous with the great British public. Mr Johnson was installed in Downing Street in July by an electorate of just 160,000 Conservative Party members. Now he has to prove himself before a larger and more critical audience. This audience will be bombarded with promises and propaganda over the next six weeks. But Mr Johnson’s unusual probationary period in Downing Street gives them a chance to judge him by his record. What have we learned about the prime minister’s political character and leadership style so far?

One thing is certain: he has defied expectations, both positive and negative. Mr Johnson was frequently presented as a jovial figure—a clown or Bertie Wooster-style buffoon. He liked to make people laugh. He laced his language with eccentric phrases. He created an impression of affable disorganisation. But though he can still make people smile, he is much more focused and disciplined than anyone expected. The iron has entered his soul.

A more appropriate image than a clown is that of a rugby captain. A fan of the game, who played for his college at Oxford, the stockily built Mr Johnson has brought many of the techniques of the sport to the political field. He has demonstrated a single-mindedness: everything he does is about getting the ball over the line. He has shown no hesitation about altering the composition of his team according to his changing game plan, kicking 21 Tories out of the party when they defied him and then re-admitting ten of them when the general election knocked. And he has kept his eye on the clock, using timetables and deadlines to keep the game moving—though he must regret installing “Brexit clocks” in both Downing Street and Conservative Party headquarters set to hit zero on October 31st, a deadline that he has now missed. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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