Friday, 28 October 2016

Support and Assurance, Indeed

Watch out for the corporation tax and business rates receipts from Nissan.

Or don't, because there aren't going to be any.

At least, not this side of either the 2020 General Election or a second referendum on EU membership, whichever happened sooner.

The Government had no plan for a Leave vote.

It had expected much, but not all, of the South outside London to vote Leave.

But it had simply never considered that that might happen anywhere else except the pockets that had returned Conservative MPs in 1997 and 2001, and not even all of those.

Overall, Remain would have won comfortably.

That was why the Sunderland result shook the money markets.

Like the rest of the results in the North East (including the Remain vote in old Royalist and Hanoverian, hence "Geordie", Newcastle), it came as no surprise up here.

But it was completely unexpected down there.

And the surprises kept coming.

It is axiomatic that they were reactions against neoliberal globalisation, of which the European Union is of course an integral part and a significant driver.

So the buying off has started in earnest.

Perhaps this is with an eye to a second referendum. Perhaps it is in order to stop there from ever "needing" to be one.

Either way, we now have an Industrial Strategy, complete with a Secretary of State.

That seems to consist entirely of paying multinational corporations to pay people in Labour Leave areas.

At the very least, Nissan has obviously been promised that there was no suggestion of British withdrawal from the Single Market.

Well, you can't be in the Single Market without freedom of movement.

That is not absolute; the United Kingdom's particularly liberal application of it is by our own choice, again under corporate influence.

Nevertheless, it is integral.

So that's that.

There will be no change whatever to the current arrangements in relation to immigration from the member-states of the European Union.

Quite bizarrely, and unlike any of its predecessors, this Government cannot even stand the sight of the South.

It wants to slap HS2 on it, and now also a third runway at Heathrow.

If Labour really got its act together against those, then it would reap the electoral harvest.

The Conservatives' attitude to their own Leave areas is that of previous Labour Governments to their electoral heartlands, or of immemorially Labour local authorities to their communities:

"You have nowhere else to go, and even if you had, then you still wouldn't go there, and you know that as well as we do."

What of the claim that those areas do now have somewhere else to go?

The root of the trouble in UKIP is that it openly does not like, or even want, the voters that it already has.

Instead, it longs forlornly to be a party of Old Labour voters in the North, and it makes no bones about that longing.

The Industrial Strategy is not going to buy the Conservative Party many, if any, votes in the places that will benefit from it.

But it won a General Election without those last time. That is beside the point.

Perhaps this is with an eye to a second referendum. Perhaps it is in order to stop there from ever "needing" to be one.


  1. Theresa May told PMQs this week that we were staying in the Single Market. Hardly anybody even noticed because it was so obvious, but she said the exact words.

    The Secretary of State for the Industrial Strategy is Greg Clark, who ran the SDP at Cambridge when I was there. The SDP is now in government, paying favoured companies to pay people in places like Sunderland to stay in the EU after all. Looks like the SDP won in the end, doesn't it?

    1. Doesn't it just? In a blue rosette, as the MP for Tunbridge Wells, and under the supposed New Thatcher, Maggie May.

  2. No she didn't-she said we must maximise access to it-the difference between "membership" and access is enormous.

    The Tories have today confirmed we'll be leaving the Single Market.

    Theresa May has said the referendum sent a clear message that we must return control immigration to Britain.

    There's no rowing back on that.

    It was the centrepiece of her conference speech.

    1. All sorts of things have been the centrepieces of Prime Ministers' Conference speeches.

      She wrapped some flannel about controlling immigration around her statement at PMQs that we were staying in the Single Market, but that was what she said.

      And now, her old SDP hand for the purpose, Greg Clark, has produced his deal with Nissan.

      The suggestion that the Old Labour areas of Wales and North, totemically Sunderland, decided the referendum is not only factually correct, but it is already so entrenched that anyone who questioned it would sound, frankly, mad.

      Ask even UKIP. They, like everyone else, just take it as a given.

  3. The likely deal the Government offered Nissan is to compensate them for any tariffs they'll have to pay once we leave the Single Market.

    Our manufacturers all want us to leave.

    JCB and Dyson, two of Britain's flagship manufacturing giants, called on us to leave the Single Market.

    They pointed out currency fluctuations more than cancel out any tariffs and getting rid of Single Market regulations would offset the costs anyway.

    JCB resigned from the CBI this week in disgust at its pro EU stance.

    1. Thereby admitting that it had one. And there is no dividing line between a Conservative Government and the CBI. Labour Governments have always prided themselves on standing up to trade unions. Conservative Governments have always prided themselves on "listening to the wealth creators".

  4. Three by-elections since the referendum, one in an ex industrial West Yorkshire seat that voted Leave, one in a leafy and wealthy Southern seat that voted Remain, and one upcoming in a super affluent corner of technically London but really Surrey. It also voted Remain, massively so.

    Labour easily held the first one and would have done even in a proper contest, a Leaver Tory nearly lost the second one to the ultra Remainer Lib Dems, and the Leaver Tory Independent is going to lose the third one to the Lib Dems.

  5. The CBI is Theresa May's German corporatist Christian Democracy or 1970s British corporatist Toryism to a tee. And I've just checked the clip, you're right, she said at PMQs that Britain would be staying in the Single Market. "Access" is meaningless, everywhere has "access". The corporatists wants membership so membership is what she's going to give them. She says that openly and it's not her fault if people don't listen.

  6. Labour won the first one because nobody stood anyone against them.

    Zac Goldsmith is, you are right, the Leavers candidate for his seat. Only a Remainer could rejoice at any other outcome than a Goldsmith victory.

    1. Only if Peter Oborne is a Remainer.

      Goldsmith is the nastiest politician of any prominence in Great Britain in many a long year, and now he has pulled this spoilt little rich boy's stunt. There is no one in the entire House who will not rejoice at his defeat, and they care not by whom, or why.

      Of course Labour would have won Batley and Spen anyway. Don't be silly. Although it did used to be a Tory seat. Think on.

  7. Anna Soubry is on the World at One talking about the Nissan deal, she was the Minister responsible for it before Clark. She is also ex-SDP.

    1. And she's just stated in the most matter-of-fact way that we were staying in the Single Market, too.

  8. Yet another old SDPer, Vince Cable, sees it all perfectly: