Tuesday, 10 January 2017

flunkey failure and the single binary large object (it's big business, baby)


Maybe it's just me, but I seem to have noticed a change of wording emerging from UK government over the last few days? I suppose it is the 2017 reboot in action. Some of it is a kind of mis-speak, where a one-time bad idea is getting bundled up as if it is a good thing now.

It reminds me of an amplifier that has been turned right up but that there's not much real signal coming through. I'm wondering if it is deliberate attenuation as part of a negotiating tactic?

But then I'm surprised that the press doesn't pick up on, say, Mrs May talking about the need to remove UK from the single market unless UK gets its way on border controls. To me it comes across as reverse thinking; trying to make undesirable free-fall sound good.

I think I get the real situation:
  1. Equivalence: Either single market or an equivalent mechanism (like the WTO - except then it'd be Geneva instead of Brussels)?
  2. Customs Union: Inside a common one (less likely?) or outside and independent (years of hard work)?
  3. Transitioning: How fast the cutover? One year (free-fall) or ten (probably needed)?
The interesting thing about any of these moves (similar to what Treasury Select Committee Chairman Andrew Tyrie is saying), is that they can be used to put some metrics on the upcoming exit. Without some kind of numbers, the whole thing remains a single binary object, although that's what Mrs May appears to have been breaking down for the last 6 months.

It's disappointing that there still doesn't seem to be a proper plan or even a three bullet point list. That smacks of a fundamental lack of flair, ingenuity and imagination - which could make a sizeable difference in the current situation. I hope Mrs May is still reading this and will get the requisite talent on board instead of corridors filled with unimaginative flunkeys.

Another example. This weekend there were various commentaries, like Mrs May's own one about building a shared society.

Ironically, she put it on the inside of a subscription paywall in the Daily Telegraph, so probably a lot of the people it was talking about wouldn't be able to read it anyway. Haves and have nots. Flunkey failure.

We've also seen scrappy rebuttals of situations referring back to the last Labour government, which concluded some eight years ago. Notably that Jeremy who referenced the 'weaponising' of NHS. I know he may not have said it first, but he's still reinforcing a disdain for this society that he is supposed to be supporting. Calculated words to deflect arguments from core topics.

Of course, at the moment, the pound sinks and UK equities rise, more or less at the same rate with -7% GBP playing +7% FTSE. The FTSE100 is at 7270 right now. First half of last January it was around 5600-5700. An example of doing nothing whilst those with decent share portfolios are able to turn a few bob.

Over the last year, typical savings left in a 'premier' bank savings account would have attracted 0.10% AER, although I see that is due to fall to 0.05% AER on 25 January. Those with UK share bundles could have achieved (ignoring the crazy high yield ones) around 8%-12%. That's about 100 times as much as the deposit account saver.

That's where it also gets very tricky to work out the moves of those running things. It looks as if they don't know what they are doing, but maybe the subtelty is that they have many friends making quite a lot of money.

I decided to get past that Telegraph paywall and have a look at some potentially usable quotes, which I can store up for later. Here's the link to the-best-british-political-insults-rows-and-putdowns. Move fast though, or some other Jeremy will steal the quote.

And here's Kate Tempest, from Kex Hostel - Europe is Lost.

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