Wednesday, 26 April 2017

fruit machine lie generator


One of the characteristics of the Referendum was that most of us were lied to by the various parties throughout the process.

Which ever topic lever was pulled, a lie popped out.

Immediately afterwards these fibs were largely explained away as part of the jolly japes of campaigning.

It all seems to be happening again, for the snap general election. And still no sign of a 'Tilt' light.

Watch the telly and a procession of briefed politicians of all hues tell stories built on the shaky foundations of prior events. A case in point is the Conservative 'Plan' for Brexit. Fragile and aspirational at best, it is being cited now as if it is a proper plan and somehow beats the equally thin offerings from the other parties.

Listen to the descriptions from the Labour party about continued use of the Customs Union. Wishful thinking, given the posture being adopted by Brussels. Then there's the LibDem position which is almost denying Brexit as a way forward.

The decision to call the election is purportedly based upon the need for more government majority support. A sketchy reason, given the pre-existing majority. It is far more likely to be a Lynton Crosby move from the shadows, designed to grab a huge majority whilst a simpering opposition can't get its act together and resorts to gimmicks like extra public holidays.

Behind the scenes, May and Hammond have realised that the only way out of the EU is to pay a shed-load of money to Brussels and then to operate with a kind of Norwegian trading model. Last year I estimated this to be some £8 billion annual ongoing run-rate and I notice that such a figure is now being bandied about in some of the press.

That's before any one off exit fee. Although, it should be reminded that the EU proportion of UK Government spending has always been around 1.4%, one of the lowest category items, yet one that is now a huge distraction from everything else.

The big switcheroo is also being played with the substitution of a new Tory manifesto. Hammond (who knows how spreadsheets work) knows that that Osborne completely messed up the numbers and is looking around for available levers to pull or buttons to press.

May will need to run some diversionary tactics whilst the clandestine levers are unlocked. The big Brexit flashing lights can become the distraction. There will also need to be some short term holds on a few of the fruit machine's wheels. Holds on things that could inconvenience the rich, like dividend tax changes (hold), non-dom taxation changes(hold). Use of the Make Tax Digital (MTD) initiative can be a clever way to tap the pause button.

Then there's a few items that could be played post election. Removal of triple lock protections for pensioners. The Conservatives will want to do this but only after the pensioners have voted for them. Increase income tax and National Insurance?

A combination of a huge majority followed by the 2018 boundary changes should secure the Tory position indefinitely. Perhaps even VAT could come up for grabs again?

I still blame the prior Etonian leadership for creating most of the mess and then doing a runner. As more of the engine room power of the economy slips overseas, the original perpetrators of the mess quietly collect big fat fees from the private sector.

And no-one really knows what is going on.

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