Friday, February 15, 2019

Brexit Facts and Speculations


1. Theresa May campaigned in favour of remaining in the EU.
2. The great majority of MPs campaigned in favour of remaining in the EU.
3. The majority of the electorate would now vote to remain in the EU were we to have another referendum.
4. There are few MPs who support a No Deal Brexit.
5. Theresa May's 'Deal' does not have the support of the majority of MPs.


1. Parliament will not allow a No Deal Brexit.
2. Parliament will not allow Theresa May's 'Deal'

"Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." - Arthur Conan Doyle

Theresa May (and Jeremy Corbyn) were confronted with the problem of how to remain in the EU whilst minimising the backlash from the 17 million people who voted Leave. Her task was to set up a situation in which she would be forced to call a second referendum which would produce a reversal of the first result, whilst appearing to do everything possible to 'respect' the 'will of the people' as expressed in the first referendum.

She has succeeded is creating options that are impossible, leaving the improbable as the only truth standing. Article 50 will, at the last moment, be withdrawn and a People's Vote announced.
Jeremy Corbyn has been in a similar position, determined to uphold the appearance of support for the electorate of Sunderland and suchlike constituencies, but keeping the escape card of a second referendum at the back of the pack of all the impossible cards that have to be played first.

Both leaders have a common goal, remaining in the EU, because they know it's worth it, and both leaders have a common goal of making it look as though it was forced upon them, and both leaders have a common goal in making it look as though it was the fault of the other party.

It's that last goal that ensures the process will not be resolved until the last possible moment.

Then we will have a second referendum, remain will win.

We will see which party comes out of it all worst. But that's for future speculation.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Green Transformation: Labour’s Environment Policy

The Labour Party's new environment policy document was published today, 13th February 2019.
It starts with pretty pictures and fine words and, importantly, on page 5 where it really starts we get:
1. Ambition is based on science
 Leading to ...
" This underlines our commitment to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rises to no more than 1.5 °C."
but as we in the climate science community know, that one's for the birds.
The first 'Action on Energy' (page 9) is
"Ensure that 60 per cent of the UK’s energy comes from low-carbon or renewable sources within twelve years of coming to power"
So in the early 2030s Labour policy is that about 40% of energy will still come from fossil fuel. Sorry, but that's humanity's death sentence. We've got to do much better than that if our grandchildren's lives are not to be nasty, brutish and short.
By the time one reaches page 16 (a picture of Jeremy Corbyn in a crowd of young smiling folk on a green background) one realises that they have included lots of good policies on lots of things, a few bad policies (HS2 instead of being cancelled gets extended to Scotland and airports are allowed to expand) and some notable omissions (the words 'nuclear' and 'Hinkley' do not appear), one realises that the Labour Party has absolutely failed to understand the urgency and seriousness of the climate catastrophe that we are beginning to witness.
The issue of economic growth is ignored. The word 'growth' only occurs twice, once to guarantee "airport expansion ... growth across the country supported" and once to "encourage the growth of wildflowers". Can't argue with the latter!
This policy document does not put the country onto a 'war-footing', transforming everything we do. It just indulges in some useful mitigation work at the margins.