Oooh! Jeremy Corbyn!
What have you done? 5 things
Jeremy Corbyn. Honestly, his actions don’t match up to his policies. However, unlike the Tories, who can’t match their policies because they are malicious, his don’t match because he’s an idiot!
Not because his policies don’t in principle work. They just have to be built on top of a context which can support the creation and maintenance of them. The problem is, he’s letting go of the very context he needs to build it. So is unable to build his house on a bed of sand, let alone a solid foundation.
Is it too late? Well, Labour still just about has a chance with their policy policy, 2016 to Q1 2019. But 2019 Q2 onward, his policies are dead before he starts some of them. They just can’t work now and he won’t change his stance to make them work. So he’s now a liability to Britain and the British Public.
Disclosure: I voted Labour in the last GE to hang parliament. Corbyn got my vote on loan. I am one of those millions and millions who loaned our vote to Labour as an anti-Tory measure. Not because we believed in Labour policies. They are nobodies. If half a plastered brick wall was running in my constituency and had enough backing, I would have voted for it to revoke the conservative mandate for their Brexit. Numerically, the way to do that was to vote for Labour in my constituency and Liberal Democrats in others. In Politics only exists due to incompetence somewhere in any system. You’re either managing it or hiding it. I was managing it.
The problem is, ideas are cheap! Everyone can have them. Many people have them sitting on the toilet. Ideas are nothing without implementation and realism. They’re unicorn sh*t otherwise.
JC has several laudable objectives:
- Workers and Disability Rights
- Equality and egalitarianism
- Robust, affordable, effective healthcare
- Public utilities and infrastructure
- Tackle tax avoidance
And a number of others. All “good ideas”.
The problem is, ideas are cheap! Everyone can have them. What you have to do is make them happen! Not only are ideas cheap/free, get a wrong one, or do it wrong, and it bankrupts you or worse, kills people. The Tories do this with Universal Credit. Garbage idea built and run badly. Corbyn is doing it by leaving the EU, giving away the tools he needs to tackle some of the UK’s biggest problems.
Corbyn’s laudable ideas are predicated on the ability to enforce and build a number of key elements. Here are 5 points Corbyn is supporting the conservative abyss.
Tackling tax avoidance
This is impossible to do yourself. The UK cannot do it alone. Why? Because the big companies that Corbyn wants and needs to target will just shift their money or their entire operations overseas. Especially since he needs to advocate a 26% corporation tax level for his manifesto pledges. It’s simply gives them more of a reason to go ahead with their voyage of destruction, with him acting at a tail wind.
Tackling tax avoidance requires a global (or at least regional) response. It requires cross-jurisdictional collaborations on both crime and fraud. Something the passporting process gives you the mechanism to do (he is allowing the UK to lose that) and the EU gives him the authority to do. He isn’t opposing leaving the EU, so he’s now in the position of supporting the loss of the very legislation he needs to make that policy work. As I said before, the UK can pass it’s own tax avoidance legislation, but that just means companies move in the interim (some will anyway, given the EU is a 440 million person market with 16 trillion GDP compared to the UK’s 64 million and 2 trillion GDP) and trade around the UK. It won’t have the gateway to Europe position any more.
The NHS is in crisis, but it’s not because of under-funding. I hear that claim a lot. It’s because it’s understaffed. After all, if you have 100,000 open vacancies (note, it was 60,000 last year) and each is £30,000, then you have £3 billion available. With it being a salary, this would be the same next financial year.
The loss of staff is happening because the UK is losing EU nurses (and UK nurses) hand over fist. There is a drop in EU nursing numbers of 96%, an increase of 67% of EU nurses leaving. Plus, nursing bursaries were cut in Nov 2016, meaning a 91% drop in domestic student nursing applications, which creates a time bomb for 3 years time.
EU nurses are goods to recruit. Because the NHS doesn’t have to pay agencies (a scandal from a few years ago) and it doesn’t have to recruit from 3rd countries. Each of which has a visa application fee (on top of English language tests). That fee ranges from £1,100 to £3,400 as of this year as well as needing agencies in the host countries and the UK to process them and that is 30% of salary on top.
To fill the vacancies, this means that the NHS will have to spend £1.1 billion to pay for both agency recruiters and visa applications. (the NHS money is from a different pot. They can’t just reallocate the pot. They have to “spend” it with another government department. it’s a form of transfer price).
So far from adding funds to the NHS (where from?) Corbyn’s policy on a robust and stable healthcare system, does 1 things:
a) Continues to kick out EU staff, since there is no certainty on EU citizenship, despite his protestations.
b) Costs the NHS a billion more a year and given there was no £350 million a week, McDonnell isn’t gong to be filling that hole any time soon. It’ll be about a century in total, given the spend on an ever-increasing ageing population.
So that is 3 struck out.
Workers and disability rights
The vast majority of concessions that disability groups have managed to obtain under Tory Britain (which note, persists unless he was to totally revoke Universal Credit, Work Capability Assessments, ESA and Personal Independence Payments) have happened through the use of a few mechanisms:
a) the UK Supreme court applying the UK Human Rights Act — this is aligned through the Charter of Fundamental Rights to the European Convention on Human Rights! <- I’ll be back to this.
b) Appeals to the European Courts of Human Rights for Judicial Review or appeal of UK Supreme Court decisions <- Typically 5 to 6 years including UK escalation
c) Appeal to the United Nations <- 10 years including UK escalation
In order for both 1 and 2 to happen, the UK must maintain linkage and the jurisdiction of the Courts of Justice of the European Union and especially the European Court of Human Rights. But only one of them will be preserve (the former). The latter may exist, but is unenforceable and crucially, is not required to align. We don’t then get the benefits of workers rights from cases originating in the rest of Europe. Meaning the UK Gov can not only ignore the rulings, but crucially, can take the breaches and even use them as an “idea” here
Can we still go to Europe to hold UK statute accountable? Not in all case. Indeed, mostly none. It’s only in human rights (ECHR in ECtHR) that we can. Not workers rights. Since we’ve lost the linkage through the Charter of Fundamental Freedoms. That was voted out last month, not least, because Labour just rolled over.
Note, UK statute isn’t UK Parliament. Statute is law. That survives the governments that implement them by decades! Can’t just vote it out.
So workers rights. That’s gone. Strike out number 1.
Equality and Egalitarianism
This is a natural consequence of leaving and setting up an immigration border. The principles of non-discrimination are naturally violated as a result of blocking EU workers from coming to the UK, but they are also violated by placing existing EU citizens on any other status but a UK citizenship. So whatever he does here, he isn’t supporting the guaranteeing of UK Citizenship for EU workers already in the UK.
This isn’t surprising, because he’s peddling the fake news associated with EU workers eroding UK working conditions and salaries. We only have the working time directive because of the EU. We only have the right to be forgotten because of the EU.
He didn’t make his case well here at all. The case he most recently made was such a small proportion of an even smaller proportion of workers it’s unreal! After all, they still have to work in the UK for no less than minimum wage. Still have to be given favour of UK labour laws etc.
So number 2 can be comfortably scratched out.
Public Utilities and Infrastructure
Corbyn’s plans for [re]nationalising the railways isn’t a bad idea. The problem is he doesn’t seem to understand several things associated with it.
He peddles the fake news that the EU prevents the UK from nationalising the railways. it doesn’t! This one couldn’t be further from the truth at all!
The second factor against him is the economics. If private organisations own rolling stock, you have to buy it all back. You can only buy it back if you have the money and as we’ve seen, every Brexit scenario means the UK will be worse off. Some by as much as 8%.
A 2% drop in UK GDP is the equivalent of the financial crisis. So an 8% drop is 4 times as bad, even if its effects will distribute differently. The credit crunch led to the UK suffering the worst bailout of any country in the world per person. We got it way worse than Greece in terms of cash spent. Albeit that our internal banking system is better stress tested (I know! Hard to believe. But you have to understand how banking systems and derivatives work to understand why that happened and that’s another point for another day).
Given the combination of UK only crackdown on tax avoidance (which isn’t all tax avoidance), payment of VAT up-front on imports, import tariffs AND the rise of corporation tax from 19 to 26%, as well as the loss of skills, shrinking of the market, loss of JIT and increase in customs processes mean businesses will just move. Taking with them:
b) Tax income — from corporation tax, employers national insurance etc.
Given current estimates, this means UK public services will lose about £30 billion to be replaced at maximum, with an additional £14.25 billion in Corbyn’s 7% corporation tax increase. In essence, claiming in half of what the UK loses. A pretty dumb move at the best of times. Let alone with the reduction in UK business supply chains.
This vaporises about 30% of the money he needs to buy back Post, Rail and Utilities. The rest will have to come from consumer taxation. That is income tax, NIC and VAT. Increasing it by around 5% each. This isn’t happening.
So on all 5 points, Corbyn, UK Labour and the UK as a whole is in deep, deep trouble. He is no better than the Conservatives in that regard, since both leave our country and its citizens in dire straights.
Except there’s no money for nothing.