By Steve Parkhurst, Senior Editor, USDR.
Looking at the news and opinion out of London each day.
Someone in Jeremy Corbyn’s office has been watching “The West Wing”, haven’t they? And just as their predecessors who worked for Ed Miliband succumbed to Aaron Sorkin’s wonderful, inspiring and totally unrealistic scripts, so have the current incumbents.
There is no foreign policy that could appease the likes of the Manchester terrorists. Islamists damn us if we intervene, and damn us if we don’t.
With Labour closing the gap on the Tories in the polls, it was only a matter of time before an act of self-immolation returned them to square one. This morning, Corbyn gave a speech in which he drew a link between British foreign policy and terrorist attacks on home soil. This will surely go down like a lead balloon with the party’s working-class base, particularly in the north of England which is still reeling from their worst terror attack in modern history.
The Manchester murders have given British politics its first conspiracy theory with a grain of truth in it. It may sound ghoulish to discuss the political consequences of an atrocity. But terrorism is a political crime, and we are in a general election campaign. Everyone is thinking that the Manchester attack passes the advantage to Theresa May. Soon they will be saying it too.
What does it take to achieve a stable economic and monetary union? As Europe has discovered to its cost, it’s about quite a bit more than a unified currency and interest rate. Perhaps more than anything else, success depends vitally on the willingness of richer regions to subsidise poorer ones, or at least to bail them out when the going gets tough. Without these so-called “fiscal transfers”, monetary union will always be prone to political and financial crisis.
I have spoken to various Remain voters so far during this election. Many say to me they accept the result of the vote and just want the government to get on and do the best deal they can. Some tell me they voted Remain because they did worry about the possible economic consequences, and they are now relieved to see the bad predictions of recession this winter and collapse of confidence did not come true.
For once, President Trump got it right. “Losers” seems a highly appropriate way to describe the individuals who planned and executed Monday night’s massacre of the innocents at Manchester Arena. These are people for whom the generic term “terrorist” seems altogether too generous.
Events, dear boy, events. Policy makers, governments and companies need to forecast the future as they shape their policies and decide what to do to serve their citizens or customers better. In recent years the main international forecasters like the IMF and World Bank, the ECB and the US authorities, have struggled to anticipate the banking crash of 2008-9 or the Euro crisis that followed. Many companies have expressed surprise at the turn of events from Tokyo to New York, and were not anticipating the election of Mr Trump.
If the European Union didn’t exist, it would have been necessary for Ukip to invent it. The likes of Herman van Rompuy and Angela Merkel drove voters into the party’s hands with their pro-migration evangelism and scepticism of national sovereignty. They were easy to cast as an out of touch elite, so it was little surprise that voters would take the first chance they could to be rid of them by voting for Britain to leave the bloc.
Inflation is rising. Real wages are stagnant, and GDP is being revised downwards, putting us down there with the likes of Italy. If Theresa May had a script for the final fortnight of the election campaign it probably didn’t include figures like those. Today’s revision of the quarterly GDP number, down to a sluggish-looking 0.2 percent, from the initial 0.3 percent, will no doubt be seized upon by critics of the government, and by the increasingly battle-weary battalions of hardcore Remainers, as evidence that the wheels are finally coming off the economy, and the impact of a ‘hard Tory Brexit’ is finally being felt.
Humans’ tendency towards trust, social solidarity and moral commitment is deeply tested in a globalised world with fewer and fewer boundaries
Between them India and China account for almost two fifths of the world population. Both have in recent years been growing quickly. China enjoyed a major growth spurt based on industry, exports and heavy investment. More recently India has moved ahead of the slower Chinese growth rate based on a more balanced growth, coming from a lower average income level.
Last week’s Across the Pond.
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Across The Pond is edited daily by Steve Parkhurst. Steve is a political consultant, a writer at his blog as well as a Senior Editor here at US Daily Review. Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveParkhurst