August 31st, 2019
Best Buddies ... beset ... already
"It's a constitutional outrage" claimed Speaker Bercow, "An assault on democracy" claimed many. "Unfair that a 94 year old woman should have her Scottish holiday interrupted" stated Kay Burley in a series of tough questions to government ministers.
Paul Mason was almost incandescent with rage on Newsnight, urging people too take to the streets in protest.
It was left to Jacob Rees-Mogg to assuage concerns generated by the "candy floss of outrage" almost entirely "confected" by the last stand of remainers determined to thwart Brexit.
It was the "Mogg" and other members of the Privy Council who had made the flight to Balmoral. The Queen had to approve the prorogation of Parliament, on the recommendation of her ministers. It must have been a long flight for a short meeting. The "Mogg" must have read up on his Bagehot the night before, along with a copy of "Jeeves and the King of Clubs", apparently.
This is the one which involves Wodehouse’s fictional fascist group, the Black Shorts, seeking to promote “The British way of life, the British sense of fair play and the British love of Britishness”. What else.
"Monty hailed from one of the finest families; he had an accent fruity enough to spread on a muffin, and his fondness for double-breasted suiting meant he was rarely dressed in anything less than a full acre of tweed."
What can be the attraction of stories about lifestyles long since abandoned by normality. In his absence on the border, normality returned to the hatchet rooms of Downing Street. Sajid Javid was "absolutely furious" that Dominic Cummings sacked one of his most senior SPADs for not being one of us. Sonia Khan was escorted out of Downing Street by police this week. Cummings was unrepentant telling a meeting of government advisers, "If you don't like how I run things, there's the door. F*** Off!"
Cummings is doing his best to out-Tucker Malcolm Tucker, head SPAD from "In the Thick of It". "Don't call me a bully" Tucker would say, "I am much worse than that". A fictional bully who could choose to ignore non-fictional employment legislation.
So what of prorogation? It has been tried before. For Charles 1st and John Major it did not end well. Senior Tories are to warn Johnson this week, he has lost their trust. Others will then explain, he never really had it in the first place. The sight of Jacob Rees-Mogg waving a Union Jack, wearing a frock coat on the steps of Number Ten, will not deter the people in pursuit of just cause.
Trump could be a one term wonder ...
Trump could be a one term wonder . His chances of re-election will suffer if the economy turns against him. The economic cycle is at odds with the electoral cycle. Economic growth is slowing with just over a year to re-election.
Trump is botching his chances by pursuing the tariff war with China. An economy which should be growing at 3% this year has seen growth average just 2.5% in the first six months of the year. Analysts are now penciling in just over 2% for the year as a whole.
Trump blames the Fed of course, for an overlay aggressive monetary stance and the hike in base rates. The reality for most voters in inescapable, the tariff war with China, is damaging business and consumer confidence. Investment is falling as the trade deficit continues to rise.
Trump's farming stronghold is wavering. The losses on soybean sales to China, are barely offset by state subsidies from an erratic White House agenda.
China is learning to ride out Trump turbulence. It's like planning for a natural disaster. You never know when or where the worst may happen, you just know one day it will, so plan for the worst accordingly. The planning has been taking place since Trump and the Sinophobes came into office.
China goes Crypto ...
In a brilliant move against the Dollar, The Central bank of China plans to launch a state-backed cryptocurrency before the end of the year.
The currency will be distributed by Alibaba and Tencent along with the Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and three other of China's largest financial institutions.
The currency has been in development for over a year and may be released in November this year in time for "Singles Day" the busiest shopping day in the Chinese retail year.
China will be the first central bank to issue a crypto. Initially offered to the 1.4 billion Chinese on the mainland, the currency would later be made available to all dealing in the Renminbi. It is in this way, the Chinese would offer a reserve currency to the world, undermining dollar hegemony, and avoiding the pitfalls that beset conventional reserve currency status.
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That's all for this week, have a great weekend. We will be back with more news and updates next week!
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The Saturday Economist
John Ashcroft publishes the Saturday Economist. Join the mailing list for updates on the UK and World Economy.
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