Six days to go, the Tory Poll lead narrows to just eight points. The confident majority of 68 has now slipped to a more queasy 20, according to the latest electoral calculus data.
A few more votes lost and the SNP could be in the swing seats. The Tories would have just 330 on the government benches. Labour are set to lose some 30 seats.
The markets are confident of a Conservative victory. Sterling closed at $1.31 against the Dollar. Resistance at $1.30 was overwhelmed by upside sentiment. A blue win will push the pound to the $1.35 in the short term. Irrational exuberance may see a test of the $1.40 level.
It had been a good week for Johnson. A photo op with the visiting President was avoided. POTUS and FLOTUS waited outside number ten, taking the shots alone, without the host in the line up. Careful spacing ensured the Prime Minister was distanced from the President in the NATO family shot. What could go wrong?
The President made it clear he had no interest in the NHS or in the UK election for that matter. A carefully planned ambush by Jeremy Corbyn came to naught. The President's ambitions for the UK Health service were denied. "Wouldn't touch it if offered, in a kidney dish, on a silver platter" the official response.
Jacob Rees-Mogg remains house bound in Somerset. With just a few days to go, the constituency tag will soon be removed. Alas there is always one who will escape from the script ...
Sally Ann-Hart made the headlines this week. "People with learning difficulties should be paid less than the minimum wage", the MP for Hastings and Rye explained, "they just don't understand money".
So much for "Caring Conservatives", more details, yet to be revealed, on Tory plans for social care may wait until after the election ...
NATO: One for all and all for what ...
NATO nations trembled as the President touched down in London this week. It was the annual meeting of the 29 member nations. Last year's meeting had not gone well.
In 2018, leaders were berated. "Germany was a captive of Russia". Countries were "delinquent" in terms of payments to the club.
Trump thinks NATO is like Mar-a-Lago. The US runs the facility and members pay their annual subs.
The President believes a failure to spend the target 2% of GDP on defense, means the US is left paying the bill. Why should Uncle Sam pick up the tab to defend countries behind with their payments? Article 5 should only be invoked if installments are up to date, the President's belief.
The leader of the free world, as debt collector, was already making the call on South Korea and Japan. South Korea was facing a hike of hundreds of billions, the President explained in an impromptu conference. "My close friend Abe is about to cough up too" he added.. NATO allies must get the message and they have.
The President made his usual "look at me" call before arriving. The President warned, France could face tariffs of 100% on Champagne and Caviar, if the planned tax on US internationals were meant to proceed. The sessions were set for a showdown, the tensions between Macron and Trump evident.
There was some confusion about the role of NATO. Macron didn't help suggesting the seventy year alliance was "brain dead". The military threat from Russia had receded. No need to send in the tanks when you can just cut off the gas supply. Trump was affronted, "NATO has served great purpose" Macron's remarks were "nasty" and "very insulting".
Maybe NATO should seek new purpose, challenging the growth of China, and spending more on "Armies in Space". Yep and may be a look at Islamic terrorism. A common enemy to all in Europe, including Russia. Check out the Democrats too, an attack on one leader is an attack on all ...
Next year, the US may host at Camp David, Russia and the Taliban may get an invite, "Nasty Macron" and "Two Faced Trudeau" may not make the guest list ...
Trump orders toilet rule review ...
Back home, Trump had other important matters on his mind. Impeachment looms, Congress will press ahead with the process. The White House is in denial and will have nothing to do with the Democrat Hoax, until the removal men arrive.
Trump called for the World Bank to stop lending money to China, "they already have enough". In fact they have more than Uncle Sam. China's foreign reserves are over $3 trillion dollars, despite the trade war with the U.S.
Of more pressing concern for Donald Trump this week was water efficiency in the nation's bathrooms. Hand washing is nearly impossible, people are flushing toilets ten times or even fifteen times as opposed to once.
The President has ordered a federal review of water efficiency standards in bathroom fixtures. Trump explained, it was common sense to review standards. Some showers have water "quietly dripping out", some toilets use more water because of "repeat flushing".
The President said he's considering different standards for states with different levels of rainfall. "We have many states, where they have so much water comes down, it's called rain, they don't know what to do with it ..."
That's all for this week, have a great weekend. We will be back with more news and updates next week ...
The Saturday Economist
John Ashcroft publishes the Saturday Economist. Join the mailing list for updates on the UK and World Economy.
|The Saturday Economist
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