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Tom’s Daily News & Comment- November 8 and 9

This begins a series of Daily News Updates with Comment by Daily Globe Contributor Tom O’Brien

News November 9

Comment on today’s news.

Corbyn and the Armed Services
Jeremy Corbyn is upset that the Chief of Military Staff has entered into ‘politics’ by saying that the Uk bombing Daesh in Iraq but not tracking back and bombing them in Syria is foolish and lacking in sense.  Also that having a Prime Minister who has very publicly stated he won’t push the UK’s nuclear button under any circumstances, is dangerous (as well, in my view as just plain silly).

Corbyn’s right that the military shouldn’t be involved in politics we can see the negative side of that in the flawed elections in Burma.  However, who better to provide a reasonably impartial viewpoint on the situation in Syria and Iraq, than a non-politician.  We all know how politicians trim their sails and are more interested in soundbites than hard facts.  I have a little more faith in the people that take the decisions to send our service personnel into harms way than in flip-flopping politicians.

It would, of course, been better if the comments had been made by other politicians.  Not just Conservatives but also those in the Labour Party who still believe that the UK has the moral right to defend itself.

Burma elections
Not really sure how to consider these.  On the one hand, the Burmese people have an opportunity to exercise their democratic right but just how democratic is that right?  Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, cannot be elected as President (this election will come, early next year)  because she has foreign born sons!  The military has a constitutionally-guaranteed 25% of the seats in parliament.  To amend the constitution, a constitution that was written by the military, requires a 75% or more majority!  Hundreds of thousands of the minority Rohingya muslims have been denied the right to vote.    So, a step in the right direction but still quite a way to go.

Osborne agrees 30% spending cuts with four government departments.
Before you jump-up and shout ‘about time’, consider that these cuts are over the next four years.

The departments are, transport, local government, environment and Osborne’s own treasury.  So not the big spenders like health and welfare or the already over-cut defence department.

Apparently, these cuts will be in the order of 8% a year for each of the next four years.   I have written here before that departmental budgets need to be subjected to cuts of 15% a year and the complete closure of the environment department.  My opinion hasn’t changed but given the worsening global economic situation, I am not sure that 15% cuts would be enough!

When you hear the Conservatives crowing about deficit cutting and Labour and the SNP’s howling about austerity, bear in mind that all that is potentially happening, is that the UK is trying to start to live within its means.  The massive debt mountain £1.5 trillion still sits above the UK economy and acts as a huge burden on future generations.  I would advise large pinches of salt to be taken but am not sure what is the latest health scare news position.

Remembrance Sunday One
Caught-up with some of this on TV news.  It wasn’t widely commemorated, as far as I could ascertain, in Erbil, Kurdistan.

We should be heartened that so many young people seem to have managed to throw off the PC teaching of the education system and recognise the contribution and sacrifice made by so many of our fellow-countrymen and our allies.

While the young continue to show respect to these heroes, we have hope!

Remembrance Sunday Two
That man Corbyn again!

Would it really have hurt him so much, to bow his head, when laying his poppy wreath?  A barely perceptible nod in the direction of the Cenotaph, simply isn’t good enough.  Yet another sign of his dislike of Britain and the British.

I know I shouldn’t be surprised by the actions of an active supporter of the murderous IRA but surely there is at least one grown-up remaining, at the Labour Party?

Refugees
Have you noticed that this issue is sliding down the news programmes?  With the onset of bad weather in the region (Erbil is currently experiencing quite severe winds and rains), we might see a halting or at least a serious curtailment, of the numbers of people crossing the Mediterranean.

Maybe these people will now look to what is on their own doorsteps?  Given that Summer suns will be replaced by Winter cold, rain and snow maybe these ‘refugees’ will head towards Saudi Arabia and seek asylum or at least refuge in the massive tent city that is sitting at Mecca.

We can but hope.

Clearly, the appetite in Europe, where it was previously positive, has fast turned against the swarm of people that are invading.  Who knows, given Angela Merkel’s support for a completely open door policy, is now being rapidly rowed back from, Merkel’s own position is said to be in jeopardy.  Merkel losing her job?  We can but hope.

November 8
David Cameron and the EU
It seems like Cameron has decided to get a little serious with his negotiations for Britain’s continued membership of the European Union.  He is apparently going to tell our EU partners that if he can’t get what he wants, for Britain, then he will campaign for Britain’s exit, the so called Brexit.Before you jump up an exclaim ‘about time!’ consider that Cameron isn’t really asking for much.  And his partners will hold firm on their core desire for ‘ever closer union’ and pull Britain further and further into their orbit.  This is what the Euro-elite want.  Not the people of Europe, or more accurately the European Union (note to the BBC Europe and the European Union are not same thing) but for those folks, democracy is an over-rated luxury.If Cameron really wants to demonstrate that he means business, here is a tip.   Have the UK Civil Service start a process of planning for Brexit.  I can’t think of a better way of showing that you mean business, than showing you are prepared for all outcomes.  Have Civil Servants start negotiations with the UK’s key trading partners – those outside the EU.  Start with China and India and then other Commonwealth countries.  The upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, in Malta, would be the perfect launchpad!  Develop and publish the replacement for the Common Agriculture Policy.  Same for the Fisheries policy.  Start to withdraw from cooperation on the ludicrous European Union Foreign Service.

Does anyone think that this won’t concentrate the minds of the EU bureaucrats and the so-called political masters.

Obama and Keystone
So Obama decided to pay back his big financial sponsor – Warren Buffet.  This was entirely predictable.  Buffet’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway is booking an alleged $2 billion a year in profits from transporting oil, at $30 a barrel from Canada to the southern US versus the $10 a barrel that it would cost to send it down via the Keystone XL pipeline.

The US Presidential race

As a non-US voter, can I say – enough already.

Let’s start with the Democrats – surely this can only be seen as a fight between Clinton and Saunders?  I appreciate that this is a most unpalatable choice but let’s get real.  Without Biden, there is no one else.  Unless of course, some of the RINOs show their true colours, and change parties?  Jeb, Marco?
So will the other Democrat candidates please leave the stage.  Then we can have ‘looney-Left tunes’ Saunders slug it out with the not so much Teflon coated as media-untouchable Hillary.   Then we just might see the Dems and their media supporters having to choose between the spend like crazy Saunders and the make no hostages to the future Clinton.  Things might get interesting!

Now the Republicans.

‘Elephant in the room time’ – make that elephants.  Jeb, Marco, Kasich and the others, except for Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, need to leave the field.  George Dubya needs to take his brother to one side and say ‘save your money and give it up’!

The GOP needs to focus on the real candidates.
Carson may have been wounded by the latest revelations concerning West Point, or he may brush past that.  To me it sounds like the media trying to make a story out of next to nothing – so Carson bragged a little, haven’t we all?

Trump will I think, start to fade.  He has done the GOP a great service by daring to say things that some others, like the ones who should now bow out, have steered away from.   While he is a populist, I think that he has to have something more substantial in his policy pocket than just being anti-immigration.  Plus he has had past cosy relationships with the Dems.

That just leaves Ted Cruz.  Most say that he is by far the best qualified, intellectually but perhaps more importantly, he has displayed a rare consistency in his following truly Republican policies.  Some say that this tars him with a Tea Party brush but he would be the most formidable opponent against Hillary.  Who knows, if he chose Trump as his running mate, then he might get some of that Donald magic!

About Tom O'Brien

Profile photo of Tom O'Brien
Tom is an English Conservative Christian currently working as a Finance Manager in Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq. When not in Iraq, his home is in Grantham, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom; also the hometown of Margaret Thatcher.

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