Author Archives: Joe Otten

Proof arrives that Remain are right on the economy

Until now the economic argument in this EU referendum has been whether you believe the experts – whose reputations depend on the quality of their prognostications – or whether you believe that an ‘expert’ is someone who automatically has less expertise than everybody else.

Just to summarise, thanks to Sky News:

  • International Monetary Fund – Britain could cause “severe regional and global damage by disrupting established trading relationships”, should it vote to leave the EU. “Negotiations on post exit arrangements would likely be protracted, resulting in an extended period of heightened uncertainty that could weigh heavily on confidence and investment, all the while increasing financial market volatility.” The consequences ranged from “pretty bad to very, very bad”, managing director, Christine Lagarde added
  • PWC for the Confederation of British Industry – GDP down 3 to 5% by 2020, 5% corresponding to 950,000 jobs and £100bn lost.
  • Institute For Fiscal Studies – Brexit would cost the UK between £20bn and £40bn, according to the IFS. The Government would need to find equivalent of £5bn of public spending cuts, £5bn worth of savings from social security spending and roll out tax hikes worth £5bn – two more years of austerity – to cover the cost.
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – GDP in the UK could be between 3-5% below the level it might have been if it had remained in the EU, equivalent to £2,200 loss per household.

No longer need we believe them. With polls in the last few days showing a high risk of Brexit, the markets have reacted.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 69 Comments

LibLink: Tim Farron – Britain braced for momentous day of decision

Tim FarronTim Farron writes for the Yorkshire Post today, looking behind the Blue on Blue punch up to see what is at stake for the region.

The leave campaign wants you to forget that voting to leave will endanger our access to the world’s most valuable single market. Over 250,000 jobs in Yorkshire, or almost one in 10, are linked to trade with the EU. I would never suggest these jobs would all vanish if we left, but the fact is Yorkshire remains hugely dependent on trade with

Posted in LibLink | Tagged | 15 Comments

Proof that vote leave is wrong on ‘taking control’

Vote Leave’s central message is one of taking back control from the EU, and returning it to the UK government. They may choose to talk about immigration as the answer to everything and to the exclusion of all else but here too, it is about control and rests on a perception that the EU, rather than national governments, is generally in control.

Now those of us who understand how the EU works, know that the EU does what the national governments tell it to do, and not the other way round, and that the EU cannot do anything that national governments haven’t agreed, unanimously, that it should be able to do. The leave argument relies on this not being understood.

And it only takes a moment’s reflection to realise that the levying of taxes and running of public services is entirely down to our own government; that the passing of laws – at least when it comes to our conduct as human beings as opposed to the construction of our toothbrushes – is down to national parliaments.

But let us ask ourselves, if the Leave picture were correct, who is it that would be most frustrated by this hypothetical bullying EU? Not the man or woman in the street – let’s face it we’re all governed by somebody. No, it would be the Prime Minister.

So how frustrated have our prime ministers been at not really being in control?

Posted in Op-eds | 14 Comments

Reflections on the South Yorkshire PCC election

Joe Otten PCCThe election for a Police Commissioner for South Yorkshire was subjected to perhaps the most powerful and least effective scrutiny of any of them.

Following hundreds of children going unprotected from sexual exploitation in Rotherham, with significant and gross police failures to believe, investigate and prosecute, we finally have a large team of detectives working these cases, under the direction of the National Crime Agency.

The first Police Commissioner, Shaun Wright, had resigned (after much resistance) having been responsible for childrens’ services in Rotherham that had also failed these …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 7 Comments

Inquest verdict: The 96 were unlawfully killed #JFT96

Today the Hillsborough inquest returned a verdict of unlawful killing of 96 people.

Errors and omissions by the South Yorkshire Police are ruled to have caused and contributed to the deaths on a number of counts, and also errors and omissions by the city council as the ground safety licensing authority, the engineers Eastwood and Partners, Sheffield Wednesday FC and the ambulance service.

Posted in Op-eds | 73 Comments

Brexiters have nowhere to hide on crime, policing, terror and intelligence

With the Brexit debate currently focusing on the question of trade, Brexiters are able to wrongly claim that the UK would enjoy better trade agreements outside the EU, sooner or later. This exercise in hand waving complacency is not available when it comes to our security.

This is not just about the European Arrest Warrant, responsible for the

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 27 Comments

Brexit as political arson by David Miliband

It isn’t the done thing here to link to opinion pieces in the newspapers by Labour politicians. So much that I’m not even sure what category to use. We have LibLink for links to articles by Liberal Democrats, and we have the slightly oddly named “Independent View” for articles by non-members.

But sometimes, hang the taxonomy, this is important enough to link to anyway.

David Miliband steps away from arguments over the costs of membership and Brexit, of whether we could get back the agreements on trade, policing, etc, that Brexit would tear up, the implications, if any, on immigration. Instead he looks at the bigger picture.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 27 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarIan Willmore 29th Jun - 11:41am
    You are right sir. Here is your idea set out as a strategy. http://www.slideshare.net/IanWillmore
  • User AvatarJ Dunn 29th Jun - 11:38am
    "The referendum result was a triumph for illogicality." I accept that there in an external illogicality about what is happening widely in the social and...
  • User AvatarStewart 29th Jun - 11:31am
    Jaw-dropping. Do this and I will leave the party.
  • User AvatarAlderman David Becket 29th Jun - 11:14am
    If only we had leaders of the calibre of Ernest Bevin, instead of this Eton Mess Earnest Bevin Quotes “If you open that Pandora's Box...
  • User AvatarJayne McCoy 29th Jun - 10:49am
    Michael BG - Yes we need to form policies that are relevant to people, and that is one of the calls I put out. You...
  • User AvatarJane Ann Liston 29th Jun - 10:34am
    'Many of those who voted Leave stand to lose most'. I would say the same applies to many of those who voted for independence in...