Ed’s Day – 10 June 2019

Ed reacted to the worrying economic statistics this morning:

This is a really worrying indicator of the fragile state of our economy and should shame any Tory leadership candidate continuing to push for a no-deal Brexit. If just uncertainty can cause this shrink in manufacturing and our GDP, then it doesn’t bear thinking about what crashing out of Europe with no-deal could do.

These aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet, this is having an impact on the lives of people up and down the country employed in industries like car manufacturing who are already losing their jobs. Enough is enough. Things have changed since June 2016 – we have got to give the people the final say on Brexit with the option to stay.

He also supported a campaign to introduce same sex marriage in Northern Ireland:

And in an article in the Independent, he ripped into Boris and other Brexiteers.

The long cast list of Conservative leadership candidates seems completely stoned. Not on some exotic substance that has sparked the greatest outpouring of contrition since Henry II allowed himself to be whipped by monks, but on Brexit. It is an addiction, with each new mind-altering inhalation demanding a harder and harder hit. So a no-deal Brexit will be through parliament by October, says the Johnson Brexit pusher. “Paff! Is that the best you can do,” swaggers back Dominic Raab, who seems completely off his head by now. “I will prorogue parliament and force it through.”

As hallucinogenic thinking goes it is up there with Keith Richards in the 1970s; the Stone later reflected that he could scarcely remember the decade.

But judging by Johnson’s attempted foray into economics, perhaps he is now closer to The Beatles “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, so away with the fairies is he. He promises nearly £10bn of tax cuts paid for – wait for this, because it’s a cracker, as he might put it – from the Brexit war chest built up by the chancellor.

He highlights how Boris’s supposed tax cuts would benefit people like the rich pensioners who make up the Tory membership.

Johnson claims he would spend this mythical £9.6bn on tax cuts not only for the wealthiest workers – obscene enough when the poorest still suffer from austerity – but the primary beneficiaries would be rich retired. Because Johnson’s plan is to claw back some revenue through National Insurance which the retired don’t pay.

Given that we are at historic levels of generational unfairness, this is (to reluctantly employ another Johnsonism) gobsmacking. It flies against the Lib Dem approach in coalition to incentivise work. This fantasy proposal rewards idleness. With our public services suffering from years of cuts it is hard to think of a more divisive policy to impose on a Brexit-riven Britain.

Ed has his own plan – ditch Brexit and spend Hammond’s pot of money on regeneration:

So here is my plan: we use this money – Hammond has mentioned £15bn, Johnson mentions £26bn – that would have been spent to pay for no deal. And instead we use it to usher in a new period of prosperity.

Ed’s website is here and you can follow him on Twitter here.

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