Western Mail letters: Saturday, August 3, 2019; Your letters to the national newspaper of Wales.
Could you please educate some of your uninformed readers: we are not in the shackles of Brussels, nor are we governed by the EU, as some of them maintain.
About 12% of our laws are our European laws. The other 88% are our British only laws (Westminster and Cardiff). These 12% are virtually all laws agreed by (often proposed by) our representatives to EU government procedures, ie they have been passed by our representatives in the European Council, The Commission, and finally the Parliament (in Strasbourg). (Brussels' so called bureaucrats don't come into this eminently democratic process). We can even veto a lot of proposals which we don't like.
EU laws are designed to safe-guard a level playing field for business competition across all member states.
There are strict limitations on their minimal areas of competence vis-a-vis our vast areas of national competence in our home parliaments.
And while I am pleading for more education, could you please enlighten your less-informed readers that our net annual contribution to the EU is [pounds sterling]6bn. This the Chancellor pays out of his annual budget purse of [pounds sterling]860bn. For this membership fee, we have free-trade access to [pounds sterling]600bn worth of trade within the single market.
Gareth W Thomas
So the Party have secured Brecon,with considerable flag waving on behalf of Greens and Plaid Cymru.
What confused me somewhat is to see Kirsty Williams at the forefront. I thought she was now a co-opted member of the Labour Party.
So they have created an amalgam of Remain support and basically prevailed on this agenda. They have filled a political niche but hardly offered any positive political manifesto beyond.
Has democracy become "an optional extra" in this country?
While I wholeheartily support the concept of the right to hold and to express an opinion, I deplore the current tendency to ignore and to use whatever means come to hand, to ignore or overturn majority democratic decisions.
Now the voters of Brecon were perfectly entitled to vote for whichever candidate they please but it would be foolish to ignore the wider implications of yesterday's result. They have sent to Westminster an MP of a political party who is determined not to implement the result of the 2016 Referendum.
They had help from the non-participation of Plaid and the Green parties.
A great pity the Brexit and Ukip parties couldn't have reached a pact with the Tories in this case.
As things stand, politics and to an extent, parliamentary democracy are on a knife edge in this country.
People are entitled to their opinions but the Brexit saga has put an entirely different slant on a system which was long in the making and seemingly short in the breaking.
I sincerely hope PM Johnson is able to do what he has said he will do.
People who think he is a buffoon are seriously mistaken.
What does give me cause for concern is the casual dismissal of a majority vote, a governmental promise and politics "made on the hoof".
WE recall with much mirth President Trump's echolocation tweet about meeting the Prince of Whales. And just last week, Ivanka Trump congratulated Boris Johnson via a melodic tweet on becoming "the next Prime Minister of the United Kingston".
Pretty much everyone is agreed that both smiley errors were down to the autocorrect function on their devices -- which raises two intriguing points.
First, and given such errors are commonplace across social media, especially higher up the ABC1 scale, I am taken aback that so few people bother to check what their computers are up to behind their backs, indeed it doesn't offer up much confidence apropos the world of self-drive looming just around the next blind bend.
Secondly, how intriguing that the White House autocorrect function does not recognise Wales or Kingdom.
However, both mistakes gave rise to some great responses. I particularly liked this: "The Prime Minister of the United Kingston must be celebrating with the Prince of Whales over a nice hot covfefe..." 10/10. So I thought, hm, I'd better contribute my own effort.
The Kingston Trio were a popular American folk group from the Fifties and Sixties, famous for many songs, including "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?". Well, now that The [United] Kingston Trio is in place -- Johnson, Javid and Patel, with Raab on drums -- I am looking forward to a rendition of: "Where have all the Remainers gone? Gone to backbenches, every one."
Who loses from a weak pound?
British consumers buying imported goods. Many imported items like food, petrol and electrical goods will become more expensive as the pound weakens.
This will push up shop price inflation.
If the devaluation is sustained, we could see permanently higher prices in the shops.
Though if the economy is very weak, underlying inflationary pressures will remain low. Inflation. As a rough rule of thumb, a 10% devaluation may increase prices by 2-3%.
The components of the CPI most affected by a devaluation are: (regression coefficient -- Source: air travel (-1.29), vegetables (-1.22), gas (-0.71), fuel (-0.54), books (-0.35).
British tourists. Going abroad to New York or Paris will be more expensive as a pound will get less foreign currency.
Firms importing raw materials. Firms who import raw materials from Europe/rest of the world will face a large rise in costs. Some firms have no alternative but to import raw materials and goods from abroad. For example, companies importing champagne or Spanish food items to sell to British consumers will be facing a tough time because the Euros strength has reduced their profit margins.
Uncertainty may reduce capital flows. Combined with the uncertainty of Brexit and loss of direct access to Single Market, foreign investors may decide the UK is not a good place to save and invest their money. This could lead to a degree of capital flight, which will magnify the initial fall in the pound.
Having experienced both, I can assure those who think Corbyn is planning to turn the UK into another Cuba, his and John McDonnell's blueprint is to emulate Nicolae Ceausescu's fully nationalised Romania; where we discovered that even its airline was controlled by the military, none of its people were allowed to hold foreign currency, which meant they could only buy inferior state produced goods, they needed to a hold a state qualification certificate before they could carry out any manual task, from decorating their home, to fuelling or inflating the tyres on their cars.
As they needed the police's permission to replace any items on their cars, they took to removing the wiper blades whenever parking their car and, travelling to work in Bucharest, it was commonplace to see a pool of oil under a parked vehicle, a clear sign that someone had stolen its oil fitter.
Ceausescu not only needed Securitate secret police to ensure the people did what they were told, but any army of card-carrying members, who hid in the shadows listening-in to every conversation and meeting to ensure they followed the party line.
Until finally, no one (who didn't travel in a Zil limousine) dared say what they were thinking.
Is this what the Labour Party is now promising?
Two observations from the Brecon by-election.
The voters have elected a new MP whose party leader says she would not accept the result of a second referendum if she didn't like it.
The Tories possibly lost because the leave vote was split between themselves, the Brexit Party and Ukip whereas the remain vote went to what was in effect an alliance beween ther Lib Dems, Greens and Plaid.
Online iOS app plug (strip) September 2015
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|Publication:||Wales Online (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||Aug 5, 2019|
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