United Kingdom

The Unions v The Government of UK

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The strikes up and down the country in the cold winter at end of 2022 and early 2023 as many would state, is to test the nerve of the Conservative Government.

It has been seen to be coming for many months, but Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, like his predecessor Margaret Thatcher, has painted the Trade Unions, as well as the Labour Opposition for supporting picket lines, as the enemies of ordinary hard working Brits, blaming them for causing the chaos in the run up to Christmas.

It has in one sense worked as 49% of the British public is opposed to some of the Unions, particularly, the RMT Rail Union as greedy. Some other unions like the Transport Salaried Staff (TSSA) last week voted to accept Network Rail’s offer of at least 9% for this year and next with Network Rail promising to make no compulsory redundancies until 31 January 2025.

Private Contractors have agreed pay offers with Unions

Other Unions, like Unite have also accepted an improved pay offer for the Ground Handling Staff at Heathrow Airport from their Private Contractor, Menzies. So have planned strikes by Security Guards on Eurostar to Paris on December 16 and 18th were similarly suspended while they considered a fresh pay offer from Contractor, Mities.

We read that Rolls Royce, a unit of Germany’s BMW, had agreed a very generous pay offer with the Union, Unite, on 16 December 2022, worth 14.8% and up to 17%, the largest single pay deal in the history of the factory at Goodwood, West Sussex,Southern England.

Another well-known name, EasyJet agreed to raise base pay by 7.5% in France and averted a French Cabin crew strike over Christmas.

While many Private Companies have seen it constructive to make peace with their Unions,

The British Government has been holding firm, even with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Is Nurses Pay more important in today’s political scene?

The two professions, one the Train Drivers (RMT) on an average salary of £59,000 pa with fewer vacancies and Nurses on just under £35,000, with 45,000 odd nursing vacancies across England, there is public sympathy (66% at a recent poll) with the Nurses.

The Sunak Government is left with little choice but to make a climb down in his fight with the Nurses, who are willing to also come to a reasonable deal.

It may be a “U Turn,” the second time in his recent six weeks that P.M.Sunak would have to cave in, similarly to his change on his housing agenda, on the building of onshore wind farms.

With MP’s salaries on £84,000 and some “moonlighting” there is a hue and cry to help the Nurses. The Big Issue is who deserves a pay rise at present, a Nurse or a Train Driver?

Can you compare Train Drivers to Nurses?  Train Drivers have six (6) months training inside the train cab, while Nurses need up to six (6) years training on the hospital floor. However, in a sense it is not comparing like with like and here is the difficulty from the Government’s standpoint.

We all know the NHS needs a major overhaul and an efficiency drive. But look at it another way, the average Nurse’s salary is four (4) times the State Pension. But, will we be better off rapidly reaching the “Cost of Insurance” based Health Care, like the United States, or Germany.

The main question on people’s minds is: “Will Private Medicine be a more effective service than the NHS, we have got used to over decades?

I leave it to you to decide, which is better?

Why is there a winter of discontent in UK?

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3 mins read

The widespread industrial unrest in the run up to Christmas and into January 2023, is nothing new, as workers all over Britain demand better pay and working conditions. Their leverage is to cause the most amount of tolerance, inconvenience and resilience.

We’ve just come out of summer and autumn with rail and postal strikes, now we face strike action planned by Nurses, Teachers, Train drivers, Emergency services, Ambulance drivers, Civil Servants, all jumping on the bandwagon. After a decade of wage stagnation workers across the country are now calling for pay rises that match inflation. However, it is fair to say, that during the past decade inflation was below 2 %, but has now overshot expectation.  

The last time there was a winter of discontent that I can remember?

I reckon it was during the days of Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan.

I can remember the winter between November 1978 and February 1979 when rubbish on the streets piled up, not cleared for days, perhaps, weeks as “Bin men” Council workers went on strike. First, it was the private and later the public sector Trade Union workers, demanding Pay rises greater than offered by the Labour government. It was no joke, when lights used to flicker as power cuts made us to keep candles at the ready. Domestic services in hospitals were on poverty wages of £39.50 per week at that time.

We cannot of course, compare today’s scenario to either the days of the General Strike of 1926 or the strike in 1978/79. But, a picture is building of what this winter 2022/23 will look like.

Why the strikes in NHS, in particular?

How many of you know that 25,000 Nursing staff left their job in the past year, with staff shortages affecting patient safety?

How many know there are 47,000 unfilled NHS Registered Nursing posts in England alone?

Has this shortage anything to do with the minimum 5, sometimes 10 hour wait at A& E wards in hospitals up and down the country?

Nurses in UK are going on strike for the first time, the first official strike in their 106 year history, on 15 and 20th December 2022. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) announced it has reluctantly called a national strike over pay and patient safety. It said their action will be as much for patients as it is for nurses.

Emergency care will still be provided, under a “life–preserving care model,” but routine services are expected to be affected by the strike. RCN stated the level of service during walk outs will be that dialysis and planned surgery cancelled.

Nurses are paid according to their level of seniority and how many years’ experience they have. The Nursing career is not a bed of roses, but a bed of patience?

For those who hope to apply to fill these empty nursing posts, almost all nursing staff are on contracts under a system introduced in 2004 to bring together different pay scales across the NHS.

A newly qualified Nurse under 2 years’ experience earns £27,055 in England, topped up by London Weighting Allowance rising to £32,934 after four (4) years. A Senior Nurse – Matron earns £48,526 to £54,619 after five (5) years.

RCN Nursing Union is asking for 19 % pay rise. This Union wants a rise of rise of 4.5% above the Retail Price Index (RPI); a pay hike of 19.2%, which the Government says is unaffordable and unacceptable. National inflation is currently at 12.6%,

The Government accepted the Independent Pay Service body recommendation for 1 million workers a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year equivalent around 4 to 5% for most nurses.

The Government also states that for every one (1) percent rise it costs £700 million taking the total demand to £10 billion or 6.5 % of the total NHS Budget.

When are some of the other Unions on strike?

Railways, 40 million RMT members –

Walk out on December 13-14; 16-17; January 3-4; 5-7, 2023.

Postal Workers, 120 million CMU members –

Walk out on November 30; December 1, 9, 11, 13-15; 17, 23-24.

Buses in London, Unite Members –

Almost 1000 bus drivers to stage a series of strikes for 10 intermittent days in December.

Teachers   750,000 NEU and NASUWT members –

Balloting for strike action voting closing on 9 and 13th January 2023.

Emergency Services – 15 million Ambulance Staff/ Para Medic members, also thinking of strike action, of some sort, perhaps, a work to rule.

Will strikes cripple Britain?

The Unions believe that the wave of strikes hitting “every sector of the economy” this winter, will help get a square deal for their members.

But neither the Government, nor the General Public believe, that other being greatly inconvenienced, they will not be “broken”?

The Government wants a fair deal to keep the economy afloat; while “what the people expect, is that they get at least a square meal in a round can,” this Christmas, at an affordable price.

UK Backbenchers’ Political Survival through Sri Lanka

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Editorial

The UK House of Commons spent hours yesterday discussing the human rights and economic situation in Sri Lanka. Although they say they are talking about Sri Lanka, they seem to have taken it as an opportunity to express their “overwhelming love” for the Sri Lankan Tamil people living in the United Kingdom in order to preserve their political clout. It is quite ironic how a new generation born to a generation of ancestors who plundered countries including Sri Lanka psychologically, physically and in every other aspect for hundreds of years is not only bragging about human rights but also commanding other nations who are poor just because their wrongdoings how to protect human rights. We were watching carefully the fake performance that was carried out yesterday by that group of hypocrites calling it a debate but in the real sense, they have ridiculed the principles of humanity.  However, we should be glad to watch such entertaining plays of this nature especially in a socio and political context, where a man who has represented an ethnic group which was largely discriminated against by the common psyche of the United Kingdom was finally chosen as their new “Raj”. Their “overwhelming love” for the Tamil people to retain their political power is clearly visible through such dramas. We suggest that it should be capitalized very well by the Tamil community in the UK because, in another ten years or so, a person of Sri Lankan origin can open the path to rule the United Kingdom.

The so-called debate held by British politicians yesterday was a pathetic attempt to offer a legal framework for the alleged genocide in Sri Lanka that should be carefully looked at. No Genocide, but yes, there were some violations from both sides that should be investigated and prosecuted domestically. The real genocide was committed by the British colonialists. They have not yet paid compensation for that. At least they should return stolen valuables. Who can say that it is wrong to vanquish a brutal dictator and his gang who were oppressing unarmed civilians, expelling fellow folks of ethnicities who lived harmoniously within 24 hours and forcing their children into child soldiers? Do you know that we have experienced this heinous reality in our real life, Right Honourable Members? Tell us, will you allow someone to grab your kids and install them on war fronts? Tamil people contributed the most to this humanitarian operation because it was right. That is the truth. That is why these ladies and gentlemen who shed crocodile tears about human rights should stop betraying the noble principles of these subjects for their political survival. They talked about Sri Lanka at length based on secondary information and rhetoric. Anyone who has a simple understanding of the situation in the country will understand that these backbench MPs are continuously trying to fabricate blatant lies for their political survival.

The basic idea presented by a young politician was that since Sri Lanka is a member country of the Commonwealth of Nations, strict measures should be taken against Sri Lanka. We have no idea what the common in wealth of those members of the so-called “commonwealth” is, but we see the wretched inequality between us and them. They robbed us to enrich themselves. Then they tell us, you are a part of “the commonwealth”.  Truth is there is nothing in common, but we are a substantive part of their wealth.  Not only Sri Lanka but many other nations were deceived by the nominal commonwealth until the power of the degenerate colonial master faded in recent times. The inconsistency here is that this whole event is labelled a “debate”. From school we are taught that debate is about at least one side opposing the other side’s point of view and letting the public/jury decide who does better. The irony is that the British taught us the culture of debate in the formal education system implemented during the period when they administered Sri Lanka as a subordinate state. But in this so-called debate, nothing was said that contradicted any point that one was trying to establish for his or her political existence. No opportunity for other side of the story. Is it fair in democracy? What is important is accurate data, not rhetoric based on assumptions. So do we need commentary to understand this usual fake play?  Do they really worship the principles of democracy or the legacy of Joseph Goebbels? Over to you, Right Honourable Members?

Exclusive: Let us Work as Partners – Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister to UK

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Commenting on the scheduled debate on the human rights situation and economy in Sri Lanka to be held tomorrow in the UK parliament, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka asked the UK to work as partners.

“My message ( to the UK) is very clear, let us work as partners and not be misled by a few who have ulterior motives and hidden agendas for their political gains. Let’s work together,” Minister Ali Sabry PC told the Sri Lanka Guardian in an exclusive interview at his residence in Colombo.

“Sri Lanka’s relationship with the UK is longstanding. We have a lot of similarities among us. We are requesting the new Prime Minister look at the larger picture of Sri Lankan democracy. Sri Lanka has thrived in democracy since 1931. Our elections are free and fair. None of the government leaders stays beyond their mandate,” he added. 

The full interview with the Minister is to be published soon.

UK to debate on human rights in Sri Lanka Tomorrow

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The parliament of the United Kingdom will hold a debate on Wednesday 9th November on the UK’s response to the human rights and economic situation in Sri Lanka.

The UK Parliament said the Backbench Business Committee which consider requests for debates from any backbench Members of Parliament has organized the debate.

MPs Elliot Colburn, Sarah Olney, Sir Stephen Timms and Theresa Villiers have put forward this debate.

A full transcript of the debate will be available three hours after the debate on Commons Hansard, UK parliament said.

Life and times in England today?

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3 mins read

There is so much going on in England that it is hardly necessary to describe the plight of the British.

One of Cornwall’s most beautiful beaches was unrecognisable at the weekend after a huge sewage and mud spill, according to The Times, tainted the environment.

“Last Sunday morning showed the usually pale blue water transforming into a murky shade of brown.Environmental groups have described the scenes as shocking and the government is being called on to review its sewage action plan.South West Water confirmed that the storm overflow at Agnes, in Cornwall, had triggered ‘briefly’ but claimed that mud dislodged by heavy rain had also contributed to the discolouration of the water”.

Inside the House of Commons, and on the front pages of most major papers and news websites this morning, embattled Home Secretary, SuelaBraverman, literally “came back from the dead on Halloween”. She has come under fire for her handling of the migrant boats of Albanian economic migrants crossing the English Channel from the French coast. She sparked outrage for calling the situation “an invasion”, deemed unwarranted by the Labour Opposition. Refugee charities and pressure groups have also accused her of overcrowding these economic migrants at Manston, in Kent, and allowing them to sleep on the floor, while awaiting processing.

It is well known that over 30,000 Albanian economic migrants have flooded into UK in the past year, after working on parts of the Continent including France as cheap farm labour, flooded with cash to find a home in England. 

To avoid the accusation of bias against the Home Secretary, past Prime Minister, Liz Truss, has been blamed for a security breach on her phone being tapped by outside agents. Blame is the name of the game.

Does anyone want to be Prime Minister of UK at this time?

An elderly woman patient at Kingston Hospital in Surrey confronted Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, during hisplanned visit to her ward recently. She warned him to pay nurses more and when the Prime Minister said ‘the NHS is important to him and to the country’, she retorted, “yes, you are not trying, you need to try harder”.

People generally want to “shove the blame” for all the ills of England, on to the English born, first Asian Prime Minister. Is there a taint of prejudice, who knows? So why is the Prime Minister working all the given hours of the day to put things right? Why is he wanting to turn Britain around, what his motive to prove himself capable, while people name him as Rishi, and not call him by his official title as “Prime Minister”?

Whilst all this is happening, is there is a hidden agenda?

There is a“method in the madness”?  The Chancellor of the Exchequer, John Hunt is eying ways to cover  a multi-billion hole,(£60 billion on estimate fiscal black-hole) with plans that vital public services could be cut on the 17 November 2022 Mini Budget Statement. This is argued is close to the heart of the Prime Minister.

The English are thought to detest the French “froggies,” but want a French speaking Mauritian- Indian, Home Secretary, SuelaBraverman, to broker a deal with her French counterpart, to help curb the flood of migrants across the English Channel. She too is working round the clock to prove that she can deliver, and/or better the English “speaking French with the French”, by stopping criminal Albanian drug economic migrants flooding into UK.

People smugglers are being watched after the Home Secretary’s intervention, now more closely monitored by the French and British authorities. In fact, the Home Office may sooner than later, pay a sum to the French authorities, to curb the migrants coming across from France, rather than accommodating migrants at hotels at state expense.

The Battle of the Wits

While the Asians in high office are keen on showing off their talents, it is not strange that the English are being driven to work harder to survive. Most working people first want to go on strike to claim better wages. Understandably, they are worried that there could be cheap labour flooding in from abroad, such as Nursing Staff and other factory workers, plus boat loads of migrants, to accept low pay and conditions. Doctors and surgeons, in specialist hospitals in England, are thus performing more operations per day with the assistance of Anaesthetics, to clear the backlog due to COVID-19.

The Nurses at Hospitals are soon to ballot their members, as walk-outs are looming. They like the Train drivers want to hold the country to ransom, by demanding higher wages amidst soaring inflation and the oncoming winter.

Civil Service administrators are also worried that the new Chancellor may use his axe to chop top heavy government departments.

The one thing is for sure, there is a hue and cry for more wages as inflation soars. At the same time, market forces are demanding to cut to size of the economy, which is the vision of both the Prime Minister and his Chancellor of the Exchequer. Clawing back the excessive profits made in recent days and months by the Energy Companies in UK, is sooner than later envisaged by the Government and is welcome by both the Opposition and the general public.

India’s Moment in West?

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2 mins read

When the announcement was made that Indian origin Rishi Sunak has been elected as the next Prime Minister of Britain, the euphoria was seen in India with Indian media and several Indians hailing the event, as if an Indian citizen has achieved this feat.  Ridiculous comments have been heard such as ” India was ruled by the British earlier and Britain will now be ruled by India”.

Similarly, when Indian origin Kamala Harris was elected as Vice President of the USA, many celebrations happened in India and residents of the village in Tamil Nadu, which was supposed to be native village of the family of Kamala Harris, even organised thanksgiving offerings in the local temple.  One is not sure whether Kamala Harris has visited this village at all at any time in her life.

There are so many other Indian families and individual Indians who have migrated to the USA, Canada and European and other countries in the last several decades and have surrendered their  Indian citizenship and become full-fledged citizens of the countries to which they migrated.  Quite a number of them are occupying top positions in governments, and corporate undertakings and a few of them have even been awarded the  Nobel Prize.

 It is often heard in India that the success of the former citizens of India who have migrated to other countries and who are termed and described in India as persons of Indian origin, proves the capability of Indians. 

When someone becomes a full-fledged citizen of another country by giving up Indian citizenship, obviously their loyalty and duty is to the country to which they have migrated and in effect, they have cut off their bridge with India. It also reflects the mindset of such persons that the value of the citizenship of the countries to which they have migrated are much more than the value of citizenship of India, which they once held.

As a number of such families of migrated persons have been living in the migrated countries for several decades now, the second and third generation of people in the families may not have visited India at all and may not have much information about India and most probably may not care about the culture and traditions of India any longer.

We often hear such first-generation migrated persons claim that they are emotionally attached to India, but this should not be as they are no more Indians and are the citizens of migrated countries to which they should be emotionally attached.

It appears that some people in   India think that Rishi Sunak being the Prime Minister of Britain and Kamala Harris being the Vice President of the USA would provide several benefits to India.  This can never happen, as they are not Indians anymore.

There is nothing wrong in Indians migrating to other countries of their choice and becoming full-fledged citizens there. Some Indian citizens may consider such people as privileged and think that   Indians should be proud of them.   Then, in such cases, it may create suspicion about the mindset of such Indians and their thought process. 

Let those who migrated to other countries as full-fledged citizens be loyal to the migrated country and let them not claim that they are proud of India and its value systems. Obviously, they should not be, since they have given up their Indian citizenship voluntarily, preferring another country for citizenship.

Story of a Troublemaker: Boris the Chaos

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The following experts adapted from the author’s latest book, Boris Johnson: The Rise and Fall of a Troublemaker at Number 10, published by Simon & Schuster, Inc.

‘Success is the child of Audacity.’ ~ Benjamin Disraeli, prime minister in 1868 and from 1874 to 1880, in The Rise of Iskander, published in 1833

On the morning of Tuesday 7 April 2020, I was commissioned by the Daily Mail to write Boris Johnson’s obituary. At 7 p.m. on Monday evening the prime minister had been admitted to the intensive care unit at St Thomas’ Hospital, and nobody knew whether he would pull through. Death laid its icy hand on him, and opinion polls show he received greater public approval and sympathy than at any time before or since. For a few days Johnson was no more the hated Brexiteer, unscrupulous populist and brazen liar, but a fellow human being, equal with any other victim of the pandemic, mortal like the rest of us.

Your eye may have slid smoothly over the last phrase, but you, dear reader, will die soon enough, as will the author of this book. The glories of our blood and state are shadows, not substantial things. So says the poet, and I have tried while writing about Johnson, as insatiable a glory-seeker as our times can show, to bear in mind that he is also a man.

But an extraordinarily difficult man to write about. When I asked my children, then aged twenty-five, twenty-one and nineteen, if I could dedicate this book to them, provided I put in a line about their having slight reservations about Johnson, one of them replied: ‘Only if you say we think he’s a vile, disgusting human being.’ Boris Johnson inspires in many people a profound and implacable aversion; in many others the warmest affection and support. I do not aspire to change anyone’s mind about him: that would be a vain endeavour. But I do hope, perhaps just as presumptuously, to write a book which partisans on both sides will reckon is fair, and can read with amusement.

A great, maybe insoluble problem at once arises. As soon as I start to explain why Johnson has not, at certain times in his career, been a total failure, I open myself to the charge of seeking to ignore or extenuate his faults. But any sympathy that I extend to him (and I do not think he can be understood without a degree of sympathy) is liable to be dismissed by his admirers as pitifully inadequate.

There was no time to worry about all that while writing his obituary for the Daily Mail, which at a time of national shock and mourning would expect, I assumed, an account which at least ended on a relatively favourable note. This, roughly speaking, is what I sent them:

Boris Johnson loved the Chumbawamba song, ‘I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down.’ He was often knocked down, but until his life was cut short by Covid-19 always got back up again. Johnson was far less cautious than the usual run of career politician, took risks which onlookers regarded as mad, but came back from blows which would have crushed a less resilient figure.
On entering the Commons in 2001 as MP for Henley, he decided, in defiance of all prudent advice, to remain editor of The Spectator. Senior politicians and pundits warned him that riding two horses was bound to end in tears. He defied their predictions, and at first all went well. He became more and more famous, and at the start of September 2004, Vanity Fair billed him as ‘the Tory MP who could one day be Britain’s prime minister’.

Michael Woolf, who wrote that magazine’s profile, likened him to two famous actors who had gone into politics: ‘He is, it occurs to me, as he woos and charms and radiates good humour, Ronald Reagan. And Arnold Schwarzenegger… He is, I find, inspirational.’ No other Conservative MP could have been compared to Reagan, one of the most successful (though at first derided) post-war American presidents, or to Schwarzenegger, then serving as governor of California. Johnson had an astounding ability to connect with the wider public. He had star quality, and the Conservatives began to think he might be the leader who could end Labour’s decade of success under Tony Blair.

In the summer of 2004 I started work on my first volume about Johnson, published in 2006 and updated in 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2016. As recounted in the introduction to that work, he was at first tremendously keen on the idea of a book all about him (‘Such is my colossal vanity that I have no intention of trying to forbid you’), but then got cold feet (‘Anything that purported to tell the truth really would be intolerable’) and offered me £100,000 to abandon the project, which I, annoyed by his assumption that I could be bought, turned down.

In October 2004, The Spectator published an editorial in which it abused the people of Liverpool and made several atrocious mistakes about the Hillsborough disaster. There was uproar, and Michael Howard, the Conservative Party leader, who was a Liverpool fan, was warned that the next time he went to a game he would be booed. Howard was furious and ordered Johnson to go and apologise to the people of Liverpool, speaking only to the local media. This Johnson did, but the national press were determined to cover the story too, and during his visit to the city a media scrum developed which amused the watching nation, but made Howard look ridiculous.

Worse soon followed. Johnson dismissed press reports of his affair with Petronella Wyatt as ‘an inverted pyramid of piffle’, the press proved he was lying and Howard, who had only a few months previously promoted him to the post of shadow arts spokesman, now sacked him. By the end of 2004, Johnson’s political career lay in ruins. Many of his fellow Tory MPs, jealous of his fame and angered by his neglect of parliamentary duties, had concluded he was hopelessly dishonest and unreliable.

So when Howard lost the 2005 general election to Blair, and resigned the Tory leadership, Johnson was in no fit state to mount a bid for the vacant post, and instead supported David Cameron, who came through and won. Cameron had been junior to him at Eton, junior to him at Oxford, had a less original mind and, until becoming leader, was less famous than Johnson, who had reached the wider public by giving a series of brilliantly amusing performances on Have I Got News For You.

Click here to order your copy of this book

Breaking: PM Truss to Abdicate

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Liz Truss has announced that she is resigning as Prime Minister, triggering a fresh Tory leadership contest which will be concluded “within the next week”, a London-based daily newspaper, The Telegraph has reported.

The report further reads as follows;

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, she said she had come to realise that she “cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party”.

She said: “I have therefore spoken to His Majesty The King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party.

“This morning I met the chairman of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady. We have agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed within the next week.

“This will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plans and maintain our countries economic stability and national security. I will remain as Prime Minister until a successor has been chosen.”

Sir Keir Starmer responded to Ms Truss’s resignation by repeating his call for an immediate general election as he said the “British public deserve a proper say on the country’s future”.

Source: Telegraph, London [ Click here to follow the live update)

Of MP’s and Markets in Britain?

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3 mins read

Pound Sterling has “skidded” by more than one US Cent to below $1.10 after the announcement that the Bank of England was pulling out of its intervention in extending its £65 Billion emergency arrangement to prop up the pound, beyond 14 October 2022. But, it will intervene, if found necessary?

MP’s in Parliament were also relieved after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng announced he was “rushing forward” his Debt Cutting Plan almost a month earlier than planned. This is in a bid to reassure jittery markets following weeks after his “Fiscal Event Statement,” which he made on 23 September 2022. 

The markets may be calmed when the Chancellor sets out more details about how he “intends to manage or massage the public finances”.

We are told, he will then release the forecasts on the State of the Economy from the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) by 31 October 2022. 

Supply-side Economics

Supply-side economics, now also named “Trussonomics” by journalists, is based on the idea that the supply of goods and services within an economy is the main “driver of growth”. For many laymen, it is based on the idea that targeted tax cuts are more effective than general tax cuts to boost a falling economy, along with further post-Brexit deregulation of financial services. 

Many will know this same theory was tried out in Sri Lanka, of lowering tax rates to boost government revenue, through higher economic growth during the years of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. I need hardly state that it faltered and failed. It benefitted none other than the rich, who got away with paying fewer taxes, while those others who should have been liable, got away without, using the known excuses, only to us.

With markets in command today, there is little that the Bank of England or for that matter any Central Bank can do, like what our own Central Bank of Sri Lanka did until recently by “Quantitative Easing” (Q.E). We know the Bank of England dare not print more money for circulation. 

What are the options available?   

Every new government wants to better the previous government “testing out” innovative ideas, to curb inflation. But how much of it is achievable?

The Truss Government has repeatedly stated that what it wants is “delivery”. That “it’s plan will work”. We all know it is “doable” in normal times, but need I say these are not normal times? It is well known that governments as much as its citizens can take recourse in the fact that these are turbulent times, requiring the tried and tested, even though innovative ways are necessary, but take longer. 

Commentators are all ganging up on the Truss Government, perhaps, as a woman, they “think” she can be manipulated. But still, others know, “she is not for turning,” Some MPs of her party are at her throat now, because she rewarded those loyal who stood by her and may I say appeased others who contested her. Apparently, she has won over the voters in the Conservative Party in the country, but not her own MPs who “think of none other than the next election” and don’t see her leading them “up the hill” to victory. 

P.M. Liz Truss has been entrusted with a poisoned chalice. Besides, she has upset both President Joe Biden with her stance on Northern Ireland and of course President Putin. Like in Sri Lanka, you cannot please all the people all the time.

By trying to stimulate the British economy at a pace it is not ready, she has got a coloured Chancellor, to take on “more than he can chew and renegade on his fiscal statement”. Besides, she has got a Home Secretary, SuellaBraverman, to repel migration, who for what reason we don’t know, has criticised migrants from India. This has rightly angered India and according to reports (unverified), UK’s Trade Deal negotiated by Boris Johnson is on the verge of collapse.

Now, who knows, the Brits will be easily placed to blame others for all the blunders, including the IMF for chastising the Government for its intransigence.

The Brits, as far as I know, will always have a way out strategy, to get out of the mess. It was all planned well in advance not to have the OBR oversight along with the Fiscal Statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Now the OBR will try to undo his overly anxious and ambitious plans to save the situation. Alternatively, there will be another “fallback strategy” as a diplomatic cover-up to the war in Ukraine. Who knows, they have a plan for the production of armaments, during the extended “Cold War with Russia?