Steven Woolfe is still UKIP in sheep’s clothing

Wannabe UKIP leader Steven Woolfe is the latest Right-wing populist to discover the virtues of progressive language in his bid for working class votes.


On the BBC Today programme this morning, the MEP repeated his ‘social mobility’ pitch, saying he hopes to target Labour seats in future elections.

Woolfe, who made headlines today after missing the deadline for submitting his leadership nomination, has talked a Leftish talk before. In an interview with IBTimes on Thursday, he said:

‘My biggest concern is that we want to have an economy that treats everybody as fairly and equally as possible to make sure that no one is left behind and that someone is listening to them.

We’re not out there to protect the big corporates ripping us off.

We believe in a fair taxation system, we believe in capitalism not corporatism, but more than anything else we believe in people.’

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Brexit and global growth

The IMF’s chief economist says that Britain’s vote to leave the EU has ‘thrown a spanner’ of the global recovery.

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 26JAN13 - Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Washington DC; World Economic Forum Foundation Board Member is seen during the Session 'The Global Economic Outlook' at the Annual Meeting 2013 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 26, 2013. Copyright by World Economic Forum Moritz Hager

After the global economy performed better than expected at the beginning of 2016, the fund has today slashed growth forecasts for the UK and the world, blaming the referendum result for ‘a substantial increase in economic, political, and institutional uncertainty, which is projected to have negative macroeconomic consequences.’

This is consistent with the IMF’s pre-Brexit prediction that a Leave vote would could trigger ‘a protracted period of heightened uncertainty’ and cause long-term damage across economic sectors.

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It’s not ‘absurd’ for EU citizens to feel secure in the UK

A constituent writes to the Foreign Secretary over his and Theresa May’s post-Brexit haggling with people’s lives

The following is a letter sent to Philip Hammond MP, the Foreign Secretary, from one of his constituents, after he echoed Theresa May in saying the right of EU citizens living in the UK to stay here was on the table in Brexit negotiations, and should not be guaranteed. 


Dear Mr Hammond,

I am writing, as your constituent, to express my serious concern over the comments you made to a number of media outlets on 4 July regarding the future status of the two million EU citizens currently residing in the UK.

Rather than committing yourself to a strong pro-European stance at this crucial time, you followed in the footsteps of Theresa May in stating that the rights of these EU citizens would be up for negotiation.

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Scottish economy would be damaged by Brexit, says new report

The Scottish economy faces the prospect of considerable damage if the UK votes to leave the EU.

Nicola Sturgeon discribes situation after brexit

According to a new commentary from the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute, ‘there is a high probability that output and growth in the Scottish economy will be damaged if the United Kingdom votes to leave the EU’. It added:

‘First, the likelihood would be that trading arrangements would be less favourable than in the EU.

Not only would actual and potential Scottish exporters have to overcome a potentially weaker competitive position due to lower labour and total factor productivity, they may also have to face the additional hurdle of less favourable trading arrangements.

Secondly, uncertainty attaching to a Brexit and the terms of any subsequent arrangements might worsen Scottish productivity growth through the negative effects on trade competition, inward investment and financial integration.’

Publishing the commentary, Brian Ashcroft, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the Institute, warned that leaving the EU could place more of a burden on Scottish companies and the economy. He explained:

‘At a time when there is increasing policy concern about Scotland’s productivity and growth performance a vote to leave the EU would place an unnecessary burden on Scottish companies and economic policy.’

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Stephen Crabb is no working class hero

As Stephen Crabb enters the Tory leadership contest, his colleague Maria Caulfield sums up his pitch as the ‘blue collar’ candidate in a piece for the Telegraph:

Stephen Crabb has a proven track record of being a One Nation Conservative who can cut across communities with his message of social justice for all.

Not just because he grew up on a council estate and was raised by his single mum or because he funded his way through university by working as a builder, but also because during his six years in government he has helped support named step sis loves me some of the most disadvantaged communities in Britain.’

But as author James Bloodworth (late of this parish) has noted, Stephen Crabb is, despite his roots, no friend of the working class.

Stephen Crabb about taxes

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The UK has voted to leave the EU

12.00: That’s it for our referendum liveblog. We will, of course, continue to provide analysis of the major developments.

We can expect candidates for the Conservative leadership to start jostling for position over the weekend, and we’re likely to see a serious attempt to topple Jeremy Corbyn as well.

But while internal party politics will fill a lot of column inches over the next few days, the most important consideration – as Frances O’ Grady of the TUC has said – must be to shore up the economy and ensure that working people, and vulnerable communities, do not bear the brunt of this decision.

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Obama, Congress Flunk National-Service Test

With the audacity to overreach, President Obama commemorated the fifth anniversary of the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act on Monday by calling it “the boldest expansion of opportunities to serve our communities and our country since the creation of AmeriCorps.”

He’s wrong. National-service advocates, including Democrats otherwise loyal to Obama, say the law has gotten little more than lip service from the White House—and far less than that from House Republicans.

In fact, both the Obama administration and Congress received failing grades Monday in a report by ServiceNation and Voices for National Service, two groups advocating for programs that support volunteerism and community service.

This must be what Obama considers to be bold and expanded:

  • From 2010 to 2013, the number of people serving the nation through AmeriCorps declined by nearly 18,000 because of a lack of funding from Washington, according to the report.
  • This year, despite soaring number of applicants for AmeriCorps positions, fewer than 80,000 national-service members are serving. That is 120,000 short of the law’s goal for 2014.

The 2009 act authorized the growth of AmeriCorps from 75,000 positions in 2008 to 250,000 by 2017. That pledge appears unattainable, given the resistance of Republicans to support national service and Obama’s inability to overcome the GOP.

“As we celebrate this anniversary,” Obama wrote in a letter to national-service advocates Monday, “let us recommit to fulfilling its promise.” One recipient, who asked not to be identified, emailed me a copy of the letter and scoffed, “You can’t recommit to something that’s never been committed to.”

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Yale Pro-Life Group Rejected

An undergraduate pro-life group at Yale University has been rejected for full membership in the school’s community-service umbrella organization.

Choose Life at Yale (CLAY) spent the past year as a provisional member of Dwight Hall, an organization that calls itself the “Center of Public Service and Social Justice” and enjoys 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

But the social-justice organization voted Wednesday to deny CLAY full membership, which would give the pro-life group access to Dwight Hall’s funds, meeting rooms, service vehicles, and many other resources. CLAY had one minute to present its case for membership, followed by no deliberations whatsoever. Immediately after the presentation, one representative from each of the 96 member organizations of Dwight Hall voted. The exact tally is unknown to those outside Dwight Hall, but a majority voted against the pro-life group.

On the day before the vote, one of the student leaders of Dwight Hall wrote an op-ed in the Yale Daily News that asked fellow student leaders to reject CLAY’s petition for membership. Andre Manuel argued that the vote was not a matter of free speech but of a difference in opinion over the definition of “social justice.” According to Manuel, a group that denies reproductive rights cannot have a claim to an organization that promotes social justice.

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Romney endorses Congress candidate Tobin – Arizona Republic

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Monday announced his support for Andy Tobin in the race for Congress in eastern Arizona’s District 1.

Tobin, who serves in the state Legislature as House speaker, is running in a three-way primary with state Rep. Adam Kwasman, R-Oro Valley, and rancher and oilman Gary Kiehne. The winner will challenge U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., in the toss-up district in November.


“Andy is a proven conservative whose leadership in Arizona has been crucial to cutting state government spending, lowering taxes and fighting to stop ObamaCare,” Romney said in a written statement released by Tobin’s campaign. “He has the courage and resolve we need in Washington. Andy is a leader who will do the right thing for the people of Arizona.”

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