Who says Britain’s Conservative MPs are not future oriented?  

In fact, they are acutely focused on what job they might be able to get after the next general election, due in 2024.

Prospects looked worse after new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his mini-budget on Thursday.  His programme: rolling tax increases for the next six years.  And because tax thresholds are not being raised in line with rising prices and wages, persistent inflation (which also seems more likely) will make it more painful.

Have a smidgen of sympathy for the poor multi-millionaire.  Under the current bipartisan rules of the game, there is no alternative if the growth in debt is to be curbed.  Those who produce the most, must give the most.

Continue reading “Who says Britain’s Conservative MPs are not future oriented?  “

Kushner and Blair (maybe more than Trump’s magnetism) helped secure Middle East accord

It defeated US Presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama but this week Donald Trump did the almost-impossible: bringing two Arab states together with Israel. Since taking office in January 2017, Trump’s foreign policy achievements had  counted for zero.

Not since the Camp David accords of 1978 and 2000 or the 1994 peace accord between Israel and Jordan has there been any tangible progress in resolving the Middle East’s most intractable issue until this week when Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed up to normalise relations with Israel.

Modestly, Trump attributed this to his own personal magnetism and ability to “do a deal.”   Rather more, it was actually the work of son-in-law Jared Kushner and a contact group led by former British PM Tony Blair. 

The White House and  Kushner may not have brought peace to the Middle East, but they’ve taken a huge step towards it. Now the real prize is Saudi Arabia.  Riyadh will be a harder nut to crack but the Saudis have taken an initial step by allowing UAE airliners to transit its air space, something unthinkable and impossible a month ago. Continue reading “Kushner and Blair (maybe more than Trump’s magnetism) helped secure Middle East accord”