National Polling Reveals Strong LPUK as Labour and Lib Dems Lose Ground

This week Telegraph has received results from our national polling conducted in 6 constituencies across the country by a joint Telegraph/YouGov team. Overall the results paint a picture of a strong standing LPUK that leads in key seats followed by a Consertative Party who though weakened maintain a good position in several seats. Labour however appears key with them running the risk of losing seats and eroding support as traditionally more left-leaning voters turn to the rising Solidarity which has recently outplaced as the third-largest party in national polling. Labour will need key Liberal Democrat and Solidarity endorsements to remain competitive and stand a shot at remaining competitive in the seats they currently hold. 

Surrey

The results for Surrey are not surprising with the long-time LPUK MP for Surrey, cthulhuiscool2 commanding a nearly unbeatable lead polling at 38.70%, with an edge of 22 points over the next highest competitor. The next highest party are the Tories polling at 16% followers by Solidarity at 13.97% and Labour in only 12%. As the election approaches it can be safely said that Surrey will remain Purple for the foreseeable future. 

Merseyside

Merseyside was one of the tightest and continuously fought seats in teh last election and it seeks to continue that tradition. Last time former Labour leader Akko fought off a very aggressive LPUK campaign for the seat, winning the election on a razor margin. However, now with Akko having left Labour for Solidarity, the seat stands to flip. The LPUK have recently doubled their efforts to gain support in the region with them hosting their party conference in Liverpool. Perhaps thanks to that effort and their gain in national polling now the LPUK sit at 31% to Labour’s 28%. If the LPUK manages to secure a Tory endorsement who currently in Merseyside it seems it will be dire for Labour indeed. Solidarity and the Liberal Democrats poll at 9.59% and 6.78% respectively, meaning even if Labour manages to secure both of these endorsements it will still be a tough fight. Of course, such endorsements are not guaranteed by any means with the possibility of a challenge from Solidarity’s seeking to retake their former seat. 

Birmingham, Solihull, and Coventry

This seat currently held by the Liberal Democrats looks like it might run away from the grasp. The LPUK are polling at 29%, with Labour and Lib Dems polling behind equally at 17%. No doubt the Liberal Democrats’ performance here has been hurt by their fall nationally with the party dropping in the single digits. In order to retain this seat, the Liberal Democrats will need at least a Labour endorsement to fight off the LPUK, and potentially backing from Soldarty as well if the LPUK secure a Tory endorsement. Also making this seat interesting the strong polling from Coalition at 10%, whatever party they choose to endorse here might end up with the final edge on election day. 

North Yorkshire

One of the tighter races this election cycle as the Conservative incumbent Shadow Chancellor /u/ToastinRussian finds themselves within touching distances of the Libertarian Party, with both parties polling at 27.78 and 26.50 percent respectively. Overall the Telegraph believes that the outcome of this race will be determined by third-party endorsement as none of the left of center parties has a shot at winning this one if this round of polls is to be believed.

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

Currently, a LibDem seat however come election day that is highly likely to change, with the LPUK polling at a commanding lead of over 29% putting them 6 points ahead of the Conservative Party, while the Liberal Democrats find themselves in fourth place behind Solidarity. It could be a three-way horse race with the LPUK, Tories, and Liberal Democrats running. If the LibDems secure key endorsements from Labour and other smaller parties they may be able to hold on but if the race gets more complicated and these parties decide to run instead, the LibDems might stand no chance in Bedfordshire. The Liberals could be in real trouble should this constituency be a sign of things to come.

Upper Severn 

Up last is the only truly safe Conservative constituency in this round-up with the Conservative Party holding a comfortable 7 point lead over their Libertarian competitors rank 2nd at 19.5%. Of note is the Solidarity party in third place at 13%. This seat again might be a competitive three-way race if Solidarity or one of the other parties manage to secure endorsements from each other. However, in the case that no party secures endorsements or one of them goes to either the Tories or Libertarians, it looks to be an open and shut case. 

Overall the picture across the country seems to the portrait of a gaining LPUK and steady Tory who have settled in a secure second place. The LPUK led in 4 of the seats we polled with the Tories leading in the other two places. This also means a grim situation for Labour has LPUK make inroads into traditionally ground Labour seats while they continue to lose more left-leaning supporters to Solidarity. Labour will need key endorsements from the Liberal Democrats and Solidarity to remain in contention for key swing races. Solidarity also stands in a strong position to give endorsements and secure their own races with the potential to capture many list seats. The Liberal Democrats meanwhile stand in a similar position to Labour but a weaker one with their collapsing public support and recent scandals which have hurt their reputation as the party that can be trusted. 

Link to full results

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1P_b9YqxeNDyYadaOP9JC8l3ChSJ_B2oKmAywr3JUAGs/edit

“The DPM Did Little to Convince Us To Stay” – Behind the Scenes At the D12

Following South Korea’ shocking decision to leave the D12, a South Korean source at the Foreign Ministry gives a detailed account of the events that lead to the ultimate breakdown of relations and departure of South Korea from the organization.

Yesterday saw the decision by South Korea to exit the D12, a move which is a significant knock to the recently formed alliance. This unexpected shakeup puts the future of the body and calls the course greater geopolitics within the region into question. In order to understand the rationale and timeline of South Korean withdrawal, the Telegraph reached out to our sources within South Korea. We were able to secure communication with an anonymous source within the ROK Foreign Ministry who was able to provide us with a first-hand account of what happened behind the scenes in the weeks before the decision became public. 

First off, we asked our source when exactly did their country start having doubts over the D12. While they were unable to give an exact date on it, they confirmed that definitely by December rumors and doubts were coming to circle in Seoul and among the senior staff in the Foreign Ministry. South Korea’s position in the D12 apparently became more unclear after former PM lily-irl referred to the situation in Xinjiang as a genocide. This did not please the South Korean government who saw this statement as a sign of drastic action and instead wished to use the D12 for a more slow and long-term solution regarding China. 

When asked about the pressure South Korea faced from China our source downplayed the impact of such pressure. We asked if the November visit by top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi to South Korea saw any pressure from China. Our source responded by saying: “There was perhaps slight pressure, but we are not easily intimidated. This was a decision made in the best interests of the Republic of Korea.”

Instead, more of the reasoning behind Korea’s withdrawal was placed on the UK’s government response or rather lack of response to South Korean concerns. The South Korean government reached out to the British government and talked to the Deputy Prime Minister. The South Koreans wished to talk about the agenda for the upcoming D12 summit. During this conversation, the South Korean’s wished to take a long-term approach and they learned from the DPM that they intended to demand immediate access to detention camps in Xinjiang. When they asked the DPM what action would be taken if China denied such access as they presumably would the DPM did not have a clear answer. This seems to be more complex and nuanced reason than the original government statement regarding South Korea’s withdrawal which was attributed to Parliament ruling the events happening in Xinxiang a genocide.

Ultimately the South Koreans felt that the UK did not understand the need to take a long-term view to deal with China and their wishes felt ignored by the British government. When they told the DPM that China would not grant access to the camps in Xinjiang and this would require an escalation by the D12 the government refused to change course, as our source told us “The DPM did little to convince us to stay.” Faced with a refusal to change course, SK felt they had to leave. 

Then they focused on today’s press conference held by the DPM. The South Koreans were taken aback by the comments made by the DPM, with our source saying “the comments were not well received and the implications unfair.” The DPM’s specific comments saying that South Korea’s priorities “The Republic of Korea has felt that their priorities were in conflict with our priority of keeping people safe and preventing future human rights violations” was not well received. The South Koreans felt that the statement which implied South Korea did not place a value on human life misrepresented their position and the UK failed to understand the reality of the threat posed by China to South Korea. While South Korea does not share a direct border with China, the PRC supports North Korea and has pressured South Korea in the past such as when US THAAD defenses were placed in South Korea by using a boycott to put pressure on Korean businesses. They remarked such comments especially in a public statement shocked them. 

It is clear there will be much discussion in Seoul both about their departure from the D12 and what they feel as unfair comments about South Korea made by the Deputy Prime Minister. When asked what this meant for the future of UK-SK relations our source did not wish to speculate but told us their government found the UK’s “implications to be unfair and they oversimplified our reasons for leaving.” With South Korea’s withdrawal from the D12 and their offense at the DPM’s comments, it is not an understatement to say that relations between the countries will be strained. 

In stark contrast to a few months earlier when Foreign Secretary Seimer landed in Seoul and secured South Korea’s membership in the D12, now the nation has retreated from the D12 and been hurt by the UK. With such an important ally in the Asia-Pacific leaving, the future of the UK’s and the entire West’s approach to combat China is called into question. Furthermore, especially in light of the offense caused by the DPM’s comments on South Korea, strained bilateral relations call into question the future of the UK-SK relationship and any potential for a free trade deal. 

Tres Commas is a special correspondent for the Telegraph.

Op-ed – “Why Labour Can’t Win the North”

Recently, Labour Shadow EPW Secretary KalvinLokan penned an article on Northern England focused on how the North had seemingly been fooled by the center-right politicians from the LPUK and Conservatives. He claims that the people of the North “have found themselves subject to attacks [and] abandonment.” Going on, he then lays the main part of the blame for the continued existence of this inequality at the feet of the Tories and the LPUK because apparently despite many LPUK MPs being voted into Parliament to represent Northern constituencies with large majorities do not care about the people they represent. 

The next part of his response seems to be firmly grounded in denial and disillusion because he reflects back on the “heavy damage” Labour took back in August. The General Election in August saw Labour take their most devastating loss in modern history as they were beaten by the LPUK to become the 2nd largest party in the Commons. Rather than taking the sensible approach for what might be behind the defeat like the fact the LPUK’s vision and message resonated with voters more than Labour’s manifesto which was riddled with typos, contradictory policies, and hordes of uncosted spending;  Kalvin instead makes the decision for Northern voters saying they were fooled by “the parroting of lies” by the LPUK. This type of thinking indicates exactly why Labour has failed so horribly in the recent election because instead of taking their loss at the polls as a reflection of the changing wishes of the electorate, they instead choose to blame their defeat on the smooth-talking lies from the opposition. 

Secondly, this mindset looks down on voters, especially on those in the North by saying that they are incapable of objectively analyzing party policies to decide what they want for themselves and if they choose to vote for the LPUK over Labour it must be because they were fooled by the LPUK’s lies and not due to Labour’s shortcomings in connecting with the public. More so, as an MP who personally represents part of the North, I must take offense at the statements made by KalvinLokan because I have done my best to represent the people of Manchester North. Let’s make clear that the inequalities that exist between the North and South have existed for centuries and were not simply created by the policies of the LPUK or the Tories. Furthermore, I would say the rise of the LPUK particularly in the North was fueled by the failure of the left. Why look at my seat Manchester North, which before my victory was a stronghold for the left, with the Green Party winning it in consecutive elections. It was the total failure of the Green Party and their fellow partners on the left which helped me win. Why the Green MP for Manchester North barely showed up to vote in the Commons and had one of the lowest voting turnout rates in Parliament. I can’t blame the people in my home for being frustrated with such terrible representation in Westminister. 

Also when one looks at the facts we can see that the LPUK has undertaken specific policies to help the North which is probably the reason for our continued strong support in the North. The LPUK has continued to keep taxes low so ordinary working families in the North can keep more money in their pockets, we took action to combat homelessness, we committed to plans to combat the housing crisis in cities like Manchester. Overall instead of blaming the LPUK and the Tories for Labour’s defeat, I would urge KalvinLokan and his fellow Labour peers to take a hard look at their own policies. To end off, KalvinLokan claims “Any party could have achieved what pittance Thatcher did”, well if that’s true I wonder why Labour couldn’t win a majority to defeat Thatcher? Maybe they were also too busy like the current Labour leadership with blaming the right to take a critical and honest look at their own failures.

/u/ThreeCommasClub is the LPUK MP for Manchester North

Breaking: Clegg Deal Reached by Tories and Liberal Democrats

In what will no doubt come as a blow to Labour, it seems that the Tories and Lib Dems have also negotiated a coalition agreement in direct opposition to the Phoenix agreement. This move will come as a departure from Prime Minister Brain’s earlier comments on the collapse of the Burple Government where he indicated that he would lead the Tories to the opposition benches and did not intent to actively seek government. It seems now that the Tories have reversed course and chosen to negotiate a deal with the Liberal Democrats. The Telegraph has secured an exclusive copy of the document and will be breaking it down.

Taken as a whole the coalition contains many similar policies compared to the Burple agreement and the original Tory-Lib Dem deal created at the start of this term. On the economy, the agreement promises to decrease LVT by 5% and freeze VAT. Income taxes are also slated to frozen not taking into account the planned NICphase-out. They also intend to separate the NIT from the personal allowance. In addition, while the agreement says the coalition government will heed the GDP to debt ratio the deal makes no concrete plans to cut the nation’s debt or limit new borrowing. 

On foreign policy, the deal, for the most part, is boring with promises to work with the D12 to stand up to aggressive actors such as China. They also intend to look into Taiwan’s participation in organizations that dont require formal recognition of statehood and accept Japan into the Five Eyes. Perhaps the most interesting part of their foreign policy section is the noncommitment of any action on Chagos. In what will come as a low to more liberal Lib Dems the manifesto simply promises to review the situation in the Chagos Islands by 2036 effective washing all responsibility for the islands from the Clegg government and all but ensuring that no action will be taken at least in this term. 

On defense, it seems that the Clegg government will hold course, committing to investing a further 11 billion pounds into the armed forces. Perhaps more interestingly is the policy to create an international treaty concerning cyber warfare in order to define and regulate the use of such attacks in the realm of cybersecurity. The deal also mentions talking with other NATO members to consider cyber-attacks part of Article 5 a move sure to heighten tensions with nations like Russia and China and call into question what defines an attack on the nation given that thousands of cyberattacks are carried by nations both in NATO and outside of it.

In the Department for Business, Digital, Energy, and Industry the deal promises continue to guard against security threats and continued to develop the skills wallet. The deal further promises government investment into 5G infrastructure but does not mention the Liberal Democrats Celluar Infasycture bill which aims to nationalize cell networks and increase investment of 5G tech to the tune of over 50 billion pounds. On the topic of international trade, the deal promise sot negotiates free trade deals with the European Union but has zero details on a Brexit deal or policy, perhaps hinting at the fact that they failed to reach a consensus on the issue. 

On education, it seems that the Liberal Democrats have backtracked from several of their stances. The deal promises to continue streamlining Universal Childcare and support teachers. Most notably on education, the Liberal Democrats who were vocal on opposing the Burple government push for grammar schools seem to have retreated. Despite being first in line to oppose grammar schools, the Clegg government document promises to lift the restrictions on new grammar schools and seeks to promote school choice on if they wish to be an academy or LEA run. Moreso, failing schools will be encouraged to become academies according to the coalition document as well.

On the environment, it seems further concessions were made by the Liberal Democrats with the Clegg government promising a carbon-neutral date of 2050 far later than the date of 2030 or 35 that the Liberal Democrats had previously pushed for. They further will not support a ban on diesel cars until 2035 but will mandate carbon-neutral homes by 2028. The Clegg deal also plans to scrap fossil fuels subsides expect for heat rates. This section does not mention a ban on off-shore drilling or fracking leaving those two in uncertainty. 

On transport, the government promises to not fund any more projects that are not sustainable. HS2 will continue ahead and the possibility of a Northern Powerhouse Railway shall be examined in what is sure to puzzle some observers. However, privatization of the rail sector is to steam ahead, with a planned runway expansion at Heathrow airport, with the possibility of more expansions at Gatwick. 

Furthermore, the Clegg government plans to repeal the Direct Democracy Act in a move that is sure to opposed by the LPUK and Labour. With what seems to a sizable part of the Commons if not a majority opposing the repeal it seems such an effort will be vain and it will share the same fate of the previous B1102 which has already failed.

Regarding the composition of the cabinet, the split seems to be Burple but with the Tories taking more of the Grand 4 in the form of Foreign Secretary and with the addition of the Secretary for Intl Development which shall be held by the Liberal Democrats. Obviously, Brain will become Prime Minister and Lib Dem Leader shall be DPM. The Tories will take Home Secretary, Defense Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Intl Trade, Justice, Environment, and Transport. The Lib Dems will get the Exchequer, CMS, Education, Business and Energy, Wales, and Scotland. With a split of 20-10 for the Tories, it seems the Lib Dems got short-changed with regards to cabinet in terms of a sheer number of positions and the assignment of prominent roles.

Also of note is that while Lib DL NorthernWomble was a signatory to the Phoenix Deal, he is not signed off on the Clegg deal perhaps incitation of drift within the Liberal Democrats regarding this deal. Having seen the cabinet split, and concession made by the Liberal Democrats it seems to be seen if this deal will be passed by the Liberal Democrats. Overall for British politics, it shows that Tories don’t intend to sit out of government for the rest of the term making Labour leadership a bit nervous about the results of their own deal. The ball is now with the Liberal Democrats: which deal will they pick and are they internal drifts on the Clegg deal? The fate of the next government hangs in the balance.

Tres Commas is a senior writer for the Telegraph

Op-ed: “Labour’s Stance on the Youth Wage is Flawed”

Recently the Official Opposition, backed by the Green Party, tabled motion M534 calling for all workers at least 18 years old to receive a set living wage exceeding 10 pounds. The motion which was written by Labour Party lily-irl on the surface seems like a good policy but unfortunately fails to understand the rationale behind having a lower wage ceiling for younger workers and adopting the policy advocated by the motion would only harm younger working right now those on the job hunt.  

First off the main reason for having a lower minimum wage floor for younger workers is to protect employment. A body of evidence from studies and even from the Low Pay Commission itself shows that higher wage floors for younger workers disproportionately negatively affect employment. Thus the whole point of a lower minimum for younger workers is to ensure we can have the highest possible competitive for young workers without risking their job prospects. If we were to adopt the policy proposed by the motion those directly affected by the increase would be those working part-time. Younger workers are much more likely to be part-time workers compared to older workers, and at the same time, female part-time workers would gain disproportionately be negatively affected. In reality, Labour’s policy would only harm the very people they seek to protect.

Further analysis shows that negative employment effects for younger workers are most adverse in times of recession. So by pushing the wage higher in time of recession when jobs are lost we will younger workers again being adversely impacted at a larger scale than we would have otherwise. Now the defenders of the policy might say such negative effects can be controlled, expected, or only exist in the short term. The issue with that line of reasoning is that the negative impact on younger workers we will see when we push a higher wage will be long-term and perhaps even life-long. The more time young-workers spend out of work which will happen as a result of pushing a higher wage, the larger ripple effects in the form of lower wages decades into their career. One analysis from the University of Bristol shows that this “scarring effect” can have a negative effect of 12 to 15% in form of lower wages even at the age of 42.

But even the backers of the motion fail to the fact that the current needs of workers are being taken into account as time passes. The last major piece of legislation the Commons has passed on the subject is B775 which requires the Low Pay Commission to submit an annual report outlining their recommendations to change the minimum wage for all workers. On top of that, the Secretary of State is required to bring forth proposals in line with what the Low Pay Commission suggests in their report. This has worked well for the country so far and there is no need to try and mess with this system when no apparent shortcomings exist, certainly, the author of the motion has not mentioned any arguments against this system in their speech. 

Now we examined the negative effects the proposed policy would have, but the backers of this motion also fail to understand the current job market and its relation to wages. The leader of the opposition in her opening speech proclaims that “The labor of young people is not inherently worth less than that of older people.” The truth of the matter is that is already the reality in the job market. A survey by the Low Pay Commission showed that less than 10% of workers 16-24 were paid at the relevant youth wage rate. In fact, a survey of employers found that rather than use age as a rigid structure for wages, most employers based their pay on a number of factors such as flexibility in hours, competition, and affordability. The fewer than 10% of youth workers who are paid the relevant rate are likely to be paid that that level due to a number of factors like their experience and flexibility rather than being pigeonholed into a lower wage simply due to their age. 

Thus in practice, we will see that the motion’s proposed policy would have little positive effect has around 90% of youth workers are paid more than the wage floor currently set. Those who are making at the wage standard will be the ones who see the brunt of the negative effects possibly losing their jobs and having decades of their wage growth ruined. The Leader of Opposition closed her speech by saying “That a Briton who works full-time should not have to work multiple jobs in order to make ends meet.” If we adopt Labour’s plan young workers may soon find themselves without any jobs at all.

No Consensus Found on Lords Reform

Yesterday Labour introduced bill B1105 to Parliament, authored by the Rt Hon. Dame lily-irl Leader of the Opposition. This bill, also backed by Solidarity would abolish the House of Lords, the upper chamber of Parliament. While there has been some national debate on the future of the upper chamber, this bill which would effectively abolish the upper chamber without any plans for a replacement chamber is a departure from most mainstream thoughts concerning the Lords. Despite the bill being authored by the Leader of the Opposition herself, it seems that internally the bill may not perhaps have the full confidence or backing of the Labour party.

In recent months the Labour Party has been marred by internal turmoil. They have had internal party fractures leading to the new Solidarity Party, constant weekly reshuffles of their shadow cabinet, and leadership which has been criticized for their shortcomings. Thus to most political analysts, it was no surprise that the latest set of national polls saw a 4% decline in support for the Labour leaving them in 3rd place just barely a percentage point ahead of the Liberal Democrats. Despite their falling poll numbers, Labour leady lily-irl gave a speech just hours after the polls were released expressing their decision to stay on as leader. However, just yesterday lily-irl appointed DL /u/BoredNerdyGamer as an acting leader due to personal reasons. 

It seems the new acting leader already has a situation on their hands as prominent Labour frontbencher Frost_Walker expressed their opposition to the bill. Frost_Walker has risen through the ranks of Labour during their internal turmoil holding 4 different frontbench positions showing how the Labour Party has struggled to fit quality candidates to even fill their cabinet. Frost_Walker is currently the Shadow Minister for Equalities, shadow Secretary of State for Communities, Culture, Media, and Sport, Secretary of State for Education, in addition to being their chief whip. However, it seems that Labour brass was not even able to reach a consensus on their new bill with even their Chief Whip.

Frost_Walker gave a speech in the Commons saying that despite he “had foreknowledge of this bill being presented” they cannot support the bill and would be raising concerns inside the party. The bill has also been panned by almost every other party in the Commons from the Tories, Liberal Democrats to the PPUK. Other MPs brought up concerns that scrapping the House of Lords would remove checks on the Commons and that complete abolition was not the answer. Adding onto their criticism MPs opposing the bill pointed out the fact that Labour and Solidarity have a number of members in the House of Lords and posed the question that if the Parties would remove their members from the Lords if they truly believed in their motion.

Solidarity Spokesperson /u/chainchompsky1 who spoke in favor of the bill also criticized the Labour Chief saying that their party provided more stability. They went on saying that the Cheif Whips approval on any bill before submitting was essential and that “If labour isn’t seeking the input of the person in charge of whipping people in favor of this, it has zero organizational capacity and operates more as an independent grouping.” Harsh words from a person who once held the same whip office inside Millbank Tower.

When asked to comment on if Labour members had discussed the bill prior to it being tabled the Party said they had indeed and no members have expressed any displeasure. When pressed on what way the party would whip the answer was more unclear. Chief Whip Frost_Walker said the whip certainly wouldn’t be against or abstain, hinting at the possibility of a free vote or aye.

On the other side, some showed support of the bill, /u/SoSaturnistic expressed their views saying that the Commons provided enough scrutiny on legislation and that they saw no wrongs with countries with only unicameral legislative bodies. However on the Labour side aside from Frost_Walker, no other Labour member has spoken on the bill and it remains to be seen what the party will do. 

Tres Commas is a senior writer for the Telegraph covering Westminster politics.

TikTok Trend Sweeps the Nation


A new trend on social media app ‘TikTok’ has swept the youth of the nation in the wake of the massive 70% off sale at Potenhams. The trend involves placing a pot on each of your hands and doing a dance from Vantage Interactive’s hit battle royale game ‘Age of Centuries’ known as the ‘Victory Pot’.

The dance – a common pose after winning a round – was common prior to the Potenhams sale. Taking advantage of the significantly reduced prices, however, TikTok users sought to expand on the fad and take it to a whole new level.

Pot Central Inc CEO, Jack Jayson, made a public statement on the success of the sale at Potenhams previously and reversed the significant sale. However, the trend appears to have taken hold regardless.

Pot Central Inc, the owners of Potenhams, have declined to comment on the trend specifically, and though they insist that their supply chain is up to the task they admit that “it is unlikely the sale will return to the levels we originally set it at.”

Whats the Deal with Free Ports?

Free ports have been a crucial part of the Government’s policy to spur economic growth. But what exactly are free ports and why do they promise to revitalize the British economy? With the UK’s departure from the European Union and intention to negotiate Free Trade Agreements with various countries, it could just be that free ports are the key to unlocking the full potential of international commerce.

So first off, free ports to put it simply are an area of the country where various goods can be brought in tax-free and stored, processed, manufactured, and shipped out again with tariffs. These goods are only taxed when they enter the domestic economy or they are shipped aboard again. Typically free ports also include additional incentive packages such as lower taxes and lighter regulations.

Free ports have been used across the globe with great success. The World Bank estimates that there are over 4,000 free ports with an economic output of tens of billions. The chief lure of free ports for companies is increased potential for manufacturing and cheaper imports due to reduced duty and paperwork costs. The implementation of free port policy holds the potential to bring back business and create jobs for the nation.

Differing sources have estimated the economic benefits that free ports could bring. The Centre for Policy Studies models that new free ports could create up to 86,000 net jobs. Some studies such as a report from the construction firm Mace have been even more optimistic putting the number of new jobs created at 150,000 and add 9 billion dollars to the British economy.

A strategy of targeted free ports can bring jobs to disadvantaged areas and bring back jobs to communities that have lost jobs. It’s not simply the free port but a policy of the business-friendly government and overall crafted incentives that will allow companies to flourish. This government certainly has the ability to deliver for people in these communities and harness the full range of options brought by Brexit. 

Secretary of State for International Trade Brain had this to say: “I’m an enthusiastic supporter of freeports, and am quite glad to be serving in a government that plans to select 10 across the United Kingdom. Specifically, we can help rebuild manufacturing sectors all across the UK (but particularly in the North, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland) as a way to revitalise commerce in areas, or fan the fires of expanding industrialism in our cities. This could be the difference of thousands of jobs!”

/u/ThreeCommas is a writer for the Telegraph.

A Sit-Down with Labour Leader Lily-irl

The new Labour Leader Lily-irl has a tough fight to lead their party through this term and set them up for success next election.

After the historic results on election night, there were bound to be major shakeups inside the Labour party. With hours of shock and defeat for the Labour Party which put them back to the third largest party in the Commons, a party leader had resigned paving the way for the leadership race. The race off front runner lily cemented her position as her favorite and won the election. Now with the formation of a Burple government and Labour limping back into Millbank Tower as Official Opposition albeit this time with the DRF, the Telegraph sat down with the newly appointed Labour head Lily to discuss the future of their party and the country.

Tres Commas: First off congrats on your win. Where do you plan to take the party to recover what can be coined as disappointing results? And for what purpose or main goal did the party elect you for?

Lily: Thank you very much, it’s a real honour to have been elected as the next leader of the Labour Party. You’re right, we lost three seats at the last general election, which for a party that had the lead in the polls during the term was certainly a disappointing result. I don’t think that the losses were as a result of the party membership, the organisers, the candidates, or the campaigners. Everyone worked incredibly hard throughout the election and I was very proud of all of our candidates, regardless of the results. Our primary issue, I feel, was delivering a message that voters could engage with. We presented a manifesto that had a lot of individually good policies, but I don’t think that we managed to really tie them together and present a vision for a better Britain. I want to move the party towards fixing that issue. We need to communicate clearly and effectively with the populace how their lives will change for the better under a Labour government. Obviously I can’t read minds so I can’t tell you exactly why people cast their ballots for me, but one of the strengths that I think I bring is my experience as a former leader and a veteran of the Sunrise Coalition. I will serve my party as long as it needs me, but I think that it’s fairly widely known that I ran for leader to fix the issues that urgently needed fixing in the party, rather than out of personal ambition to be leader. Which I do have, of course, this is my dream job. But it wasn’t my primary motivator.

Tres Commas: So Labour recently entered into OO as Burple formed. What’s your reaction to the govt and what does it mean for the country?

Lily: What Blurple means is an absolute decimation of the welfare state in this country. It means public services coming under attack like never before. We’ve already seen what a Conservative-LPUK budget would look like back in January. That budget underfunded our vital public services – and you don’t need to take my word for it. Debating the March budget, Sir tommy2boys said:

funding areas that the LPUK underfunded is the right decision

It’s clear to see that the Conservatives know exactly what they’re doing by entering this government. Abandoning the thin veneer of “compassionate conservatism” and one-nation moderation, they have capitulated to a far-right hell-bent on gutting our public services. I’m reliably informed that the Government intends on re-introducing the prescription charges that the Sunrise government abolished and the last two Conservative governments declined to re-introduce. The hypocrisy is simply astounding. It was a Classical Liberal Health Secretary who abolished the prescription charges. To see the party that they merged into turn around and back this is a slap in the face to the former members of that party, not to mention the nation. I’m worried, to be honest. I’m worried for the future under this Government.

Tres Commas: Also you have partnered with the DRF which has seen by some as weakness once you had numbers for OO even without them. So why exactly did you choose to coalition with the DRF and why are they the right choice to be your partners especially given some of their anti-monarchy views?

Lily: We entered coalition negotiations with the DRF before it was announced that the Blurple government was going to form. It was necessary because we were faced with the potential of an LPUK opposition. As this coalition agreement makes clear, they would not have been able to properly oppose a Conservative-led government, with or without the moderating influence of the Liberal Democrats.

It’s true the DRF are anti-monarchy. Some of Labour’s members are republican, some are monarchists. But regardless, we have a great deal in common with the DRF. We are committed to listening to and respecting the devolved Parliaments, despite the constant Conservative attempts to wreck a referendum on Welsh justice devolution. We are committed to empowering local government and better allowing the citizens of the United Kingdom to engage with their governments, through backing the implementation of the Lords report into local government in England, which the Tories refused to back. We are committed to replacing the archaic and unaccountable House of Lords with an elected body that provides representation to the regions of the UK. And while Labour aren’t united on the monarchy, we all recognize the importance of ensuring the democratic legitimacy of our Head of State, which is why we agree that a referendum on the status of the monarchy. The DRF are too big a force in British politics to deny that there is mainstream calls for republicanism, and we must listen to the citizens. That’s what sets us apart from the Conservatives – we listen. And the DRF shares that commitment.

Tres Commas: You mentioned that you think Labour failure in this election can be traced to poor message and vision. However many including former chairman Poot have a interview in which he highlighted the failures of Labour leadership including which you were part of to do election prep and rushing the manifesto and general lack of motivation. So ultimately doesn’t this lack of vision come from that poor leadership? What to do you say to many like Poot who believe Labour leadership failed them and how will you work to fix that considering that you were part of the leadership team that was in this ordeal?

Lily: I believe Poot and others who echo his thoughts have valid concerns. It would be foolish and arrogant to dismiss them out of hand. I’m not sure general lack of motivation is quite the issue – I think it was more aimlessness and demoralisation, which while similar have important differences. It’s just plain wrong to say that Labour members weren’t motivated – once the general election campaign got underway, I think that we ran a good campaign, and that was down to the motivation and hard work of our candidates. But I do agree that there is aimlessness and demoralisation. We were beset with resignations and scandal, and we’d dropped to third in the polls. We didn’t have a clear idea of where we were going. I think that is the main factor behind the issues that we were facing. We know how to fix that and we know how to get back on track. And while I haven’t been in leadership for very long, I think there’s encouraging signs.

I was elected as the Deputy Leader following the resignations of ThePootisPower and Youmaton. And I’d be a hypocrite if I denied that I could’ve done better. Of course I could’ve done better, I can always do better. But I worked incredibly hard in the run-up to the election and I continue to work as hard as I can as the leader. I think most in the party would agree that I put in my fair share of effort towards election preparation. I will continue to work hard as the leader of the Labour Party to get us back on the right course.

Tres Commas: Now everyone agrees Labour needs a way back, what is your plan to do so and do you have any party reforms to help in that climb? For example backbencher councils and invovling more members in policy creation have been mentioned. Will you take the party more to the left or center after this election after seeing the voters back the tories and lpuk on a centre right platform?

Some including certain persons in your own party have said that you are the right choice for the leader but need to train a DL to take over after next election so the party has strong and stable future leadership. Do you accept that notion and do you anyone in mind for that role?

Lily: The internal structure of the party needs a number of reforms, as I believe that as it stands the party is simply over-modularised, if that makes sense? At present, policy was meant to be developed in subgroups of the shadow cabinet where the relevant shadow secretaries could discuss policy. I think that approach, while promising when it was implemented, ultimately isn’t the right one for our party to take. It led to policy that seemed disconnected and sidelined backbenchers from contributing to policy discussions. And while I don’t want to attack our previous strategy too much, it’s clear we need to be having these frank conversations about how our party operates. Instead, I want to open up policy development to the membership as a whole, and ensure that anyone who wants to contribute in an area – be it policy, legislation, or press – is able to and has access to the resources to succeed at doing so. Archism_ has already moved amendments to the party constitution and I plan on proposing more to eliminate bureaucracy and promote an open and transparent party.

I disagree with the notion that the Conservatives and the LPUK are going to govern on a centre right platform. From what I’ve heard about their coalition agreement, they’re looking to institute many policies that can’t be attributed to any coalition with the label of ‘centre’ anything. They are set to re-introduce prescription charges, they are set to slash the funding for universal childcare. But to answer your primary question about what direction I’ll take the party in, I don’t really think it’s a question of left vs centre, I think it’s more a question of firmly articulating where we are. That’s where we struggled at the election, we presented policies with no easily definable platform. But I reiterate that Labour is a broad tent on the left wing. We have social democrats and democratic socialists. While we disagree on some of the implementation details, we’re united in backing a better, more equitable Britain and rejecting the regressive austerity of the right.

As I’ve said, I see it as my responsibility to steady the ship as the leader. Obviously I can’t stay on indefinitely, and I want the next leader to have the experience to effectively lead the party after I step down. It would be wrong for me to endorse a candidate in the deputy leadership election, as that’s a decision for the party at large to make, not me. But I think that we have a wealth of talent, and there’s many members who could, if given leadership experience, be incredibly successful Labour leaders. I’m confident when it’s my time to go we will be left in safe hands.

Tres Commas: There has been an ever growing public spat between your press office and members of the press. Your press office has made several incendiary comments such as labeling certain organizations as “propaganda “ and the Westminster Correspondents Association has called Labour out as being anti-press. Why do you think Labour has this issue and will you bring any reforms to your press office? Will you also apologize on behalf of your press office as the new leader and what can the press expect from Labour press office under you?

Lily: I think that there is certainly an impression among the press that the Labour Party is opposed to them. I regret that impression. Labour fully back a free press as vital to our democracy. I understand that the ‘spat’ has somewhat intensified since the appointment of a new Press Officer. I don’t put the blame on Geordie; it’s an incredibly high pressure job and he’s a new Press Officer. As a former Press Officer and Director of Communications in the Sunrise government, I certainly appreciate how difficult the job can be for a new appointee. It’s something that, with more time and experience, becomes less and less of an issue. In the interim, I do agree that there needs to be something done to dispel the false notion that Labour are anti-press. I think re-orienting the role of the press office slightly has done this, with Geordie taking a greater focus on press production and the leadership assisting with answering questions from the press. I think we’re certainly moving in a more positive direction in that regard and I feel that Labour’s relationship with the press will continue to improve.

Tres Commas: Now your press officer hasn’t backed down from attack the press. Most recently he attacked the Sun. Now in a interview Poot called him “a dead man walking” and many other press outlets have said its time for him to go. In your opinion that is he in the right? And is it time for him to go?

Lily: With all due respect to Poot, I don’t think he’s the best judge of our internal party affairs at the minute. Geordie expressed a fairly reasonable opinion that he had – that sensationalism in the press poses a real threat to accurate reporting. That it changes the incentive of the press from reporting the facts and holding parties to account to creating the most outrage, drama, and scandal. Poot, in fact, agreed with him. He expressed a reasonable opinion. While it’s not his or my place to dictate to the press what they can and can’t report, I certainly don’t think that his op-ed is a reason to sack him.

Tres Commas: Now going into this term other than opposing the government, what will your legislative priorities?

Lily: Labour has a number of legislative priorities that I am excited to be pursuing this term. Our priorities will focus on improving Britons’ lives in the workplace, in their communities, and in their nation. We will legislate to restore the efficacy of trade unions to properly advocate for their workers by proposing a bill to re-introduce the rights stripped from them by the Trade Union Ballot Funding Requirements Act 2019. We will legislate to abolish all fees for changing the name and gender marker on official documentation for transgender Britons. We will work with other parties to draft a bill implementing the recommendations of the House of Lords inquiry into local government in England. We will continue to support our bill on Welsh justice devolution that is currently in the House of Commons. We will legislate to end the archaic and outdated House of Lords and replace it with an elected chamber that ensures proper representation for all of the regions of the United Kingdom.

The Labour Party has an exciting agenda that we will pursue in Parliament and I’m looking forward to having our bills read.

Tres Commas is a writer for the Telegraph.

The Purple Revolution: Inside the LPUK War Room

After the polls closed on election night the sun dawned on a new era of politics in Britain. The composition of Westminister has been dramatically transformed in a way unseen in over 100 years. In historic fashion, voters choose to support the LPUK, allowing them to break the Tory-Labour duopoly that has ruled the nation for decades in what is a major coup for the Labour party. The LPUK led by long-time leader Friedmantie19 who recently marked a milestone of 1,000 days as party leader to make him the longest-serving party leader in recent memory. This was no doubt a seismic shift in British politics marking a change in the electorate who choose to back a center-right majority over a falling Labour.

Part of the blame does fall onto Labour themselves, they failed to capitalize on gains this term, saw a rise of defection and falling activity, and in the leadup to the election was hammered by a jumbled manifesto and disjointed election strategy. Political pundits across the spectrum criticized Labour and right-wing papers like the Sun ran wild with Labour’s terribly rolled out economic policies. However, the other side of the coin for this election’s results lays at the feet of the LPUK Party and its leader Friedmantie19 who has led the party to on of the greatest comebacks in British political history. After the last election, the LPUK Party seemed in crisis. The Tories left the LPUK in favor of the Liberal Democrats and the Libertarian party was isolated from all allies as they went into UO. 

The turning point came when was the VONC on the Clegg government. As the dusted settled on the Clegg government the LPUK picked up steam. They began pushing out legislation, working in the press, and increasing their activity across the abroad. They had a new message: The LPUK presented a consistent front of activity in the press and in the Commons. Introducing motions on foreign policy in defending human rights, backing reforms, and all backed by a robust LPUK Press Office. As the General Election approached the party prepared for what might be the most important election in a generation. The polls through the term had shown record-breaking polling heights for the LPUK. The LPUK has climbed from a distant third place in the lower single digits all the way up and breaking thee 20 point mark long considered to the domain of the big 2 parties. The most recent polls released on the eve of the election showed that the LPUK had displaced Labour as the second-largest party. The fight was on. 

Key to their victory on election night was a well-tuned campaign office that sought to fight for every seat. We were told, election experts inside the LPUK’s Milton Keynes office worked day and night to analyze safe seats and in identifying weak seats to pick up. All this word amidst what we now know was an uncoordinated Labour leadership set the LPUK perfect for success. 

Inside the LPUK War Room, one of the men leading the charge was Libertarian election mastermind Greetjatus. He had this to say:

“We gauged the mood of the nation extremely well, thanks to an extensive grassroots operation. People are tired of the same old Labour Vs Tory debate. For us, that was the clincher. In our target areas we had to become the people that would stand up for workers, people like you and me,” commented Greejatus from his helicopter “…you know, hard-working ordinary people. And that’s what we did. We planned we prepared, and we focused on a single message – Labour will ruin the economy, we will unlock it.”

Greetjatus was recently appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office, a position once again putting him in the middle of government and party coordination. 

Following the victory of the LPUK on election night, the country has two real choices for a government. A Clegg government that would not have a majority in Parliament or a Burple Government with a majority of four. The choice was made for a Burple government and now the country sits with a Burple government with a firm majority and a Labour-DRF OO led by newly elected Labour head Lily-Irl.

ThreeCommasClub, the LPUK MP for Manchester North who recently won reelection and now Education Secretary had this to say: “Frankly, the LPUK has a strong message: to break the duopoly and we backed up our plan with a fully costed manifesto. Compare that to Labour whose manifesto was full of typos, mistakes, and illogical policies defeat was all but certain for them. Now in government, I look forward to serving the people and leading the country forward.” 

Tres Commas is a writer for the Telegraph