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!”
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.
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.”
*This is an exclusive interview by ThreeCommas at the Telegraph. Any comments, leaks or other news can be sent to ThreeCommasClub on Discord.*
In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph, former senior Labour member and party Chairman ThePootisPower has dived into the issues that have seen the Labour Party fall behind to the 3rd largest party and the internal workings of the Labour leadership under Akko that oversaw such a monumental loss. They minced no words calling out the Party on what they saw as poor leadership. Revealing the lack of coordination and planning in Labour ranks brings serious questions about how much trust the backbenchers can have in their leadership and what ordinary members knew even as the party limped into an election they knew they were ill-prepared for. This interview also casts doubt into how much faith members can have on the current candidates for leadership who were in leadership as this breakdown was happening.
As Labour gears up for another election perhaps this interview will serve as a testament to what went wrong in the previous leadership from someone who was in the thick of it. A measure by which to judge the truths which perhaps even Labour leadership doesn’t want to reveal to its backbenchers and also as a measure to help judge future candidates for leadership. That’s why I joined ThePootisPower in a sit down interview.
To start off, we began asking the former Chairman about the elephant in the room. Why he choose to defect from Labour and what he saw in wrong inside Millbank Tower. He held nothing back. He highlighted the main reasons for his departure like this “The failure of leadership (including myself as chairman) to create a coherent policy agenda and plan ahead for the election, plus a total failure to engage the backbench in debates, the party as a whole in policy discussion and generally mobilizing the party has trapped the Labour Party in a downwards spiral.” Asked to comment on why so many other members from Labour were defecting he pointed on how many Labour members were getting burned out and how backbenchers were not properly consulted or involved in the discussion over crafting policy. He contrasted this with his new home at the Liberal Democrats where he was easily able to “ access press and policy labs” and “engage with the party in all aspects.” Such concern also brings up the question of how current candidates for Labour’s top job will seek to address this issue and give backbenchers more of a voice in the party going forward.
“The failure of leadership (including myself as chairman) to create a coherent policy agenda and plan ahead for the election, plus a total failure to engage the backbench in debates, the party as a whole in policy discussion and generally mobilizing the party has trapped the Labour Party in a downwards spiral.”
ThePootisPower then said they believed that instead of centralizing power and jobs the Party needed to “make [sure] everyone either have something to do or give them a break.” Asked to comment on the failure of top Labour Leadership regarding election prep, he again held nothing back. He openly criticized now ex-leader Akko who has resigned after the dismal results for Labour on election night, saying “The direction Akko took Labour was disorder, the next leader has to retool the party drastically and re-engage the rank and file in the organisation.” When questioned on Akko’s involvement in the election prep he honestly answered “Akko hasn’t got the leadership to do much of anything. They didn’t give us a “here’s what we’re doing today” agenda. They didn’t ask us.” It seems obvious to any observer that Labour’s leadership completely failed at any type of proper election prep. Even as the election loomed, Labour HQ was disorganized and fumbling around with no solid plan in mind.
“The direction Akko took Labour was disorder, the next leader has to retool the party drastically and re-engage the rank and file in the organisation. Akko hasn’t got the leadership to do much of anything. They didn’t give us a “here’s what we’re doing today” agenda. They didn’t ask us.”
Commenting on the type of leadership he saw by Akko and others he described it as such: “Labour leadership was reactive and panicky rather than contemplative and meticulous.” On the matter of Labour’s manifesto for this election was panned by their opponents and political pundits alike for its many typos, illogical policies and more he had this to say “But I have it in good authority that Frosty had to write two whole sections himself and without oversight, and he was one of the only people who actually had it in on time.” With such poor oversight and lack of planning on their manifesto, it will come as no surprise their manifesto turned out the way they did. Why he recalled that when he defected which was a few weeks before the election, work on the manifesto had barely begin and it not begun even being written.
We also asked Poot on how he thought the utter lack of leadership and should reflect on other members of leadership some of who are now vying to be Labour leader. He said on “Lily and Captain only just got into the roles in the last few weeks.” He expanded saying “Captainographer is partially responsible for not engaging deputy press officers and press contributors, holding a very very defeatist “why bother pinging them, I’ve tried it before and can’t get them to be active” attitude.” However, he said that he still trusted Captain as Chairman and that they deserved credit for the Weekly- “the only good thing about Akko’s reign.”
To summarize for the readers: Akko and leadership did nothing. A complete failure on all fronts to prepare for the election and what can be called to put it lightly a rushed and fumbled manifesto.
Next on the agenda were questions regarding Labour’s ongoing feud with the press which has received coverage across the UK and caused the Westminster Correspondents Association to publish an open letter decrying Labour’s actions as anti-press. Poot was sympathetic to Press Officer’s Geordie’s blight but said “But to be brutally honest, the press office hasn’t done fuck all since Geordie was brought in He seems to think he’s a dead man walking, that his career is over before it began. He needs to get a rocket up his rectal cavity and start cranking out content. ” He blasted the Press Office for their treatment of reporters and said that as a whole that Labour’s press office needs to be revamped. “at the end of the day the press officer needs to step up and lead from the front, stop treating journalists like they’re idiots and actually put forward a positive vision for the Labour Party, rather than ignoring very valid press criticisms.”
“But to be brutally honest, the press office hasn’t done fuck all since Geordie was brought in. He seems to think he’s a dead man walking, that his career is over before it began.”
On the question of leaks, he quoted the show “In the Thick of It” – “There’s literally nothing you can do to stop leaks
“To quote The Thick of It, labour operates under Tucker’s Law: “If some cunt can fuck something up, that cunt will pick the worst possible time to fucking fuck up because that cunt’s a cunt.”
This seems to be another question for Labour’s next leader to consider: a total reshuffle of their press office.
Finally, we asked his opinion on the current leadership race. He said that he believed “Lily is the best short term option but I believe they need to also pick out their successor and train them in preparation.” An opinion voiced by other political commentators as well. He also suggested that labor needed internal reforms calling for more members to be involved and advisory councils. “They should also look into finding popular notable members who are not grandees and giving them an advisory board access role. And perhaps also seeking to add a quasi-leadership body or role whereby new blood can be injected into leadership for 1-month terms to continually reengage and revitalize the Labour Party leadership.” Asked to comment on if the Party should move left or back to the center he dismissed that notion saying “It’s not a matter of “how far left should we be”, it’s “how effective and logical we can get.” There’s no point in picking a specific ideology. Labour is a broad tent, and the new leader must work towards this.”
“It’s not a matter of “how far left should we be”, it’s “how effective and logical we can get.” There’s no point in picking a specific ideology. Labour is a broad tent, and the new leader must work towards this.”
All these revelations shine a new light on the inner-working of Labour. An incomepent leadership that led the party to what was assured to be a defeat in the election. A lack of of drive and motivation by senior party members, a lack of involvement, or representation of backbenchers. A Press Office that is bent on avoiding questions and dismissing reporters. With all these factors one cannot be surprised that the Labour party has seen such bad results and a breakdown in function with many members choosing to defect. The only question now left is who members will choose to lead the party and next and what that person will do to bring the party back on track.
To leave Poot had this message for his former party: “This election result is an absolute catastrophe, a result of lackadaisical leadership and a disengaged membership. Right now, the only way to save Labour is for every single member of Labour to wake the fuck up and decide whether they are willing to work or need to rest. The Labour Party must fundamentally rebuild itself as a united fighting force that will not “react”, but proactively work to design a true alternative to the Right-Wing Duopoly.”
*ThreeCommas is a senior writer at the Telegraph.*
After the disappointing results for Labour on the election and the resignation of their leader /u/ARichTeaBiscuit it seemed that things could not get any direr for the party not that has been proven false. The last few days have seen a demoralized Labour limp into a leadership race they wished to keep locked down and secretive. But that seemed fruitless with numerous leaks and the list of candidates with endorsements leaking as they happen to a number of news orgs. This all comes amidst a Labour Press Office that is seeking to fight the press and clamp down on the flow of information . The Press Office has refused to comment on questions asked by the press, replied with increasing hostility , and sought to silence members of the Party. This led the Westminster Correspondents Association to publish an open letter to the Labour Party criticizing their press office’s actions on the campaign trail, comments by their press officer labeling news orgs “propaganda” and accusing from the press office of a “conspiring” news media. They went on to criticize the Labour as “are still anti-free press, anti journalist and fundamentally paranoid of any scrutiny.”
Now the Telegraph reports on the internal turmoil inside Labour as they head into a leadership election that will chart their fall or comeback this term. Internal sources speaking anonymously have spoken to the Telegraph despite attempts by the Labour Press Office to stop such comment. A senior Labour member and frontbencher had this to say “Labour HQ is in shambles right now when it’s not silent they’re lamenting the losses.” It seems a disheartened Labour HQ is having to face their voters and the press. On the other hand, however, it seems that certain members believe that leadership has the potential to revitalize the party. One member told the Telegraph of the race gaining traction and what seems to unofficial debates behind the scenes inside Labour HQ. These debates happening before an official debate is hosted by the party show what is set to be an interesting race. Especially in light of a Daily Mirror article which was criticized by Labour and other leadership candidates for excluding them and using their previous remarks ina what appeared to a Q&A.
When asked about this article Daily Mirror writer behind the piece apologized for what they deemed as their mistakes. He said that there was a misunderstanding between Captain_Plat and themselves and would be doing an exclusive with the candidate to make up for this oversight and said that “Nobody else had any complaints, really.”As for the general state of the relations between Labour and the press, a source inside Labour expressed that their Press Officer was doing the best they could in the difficult position and expressed support for VerkhovnaGeordie.
However, it seems not all Labour members see eye to eye on the party’s direction as Frosty seen before as a potential leadership candidate and a rising star in the party. Their defection came on the heels of a previous wave of Labour defections to the Liberal Democrats in the weeks leading up to the election which saw senior members leave the party. Will more defections follow? It waits to be seen.
As the Labour Party heads into their internal election they will have a choice. A party that veers more to the left or one that tries to appeal to voters that fled from Labour to the Liberal Democrats and the LPUK. A choice between a continuing nosedive or a recovery to put them in striking distance of their LPUK and the Tories next election. What the party will choose remains to be seen but one thing is clear they need change.
Lily-irl is seen by many as the clear favorite to replace Akko.
The Telegraph can confirm tonight that Labour Leader Akko has resigned from the party.
As tonight’s election results came in it was meet with cheers at Conservative Party HQ and victorious roars inside the LPUK in Milton Keynes and a smaller but still happy gain for the Liberal Democrats. A resurgent Tory Party saw their position as the largest party hold with 31 seats despite falling polls during their term in minority goverment while a powerful LPUK surged into second place with 23 seats beating Labour on the back of a powerful national campaign. The major failure of the night was the collapse of the Labour Party left with only 21 seats as they saw their potential gains crumple. Meanwhile, the Lid Dems picked a few seats from Labour to land them 16 seats. This term saw Labour overtake the Tories two times in the polls only to be beaten back. In the lead up to the election rising defections, bad press and a heavily criticized manifesto saw them always on the backfoot in this election.
The question being asked inside Labour HQ and by pundits across the country is it time for Akko to go? The Telegraph has obtained comments on the condition of anonymity from several Labour members. One Labour member had this to “I expected that the results tonight will be bad but I didn’t think it will be this bad.” They confirmed that they expect a leadership election to be called shortly with the party losing confidence in Akko. That seems to agree with the general sentiments of the pundits who expect Akko to resign or either be forced out internally. When asked how they see as a potential replacement they nominated Former Labour Leader and current DL Lily-irl as good choice for the party. Winds seem to be shifting across the country and internally as voters abandoned Labour in droves.
Now a second, a statement came mere minutes ago with the a bombshell that Labour Akko and officially resigned thus leaving the top post open. Lilley candidates appear to Labour DLs and the front-runner at this time seems to Lily-Irl who seems to favored inside the party. Another senior Labour inside told us that Akko’s resignation was “not unexpected”, but remained tight-lipped on the future leadership race.
When asked to comment on the party’s results the Labour Press Office has little to say but did comment they were proud of their efforts and motivation. They, however, gave no comment on the leadership fate, saying they would wait for an official statement from the leadership saying “And it’s up to Akko what happens next.” The future of the Labour Party hangs in the balance as they stand battered and look to a new face for hope.
This is a Telegraph editorial written by ThreeCommas, Telegraph Political Correspondent.
As Britain gears up for what might be the most decisive election in a generation the future of the Labour Party is looking more shaky than ever. Sunday’s polls put the long standing status of the party as the 2nd largest force in Britain in jeopardy as polls showed Labour polling dropping to 3rd while the LPUK held strong making them the 2nd strongest party. It seems that if this election doesn’t go the way they want to, Labour might just be pushed out of what they always took for granted: their position in Millbank Tower. Then came their election manifesto which has been lambasted by critics as poorly designed and ill conceived. Today the Telegraph examines the Labour Manifesto in detail.
First the economy under a Labour government would be put into chaos as their conflicted policies put into question the basic understanding of economics. Labour promised to seek an end and abolish almost all tariffs. This move would come as a broadside to British industry which relies on such protections to sustain their business. One poignant example is the British steel sector which Labour has been vocal on the need of saving. But our industry relies on tariffs to protect their business from being undercut by Chinese state subsidized cheap steel. By removing those tariffs Labour would bankrupt the entire sector and push them into collapse.
The next major section in the economy advocates for major spending increases and remains unsure how these will be funded. Projections from other press outlets such as the Sun have costed roughly half of the promises at over 700 billion pounds. How all this spending will be accounted for remains to be seen but no doubt at least in part funded by the likes of the new tax on small businesses. In the very same manifesto they promise to support and promulgate small business they introduce a new tax designed to break the back of small businesses. The irony is only impounded when the very same section promises tax deductions for large corporations that decide to pay dividends. Thus giving a tax-cut to companies paying out dividends to their millionaire and billionaire shareholders.
Then comes Labour’s prized policy for nationalizing rail. But there seems to be a conflicted message here. Labour claims to be the biggest backer of unions but in this case after buying out rail they want to replace conductors with driverless machines which would displace thousands out of their jobs and a move to be looked down by labor unions which they supposedly support.
When it comes to the defense of the realm Labour have long been dogged by allegations of weakness by the Tories and the LPUK. Their latest manifesto only serves to further that narrative as out front and center on Page 4 is their promise to disarm the UK’s nuclear arsenal. As we face threats from a nuclear hungry Iran and rising nuclear powered China this move will be perceived as a weakness. Then on cyber security Labour makes bold promises but they hold little substance. Labour will establish the Cyber Defense Command and Strategic Information Service but provide zero detail on what exactly the two new agencies will even do or even why the country needs these two new agencies when we have cyber security defense divisions in GCHQ, MI5 and MI6. All that seems to be promised is more spending for the sake of it.
On the topic of Brexit it would appear Labour has forgotten why we even left the EU. Every page of their manifesto promises to play catch up with EU regulators and follow in tandem with EU laws. No doubt under a Labour premiership the UK would play by EU rules and be a follower to the tune of their beat. The UK should be focusing on creating our new path forward, not playing follow the leader with Brussels. Years after the decision to exit the EU Labour still seems to be stuck in the last instead of focusing on Britain’s future.
Then there are their miscellaneous errors which all add up to an embarrassing lack of oversight. Typos and mistakes regarding the F4 talks with the Westminster govt a freeze on tuition fees which don’t exist all point to an ill prepared Labour. The future of the party had already been shaky with a wave of defection, dropping membership and now it seems all those fears were warranted. When asked to comment the Labour Press Office responded that these were inaccuracies and general typos in their document. Such mistakes cast doubt on how a dysfunctional Labour that can’t even prepare a proper manifesto can run this country.
This Wednesday, Australian PM Scott Morrison made headlines with a 186 billion dollar, or 40% rise in defense spending over the next decade to better prepare his country to respond to emerging threats and a more dangerous world. While he did not name China outright it was clear to all observers that this was Australia’s response to an ever-growing threat from the People’s Republic of China. Now the plan itself caused a controversy within the halls of Westminster with Labour condemning the move and the Tories firing back. One thing that has become clear to me is that no party has truly bothered to read the 2020 Australian Defense Strategic Update and in the case of Labour have jumped to attack an ally without looking into the finer details. So let’s examine Australia’s new defense plan and address the opposition’s concerns.
First off, the bold plan created by the Morrison government calls for three principal tenets in their defense policy. The capability to: shape Australia’s strategic environment; deter actions against Australia’s interests; and respond with credible military force, when required. Now Labour’s attacks have mainly focused on Australia’s plan to develop and test long-range missiles. While that is indeed part of the plan, such a myopic viewpoint ignores the larger context of Australia’s initiatives. Most of Australia’s new acquisitions are more defensive in nature such as smart mines, expanded radar coverage, new satellite capabilities, and a detailed reform plan for munition and fuel supply structures. Its much clearer from looking at the three overarching guidelines for the defense update and holistic view for increased capabilities that the plan focuses on deterrence and restrained force rather than outright aggression.
Furthermore, one of the most important sectors that Australia is investing in is cybersecurity after having been the victim of Chinese cyber attacks. China actively steals business and government secrets using cyber-espionage and most recently in June was more than likely behind a major attack on Australia that encompassed government agencies, businesses, education systems, and even healthcare providers. Australia is seeking to expand its cyber prowess is very much a response to Chinese aggression. Similarly, the largest investment in the new plan goes towards its maritime fleet. The answer to why can be found in the blatant disregard from China for all lines of international sovereignty in the South China Sea, aggressive movements which trespass on other countries’ territorial waters and airspace, and rapid expansion of their navy. Australia knows that it cannot match China’s naval force tit for tat that is what they are focusing on doubling their submarine fleet and smart mines to have an effective and silent deterrent against surface vessels.
Now one of Labour’s biggest concerns is that Australia’s move will provoke China. However, just ask any policy expert in the regions and they will tell you that China is provoking the entire region. As I mentioned previously China has repeated hacked into Australia’s cyber infrastructure, openly built islands on disputed waters, recently introduced tariffs, and bans on certain Australian exports into China. As for China’s navy since 2014, they have put more ships to sea than the entire British fleet. So far the Chinese Navy has around 400 warships and submarines with that number expanded to balloon to 530 active vessels by 2030 which would surpass even the United States. Compared to China’s heavy spending, the ramp-up from Morrison is a drop in the bucket. As for the argument that nations like Indonesia will be provoked by Australia’s recent defense spending is unsupported by any evidence. In past years the two countries have deepened military and economic ties as a response to the threat of China to both countries with China encroaching on some of Indonesia’s islands. The new defense update calls on more regional cooperation and military links and Indonesia is a key part of that strategy. It is more than likely that Indonesia was briefed before the public announcement of defense update to Australia plans according to experts and unless Labour has inside knowledge of happenings in Jarkta there was been no statement expressing disapproval or worry about Australia’s plans. So I hope Labour will cease fear-mongering using Indonesia as their prop and stop putting words in their mouth. As for the argument that this will spark a regional arms race, let me remind you that China has already started the arms race with other nations like India and Japan increasing their defense budgets as a direct response to China. So if anything Australia is late.
The second major argument made by Labour is that Australia cannot stand up to China alone. That is true, and in an open war China would overpower Australia, but to match China on the open battlefield is not the goal of the defense plan and their lawmakers know they cannot hope to match China in such a manner. The bulk of the defense plan is oriented around defense and deterrent. Radars, supply lines, and other technical heavy aspects may not sound sexy but in reality, that is where the true focus lays. Australia intends to deter aggression by having the ability to detect and deter threats not openly attack or match China in war. That is the reason for such extensive reform plans in supply lines and radar coverage, but of course, the media will only focus on the sexy aspects like hyper-sonic missiles. On a day to day basis, smaller and minor details like radars matter more than missiles. Now an analogy used by Labor that is punching the bully that is China will only anger them and will not take them out. But on the flip-side not responding to the bully only empowers them to go further and become more hostile and that is why Australia is making it clear they have lines that China should not cross. Of course, lawmakers in Canberra know that to defeat a bully you need friends and that is also why their plan calls for closer military and economic ties with Pacific partners and international ones like the US.
The voices from Labour calling for the UK to condemn Australia are completely out of line. Australia is our ally while China isn’t and any move like that would only hurt bilateral relations and show to the world we are scared of China. Our foreign policy should not be shaped by fear of China. Frankly, I also am clueless why we as outside actors are calling for Canberra to not invest in their defense and seek domestic projects. That is a decision up to their lawmakers and I will note Australia’s Labour Party the opposition in their Parliament has welcomed the defense plan, so perhaps Labour should not lecture lawmakers halfway across the world how to defend themselves and spend their money. In truth, the new spending hike will bring Australia’s defense spending to around 2% of its GDP in line with the goal for the UK and NATO nations.
My good friend the Rt Hon Member for West Yorkshire is currently drafting a motion in support for Australia and one which I hope will counter the embarrassment caused by Labour condemning our ally. His motion hopes to achieve a close working relationship with Australia to combat various threats and strengthen the defense links between our two nations. It is my hope that Parliament will welcome the motion push back against the negative forces in the press who seek to shame Australia and control its defense policies.
In my time in Parliament, I have been a vocal voice for a strong and robust foreign policy, and condemning Australia would be counter to our goals. Our policies must not be shaped by fear of Beijing and rather a vision for a better world. Labour is quick to condemn Chinese practices but when words become useless in the face of an authoritarian and reckless China there must be more done. China has hacked Australia, imposed tariffs on them, and sought to undermine their government and if Australia chooses to respond with a deterrent it is not our place to condemn them. We should be standing with a nation that shares our values and sending a strong message to the Communist regime in Beijing.
ThreeCommasClub is the LPUK MP for Manchester North.
Where next for Ukraine & NATO Relations? As President Trump’s state visit and a NATO summit looms, 3CommasClub the MP for Manchester North pushes for action.
In 1994 the UK, US, and Russia joined several Eastern European nations to sign the Budapest Memorandum. Specifically Ukraine pledged to give up their nuclear stockpile which at the time was the world’s third-largest arsenal of nuclear arms in exchange for a promise of respecting their sovereignty. In 2014, Russia openly violated the Memorandum by seizing Crimea from Ukraine and throwing their material support and manpower behind separatists in Eastern Ukraine. At the time the UK alongside our allies implemented sanctions on Russia to punish their actions and hopefully see a reversal in their policy. However, six years later Russia has not backed off. We have seen continued support for anti-Ukrainian forces with Russian arms and support flowing into the region. They have broken repeated attempts to broker a ceasefire through the Minsk agreements and have only increased the boldness of their actions. It’s time for the UK and NATO to act.
Since the invasion of Crimea in 2014, NATO and the UK have been supporting Ukraine with assistance both militarily and financially but we are not doing enough. We must send a strong message to Putin and the Kremlin and they cannot get away with violating a nation’s sovereignty and open invasion. Our response so far as been feeble and insignificant to truly make Putin ever reconsider his actions. Now with President Trump’s visit to the UK and the looming NATO summit, it is the perfect time for the UK to push the US and NATO to take further action to support Ukraine and defend European sovereignty.
In the Donbas, the six-year-long war has turned into a standstill. Both sides deadlocked into a slog which neither can break. This suits Russia keeping a buffer they can control between Ukraine and their border. At any time they can ramp up their support and equipment flows into the region to inflict heavy casualties on the Ukrainian Army to put pressure on internal politics and punish them for seeking a foreign policy that Putin considers out of line. This situation is unacceptable and one of the reasons Ukraine cannot push back is the lack of proper aid. Russian backed separatists receive top of the line combat equipment from Russia. At times they received tanks and armored vehicles which outmatched anything Ukraine could field and they had little means to take out armored targets. The problem arises from the fact that most of the aid Ukraine gets from NATO and the US are non-lethal: equipment like radars or goggles not real combat equipment. Russia has no such restraints which have made the war an unfair affair. The UK through NATO must increase our supply of lethal aid through NATO. I am not advocating for arms that would seriously escalate the conflict but equipment that would allow Ukraine to match the firepower capability of what the separatists have received from Russia.
Secondly, Ukraine is at the mercy of Russia for its economy. Ukraine is dependent upon Russian gas and oil to meet its domestic needs and depends on Russian oil transports to Europe for a major part of its revenues. This dependence means Ukraine falls victim to Russia who can threaten to cut the supply of oil and gas at any time. Previously, European nations have helped support Ukraine through trade and loans but more must be done. With a US-UK partnership we can help diversify their economy, open trade and support loans to fund Ukraine’s economy. This will be a mutually beneficial relationship that will increase the strength of Ukraine’s economy and bring trade to both the UK and the US.
Finally, there is the matter of Ukraine’s accession to NATO itself. In 1997 Ukraine signed a partnership agreement with NATO but since 2014 Ukraine’s need for NATO has been greater than ever. NATO maintains different support programs for Ukraine, but the UK must increase our funding and expand these programs. Also urgent is the need for further NATO-Ukraine training exercises for practical military readiness and to send a message to ward off future Russian aggression. Previously, American officials have expressed their willingness and openness to allowing Ukraine into NATO with the American ambassador stating her position on granting entry to both Ukraine and Georgia into NATO if the correct conditions were met. The UK should take a similar stance and welcome Ukraine into NATO with the full cooperation of the US. As President Trump crosses the Atlantic, now is the time to freely consider the entry of Ukraine into NATO.
As President Trump arrives in the UK and a NATO summit approaches, it is a once in a generation opportunity. Beyond the petty politics of who will attend the banquet is a greater forum with the opportune time for bold action. I urge the Foreign Secretary /u/InfernoPlato to think of the greater implications of security for Europe and move the UK and discuss these matters with the US. Push for greater aid and support to Ukraine, assist them financially, and even consider allowing Ukraine into NATO. These are not easy topics but chances like this for progress are rare. This summit could be a breakthrough that finally sends a message to Putin he cannot ignore. The fate of Ukraine and continued European peace hangs in the balance.
/u/ThreeCommasClub is the LPUK MP for Manchester North.
Following the previous government’s failure with its foreign policy with Iran which lead to a successful VONC it seemed like Tories had learned from their mistakes. However, while progress has been made in negotiating with Iran, now the new Foreign Secretary /u/InfernoPlato is under fire for his opposition to a motion calling to condemn and take action against the extrajudicial killing carried out in the Philippines with President Rodrigo Duterte has been culpable in.
The motion in question was introduced by /u/ThreeCommasClub the MP for Manchester North on behalf of the LPUK. It calls for the UK to condemn the Duterte Administration for their role in the extrajudicial killings and breakdown in rule of law in the country. Since 2016 Duterte has been President of the Philippines and under his watch police and masked gunman have killed a reported 20,000 people who have been suspected of playing any role in the drug trade. Addicts, drug deals, relatives of suspects and innocent bystanders have been killed in the violence. President Duterte has encouraged these killing and even openly admitted that he has played a role in ordering such actions. Various NGO’s such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have documented these killings and the breakdown in rule of law in the country. The President has also purged police officers and officials not loyal to him or those who may criticize his action including the press.
Now it is widely accepted that Duterte and his administration are complicit in these extrajudicial killings. The motion called for the UK to take actions by issuing targeted sanctions on officials including economic freezes on their assets and travel bans. However, /u/InfernoPlato argued against the motion, insisting the UK had to wait for a UN report to take multilateral action. When met with opposition from LPUK members he said that countries could not take action based on the basis of NGO findings and the UK had to consider greater geopolitics and long term benefits. He pointed to the fact that for example Japan a country in the region was hesitant to issue sanctions on the Philippines.
This was met with fierce opposition from LPUK member /u/LeChevalierMal-Fait who quoted the President own words which admitted to the killings. Furthermore he pointed to that the UK had taken action on Russia without a UN report and that Japan had been slow in sanctioning Russia as well. He pointed to the fact that the UK was not alone since the US had also taken steps to issue sanctions due to the killings. The author of the motion, ThreeCommas also attacked the Foreign Secretary stating that he was placing geopolitics over human life, asking “Should we sit and wait as more innocent people lose their lives to violence because it doesn’t benefit our geopolitics? It is sad day when we don’t value human life to take action.”
When reaching out to the LPUK for comment on the debate, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Seimer had this to say, “The foreign secretaries refusal to use British unilateral action is disappointing, however what is more interesting is the baseless nature of his arguments for no unilateral action.” He refuted the Foreign Secretary’s arguments explaining that Japan has not been on board with sanctioning Russia and their motives for not supporting sanction are questionable. He also dismissed waiting for a UN report, “Duterte is a strongman, who will not co-operate with the UN. The UN report will only confirm what we already know, and it is time the UK [steps] up to the plate.” Duterte has already said he does not intend to cooperate with the UN and he does not consider himself accountable to the organization. In fact, he has already called a halt to all loans and grants from all countries who backed the UN investigation. Going on to refer to the ICC as “white idiots” and calling for the UN human rights team to be “fed to crocodiles.”
“Hitler massacred 3 million Jews … there’s 3 million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”
President Duterte on the killings.
Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary /u/Youmaton responded that it was “disappointing to see the Foreign Secretary fail at his duty to stand up against human rights abuses.” They told the Telegraph that the facts were clear cut and idly waiting for UN report was not a option when human rights were being devastated. He called for the Foreign Secretary to do this job and stand up for human rights and call out those accountable for violating them. They left off with this final remark on the Conservatives: “If it holds true that the Tories reject this motion, it will only be yet another demonstration of a party unfit to determine our foreign policy.”
LPUK member and former Tory /u/LeChevalierMal-Fait and who was in a heated debate over the motion had this to say. “The Foreign Secretary professes to support a rules based international order but this is little more than a smoke screen to cover a unwillingness to act. It is a false dichotomy to claim that we must choose to act internationally or unilaterally.” He called for action o be taken under the ‘Magnitsky Sanctions Act’, which gives the government the power to sanction those accountable in violating human rights. He also called for a embargo of British exports like cameras and military equipment which could used in the process of killings. Finishing off he ended with an appeal to the Tory backbench: “I know there are Tory backbenchers of conscience who can use their vote on this motion to signal to the government to respectfully reconsider their misguided position.”
Indeed bold unilateral action now could itself send a strong signal to both human rights abusers in the Philippines that the world is watch hing and will act and be a rallying crying which can galvanize an international response.
I am calling on the government and the Foreign Secretary to use powers that they have under the “Magnitsky Sanctions Against Persons Act” to place targeted travel and assets sanctions on individuals where there is already a wealth of evidence of complicity in extrajudicial killings.
The government when asked to comment called the motion commendable but flawed. The government insisted on the need to wait for the UN report then take action with our allies. “Moving now, without UN support will alienate and frustrate our relationship with, and influence in, the Philippines which will in turn lead them to more unsavory elements within the international community.” When asked about if the Tories would whip in opposition to the motion, they said it was unlikely to see how they could support it at this time. In response members of the LPUK have responded that the motion indeed calls for action through the UN and nothing stops the UK from taking further multilateral action when the report is finished. ThreeCommasClub, the author, responded to the Tory position by saying “The Tories seem only interested in preserving geopolitical influence and appeasing our so called ‘allies’ who do not want to take action on human rights violations. It is shame that the Tories prefer delay and inaction which will put more lives at risk. When other nations refuse to take action against such violations it only emboldens strongmen to continue their reign of terror.”
InfernoPlato has commented in reponse saying, “Broadly however: my statement to the House stands on its own and no criticism directed at the position has actually delivered a coherent way at delivering change in the Philippines. I have also instructed the FCO to draw up an assessment so that I can share it with my counter parts on the opposition benches, in the hope this will add to the evidence the motion is counter productive to U.K. aims.”
Former Tory PM, eels made a comment which he later tried to delete from the record, remarking “can we like stop blanket condemning every foreign country or its leaders.” Youmaton called the comment “disappointing” and reckless stressing the need to call out human rights abuses. LPUK leader Fried, responded that the comment was “immature” and “offensive” to see the member poking fun of the motion which addressed serious human rights issue prevalent within the Philippines.
It’s a shame to see the tories making fun of the motion in the commons. This is a serious matter and I hope the former Prime Minister realises that UK should do more and that we are not condemning the duerte administration for the sake of it. It is right and just that was condemn foreign countries which violate human rights and do not treat their people right. The suggestion we are condemning every country is offensive and immature.
It seems despite the current Tory opposition to the motion, with LPUK and Labour supporting the motion it will pass, and then it will be up to the government to actually issue and implemented targeted sanctions. If passed the Foreign Secretary is duty-bound to act. What their stance on this motion means for the overall Conservative foreign policy remains to seen. The UK prides itself on defending human rights across the globe. In fact, /u/InfernoPlato himself voted in favor of a motion on the Rohingya crisis which called for unilateral action by suspending military training and penalizing companies doing business with the Burmese government. But now it seems their stance has changed but has the feelings of the party as whole changed as well? When it comes time for division, all eyes will be on Tory MPs to see if they cross into the Aye lobby and perhaps do as /u/LeChevalierMal-Fait suggests and act with their conscience.
/u/3Commas is a senior writer for the Telegraph who covers Westminster politics.