Rich’s Monday Morning View


McDonnell’s Neo-Socialism:
Swapping pensioners’ shares for government bonds will be cost-free nationalisation

McDonnell: “You Don’t Need a Number” For Nationalisation Costs

Two gems from McDonnell on Marr this morning: he reckons when the government borrows to spend it is guaranteed a profit: “On those returns you will always get more than you pay out”. And he says the cost of Labour’s nationalisation programme is… nothing: “You don’t need a number because you swap shares for government bonds”. Not serious, and yet still McDonnell is closing the gap on Hammond on the economy…

Royal Mail’s Tweets Deliver Truth About Nationalisation

Corbyn tweeted a call to people to “rise up” against privatised Royal Mail’s shareholders, claiming it was suffering under-investment as a result of privatisation. The revolutionary rhetoric shows Corbyn is ideologically blind to free enterprise – profits are a bad thing in his socialist mindset. “Shareholders are top-hatted baddies, workers are downtrodden goodies.”

Something great happened yesterday: unlike many firms under political attack, Royal Mail didn’t shy away with a boring press release to the FT, they hit back with facts on social media, tweeting truth bullets:

We are proud to be one of the most widely held stocks in the UK. 20% of our business is owned by our employees and small investors.

Royal Mail is one of very few companies to pay more in pension contributions than dividends.

Corbyn plans to renationalise firms with compensation, if any, decided by John McDonnell. Firms owned by everyone who has a pension, firms that thrive in the private sector, firms like Royal Mail that are owned in large part by the firm’s workers. The reality is many firms have just had a near-death experience at the snap election. It is time they started fighting back instead of gawping from the sidelines, because be in no doubt, Marxist McDonnell will nationalise them. Shareholders should be demanding action from their boards to defend shareholders’ interests. Corbyn and McDonnell want to turn Britain into Venezuela without the sunshine, it will be a dark day for pensioners and investors if they do.

McDonnell Now Sure There Won’t Be a Run on the Pound

John McDonnell has changed his tune from Labour conference, when he said

“What happens if there is a run on the pound? What happens if there’s capital flight? I don’t think there will, but you never know, so we’ve got the scenario plan for that”

Now he insists “there’s never going to be a run on the pound” and “of course” he isn’t planning capital controls if it happens. Only a few years ago McDonnell used to openly threaten the City with capital controls if they opposed his policies. Could it be that he’s just a little more honest in a room of fellow travellers than he is addressing the nation?

UPDATE: A Guido reader reminds us that Jeremy Corbyn said:

Corbyn allies from the likes of Paul Mason to Mark Serwotka bang on about capital flight and capital controls at left wing seminars all the time. They see it as the ruling class trying to destabilise left-wing regimes – like Venezuela – rather than the middle classes trying to get their money out before the economy inevitably tanks. The Shadow Chancellor is being economical with the actualite because it has turned into an effective Tory attack line. Effective because it is true…

Bone Schools McDonnell on Tax

Peter Bone schools John McDonnell on the difference between avoidance and evasion. And puts to him Guido’s story about Labour HQ being rented from an offshore trust

McDonnell and Guardian’s Offshore Investments

John McDonnell is going on the attack over the Paradise Papers, insisting: “Where the Tories refuse to act, Labour will end the era of government turning a blind eye to the scandal of tax avoidance by clamping down on tax havens and ending the loopholes”. The main revelation from the leak so far is that the Queen’s private estate has money invested offshore. Not entirely unlike John McDonnell’s pension investments being managed in Guernsey… 

The Guardian’s story this morning targets those that have assets in 19 tax havens including the Cayman Islands. Which reminded Guido of Guardian Media Group’s GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited, registered in the Caymans.

The Huffington Post splash this morning also leads on the Paradise Papers – no mention that HuffPo’s profits are blatantly transferred to Luxembourg. The owners of the Mail, News UK and The Telegraph also have various offshore tax-efficient structures. Facebook, Google and Guido are not UK-owned though they have at least never piously and hypocritically claimed to be in favour of clamping down on tax havens. Guido’s point is that the likes of the Guardian should practice what they preach…

McDonnell Confirms Plan to Take Over Labour HQ

John McDonnell has outlined plans to “populate every aspect” of the Labour Party with hard left acolytes. At a meeting of the longstanding lefty Labour Representation Committee, McDonnell revealed his roadmap for increasing the Corbynista takeover of party structures “at every level”. The Shadow Chancellor said the left faced a “make or break” year in consolidating its control over the party. Speaking at a fringe meeting held at Labour’s conference last month, McDonnell said:

I think all of you now have got to recognise you have a responsibility on your shoulders – yes to get us into government – but you’ve got a responsibility on your shoulders as well to serve in elected office whoever you can… 

“And I say this in all serious because I think this next 12 months is make or break about whether or not the momentum that’s built up now will be retained. And in addition to having Jeremy as leader, or elements of the shadow cabinet being solidly – or all of the shadow cabinet now being solidly on the left etcetera, we’ve got to populate every aspect of constituency parties and elected office now with socialists. We’ve got to populate it at every level.”

On the prospect of future strikes, McDonnell said:

“And when that industrial action comes, our role is to be on every picket line, every demonstration – and I don’t say that as an act of provocation. That’s our role. That’s our role.”

Hardly a surprise, but as clear a message yet to Labour centrists that they are about to get screwed…

Corbyn’s Capital Controls

John McDonnell says Labour have been war-gaming how to cope with the markets in the event of a Corbyn victory and a run on the pound. He was evasive about what he meant, however this weekend’s Young Labour conference has given us a massive clue.

Conference passed a motion on “Capital Controls and Financial Sector Regulation”, proposed by Oxford Uni Labour’s Michael Muir – last heard of during the “Zio” row. The motion laments the failure of SYRIZA in Greece to implement a socialist programme because it was “curtailed by massive and politically-orientated capital flight.” 

The solution according to Young Labour is for McDonnell to take direct control of monetary policy away from the Bank of England and introduce capital controls to better reflect “the balance of class forces”. You will have to get permission from the state to take money out of the country. This is the classic left-wing solution to capital flight, rather than make the country attractive to investors they instead try to imprison investment. It ends badly every time.

Perhaps Young Labour’s millenials don’t realise the effects it will have on them personally. In the 70s you could only take £50 per person on holiday. Working families holidays in Benidorm – you won’t be able to go large in the bars. Ibiza? Forget cocktails in Pascha. Buying the latest electronic gadgets on Amazon from overseas – sorry. Nan’s retirement holiday home – forget it. That year long gap yah? Nah.

The “socialism in one country” idea hasn’t worked well in Venezuela, and the cost has been a massive loss of freedom. The eternal truth is that “to be controlled in our economic pursuits is to be controlled in everything.”

Get the Latest Corbynista Look

Just £14 courtesy of the Labour Party Young Guerrillas. Other t-shirts on sale include the slogan “Friends don’t let friends talk to cops”. Spotted in the wild by Tom McTague:

Well they don’t call him “the Quartermaster” for nothing…

McDonnell: Labour Would Accept Any EU Deal

John McDonnell on Marr:

“I will not countenance no deal, I’m not willing to countenance that, I don’t think it’s a realistic option…”

Labour would accept any EU deal, however punishing. Great negotiating tactic guys.

Corbyn Boycotts Israel, McDonnell Avoids Business


Mark Regev, Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, braved the hostile chanting protestors outside the Hilton Metropole to address the Labour Friends of Israel reception last night in Brighton. Emily Thornberry told the attendees: “Jeremy’s not attending any receptions this evening because he’s got a big speech tomorrow.” Well Jezza is 68 years old, perhaps it was best he got an early night ahead of the big speech…

Hold on, here’s Jezza at the Mirror’s party:

Almost like he preferred to boycott Israel and not show solidarity with the Israeli Labour Party. Oh Jeremy…

Meanwhile over at the Labour Business Reception they awaited their keynote speaker’s address to the brave suits who support Labour. Formerly the Labour Finance and Industry Group, it was founded by Harold Wilson in 1972, and has been the channel for business to the party through thick and thin. When Gordon Brown was shadow chancellor and even chancellor in government, he made sure to always put in an appearance at the event. Marxist McDonnell was a no show and instead they had to make do with an address from Stephen Kinnock…

UPDATE: Corbyn also made it to Unite’s party. Thornberry wasn’t telling the truth.

UPDATE II: Jezza also managed an after midnight appearance at Momentum’s The World Transformed party. The old boy has some stamina…

Labour Enlist Communist to Prepare For Run on Pound If Corbyn Wins

John McDonnell admitted last night that there could be a run on the pound if Labour wins the next general election and Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister:

“What happens if there is a run on the pound? I don’t think there will, but you never know, so we’ve got the scenario plan for that… people will want to know we are ready and they want to know we’ve got a response to everything that could happen.”

Labour are war gaming what to do if there is a run on the pound – the plans are being undertaken by the Corbynista digital guru Richard Barbrook, who readers will remember supported the IRA’s armed struggle. He calls himself a “cybernetic communist” and wrote the book on “Cyber-Communism”. Sure that’ll calm anyone’s worries…

84% of PFI Projects Started Under Labour

Announcing his plan to nationalise PFIs John McDonnell noted that they started under John Major, yet for some reason neglected to mention that the vast majority began under Labour governments. Sky’s Ed Conway has this helpful graph showing 604 PFI projects started under Labour, compared to 112 under the Tories. Forget the magic money tree, this is a forest…

McDonnell: Parliament To Determine Nationalisation Share Prices

Investors in utility companies would not be fully compensated at market value for their shares under Labour’s nationalisation plans, John McDonnell has admitted. Speaking on Radio 4 this morning the Shadow Chancellor instead said share prices would be determined by Parliament according to how MPs perceived the past behaviour of firms:

“The value of any industry which is brought into public ownership is determined by Parliament itself… the perceived behaviour [of companies] affects the price…”

Asked if shareholders would be compensated at market value, McDonnell replied:

“The market value will be determined by Parliament.”

Labour’s economic illiteracy in a nutshell…

Mail McDonnell Investigation Didn’t Have to Look Far

Today’s Daily Mail splashes on a story by its “Investigations Unit” apparently revealing that in 2013 John McDonnell called for “insurrection” and encouraged the overthrow of the government. At a speech at Goldsmiths university, McDonnell said:

“Parliamentary democracy doesn’t work for us. Elections don’t work for us… We used to call it insurrection. Now we’re polite and say it’s direct action. Let’s get back to calling it what it is. It’s insurrection.”

How far did the Mail’s fabled Investigations Unit have to look to find the scoop? Well, the exact same quote was reported by their colleagues at MailOnline only a few months ago during the election campaign. McDonnell was even forced to explain his comments at the time, saying:

“What I said was, in the old days we used to call it insurrection, now we call it direct action and demonstrations.”

In fact, “insurrection” is one of McDonnell’s favourite terms to rile up his comrades. As the Telegraph reported two years ago he used the word on the public record at least three times between 2010 and 2013. That’s a low estimate. We know papers are slower than their online rivals these days but this is pushing it a bit far…

McDonnell Leers at “Attractive” Air Stewardesses

John McDonnell flaunted his brocialist credentials at the TUC conference last night, making a laddish quip about “attractive” air stewardesses. Addressing a room full of male representatives from National Shop Stewards’ Network, a swaggering McDonnell said:

McDonnell: “I was proud to be on the picket line with BA cabin crew in my constituency, I have to say it was probably the most attractive and beautiful picket line I have ever been on.”

[Men in audience laugh]

Everyday sexism meets everyday brocialism…

McDonnell: Single Market Membership Not Respecting Referendum

This was John McDonnell on June 11, warning: “I think people would interpret membership of the single market as not respecting that referendum”. A couple of months ago Corbyn sacked three frontbenchers for voting to stay in the single market. Now it is Labour policy to retain single market membership for years after we leave. Not credible…

Labour’s Brexit Shambles

Completely clueless… and that’s just this week…

Glaston-free: Labour’s Headline Acts Showered with Freebie Tickets

Turns out Jezza and Tom Watson were showered with freebie Glasto tickets. Corbyn – who spoke on the main stage at the event – received two free tickets from the organisers at a total value £476 via “a member of his family“. Watson had it even better, wangling a total of five free tickets paid for by Live Nation, an American events firm based in Beverly Hills. Watson’s fistful of tickets came to a total value of a whopping £2,445. Sheffield Heeley Labour MP Louise Haigh also had two free tickets, paid for by Michael Dugher’s lobbying group UK Music (total value £900). John McDonnell, who branded the Grenfell fire “murder” at the festival, didn’t declare any Glasto freebies. While their middle class fans paid thousands, Labour’s headline acts went Glaston-free…

Labour’s Broken Student Debt Promise Goes Viral

During the election it was almost exclusively anti-Tory stories which were sent viral by young social media users who voted Labour.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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