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News review – Monday 20 March 2017

Snap General Election

Express
THERESA May’s closest allies have discussed holding a snap general election to take seats from the SNP, and head off a constitutional crisis. Conservative Party Chairman Patrick McLoughlin, Chief Whip Gavin Williamson and the Prime Minister’s Private Secretary George Hollingbery have talked about a May 4 ballot, in the wake of 
Nicola Sturgeon’s demand for a second referendum on Scottish independence.  Although Mrs May has so far resisted the idea of shoring up her mandate and increasing her narrow Commons majority, the Tory election fraud probe could convince her to call an early poll.  In text conversations with the senior Tories, a source stated a May 4 poll could help the Prime Minister “kill at least two birds with one stone”. “The Tories would be able to take SNP seats in Scotland in a bid to avert a constitutional crisis while also getting rid of the election fraud scandal,” the source said. “Another general election would wipe the slate clean.”

Westmonster
The possibility of a General Election on the 4th May is now being openly discussed, with the Labour Party on a war footing and a number of Conservative MPs seeking to persuade the government to go for a snap election. With Labour tanking in the polls and Theresa May facing significant opposition both on Brexit and issues such as grammar schools as well as the SNP push for a referendum in Scotland, there is clear logic to hold an election sooner rather than later. The usually cautious Prime Minister is said to be dead against the idea however. Nigel Farage is the latest big figure who has said that May should call an election to drain the swamp. We agree. Time to empty the Westminster swamp of its pro-EU remnants and push on united behind Brexit.

Mail
Labour last night said it was gearing up for a snap general election as early as May 4 as Theresa May came under pressure from senior Tories to secure her own mandate for Brexit. Labour’s election co-ordinator Andrew Gwynne said the party had been put on a ‘war footing’ in case the Prime Minister decides to use polling day for the local elections in May to hold a general election as well. Despite the Tories’ double-digit lead in the opinion polls, Mr Gwynne insisted Labour would back the Commons motion needed to sanction a snap poll. He added: ‘It would be very difficult not to because if the Government wants to dissolve parliament, wants a general election, we don’t want the Tories to be in Government, we want to be in Government, we want to have that opportunity to put that case to the British people.’ Mrs May, who has said repeatedly that she does not favour an early election, has just seven days to decide whether to change course and order a snap election.

Independent
Speculation over an early election has been dismissed by Downing Street as “nonsense” as reports emerged of May 4 being floated as a date for Theresa May to seek a mandate for Brexit and her domestic policies. In order to increase her working majority of 17 in the Commons, Tory MPs have been privately voicing the urgency for a snap election. They believe they would be able to achieve a greater majority at the ballot box by capitalising on current divisions in the Labour party.  Despite a torrid week for the Government – after the Chancellor was forced into an embarrassing U-turn over a key policy in his Budget and the Prime Minister struggled with a constitutional standoff with Nicola Sturgeon – the Conservatives are still 17 points ahead of Labour in the latest ComRes poll.

Sun
THERESA May is being urged to hold a snap general election in a bid to head off a full constitutional crisis. Senior Tories including party chairman Patrick McLoughlin, chief whip Gavin Williamson and the PM’s private secretary George Hollingbery have discussed a date of May 4 for the ballot. Pressure on the PM is increasing after difficulties getting through her Brexit bill, a growing cross-party rebellion on her grammar school plans and the SNP’s referendum demands.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon riled Mrs May last week by saying she hadn’t been “elected by anyone”. Party insiders believe an early May election would “wipe the slate clean”, giving her both a clear majority and a mandate ahead of boundary changes while Labour are at record lows in the polls.

Brexit

Times
Britain’s divorce bill from the European Union will be a take-it-or-leave-it demand and if Theresa May does not like it she will have to walk away, Jean-Claude Juncker said yesterday. Using unusually uncompromising language, the president of the European Commission said that Britain faced “the choice to eat what’s on the table or not come to the table at all”. There is growing impatience with Mrs May in Brussels after she failed to trigger the Article 50 exit clause last week, pushing the beginning of negotiations back into late spring. The prime minister is not expected to inform the EU officially of Britain’s intention to quit the block until next week after a regional tour of the country which begins in Wales today.

Express
THE Government is poised to publish detailed plans within days on how it will convert existing European Union (EU) laws into UK ones. A 50-page document which is said to form the basis of a draft White Paper has being circulating Whitehall in recent weeks is designed to set out how Parliament will repeal the legislation that had originated from Brussels. The document is being lined up to be published once Prime Minister Theresa May formally triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which is now expected to be on March 29. The proposed document, dubbed the “Great Repeal Bill” will set out how, in practical terms, the legislation will be altered. The document is said to focused on two main areas: the repealing of the European Communities Act 1972 – which took the UK in the EU – and a vast array of laws, dictats and rulings that had originated from the European Parliament over the years. However, the means the Government is looking to do this is seen as controversial by some as they propose to do this using a power that is 500-years old. The so-called “Henry VIII clauses” give the Government powers to change old laws that have already been passed by Parliament.

Westmonster
Moves for the British Parliament to once again be all-powerful are being made as the government prepares to bring EU law into UK law and repeal the historically bad measures that took the UK into the European Union. This is expected to be done when Article 50 is invoked ad the process of leaving the failed bloc kicks off properly. We will see Westminster once again become the ultimate power, deciding what does and does not pass as legislation in the country. Make no mistake about it, this is nothing less than a democratic revolution. Done properly, once we are out of the EU and an independent nation, it will be for our own Parliament to once again decide over matters such as border controls, farming and fishing, all areas we had given away to the EU. The repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 will be a truly historic moment and an amazing victory for all who battled for this country’s right to self-determination.

EU

Breitbart
The president of the European Commission has said Britain will be treated like a “third country” after Brexit and the divorce will be so bad for the UK it will deter all other states from leaving the bloc. In wide-ranging and combative interview, Jean-Claude Juncker also said the Marine Le Pen will not become the French President and the European Union’s (EU) relationship with President Donald J. Trump is “something akin to estrangement.” “They [the 27 other member states] will all see from the U.K.’s example that leaving the EU is a bad idea,” he told 
Bild am Sonntag. When asked about Brexit negotiations, Mr. Junker claimed the Commission has “everything prepared down to the last detail”, warning that “the U.K. will need to prepare itself to be treated as a third country. There will be no half-membership or cherry picking. In Europe, the choice is to eat what’s on the table or not come to the table at all.”

Star
NEO-NAZI terror is spreading through Europe as extremist right-wing groups promise to spell the end of the EU. Racist and fascist organisations are spreading from Germany to Greece as they ride the wave of backlash against the institutions of Europe. Protestors armed with flags and banners and wearing T-shirts with slogans such as “support your race” have become common in the continent’s cities. Neo-Nazi groups claim their membership is rising and reports of far-right violence are rising. Fury at the surging migrant crisis, economic hardship, terrorism and disillusionment with the ailing EU is fuelling the rise of a new wave of Nazism. Daily Star Online can now reveal the terrifying groups bent on bringing Europe to its knees. Germany is fostering growing numbers of Neo–Nazis as disillusioned people are drawn to organisations such as the National Democratic Party (NPD) and Die Rechte.

Breitbart
Martin Schulz will on Sunday officially become Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief challenger in Germany’s September general election and lay out his plans for unseating the world’s most powerful woman. The bearded Social Democrat, already credited with giving his ailing party a strong shot in the arm, will be anointed SPD leader and standard bearer at a one-day congress in Berlin. German media predicted he could garner more than 90 percent of the vote from the country’s oldest political party. In a speech to the SPD rank and file, Schulz will attempt to harness his momentum against Merkel, whose conservatives just a few months ago had an apparently invincible lead in the polls. Schulz’s decision to leave the European Parliament, which he headed for five years, and run to lead Germany has given the Social Democrats a new lease of life since party leader Sigmar Gabriel asked him to take the reins in January. “It’s been encouraging to see in the last few weeks that people are hopeful again that the Social Democrats have a shot,” Schulz told Berlin public radio RBB this week.

Fox News
Germany’s center-left Social Democratic Party is holding a special convention to confirm Martin Schulz as the party’s top candidate to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in the country’s upcoming general election. Party leaders unexpectedly nominated Schulz after long-time chairman Sigmar Gabriel stepped aside in January. The party has since experienced a surge in the polls not seen in a decade. Analysts say Schulz benefits from being a relative newcomer to domestic politics. Until his nomination, the 61-year-old was president of the European Parliament. The Social Democrats’ general secretary, Katarina Barley, told reporters ahead of the convention Sunday that the party has seen 13,000 new members join this year. Merkel, whose center-right Christian union bloc is in a coalition with the Social Democrats, is running for a fourth term on Sept. 24.

Defence

Times
Britain and Germany are preparing to sign a new defence deal as Theresa May attempts to reinforce the government’s commitment to European security after Brexit. Areas of co-operation are expected to include cybersecurity, training and maritime patrols. The Royal Navy’s newest helicopter, the Wildcat, will operate from a German warship that is due to take part in operations in the Mediterranean next year. The UK and German defence ministries confirmed that they were working on joint projects. The former said that it was striving for “a joint vision statement on future co-operation” and the German defence ministry told the Financial Times: “Independent of the effects of Brexit, Great Britain remains a strong partner and ally in Nato and also bilaterally.”

NHS

Times
A million people a year needlessly end up in A&E after phoning NHS 111 or 999, a study has concluded. The non-emergency helpline is piling pressure on hospitals by sending thousands of patients who need no tests or treatment, while ambulances are sent out to take people with minor problems to emergency departments. Health chiefs have conceded that more nurses are needed to give better phone advice and have told paramedics to patch up more people at home. However, even patients advised by 111 or 999 call handlers not to go to A&E are routinely ignoring the advice, suggesting they do not trust unqualified call handlers or that alternatives such as out-of-hours GPs, are not available.

Labour Party

Telegraph
Labour descended into civil war last night after it emerged that Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters are plotting to take control of the party by joining forces with his union backers. Jon Lansman, the leader of the Momentum campaign group which backs Mr Corbyn, was secretly recorded revealing that it plans to officially link with the Unite union. The move would give Momentum, a grassroots movement that supports Mr Corbyn, access to huge funding and institutional support. Details of the plans led to a public row as Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, accused Mr Lansman of attempting to “destroy the Labour Party as an electoral force”. “You have to be stopped,” he said on Twitter.

BBC

Telegraph
The BBC should be protected by new laws that promote its shows over those of rivals, according to one of the corporation’s most senior executives.  James Purnell, director of radio and education, says that the shows the BBC makes must be given more prominence in television guides than those of commercial services Sky, Amazon and Netflix. His demands follow a huge change in television viewing habits with more than 6 million households now signed up to streaming services.

Westmonster
Former Labour MP James Purnell, now the BBC’s Director of Radio and Education, has claimed that the BBC should have its shows promoted over others because its a taxpayer-funded broadcaster. Purnell insists that the push to promote BBC shows is “about making sure you can find them easily”. Sky have responded, accusing the Beeb of “blatant self-interest”. The world is changing. The rise of Netflix, Amazon streaming services and YouTube are making traditional media less and less relevant. Just as the world of politics is becoming more responsive to a democracy boosted by the internet, the world of media is changing with citizens more empowered to watch and indeed produce what they want, when they want. A protectionist world of favouritism for a state broadcaster doesn’t really fit into the new reality. There are no more protected media markets or monopolies. That’s a very healthy thing.

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5 Comments on News review – Monday 20 March 2017

  1. Who can help laughing at Junkhead’s barely comprehensible little rant? How he stamps his tiny feet, scowls, threatens and tries to put the frighteners on the remaining 27 states!
    The divorce will be bad he predicts and the UK will be a ‘third country’ in the negotiations. What the hell does that mean – does he mean like a 3rd world country? Probably, because he and his henchmen put unreasonably high tariffs on produce from 3rd world countries.
    Anyway, he insists the UK will be treated so harshly that it will deter all the others from leaving his EU paradise. So there!

    Junky sounds a bit forlorn when he says the EU’s relationship with Trump is ‘something akin to estrangement’. Oh dear, I wonder if Trump has noticed?

    Another quick glimpse at his crystal ball and Junky predicts Marine Le Pen won’t win in France, before talking about his dinner preparations and what people will be forbidden to eat and forced to eat. Apparently, there will be no cherries available and ‘the choice is to eat what’s on the table or not to come to the table at all’.
    This brought to mind a satisfying image of Junky’s head pushed firmly into a lovely English cherry trifle and held there until he was forced to eat the lot.

  2. The Star (Neo-Nazi terror threat) is not famous for its serious political analysis and tends to exaggerate and sensationalise. But even if what it purports to report is true, where is the mention of islamic terrorism being the greatest threat to Europe; and where is the query into the root cause of unrest – ie, the deliberate denigration and undermining of nationhood by the anti-democratic EU and its joke leaders?
    Yet again, an agent of the MSM professes shock-horror about the symptoms and not the causes of rising resentment and backlash.

  3. How typical of the BBC to want ‘new laws’ to promote their channels and programmes; they probably want more funding too to ensure that their fiefdom continues to churn out anti-British, pro-EU propaganda.
    The nerve of these people never ceases to astonish: self-regarding, self-aggrandising, self-justifying, self-satisfied and quite happy to screw everyone for £120 a year licence fee, whether they want to watch BBC or not. Abolish the licence fee and put them in their place!

  4. Would they not be fighting on two fronts as in a general election and their devious dealings in the South Thanet by-election and surely the case of compensation for loss of two years pro English / GB benefits in parliament
    and consequently the isolation of Farage and UKIP in the Brexit issue.

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