Brexit and the waning days of the United Kingdom

Started by Josquius, February 20, 2016, 07:46:34 AM

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How would you vote on Britain remaining in the EU?

British- Remain
12 (12.1%)
British - Leave
7 (7.1%)
Other European - Remain
21 (21.2%)
Other European - Leave
6 (6.1%)
ROTW - Remain
33 (33.3%)
ROTW - Leave
20 (20.2%)

Total Members Voted: 97

Sheilbh

Quote from: Tamas on September 22, 2022, 09:42:36 AMOne valid criticism I feel (among many, many) that Johnson won the election on a levelling up, not a Thatcherite agenda. Assuming Truss' plan is now just empty words sprouted while she'll let us drift like Johnson did, such a big policy shift should not be up to Tory members only to mandate. I know legally it's fine because of reasons, but it is just wrong.
I don't think there's any democracy in the world where you can legally take steps against a government for not following their manifesto or u-turning - for obvious reasons it would be a very bad idea :P

It does have an impact in terms of the Parliament Act. The constitutional convention is that you can only force legislation through the Lords if it was part of your manifesto - because the government has a democratic mandate (to deliver their manifesto) and the Lords don't. What matters there is the 2019 general election manifesto, not what Liz Truss promised in a leadership election. Again one has a democratic mandate that the other doesn't.

But I don't think it really matters in terms of levelling up - that isn't necessarily contradictory to Thatcherism. Levelling up was always pretty vague, particularly because the Treasury didn't want to spend any money - although Gove tried to create some metrics. But those weren't in the manifesto.

I think there is a non-Thatcherite version of levelling up that means large-scale investment across the country to reduce regional inequality, I think there is a Thatcherite/Heseltine model of levelling up that would look at things like the Docklands/Canary Wharf and enterprise zones. It's clear this government is looking at the Thatcher model - Johnson's approach was characteristically to basically try and do both and ended up doing neither badly :lol:
Let's bomb Russia!

Sheilbh

Fairly significant symbolic moment of Catholics overtaking Protestants in the latest Northern Irish census.

On broader identity:
QuoteFull stats:

British only: 31.9% (-8.0)
Irish only: 29.1% (+3.8)
Northern Irish only: 19.8% (-1.1)
British & Northern Irish: 8.0% (+1.8)
Irish and Northern Irish: 1.8% (+0.5)
Other: 10.0% (+3.4)

They key, I think, is Glen O'Hara's point that identity in Northern Ireland is fluid, complex, overlapping and shifting. One person commenting on this for the Irish papers noted that she's an atheist with an Irish identity who grew up Catholic but comes from a British and Irish family. It is not clean and the 20% "Northern Irish" identity in many ways reflects that. Interesting piece on this:
Quote#Census2021: A first look shows new waves of identity innovation and an ageing society...
Soapbox on September 22, 2022, 3:36 pm73 Comments | Readers 1015

Dr Paul Nolan is an independent researcher based in Belfast. He writes on conflict societies, social trends and demography.

The first thing to be said about the census results published today is that it is a miracle of sorts that we have them at all.  At the beginning of the 2021 the pandemic seemed to make it too difficult for a census to be conducted.  The Irish census was pushed back to 2022 and so too was the Scottish census.

England and Wales went ahead but while they managed to complete the data collection, the processing has been delayed and the release of datasets on religion, national identity, and ethnicity has been postponed until 2023. NISRA has managed to complete on target and with an astonishing 97% completion rate.

The fact that 80% of the returns were completed online is also quite remarkable and sets a new benchmark for digital literacy in Northern Ireland.

But on to the results themselves. The media speculation has inevitably been on the 'football scores', and that has been the focus for immediate commentary this morning.  This year that focus is justified. The 2021 census was conducted exactly 100 years after the creation of the Northern Ireland state, a state that was created on a headcount of religious identities, and on the assumption that a two-to-one inbuilt majority for Protestants would ensure permanent security for its unionist population.

This morning's results then are rich in irony: pleasing for others, bitter for others. Some unionist politicians, like Gregory Campbell, tried to prepare their followers for the shock, but the double whammy of religious and national identity losses must feel heart-sinking.

Catholics, at 45.7% of the population, have overtaken Protestants at 43.5%. If you look at those figures along with the school enrolment figures, which for nearly twenty years now been showing Catholic children as half of school enrolments against one third for Protestants, the direction is unmistakable. There is no going back. The Protestant decline cannot be reversed.

Even more shocking for unionists is the national identity figure. In the centenary year of the state, the numbers choosing a purely British identity are down to 31.9% – less than one third of the population. The percentage is boosted slightly when account is taken of those who claim British identity as one part of a dual identity. British and NI account for 6.2%, British and Irish only 0.7%, British, Irish and NI 1.0%, and if you add these and other hybrids to the total it brings it up to 42.8%.


There are disappointments too for those hoping for a large jump in Irish identity. It had been speculated that Brexit would boost the Irish identity, and while there has been an increase, it is only from 25.3% to 29.1%.  If you were to include the Irish-plus hybrid identities the percentage moves up to 33.3%, exactly one-third of the population. Set against the combined British identity of 42.8% this might give pause for thought to those wanting to see a border poll in the near future.

But if both unionists and nationalists are disappointed (and despite brave faces, they should be) that is because the two frozen identity blocs are melting and we are seeing fluidity in the middle.  The hybrid identities, a jumble of Irish/British/Northern Irish/Scottish mixtures has risen to 19.4%.

Taken together with the NI Only figure of 19.8%, the total who are moving beyond the solid bloc identities of British and Irish identities is now 39.2%. What we are seeing, in short, is identity innovation. It some ways this was the promise of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement: that people could move beyond their birth identity and make up their own mix.  And that mix of identity now has to include the 6% of newcomer communities who do not claim either British or Irish identities.

The big changes don't stop there.  Secularisation is the other big story of this census. The number with no religion is a whopping 17.4%. This is in line with international trends. The 2021 Census in Australia shows 40% with no religion. The latest British Social Attitudes Survey, conducted in April 2021 gives the share with no religion as 53% ( considerably higher than the 25% in the 2011 census).

In the Irish census of 2016 one in ten say they have no religion, making the 'no religion' category than the second largest category after Catholic (78%). Quite what it means to be a Catholic country following referendums which have voted in huge numbers for divorce, same sex marriage and abortion is a question for another day, but it does suggest that old identity categories are leaky.

Finally – though there's lots more to come – it should be remembered that the census is not just about religious and political identities. It is the necessary framework for public planning, and in this regard the headline story has to be the growth in the overall population, up to 1,903,175.

This represents the highest population ever for the area now known as Northern Ireland. The 1841 pre-famine period peak was 1,649,000, after which there was a steady decline in population down to the 1,236,100 low of the 1891 Census. The first census taken after the creation of the Northern Ireland state was in 1926, and by that time the total had increased only by a fraction, up to 1,256,000.

The new 2021 figure represents a 50% increase on the total at the first census. The gradient upward has been steady, but it is not uniform across the age bands. By far the biggest increase has been in the population over 65: from 101,800 in 1926 to 326,500 today.

This is very definitely an ageing society. Indeed, it is expected that within the next ten years there will be more people aged 65 and over than children aged 0 to 14 years.  Long term, this is a dependency crisis in the making.
Let's bomb Russia!

Josquius

#22127
Interesting they're showing such growth unlike other economic shithouses in the UK.

An odd thing I've noticed about Northern Irish in mainland Britain is they'll so readily identify as Irish and British. Could be selection bias of those liable to move over here. But I do get the feeling it's more a situational thing, to outsiders then yeah obviously they're from Ireland, but back home they're not.
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Sheilbh

Quote from: Josquius on September 22, 2022, 02:01:55 PMInteresting they're showing such growth unlike other economic shithouses in the UK.
Growth's similar with most of England and Wales (Scotland's census was done this year so no data yet):


But the age/dependency issue is everywhere.

QuoteAn odd thing I've noticed about Northern Irish in mainland Britain is they'll so readily identify as Irish and British. Could be selection bias of those liable to move over here. But I do get the feeling it's more a situational thing, to outsiders then yeah obviously they're from Ireland, but back home they're not.
Yeah. That's also especially true with sport - again situational - so there's a single Irish rugby union team which has players from both north and south. I've known people from strong unionist backgrounds who are passionate Ireland rugby fans and identify as Irish in that way and that context.

Identity is complex and situational and overlapping - perhaps especially in this country because it is a nation of nations. Add into that political-national identities as in Northern Ireland, or ethnic or racial or religious identities and it will be complex. Northern Ireland's an extreme example but I don't think our politics or "identity politics" more generally has caught up with people's actual experience and that we all have multiple identities (of course that's what intersectionality was about before it became a bad word :bleeding:).

I think that reflects the 40% who don't identify strongly with either of the more rigid camps. Whether because they mainly feel Northern Irish, or a mix of identitiees or something else entirely.
Let's bomb Russia!

Tamas

So to perhaps address the question of the level of work which went into the upcoming tax-cut budget, Kwarteng our broker Chancellor fired the two senior civil servant in his ministry. One version for the reason why is that they were unhappy about the lack of costing done for the upcoming tax cuts.

Tamas

QuoteCuts to the top rate of tax, national insurance, and stamp duty were announced by the government.

A 1p tax cut planned in the basic rate of income tax for 2024 will be brought forward to 2023, and the top rate of 45% is being scrapped, so the highest rate will be 40%.

A national insurance rise of 1.25% will be cancelled, saving households £330 a year.

Stamp duty thresholds will be increased, cutting the tax paid on purchasing homes. The £500,00 threshold will rise from £500,000 to £650,000. He said the cuts would be permanent.

Promising a new era of growth, he said: "High taxes reduce incentives to work and they hinder enterprise."

Against a backdrop of high inflation and forecasts that Britain faces a long recession, the chancellor cancelled a rise in corporation tax to 25% next year.

"In the context of the global energy crisis it is entirely appropriate for the government to take action," he said, adding that "fiscal responsibility remains essential" and he would be allowing the Office Budget Responsibility to examine the Treasury's spending plans before the end of the year.

£45 billion or 2% of GDP in tax cuts, obviously with special focus on the top earners and pumping the property bubble.

Gups

Absolutely shocking. While I'll benefit from the removal of the 45% band, it won't make me work any harder.

Tamas

Pro-business approach is much appreciated by the market:


Zanza


Richard Hakluyt

The fall in the markets has already cost my household two years worth of the future tax reductions...in a few minutes  :hmm:

Josquius

Though my home extension isn't complete yet I increasingly wonder about whether I should step up the timeline for leaving the sinking ship.
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Sheilbh

#22136
Quote from: Tamas on September 23, 2022, 04:50:26 AM£45 billion or 2% of GDP in tax cuts, obviously with special focus on the top earners and pumping the property bubble.
Which doesn't include the energy package that the Treasury is saying will cost £60 billion for six months. I read (and nicked) Duncan Weldon's points but it's really striking that the tax cuts are big enough to distract from the energy price cap which is (depending on wholesale costs) probably the biggest peacetime fiscal policy in British history.

I'm also reminded of one of Truss' economic advisers who said that interest rates might need to go to 7%, which he thinks would be a good thing. Because it feels like while the energy package will remove inflationary pressure, when it comes to core inflation - large tax cuts are inflationary so rates will rise more and faster.

And still very, little on supply side reforms - there are bits and pieces but it doesn't seem very substantial. So big stimulus (especially for high earners) on the demand side, in an inflationary environment, with a central bank that's committed to monetary contraction.

The additional debt will be issued into the market while the BofE is continuing its policy of QT, again you'd expect them to accelerate that to reduce inflation. So the Treasury's issuing an additional £70 billion gilts, while the BofE is reducing their stock (I think in the time period) by £80 billion.

In terms of tax cuts - no revenue raising measures. I'm not sure if this includes cancelling proposed tax rises that haven't yet taken effect (which I think is different from, say, getting rid of the 45% band) - but this isn't an entirely promising set of comparisions:


Separately it feels like Labour/whoever wins in 2024 is going to be incredibly constrained.

Edit: And I know I keep harping on about it but the changes to student loans also really impact graduates - especially and I think is a large part of why they're simultaneously more anti-Tory and pro-tax cuts than other demographics:
QuoteGeorge Eaton
@georgeeaton
A graduate earning £50k will pay a *higher* marginal rate (51%) than someone on £150K (42%)

A graduate earning £25k will pay a 40% marginal rate, just 2 points less than top earners.

They also need to save a deposit and pay rent/mortgage out of that.
Let's bomb Russia!

Tamas

Quote from: Richard Hakluyt on September 23, 2022, 05:42:04 AMThe fall in the markets has already cost my household two years worth of the future tax reductions...in a few minutes  :hmm:


And my Lloyds shares were improving for a couple of days, too. :( I probably should just sell them and exchange those pennies to Swiss Frank or something

Zanza

I consider visiting Scotland next year so I hope Kwarteng will have created EUR/GBP parity until then.  :bowler:

Josquius

en
Quote from: Tamas on September 23, 2022, 06:31:25 AM
Quote from: Richard Hakluyt on September 23, 2022, 05:42:04 AMThe fall in the markets has already cost my household two years worth of the future tax reductions...in a few minutes  :hmm:


And my Lloyds shares were improving for a couple of days, too. :( I probably should just sell them and exchange those pennies to Swiss Frank or something
Would that be sensible?
Looking at exchange rates we have to be near a bottom. Or else  :ph34r:
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