Friday, 30 September 2016

Another Smash Hit Party-Banger from Liam Fox

If you're put off by my long-winded posts this one is mercifully short.  More good news - the Leave campaign are still playing their top hits to an excited audience.  Last time we focused on Tim Martin's compilation album of all of his smash faves.  The crowd went wild and danced like dervishes to the crazy beat and free-form spoken word delivered by the boss of Wetherspoons UK.  Today, it is the turn of Liam "multiply disgraced, former and now not former Minister" Fox.  He is clearly a fan of Paul's Boutique by The Beastie Boys because he opted to take to the stage in Manchester for a stirring encore of nonsense rhymes

"As a newly independent WTO member outside the EU, we will continue to fight for trade liberalisation as well as potentially helping developing markets trade their way out of poverty by giving them preferential access to our markets"
  
He can fight for trade liberalisation all he wants but he can't give developing markets preferential access to the UK.  Under WTO trading rules you can't treat any other WTO member in a preferential or discriminatory manner.  Non-discrimination is even one of the 5 principles of the WTO.  It is illegal to act in a discriminatory manner with either tariff barriers or with non-tariff  barriers.  That means that to gain access to your market every other WTO nation must pay the same import duties on all goods and services.  It also means that every WTO nation is subject to the same trading rules eg health and safety; environmental protection or technical standards. Discimination or preference is simply not an option.

The more this goes on, the more I feel like a shrill voice in the wilderness. What happened to scrutiny by the press?  Political integrity?  Advice from impartial and knowledgeable civil servants?  Why is Liam Fox allowed to present a load of balls to the world's press, who then print it verbatim without question?

If you're a fan of facts then the WTO actually has more founding principles than the EU.  The score is 5-4.  This sounds like even more red tape to me.  Ghastly stuff.  I want to end on a high so here is a pop video with semi-appropriate song title.  Take it away Annie.


Over and out,

Terry

PS There is a lot more to be said about the WTO and "taking back control".  As you might imagine, the principle of non-discrimination has led to a number of legal cases between one member and another.  Here is an example.  It has also led to some nations amending their domestic law so that they are compliant with the WTO's founding principles.  Sounds a lot like EU Directives, doesn't it? It's almost  as though any agreement between two nations requires the harmonisation of their legal, economic, political and administrative frameworks.  Who'd have thunk it?




2 comments:

  1. I always thought that Liam Fox was a bit thick...or incredibly arrogant.

    After all, who in their right mind would think that you could take your flatmate in to top secret meetings in the Ministry Of Defence, allow him to claim flights and hotels on expenses when you take him to meetings in the Middle East and elsewhere, and let him present a business card saying that he is one of your special advisers, without ever having had him security checked... just because he is your young friend?

    No one! Well, OK I admit that Cameron did have a press secretary that was at the heart of No 10 machinery that didn't have security clearance, but then he was an idiot too and is now pretty much a disgraced idiot.

    Anyway Foxy did. And then he was caught. And then he was sacked. And then he was reinstated.

    And then, very rapidly, he got up to his old tricks of displaying crass stupidity.

    If you are someone desperate to sell Britain as a trading partner, you probably, if you have a scintilla of common sense, don't publicly state that British businessmen are fat and lazy and prefer golf to work (even if it's true).

    Now he is already flouting World Trade Organisation (presumably having given up on making any trade agreements). What's behind all this? I mean that a right wing Tory would be interested in helping poorer nations is pretty suspect, dontcha think?

    Personally, I don't think he has really the mastered his brief.

    I suspect that either May is as thick as he is, or she put him there in order that he should fail miserably and have to be sacked yet again.

    This Brexit is rapidly becoming a Whitehall Farce.

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  2. A farce is exactly what it is. It just needs that music from the Benny Hill double-speed montages to complete the picture.

    Given our colonial past, I'm always wary of the way the UK trades with the developing world. With the EU we don't always get what we want because here in the West we have democratic accountability and partners of equal economic strength. This is not the case the world over. Too often, we seem to just walk in, bribe whoever we need to and take what we want. Is this still free trade? It does make me very worried about a return to colonial plundering, assuming it ever really went away.

    Does Liam Fox know he is spouting nonsense but says it anyway for political advantage? That would make him a conniving liar instead of a fool. I'm not all that sure, to be honest. I just wish someone would offer a correction. Not too hopeful given the state of the opposition and the shared position of the press on this issue.

    Crazy times.

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