Kensington Review

18 October 2019

 

Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

 

Latest Commentary:
 

Turks Agree to Pause in Syrian Offensive -- Turkey's government has paused its military advance into northern Syria. American Vice-President Mike Pence was on a visit to Turkey and allegedly helped broker the pause. Perhaps. The fact is that for five days, the Turkish military won't make any moves against the Kurdish fighters in the area, whom the Americans abandoned not that many days ago. The Turks can afford a hiatus because they are in position to achieve everything they wanted without firing any further shots. It's hard to see this pause as anything but a retreat for the US and a complete victory for Turkey. [18 October]

DUP Won't Back New Brexit Deal -- Boris Johnson was taking a premature victory lap a few hours ago on Twitter. He tweeted, "We've got a great new deal that takes back control -- now parliament should get Brexit done on Saturday so we can move on to other priorities like the cost of living, the NHS, violent crime and our environment." He has conceded a border, it appears, between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK rather than submit to the Irish Backstop idea. The trouble is that the Democratic Unionist Party, which supports the Conservative government on a confidence-and-supply basis, refuses to accept this. It is, in fact, diametrically opposed to Unionism. One expects this deal to meet the same fate in Commons as Theresa May's agreement, that is, rejection. [17 October]

Spain Jails Catalan Nationalist Leaders -- Spain jailed nine of the Catalan leaders who organized the unofficial independence referendum in 2017. Their sentences range from nine to 13 years in prison for sedition. Another 3 were found guilty of disobedience, find but spared jail time. Violence erupted in the streets of Barcelona, and police responded to the protests with tear gas and riot batons. The government also issued a new arrest warrant for former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who is living abroad. No matter which side one takes on the issue of Catalan independence, and this journal is ambivalent, the Madrid government has made independence more, not less, likely with this over-reaction[15 October]

Queen's Speech is Pre-Election Fantasy -- The Houses of Parliament resumed their duties today after being prorogued last week. As with every new session, Her Majesty delivered a speech in Lords outlining the new program of the government. Apparently, it's a new session, and a new dawn for Britain. At least, it is in the imagination of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. His 26 pieces of legislation are ambitious and would be difficult to pass if he had a majority. He does not. In fact, the debate on the Queen's Speech may end in a vote rejecting it. In truth, the whole exercise is a fantasy before a general election is called after October 31. [11 October]

Phase One China Trade Deal is Just Puffery -- Donald Trump has got himself in hot water with the Chinese who buy products from farmers and manufacturers who backed the president in 2016. As a result, the farmers and manufacturers are in an economic slump thanks to the president's trade war with the People's Republic of China. In an attempt to shore up his crumbling support, he has announced the successful completion of "phase one" of a trade deal. Mr. Trump said, "We've come to a deal pretty much, subject to getting it written." The president, who claims to have been a successful real estate magnate, should know that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. And since the two sides have yet to agree on the language of the alleged deal, there is no deal. The president's announcement is puffery, and that is shining a generous light on it. [11 October]

© Copyright 2019 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

 

 

 

 

Volume XVII, Number 184

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