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Richard Patient: At last the Conservatives have realised the CBI is the voice of big business, not all business

Richard Patient is an entrepreneur, and founder of property communications company Thorncliffe | Your Shout.  He was London Chairman of Business for Britain during the EU referendum.

It will surprise no one to learn of the antipathy towards the Confederation of British Industry held by Dominic Cummings, given the well-publicised stunt at the CBI conference four years ago.  Then Vote Leave portrayed the CBI as the ‘Voice of Brussels’, in a dig at the Confederation’s then (and since dropped) slogan ‘Voice of Business’.

What may come as a surprise to some is the general scepticism towards the CBI of many high-ranking advisers in Number 10, and not just among the Vote Leave alumni.

Of course, the CBI were never the Voice of Business, merely the voice of their members, and they remain a well-funded and still well-respected lobby group.  The fact that the Prime Minister chose their conference for a major speech will be a source of contentment for their bosses, but is mainly due to the media pack being there rather than any general good-will towards the organisation.

Number 10 know that when Labour attack big business, they are onto something.  Our new voters, those from the working class constituencies that the Tories will be relying on to form their majority, at not just this election but also the next, still recoil from the 2008 banking crisis when the banks feathered their nests at the expense of the rest of us.

These voters know that homes are too expensive, yet see Persimmon bosses awarding themselves over £100 million bonuses.

They see private companies recoiling from risk, but taking the profit, in the case of PFI hospitals and Carillion.

And they see high streets failing, whilst the big e-commerce companies like Amazon offshore their profits to other countries.

That’s not to say the Tories are not the party of business – they are, and always will be.  Business continues to fund much of the Conservative party – but go to dinners like the Carlton Club political dinner last night and you will find there is a massive leaning towards entrepreneurs, those who have started their own business or who lead their companies to make them world-class.

Take Ben Elliot, the Co-Chairman of the Party, who not only started his international luxury lifestyle company Quintessentially, but is also a non-executive of another British success story, YouGov.

Look at Peter Cruddas, a former Party Treasurer – the son of a Smithfield Market worker, he founded CMC Markets and is also a major philanthropist.

Or Anthony Bamford, who still runs the award-winning and acclaimed JCB.

What Number 10 knows is that big business will always lobby for special privileges for this market or that.  Of course they will always couch the argument in terms of quality, standards or safety.  They have been very good at that, particularly within Brussels and the Single Market, which imposes standards for all irrespective of the good for each country or market.  Coming out of the EU and driving trade deals with other countries will halt some of the inexorable demand for new regulations, and over time will reduce burdensome regulations in the UK.

Not so long ago, SMEs and companies smaller than 20 employees – which constitute a massive proportion of the UK economy – were shielded from much of the regulation that faces large companies.  Now, all companies face the same legislation, so a company with five employees has to face the same burdensome laws as a company with 20,000 employees.  Of course larger companies prefer this, as they can employ armies of compliance officers, HR teams and environmental health officers, whilst the MD of the small company has to be a master of everything.

That’s not to say regulations on quality, standards or safety, will go down.  They won’t, and the Government has made that plain in terms of environmental and employment criteria.  That also fits in with their need to keep long-term the once-Labour voters that they appear to be winning during this election.  In some cases, pressure from new voters will mean the Government will impose higher standards, and intervene more.  But if they do so, they should remember that they are imposing burdens not just on the larger businesses that can cope but also on the smaller ones that find it harder.

Over the past 30 years, it has been easy for ministers to take regard of the voices of the CBI and their members.  They are the ones who employ lobbyists and they are the ones that find it easier to gain an audience with politicians, both Labour and Conservative.

But the general direction of many in Number 10 is to widen out this reach.  Take housing, where a revolution needs to take place.  We’re likely to only be able to build the number of homes we need if the Government makes it easier for smaller companies to become major players in the market.

Look at procurement, too.  The Government faces a choice soon as to whether it replicates the OJEU regulations, or makes the system much less onerous, open to a wider pool of companies.

Or take ecommerce, where a tax system needs to be devised to help smaller companies compete.

There are senior people in Downing Street who understand all of this, some of whom have come from big business themselves and who now want to turn gamekeeper.  The CBI will have to work harder and smarter if it wants to retain tits once formidable influence.

The Conservatives have always been the Party of the entrepreneur and the smaller business.  What better way to show this that to go after these SMEs and smaller entrepreneurs and form an army that will help give an intellectual backing and funding to the party as it prepares the big battle towards the next election in 2024.

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WATCH: Johnson tells CBI he plans to put corporation tax cuts on hold

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WATCH: Labour has businesses thinking ‘we’re next’, says CBI’s Fairbairn

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Creatives find a home for their crafts with newly opened TINT in Falls Church

Westlake Legal Group TINT-space Creatives find a home for their crafts with newly opened TINT in Falls Church workshops TINT Things to Do Textiles style store opening News & Updates local mom lifestyle life and style knitting home decor Events entrepreneur Culture Features Culture crochet Business arts art & design Art
The new space gives local makers the chance to practice their craft. (Photo courtesy of Carissa Englert)

When Carissa Englert moved to the DC area about 15 years ago, she quickly found herself interested in knitting, describing it as the “gateway drug” to all-things arts and crafts, like cyber arts, textiles, quilting and more. But as life went on and she became a mother of two living in Arlington, time got in the way, removing her from the knitting community she had become a part of. 

Eventually though, Englert found her way back, now welcoming the residents of Falls Church and beyond into recently opened TINT – A Modern Makerspace, providing an educational and inspirational hub for fellow craft-enthusiasts like her. 

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“In the DC area, there are businesses that are specifically focused on knitting or quilting as separate entities, but nothing for everything,” says Englert. “The concept of the makerspace is to have a place where people are inspired to learn different art forms and for me, it’s the melding of all these different things. I just want to have a space where everyone feels welcome and inspired.”

TINT is 50% retail, 50% workspace, providing all newcomers the chance to purchase materials for their next project, and also stay a while to learn from Englert and other guest speakers who will visit the shop for special events. 

While the site opened Sept. 13, Englert has already seen an influx of interest from the local community, specifically with the weekly craft night occurring every Wednesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. 

“It’s been really well-received and well-attended, and I think people are really excited to have a place to stitch and b****,” says Englert of the weekly event. “Anything you can work on in your lap, I’m happy to have it.”

Westlake Legal Group TINT-yarn-hanging Creatives find a home for their crafts with newly opened TINT in Falls Church workshops TINT Things to Do Textiles style store opening News & Updates local mom lifestyle life and style knitting home decor Events entrepreneur Culture Features Culture crochet Business arts art & design Art
Photo courtesy of Carissa Englert

Over the course of the next three months, Englert plans on hosting about six on-site events, teaching anything from fall-themed embroidery to quilt-making to keep you warm this winter. In November, Englert will lead a Visible Mending Class, where she will teach individuals how to add patches and unique stitches to worn out jeans, sweaters or other pieces of clothing. 

According to Englert, many yarn stores and similar concepts in the area have closed over the past few years, creating a bigger need for TINT. And for her, it’s all about bringing the community together through the arts. 

“The maker movement is so huge right now,” says Englert, “and this is my attempt to bring the community out of the woodwork for knitting, spinning, quilting and really a little bit of everything.” // TINT – A Modern Makerspace: 417 W. Broad St., Suite 100, Falls Church; prices vary

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Shaquille O’Neal: “Daryl Morey was right”

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Shaq might not do LeBron-scale business in China but he does plenty. Ernie Johnson makes a point of introducing him in the clip below by noting how often O’Neal travels there. There’s a 50-foot statue of Shaq in Beijing, for cripes sake.

So, as you watch, bear in mind that he’s leaving money on the table too by taking this position. Didn’t stop him from taking it.

His point is simple. We understand China’s values and look the other way at them, why can’t they do the same for us? If LeBron and Adam Silver can shrug off mass internment of religious minorities in concentration camps, the ChiCom government might reasonably be expected to shrug off one g-ddamned tweet by a team executive in support of Hong Kong. The reason this NBA/China standoff resonates is precisely because Americans on both sides of the aisle worry that Chinese economic power is pressuring American corporations like the NBA into following Chinese standards of free speech. That point seems to escape Johnson, who chides Morey for making trouble while there were NBA players in China (i.e. he turned them into rude guests), and Charles Barkley, who’s laser-focused on the bottom line. Barkley in particular can’t seem to see that the reason this has become a minor international incident isn’t because Morey made it one but because China did. They could have ignored his pro-Hong-Kong tweet. Instead they chose to seize on it and bludgeon the league with it to send the message that further dissent won’t be tolerated. All Chuck can do, seemingly, is cheer them on.

And that’s the other takeaway from this clusterfark. It’s not merely that the ChiComs are demanding silence from Americans about their political crises, it’s that they’ve coopted NBA personalities into taking the Chinese government’s position. Barkley places 100 percent of the blame for this incident on Morey, not an iota on Chinese totalitarianism, just as Beijing itself would. He also goes on and on about how poor LeBron James was unfairly forced to say something when James had nothing to do with Morey’s tweet. Remember what LeBron *did* say, though, once he finally chose to speak up — accusing Morey of not necessarily being “educated” about the politics of the Hong Kong situation. That’s a talking point straight from the Chinese government, aimed at marginalizing critics by painting them as somehow not seeing the nuance in a basic demand for human rights. If LeBron wanted to wimp out to protect his business interests by simply declining comment, he could have done that. Instead he took China’s side.

Which is what this is ultimately about. Shaq wants a live-and-let-live approach where China does what it wants and Americans say what they want and both sides live with it. China says no. Either Americans tacitly approve of their totalitarianism by maintaining total silence about it or they don’t do business with China. Barkley and James side with China. Simple as that.

Kudos to TNT for giving this topic some time on the season’s opening night, though. Meanwhile in China, the Lakers/Clippers game was aired — but the Raptors/Pelicans contest was not. The TV blackout of NBA games over there is still partially in effect, it seems. I guess airing the Lakers game was LeBron’s reward for choosing the right side.

The post Shaquille O’Neal: “Daryl Morey was right” appeared first on Hot Air.

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Interview. Leadsom accuses Benn and Letwin of undermining efforts to prepare businesses for Brexit.

Tomorrow, Andrea Leadsom will have been Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for three months. It’s no surprise which topic has dominated that time – and it was evident speaking to her yesterday afternoon that business readiness for Brexit continues to play on her mind:

“We’ve got pretty much big businesses ready for Brexit in all possible permutations…but then at the other end if the spectrum we’ve got small and medium-sized business, some of whom are saying: ‘I’m just so busy I don’t really have the time or the energy to actually go out and make preparations for a No Deal Brexit unless I’m absolutely certain that’s what’s going to happen’.”

She revealed her frustration that the job of ensuring the private sector is preparing itself for every eventuality is being made more difficult by events in Westminster, specifically as a result of the Benn Act:

“One of the fundamental problems we’ve had is since the Benn Act, the Surrender Act, what’s happened is for lots of businesses prior to that coming in around half of all businesses surveyed…thought before the Benn Act that No Deal was likely, but following the Benn Act that dropped to about a quarter… There’s no doubt that Parliament trying to prevent No Deal is actually ironically meaning some businesses are therefore just not preparing for it.”

Leadsom can recite by heart a long list of measures in place to support and encourage businesses to prepare – from BEIS helplines and grants to trade bodies, through to webinars and road shows. However:

“We’ve done a lot, and there’s a lot of help out there but we’re still concerned. Partly because Parliament has forced us to delay before, there are some businesses saying ‘Well we got ready at the end of March and Parliament didn’t let you leave, and so here we are coming up the end of October and the Benn Act again says you’re not going to leave.”

Asked whether the Letwin amendment and the Speaker’s intervention on Monday had added to that problem, she replied they had “definitely, definitely exacerbated it, yes. I’m doing everything I possibly can, and you’ll be detecting the frustration in my voice…that what Parliament is doing is discouraging businesses from taking the steps they need to take to be ready for Brexit.”

With the emergence of the Prime Minister’s surprise deal last week, she sees imminent hope of good economic news if it can be steered successfully through Parliament. Indeed she expects a ‘bounceback’ generated by businesses making decisions which they had postponed amid political uncertainty:

“I don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth…but certainly the very clear impression I have is that because this uncertainty is hampering investment and hiring and export decisions, by definition once we’ve got clarity, yes, I would expect there to be a bounceback from businesses. In the last few days, businesses I have met have been saying to me waiting to make an investment decision on x or y…we just need to know where we stand in order to make that decision.”

By implication, further delay by Parliament surely means a delay in unlocking those decisions.

In terms of post-Brexit policy, recent days have seen Labour MPs seek further guarantees from the Government in terms of regulation – does that amount to Leadsom’s policy flexibility being traded away for votes? She was keen to emphasise that “we want to be best in class” in terms of workers’ rights and environmental protection, dismissing “the politics of screaming at us across the Chamber that we’re trying to race to the bottom…that is absolutely not the case. We have some of the best rights for workers across the EU and some of the highest environmental regulations and we want to retain those.”

As a Leave campaigner, who did not exactly discourage comparisons to Margaret Thatcher when she stood for the Conservative Party leadership, the Business Secretary might surprise some by being relatively cool on the initial prospects for deregulation (though she similarly talked down the prospect of changing employment rules during the referendum itself):

“There isn’t an agenda that we want to divert from the EU for the sake of it. When we leave the EU we will have exactly the same rules and regulations, and there isn’t some ‘well let’s change it just because we can’. This is a case of wanting to be able as we move forward into the most extraordinary period of innovation…in areas like life sciences, technologies that take advantage of extraordinary opportunities in space, in productive gains right across our economy…we want to be able to regulate the same way as the EU where we want to do that but equally have better, stronger, more appropriate regulations where we want to. This isn’t some kind of agenda to deregulate, it’s an agenda to be free to improve and do better.”

Leadsom is not the only person who finds their thoughts moving hopefully to the prospect of a time in which Brexit is done and there is room once more to discuss other policies and ideas. Practically champing at the bit, she provided us with a tour through her plans for her brief beyond the B-word:

“I’ve set out three key priorities: the first one is the road to net zero, right up there as the top priority, leading the world in tackling climate change. The second priority is taking advantage of the extraordinary grand challenges that face us: life sciences giving everyone a longer and healthier life; fusion that will enable carbon-free electricity…different measures that will transform productivity, whether it’s robotics or Artificial Intelligence…that can enable us to become much more productive as an economy and I would hope to solve that productivity problem that has dogged us for over a decade…”

“…And then the third priority is to make the UK the best place in the world to work and to grow a business. The best place in the world to work because of our high standards, our commitment to workers’ rights, to greater flexibility, to providing more support for families, for bereaved parents, for protections for those returning from parental leave, and indeed for those who’ve got caring responsibilities for elderly relatives and so on. We want to strengthen the rights of workers, but we also want to support businesses…I’m very interested in the idea of a UK Development Bank that would help businesses to scale up to become the big brands of tomorrow, and would help to support many more small startups particularly female entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs, [and] people from different ethnic backgrounds to get onto the ladder of owning and starting and growing their own business.”

And how about life after the other B-word: Bercow. Given that the Speaker with whom she crossed swords as Leader of the House is due to belatedly depart in a matter of days, what is she looking for in his successor?

“I’m a huge fan of Eleanor Laing. She’s a very old friend of mine and I know very well her style, which is very calm, very reassuring. And I think she’s completely incorruptible, so she in my view is by far and away the best candidate.”

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Napolitano: Trump hosting the G7 at his own resort is a gross violation of the Emoluments Clause

Westlake Legal Group n-2 Napolitano: Trump hosting the G7 at his own resort is a gross violation of the Emoluments Clause Trump The Blog napolitano Megyn Kelly g7 fox emoluments doral clause Business

This is interesting on the merits but also interesting in that two of the most powerful platforms in right-wing media are promoting it.

I suppose one could argue that Trump handing the G7 to his own business isn’t a textbook emolument since it doesn’t really function as a bribe, which is what the constitutional ban is all about. We don’t want the president receiving fat envelopes from foreign dignitaries for fear that that’ll influence his views on foreign policy. Imagine if, say, the president of Ukraine could curry favor with POTUS by telling him that he recently paid for the privilege of staying in one of his luxurious properties in the United States. That would look like petty bribery! Hosting a summit of world leaders like the G7 where attendance by the member nations is compulsory doesn’t work the same way. The president is still enriched, but no one’s purchasing any special favor from him by being there.

It’s not even clear that Trump will profit from the event if in fact he ends up hosting the event at cost, as Mick Mulvaney claimed earlier today.

But of course Napolitano’s read is defensible too. By handing the G7 to Trump National Doral, Trump is brazenly using the leverage he has over foreign policy by dint of his office to line his own pockets with foreign government money. Profit might not be necessary; revenue might be enough. Even if there’s no profit, the PR generated for the resort by its role in the G7 is doubtless worth millions. The corruption is so flagrant, the optics are so poor, that Pelosi and Nadler must be tempted to add it to the eventual articles of impeachment as a gross violation of the Emoluments Clause. That would complicate their messaging on impeachment since it’s supposed to be all about Ukraine and quid pro quos, but the public is likely to view his G7 move as so blatantly improper that there’s really no downside to Dems in tossing it in there. At the very least, it’ll force Senate Republicans to offer some uncomfortable explanations after they acquit Trump as to why self-dealing on this scale somehow doesn’t warrant removal from office.

I mean, look at what this poor defeated chump has been reduced to in order to cover for the president:

There are no other properties in the state of Florida that might have sufficed for the G7 and which wouldn’t have involved fattening up the president’s bank account, Marco? Between this and how he spun Trump’s comments a few weeks ago about China investigating Hunter Biden, it’s clear that Rubio has essentially checked out of politics. He’ll defend Trump dutifully as needed but his defenses will be conspicuously phoned-in.

Like I say, the clip is also interesting for how it’s being promoted. With Shep Smith’s departure, one might have expected the Fox networks to begin steering towards even more ardent Trump-worship. And it would have been fair to assume that Andrew Napolitano, whose comments about Trump ignited the Shep/Tucker spat that led to Smith leaving, might either lie low or tone it down. Nope: Here’s Napolitano swinging away on Fox Business with full encouragement from Neil Cavuto, who, if anything, may be turning more aggressive in challenging Trump spin now that Shep is gone. So Fox is willing to let its personnel punish Trump for the G7 thing. And Matt Drudge is willing to help: As I write this at 6:45 p.m. ET, this very clip is highlighted in red font at the top of the Drudge Report, the latest example of surprisingly harsh coverage of Trump on a webpage that normally leans right. Is Drudge pro-impeachment? Or is Drudge reacting in this particular instance to the fact that Trump awarding the G7 to his own property is egregiously, cartoonishly improper, maybe anticipating that his readers will be outraged too?

By the way, speaking of Fox, Megyn Kelly’s return to the network last night on Tucker Carlson’s show drew bombshell ratings, crushing even Hannity and Rachel Maddow with more than four million viewers. Conveniently, Fox is now looking for a news anchor to host Shep’s 3 p.m. slot. Hmmm!

The post Napolitano: Trump hosting the G7 at his own resort is a gross violation of the Emoluments Clause appeared first on Hot Air.

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Apple Has Sided With China, Told It’s AppleTV+ Creators to Not Anger China In Their Programming

Westlake Legal Group f5da8045-1024-4ec0-8215-f5a719eed595-620x317 Apple Has Sided With China, Told It’s AppleTV+ Creators to Not Anger China In Their Programming Politics Hong Kong Front Page Stories Featured Story Entertainment communications China Censorship Business & Economy Business apps AppleTv apple Allow Media Exception

For a “forward-facing” company, the tech giant has been embracing some pretty backward principles in its obedience to the Chinese government.

Not only has Apple deleted apps such as the Hong Kong police tracker app at the demand of China, but apparently when Apple was developing shows for its AppleTV+ lineup in 2018, show creators were given specific instructions not to anger China when creating their program.

According to BuzzFeed News, Apple wanted to stay in China’s good graces above all:

In early 2018 as development on Apple’s slate of exclusive Apple TV+ programming was underway, the company’s leadership gave guidance to the creators of some of those shows to avoid portraying China in a poor light, BuzzFeed News has learned. Sources in position to know said the instruction was communicated by Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of internet software and services, and Morgan Wandell, its head of international content development. It was part of Apple’s ongoing efforts to remain in China’s good graces after a 2016 incident in which Beijing shut down Apple’s iBooks Store and iTunes Movies six months after they debuted in the country.

BuzzFeed reports that this is hardly uncommon either, noting from one app creator that to have your app removed from Apple’s app store all that has to happen is for Apple to get one phone call from China about it:

“We just get a phone call from Apple and they say ‘We just got a call from the Chinese government’ and five minutes later our app is off the App Store,” one US technology executive told BuzzFeed News. “It’s not a line of communication that would be open to any discussion.”

“They have so much market power in general and they wield that pretty indiscriminately,” the US technology executive said of Apple.

The bottom line here isn’t just that China is wielding power indiscriminately, it’s wielding power indiscriminately within some of our major corporations which we rely on every day. Corporations that primarily deal with our communication, entertainment, and digital tools.

This is a pretty dangerous combination, given that in our technologically advanced age, we deal heavily with these things. If China can directly dictate what our communications companies say and do, then they are dictating us. Whether we like it or not, we also live under Chinese rule.

News is censored, and our entertainment, whether it deals with China or not, has a pro-Chinese bent. What’s more, what happens when China gets it into its head that it can begin reworking scripts to not just stay neutral or harmless to China but to actually create content that promotes it.

Apple has already demonstrated that it’s willing to ask “how high” when China orders it to jump. Who says that it won’t begin demanding programming be more complementary to China.

The post Apple Has Sided With China, Told It’s AppleTV+ Creators to Not Anger China In Their Programming appeared first on RedState.

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David Gauke: Whatever briefings from Downing Street may claim, an election fought on a No Deal platform would be disastrous

David Gauke is a former Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, and is MP for South West Hertfordshire.

How much has the Conservative Party changed? To what extent has it moved from being a mainstream, centre-right party containing a broad range of views to being a party overwhelmingly focused on delivering an uncompromising Brexit?

It is a question I have asked myself a lot in recent months. Having fought off a deselection attempt because I opposed a No Deal Brexit, and having lost the Conservative whip because I continued to oppose a No Deal Brexit, it is hard to escape the conclusion that quite a lot of Conservatives disapprove of people who oppose a No Deal Brexit. Has the debate become so rancorous and intolerant that there is no longer a place for the likes of me in the Conservative Party?

The answer to that question is uncertain, but I took some encouragement from the Manchester Party conference.
I admit to attending with some trepidation. My position on Brexit is evidently a minority one within the Party. I have not sought to hide my criticisms of the substance and tone of the Government’s approach to Brexit. And I have not ruled out standing in my constituency as an independent if the whip is not returned. If ever I was going to get a hard time from Party activists, now would be the time.

And yet, at fringe event after fringe event, Party members were courteous and polite. Andrew Gimson generously wrote up my appearance at the ConservativeHome event, but a similar report could have been written for those I did with the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator. Don’t get me wrong: I am not claiming that I won the audiences over to my position – the occasional eye-roll, sigh and shake of the head was detectable – but nor was there anything like the hostility one might expect if, for example, you ever read the comments below one of my ConHome articles.

In truth, the Conservative Party felt – in those fringe meetings, at least – very similar to the party of which I have been a member for 29 years. Sensible, practical, well-meaning and decent.

I also take some encouragement from the apparent, new-found enthusiasm within the Government to reach a deal on Brexit. In previous columns, I have argued that seeking a deal and being willing to compromise is the right approach. That view would appear to be in the ascendant at the time of writing.

Until recently, an alternative approach appeared to be prevailing which seemed determined to crash us out on  October 31 at any cost. I have previously acknowledged the electoral case for this strategy, but in terms of the outcome for the country, it is thoroughly irresponsible. As such, it is also a huge departure from the modern traditions of the Conservative Party.

Let me give seven examples of principles that most Conservatives would support. I would happily sign up to each and every one of them but I struggle to reconcile them with those pursuing a No Deal Brexit at any cost.

  • We believe that living standards can only be raised and public services properly funded if you have a strong economy.

It is the argument that we have to fight at every election when our opponents make great promises but we respond by pointing out that we have to create the wealth in the first place if we properly want to fund the NHS, for example. Yet the overwhelming economic consensus is that No Deal Brexit would result in a sharp contraction in GDP. And before anyone rushes to claim that this is all a re-run of 2016’s ‘Project Fear’, remember our economy is 2.5-3 per cent smaller than it would have been had Remain won.

  • We believe in free trade.

Open markets benefit both our exporters but also our consumers. This has not always been the Conservative position but, thankfully, it has been for some time. And I know that there are plenty of Brexiteers who are sincere free traders and think that Brexit provides great new opportunities for bringing down trade barriers.

Unfortunately, it is simply not true. The Government’s analysis shows the benefit of getting trade deals with all the English-speaking nations and the major emerging economies will be just 0.2 to 0.6 per cent of GDP whereas the loss of access to European markets of a Canada-style free trade agreement (let alone a no deal Brexit) will be 4 to 7 per cent of GDP. The net effect of a No Deal Brexit or even a Canada style FTA will be to make our economy less open and more protectionist.

  • We believe in fiscal responsibility.

This was the battleground of British politics from 2009 to 2015 when we made the case for getting the deficit down. The contraction of the British economy will inevitably result in deteriorating public finances. Add to that a political strategy which focuses on winning the support of traditional Labour voters which has meant that we are almost certainly already breaking our fiscal rules.  Remember when we criticised Labour for more borrowing and more debt?

  • We don’t believe that the Government should bail-out unviable industries or businesses.

As a statement, this sounds like a bit of a throw-back to the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher weaned the country off supporting lame-duck businesses. But what do we think would happen when businesses no longer became viable because of the impact of No Deal? The pressure to provide support ‘in order to deal with the temporary disruption’ will be immense. The Government has already prepared for this with Operation Kingfisher but removing that support will be very difficult politically. There is a risk that our economy will become much more corporatist than any time since the 1970s.

  • We believe in our national institutions – Parliament, the monarchy and the independent judiciary.

This should go without saying but when Number Ten briefs that the next election will be people versus Parliament, that the Prime Minister will ‘dare the Queen to sack him’, that the judiciary is biased and that the Government will not comply with the law, we don’t sound very conservative (to put it mildly).

  • We believe in national security and ensuring that we do all we can to protect our citizens from terrorism.

And yet a ‘source in No 10’ says we will withhold security co-operation from those countries that fail to block an extension. Meanwhile, the former head of MI6 says that our security depends upon co-operation with the EU and that leaving without a deal means we will have to ‘start again with a blank sheet of paper’. In addition, it is hard to see how any ‘no deal’ outcome doesn’t destabilise the Good Friday Agreement one way or another. The Prime Minister, it is reported, is increasingly concerned about the risk of an upsurge in terrorist activities by dissident republican groups.

  • We believe in the United Kingdom.

It is obvious that Brexit is placing a strain on the union. A No Deal Brexit would be likely to result in a border poll in Northern Ireland, especially with Stormont not sitting and some form of direct rule being necessary. As for Scotland, the chaos of a No Deal Brexit provides plenty of ammunition for the separatists.

Not every Conservative voter will agree with every single one of those principles, or my criticisms of a No Deal Brexit. But a Conservative Party that fights a general election with No Deal at its heart must know that it will be pursuing an approach that is such a radical departure from the traditions of the Conservative Party and that it is vulnerable to losing the support of millions of our longstanding supporters.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Says His Anti-Gun Crusade Has Cost the Company a Quarter Billion Dollars

Westlake Legal Group rsz_4467a8c0-39c9-487b-9e9c-64823f6ffc37-620x388 Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Says His Anti-Gun Crusade Has Cost the Company a Quarter Billion Dollars Politics Guns gun control Front Page Stories Ed Stack Dick's Sporting Goods Business & Economy Business ar-15 Allow Media Exception 2A

After the Parkland shooting, Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack made a very big show of being a pro-gun control advocate by announcing that he refused to sell any more AR-15’s from his stores. He even began launching campaigns to promote AR-15 bans.

Sure enough, the move cost him dearly.

While appearing on CBS Sunday Morning, Stack mentioned just how much the company had lost thanks to Stack’s virtue signal.

“About a quarter of a billion,” Stack replied. “Pretty close.”

Stack said that he had anticipated losing that much money, including the $5 million worth of AR-15’s he destroyed within his company’s inventory.

“I said, ‘You know what? If we really think these things should be off the street, we need to destroy them,’” he told CBS about the move.

According to Stephen Gutowski at the Washington Free Beacon, Stack’s expectations that he would lose a lot of money thanks to the company’s stance under his leadership was something he had factored in:

That is consistent with Stack’s previous statements on the losses associated with his decision. In the company’s 2018 annual report, he wrote that gun sales were a “sizeable part” of Dick’s business and that his push for the company to support new gun control laws significantly hurt that business. However, this did not make him reconsider his decision to use company resources to lobby for gun control and to remove certain guns from stores.

“The hunting category is a sizeable part of our business; however, there has been an overall slowdown in sales in this category since the announcement of our new firearms policy,” the annual report read. “Despite this, we continue to believe that implementing this new policy is the right decision for our athletes and our communities. In fact, if we could go back and revisit it, we would still make the same choice today.”

While gun sales have been down overall, they’re recently beginning to shoot back up thanks to Democrats targeting guns, such as Robert “Beto” O’Rourke’s “hell yes we’re going to take your AR-15” comment. This is likely going to cause a bigger dent in the company’s bottom line.

Stack has indicated that he’s thinking about pulling the company away from any gun sales whatsoever. How this will affect the company remains to be seen, but it’s likely that it won’t end well.


The post Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Says His Anti-Gun Crusade Has Cost the Company a Quarter Billion Dollars appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group rsz_4467a8c0-39c9-487b-9e9c-64823f6ffc37-300x188 Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Says His Anti-Gun Crusade Has Cost the Company a Quarter Billion Dollars Politics Guns gun control Front Page Stories Ed Stack Dick's Sporting Goods Business & Economy Business ar-15 Allow Media Exception 2A   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com