Robot threat can be countered by Green New Deal

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/26/the-rise-of-the-robots-brings-threats-and-opportunities

Robots

The rise of the robots brings threats and opportunities

Guardian Letters

Monday27th November 2017

• Your editorial on productivity and robots repeated the cliche that automation does cost jobs, but more are created. The problem with this is that the new jobs are frequently in different places from where they are lost and require very different skills, hence exacerbating the problems for the “left behind”. Also unmentioned was that just as this automation is starting to really bite, the world faces a strong possibility of another serious credit-induced economic downturn, from China to the UK. Thus we have the potential of the prefect storm of domestic unemployment soaring and export markets falling as happened after the 2008 economic slump.

The answer to these problems has to be a shift of emphasis to rebuilding the local economy by prioritising labour-intensive sectors that are difficult to automate and impossible to relocate abroad. Two sectors are key: face-to-face caring from medicine, education and elderly care through to carbon-reducing national infrastructural renewal. This should range from making the UK’s 30m buildings energy efficient, constructing new low-carbon dwellings and rebuilding local public transport links. Funding could come from fairer taxes, the availability for savers of investments in local authority bonds and green Isas and a massive new green infrastructure QE programme. The reason this approach must become central to all political parties and their next election manifestos is the crucial vote winning mantra of “jobs in absolutely every constituency”.
Colin Hines
Convenor, UK Green New Deal Group https://www.greennewdealgroup.org/

Reverse EU free movement AND Brexit: Guardian Letter, Brave New Europe, brilliant Deborah Orr piece

Reverse EU free movement AND Brexit: Guardian Letter, Brave New Europe, brilliant Deborah Orr piece

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/14/free-movement-of-people-raises-real-concerns 

Free movement of people raises real concerns

Letters
Wednesday 15 November 2017
What those who want to remain in a reformed EU that lessens people’s insecurity must grasp is that Brexit voters don’t want an apology, they want policies to deal with their desire for managed migration. What is still inadequately understood is that the one Continue reading

Progressive Parties in the UK Must Now Address the Immigration Challenge Head On if Brexit is to be Avoided

Progressive Parties in the UK Must Now Address the Immigration Challenge Head On if Brexit is to be Avoided

Immigration was the dominant issue for voters in the 2016 Referendum demanding that UK politicians should ‘take back control’ of our borders from the EU.

Since then, however, Brexit discussions have focussed on the so-called ‘divorce issues’, with immigration apparently off the agenda. This has allowed Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens to keep their heads down on what remains the highly controversial issue of immigration.

A hard-hitting paper from Jonathon Porritt and Colin Hines suggests that this is very unwise. Public opinion on Brexit continues to soften, but any serious prospect of avoiding a ‘hard Brexit’ (which remains a critical priority for all progressive parties), let alone of rejecting Brexit altogether, depends on decisively addressing UK voters’ concerns about immigration.

Jonathon Porritt: “Progressive parties have already paid a high price, across Europe, by allowing right-wing and populist parties to manipulate citizens’ concerns about high levels of immigration coming into and moving between EU countries. All EU countries are now wrestling with this ongoing dilemma, with the majority of their citizens demanding that their governments should indeed manage immigration far more rigorously – in effect, taking back more control of their borders. Progressive parties are now duty bound to develop much smarter, compassionate policies to achieve precisely that.”

Colin Hines: “What is inadequately understood is that political discussions about reinterpreting ‘freedom of movement’ to allow nation states to manage migration is already taking place across Europe. Such an emphasis in the UK would strengthen support for a ‘No Brexit’ position, as the public is becoming increasingly uneasy about the present state of negotiations on leaving the EU.”

As the paper highlights, 2017 elections in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic have made this a pivotal issue for all centre left and Green parties, in a way that can no longer be ignored or deferred. And there are already welcome signals that both Labour and the Lib Dems are beginning to move in this direction as well, but they need to move far faster and far more proactively than is currently the case. As indeed does the Green Party.

Both Jonathon Porritt and Colin Hines believe that Brexit can be avoided, but that this will only happen when all three political parties address the immigration issue head on, reassuring people that we really can and must take back more control over our borders.

 

‘The Progressive Case for Taking Control of EU Immigration – and Avoiding Brexit in the Process’

 

Jonathon Porritt and I have written this report both to address some ‘taboo territory’ for the progressive left and many greens – and to start to undo some of the damage caused by the 2016 Referendum.

Background to the report by Jonathon Porritt

“Anyone who cares about progressive politics has to get real about immigration.”

That’s a quote from Colin Hines, a very good friend of mine. Colin’s work has been ignored and overlooked for far too long by far too many. In January, he published his latest e-book, ‘Progressive Protectionism: Taking Back Control’, and I think Colin would be the first to agree that it has not, as yet, turned out to be a publishing sensation!

His book addresses the four basic ‘freedoms’ on which so much of the EU’s philosophy and policy is based: Freedom of movement for capital, for goods, for services, and for people. As it happens, I don’t share Colin’s fundamental hostility to the movement of goods and services, but on both capital and people, we are pretty much in the same place.

This publication focusses on the freedom of movement for EU citizens. With his permission, roughly half of the raw material for it has been taken from Colin’s e-book, but I have re-ordered it, re-purposed it, and then added a lot of my own stuff. But I do urge you to have a look at Colin’s full protectionist argument in all its unvarnished (and much more provocative!) glory:

http://progressiveprotectionism.com/wordpress/

Free Movement of people- dystopian recruiter for the extreme right, bad for country of origin, and rejected by majority in rich host nations

 

Guardian Letters

Wednesday 18 October 2017

• Gary Younge’s dystopian view of a world with no curbs on migration will increase the rise of the anti-immigrant right, as was seen on Sunday in Austria (Austrian elections won by conservative accused of playing the far right’s game, 16 October). It is time to stop always seeing migration just in terms

of the rights of generally more affluent migrants. The rights of the original host country not to lose permanently their brightest and best must also warrant consideration, as should the views of the majority in the recipient counties who want less migration. The major cause of population growth in most rich countries is now immigration. This has led to well-founded public concerns about uncontrolled mass migration. A Gallup poll showed that about 630 million of the world’s adults would like to leave their country and move somewhere else permanently, with 42 million expressing a preference for the UK, a destination second only to the US.

If net migration continues at about recent levels, then the UK population is expected to rise by nearly 8 million people in 15 years, almost the equivalent of the population of Greater London (8.7 million). Population growth is projected to approach 80 million in 25 years and keep rising. Younge is right that nation states are a recent phenomena and mass migration is as old as humanity. But because of domestic pressures, the nation state will increasingly make large-scale permanent migration a thing of the past. The question will be: will their governments inevitably be rightwing or will progressive politicians grasp this rational political inevitability.
Colin Hines
(Author of Progressive Protectionism), London

Brave New Europe covers Reversing Brexit with a ‘Treaty of Home’

 

 Colin Hines – Reversing Brexit with a ‘Treaty of Home’

Brave New Europe September 21, 2017

 

 

In the Brexit debate opponents to Britain leaving the EU are seeking solutions to create an improved and updated European Union addressing the problems that have not only caused Brexit, but much disillusionment within the EU – one in which even the principle of freedom of movement would be modified. Colin Hines offers a solution and a new EU Treaty, the ‘Treaty of Home’ Continue reading

Green spending could help rescue UK and the ‘left behind’ after debt crash

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/sep/04/green-spending-could-help-rescue-uk-after-debt-crash

 

Green spending could help rescue UK after debt crash

A £50bn-a-year green infrastructure quantitative easing programme is feasible, say Prof Richard Murphy and Colin Hines

 

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has opened the way to a possible Green New Deal, write Richard Murphy and Colin Hines. alt=”Bank of England governor Mark Carney,” itemprop=contentUrl v:shapes=”_x0000_i1025″>

Letters

Tuesday 5th September 2017

Zoe Williams is right: another credit crunch-induced “crash” is likely and the only affordable rescue package will be some form of quantitative easing (With Britain’s addition to debt, another crash is certain, 4 September). This time it must generate jobs for the “left behind” and others, rather than today’s beneficiaries – the property- and share-owning rich. The Green New Deal group showed the potential of such an approach in its proposal for a £50bn-a-year green infrastructure QE programme.

This would pay to make the UK’s 28m dwellings and 2m commercial and public sector buildings super energy efficient, dramatically reducing energy bills, fuel poverty and greenhouse gas emissions. It could also tackle the housing crisis by building affordable, highly insulated homes, predominantly on brownfield sites. This form of QE would provide job security and local business opportunities in every constituency, since its infrastructure improvements would take place across the UK.

Such an approach is feasible, since the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, in responding to questions from Green New Deal group member Caroline Lucas MP, is on record as saying that if the government requested it, QE could be used to buy assets other than government debt. He and the government should work on this jobs-everywhere approach. If they don’t, Labour could be on to a winner with its “peoples QE” proposal to fund economic improvements nationwide.
Prof Richard Murphy
City University, London 
Colin Hines 
Convenor, UK Green New Deal Group

A new chant for Corbyn’s pro-Europe supporters: “No Brexit … Jer-em-y Cooorbyn”.

 

Guardian Letters

Monday 24 July 2017

• The EU itself is under enormous internal pressure to renounce neoliberalism, as anti-austerity sentiment grows across the continent, along with the questioning of the free flow of people. Such shifts could make a call for managed migration within the EU more plausible, hence addressing the major reason for Brexit. “Remain and reform” would keep us part of a continent powerful enough to stand up to international capital, compared to a Brexit Britain, battered and bullied into submission by such forces. Continue reading

Time for Labour to champion a ‘No Brexit’ position

 

Time for Labour to champion a ‘No Brexit’ position

Guardian Letters

Wednesday 13 July 2017

Tempting as it is for Labour to let the Tories dangle on a noose of their own hubristic making (May appeals to Labour for policy ideas, 10 July), they should instead use Theresa May’s call for policy ideas as an impetus to sort out their own Brexit vulnerability. Promising to protect jobs while having managed migration was a successful election wheeze and minimised the Continue reading

Before next election Labour must replace its ‘cake and eat it’ Brexit for ‘No Brexit’

Before next election Labour must replace its ‘cake and eat it’ Brexit for ‘No Brexit’

 New Statesman Correspondence

23-29 JUNE 2017

Jason Cowley (Editor’s Note, 16th June) is right to call for someone to say “No Brexit”. That someone should be the Labour Party. During the election, Labour was able to get away with a Boris-like “cake and eat it” approach by saying it wanted to have managed migration and have all the advantages of access to the Single Market without membership. That probably succeeded in ensuring that the flow of voters who had shifted from Labour to Ukip did not vote Tory. Instead they liked Labour’s manifesto and it sounded like the party was anyway going to do something about controlling immigration.

This studied ambiguity won’t survive a new election and to strengthen its position it should take note of Michael Heseltine recent suggestion that Macron and Merkel might team up to offer a deal on immigration such that the UK could stay in the EU. Were Labour to champion such an approach, the party could show its support for internationalism by bringing to an end the permanent theft of the brightest and the best from generally poorer European countries.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Hines

Twickenham Middlesex