Derek Long's blog

The Long View on ... the 2020 Budget

O Lucky Man !

Cardinal Mazarin (not Napoleon) valued lucky generals over skilful ones. Rishi Sunak appears to be a very lucky Chancellor indeed*.

a) He's jumped a generation to get into No 11 - without having to make any enemies to get there

b) He's arrived at the first moment in 15-plus years when, as a Chancellor, he can really open the spending taps at “£30 billion”

c) Covid19's impact on the economy is a get-out-of-jail free card from the money markets and commentators1 for spending without worrying about the consequences for now

"Wir können es schaffen! - We can do it!"

"Wir können es schaffen! - We can do it!" was the message of hope sent by arc⁴'s Derek Long to an Austrian National Housing Federation national conference.

On the back foot since the coming to power of a Conservative/Far Right coalition in December, housing associations in Austria are concerned about their future, whilst former government members the Austrian Socialist Party SPÖ are looking for ideas for their future policy. Follow the link to Derek's short analysis of UK housing since 2010 and the possible policies the Austrian sector might consider.

It’s the End of the World as we know it?

It is over 18 months since Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum, in a deeply prescient piece, announced that the World could be only “two or three bad elections” away from the end of NATO, the EU and maybe the “liberal world order as we know it”. So, with the German Federal election safety negotiated, can we listen again to the REM track with the same sense of amused detachment? Sadly, no.

TINA and the Nays have it

Don’t believe what you’ve heard, the 2017 Election result was completely decisive.

And the overwhelming winner was … the Nein Danke Party
- Labour amassed a 10% vote rise on the Austerity - No Thanks ticket.
- The Tories amassed a larger vote (and now an arrangement with the DUP) on the Anyone But Jezza platform.
- In Scotland, the Tories gained 12 seats via the No More Referenda gambit.
- In Northern Ireland, politics reached the end of a 45 year trajectory, with the No compromise parties now occupying 17 of the 18 seats.

Letat est Emannuel

• A big swing to M. Blanc and Mme Abstention
- A quarter of voters stayed at home (or went away – it’s a Bank Holiday today!)
- The French Left abstained in 1969, when George Pompidou (ironically, not the centrist candidate, geddit ?!) defeated a Liberal to replace De Gaulle.
- Ok the level of abstention was (a bit) lower than the 1969, but this confirms with my observation of two weeks ago, that the electorate is not happy with its choices.

It’s not what you do. It’s the way that you do it!

• The Electorate has rejected Right-wing policies
No, I haven’t got that wrong. The Conservative and UKIP share of the vote fell by 5% since 2013. But the key to first past the post elections is the distribution of votes. May’s Hard Brexit stance has consolidated the right of centre votes. However, progressive voters, whose total exceeded the Right’s, are split 60/40 and so are undercutting each other. As the Bananarama almost had it: It’s not how you vote. It’s the way that you do it. And that’s what gets results.

Thunderbolt and lightning: Messages from France for the UK General Election

arc⁴ Director, Derek Long, highlights what the French Presidential Election can tell us about the result of our own June 8th contest

Le Pen’s second place shows the limitations for the harder right
- Le Pen’s second place does not presage a UKIP surge
- This has all happened before when the left was divided and Le Pen Père got through in 2002. He lost by a mere 83% to 17% to the revamped Gaulliste, Chirac.
- The worrying news for Labour’s heartlands is that some of Le Pen’s support comes from Trumpian post-industrial voters in the former metal bashing regions.

arc⁴ Director interviewed on Korean Housing Market outlook

With Korea firmly on the world stage again, Derek Long was interviewed by Asian Property News for his insight into its unique property market.

- After a major dip in the housing market in 2013, have things begun to improve, or have recent problems - presidential corruption, threats from DPRK, a shift in US policy away from Asia - exacerbated the problem?