Geo-Politics

London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence Street

It may have been long overdue (like the pun there?), but the UK Prime Minister’s decision to call a general election this morning was a piece of political masterclass and a bold, calculated gamble.

By calling a general election Theresa May is attempting to resolve several major headaches at once, assuming that she is successful: Firstly, the move creates political certainty in the UK at a time where it is sorely needed. Secondly, the move will end questions around the Theresa May’s political support within the party itself and lastly it will strengthen the UK’s negotiating hand with the EU.

If the Conservatives win (especially by an increased margin), then Theresa May will have a clear mandate for her Brexit negotiation strategy. This will give investors, businesses and political leaders a greater sense of what the UK will choose to prioritise and a clearer idea of which figures will manage the UK’s transition from a full EU member state to an independent nation. Assuming that the PM will stay for a full five-year term, the Conservatives would govern until 2022, giving them the ability to handle the transition after Brexit as well and a chance to resolve any outstanding issues with EU members, the WTO and Scotland.
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London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence Street

Since I have been able to talk and read I have always had opinions, but I have always been inspired by listening to others and learning anything and everything I can get my hands on. I don’t know why I felt that writings these opinions, often tempered with good arguments and advice from friends, was something I should do, but we all have our thoughts and ideas so here are a few of mine.

I hope you enjoy……….

For about twenty years it seemed as though life was simpler. The European continent largely avoided any major wars, prosperity recovered after a series of economic challenges, the world become more multicultural, and technological innovations flourished. However, even then the signs of future challenges were clear. New ideas about how society should function were gaining popularity and nation states worried that their culture and identity were under threat by malign foreign influences.

If any of this sounds familiar, it shouldn’t. This was 1820-1840.

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London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence Street

Since I have been able to talk and read I have always had opinions, but I have always been inspired by listening to others and learning anything and everything I can get my hands on. I don’t know why I felt that writings these opinions, often tempered with good arguments and advice from friends, was something I should do, but we all have our thoughts and ideas so here are a few of mine.

I hope you enjoy……….

Given the timing of Prime Minister May’s speech on BREXIT and general anxiousness about what may happen next, I have attempted to summarise and analyse the insights I have gleamed on the process over the last year below.

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Since I have been able to talk and read I have always had opinions, but I have always been inspired by listening to others and learning anything and everything I can get my hands on. I don’t know why I felt that writings these opinions, often tempered with good arguments and advice from friends, was something I should do, but we all have our thoughts and ideas so here are a few of mine.

I hope you enjoy.

London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence Street

It is easy as a commentator on events to assume that we have a unique perspective or insight that people will benefit from reading. After all, if we didn’t believe our opinions were of interest we would hardly be sharing them. But what is often forgotten when we write pieces is the reader themselves. It is easy to fixate on the issues which we are passionate about, to analyse every scrap of detail under the most forensic microscopes we are able to acquire and to wax lyrical on the importance of the issue we are discussing. What it is harder to do is to create something that is relevant, that is interesting, that is inspiring and that is thought provoking. It is for this reason that the default subject of articles often becomes current events and specifically critiques of current politics, people and passions. But while this may be easy and often immensely enjoyable for the writer, it often leaves the readers despondent, overwhelmed and occasionally depressed.

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London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence Street

A guide to what “Brexit means Brexit” is, and a roadmap to reconciliation

In recent British political discourse there have been few more controversial and misunderstood statements than Theresa May’s position that “Brexit means Brexit”. Understanding these three words has become an obsession for business, the public and politicians. The phrase has created uncertainty, fear and anger, but the statement is much simpler than people believe. Given the importance of this issue, here is an attempt to explain it, along with a guide for how we can lower the heat in British public discourse and start to reconcile our clearly divided country.

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London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence Street

Another day, another loss. As commemorations and mourning begins for the victims in Belgium, a numbness has settled across Europe. Things weren’t supposed to be like this anymore. The world was supposed to be different. Europe was supposed to be different.

Like many of my friends I found the latest attacks upsetting, but no longer shocking. We have seen the images before and seen the same motions performed by our leaders, individuals in our social media circle and figures in our respective communities. As sad as it may be, it seems that a dawning realisation has settled across Europe that these attacks are no longer “abnormal”, but rather a new normal.

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The View from Lawrence Street Blog by Christopher Jackson

To kick off the 2016 period, I thought I’d share some thoughts on the world as things stand and offer some predictions for the year.

Missing Billionaires, a lost election in Taiwan, abducted Hong Kong Journalists, a public rebuke to George Soros and suggestions that China’s economy may be growing at nearer 2.4% than 6%….2016 is certainly an interesting time to watch the Middle Kingdom. For my two cents the Chinese seem spooked, but their actions appear to be precautionary measures rather than those driven from a general fear that all hell will break loose. Expect more bad news and panics in the market, but that is unlikely to reflect a true collapse in the Chinese economy and a “hard landing” is still far from predictable.

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London Skyline for View from Lawrence Street

Yesterday, Wednesday the 2nd of December, the United Kingdom formally approved plans to strike Daesh/ISIS targets in Syria. The vote in the House of Commons was a resounding majority in favour of action, with over 60 defections from the Labour party, led by Hillary Benn, whose speech is being touted as one of the great speeches of the House of Commons itself.

Yet the vote has re-awakened in the UK the debate about the nation’s role in foreign wars, and specifically whether we should be militarily involved in the Middle East at all.

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London Skyline for View from Lawrence Street

As a wise friend remarked to me recently, in Chinese the word crisis represents both danger and opportunity. Given the situation France finds itself in today, I can find no better word to describe its predicament.

The horrific loss of life in Paris (not forgetting Lebanon’s worst terrorist attack since 1990 or the Baghdad bombings), have shaken Europe out of its coma and into a sense of urgency. French solidarity across Europe is overwhelming and while a nation finishes its period of national mourning there is a question that remains to be answered. What does France do next?

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