3Cdo Brigade – New role new future

Tough times for the Commandos in the last decade. The SDR98 ambition built up 3Cdo into a force that could launch a brigade across a beach and then conduct combined-arms maneuvre warfare ashore. Afghanistan and Iraq fattened-up a lean ‘marine’ force into just another roulement brigade to be cycled through the War on Terror, and SDSR10/15 cut the ‘legs’ away from 3Cdo in shedding the RN and RFA ships that made them ‘amphibious’. The final nail is the proliferation of near-peer aversaries fielding anti-access area denial (A2AD) weapons that push traditional amphibious capabilies so far off-shore they no longer have any strategic effect on-shore. So things weren’t looking good…

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But perhaps the tide has turned.

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Meaningful votes 1-4 – Where do you stand?

The purpose of Brexit is democratic self governance. Explicitly this requires the ability to diverge in legal and regulatory terms. Implicitly, this suggests a desire to diverge from our present trajectory. In terms of the UK leaving the EU and yet retaining a trading reltionship, this dilemma revolves around the single market; flanking policies, services, and goods. The EEA in short. This dilemma exists because of the maximalist interpretation of ‘no hard border’ and and eu insistence on the absolute ‘integrity of the single market’. In consequence, this frames the offer from the EU as EEA+CU.

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So where do you fall on this, looking across the 2019 with the (soon to be) four MV’s?

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WA/PD – Shenanigans in search of EEA

Leaving under the Withdrawal Agreement / Political Declaration leaves the Services Industry with a problem: The new relationship resulting from the PD will be based off the template of the WA, and that does not include Services. So any new Services relationship will be starting from scratch, which will reduce access compared to the status-quo, increase uncertainty, and result in investment/jobs being redirected to other regulatory environments to maximise the efficiency of those organisation. Bummer.

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But I don’t believe this justifies immediately junking the WA/PD in favour of Norway+:

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Yeah, you know that Department for International Trade?

I’ve long had a nagging suspicion that Liam Fox has the unrewarding task of setting up a fiefdom that exists only to scrapped as a bargaining chip in the great brexit unwinding. Customs Unions are dangerous beasts, but they don’t do much damage – sovereignty wise – in and of themselves.

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That is if we are to consider Customs Unions as separate from Single Markets.

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A Parting Gift – The ECR and the Visegrad+

More a case of putting down a marker for posterity…. but, have you noticed what a comfy looking home the ECR must look to fringe european nationalists? For all the approbrium that has been heaped on the ECR, it has often been the big mainstream parties that have have opened their doors to europes nuttier political parties. PES and EPP in particular, but this musing is about the latter of those two.

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Perhaps we’re reaching the point where the EPP will cease to be a useful shield…

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Merkron – Representation? We’ve heard of it.

Germany will regret this CDU(CSU)/SPD coalition if it survives first contact with the electorate. And France may well suffer Post-messiah-stress-disorder, just as the US did when hopes and dreams turned in mass-disillusionment. Both are problems caused by a lack of representation. Or, more precisely, a political discourse that disregards the importance of Representation.

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A theme this blog has come back time and again since 2010.

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Vega Gigahertz Edition at GDC – Not quite as versatile

Continueing my dubious legacy of AMD related tech predictions – I give you the Vega Gigahertz Edition! It almost certainly won’t sport the moniker “Gigahertz Edition”, but it will in many ways mirror the re-release of the 7970 some six years ago. It’s what you do when you don’t have anything new in a market that expects a twelve month product cycle.

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This is not to say it will be a bad product.

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The Original Sin, Two Mistakes and a Misdiagnosis – All out war (1997 to 2016)

The Context –  “The major recession of the early 1980s, which destroyed much of Britain’s ‘smokestack’ manufacturing and heavy industry, had been exacerbated by purist market ‘monetarist’ policies and unemployment rose to over 3million. The privatisation of the major utilities (coal, gas, electricity and water) had also led to much unionised job-shedding. Union membership had contracted from its 1970s peak of over 13 million to 7-8 million and collective bargaining was on the retreat across British industry. The process of ‘reforming’ (i.e., abolishing or severely restricting), traditional union activities and practices with three separate pieces of legislation (1980-84), was pressed home with the far more legalistic Employment Act 1988. This was after the defeat of the union ‘shock troop’ miners and printers’ in bitter and protracted disputes. In this polarised situation, the TUC were being marginalised by a government who had abandoned the last vestiges of the consensual ‘corporatist’ tradition of all post-war administrations (‘no more beer and sandwiches at Downing Street’). It was in this context that the unions’ and TUC, sharp pro-European turning of 1988 must be understood. It was also a sign of their recognition that unions and their members now needed a European ‘social dimension’ to face the profound industrial changes occurring.”

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A story told in quotes on the Labour Party & Trade Union movement role in Brexit:

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