TODAY’S FAYRE – 21st May 2014

“WHAT does it mean? Tired, angry, and ill at ease,
No man, woman, or child alive could please
Me now. And yet I almost dare to laugh
Because I sit and frame an epitaph–
“Here lies all that no one loved of him
And that loved no one.” Then in a trice that whim
Has wearied. But, though I am like a river
At fall of evening when it seems that never
Has the sun lighted it or warmed it, while
Cross breezes cut the surface to a file,
This heart, some fraction of me, happily
Floats through a window even now to a tree
Down in the misting, dim-lit, quiet vale;
Not like a pewit that returns to wail
For something it has lost, but like a dove
That slants unanswering to its home and love.
There I find my rest, and through the dusk air
Flies what yet lives in me. Beauty is there.”

Edward Thomas – poet & soldier – 1878-1917

“60s losers are today’s professors!” – PJ O’Rourke – American journalist and satirist – 1947-

So tomorrow is European Parliament election. Let me pre-empt the result on Friday morning, with a little caveat that many of you may find surprising – only 7% of the electorate really cares about the UK’s membership of the EU. It pales in to insignificance in comparison to the economy and employment. However such is the fervour, contempt and passion it has generated, this election is grabbing too many headlines – many of them unattractive.

Anyway, UKIP will probably attract the most votes, with Labour second, the Tories 3rd and the Lib-Dems nowhere, due to the fact they are a political irrelevance holding the current coalition government to ransom.

It is a huge shame that UKIP seems now to be a party of immigration rather than a party of Eurosceptics. Sadly the intemperate and bellicose language used by the PM in recent months topped up with the Chancellor’s views more recently, has engendered a momentum support for Mr Farage. DPM Clegg’s personal contempt has not helped either. I know Mr Farage reasonably well. He’s a very decent bloke, with huge charisma and he is no racist. It does not help being rude or truculent towards him, because you cannot get your point of view across. I must say I am disappointed on 2 counts, being a die-hard-in-the-wool’ old fashioned Tory, who would resemble a piece of Brighton Rock, if chopped in half – TRUE BLUE! Firstly though laudable the PM’s vision to persuade the EU of the errors of his ways is, he refuses to support an ‘out’ vote, if he fails in his valiant attempt. Secondly there is no guaranty that there will be a Conservative/Coalition government in 2017. So the Government has explained its policies towards continued membership, wholly inadequately. So many voters have no idea what they are voting for. At least Mr Farage has attempted to explain the options coherently. Labour will wimp it and vote to stay in, as the party lacks vision and therefore failing to respond to the indisputable fact that there is a great big wide world out there for the UK to trade with. I am sorry to say the Conservatives have exacerbated the UKIP bubble by feeding an electorate, which is far from convinced by Conservative policies, with some angst. Personally I think the PM and his cohorts have done an excellent job in very difficult circumstances, but they have not articulated themselves very well.

The UK should never have allowed itself to get in to the position of doing 45% of its trade with the EU over the past 15 years. We have neglected the rest of the world – China, Asia, Africa and South America for too long. We must be grateful to the PM, the Chancellor, the Foreign Secretary and to Lord Green, Lord Livingston, Michael Fallon and Matt Hancock for attempting to redress that balance by giving it their best shot in selling UK PLC globally. Such a pity we do not hear more of Lord Livingston’s infectious enthusiasm as he sets about his task with such relish, conviction and considerable success. Frankly Lord L should be in the Cabinet! PM get him there and be sharp about it! I am sorry that I don’t mention Secretary of State Dr Vince Cable in the same breath as I am less than convinced that he is ‘pro’ business. I know he is not pro the City and certainly not banks. However I am reliably informed that he is a standard bearer for small businesses.

Finally of course the PM is right to attempt to change the EU’s culture on many aspects, but he is not ‘Charles Atlas’ reincarnated. I am told the City is very pro the EU! I have my doubts. I think EU regulation could burst the City’s balloon sooner rather than later. The PM/Chancellor have supressed some unnecessary regulation, but nothing like enough. London is the centre of the time zone, with English the trading language of the world. We are better at creating earnings from the financial sector; so to be controlled by irrelevant regulation could be very counter-productive.

These are David Buik personal views

Twitter – @truemagic68

David Buik

Market Commentator

D +44 (0)20 7886 2775
Panmure Gordon & Co
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