@sturdyAlex Dearest Marie,

The fires of this war pale compared to the flames of my love for you. General Khan has us dug in deep around Embankment in anticipation of an offensive by the Samuel Plimsoll statue there erected. I only pray I show courage when its stony eyes upon me fall.
@sturdyAlex I miss our home-cooking terribly. The lads try to maintain a brave face, but the heroic Deliveroo and Uber drivers on whom we rely for rations and kebabs are increasingly infrequent, no doubt falling prey to Nelson's bombardment from atop Trafalgar.
@sturdyAlex Though I would never criticize the General, I can't help but fear that our commitment of forces to this statue offensive has left the cities flanks vulnerable to a strike by the criminal army.

I am sure he knows what he's doing, but do keep a shotgun by the porch, for my sake.
@sturdyAlex I must sign off now, and I know not what the morrow will bring.

I leave you with my love, and the solemn promise that General-Mayor Khan made us swear when we took up this crusade, "No matter how long the watch, or how quiet the night, no statues will find us other than woke."

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More from @DmitryOpines

19 Feb
1/ "Tackling Chinese Subsidies" is an increasingly common call to arms, and so here's my attempt at an explainer thread.

Note: I wanted to keep away from personalities and Brexit with this one, so I'll be focusing on China and trade, not @trussliz.

2/ "So what's this all about?"

For years, some other countries have accused China of using government authority, influence and money give Chinese firms advantages that businesses in other countries don't get.
3/ "So what, it's the government of China, of course it supports Chinese firms?"

The problem is the global trading system is kind of built on a trade-off (sorry).

Governments agreed to lower tariffs in exchange for also agreeing not to subsidize too much.
Read 19 tweets
16 Feb
1/ My pet theory on conservative culture wars the world over is they can be effective politically but only provided the government doesn't get carried and actually try to do anything... at which point the wheels tend to come off.
2/ Whatever you think of its substance or ethics, banging on rhetorically about the War on Christmas, cancel culture, woke statue assassins, student lefties and communist academics clearly has some electoral appeal.

Focus groups are clearly telling governments it's a winner.
3/ However, when you move from railing in principle against these social forces to enacting policies to defeat them you almost inevitably do a couple of things that ruin the appeal.
Read 8 tweets
19 Jan
1/ Regulations are ultimately about managing risk, whether that risk is fraud, unsafe practices or someone building an ugly building.

The more (actually or performatively) worried you are about the specific risk, the more checks, approvals, rules and guidelines you put in place.
2/ Governments on both the left and right actually have similarly low appetites for risk, they just focus primarily on different risk categories and operate from an assumption that different groups are bastards that must be watched.
3/ Left wing governments have a tendency to focus on risks arising from business activities and capital.

Their regulations tend to assume that management are bastards, and must be monitored and constrained lest they exploit people or generate negative externalities for profit.
Read 9 tweets
18 Jan
1/ A challenge in parsing Brexit news is that businesses are facing overlapping types of challenges that can be difficult to separate.

The key questions are:
1⃣ Given the model of Brexit chosen, could this have been prevented, and by whom?
2⃣ Can it get better?
2/ To put those another way:

"If you knew everything you needed to know and did everything right, is your existing business and delivery model still viable and competitive?"

The answer to that question determines if for you the problem is Brexit, or how Brexit was delivered.
3/ Some of the challenges at borders could have been prevented while still having the exact same model of Brexit (No Single Market, No Customs Union, but an FTA).

That they're appearing is an implementation failure and you can fully support Brexit but still be pissed about them.
Read 11 tweets
21 Dec 20
The best argument for transition extension was always that Covid would interfere with government and business preperations.

I wrote this in April, and it appears to be aging better than the hundreds of comments under it telling me to fuck off.

Just in case you're paywalled or lazy:

The FTA negotiations are and we're the least significant argument for transition extension.

A deal could have been signed and ratified in July and I'd still suggest a transition extension to get business and government ready.
were*, obviously.
Read 4 tweets
18 Dec 20
1/ The EU calculation on fish is relatively simple and very cold blooded (sorry). The latest Barnier comments reflect that.

It wants access to UK waters for its vessels and is seeking to trade for it from a position of strength.

That strength is the threat of tariffs.
2/ The EU wants to avoid a future negotiation where it is seeking access to UK waters without the threat of tariffs in its arsenal.

That's why it wants fish included in this deal and why Barnier wants the ability to leverage tariffs if EU vessels are locked out in the future.
3/ The EU aren't stupid. If this deal locks in some access for 5 years and then goes to a bilateral negotiation untied to anything else, what does year 6 look like?

The Sun:

They want to retain leverage.
Read 4 tweets

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