Tom Kibasi Profile picture
Regular @Guardian contributor. Founded & Chaired @IPPR Commission on #EconomicJustice 2016-18. Deputy Chair of an #NHS Mental Health Trust. All tweets personal.
31 Oct 19
THREAD on the @BestForBritain tactical voting tool.

The tool is based on an MRP with a sample size of 46,000 conducted in October 2019.

What are the issues?

The first issue is the notion that it is more important to reflect recent volatility in the polls than real past voting behaviour from 2017.

But by definition, if volatility is high then polls could shift very significantly in the campaign. So why release the tool now?

The second issue is that it doesn’t pass “the sniff test”. Is it really plausible that 25k people in a single seat that never voted LD will do so now?

There would have been merit in a more complex set of rules eg capping the swing size at the largest swing this century.

Read 6 tweets
14 Oct 19
1. The CBI's £196b figure is absurd - it adds a 30% mark up to asset values on "historical precedent" 🧐

2. The CBI report says it only looks at the costs not the benefits🤦‍♂️

3. The CBI uses private letters with Govt but a loudhailer with Labour. Why?🤔…
Most people do not trust business. The CBI won't help this by releasing a report that is so biased that it is tantamount to fake news.…
P.S. why is the enterprise value of utilities 30% higher than the valuation of assets?

1. Utilities are essential services and so enjoy an implicit guarantee from Govt (ie all of us as taxpayers)

2. Utilities are either monopolies or oligopolies so they extract economic rents.
Read 4 tweets
13 Oct 19

There almost certainly won’t be a deal because Johnson’s proposals are neither realistic nor new. Bite me.

The deal they are talking about will wreck what’s left of British industry meaning both fewer good jobs and a balance of payments crisis.

It’s a plan for poverty for Northern Ireland when prosperity is vital for peace.

Even if double customs could work it would impose huge new frictional costs for business meaning competitiveness would be wrecked.

NI would be completely dependent on handouts from the UK.

It would mean a bonfire of workers rights. The plan removes level playing field protections laying the groundwork for a sweetheart deal with Trump.

Look forward to matching US workers’ rights: 10 days hols/year, no maternity or sick pay, & being fired on the spot.

Read 7 tweets
10 Oct 19

We keep hearing about the risk to workers' rights and deregulation from a no-deal Brexit and a Trump trade deal.

But what does this really mean?

Here's a short thread that compares the United States and the UK.

First, in most of the US, employment is "at-will".

This means your boss can fire you at any time, with no notice, and for no reason.

Employers in the UK must provide workers with a contract and can't fire people for no reason.

Second, in the US there are no rights to annual leave.

The average American worker gets just 10 days holiday a year.

In the UK, workers have the right to 20 days annual leave plus 8 days of public holidays.

Read 6 tweets
15 Jul 19
THREAD on the leak that caused Sir Kim Darroch to quit

This is a theory from the very top of the civil service and diplomatic corps.

It’s an absolute classic of the British establishment.

The real target of the leak was not Kim Darroch but the Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill.

In recent months Sedwill has told friends that he would like to be named as British ambassador to Washington—as part of a deal to quit at the end of Johnson’s transition to PM.

By forcing out Darroch now, Sedwill is effectively excluded because he needs to remain as Cabinet Secretary until the transition to Johnson is complete. Instead, Johnson will now name a new ambassador within a week of becoming PM.

So who has it in for Sedwill?

Read 5 tweets
22 May 19
THREAD: Tory leadership contest

The key dividing line in the Tory leadership contest won't be Leave vs. Remain but deal vs. no-deal.

So we can safely rule out anyone who supported Remain including those that have swung behind no-deal. Say goodbye to Hunt, Javid, Stewart.

There's been lots of speculation that Rudd will back Boris.

But she won't.

The surprise formulation will be a joint Hancock-Rudd ticket, arguing for a generational shift.

They won't succeed. But they will swing behind a pro-deal candidate.

The most credible pro-deal candidate is Gove. No one can question his Brexit credentials as he led the Leave campaign.

It's pointless for him to take a no-deal position as it is crowded territory...& most Tory MPs aren't there.

So Gove stands as the reasonable Brexiter.

Read 8 tweets
7 Apr 19

The claim from the pro-Brexit contingent in Labour is that once a deal is done, politics will 'move on' to domestic concerns such as the NHS. If the question is Brexit, the argument goes, the Tories are advantaged. If it's the state of the country, Labour will win 1/6
Even a basic understanding of Brexit reveals this to be nonsense. If the UK leaves, the clock will be ticking 31 Dec 2020 when we either conclude a new partnership for half our trade, extend the transition for £1b/month or enter the backstop. The argument will rage on and on. 2/6
Given May has already said she will go, Corbyn would be the only party leader going into a future General Election defending a deal that Leavers say isn't Brexit and Remainers say is inferior to EU membership. Pretty dumb as an electoral calculation. 3/6
Read 6 tweets
6 Apr 19
THREAD on why the question matters

Picture this: we’re holding a referendum on electoral reform. The question on the ballot says:

‘Should the United Kingdom keep the electoral system or change the electoral system?’

In the campaign, some people argue for PR, others say the House of Lords will be elected, some say it will be alternative vote. A few people at the fringe say it will be ‘fancy franchises’ where people with £100,000 in the bank or a degree get double votes.

The referendum says the UK should change the electoral system by 52% to 48%. The Govt says it’s solely a choice for the governing party and it uniquely knows the will of the people.

More and more of those on the right say we must enact the fancy franchises plan.

Read 6 tweets
4 Apr 19
A short thread on illegal behaviour during the referendum campaign

1. It's absolutely true that illegal behaviour was found by the courts on the Leave side. Their actions were categorically wrong. The rules matter and the rule of law matters. It makes defeat more bitter.
2. I didn't emphasise this starting point on a podcast I did yesterday, and I should have done. Not least because I regard the whistleblowers as brave and courageous people whom I respect and admire--as well as having regard for the principles.
3. Nonetheless, it is still important to recognise that more resources and institutions were in support of Remain, and yet they still failed. The Leave side's actions shouldn't obscure or excuse Remain's failures.
Read 7 tweets
27 Mar 19

If parliament backs a customs union in the indicative votes, why shouldn’t it back May’s Withdrawal Agreement?

First, let’s be clear: the backstop is a misleading name. In the absence of any known alternative, it isn’t a fall-back but rather the default.

Given the absence of alternatives for the Irish border, and the fact that the withdrawal agreement has no mechanism for exit and allows only for a one-time extension of the standstill transition, the backstop must be assessed as the future destination (see Robbins, O.)

But for advocates of a soft Brexit—including the Labour party—why should this matter?

The problem is the lack of control—too little attention has been paid to the risks of being within a customs union without a say.

Read 12 tweets
22 Mar 19
THREAD: The myth of the soft Brexit majority.

A majority in this parliament needs to get to 320. It's been repeated so often that it has become a truth—that there is a majority for a soft Brexit in parliament.

Here's why that's almost certainly not the case.

Let's start with the Labour Party (245 MPs).

Soft Brexit is the position of the leadership (see JC letter to TM 6/2).

But there are at least 60 strong backers of a people's vote in the PLP & maybe 5 who want a harder Brexit.

So Labour brings max 180 MPs to soft Brexit.

What would the SNP do?

Well, Scotland voted to Remain, and yesterday Sturgeon said: "preferably asking for a longer extension to put the issue back to voters".

So don't count on any SNP support for soft Brexit

Read 12 tweets
11 Mar 19

As we approach the crunch Brexit votes, let's look at the economic picture that helps explain how we got to here. This is drawn from the final report of the @IPPR Commission on Economic Justice.

The data is shocking.

The 2007-8 financial crisis led to the deepest recession since WW2, with output falling by 4.2% in 2009 alone

Since then, the UK has seen its slowest recovery after any recession in the postwar period, taking more than 5 years for GDP to recover to its pre-recession peak

Once population growth and remittances are taken into account, disposable income per person only returned to its pre-crisis level at the end 2016, creating almost a lost decade of economic output.

But people don't experience the economy as national aggregates.

Read 24 tweets
4 Mar 19

The government's 'Stronger Towns Fund' could be a turning point in the Brexit debate.

Designed to give cover to Labour MPs to back Theresa May's deal, it is likely to have the opposite effect.

In fact, it leaves her parliamentary strategy in tatters. Here's why. (1/10)
The Fund is a pathetically small amount of money: just 0.05% of total government spending.

It equates to £145m/year for the North of England or less than £10 per person. It is £80m for the Midlands, or £8 per person.

It is less than the budget of St. Thomas' Hospital. (2/10)
One of the strongest emotions driving politics is humiliation.

Thatcher's deindustrialisation and the following 40 years of neglect have left many communities feeling humiliated.

For many, Brexit was about reversing that humiliation--this makes Brexit a new phase of it. (3/10)
Read 10 tweets
13 Feb 19

This evening, the Labour Party released a Party Political Broadcast on the state of the NHS.

Here @IPPR, @DHochlaf and I have fact-checked their claims.

How do they stack up?

VERDICT: 18 of the claims are true, and one claim is partially true. None are false (1/20)
CLAIM: NHS staff are "Exhausted, overworked, undervalued"

FACT: 58% worked additional unpaid hours, 43% were satisfied with how their organisation values their work, & 38% report20d feeling unwell due to work related stress. (NHS Staff Survey 2017)


CLAIM: "In 2017, the NHS winter crisis was branded a 'humanitarian crisis’ by
the Red Cross"

FACT: Mike Adamson, the CEO of the British Red Cross called it a "humanitarian crisis" and stood by his comments when challenged. (The Independent)


Read 21 tweets
4 Dec 18
The government has been promoting this video on Twitter. The problem is there appear to be rather a lot of misleading statements (1/5)
The claim that regulatory cooperation will protect just-in-time supply chains is false.

The #PoliticalDeclaration clearly omits to mention 'frictionless' trade which is what would be required to do this.

The EU has been clear that this is due to the Govt's own red lines (2/5)
This is highly misleading.

While it is true that this ambition has been stated, it hasn't been agreed, and, more importantly, would be vastly inferior to the status quo.

This really matters because we run a large trade surpluses in services (3/5)
Read 5 tweets