3rd October 2019
Written by Javier Maquieira, Associate
Edited by Harriet Moll, Creative Director
The rise and fall of a political sensation like Canada’s Justin Trudeau has taken international audiences by surprise – especially when you compare his charismatic personality (and winning smile) to those of other current world leaders out there. But to understand how the poster boy for liberalism has become less popular than Trump, a closer look into the Trudeau brand and its undelivered promises is needed. Canada saw an unprecedented change in its 2015 election, as the Liberal Party rose from a distant third position to secure a handsome majority in the national parliament. Trudeau’s powerful commitments to gender equality, the environment, and refugees won the hearts and minds of many youngsters in Canada and abroad. In reality, these commitments translated into his government raising taxes on the wealthy, imposing a carbon tax in provinces without one, and legalising marijuana. But in the course of his mandate, Canada’s prime minister has had more than one misstep, including an embarrassing overseas trip to India and the SNC-Lavalin affair. In 2017, he failed to deliver on his promise to reform the country’s first-past-the-post electoral system, which benefits his own party. The more environmentally minded voters were also let down after the government decided to buy an oil pipeline in an attempt to shore up the country’s key fossil fuels industry. His most international scandal came only weeks ago, when Time magazine uncovered images of Trudeau wearing brown face makeup to an Arabian Nights-themed gala in 2001, for which he repeatedly apologised whilst blaming it on his privileged background. With a general election taking place on 21 October, Trudeau’s political brand has disappointed many of the young voters that played a critical role in bringing him to power. The Conservatives, led by Andrew Scheer, are running neck and neck with the prime minister’s Liberal Party, while a new seat projection suggests that Trudeau would narrowly hold a minority government. Although Canadians may not be so in love with their 47-year-old political celebrity anymore, some still see him as their best hope. When all is said and done, Trudeau’s faded star has simply revealed him to be a rather conventional politician.
The government has sent its new Brexit proposal to the European Union in a seven-page document that would see Northern Ireland stay in the single market for goods but leave the customers union. This would result in new customs checks that the Northern Ireland Assembly would have to approve first and vote every four years in order to keep them. Speaking at the Conservative Party conference yesterday, prime minister Boris Johnson said that the plan was the only alternative to no-deal. According to The Guardian, Johnson’s proposal has been received with dismay behind the scenes in Brussels, with Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, privately describing the PM’s new plan for the Irish border as a trap. US Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders has cancelled campaign events until further notice after undergoing heart surgery for an artery blockage. The Vermont senator, who is one of the most prominent 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, was hospitalised in Nevada on Tuesday night after experiencing some chest discomfort. US president Donald Trump lashed out at Democrats in the House of Representatives over their impeachment inquiry, which may seek to remove the president from office after a whistleblower complained about Trump’s call with the Ukrainian leader. The president accused Democratic leaders of dishonesty and treason and labelled the enquiry as a “fraudulent crime on the American people.” Democrats have in turn promised a fair process.
Business & Economy
The World Trade Organization has authorised the US to impose $7.5bn of duties on European producers of wine, whisky, luxury goods, and aircraft parts to repair damage done to Boeing by illegal EU support to Airbus. The decision, which paves the way for the largest retaliatory action in the history of the trade body, would see tensions between the EU and the US escalate at a time when the global economy is already slowing down. The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) plans to end its partnership with the international oil giant BP after school students threatened to boycott the theatre company if it did not stop accepting funding from a company they accused of “actively destroying our futures.” BP, who has subsided the RSC’s £5 ticket scheme for 16 to 25-year-olds since 2011, said in a statement that it was “disappointed and dismayed” about the premature end of its partnership with the Stratford-upon-Avon-based theatre company. A group of 100 of the UK’s most successful businesswomen have launched the #MeTooPay campaign to close the gender pay gap following a gender bias case involving BNP Paribas bank. The campaign, led by former Royal Mail chief Dame Moya Greene, includes Dame Miouche Shafik, potentially the Bank of England’s next governor, and the CEO of GSK, Emma Walmsley. The initiative’s website will include the latest examples of gender-based pay discrimination and provide a place “to share good and bad policies in action.”
What happened yesterday?
London shares experienced very sharp declines yesterday amid ongoing concerns about a global recession, even as investors digested Boris Johnson's proposal to the EU for a free trade area and as regards the Irish border. By close of play, the FTSE 100 was down 3.23% at 7,122.54, recording the weakest start to Q4 since 2014, while the pound was down 0.03% higher against the US dollar at $1.2261 and off by 0.22% versus the euro to €1.1224. In corporate news, growth concerns affected the mining sector, with Antofagasta (-5.33%), Anglo American (-3.48%) and BHP (-4.09%) all trading lower. Marks & Spencer (-3.65%) was hit by a downgrade to “hold” at Peel Hunt, while Hastings shares (-4.42%) plunged following a downgrade to “underperform” at RBC Capital Markets. On the upside, Flutter Entertainment (+7.22%) surged after agreeing an all-share merger with Nasdaq and Toronto-listed Stars Group, the owner of the online poker cardroom Poker Stars. William Hill (+3.57%) and GVC Holdings (+0.05%) also rose. Tesco (+0.21%) reversed earlier losses after the supermarket retailer announced the departure of its CEO, Dave Lewis, alongside its interim results, showing a complete turnaround. US and European stocks also dropped following poor US jobs and manufacturing figures and a WTO authorising $7.5bn in US tariffs on EU goods. Germany’s DAX closed 2.8%, while France’s Cac 40 lost more than 3 percent. Across the pond, the S&P and the Nasdaq lost 1.8% and 1.6% respectively, with the Down Jones Industrial Average ending trading 1.9% lower.
Whats happening today?
Arcontech Group Photo-Me Purplebricks
UK Economic Announcements
(09:30) PMI Services
International Economic Announcements
(08:51) PMI Services (GER) (08:55) PMI Composite (GER) (09:00) PMI Services (EU) (09:00) PMI Composite (EU) (10:00) Producer Price Index (EU) (10:00) Retail Sales (EU) (13:30) Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30) Continuing Claims (US) (14:45) PMI Composite (US) (14:45) PMI Services (US) (15:00) Factory Orders (US) (15:00) ISM Non-Manufacturing (US)
Columns of Note
Writing in The Atlantic, Tom McTague argues that the rules of the game as laid out by Tony Blair in the UK and Bill Clinton in the US are almost completely gone. As McTague puts it, while Blair used to challenge his base from a centrist and progressive standing, the next election will be won not from the centre, but by the party that can get out its vote. The author concludes that Blair’s warning to never fall for the far left’s “eternal illusion” is being tested to destruction, which could eventually lead to a right-wing Tory government. The Guardian’s George Monbiot suggests that the only way to defeat the violent and outrageous language dominating the political discourse today is to avoid responding in kind. Taking a psychological perspective, Monbiot advises readers against getting distracted by attempts to manufacture outrage and invites them to restore the mental state that allows us to think with calm strength. He puts the example of the Extinction Rebellion movement, which has developed a protocol of activism based on explaining the action, apologising for the disruption, and urging active respect towards everyone.
Did you know?
The apple tree that inspired Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity is still alive and producing fruit in an orchard at Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire.
House of Commons
Oral questions Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (including Topical Questions) Attorney General Motion Debate on a Motion relating to women’s mental health General debate General debate on the spending of the Ministry of Justice Adjournment Taxi and private hire licensing reform – Wes Streeting House of Lords Oral questions The government's priorities and objectives in the areas they wish to diverge from European Union standards by way of UK regulations - Lord Wallace of Saltaire Reducing inequality in the UK - Lord McNicol of West Kilbride Effectiveness of procedures for acquiring British citizenship - Lord Dubs Steps taken in Parliament to enable the UK to leave the EU on 31 October and comply with the provisions of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019 - Lord Cormack Debate Liaison Committee report: 'Review of Investigative and Scrutiny Committees: Towards a new thematic committee structure' - Lord McFall of Alcluith Reforming the management and treatment of offenders in prison and the community - Lord Ramsbotham Ensuring that human rights are respected in any future trade deals with other countries - Lord Harries of Pentregarth Scottish Parliament General Questions First Minister’s Questions Members’ Business Great British Beach Clean – Maurice Corry Ministerial Statement Scotland’s Onshore Unconventional Oil and Gas Policy Portfolio Questions Stage 3 Proceedings Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill