POSTINGS

13-Sep-2019

Logic Holiday

The years of political argument - first about Scotland leaving the UK and then about the UK leaving the EU - have left our politicians struggling to cope. The resulting breakdown of traditional positions has lead to party members being so confused as to be supporting opposing views - at the same time!

Take the SNP leadership’s current position that Brexit going ahead will boost their case for a second Scottish referendum. So do they support Brexit? No they are trying very hard to stop it - so weakening their own case for a re-run of the vote.

man19Then we have Labour pledging to get a better deal from the EU - and then planning to campaign against the improved deal on a remain ticket. A crazy plan that has left the EU side questioning the sanity of the Labour top team. Their position is so wacky that the party will have to allow a free vote to get round the cock-up.

Not to be left out we have LibDem politicians demanding a second referendum for the people to be heard but then vowing to ignore the result if it was another win for Leave. Why bother?

Plus we have politicians from all parties who keep telling us - with a straight face - that they know no one wants to leave the EU without a deal. Totally ignoring the national ballot carried out earlier this year where the Brexit Party took the most MEP seats and formed the largest single party. They campaigned to leave - no matter what. And if the vote had been under Westminster general election rules they would have won hundreds more seats than LibDem, Labour and Conservative combined. Yet politicians know that the people don’t really want it.

Finally we have the Irish backstop farce where the key issue is maintaining free access between the ROI and the UK. The EU took the position that the UK had to provide a solution using the slogan - you created the problem you have to fix it. In response the UK has agreed to maintain the present open border. The most it can do without any powers to control the ROI side of the line. Irish politicians - you would hope - should be prepared to do the same. But it seems they cannot do that without the permission of the EU - having given away their sovereignty in exchange some nice shiny euros. So this farce is an EU creation that politicians are trying to make the UK solve - without any powers to achieve it. Difficult is do-able and impossible will take a bit longer.

Away from Westminster we have the BBC headlining every bit of news that favours remain or stokes up leaving fears. Hardly the best way to convince millions of pensioner customers that they should pay for even more years of being told that they don’t know how to vote. Logic has certainly taken a holiday ..

tags:  independence, no deal, Brexit, disruption, broken logic

 

1-Sep-2019

Foretold ..

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tags: meme, prediction, Brexit, upset plans, leaving, promise

 

28-Aug-2019

Action Stations

What a difference to the previous Prime Minister’s administration!

Bojo1-240Today’s headlines in the mass media say there is a plan to bring an end to the current session of parliament and start a new one in mid-October; a few weeks before the latest deadline for ending EU membership.

This has certainly given the flocks of political pigeons around Westminster a mighty scare. Opponents of the 2016 referendum result were scheming up blockages and diversions aimed at ensuring we do not leave. But they had not allowed for this.

Sessions of parliament usually run for around 12 months and until recently started in November. But the current one started with the State Opening that was held 21 June 2017 - so it is already a record 14 months late; due to our previous PM’s repeated delays.

So be prepared for screams from the Westminster plotters and cheers from those wanting Brexit to happen sooner rather than later. And if approved this could also mean the end of the line for Speaker Bercow - surely a win-win situation ...

tags:  independence, no deal, Brexit, disruption, cunning plan

 

24-Aug-2019

More Talk Without Action?

For the first time in over forty years the UK Prime Minister is attending the annual G7 meeting without being treated as an ongoing member of the EU. And despite Britain’s role in the world economy being downplayed by our EU friends the pending status change will most likely be a boost for the UK.

Man1905Those with very long memories might just recall that the European Union was invited to join this select group in 1977 by then Labour leader James Callaghan. A curious decision when all four top European nations were already represented in their own right. [But it did mean that counties like Luxembourg got a role on the big stage for once.]

Looking forward, if the UK does achieve a political separation from the EU - and the remaining European countries do implement their plan to federate - then the structure of the group will need major changes. Clearly both Russia and China are key economic players and could join - despite having political policies that are unacceptable to existing G7 members.

But the question that needs to be asked is - do these meetings result in any measurable gains? And if not then are they needed at all?

tags: independence, status, who gains

 

15-Aug-2019

Meme of the Day

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tags: mandate, leave, no deal, independence, choice

 

9-Aug-2019

Meme of the Day

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tags: EU, comic, mEUppets, waste, abuse, taxpayer rip-off

 

8-Aug-2019

Extinction Confusion

Groups of self-styled activists have picked up the issue of man-made climate change and are loudly demanding governments act to stop it; immediately.

Clearly this issue is far from new - and there are known solutions. And even though the protesters are seemingly fully committed to the cause, the implications of their radical demands are far-reaching and quite literally life-changing.

Eliminating the use of fossil-fuels would stop all commercial flights, ships, trucks and most personal transport; except for electric trains, bicycles and the limited number of fully electric cars. This move alone would spell not just the end of overseas holidays but also stop most of our essential services. With so much shipped in, out and around every day - everything from clothes to cans of beans could not be made or delivered to the shops. Foraging in the fields for edible vegetables could replace food banks. And actually growing crops without the use of diesel-power would cut productivity levels to near zero. Fighting for food would be the new norm - the young, the old and the weak would soon perish.

But the chances that this scenario would happen are near zero - since governments have shown themselves to be too ineffective to carry through such unpopular measures.

AccountDoctor160Another approach to reducing the damage to the environment by human activity - is to control the human population. And not just by reducing the rate of population increase but actually reducing the number of people!

Since capital punishment seems unlikely to return in the short term the excess of people may have to be tackled by voluntary euthanasia. It would of course need to be a far bigger scale than those in present day Switzerland and Belgium. However nature may well assist - on a potentially massive scale - through drug resistant bacteria, exotic fatal diseases - and of course - climate change itself.

But as long as governments are in control of the situation they are not going to legislate for reductions in population. They need expanding populations to keep paying more and more in taxes to prop-up the currency and debt mountains.

So those protesters who really believe in their slogans face either a life in a pre-industrial landscape or volunteering to die for their cause.

But even after these extreme measures the Earth’s climate will continue to change. And the idea of flying-off to another planet to start again will be shown to be just a Dr Strangelove fantasy. Truly a dystopian future ...

tags: over-population, rebellion, climate, future

 

1-Aug-2019

Yorkshire Day

Despite the politics, and the weather, Yorkshire flags will be flying high again today. And even though politicians continue to ignore - or even block - the region’s choices, normal life will go on without much in the way of protests or demonstrations. The droughts, the floods, the heat and the cold are just minor annoyances to be endured. The lack of accountability at the Yorkshire tourism organisation will be handled without melodrama. And in or out of the EU the average Yorkshire citizen will just quietly get on with making a living.

So today will more likely be celebrated by a pint or a larger portion of fish and chips than a ticker-tape parade. Them southerners can do all that sort’a stuff ...

tags: stoic, low-key, taciturn, celebration

 

23-Jul-2019

How Many More Wasted Days?

Having spent too many weeks getting Mrs May to go, and then weeks more finding a replacement, the Days-Not-Out total has grown to 1,125.

Scoreboard10F_300Looking forward there are now exactly 100 days to the latest deadline at the end of October.

So will Mr Johnson be able to cut the EU apron strings by then or will he simply get tangled up and have to call for yet another extension?

Many Grandads will be looking at the calendar and thinking that many of those 100 days are going to be taken up with holidays, party conferences and end of term wind-downs for the outgoing EU leaders. Getting out in 100 days is a big ask - so doing it in as few as 20 to 30 working days seems even more problematic. When you add in the time that the Government might need to spend on issues other than Brexit - and the number of anti-Brexit trouble makers - Bojo will need to move very quickly to get anything done in time.

He has the leadership of the Conservative Party - but very little control at Westminster. Place your bets now ...

tags: mandate, leave, no deal, independence, choice

 

19-Jul-2019

Choices Made?

At our beloved European Union HQ the parliament has selected its leader for the next five years - from a candidate choice of just one! Despite this non-existent range of options Ursula von der Leyen still struggled to get enough votes to confirm her appointment as President.

UvdLeyen1And again those Grandads who favour staying members of the Europa Projekt will surely know all about their new ruler - but for the rest of us here is a quick update. Frau von der Leyen is currently the German defence minister - useful for those EU Army plans - but not exactly a high flyer in German politics. Back in childhood her father, Ernst Albrecht, was one of the first European civil servants who later moved back to Germany and became Prime Minister of Lower Saxony. A post that may have helped Frau von der Leyen become a minister in the Lower Saxony state government in 2003 and then in the federal government in 2005. In recent years she has been considered as a contender for the post of Chancellor and ironically NATO Secretary-General. However her performance in government has not been much of a recommendation for high office being the lowest rated minster in national polls. Some see her being gifted the top EU job as a way of removing her from German federal politics.

Meanwhile in the UK we are still waiting to learn who has got the most votes for the job of Conservative leader - and with it the keys to 10 Downing Street. Unlike the EU election process the UK contest had an over-supply of candidates even if the voting was limited to party members. The expectation is the Boris Johnson will win with a massive majority - by a similar margin to the earlier votes by MPs.

But the fractured nature of UK politics mean that even if Johnson does have much more support than anyone else there will still be party members trying to block and disrupt his time in office. Moves that invalidate the idea that they are in a single political party. The issue of Brexit has split both the Conservative and Labour parties so that we now have a least four separate groupings who are only nominally on the same side. If the factions lead to an early general election then it could be the Brexit party and the LibDems that gain - merely because they have unequivocal positions on the biggest issue this country has faced in a life time.

tags: mandate, leave, no deal, independence, choice

 

13-Jul-2019

World of Plastic

Sometimes dismissing the old while embracing the new does not make for real progress. It is change without improvement.

IMG_20180710_132559-300There are so many examples in everyday experience that you would think that everyone was aware that pursuing the new was not necessarily a route to a better life.

Take the use of plastics. As a London commuter in the 1990s the majority around me were drinking bottled water out of single-use bottles. The branches of W H Smith in the main stations must have sold millions of bottles over the decade. Then the attitude was only the old or deluded were not smart enough to adopt this essential lifestyle improvement. Water shipped in - ideally from some exotic location - was de rigueur.

Similarly no one brought their own bags with them when shopping. Carrying your own bags was even considered as labelling you as a potential shoplifter. Everyone was given nice clean, shiny, disposable plastic ones when checking out. It avoided the hassle of carrying a reuseable one. It was the modern convenient way to go. Again it was only the old fashioned that declined to follow such new ideas.

How different in Grandad’s childhood - milk and pop in re-useable, returnable bottles; groceries in sturdy bags and household junk collected by rag-and-bone men for recycling. A process that has been replaced today by a never-ending stream of single-use plastic bags being pushed through letter boxes all around the country every day of the week. Not very eco-friendly!

Certainly plastic has become an essential material in the 21st century - but we now need to be a bit more old fashioned and wise in what we use it for ...

tags: pollution, plastic, waste, bad habits

 

7-Jul-2019

Feedback

Time’s Up - After much horse trading and secret deals the top eurocrats have agreed - probably - on who will become the next EU presidents. The changes are - at the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker is to be replaced by Ursula von der Leyen; at the European Council Donald Tusk is to be replaced by Charles Yves Jean Ghislaine Michel; at the European Parliament Antonio Tajani is now replaced by David Sassoli; at the Eurogroup Mario Centeno has been in post since 2018 and at the European Central Bank Mario Draghi is to be replaced by Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde.

Surely all those Grandads who believe in continued EU membership will know all about the excellent qualities of these fine presidents - but for the rest of us it’s more like ... Who? or How did they get that job? Interestingly there was no news about the future role of Michel Barnier even though he was lined-up for a top job only a few weeks ago.

BBC Sinks Even Further - Despite clearly expecting plenty of negative feedback on the plan to means test TV licences the BBC has continued to fire more and more bullets at its own feet (snowflake warning; metaphorical language - no BBC staff or members of the public were physically or mentally harmed). The announcements of the salaries of both on-screen talent and senior BBC staff triggered plenty of reaction. And not much of it was in support.

Then the sheer pointless waste of sending the main evening news presenter to Lyon to interview the BBC sport presenter also in Lyon seemed to go over the heads of the executives responsible. Apart from the benefit of providing Clive Myrie with free tickets to the football match and a stay in Lyon on expenses the whole segment was just one more source of ammunition (another metaphorical). Given the situation the BBC might also have reconsidered the need to relocate morning weather forecasts to Wimbledon during the tennis - but it is likely that Carol is a tennis fan so would have resisted missing her days at courtside; with pay.

And as this posting was being prepared came the news that the BBC is facing a legal challenge over its impartiality and biased coverage. It’s hard to see how this can succeed - given the resources that the BBC can throw against it. But having threatened millions of pensioners with a loss of benefit every unjustified expense and biased report is going to be jumped on - by lots of critics.

tags: BBC, expense, tax, tv, undemocratic, dark forces, leave now, no deal

 

Earlier postings ...

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FOOTNOTES

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