POSTINGS

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 not 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

 

30-Jun-2019

Promises, Promises

The Conservative party are getting the most of the political coverage in the media - with the Hunt versus Johnson shoot-out. A contest that seems one-sided but is, at least, making the candidates face their membership directly while getting them out of the Westminster village straight jacket.

Rory_200But they are not the only party with leadership contest activity. The LibDems are also trying to choose between Jo Swinson and Sir Ed Davey to take over from Vince Cable. Meanwhile in the Labour camp Jezza Corbyn is using all his youthful charisma to keep himself as leader - despite media reports of civil servants briefing against him. Surprisingly the Brexit Party leadership are not being attacked for once. But then quite a few of them are now out of London; busy trying to get to grips with their new - but temporary - home at EU HQ.

So that makes at least six politicians all wanting to move into 10 Downing Street in the near future. Hopefully all the current hustings will be over within a few weeks - and we will then have a single, clear leader who can take us forward. And forward at a much faster pace - and with real commitment - on a path of democratic freedom and independence. Sadly this could all get bogged down by no confidence votes and a subsequent general election.

However these British manoeuvres seem rather parochial when compared to the eurocrats efforts to get their men into the top jobs. When it comes to inter-european political deals the Brussels incumbents are the equivalent of chess grand masters. Let’s hope we can escape while they are looking the other way ...

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

 

23-Jun-2019

Three Years Gone

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tags: broken promises, excessive delays, weak leadership, lost years

 

18-Jun-2019

Get On With It

British politics continues to gyrate in ever decreasing circles through arcane - and somewhat irrelevant - procedures that seem to be designed to make mountains out of proverbial mole-hills [updated image].

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Getting Mrs May out of office has taken far too long - even when she was clearly making a complete hash of the job. Crazily she has resigned but is still in Downing Street and looking to commit billions of our taxes to her pet projects. Someone has to say no.

Appointing a replacement has already taken weeks and could well run on until the start of the summer break - meaning nothing useful may get done before September. Why does it take weeks for Conversative party offices to vote? Even the Euro elections only take a few days.

By then we will have around eight weeks to the next EU crunch date - 31-Oct-2019 - and the opposition will be pushing for a general election - so it is quite possible that the next Prime Minister could set a record for the shortest spell in office. And the general public will still be waiting for our politicians to honour their promise of implementing our decision to leave the EU that was made back in 2016.

tags: broken promises, excessive delays, weak leadership, leave, no deal

 

10-Jun-2019

BBC Sinks Even Further

This afternoon’s announcement that from 2020 UK residents over 75 will have to loose 154 from their pensions to pay for BBC excesses will not be greeted with much joy or support. Especially when the BBC clearly makes little attempt to produce quality content in the most cost-effective way.

Man1902Even live sporting events have excessive numbers of pundits and reporters before, during and after every event. Some of these pundits taking away millions for just asking other pundits what they thought of the game. A game that the viewers had most likely just seen for themselves.

Meanwhile the BBC’s lead TV channel - BBC1 - is full of tired shows like Escape to the Country - which today has reached Season 17 Episode 37 for the second time - or daily quiz shows like Pointless; where today we have a repeat of Season 19 Episode 33!

To quote the BBC’s own blurb - The BBC is the world’s leading public service broadcaster. We’re impartial and independent, and every day we create distinctive, world-class programmes and content which inform, educate and entertain millions of people in the UK and around the world. And that means that UK tax payers - including pensioners - are funding television, radio and online on [in] more than 40 languages.

Coming so soon after that disastrous last place in the Eurovision Song Contest - where the BBC paid more that any other broadcaster to take part - the Beeb’s claim of world-class content has again been put into perspective. Australia’s public service broadcaster - SBS - has consistently produced better for less; much less. But then it does have to try harder - with no licence fee income to pay for programmes that are unappealing or expensive.

Now the BBC may not be any better if the channels presently paid for by the TV tax were switched to commercial funding. But the Corporation is, in effect, operating a business model that looses over 3,500 million per year – the amount it gets from taxation to make the books balance. Much of that loss is down to corporate obesity. Time for a corporate slimming plan …

tags: BBC, expense, obesity, tax, tv, uk

 

5-Jun-2019

Road To Freedom

Tomorrow will be the 75th anniversary of the start of the battle to free the occupied European states from German control. The Allied landings on the Normandy beaches marked the start of a long and costly campaign to liberate north-west Europe.

The invasion, if successful, would drain German resources and block access to key military sites. Securing a bridgehead in Normandy would allow the Allies to establish a viable presence in northern Europe. But it was not easy fight and over the weeks that followed the Battle of Normandy would incur the deaths of nearly 37,000 ground and over 16,000 air personnel for the invading forces.

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Of the five invasion beaches the landings at Omaha suffered the most casualties but none of them could be called, by any stretch of the imagination, painless. Over 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing during the landings and subsequent push inland.

Despite their tremendous costs in terms of lives and national wealth the invading Allies did not seek control over the countries they fought for. Instead they chose to restore these nations’ freedoms and encourage democratic governments.

How different it could all have been if the D-Day plans had failed - or if the USA and the British Commonwealth had opted to simply defend their homeland borders instead.

tags: world war, remembrance, shared loss, victory, democracy

 

27-May-2019

Yet Another Pro-Brexit Vote

PoisonChalice3_315As the results of the EU parliament elections get revealed the situation in the UK remains much as before - despite the massive protest vote.

With The Brexit Party already having 28 MEPs and 31.6% of the vote it is very clear there is solid demand to leave the EU now - and to have the same trading relationships as any other non-EU country would have.

Yet the Westminster villagers seem to want to replace the failed Mrs May with a policy-clone. Someone who will seek a special EU deal while refusing to take the benefits that the world trade option offers. A strategy that will fail - again. And force the UK not just to remain but also to become part of the Europa Projekt - the United States of Europe.

Already we have Conservative leadership candidates - and their backers - saying that No Deal is a crazy, extremist suicide strategy that they will not accept. Even though the Conservatives have sunk to an all-time low of fifth place - with less than 10% of the EU votes.

Yet at some stage this refusal to accept democratic results will have to be tackled. Worryingly one solution - a final solution - is to make sure popular votes no longer take place. This would remove the risk to the elite that their plans could be questioned, challenged or even blocked by the plebs.

However another scenario is that the Conservative leadership choice becomes irrelevant once they have been wiped off the political map by a general election ...

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

 

24-May-2019

Goodbye May

As the media dedicate entire pages and programmes to the end of Mrs May’s leadership there are some real issues that have to be faced - and very soon.

MayRobbinsDead1Will the next Prime Minster actually succeed in implementing the will of the people? Or will they be another establishment front for remaining? Will that PM be a Conservative MP and if so will they last beyond the end of 2019?

The reasons why Mrs May failed and had to go are pretty obvious - a leaving deal that was much more attractive to the EU than to the UK, a terrible general election manifesto and campaign, repeatedly ignoring Commons defeats and not leaving on 29th March as promised to parliament so many times, etc, etc.

However the UK has no new Brexit options to consider and we can only hope that the next Prime Minister realises that there are currently only two options open to us - leave on World Trade Organisation terms or withdraw our request to leave. The idea that a deal agreed by the other twenty seven countries can be replaced by something more attractive to both them and us is just pie in the sky. And if the new PM starts down that route then we will know that the wrong person has got the job - again!

The public has no say in the Conservative Party selection process - but they do in a General Election so let’s hope Brexit gets resolved quickly. Any more delays would spell the end of the public’s patience ...

tags: broken promises, illegal delays, weak leadership, leave, no deal

 

19-May-2019

No More May?

It is reported from Brussels that the UK Withdrawal Agreement dictated by Barnier / Merkel and welcomed as a good deal by May / Robbins has now being re-branded as a permanent treaty. A fact not acknowledged by those politicians reporting to the Number 10 command bunker.

For them the agreement is still seen as something that must be forced down the throats of MPs and rushed into legislation before the public can stop it. Then Mrs May can collect her reward and jump ship leaving us Grandads - and our children and grandchildren - to pay for the expensive mess created.

In order to comply with the May-Robbins Dead Donkey Deal the UK will need to stay in the customs union and accept all single market rules and laws, unless the EU relents over the alleged Irish border issue. Almost three years on from the vote and the EU has given no ground on the made-up border issue, so why would they over the next two years? Isn’t the most likely outcome we would remain in the single market and customs union contrary to the government promise that leaving meant leaving?

Also after the likely 45 month period fully in the EU, the UK still would face financial obligations under the Withdrawal Treaty. The bills will be decided by the EU and we will have to pay them. Any attempt to query them would be adjudicated by the EU’s own court! The longer we stay in the more the future bills are likely to be. The 39,000 million figure often quoted is likely to be a considerable underestimate.

JokeAgreement2_300Further the Deal creates a category of super citizen in the UK. Since it enshrines the law that EU nationals living in the UK will have their access to benefits guaranteed for their entire lifetimes. So a twenty-something worker from, say, Romania could be supported by UK tax-payers for over 50 years - even if they don’t stay. And it is quite likely that a wife (or ex-wife?) and unlimited children could also be funded the same way. Our grandchildren meanwhile would not only have to pay the higher tax bills but could also face reduced benefits. Problems that did not apply to those EU nationals that will qualify.

And theses are just a few of the examples of how the May-Robbins partnership has foolishly agreed not just to give away so much of the nation’s sovereignty and tax revenues - but to also pay the EU for that privilege.

Hopefully this week’s EU elections will accurately reflect what the people actually want to happen next. And that the message is not spun into support for a different political agenda. Despite a widely-expected people’s vote in support of a no deal Brexit Mrs May is still pushing for a fourth Westminster vote on her bad deal - and still clinging to the idea that she will only leave if and when that deal is passed.

A scenario that so many more of us wish to avoid at all costs. No More May? Let us pray!

tags: broken promises, illegal delays, weak leadership, drop the dead donkey, leave, no deal

 

15-May-2019

Behind The Mask

TheMekon3_01It has long been the belief - in Whitehall at least - that Olly Robbins used his outstanding intellect to craft a near-perfect withdrawal agreement. One that would keep the UK tied to the EU for long enough to arrange for a re-admission a few years on. And one that would pay more than enough to keep the eurocrats in champagne and cognac throughout - while still claiming to be delivering Brexit.

But recently the image presented of His Ollyness has taken somewhat of a pasting with the story that Mr Robbins was angling for a job in Brussels - along with permanent residency. In fact a very similar story to that circulating about arch-remainer Dominic Grieve with his EU job ambitions and a home in France.

But the real blow to the mask of Whitehall superiority came with the insider view from the EU negotiators that they were dumbfounded by crass stupidity of UK Brexit team.

It looks like he who was made out to be the biggest brain in Brussels is now the runaway winner of the biggest-ever sprout competition.

tags: broken promises, illegal delays, treachery, enemy within

 

13-May-2019

Meme of the Day

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tags: eurocrat, LibDem, independence denier, tax waster, euroreich politburo

 

4-May-2019

Mad Bad May

It has become obvious that Mrs May’s madness has now spread to the stage where No Deal is no longer better than a Bad Deal. It is, in her confused mind, impossible to consider!

JokeAgreement2A_300The strange silence around Westminster - where the TV channels have removed their studios and the rent-a-mob protests have disappeared - warns us that the battle may already be finished. And almost certainly confirms that Brussels have indeed won - through a combination of numbers, strategy and a British side captained by a traitor playing to loose!

It seems that Mad May will cling on to power now that Britain has nowhere else to turn - and without the USA or Commonwealth to help us this time.

So for those that dread the prospect of our grandchildren being ruled by German interests the future is bleak; especially since neither elections this month will get any genuine Leave politicians into power at Westminster. Without them a last-minute reversal seems impossible.

We look condemned to be paying hundreds of millions of our taxes for ever - to fund the lavish lifestyles of the eurocrats and to subsidise the economies of Poland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Lithuania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia, etc. Mrs May’s actions will certainly go down in the annals of infamy.

Infamy, Infamy, they’ve all got it in for me!

tags: broken promises, illegal delays, treachery, enemy within

 

1-May-2019

Mad May

Lots of us will be voting tomorrow in the first election in memory where both main party leaderships are considered toxic by the local voters. In fact so toxic that some local canvassers have decided to simply stay at home rather than face the negative responses on so many doorsteps.

MayPuppet1_180Even Conservative MPs have been seen desperately pushing the message that the local candidates are untainted by their Westminster colleagues. But the public know that it is the local branches that provide support for central office - so local issues are secondary to the need to penalise the leaders for their unpopular decisions.

And what a terrible picture the leaders provide. May and Corbyn are vying with each to see how far from the Leave result they can push the Brexit withdrawal agreement without having guts to state their true objective - Remaining. So now we have the Eurocrats trying to avoid triggering a no-deal exit while hoping for the UK staying on board - and both Westminster parties trying to avoid saying the R-word.

Since the May-Robbins deal really is a dead donkey by now the options available revolve around the speed by which the Mad-As-Cheese Mrs May can be taken away. If it happens this month then it is just possible the EU elections could be avoided - with all their ensuing complications. However the signs are that it would need a lightening bolt from heaven to achieve it in time. This means that the delaying tactics will just keep rolling on.

Beneath the multiple layers of lies Mr May probably has the intention to keep going until stopped by a general election - but we really need to listen in on Brussels hotel bar conversations to be sure.

So now looking ahead to a double mad May - one with two elections and long weekends and the other occupying 10 Downing Street behind barricades.

tags: broken promises, illegal delays, weak leadership, drop the dead donkey, leave, no deal

 

Earlier postings ...

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FOOTNOTES

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