Walking in the middle of the road

I do enjoy twitter. You end up discussing and arguing points with complete strangers. Sometimes you or they are enlightened. Sometimes you realise people do not want their thoughts to be challenged, however much the evidence says otherwise.

This weekend I had an interesting conversation with someone who said that you need an ideological standpoint to be able to drive through policy in government. I disagreed. He also stated that ‘no ideology is to sit between whatever parameters the mainstream considers permissible and this is neither free, diverse or soulful’. Now this was impossible to unpick, on twitter on a Sunday afternoon, when I was out for lunch with my wife. She did not appreciate me trying either. But it is an interesting thought process that is worth exploring.

The basis being that unless you are ideologically driven, then you cannot affect change. That if you have an ideological aim, this will drive you forward when times get difficult. This was in the context of both left and right, although I felt that the respondent was on the right. This thought I find interesting because it is the antithesis of what personally drives me. I reject fundamental ideology because in the end it I feel it blinds you to the errors and inadequacies of that ideology. Religion is the obvious candidate of this, but in British politics, Margaret Thatcher is a case in point. She revolutionised the economy in the eighties and after winning in 1987, seemed unbeatable. Yet the arrogance in her belief of her ideology stopped her and her party from seeing potential problems, leading to recession and the decision to implement the poll tax. She was eventually removed and a moderate, more liberal PM put in her place.

The socialism (and communism abroad) of the 70’s showed how purity of one system leads to poverty and economic ruin of the UK and the eventual fall of the communist economy. Now with both examples you will find exponents of these ideas blaming people, external influences or any other excuse for why their system did not work. But for me it is that fundamental belief that they are right, that always leads to their downfall. The thought process goes that if they just do one more policy, if they go that one step further, then everything will be proved right. This road to Damascus really just leads them nearer the edge of the oblivion. It is also interesting that the sudden surge in popularity in Corbyn’s socialism seems to forget the hardships of the 70’s and the rejection of these ideas thereafter.

So, what is a centrist? First of all, I don’t think I like that term; one term that I was given was political triangulation. A new one for me, but the labour triangulation of Tony Blair, John Smith and Gordon Brown essentially took the view of supporting the public services, while trying to encourage business. Could we argue that the decade 97-07 was one of the most prosperous for the country? I am not intentionally ignoring the crash that happened afterwards, but that happened to all systems globally and so could not be pinned on one political movement.

In the two-party system the liberals are seen as centrists who don’t seem to stand for anything. Further harmed by apparently leaving their core aims once they helped formed a coalition. Maybe this is what the correspondent meant. They don’t own a piece of the political pie and are neither one thing or the other. Their former leader got stuck on the gay sex commentary meaning their message was lost. They have struggled to find a clear identity and liberals are seen to be woolly and nice, but not really effective to lead the country. This means, with the current first past the post system, they are not seen as credible and lose votes. Again, not helped when their leader said they did not want to win, just to be the effective opposition. A bit pathetic for me.

Personally, I think the centrist view is the ideal location. We should be a pro-business country as the entrepreneurial system drives change and is a true meritocracy. The successful can thrive on that success. We should also be there when people fail. This is the social side where government should be there so that when times turn difficult, people are able to live, get back on their feet and start again. This egalitarian approach does not mean we are jealous of people who work hard and earn money. More often than not they deserve it. We should neither look down on people who are poorer and who may only survive on benefits. The divisive politics that we are currently in is driving a wedge between many groups in this country and it is only getting worse. Pro EU v Brexiteers. Rich v poor. Right v left. Farage v decency and humanity. The last thing we need is the right-wing of the country taking us down the hard Brexit route, any more than the left-wing socialism of Corbyn, creating more debt. Both sides create walls which mean you are either with them or against them, which is utterly ridiculous and not what we need from our politicians.

There has to be a different choice. On the right, we have a Tory party, dying of the cancer of Brexit, and unable to see past austerity for any solution to the debt problem, because they refuse to increase tax. On the left, we have our socialist party, who would spend their way out of austerity, but our debt is £1.56 trillion. The interest alone is £43 billion, which is approximately 40% of our NHS spending. The dogmas of each party need re-assessing so that the country can move forward and prosper. Neither though is willing to blink first and so moves further away each day from the very position that the country needs.

This is where a new way needs to be found. I agree that something needs to drive you in terms of ideas in politics, where ever you find yourself on the political spectrum. Your driving principles. Yet when this inhibits your decision-making process because it is your way or the wrong way then that is where ideology has indoctrinated your thought process. This is where politics needs to learn from science. A politician’s ideas can be put forward, but they should then be tested. Parameters of success should be stated before the policy is enacted and a time period given for that success. It should be periodically reviewed, by the select committees, and improvements made to the policy. The problem we have had is the swings from one position to another mean we neither know whether it works as a policy and it wastes billions in the process. The prime example of this is the NHS and is the very reason why it struggles to do its job. The enlightened have already suggested that the politics should be taken out of the NHS and a cross party group should be there to run it and make the incremental changes over time to ensure it does its job, efficiently and cost effectively. The boom and bust regime changes over the last 20 years have not worked, left the NHS bankrupt and on its knees.

Have we evidence that this different approach works? Look at the conservative policy after the 1992 election(once we left the ERM), of aiming for low inflation and trying to provide stability for the economy to thrive. Labour, gained power in 1997 promising to keep this policy and extending it by giving the bank of England independence. This time period to the 2008 recession was the longest period of growth this country had seen. Stable centrist politics, giving continuity to business and so to the people in the country.

No dogma, no ideology, no extremism, no Brexit and no great divides opening up in the country. I challenge you to look at the division of the socialist era of the 70’s, the right-wing 80’s and compare that to the unifying time when Blair first came to power and the hope this brought(whether you agree with him or not). That is what will drive this country forward and putting in the safeguards so that parliament can stop the corrupt deviating from this (Iraq war). I also challenge you, whether you are with him or against him(!!), whether Donald Trump is a unifying force for the US or the world? Is this the politics that will breed success and bring unity?

The liberals have an opportunity to drive this change by reinventing themselves, as Labour did into New Labour. By giving the people what they want. Stability, a government for the people, a tax system that is seen to be fair and an end to the divisive politics which has dogged our system for the last few years. If they cannot do it then I fear for the future of our country, because both sides are currently more interested in fighting for themselves, rather than for the people of this country.

The self destructing Baby Boomers: Mark 2

This is my second attempt, as my wife thought the first was a little harsh. So lets try again!

It was interesting to see a recent study showing people believe life in the ‘past’ was better than it is now. Those baby boomers who are forever looking back to their childhood are just disappointed with what they have today. This bitterness hit its ultimate peak when a large majority voted for Brexit.

So, has the generation that ‘never had it so good’, lost it and live in a worse time? I have to say times were simpler in the past. You knew where you were, who you were and what your life would be like, just by knowing where you were born.

The industrial north, from where I originate, allowed a good 20% to attend grammar schools and the rest would work in the factories, mines or mills. You were working class and women stayed at home and the empire ruled. Those certainties in life and the patriotism of the generations of two world wars was a constant reminder of what Britain stood for. For a lot of people these certainties were not barriers but comforts for their lives.

The baby boomers grew up with these certainties. They also grew up with what Britain had achieved in the two wars and an arrogance about the British empire, what it achieved and what it meant to be British in the world. The evil of fascism had been defeated and liberalism was giving freedom and choice to people in this country and abroad. As we became more prosperous, immigrants came in to do the jobs we did not want to do and Women were emancipated.

This is scary for people who do not understand or can influence their surroundings. They feel lost in a country they don’t recognise. This insecurity has been nurtured, manipulated and helped create an atmosphere where we now call Europe our enemy. Where public bodies are the decried and identity politics has meant all reason for some has gone.

This is a political failure of our liberal establishments, who have ignored the poor in this country for too long. They scoffed at the thought we would ever leave the EU and so did not engage and inform on Europe. The Baby boomers who always saw Britain as independent still think we can pick up where we left off. What they fail to remember is that we joined the EEC because we were the sick man of Europe. We were struggling, going to the IMF for loans and although other issues were at play in those times, the EEC was the security we wanted and needed. The conservative manifestos for thirty years all wanted more integrated business relationships (Single Market and CU). Yet all we have focussed on is the negatives and an undemocratic push for greater integration. Our reticence has been right, staying out of the Euro and Schengen, so we can control our borders and finances, but a lack of opportunity to vote on the Lisbon treaty in the UK and a fiddle of the votes on the continent, has meant a suspicion about who controls Europe. Again, this has been exaggerated and democracy is being strengthened within the EU institutions. Like any new democracy, it is not perfect, but arriving at the right place.

The baby boomers, who have seen no war in western Europe, believe they have witnessed a decline in the UK status. No longer a strong independent country, but now just part of a club. Not a single strong voice, but one lost in the voices of the EU. Yet, we were losing this voice anyway and this is the best way to bring peace and prosperity to a wider region and the world.

What we have failed to do is look after the communities that have changed so much and sat back expecting thanks for the changes. Although they are wealthier and living in better housing, the poorest do not see the benefits of the global world. Health and education has improved immeasurable, but they are less likely to take advantage of this as the poorest tend to be the least educated and have the poorest health. They perceive a sneering ruling class looking down on the way they live and reject its advice. This is a failure of the government and the fascists in the UK and US have seized this opportunity. It is easier to blame immigrants and the EU, than tell people if they don’t work hard at school they won’t get the same opportunities. This though is not the EU or immigrants fault, but personal responsibility, to better their life and their children’s. “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” JFK (and yourself). Wise words which need saying now, too many in this country expect it all to be done for them.

The Baby boomers are in the twilight of their lives. They have free health. They are richer than any demographic group in the country and they live in a country that has been safe, secure and prosperous within the EU. The uncertainties and freedoms they fought for, could soon be lost as fascism rises and Brexit reduces our ability to have the freedoms the EU has given us. The peoples vote for a second referendum would be an opportunity for this generation to step up and allow future generations to have a better future, with choices. At the moment, they will be passing on a poorer, less tolerant and insular country. Everything past generations fought against.

The bizarre relationship between safe standing and brexit

Now I know I am getting obsessed when everything seems to link to Brexit! How can safe standing in football possibly show us this mentality?
I am an ardent Bradford City Fan, so I’m not in it for the glory, although we have had our moments. Any football fan knows that the highs and the lows are part of supporting your team, although for us lower league supporters, the moaning by Arsenal fans because they finish 4th or 5th is a little grating. My first match watching Bradford was in the late 70’s and I write this knowing I have been supporting them and watching/playing football for 40 years, it makes me feel a little old.
So, West Brom and Celtic have been asking for safe standing areas. This is because some fans don’t like sitting down and also people naturally stand when anything exciting happens. So, it seems logical to get people to stand and satisfy this urge and then enforce the seating more vigorously. This seems sensible but has many pitfalls.
Firstly, it is dependent on the stewarding in a club. I have been to Bradford and many away sections and have rarely seen anyone picked up for foul and abusive language and only recently are racist comments being chased. This only seems to happen when a player complains and not when a steward sanctions a fan for it. I am now sitting in the family section as my 10-year-old is keen to follow the mighty Bantams. It is amazing when you sit with a child how more you notice the language, homophobic comments and undertones of violence aimed at players and officials. This does put people off, whether you think people are too sensitive or not, in the family section and elsewhere. I would expect something to be said to the fans, who feel paying their money is sufficient excuse to behave like this, it rarely is. The point is, stewards do not pick up the basics, never mind making individuals sit continuously throughout the game. If they don’t do it now, they are not going to do it in the future and so we will have a slow trickle of greater standing areas. Some would welcome this.
The second issue is the demographics now going to the football. What was a very male dominated environment, has changed to a more family friendly audience and female participation. If anyone has not seen ‘Fever Pitch’* as a film, I would recommend it. But the key moment is the game which coincided with Hillsborough. When the Arsenal scored and the crowd went mad, that fear and lack of control of the crowd, that they show the female character suffer, was a weekly occurrence at every busy ground.

Now for every decent fan who wants to stand up and enjoy that experience, I wonder the type of fan who would also be attracted to this area? Are these the types who follow stewards guidance?
The change to seating was because people were dying in football grounds. Supporters were injured regularly and fighting happened inside and outside the ground. Do we want a situation that these types feel they will enjoy coming to the football again? I know some who have never been a hooligan in their lives, will feel aggrieved that they are being labelled like this. But hand on heart, people know that any supporter who leans towards being overly aggressive, will be attracted to this section? It is naïve to think that they will not be attracted to this section and all the issues this will cause.
It is a backward step on what has been a massive improvement in the sport. Football violence is down from the the 80’s. How many fans have died because of having seating in stadiums? How safe do we all feel now because of the safety in stadiums? But we have a group of sentimental supporters, who want for a bygone atmosphere, but seem to forget all the issues that occurred weekly because of the stands and attitude within the ground.
Hence the link to Brexit. The changes made throughout the 90’s and 2000’s happened for a reason. People dying is a reason for change. Would we change to having no seatbelts or having smoking back in pubs. It is not a restriction on rights, but lifesaving changes made for a reason. In the same way, all the small changes of shifting decisions we make to a centralised European system happened because it saved money, enabled opportunity for everyone in Europe and supported peace within a widening area, importantly for us in Northern Ireland. The fascists who want to change this think they can bring back a bygone age of the empire and British rule. They sold a past that we changed for a reason. So, we could feel safer and be better off. This is why we have all seater stadiums. This is why we are members of the EU. This is why we must stop both changes and be better off in our lives and in a football stadium. I have been at a ground when supporters have died. I don’t want to take a massive step back in life and football.

 

*Fever Pitch by Nick Holby – Excellent book and film

A Syrian and UN Catastrophe

So, yet another chemical attack on civilians has occurred and the world condemns but does little to change the situation. This failure of weak regimes in the US and expansionists in Russia and China mean the nation state should no longer have the power over the rest of the world that five countries currently hold. The UN and its security council needs to be run as a democracy, not left to the whim of selfish governments who are seen as major powers but use it like childish bullies.
The first step is to remove the veto from the security council. Each region should have an equal representation and a commanding majority should be needed for action to be in place (2/3rd majority). The permanent members should lose this position and the 15-20 states should rotate on a yearly basis.
All aid should go through the UN and be directed through its committees, rather than used as bribes by ‘major states’.
All disputes should go to the SC and the solutions brought about through it. Any country or group that goes against this agreement would see the full might of world action against it and all solutions for its benefit to be removed. Once seen as the aggressor, they lose all communications and must surrender before coming back to the negotiating table.
This means several power shifts will happen. First, the major nations will not be allowed to bully smaller nations with aid or money, as one nation will make little difference overall, which should remove the bribery.
The second is by removing the veto no nation can hold undue influence. Yes, this means that the UK, France and the US, who once were the beacons of democracy will lose that influence. But by arguing against this it treats other nations as childish and unable to make a decision.
It would mean all conflicts/disputes could and eventually should go through UN diplomacy. An example of this would be if the Catalans went to the UN to ask for independence. Independent monitors could assess the situation on the ground to see if this is what the people want. If it was felt a vote was required, then this would be put in place with the UN observing and ensuring a fair vote is in place. The Catalan example is a good example because although there are some strong opinions about this, I have read that most Catalans, although proud of their region, are happy to be in Spain and the EU. The indepenece vote is being driven by a few and is only gathering momentum because of the Spanish reaction.
You can though see why this will not be allowed to happen with the current regimes. The expansionists to the East, with Russia and China, will never allow a mechanism where they are thwarted, because they will suddenly be against the whole international community rather than a single nation. This makes the gamble to great. They would not be building islands in the south china sea or invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea.
The US would never allow this either, not with the current regime, but also with the general influence in the US. This is because the major conflict that is still on going is the Israel/Palestinian conflict. The current regime in Israel is again taking full advantage of the malaise in the international community and is expanding its borders into Palestinian territories. Yet a solution that each would agree to, must favour no state and so only by an independent treaty will any solution be found. Both sides have fought too long to be seen as the side that gives too much.

Finally, it would allow the forgotten wars, such as the war in Yemen, to be dealt with, rather than millions of lives wasted fighting in a civil war that will never stop in the short term, unless one side is brutally removed.
These people are not savages or foreigners who we should ignore, but Humans with the same ambitions and needs as ourselves. This is why as nations we need to lose a bit of sovereignty and give this power to the UN. There will be states, individuals who will test its resolve. But it won’t happen more than twice before any aggressor sees the futility of fighting the whole community.
This though shows how out of step I am with current thinking. The fascist nationalism that is sweeping the western democracies has meant we are in the grip of the biggest self-harm in recent history. As Russian bots send out misinformation to undermine our democracies, we fight the wrong enemy. All with a grubby power sweep away from peace and towards the wars in the future. Power shared is power that is less likely to be abused. This is shown in the EU and the UN. When it is done correctly we see prosperity and peace in regions and the solidarity we have been shown with the chemical attack in Salisbury, shows the power of the group. We are about to lose this. Is the world about to see the same problems as war comes to more regions with no power to stop it?

The religion of Brexit

What do they say? Never talk about politics or religion. What about when both merge into one? Red, Blue, Yellow, Green and recently openly white, most people are not distinctive in their political beliefs, even if they stick to one party all their life. Although I had always voted Conservative, when Blair won the 1997 election, I did not feel an impending doom, more a wonder at the first Labour government that I would know. I don’t know what colour I would be at the moment, but as I have aged (badly at times) I am more rainbow than I can remember. The policy tends to skew the political line I agree with. This makes me out of synch with modern political thinking.

 

You are now with us or against us. The enemy, traitors or unpatriotic, the reaper of our doom. It used to be the bloke on the corner with a sign saying ‘the end is nigh’, now it is anyone who disagrees with you. I fell into this trap after the Brexit vote. As I abused all leave voters of being racist in a slightly drunken annoyance, a good friend of mine told me he voted to leave and explained why. I was a little taken aback by his reasoning (project fear), but I realised I should not treat all leave voters with disdain, but to engage with them to see why they voted this way.

I am obviously not talking about the small number of racists, xenophobes who did vote because they hate anyone who is different, I am talking about people like my friends, sister, work colleagues who voted to leave because of two crucial anxieties.

Those were trust and control. This is what most discussions come down to. There is deep unease in the majority of the country that politics is being run for the few and not the many. That corruption is diluting what was a great country and politics and the people in it are running it for themselves and friends. The gap between London centric Westminster and the rest of the country has never felt wider. Brexit has capitalised on this.

If you look back at the last 25 years, since the UK left the ERM, we have had a constant stream of abuse towards the EU. Chapter and verse has been laid out by Pastor Farage and his Mail & Telegraph cronies, how all our ills have been created by the EU. How they take all our money and get the rewards.

tabloid

How it is run by beaurocrats, undemocratic and that ‘they’ waste our money for their pleasure. All this went, wrongly, unchallenged by an arrogant ruling class, and so, many assumed it must be true. Even when the accusations became more extreme and bizarre. The straight banana’s and the endless stream of refugees.

farage immigration

As this continued over time, our politicians were able to pass the buck to the Europeans, especially the Tories, who predominantly are seen as the ruling class. Anything that could not be done was their fault. Anything that went wrong or cost money was an EU directive. Then amazingly, when we went abroad those foreigners did not seem to follow the same rules. So ‘They’ must just ignore them and we are the fools for following them!

The belief increased to the extent it can no longer be questioned. Facts are used to argue a point, something I have done many times and yet I am told that I’m deluded. That I don’t understand. When I ask for the facts or evidence, I receive non. It is a belief like religion, that can never be wrong. Some have invested too much into this belief to accept that they may be wrong.

It did not help when Cameron and Osborne made wild statements of impending doom if we left the EU. All credibility was lost when they took the extreme view rather than simply pointing out that all analysis shows the UK worse off by leaving the EU.

This week, reality seemed to bite. Theresa May made a good speech where it was seen that to be able to trade with Europe we would still have to follow its rules. She made some good suggestions about how we can have ‘frictionless’ customs and how this should allow the continued progress in NI to be maintained.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-43261013/theresa-may-s-mansion-house-brexit-speech-in-full

But if you read the speech, the question begs, why are we leaving? There is no magic market in the world, which will bring us wealth. The only benefit is that we will not participate in the EU politic progress. This means we will follow their rules, but not shape them. Who has control now?

The ruling class, the conservatives, will feel like they run the country, but who will benefit from this? Will we have more equality when this happens? We could vote for the other extreme of failed socialism through the Corbyn party? Will this bring us closer together as a nation or be just another form of a divisive politics. Us v them!

Ideological belief, a religion that allows you never to accept your way is the wrong way, has never worked out well for a country. It is now more than ever than we look at the history of successful nations who have come together, worked together and created integrated laws to be successful (UK, USA, EU) rather than the authoritarian regimes that are inward looking, nationalistic (Russia, Soviet Union, Cambodia, China, N Korea) and are happy for their citizens to suffer for their ideological dream. Our future is working together, economically and politically. This is the control, it is the trust we need to gain back.

Is the world losing all respect for the USA?

The obvious answer is no. We do not judge the US by one man. However vile, racist and arrogant he is. Yet we are watching open mouthed as the land of the free turns into a de facto dictatorship.

The cornerstone of freedom is to have a free press. Yet the ‘fake news’ campaign is being used to undermine the press. It is not facts that are used to undermine the press but insults and pressure. It may be a bit far to claim he has Putin’s touch with dealing with the press, because Trump is not killing or imprisoning anyone who disagrees, but it is a fundamental principle that is being abused for his own end. The press is continually abused who don’t agree with him, while he feigns pleasure with Fox news as they pander to his sycophantic ways.

The irony is not lost when he criticizes a book about him, calling it lies, when he spouted so many about Obama’s birthplace or the never-ending changes to the Russian collusion story. He now wants to use the libel laws to curtail the press. This because he wants to hide Russia; sexual assault; money laundering and recently adultery. Freedom for the people or for Trump?

This is the man who is bad mouthing the US federal police force continually. Undermining respect for their work and the personal in their service. If he has nothing to fear then he should be happy for the investigation to proceed. Prove the doubters wrong. But we all know he complains too much.

Obama, the halcyon days. I wonder how much Americans crave the time when a president was coherent, calm and clear. Had the respect of the world, except Russia. Many thought it was because he was weak. Maybe it was because he wasn’t taking their money, sleeping with their women and colluding with them to steal an election? Anyone who still claims Obama was not capable, must now be seen as a racist. There is no explanation other than his skin colour. You don’t have to agree with his politics to see he progressed the country.

Every facet of the US constitution is under attack (apart from the 2nd amendment of course, no one seems to care in congress about 10000 gun deaths a year). Freedom of speech. Freedom of expression. The right to protest. All OK, good people on both sides, unless it is against president Chump. This poisonous regime is splitting the US into factions ready to fight, rather than uniting as a strong nation.

What can the US do about this? Obviously, Mueller is trying his best to find evidence so that Trump can be impeached. A senior diplomat resigned saying he could no longer serve under this administration. This is the time that the people need to look at the officials who just do as there told, even when they know it is wrong. The officials who follow and don’t question. I would suggest that there could be comparisons with Nazi Germany in the mid 1930’s. An appeasement to let Trump attack Muslims or the Mexicans, because it is not us. Eventually though these people, Trumps thugs, go for anyone that dares to disagree. You only have to look at Charlottesville and how he failed to condemn the racists who eventually killed a US citizen. Luckily the US is not Germany in the 1930’s. But the respect for its institutions is being seriously degraded by this fool and only the people can stop him. The politicians, especially the republicans, seem gutless to do anything.

How does this affect the UK? We have the Tories lying about Brexit and attacking our institutions for telling the truth. The ghost of Christmas past*, Rhys Mogg, is attending far right talks and attacking our foreign aid budget. The good Friday agreement is put in jeopardy to satisfy the right wing and a minority have driven wedges between groups so that they can peddle lies with little reproach.

The press, who have been guilty of expressing opinion rather than facts, need to focus on the latter and ensure the trust in hat they say is returned. This would allow the public to have more faith in what they read and then the serial liars, like Trump and Farage can be called out and seen for what they are.

One thing is for sure. No swamps are being drained and the US will have to work hard to correct the debacle of this current regime.

 

  • first seen on @37paday. An excellent twitter feed.

Buffoon Boris only in it for himself

Our Boris has had his say. What we thought was the big lie in the referendum was not big enough. He has tried an even bigger lie in January. What has Boris got to gain from this latest lie?

He is almost certainly vying for attention. He has had negative press because his comments led Iran to feel vindicated jailing Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. His foot in mouth diplomacy meant that this young mum spent Christmas in an Iranian jail, just for visiting relatives and she is still in jail. Normally one would expect this to be a sacking offence. But the cynical use of innocent people has never been a barrier for the furtherment of his career.

Let’s go back to the original 350 million the EU was stealing from us. We NEVER sent £350 million a week to the EU. Our rebate was always taken away before any money was sent. This would mean a gross amount of around £260 million. We also get just under £100 million back from the EU in subsidies and support for the poorest areas in the country. So, this figure is now £160 million per week. That is a lot of money and it equates to every individual paying £2 per week.

So, it is worth it. There is also money that goes to the private sector, supporting businesses. There is money that goes into research, a lot of which ends up in British universities, supporting local economies. Fish stocks recovering, the environment a priority for the farmers but still no food shortages. Depressed areas like Bradford getting around £12 million a year to support the community that the local and national government are neglecting, such as housing and our youth.

It goes to improve democratic processes throughout burgeoning democracies to the east of Germany. It supports the poorest regions in the EU. It has also been part of a continual peace in our region. There is waste, as in any democracy, but not as much as our hyped-up media would have you believe.

A cultural enlightenment that means many young Britains (below 40) feel European and part of a greater community. The same youth who voted against Brexit are the very ones who will have to live with it. This week the Berlin wall has been down, longer than it was up. Astonishing, peaceful change in Europe with very little bloodshed and democracies starting up. How much did the EU support this political process? Would it have been so peaceful without something to join?

So, the lie is clearly a lie and yet the Buffoon still repeated it and has now upped the ante. He is also now claiming to want to build a bridge to France after burning our own with the EU. How irrelevant is he feeling at this moment in time? Theresa May cannot last past March 2019 and I would suspect may go before this. The government is paralysed by Brexit and blinded by the shining light of a disaster facing this country, that the NHS, education and the people are being left to rot while they fight to find a cohesive Brexit strategy and our Buffon schemes to lead.

So, Boris can’t find anything positive about Brexit so deflects with nonsense. As with any great Trumpism, don’t worry about the lie, just say it long enough, make it wild enough and no one will ever doubt it. When though will this country wake up to the lies, manipulation that is alienating the people in the country, causing poverty on an unprecedented scale and will only benefit the few who avoid their taxes and want a far-right agenda in this country.

We need to stop being deflected and start focusing and getting our media to ask the right questions and not let this nonsense go unchallenged. Only then will the paucity of their arguments be obvious to all.

The Tory Suicide

I feel the whiff of election disaster in the air. The Tories seem to be pursuing political suicide and think a quick apology here or there will suffice.

The NHS has been starved of funding and the much vaunted ‘350M per week’ has quickly evaporated, fundamentally because it was lies. There is a lack of doctors, because of the ridiculous junior doctor’s contracts forced through. There is a lack of nurses because of pay, conditions and poor recruitment. 1 in 8 emergency patients are left in the ambulance for 30+minutes. How often do we have to put up with this? How many additional deaths will be reported before people take this seriously? Should you ignore it until it is your relative who dies in a corridor or in the ambulance?

Schools have been cost cutting for 7 years now. Parents are buying more equipment so that schools can do their job, bigger class sizes, less teaching assistants, longer periods for CAMH’s appointments, affecting the mental health of children. Money wasted on free schools and faith schools that could be used to fill the shortfalls in the system. The education of our young people affected by this government.

Brexit shows incompetence and delusion to the extreme. Everything the Tories have said would happen has been rejected. We would pay nothing to the EU. (50-60 billion). The easiest trade deal ever. (not even started). A minister who leaves meetings early to meet the Daily Fail editor. Finally, unelected bureaucrats are negotiating for the UK because the EU was being run by unelected bureaucrats!! A trade minister who has so far visited 43 countries and has zero initial agreements in 17 months. Yes, he cannot agree a trade deal until we leave, but he could have those initial agreements lined up showing how much other countries want to trade with us. He has none.

Finally, the infighting and low majority. Yes, we can find £1 billion for the DUP so that we can have a minority government, but not for the NHS, education, mental health, tuition fees…

You would have thought the annihilation of 1997 would have taught the Tories that Europe only brings about disaster for them. Yet they have been driven by an infected minority, who have been pandered to, when they should have been ignored. They would have done much better to let the activists and MP’s leave for UKIP and start afresh with new candidates. The reason this did not happen is because the people with the power have the money. They are the ones who keep their money off shore, who would be most affected by the EU closing the tax havens down. So, the EU irrationality has been funded and fuelled in the tory party and in the papers.

I ask any Tory if they are currently happy with the debacle? Anyone who says yes is so blinded by their partisan mentality they would follow them to oblivion. If not, then how do you stop this carnage? My personal feelings are that I could never vote for them again. There saving grace is that Jeremy Corbyn is running labour. Where would the Tories be if David Miliband had won the party nomination rather than Ed? Where would the country be? I know some labourites were happy that they did not do badly, but even with all of this happening they still could not persuade the majority to vote for them. Corbyn is as much a fundamentalist, which will always alienate a majority in the end, as the far-right Tories are doing. This is why I have joined the Liberal Democrats. The 2-party system is failing this country. First past the post is failing the country. It is creating a system that panders to influential minorities rather than focussing on the majority. It is creating a parliament that fuels rhetoric rather than honesty. It creates dissolution with democracy because people do not feel part of the system. Hence the Brexit vote. I know the coalition is brought up as an example of how the liberals did not work. But I would ask these questions? A party that won 15% of the nation’s vote is constantly criticised that it did not push for tuition fees to be removed. One policy compared to the many the other parties constantly back track on. Also without Nick Clegg’s liberals steadying the ship, would Austerity have been far worse and the countries public services in a worse state than they currently are? I doubt it.

It is time for this current government to be removed from power and to give the country the chance to move forward. Dare I say that this is actually the will of the people.

Anyone want to leave the Brexit train?

We are 17 months into our Brexit future and I wonder how the 17.4million (26.7% of population) who voted for Brexit still feel. The mounting evidence of our impending economic downturn and the fanatics with their hands over their ears shouting loudly ‘I’m not listening’, seems bizarre in the extreme.

I have several questions that I think show the insanity of the situation, and whether anyone who supported Brexit could realistically answer with facts rather than blind faith.

  1. Why when we are so close to the most successful trading block, are we leaving the single market and scrambling to be part of smaller trading blocs in the pacific ring?
  2. Why do we include students in immigrant figures, inflating those figures, when they bring income to world leading institutions and therefore local economies? Is it to create a problem that does not exist?
  3. Why are the people who wanted Brexit so lacking in ideas about its future?
  4. Why have those same people completed no impact assessments for leaving the EU?
  5. Why are the people who wanted sovereignty, so scared to debate this in our sovereign parliament?
  6. Why do they want an open border with Ireland and free movement of goods, but refuse to allow it elsewhere?
  7. Is any industry excelling since we have voted to leave the EU?

The cancer infecting the Tory party, which has been eating away at it for over 30 years is now directly impacting on the United Kingdom. Where before they were simply voted out for 13 years, they are now causing the country to be ruined by lies and deceit. Even chief Buffoon Boris didn’t expect or want to win, he was mainly positioning himself for leadership in the future. In fairness, he would have been successful, except of course he won the vote and lost all chances of being PM.

If we look at each question individually we can see the shambles that is occurring in front of our eyes. It is economic suicide to leave the 2nd biggest trading block in the world. It is the largest economy in the world and the largest trader of manufactured goods. The same trading block that is outperforming the US and other major economies and we want to leave it. It has meant that the UK has dropped to the bottom of G8 countries for growth in that short 17-month period from the top.

https://www.ft.com/topics/themes/UK_GDP (please read articles, rather than headlines)

Have the Tories and the tabloids been stoking the immigrant card to enrage a public. Area’s, such as Gosport, with little immigration invariably used immigration as an excuse for leaving the EU. Immigration does impact locally, but only if government does not plan for it. As the public services, agriculture and service industries struggle to cover for immigrants leaving, is reduced immigration worth the cost to the economy? We are also finding the Brits are not wanting to take over the immigrants jobs.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/british-workers-wanted

Where are the inspirational ideas and leaders for Brexit’s future? There are non, because it was driven by hate and ignorance. This kind of thinking only breeds the accusations about patriotism, traitors and abuse of Judges, MP’s and anyone else who disagrees. It does not fuel enlightenment and progress because it is the antithesis of this.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/11/brexiteers-trade-brexit-molly-scott-cato-greens

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexiteers-economics-crash-pound-trade-deals-incoherent-a7189901.html

In terms of impact assessments, the ridiculous part is they have been done. The governments own economic assessment in 2016 was abused as fear mongering. Unfortunately, it has been shown to be accurate in terms of reduced growth and a falling pound. The £350 million each week for the NHS has now disappeared by lower tax receipts and the cost of Brexit. Apart from it being a fabrication from the start and a third went to our poorest areas, the promises to the farmers, fisheries and car industry make that amount a deficit now. The other reports, which will have been completed, will show a negative for the economy. Otherwise the brexiteers would have them in their tabloids, highlighted, and paraded with parties in the street so we could look forward to our utopian future of isolation.

https://fullfact.org/europe/brexit-impact-assessments/

Of course the EU have completed impact assessments. They are all negative and so shall be ignored or because they are derived from facts and honest assessment.

You cannot have your cake and eat it. The arrogance of these Tories and Farage, that blame everyone for not accepting an open Ireland border, but their refusal to accept the single market and the ECJ to monitor that border. You cannot pick and choose international agreements and this reality has still not sunk into this old colonial bunch.

There are no positives to this, unless you have a view that the UK is for white English speakers who drink tea and attend church regularly and almost certainly believe in the class system. These people would not be persuaded by zero employment or any fact that shows the wrong decision has been made, so I would not try.

Some though still see the EU as bloated and undemocratic. I agree. Yet this is not the way to change or improve it. There are millions of people in Europe who agree with us, but cannot support an arrogant nation who only argue for themselves.

We must stop Brexit and we must then look to change the EU for the better politically. If we have to leave, we must stay in the single market and keep the benefits of this. We can then hope that our politicians can focus on the british people and deal with our NHS, education, mental health, the housing market, reduced incomes, higher costs, looking after our aging population, infrastructure to improve productivity……

Here’s hoping.

Exclusive Daily Mail extended interview: Nigel Farage ‘man of the people’

Man of the people, Nigel Farage spoke extensively to Paul Dacre, Daily Fail editor, about his life before and after the referendum. These extracts failed to make it into the Mail, but they have exclusively been revealed today.

Paul Dacre (PD): Nigel, man of the people, why do you think you connect with all the common people of Britain, like what we do?

Nigel Farage (NF): I think it started at Dulwich College. Although this is a fee paying independent school, it’s not like Eton, which needs serious money to attend. Us nouveau riche were never accepted by the ruling class of Britain. That’s why I didn’t bother with Oxford or Cambridge. It was nothing to do with intellect, I just knew I wouldn’t fit in with the ruling elite. Anyway, someone I knew in the city had offered me a job because of the school I went to, so I was fine.

PD: So did that rejection hurt?

NF: No. The real rejection came when the Tories refused to have me as an MP. Too racist they said. I knew then that the establishment was against me, so I left and created UKIP. I had seen a niche in European elections, where no one really voted. I knew that if I could galvanise the racist and ignorant, then i would not need a majority to get in. I was always described as loud and ballsy, so I just moaned about the EU constantly and no one seemed to check what I was saying was lies.

PD: So you had over twenty years as an MEP, what is your biggest achievement?

NF: Well I’ve screwed the EU for every cent I could get. You know I live in a multi million pound house. I have increased the far right in the EU and I knew once I got the eastern Europeans in, I would really accelerate the hate towards minorities. These peope who say I achieved nothing need to look at that record and weep.

PD: Have you always been seen as racist?

NF: Well this is political correctness gone mad. I mean, in the 60’s and 70’s it was fine to call the  blacks and Asians by whatever name we liked. Now we can’t say anything like that.

I am not a racist. I know some blacks and I would even have a black person as a servant or something like that.

PD: What was the biggest driver for you personally  to get the UK to leave the EU?

NF: I just don’t agree with foreigners setting rules that we have to follow. Its wrong. We now have to follow what the french and germans tell us. We are the empire and we can again rule once the EU breaks up and Trump dismantles NATO and the UN. We again can be the white force running the world in our interests.

PD: And what about your future?

NF: I’m back to where I began really. As a common man. My loss of pay to only £70000 is like those northerners and the poor having to go on universal credit. There suffering is my suffering. I don’t know how I will cope. Barring a couple of holidays for me, somewhere hot obviously to keep the tan up, I will have to beg to people like the daily mail owners, so I can stay in their tax break off shore houses, now the EU wont get to them obviously. ( wry smile on NF face)

I am a bit depressed though. I don’t understand why people hate me so much. I never said I was telling the truth, just jousting the establishment and bringing out the British superiority complex about foreigners, so I could get my knighthood and retire. Now everyone hates me and I only have my EU pension to survive on. It’s ironic that the people I hated and fought, have to pay me until I die. One big laugh really.

PD: Finally, any more political activities?

NF: I’m a big hit with the racists abroad now. I went to a far right rally in the Germany recently and obviously Trumps my BFF. I may go and live over there. As I campaigned for the paedophile Roy Moore, I thought this southern america suits me down to the ground. They know how to treat the inferior and can say what they like. No political correctness. Its great.

 

That’s it for this extract. You can see more later when Nigel talks to Paul about how the daily HateMail has used its influence to galvanise the little Englander in us all and how Nigel worked with Russian Bots to seed the hate in Britain and the US.

Please note: NF is definitely for Nigel Farage and not the National Front, who in no way want to be associated with these comments.

 

Brexit: Falling down the Rabbit hole

Well, this process just keeps getting stranger. I have described it as Alice’s Rabbit hole before and the we seem to be getting further down it. The question is, will we be able to wake up from this dream?

All through the vote, we were told that we would never leave the single market and we would be like Norway. We had no need to worry with the “easiest” negotiations in history. They need us more than we need them. Awake yet?

  1. WTO tariffs will be fine. Yes and no to this question. The country will be able to trade under these rules. The downside no one seems to mention is that it will decimate the manufacturing sector. No one has mentioned it because no Brexiteer cares that these lower wage jobs will go. Except of course the people who will be out of work.
  2. We should be able to trade like Norway. Yes and no again. We can trade like Norway, but this means free movement and being in the customs union. All fine in my opinion. We have left the EU. Tick. We can trade with the EU as before. Tick. Except the hard brexiteers do not want this  and so have turned the referendum into people voting for this and not to leave the EU. I would suggest at this point a second vote may be needed, but this terrifies them and so they will fight this at every opportunity.
  3. The easiest negotiations EVER. Always a curious one for me. If the EU took the hit, the trade with the UK is spread over 27 countries and the imports from the UK could then be created in the EU itself. We on the over hand lose 42% of our trading partners immediately. I would suggest this will decimate our economy. But i know this is project fear so I should not even try and be unpatriotic. We are already losing EU jobs and funding to our institutions as we have seen this week. When will reality bite.
  4. If only people just believed, it would become true. At this point I roll my eyes and curse these idiots. If the argument is right and has been won, then it would move forward with gusto and determination. Yet what we have found, with the Brexiteers driving this, is road blocks, car crashes and an EU who do not need us, who are driven by their principles of free movement and who’s house has not collapsed when the UK voted leave. If anything, it has galvanised the EU citizens, realising what a devastating event the leave vote was. They do not want that and have shown that in how they have voted in national elections. We are alone.

I am happy to go with the decision to leave the EU, in the sense that it did get a majority vote. We did not vote for any particular type of leave. In a balance to the whole country, we should look to have the Norwegian approach in the short-term, 5 to 10 years. This would allow business to continue; we would have left the EU and it will allow us to trade elsewhere. No cliff edge, no hard-line, just a smoother exit. Almost sensible. Yet what we have is maniac’s blaming Ireland; blaming the EU; blaming judges; blaming anyone who they think they can smear to take the light off what is the worse the decision this country has made. Not only that, but they keep on telling what this vote was. A vote for no immigration; a vote to pay nothing; a vote to control our borders ( reminder: they did not say reduce immigration after the vote); a vote to stop the ECJ having jurisdiction in the UK. Let me repeat, all we voted for was leave or remain. Binary choice, and no definition with it. It is now up to this country and the EU to negotiate what we have.

We could always have another vote to decide.(sorry)

Of course what i would like is to wake up from this divisive insanity, where a small tribal group push to be out of the EU because they do not like others having power, that they feel they are entitled to. Whether that is the tax exiles, who are scared of the EU rules on tax havens(media moguls and the wealthy within the Tories) or the racists and xenophobes who fear an integrated community. In my woken state, i will see a second referendum, with proportional representation and a non binary vote, which gives us an opportunity to give the people a choice and allow the country to progress with Hard Brexit; Soft Brexit (norwegian model) or retract and stay. This third option is obviously mine allowing us to use the event to change the EU for the better, inside the organisation. Lets hope that queen does not catch us and we wake up safe.