Vince Cable should have respect for his peers! The ideal EU voter was 70 years old!

Vince Cable should have respect for his peers! The ideal EU voter was 70 years old!

The phrase “have some respect for your elders” used to be often heard. The basic concept was that those who had been around for longer than you might have known a little. Even if you disagreed with them, or thought your view more with the times, it was sensible to pay attention and acknowledge the experience and knowledge that informed the position. The new Liberal Democrat leader should have remembered this.

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Sir Vince Cable should have paid heed to this old chestnut before sounding off in his Mail on Sunday piece this weekend. You may have thought, that as member of the group he disparaged, an attempt to understand those with a different view might be expected of the newly elected leader of our third political party. Instead he launched a scattergun attack on those over 65 who voted to leave the EU.

Given the chance I would think many over 65’s, regardless of their voting position, would strongly object to the Liberal Democrat leaders summary of their motives and intentions. In addition the dismissal of their experience and hopes would be vehemently opposed even by those not in his line of fire.

Sir Vince opened his assault with the slur that Brexit voting pensioners “imposed a world view coloured by nostalgia for an imperial past”. Think about that for a moment, basically if you are over 65 and voted to leave you are like the Major from Faulty Towers. However Vince’s calculations are simply wrong. If we take a person who was 70 years of age, on June 23rd 2016, they would have been born in 1946. They would have spent their teens in the “swinging sixties” and, other than possibly Indian independence, they would have no actual memory of the height of the British Empire. Like all those born in the aftermath of WWII they would have grown up in a Europe desperate not to repeat such tragedy and would have seen, and supported, all the post war efforts to cooperate peacefully and join hands with other nations.

Our hypothetical 70-year-old would also have witnessed the struggles of a post war UK and the possible benefits of our EEC membership. By the time of the EU referendum in 1975 they would have been almost 30, working and or a mother. It is likely that they would have seen the Common Market as a good economic opportunity and an extension of the mutual cooperation that had become the post war model.

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Kate Hoey might be the perfect example of why 70 is the perfect age for a considered Brexit vote.

By the time of their retirement, in or around 2011, they would have witnessed the change in what they voted for, especially post Maastricht in 1992, and have the experience to weigh up the pros and cons of our membership over 40 years. In short our septuagenarian is the ideal voter. He/she has fully experienced the UK in and out of the EU, they have been able to compare what we were promised with what we have and they have managed to weigh the alternatives not only in the light of their own views but also in the context of their families future. Having taken all that into account you can bet that a vote either way was not lightly cast. By dismissing this Vince Cable is cheapening the only voters who were fully informed and were certainly not low information!

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Should Sir Dancelot really rubbish his age group peers?

Sir Dancelot also implies that the elderly have deliberately “shafted the young”. Putting that in context he is stating that, having weighed up all the above, the old then deliberately chose to damage their own children and grand children as well as those of all their friends and relatives. Would we accept this in any other debate? In allowing Vince’s view we are accepting the over 65 don’t care about the future of the citizens of the UK and their future. All they care about is some idealistic image of a Great Britain and in exchange for this they are deliberately harming others. This is an intolerable assumption. Instead if we accept that those who have grown through a hugely challenging, but ultimately successful, time in the development of their nation, and the world in general, are in a unique position to make a considered, and overall, view in this matter and to cast their vote in the genuine belief that it offers the best chance for the long-term future of the generations that follow them.

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Simply look at those, over a certain age, who backed leaving and Cable’s one-dimensional view collapses. Nigel Lawson and David Owen both made much of their political careers whilst staunch Europhiles. Kate Hoey is neither rich nor tory and yet campaigned for Brexit aged 69 and voted aged 70. Newly knighted Sir John Timpson has been a huge success in many areas of life, and was born in 1943, his quiet but principled avocation of leaving was typical of many of his generation.

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Sir John Timpson. His quiet but firm advocacy for Brexit is a fine example of his generations considered beliefs.

So, Sir Vince. Instead of “have some respect for your elders” how about you just “have some respect for your peers”.

What to call a Remainer……?

What to call a Remainer……?

Recently I have bemoaned the nasty habit of using derogatory labels, names and add ons for those of differing political views. The vicious tone of much of the discussion surrounding Brexit, Trump and Corbyn is nasty and divisive in tone and often abusive. None seem able to mention those with other views without adding summary put downs.

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Jacob Rees Mogg. An arch Brexiteer yet totally respectful to those who voted differently

A particular concern are the terms added to Leave and Remain voters. Some, from both sides, are meant to carry a mild rebuke  e.g. Remoaner or Brexiteer. Whilst others carry far worse implications suggesting evil intentions e.g. Continuity Remain or Brexstremists. Surely twelve months after the referendum we can do better than hurl spiteful names. However the concept of trying to identify differing groupings of those on both sides is understandable and sometimes necessary when attempting to discuss and debate the finer points of Brexit reality.

My chosen prefix for the last few months has been Zombie. When tied to Remain it summarises the groups of individuals and special interest groups that will not let any opportunity pass without raising the spectre of another referendum or some such devise to derail what they see as a national disgrace and catastrophe. However I accept that it has a negative context. Linking anyone with the walking dead etc. is not ideal. Thus an improved idea was needed.

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Alistair Campbell, the architect of Neo Remain?

At last one has arrived. Neo-Remain, surely this cannot be objected to in any major way. Many of the grouping are indeed new and their common cause certainly is. Many have similarities to what are referred to as Neo-Cons and, in basic decency terms, there is no nasty connotation.

That’s it then in a spirit of fairness and in an attempt not to use over heated, nasty, war like, terms it shall be Neo Remain from now on. I wonder what similarly reasonable but descriptive term could be applied to us Leavers?

Brexit Boloney – 5 New Nothing Burgers from Project Fear.

Brexit Boloney – 5 New Nothing Burgers from Project Fear.

The propagandists of Zombie Remain have been working at full tilt in recent weeks to ensure that you are still subject to fear and loathing in Brexitland. Here are 5 of the latest efforts to scare everyone from pensioners to the critically ill. Oh Yeah, also a small dose of reality  to make sure you can sleep at night.

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More Brexit Boloney?

 

Claim: The Independent claims that Brexit will cause sacrifices not seen since WWII!

Reality: The article only mentions these sacrifices in the last line and does not detail them at all. The rest of the article details a possible strategy for making the most of a no deal Brexit. Basically a hardline Thatcherite model that even the author suggests might work!

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Many nations outside the EU either have associate membership of Euratom or with other such bodies based in the US and elsewhere.

Claim: Cancer victims will suffer from Brexit! The various versions of this tale simply rely on the UK withdrawing from Euratom and doing nothing to replace its atomic regulation and research, especially in the medical field.

Reality: The UK will have to withdraw, from Euratom, as it is part of the EU treaties. However the Swiss already have an associate membership that works perfectly well. In addition the UK may well look to ally itself with US and Australian bodies that perform a similar function as well as developing its own. Yet another example of particularly nasty fear mongering.

Claim: The Great Repeal Bill is a draconian bill designed to give the government more secret power. Labour’s Clive Lewis even claimed it will turn the UK into a one party state.

Reality: No one has offered an alternative to the basic idea behind the bill. Put simply we need to prevent gaps in the law that would happen if we removed 43 years worth of cases, laws and regulations. In addition the bill will repeal the European Communities Act of 1972 and return full sovereignty to parliament. The scare tactics here imply that the government will use the Henry VIII clauses ( powers that allow the government to technically amend laws without changing them) to do as it pleases behind the scenes. Funny that no one protested that for 43 year most European legislation was passed behind the scenes and without even a vote. The truth is that the powers enable those translating laws to replace the words  “European Parliament” with ” United Kingdom Parliament” and other such slight amendments.

Surely MP’s would not like the idea of working 24/7 for the next decade debating and voting on each and every language change in the tens of thousands of laws needed to be transposed?

Claim: The UK negotiations team are unprepared and or incompetent. Various sources have either claimed this or claimed that that is the view of the EU team.

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Despite being radically shocked, by Brexit, the idea that the civil service are incompetent and unorganised is a bit tough to take.

Reality: David Davies and his team have been working away for nearly nine months. They have produced plenty of ideas and plans. However they are not happy to declare any detail, outside the negotiations or, until they have a good idea what the EU are thinking. The citizens rights offer demonstrates that actually the UK can produce detailed and constructive proposals that are not a million miles from an agreement. They seem however to want tease out as much information from the EU before declaring their hand. The EU are simply complaining that the UK will not show its hand early. UK sources supporting the negative view of the UK approach are doing more harm than good.

A perfect example of this was yesterdays fuss regarding how many notes each side had. The EU released a still of their side having reams of paperwork and documents whilst the UK team appeared to have one slim black notebook between them. If your case is strong enough you do not need reams of paper to demonstrate it. 

Claim: Economy already in decline due to Brexit! This is daily drip feed of stories with the tilt being that every single figure comes with a “due to Brexit” or a “despite Brexit” tag.

Reality: Pretty much the only negative economic area that can be partially laid at the door of Brexit is the higher than expected rises in inflation. This has dropped again today and is predicted by almost everyone to settle back pretty swiftly. The rest of the economic indicators are the usual mix of positive and negative. Growth is slightly lower than hoped but still upward and steady. Investment is strong and manufacturing and exports and very promising.

The constant downbeat whirring from the Remoaners and their friends in the media may well be one of the primary causes for a slight dip in confidence. If they put as much efforts into creating a positive plan for Brexit and post Brexit Britain things might get even better!

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Vote Leave campaign director has always held doubts about the appropriateness of the referendum and the ability of the outdated Whitehall machine to maximise its benefits.

Claim: High Profile Leavers suffering from Bregret! Apparently some of the highest profile leavers are suffering doubts and regrets now that they see the reality.

Reality: Read a little further into any of these stories and what you see is that people like Gisela Stuart and Dominic Cummings have legitimate concerns about the process of the referendum or the ability of the government to carry things out well. Being as the that puts them in the same camp as most of the rest of the country I think we can move on unperturbed.

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Gisela Stuart also refered to the way the referendum was called, and held, as imperfect. The idea of Bregret is utter rubbish.

 

5 Great Brexit Bonuses.

5 Great Brexit Bonuses.

Recent press coverage and renewed vigour from “Zombie Remain” may have you thinking that Brexit is just one big headache of stress and negativity. However just a glance below the surface will reveal many of the most positive elements of the Vote Leave case are coming true.

Better for UK

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The huge impact of this image, from the referendum campaign, demonstrates the emotions that lie beneath and can be seen in the treatment of UK fishermen

1.The UK fishing industry, and community, has taken its first steps to becoming independent and self managing.  Although in some ways this is a more symbolic, and emotional, bonus, it should not be underestimated. The above photo from the “battle of the Thames” serves to remind us of the emotions that lie just beneath the surface. The appalling sacrifice of an entire industry by Ted Heath underlined in many ways the underlying difficulties of the European project for the UK. The return of control to UK ministers will allow the good work that has been done in recent times to continue and develop. Norway, Iceland and many other nations across the globe have seen both environmental and commercial benefits from cooperative approaches under international agreements that recognise coastal nations rights and responsibilities. The appointment of Mr Gove, as Secretary of State, bodes well for UK fishing, after all he is personally attached to its successful future as he stated clearly during the Leave campaign.

2.A Global Trading Nation. Although there are those who like to scoff, and intimate that this is simply nostalgia, it is looking like the UK has picked a perfect time to front a global push for more trade. A recent slow down, or reverse, in trade volumes looks to be being pushed back and the strong possibility of the UK kicking off a new round of expansion with multiple bi lateral and even multilateral deals in the months following Brexit. Regardless of President Trumps enthusiasm, for a powerful and quick deal, it obvious that almost all of the US political establishment are more than keen to go ahead. Indeed, Vice President Pence was previously the leader of a state that directly opposed Obama’s “back of the queue” remarks. The Anglosphere  nations look to be likely to be swiftest and strongest but others are not likely to be far behind. It is nice of the EU to have done much of the prep work for deals with Canada and Japan. It is very informative to note that many of those most enthusiastic are those who are the strongest free trade nations including New Zealand, South Korea and Chile.

Better for the EU

3. A fully integrated Eurozone. With the election and ambitions of Emmanuel Macron it appears that the EU may at last confront its major problems and proceed without the foot-dragging UK to act as an anchor. The Euro and Germany’s approach to it has been a jobs and democracy destroying machine that must be brought under control. The only real solution is a full economic and political union and a dramatic transfer of wealth between the creditor and debtor nations of the EU. This will be painful for some and cathartic for others but in the end is unavoidable. Germany will no longer have the UK to hide behind here and will soon become seen as the exploitative party that it is. However in the long-term France has the advantage of younger demographics and thus pain in exchange for reform now will be far better being surpassed at a later date. Being as this state of affairs was the aim of the founder nations of the EU ( in its earlier forms)  it should be seen as a tremendous achievement and we should wish them every success. Its main difficulty however could be an inward looking, protectionist attitude that may hamper its economic development post integration. Add in EU moves toward an Army and other statehood signals and the United States of Old Europe is not far away.

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Even arch federalists can see the benefit in a two centre EU

4. An EU of two halves? Many in the EU including Jaques Delors, and a number of Eurosceptic Britons, have long seen a two-part EU as a desirable solution to many different EU problems. Such a scheme will allow accession nations such as Hungary and Poland to continue their development post communism and limit the culture clashes between them and the early members. It may also go a long way to solving the problem of Turkey joining the EU along with offering a staging post for other nations who may wish to have a close cooperative relationship without political or economic integration. It is indeed not beyond the realm of possibility that the UK would align itself with this group in a close but informal way. The tensions between older and younger members and North and South seem to suggest that some form of two centre arrangement is en route.

Better for the ROW

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A bold & positive example can be exemplified by UK Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary and Leave Leader Boris Johnson

5. The Rest of the World seem to have gotten a basic, if sometimes flawed, grip on the Brexit phenomena after a twelve month adjustment period. Some both inside Europe and without are beginning to see the advantages. Spanish businessmen have noted the strong possibility of the UK becoming a trade hub for worldwide trade. Developing, especially Commonwealth, nations need no convincing that they stand to benefit massively from the opening up of the UK market and the abandonment of the EU external tariff. The reassertion of the supremacy of UK courts will also demonstrate the strength of the common law model but ensure confidence in trade and investment.

 Through her endeavor, and her example, it may well be that the UK becomes a model for independent nations with a 21st century global view.

Don’t Panic, We & Our Political Class are Re-Learning How to Govern Ourselves.

Don’t Panic, We & Our Political Class are Re-Learning How to Govern Ourselves.

If you have centre right views, the chances are you have been swinging from mild euphoria to extreme fear and trepidation over the last year or so. Following the EU Referendum you may have been cheery and positive whereas after last month’s near death, by Marxism, experience mild panic and then blessed relief will have run through your veins.

The overall effect, of these events, will be a heightened sense of distress at every turn toward, so called, soft Brexit or Corbynista momentum gain.  The dithering, incoherent government response, to events, daily tasks and even basic underlying principles, seems to foreshadow disaster at every turn. What’s going on? You might ask, just as you thought it was all turning your way, you may feel the rug has been pulled from under your feet.

Pause for a moment, take a deep breath and re frame your surroundings.

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So the loonies from Islington are on a bit of a roll, the current Conservative government seems to have forgotten the basic case for Conservatism, fiscal responsiblity, capitalism and free trade and the cabinet cannot agree on anything unless it has been road tested in the Sunday newspapers. However post election madness is not actually that rare, each faction and group tends to seize the initiative if possible or to create as much noise as possible as a distraction from a poor performance or result.

If Isaac Newton’s rules can be applied to politics then all the above was to be expected. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The initial headless chicken reaction of MP’s and others is slowly abating and a veneer of simply getting on with job is beginning to glaze over the hysterical Labour led nonsense. The sensible course of action will present itself and be adopted.

May stays as Prime Minister until at least next spring and quite possibly to the end of Brexit negotiations, between August 2018 and March 2019, at which point the Conservative Party will hold a leadership contest and present a new program and vision for “Britain Beyond Brexit”. If properly managed it is unlikely that Brexit will be greatly different to the PM’s initial white paper and Lancaster House speech, with possible transition arrangments. Thus the government will have delivered what 85% of the elctorate recently voted for.

Therefor every Conservative, or right leaning citizen, has at least three years to formulate positive principles and policies, and the presentation of them, to guide the UK going into the world post 2019. Surely this will be enough time to take the positive case to the UK and fight the backward socialists of Mr Corbyn’s hard left cabal, it is also more than likelty that “Hard Labour” will keep showing their true colours over the next few years and look a far less innocent package.

Other than simply that time, and common sense, is on our side there are other reasons to be positive, even in this sensationalized atmosphere. The disruption caused by both the Brexit Vote and the General election are part of a process that will force all elements of our political class and civil service to accept one simple fact. We are again responsible for governing ourselves! This can only lead to a modernisation and re invigoration of our institutions and procedures. MP’s and all others involved will have to do things, not just hand them over to others. Knowledge and its application may become as valuable a commodity as charisma and speech making.

The reaction to practical disaster, Grenfell Tower, and political upheaval, the DUP deal has demonstrated how poorly we are placed assess our strengths and weaknesses and began a process of renewal and overhaul before Brexit day in 2019. Yes folks our political lords and masters are going to have to do stuff again.  Build things, staff things, train people and generally get us in fighting fit shape. Not a bad aim.

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This will finally help us kick off some of our hangover arrogance, acceptance of the status quo and administrative mediocrity. Our politicians will have to take direct responsibility again, our institutions will needs to be fully staffed, properly funded, streamlined and modernised in every way. Our people will have to get active and make efforts to fully understand and be involved in our politics again. It will be fantastic, we shall have to have proper policies again in areas such as agriculture, trade, environment, education and training. Leaving our government to the EU has been a national disaster, out sourcing our people’s future to Brussels distanced our democracy from its members and now they are demanding a real say, whether we like their views or not.

Forcing those who govern to have real and deep understanding of issues such as trade relationships and legal and constitutional development can only lead to more grown up government and more interactive politics. Our forty-three year old get out of jail free card is about to become invalid. No longer can Brussels be blamed for matters that should have been governments responsibility.

It will take time and there will be problems along the way. They will not be simply economic either. The recent controversies surrounding Northern Ireland  demonstrate that no longer will out of sight out of mind attitudes work with relation to the function of our Union.

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This should fill all of us ‘Right’ minded folk with positivity. The renewal of an active democracy will also see the renewal of common sense. The La La Land promises of Corbyn et al will be seen as just that and straight forward Conservatism, with a Classical Liberal element, will offer a visible and practical set of values and principles that, if properly constructed, will bring about a consensus on all the major issues such as the NHS, Tax, Education and Social Care along with our inter governmental alliances and policies. If we can manage to stumble out of our, self-imposed, infantile state and take back control of our future a national and political renewal/revolution will have taken place from which we can only gain.

Playing Politics with Tragedy is Beneath Contempt.

Playing Politics with Tragedy is Beneath Contempt.

If we do not learn immediately that politicking with tragedy is beneath contempt then we are heading for a truly dark place where no limits apply and a free for all, at the expense of innocent,victims is the norm.

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Like many people in Britain,and all over the world, I have found it almost impossible not to follow the news in the last 48hrs. The tragedy of Grenfell Tower is deeply shocking and of the type that we hoped was no longer possible. Perhaps naively, it seemed that the days of mass casualties from a building fire were long gone. Although fire, and its dreadful consequences, will always be with us, modern building techniques, fire prevention standards and procedures to deal with emergencies, had seemed to minimise both the number of such fires and the havoc they cause. Wrong.

However, one thing that has proven true is that the combination of demand driven media and the lowering of moral standards in how we conduct our politics, has led to a very disturbing habit, that of instant politicisation of even the gravest disaster. Within hours, of the blaze being reported, lazy assumption were being made, reported and exacerbated across all forms of media available to our modern, connected society. Council cuts and austerity were blame, gentrification was to blame, criminal profiteering was to blame, EU regulations were to blame, Theresa May was to blame, Sadiq Khan was to blame, Boris Johnson was to blame, the cladding company was to blame, building companies were to blame and governments since 1999 were to blame. All this within 48 hrs and all based on snippets of information taken on faith and outside any context whatsoever.

It is one thing for victims, relatives, residents and others affected to be grief striken and furious at such a catastrophic chain of events. This is natural, totally understandable and absolutely right. It is quite another thing for those in the media, politics, activism or groups of interested parties to be whipping up both a storm of protest and offering trite part solutions to problems that may not have had any part to play or may have been only loosly connected.

Jeremy Corbyn had linked the fire to local authority cuts and inequality in the UK within a few hours. This lead to a general outcry that no-one cared about the tower or its residents because they were poor not rich. Various interest groups then jumped on this wagon and attempted to blame, or at least find guilty by omission, just about any politician local or national, that has held any responsibility over the local services, regional services or national law making power since 1999!

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The news media, ever desperate to look both virtuous and caring, rush to pretend to hold power to account. The Daily Mail first rush to blame dodgy businesses and their, luxury dwelling, owners. Then Boris Johnson, who they wish to ensure does not lead the Tory party, for unrelated cuts to fire stations. Sadiq Khan is then in the firing line but this is tactically slanted to imply that the residents are blaming him. The Guardian start to run any number of stories about inequality and neglect of the poor in order to create the narrative that, whatever the actual cause, the real problem is the right-wing of politics and un checked capitalism. The Daily Express decide that the EU must be partly responsible and therefore find a tenuous link to regulation and an unfinished report. The Telegraph decide that it must be excessive Green regulations and begin to build a case against the cladding based on energy efficiency. In short each and every one of our media outlets manages to swing their coverage to fit an agenda and fix the blame for a national tragedy onto whichever hobby-horse they ride on a daily basis.

Theresa May again shows her nervous and awkward nature. Shy of meeting people, and things being out of control, in normal settings our Prime Minister demonstrated that she does not have the full set of requirements for the job. This is not to criticise her other responses to the events which have been largely correct. Her site visit and talks with emergency service personal were right and proper.

The public enquiry must be held and leave no stone unturned in putting together the chain of events that actually caused and exacerbated the charnel house that was Grenfell. The police and fire service enquiries must be allowed to work in their usual methodical and determined way in order to provide evidence for prosecution, if appropriate, and in order that the public enquiry is as fully informed as possible. It should be remembered that the Taylor report into Hillsborough and the Popplewell enquiry into Bradford both identified the causes swiftly and recommended action that was put into place.

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Respect for the dead, and traumatized, must now be the number one priority for everyone dealing with this shocking event. This means that no-one should seek to gain advantage from the inferno itself. Press must restrain themselves from the excesses that have already enraged victims families. Television must resist the urge to show every image and dwell on people’s worst grief-stricken moments. Rabble-rousers in the political arena should reflect upon how the shoe would feel on the other foot.

Of course following the completion of enquiries, and publication of results, politicians and press alike must be free to debate and criticise in the strongest terms. But it must be based on factual evidence and not instant, emotional and heavily biased assumptions. Someone or something is to blame, and it must be someone whose world view is different to mine, is not good enough. causes must be identified, contributory factors must be included and action taken. This action may be against individuals, companies or authorities in the first place. Then laws, or regulations, must be changed, strengthened and vigorously enforced in order that such a monstrosity is not repeated.

Tower block fire in London

If we do not learn now that politicking with tragedy is beneath contempt then we are heading for a truly dark place where no limits apply and a free for all at the expense of victims is the norm.

The UK’s Only Truly Dangerous Coalition? Remain & Virtual Remain.

The UK’s Only Truly Dangerous Coalition? Remain & Virtual Remain.

Here we go again, almost twelve months have passed since last June’s peaceful revolution. Yet still those on the losing side cannot resist the urge to restrict, delay, distort and flat-out deny that the people of the UK undertook their biggest ever democratic exercise and voted to leave the EU.

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Over the past few years the novelty of coalition government and discussion of future pacts or alliances has led to new some choice new political phrases. Perhaps the most lasting of these has been the “Coalition of Chaos” used by David Cameron’s Conservatives to prevent Ed Miliband’s labour from gaining a majority in 2015. Since then the idea of knocking coalitions in either a dismissive or demonizing way has taken hold. However the actual or proposed coalitions are relatively straight forward and are between groups or parties that share considerable beliefs, policies, philosophies and sometimes historical ties.

Far more insidious, secretive and dangerous is the alliance that exists to subvert or reverse the expressed will of the 2016 referendum. recent reports of Cabinet ministers in the Conservative government conniving with their Labour counterparts, in secret, to bring about a “Soft Brexit” confirm what Leavers have known since June 24th 2016. The reason that Leavers have not always been happy with their lot since winning the referendum, even being branded sore winners, is simple, we were sure that the coalition of Conservative Remainers, Metropolitan Labour, our Intelligentsia and Corporate Interests would attempt, by any means needed,  to de legitimise and overturn the result. The 2017 election results have given them inspiration to put their heads more fully above the parapet and mobilise themselves into a more solid group.

There are three main reason that Coalition Remain (CR) are the most dangerous alliance in UK politics today. Firstly, the simple dishonesty of the vast majority to state clearly and openly their aim. The main faces of the CR are those who campaigned strongest to stay in the EU yet they are now advocating all types of differing arrangements that basically will water down the referendum result in order to be a tightly aligned as possible in order that the UK will have left the EU in name only. The brazen dishonesty of this is barely believable.

Alistair Campbell

The second reason for the CR to be genuinely dangerous for the UK is the attempt to undermine our democracy without any regard to the consequences of their actions. As the turnout in the recent UK general election showed millions more people have become engaged in the electoral process since 2015. In many neglected regions hundreds of thousands of people had given up on the political system. Having been the main victims of the modernisation of the UK economy under Thatcher, and then ignored by New Labour’s metropolitan elite, millions realised that their vote could matter. In addition millions of young people were shown that their apathy could have real consequences. Both of these groups returned to the polls in 2017. Overall turnout went back up to nearly 70% and youth voting appears to have increased to 54%. It is absolutely vital that our political class accepts and implements the EU referendum both literally and in what the voters expected the result to be.

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To put it simply the UK must not be members of the EU and we must have complete control of our Laws, Trade, Borders and Money. The deal that surrounds these key pillars may have compromises or adjustment periods, transitions or new agreements and voters are realists who will accept these. They will not however accept deliberate and secretive betrayal. The consequences, for our political system and people’s faith in it, of anything other than this basic requirement cannot be estimated.

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The third reason for being highly unnerved by the CR is the varied motives within the caucus. A group that it is open and honest about its aims and purposes is one thing. But a rag-tag alliance of people and organisations with only one thing in common means they are more difficult to combat and it can end up like playing political whack-a-mole. One example is the that the largest trade unions and most corporate representatives wish to remain, or almost remain. So Unite want to remain in order to “protect workers rights and prevent a race to the bottom”, whereas Corporate UK wishes to remain in order to allow the mass important of cheap labour, thus suppressing wages, increasing profits and reducing the need for training and retaining its staff. It does not take a genius to see that these two views are not compatible.

Combating the CR is relatively simple. Those who voted to Leave must state clearly, and repeatedly, what they voted for: Laws, Trade, Borders and Cash. These four things must be linked completely to Brexit. If anyone of these is missing or watered down beyond recognition then Brexit is not Brexit. Anyone advocating any position other than the government white paper, on Brexit, must be challenged to explain exactly what they want and what will be the result. Then they must explain why they support something that is not Brexit.

CR representatives must be asked to explain why they are advocating something different to the policies advocated by parties that 80+% of the electorate voted for in June 2017. They must also be asked to explain why it is that they are legitimate representatives of those who voted Remain. It seems totally wrong that Alistair Campbell is trotted out to explain the Virtual Remain case, he is simply a never elected spin doctor to a discredited and much hated former regime.

Most of all they must be asked why they can override the clearly expressed view of 17.2 Million people in Britain’s biggest ever democratic vote.

Leavers, and all who believe in democracy, must beware this subversive coalition and resist Zombie Remain whenever they resurface!

Abusive Brexit Language Damages All!

Abusive Brexit Language Damages All!

Following last year’s EU Referendum there has been a disturbing trend in the use of warlike and other deplorable insults, labels and terms of abuse. Whilst it is understandable, in fact essential, that people have strong feelings, and that they do not just evaporate overnight, the idea that this excuses some of the foul, degrading and wholly inappropriate terminology is totally and utterly reprehensible.

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The war associated terms that being applied to remainers are disgusting and totally over the top. Phrases used by newspapers, especially the Daily Mail, such as “Enemies of the People” or “Giving comfort to the enemy” were coined to describe traitors to our country of the worst kind, those that literally sided with an enemy attempting to kill us and subjugate our country. Equally those being applied to Brexiteers are equally repugnant. The idea that they are engaged upon “Kamikaze missions” is complete folly.

The group of insults that relate to people and their qualities, and or beliefs, seem to be aimed almost exclusively at Leavers. Rascist, Xenophobic, Bigoted, Knuckle Draggers, Thick, Low Information and other similar epithets. There are some terms used by leavers in retort but they do not seem as extreme. Things such as Metropolitan Elitist, Liberal Letfy, Fearmonger. sometimes the suggestion of cowardice is allowed into the discussion but these seem rarer. Why is it not possible to argue with a Leaver without assuming that he or she is motivated from some source of ignorance or hate. Most of us make up our view, of important things, through a combination of self-interest, including friends  and family, and information recieved or sought from common sources. It is as likely that a Remain voting individual has fallen victim to groupthink, and virtue signalling, as it is that a Leaver is victim of a far right brainwashing effort.

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A step up from this though and what should be regarded as utterly unforgivable is the use of terrorist terminology in describing those who take another view for genuine and strongly held reasons. Brexiteers have been described as having a “Jihadist mindset” and a core group of Remainers  are refered to as “Continuity Remain”. Just think for a minute what this means. In short Brexiteers are being equated with ISIS and it’s splinter groups and Remainers are being labeled as similar to an extreme sect of the IRA that did not wish to accept peace even when it presented itself. These terms should have no place in civilised discussions over essentially political matters. Indeed those who use them should be challenged and persuaded that they do nothing to help the cause which they proclaim to support.

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During the EU referendum and previously many discussions, and debates, were held in polite and respectful terms. For those in any doubt I suggest a You tube search for Daniel Hannan or Jacob Rees Mogg and Jeremy Corbyn on the EU. It must therefore be possible to further the discussion of how we leave and the future direction of the UK without the need for the extreme polarisation of the debate and the complete and personal vilification of those who hold another view.

 

Demonising the DUP is more dangerous to our democracy than working with them.

Demonising the DUP is more dangerous to our democracy than working with them.

Don’t Panic we’ve seen it all before!

Although the results of last weeks election were shocking to many. What follows should be more familiar than we are making out. After the 2010 election a similar situation arose and led to a period of stable government seen by most as in the national interest.

The fact that the results had been more likely ensured that at least two of the parties, Conservative and Lib Dem were ready for what followed and a third, the Labour government of Gordon Brown, caught up pretty quickly. Each party, privately and publicly, assessed the possibilities, of staying power or forming a new government by forming an alliance or coalition with others. The same is happening now and the players are exactly the same including the DUP.

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If anything the Democratic Unionist Party have moved considerably toward the mainstream of politics over the intervening seven years. It should also be noted that the opposition parties in NI are Catholic dominated and often equally as socially conservative, it is simply that the SDLP have lost their seats that renders this less visible than usual.

Perhaps the most prominent gay rights campaigner in Northern Ireland (Jeffrey Dudgeon) has argued very powerfully that he does not fear a deal between the DUP & Conservatives. He states very clearly that social policy is changing slowly but surely in NI and that the DUP are actually playing a role in that. The current party leader is not a member of the Free Presbyterian Church that was for so long the dominant body in the party. She has no truck with terror and indeed she and her family were victims of violence during the troubles. Ruth Davidson is regarded by many in the DUP, and wider Unionist community, as “a hero of the union” and it would seem her sexuality and social attitudes don’t dull this one bit.

Peace Process Scaremongering.

It seems that Northern Ireland is to be wrapped in cotton wool and protected from the day-to-day issues of UK politics forever. Within the last year The EU Referendum, A Green Subsidy Program and now a UK wide General Election have all been denounced as a threat to the peace process. This must stop. The people and politicians of NI do not have to have every issue of the day turned into matters of war and peace. All three of the events mentioned simply require political will, trust and understanding. If the peace process is so fragile as not yet to be able to survive such matters then it is that process itself that should be strengthened and re-enforced.

Some MP’s, or Parties, More Equal than Others?

The anti DUP voices that are currently trying to derail the formation of a, democratically elected and constitutionally valid, government seem to feel that it is fine to limit participation in UK democracy to those whose views they find acceptable. This is not democracy and not tolerable. The MP’s of Northern Ireland have been elected by their constituents in entirely the same way as in the rest of the UK. They find themselves in exactly the same position as the Liberal Democrats in 2010 and should be given exactly the same opportunity to present their requirements to the largest party and attempt to gain as much agreement as possible. The SNP and Plaid are never subjected to the same scrutiny or demonisation, other than on their wish to break apart the Union, and it is always assumed that they will take part in a coalition.

DUP More Progressive than Labour or Lib Dems?

As a small, but not unimportant, aside attention should be paid to the leader of the DUP. In their history the DUP have had only three official leaders. The third is currently leader Arlene Foster. Thus it has taken the party only 24 years to elect a woman leader. The Liberal Democrats and Labour  have not yet managed this despite having had the better part of a couple of hundred years between them.

Rank Hypocracy

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It is strange how the left wing, or so called progressives, of UK politics are happy to deal with those who oppose the Union, either politically such as the SNP and the Welsh Nationalists or by other means with their long held support for violent organisation that threaten the UK state or its institutions. Especially as nearly all the contentious issues are already devolved to the Stormont Assembly, and thus cannot be altered by Westminster, and nor do DUP polititians wish to influence GB policies on these matters, especially when many are also devolved to Edinbrough or Cardiff already. In this, as in many other matters, it seems that Northern Ireland and its polititions are treated as inferior, this is not acceptable.

The worst of these hypocrytes are the Labour party. In both 2010 and 2015 they had made plans and initial arrangements for possible deals with the DUP. For Alistair Campbell to attempt the demonisation of the DUP when he had been present, and possibly involved in, Gordon Brown’s attempts to strike a similar arrangement is truly despicable.

Coalition of Chaos Alternative

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Non of the things that are being protested about are not in the DUP manifesto. In fact the things they are likely to succeed in gaining would be agreed upon by nearly all the parties that lost the election. It is likely that Theresa May will agree on keeping the triple lock on pensions, scraping the plan to remove the winter fuel payments and ensure no hard border in Northern Ireland. Mr Corbyn or his troupe would not object to any of these items. However had Mr Corbyn been trying to put together a coalition he would also have had to at least keep the DUP onside and given them most of what they want. In addition he would have had to agree to a second referendum of the EU and the legalisation of cannabis for the Lib Dems, Indyref2 for the SNP and other items of great financial cost, and questionable use, from the Greens. This could have caused major disruption within a country that is already divided and fragmented. Surely a simple two party deal is a better starting place.  

Her Majesty’s Government must continue.

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It appears that the basic deal that will be done by the two parties will be a simple confidence and supply arrangement. This will basically involve the DUP agreeing to back the government on economic bills such as the budget and on Brexit which will be both economic and constitutional. In return the DUP will expect Northern Ireland to be well looked after in terms of infrastructure projects, public spending commitments and a couple of their manifesto pledges. Two likely conditions of the Brexit support will be no hard border in NI no additional inconvenience for NI citizens on UK travel and trade.

All in all a pretty basic political agreement between two parties who have similarities in terms of economic philosophy and constitutional arrangement. Both believe strongly in the UK and in independence.  At times like this the words and demenour of Jacob Rees Mogg can be very useful. He is often fond of saying that the British Public should have its say and that they can be trusted to get it right. It’s abut time that the people of the UK and there representatives were given that respect, equally.

Brexit Negotiations – The Dream Team

Brexit Negotiations – The Dream Team

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Following the selection of Labours threesome, for negotiating our EU exit, perhaps we should look at a more realistic Dream Team for ensuring a clean and mutually beneficial Brexit.

Mr Corbyn’s team has two major problems. They are totally inexperienced in any matter of such vital international importance and they do not believe in Brexit in any real way. All three, and even Mr Corbyn, backed Remain and at least two of them have shown contempt for Leave voters and the wishes of the majority of the electorate in regard to immigration.

The dream team must feature heavyweight and experienced people from across the spectrum available us. Choosing partisan politicians who hold three international cabinet posts is simplistic at best and foolish at worst. No one has ever suggested that the Uk would be represented by Boris, David and Liam. Although at least they support Leave, believe in Britain and can speak and understand many languages between them!

If we assume that the headline team will be made up of three representatives, and The Prime Minister, this gives the UK many options for selecting a team of determined leave supporters who also hold the interests of the British people at heart. They will be backed up by an army of civil servants junior negotiators and lawyers ,to do the sherpa like tasks, but in the end they will represent the UK and its voters.

The Prime Minister – Theresa May

Mrs May will bring to bear a pretty formidable combination of experience, her dealings with the EU go back nearly a decade and are considered to have been highly successful, and dogged determination. The people respect her focus on doing the job and not getting carried away with ego. Her opposite numbers are aware that they cannot pull stunts and hope to slip something past her and both sides are aware that she is a pragmatist who will concentrate on solutions not ideology.

The Brexit Secretary – David Davis

David Davis is a former European Minister, in the Major government, and has previously been an SAS reservist. He is personally known to almost all the parties in the EU team and is, and always has been, a complete and passionate believer in the UK leaving the EU. He is also not one to over complicate a simple matter. His nickname of “Old Knuckleduster” gives a clue as to his combative nature. The UK needs at least one member of the team to be tough, plain speaking and completely pro Brexit in as positive a way as humanly possible. Davis is the best bet for this. His selection also shows Mrs May’s judgement is sound.

UK Lead Representative (Citizens) – Gisela Stuart

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Ms Stuart will be free of her partisan MP duties after the upcoming election, possibly with a much deserved peerage, and is hugely respected amongst colleagues from both sides of the political divide. Gisela was heavily involved in drafting what became the EU Lisbon Treaty and is used to the operation of the Brussels machine. Her passionate belief in Brexit combined with many years of representing the Labour seat of Edgbaston in Birmingham give her a credibility among voters of all stripes. Her support of EU citizens rights and working people’s interest make her uniquely qualified for a role. Her ability to speak German and rebut the little Englander jibes will not go amiss.

UK Lead Representative (Trade & Industry) – Sir James Dyson

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Put simply James Dyson is one of the few people to get the better of the EU and he has done it twice in the last twelve months. He has defeated major EU interests at the ECJ in a recent case and played a discreet but hugely influential role in Vote Leave. In addition to this he is experienced in the ways of the EU in relation to trade and business in ways that few politicians will ever be. His company has been involved in negotiations and struggles for many years, giving him a rare insight that we would be foolish to turn down. His view of Brexit as a huge positive opportunity together with a willingness to put his money and reputation where his mouth is would offer a formidable challenge to the bureaucrats who can only think one way.

UK Special Agent (Tactics & Strategy)

In any negotiation of this importance it is vital not to be seen as naive. The UK will need a ruthless behind the scenes strategist to ensure that our aims and objectives are achieved. Publicity, operational strategy, diversionary tactics and as many offensive dirty tricks as may, or may not, be required need to be planned and executed by someone with the intellectual capacity to anticipate when they are needed, dream them up and then ruthlessly implement them without guilt or hesitation.

In short, a ruthless, bomb throwing chess player with a mind for historical geo political strategy. In the absence of Ian Fleming only one person has demonstrated the brain, courage, ruthlessness and understanding to serve in this capacity. Step forward Dominic Cummings your country needs you!

DomCummings