Can Anyone Be Trusted?

According to Prime Minster May – and her cabinet –  if any EU leave deal fails to get enough support in yet another vote rerun then the UK’s exit day will be 29-Mar-2019. The date that was put into law last year.

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However, according to His Ollyness The Mekon, not accepting a deal will put back our leaving date – not just by a few days but by an extended period. Our assumption being that May’s failure to get enough votes would then require the vote to be repeated time and time again until it does get forced through. And that could need a very long time.

Any change of leaving date would require a change in the UK law – and the agreement of all the EU members.

Which of these options is our government’s plan? Who is giving us a straight answer and who is trying to mislead us?

By the end of March we should have an answer – but both options are simply following on from the step that is deeply undemocratic. A vote on a very bad deal.

The May-Robins Withdrawal Agreement has already been comprehensively rejected by parliament. It suffered a record defeat. May and her cabinet should have accepted the result; not still be hawking it around Westminster. It is dead! It stinks!

They – the government and public service – should now be in full-scale preparation for leaving the EU on World Trade Organisation terms next month. They should have told all public and private sector organisations that this is our short-term future – as soon as the Withdrawal Agreement was defeated.

Instead we now see hundreds of head-less chickens in Westminster trashing around while leaving everyone else to fend for themselves ..

Which Side Are They On?

Despite claiming to be our elected representatives Westminster has way too many politicians who still believe that they know best. We even had a senior figure telling us that we should all leave politics to the professional politicians.

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A nice try but one that would only be valid if we didn’t have to follow any of the laws or pay any of the taxes that the professional politicians seek to impose.Currently we have a rag-tag assortment of know-it-alls demanding that a no deal outcome is removed from the options available when leaving the European Union. This is such a basic mis-interpretation of the negotiation process that it beggars belief.

In fact it is such a fundamental error that you have to conclude that either those demanding it have an impaired mental capacity or that they are fighting for the other side.

If the former they need to stand down from their positions for everyone’s safety. If the later they need to face what ever treason laws are still enforceable and be removed from office.

Despite the obvious stupidity of having to agree a deal – no matter how unreasonable it is – that seems to be the way our parliament is heading. A direction being encouraged by branding a WTO Brexit outcome as crashing out over a cliff-edge leaving the population to starve in the dark.

The next few weeks will shine a spotlight on just how good our politicians are. And most have shown little sign of being capable of handling the coming situation …

On Track?

Surely Grandad is not the only one interested in any news of progress on that very expensive but largely forgotten project – HS2? You remember – the one that was announced seven years ago …

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But there certainly seems to be few investigative souls pressing the government and their contractors for any news of progress on the ground. True there is a government paper – Overview of the HS2 project, setting out progress so far and next steps – available on the official website. Unfortunately it does lack much relevance to 2019 since it is dated March 2015. In other words it is four years out of date!

This month’s postings on the official site cover the designs for Old Oak Common station and which construction teams have been selected for the Euston and Old Oak Common contracts. But these official postings cover little about the projected costs involved. However today’s press reports putting the cost at £1,000 million – just at Old Oak Common – have not been denied.

Now it is hard for the general public to keep track of all the elements of complex, extended projects – but just take a look back on this single element; Old Oak Common station. In October 2014 this website pointed out the issues around this station. Then London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, had ruled that an HS2-Crossrail interchange station would not receive any extra funding – so Kensington and Chelsea Council had underwritten the £33 million involved. With the way that project costs are climbing that £33 million will eventually pay for little more than the contractor’s tea breaks.

In 2014 politicians decried a proper interchange station at Old Oak Common – calling it Wormwood Scrubs International. But now comes the prediction that this critical hub will serve 250,000 passengers a day – more than 90 million a year – when it opens in 2026(!). It will replace London Victoria as the second-busiest station in the UK, after Waterloo. If that is true then it will be much busier than Euston.

Politicians still claim that they are unfairly treated when their confident pronouncements are dismissed as rubbish by a long-suffering electorate. But it seems that lies about HS2 are just as common as those about our relationship with Europe – and so many other things these days.

Into The Sixties

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It is sixty years ago tomorrow that a four-seater Beechcraft Bonanza crashed at around 1am in bad weather near Clear Lake, Iowa. All four on-board were killed. A tragedy but nevertheless an event where reports would normally be limited to just local news.

But this time the deaths of pilot Roger Peterson with singers  Ritchie Valens (17), Jiles Perry “Big Bopper” Richardson (28) and Buddy Holly (22) made news around the world. Not least in Australia and the UK where Holly’s popularity was high having toured both during the year before.

Even so at the time of his death Buddy Holly’s records had only appeared in the UK music charts for just over a year. With Peggy Sue, Listen To Me, Rave On, Early In The Morning and Heartbeat being the ones that charted before the crash. Despite this brief and restricted career his music and influences can still be heard today – some sixty years on.

For many 3-Feb-1959 was not The Day That Music Died but a tragic loss that shaped a new and highly successful era of popular music – Rave On!

From Bad to Worse To Total Shambles

The EU and the BBC often put down Britain’s strained relationship with European politicians as simple an issue caused by splits in the Conservative party. And that Cameron should have never allowed a referendum – because the British public would then have a chance to vote on a real issue for once.

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This is usually followed-up with comments to the effect that the public are too ill-informed to be asked important political questions. Best not to give them any chance to stop or redirect the plans of the governing elite. A variation on the don’t you trouble your pretty little head line of condescending superiority that might have been expressed centuries ago.

And this spin on events is still being used today, in public, by EU Presidents no less. Not allowing the public to vote on meaningful issues has become a fundamental plank of the Greater Europe strategy. And in the few cases where a vote did get past the guards any unfavourable result was either ignored or referred to a second vote. A familiar technique that is being tried at present by MPs and political lobbyists wanting a repeat of the Brexit referendum.

Yet the deeply unsuitable direction being set by the Eurocrats has been a cause for concern for many more British people than just Conservative party members. And for much longer than the Cameron years.

Exactly why there is such unease with the unstoppable drive to create a Euro Super State probably does not have a simple answer. But one candidate must be the growing fear that there is a slow march towards equipping the EU for conflict with other super-powers. Not just a trade or political power conflict – but real fighting with real devastation. And it is worth remembering that the nature of people changes much more slowly than fashion, technology and material possessions. There will always be someone who wants to be the master of Europe .. or even the world.

However back with the short-term politics there are little signs that any of the current crop of UK politicians will be a threat to anything other than Grandad’s blood pressure. After 950 days of post-referendum contemplation Westminster is now overflowing with increasingly desperate but ill-considered schemes to get us out of this Brexit mess sometime soon.

Having become tired of all the arguments and counter-arguments months ago the majority of general public just want it to end. And since the EU are currently sticking to their position that the Withdrawal Agreement is finalised and cannot now be changed there seems little point in UK MPs making demands for changes to it.

Similarly extending the present purgatory by means of a second referendum, a new government or a later leaving date will change nothing. There is no agreement that can meet all the demands. And some British politicians are looking increasingly like sad individuals standing on the shore commanding the tide to stop coming in.

Yet More Of The Same

Another critical date passed, another repeat of the same bad deal. And it is hard to believe that our Prime Minister and her inner circle are sticking with an EU withdrawal agreement so soundly defeated by parliament.

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Yet having been directed to come back with a Plan B within three days the PM instead rang up a few leaders on the EU side and to their amazement had no new demands. A course of action which does raise the rather obvious question – what is the PMs motivation for repeated attempts to force through a plan that is so unpopular? Why persist with a dead deal?

Clearly Mrs May, the Eurocrats and leaders of the EU states are all happy with the current deal. For the EU side the reasons why they are happy are obvious; they get lots of cash, lots of control and the UK has no say over their actions.

But for Mrs May and her political supporters in their Westminster bunker why is there such a determination to force a bad deal down the throats of the majority of politicians and the public?

Obviously whatever the reason it must carry a high value – since the present approach seems likely to end Mrs May’s political career and put the Conservative party in the voters’ black books for decades to come.

Mrs May has already said that she will stand down as leader before the next election – so loss of job is not much of a penalty. What other reason could there be? A seat in the House of Lords does not seem very likely but equally would not be much of a motivator.

However the big financial perks likely to be offered to such a high profile ex-Prime Minister once they leave office would tempt anyone. And there would be lots of grateful people in high places who could make life very sweet for the right candidate – if they get the result they want.

Nothing specific just a observation of modern life …

Advance Britannia

The headline chosen will be considered by some to be in a range between out-dated sentimental rubbish and hate-filled nationalist propaganda.

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And yet on the other side of the world the song Advance Australia Fair is considered an inspiring national anthem.

Today in Britain there is a case to be made for pride in our country to be restored to its historic position of importance. If only because we will all be better off with it than without it. And especially so when faced with the choice between national independence and being little more than a funding source for the Europa Projekt.

One experienced Australian politician expressed it in this way –

It’s pretty hard for Britain’s friends, here in Australia, to make sense of the mess that’s been made of Brexit. The referendum result was perhaps the biggest-ever vote of confidence in the United Kingdom, its past and its future. But the British establishment doesn’t seem to share that confidence and instead looks desperate to cut a deal, even if that means staying under the rule of Brussels. Looking at this from abroad, it’s baffling: the country that did the most to bring democracy into the modern world might yet throw away the chance to take charge of its own destiny.

Let’s get one thing straight: a negotiation that you’re not prepared to walk away from is not a negotiation – it’s a surrender. It’s all give and no get …

The EU’s palpable desire to punish Britain for leaving vindicates the Brexit project. Its position, now, is that there’s only one deal on offer, whereby the UK retains all of the burdens of EU membership but with no say in setting the rules. The EU seems to think that Britain will go along with this because it’s terrified of a no deal. Or, to put it another way, terrified of the prospect of its own independence.

… Britain has nothing to lose except the shackles that the EU imposes upon it. After the courage shown by its citizens in the referendum, it would be a tragedy if political leaders go wobbly now. Britain’s future has always been global, rather than just with Europe. Like so many of Britain’s admirers, I want to see this great country seize this chance and make the most of it.

Now this was written back in October 2018 – yet despite everything that has happened since it is still a fair assessment of our position. And even though the latest petition votes show that 48% of the public are in favour of just leaving – as compared to 19% for a second vote and 15% to remain – some of our Westminster politicians are still demanding that no deal must be been taken off the table before discussing a way forward. Thus breaking the first rule of negotiation. Idiots!

More Of The Same

For the past three months, or more, Theresa and Olly have been clinging to the false hope that their Chequers donkey was just resting when anyone with any sense could see it was well and truly dead.

Last night even blinkered Westminster politicians could pretend that the donkey was alive no longer. Some still hoped for a miracle. But a donkey resurrection just did not happen.

In a rare case of honesty a few politicians are even proposing that parliament honour its 2016 referendum promises of A once in a generation decision and The Government will implement what you decide. Even though they are still outnumbered by MPs who have decided that they know better than the majority of their constituents and indeed the majority of the UK.

So today we have a Prime Minister who will not resign voluntarily and seems unlikely to be pushed hard enough to go. The mess just gets worse and worse …

Public Petitions

Next Monday (14-Jan-2019) has now been scheduled for parliament to debate no less than seven separate petitions related to leaving the European Union. The actual numbers behind each request – as at today – vary widely and only the top three get above the 100,000 figure normally required to qualify for a debate.

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But numbers aside the views expressed show just how split the public – and the activists – are on the issue. And even though most support a no deal Brexit there are significant minorities wanting either to remain or have another referendum. There are no signs that peace will break out anytime soon…

315,271 – Leave the EU without a deal in March 2019
128,184 – Grant a People’s Vote if Parliament rejects the EU Withdrawal Agreement
107,996 – STOP BREXIT
 66,971 – Leave the EU now
 24,468 – Stop Brexit if parliament rejects the deal
  4,069 – Walk away now! We voted for a No Deal Brexit
  2,453 – To have a second referendum on Britain leaving the EU

March Armageddon

Now that the Christmas / New Year break is just a memory many Grandads ought to be making plans for some time away from home in what was once called a holiday but with retirement has become just a change of scenery.

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However this year we have been informed by our superiors that if we continue with our stupid demands to leave the European Union deal-free then the final days of March will mark the end of civilised existence for anyone still holding a British passport.

The seas will turn blood red, the dead will rise up and everyone will be thrown into the final battle at the end of the UK’s world.

In response Grandads are advised that they should take their holidays early in the year, stock up on canned food and convert any savings into krugerrands. Then they should equip a small boat and head to a remote island with a religious mystic for protection.

The problem is, however, that almost all the stocks of boats have already been bought by those wanting to stay in the EU. Since many plan to head en-masse across the Channel, in a sort of reverse Dunkirk, and claim asylum in mainland Europe. They know that if enough boats make a co-ordinated crossing then the authorities will not be able to stop them.

To avoid this Armageddon our leaders promise that if we could just give Big Brother control over our lands in perpetuity everything would be rosey. To quote the concluding lines of 1984 by George Orwell – But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.