Category Archives: Overseas

Storm Approaching

As predicted last week, the new deal with the EU revealed today – and immediately accepted by Brussels – is the May-Robbins dead donkey treaty with some tweaks for the Irish issue but now with a divorce bill reduced to just £33,000 million! So it seems our all-new prime minister is actually Theresa May 2.0 underneath.

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If that is not the case then a Baldrick-style cunning plan could be in play – based on a guess that our self-serving politicians will defeat the dead donkey for a fourth time on Saturday – and then a hope that the EU would loose their patience and say no to another extension. Thus exiting without a deal on 31-Oct-2019. But that seems like another flying pig scenario!

For the other political parties the latest deal has already been rejected as a step backwards and provided them with more fuel for revoking our Article 50 leave request; probably via a one-sided referendum. A view that might now just win out. If it does then the only bright spot would be a general election to follow with an opportunity to vote in a Brexit parliament that would invoke Article 50 again – if the EU had not blocked countries using that route by then.

That tangled web is entrapping us more and more …

Darkening Skies

Today the bookies are rethinking their odds that there will be a UK-EU deal agreed as soon as next week. Clearly someone thinks that a deal is near.

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So while all the anti-no deal politicians ought to be happy at the  expected news it is more likely that they will live to regret their feeble-minded efforts.

Why? Because the only deal the EU have ever supported is their one-sided treaty agreed to by the May-Robins gang. A treaty that even these same anti-no deal politicians rejected no less than three times. This is the only deal that is ready-to-go – and one already approved by the 27 EU members.

Grandad could be wrong and a complete replacement for the 600+ page treaty might be created in time to be approved next week. But pigs might fly. So what about a few quick edits on the existing treaty? Well the only edits so far covered relate to the Irish land border. Nothing else has been aired in public.

The logical implication is that the original treaty – the dead-donkey deal – will be tweaked for the Irish issue and then put to the UK parliament for a fourth time.

And, as before, if approved it will commit the country to a much despised Brexit-in-name-only future. A Pyrrhic victory that leaves the UK with the worst of no-deal and worst of remain without any advantages. And a general election will punish the culprits but come too late to undo the mess.

Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

We Cannae Take Much More Captain

As the political wrangling reaches fever-pitch the mood amongst the general population seems to range from despair to barely contained anger.

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How can so many of our elected representatives be so bad? Many – most – ignore their constituents’ choices and play juvenile games in an insulated metro bubble with zero regard for the well being of the nation.

At least the EU politburo is working towards an objective with a plan – even though it is flawed plan to create a European Empire ruled by a central cabal. Whereas every UK plan seems to be to try anything and hope we can all muddle through. All the time expecting that everyone involved will play the game with fairness and honesty. An ideal that cuts little ice in the 21st century.

The next few weeks are supposed to be our last under EU control .. but we have all heard that so often before.

Good Riddance

Given that it is now 1,200 days since the EU membership referendum result and that was preceeded by months if not years of pro- and anti- arguments you would think that every possible issue had been covered.

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But no. Instead we have shrieks and wails from anti-Brexit factions demanding months more of delays. For what? To discuss? To have a rigged referendum? To have a damaged general election? Or simply to remain- either by these repeated delays or by revoking our leave request?

Looking at our politicians – and judges – from outside of the metropolitan bubble gives Grandads little insight into their off-camera activities. But experience tells us that most are driven by self interest – be that personal, financial or idealogical. So we cannot see who is getting paid or benefiting from insider trading or who is trying to weaken or even break-up our country. But there can be little doubt that they exist.

And outside of the UK we have little support from powerful EU figures – unlike leaders in Australia and the United States for example. And the typical EU view is that we are there to be exploited and restricted in any way possible. Their words deny it – but their actions do not.

The country has to leave – and today would not be too soon!

Learn From History

As the horrors of the 1939-45 War fade from living memory they become just another part of history. And our present day issues with the European Union are almost always taken as short term; arguments unrelated to the bigger picture or long term perspective.

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They are in a different mental compartment to Nazi plans for controlling Europe from 1942. Yet the Treaty of Rome – the start of the current EU – was produced just 8 years after troops from the Western Allies had to carry out risky airlifts to get vital supplies to the people of West Berlin for the eleven months of a Russian blockade. Indeed British troops were still stationed in Germany when the Treaty was produced.

As a result few, if any, in those shouting, banner-waving mobs have any concept of the plans behind the EU’s on-going fiscal and legislative programme. To many a highlight of EU legislation is the capping mobile phone roaming changes [seriously – this was circulated as a major reason to remain just last month!]. Few have bothered to read – much less digest – the plans dictated by top eurocrats and EU civil servants.

However you would hope that all pro-EU activists – especially those who have spent the past three years shouting down anyone who disagreed – would have read what it says on the tin. Yet it seems not. Just this week we saw a pro-EU placard-waving marcher asked for their three favourite things about the EU. They could only think of one – the NHS!

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. [George Santayana]

Choices Made?

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

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

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

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

Feedback

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

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

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

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

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

Promises, Promises

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

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

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

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