Category Archives: UK Politics

How Many More Wasted Days?

Having spent too many weeks getting Mrs May to go, and then weeks more finding a replacement, the Days-Not-Out total has grown to 1,125.

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Looking forward there are now exactly 100 days to the latest deadline at the end of October.

So will Mr Johnson be able to cut the EU apron strings by then or will he simply get tangled up and have to call for yet another extension?

Many Grandads will be looking at the calendar and thinking that many of those 100 days are going to be taken up with holidays, party conferences and end of term wind-downs for the outgoing EU leaders. Getting out in 100 days is a big ask – so doing it in as few as 20 to 30 working days seems even more problematic. When you add in the time that the Government might need to spend on issues other than Brexit – and the number of anti-Brexit trouble makers – Bojo will need to move very quickly to get anything done in time.

He has the leadership of the Conservative Party – but very little control at Westminster. Place your bets now …

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 nominal 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.

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 …

Get On With It

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

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

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

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

Yet Another Pro-Brexit Vote

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goodbye May

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

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

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

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

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

No More May?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Behind The Mask

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

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

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

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