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Saturday, 23 September 2017

Transition without a plan.

Theresa May's Florence speech highlighted all of her weaknesses

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As Mr Davies would frequently remind boys during his Physics lectures, "Empty vessels make the most noise". In Florence yesterday, Prime Minister Theresa May demonstrated this ancient proverb to perfection with her keynote speech on Brexit. Plenty of noise but very little, if any, substance. If the British people are seeking guidance and leadership through the negotiations and though the post Brexit period and beyond, we shall have to look elsewhere than to Thersa May and this splintered government. At one point, she actually stated that membership of the European Union had "never sat particularly well with the British people". After 40 years, that is quite a remarkable comment. During what seemed like hours of her speech, full of historical snippets some of which were inaccurate in any case, the Prime Minister managed to convey her vision that would in any case last at least 5 years and that during an unspecified time period of transition, the United Kingdom would continue to pay normal contributions into the EU budgets, reamain part of the single market and customs union, still be subject to the European Court of Justice and guarantee EU citizens rights and free movement. However, the United Kingdom would not be party to any decisions taken by the 27 EU members and would not have any voice in the EU decision making process.

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Philip Hammond speaking immediately after Theresa May's rambling oratory, said, "This was a magnificent speech showing great leadership". He was clearly listening to another woman in a different room to that which I and millions of others were watching. Todays press and media generally, are less than enthusiastic in their endorsement of the Prime Minister,s vision of the futre and her attempt to restart the stalled Brexit negotiation in Brussels due to econvene next week.
The EU member states were also reticent in their responses but with the general consensus that the speech lacked any detail and completely ignored the question of the United Kingdom's exit settlement and the problem of the border between Northern Ireland and Eire.
It seems that for the next few days at least, the temporary truce between the warring factions within the cabinet appears to remain in place, but other MP's from the two sides are already squaring up for the next round as comments fly about accusing the government of betraying the British people by delaying implementation of the Referendum result by at least another 5 years. They see this latest government "remain" faction tactic as just another ploy to kick the whole subject into the long grass and hang on until the people change their minds on the question of EU membership. Speaking later, Nigel Farage stated that,"Today is a victory for Westminster and the political class. They are giving a big two fingers-up to 17.4 million people.” There are many conservative MP's who would wholeheartedly agree with him.

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Today, little has changed since before the Florence speech. We are no futher forward in reaching an agreement with EU on United Kingdom exit and there are still numerous matters to be resolved. The problem is that time is now not on our side, and there is a distinct possibility that the deadline will arrive and that this country will have left the European Union wth no agreement and will have "fallen off the cliff edge". No deal is better than a bad deal some say. Perhaps the government's intention is to prevaricate long enough to fall off the edge without any agreement. I do not believe that this is what the British people who voted leave in the referendum actually had in mind on 23 June 2016.

Friday, 22 September 2017

A demonstration of unity and harmony, but only for the benifit of the cameras.

Theresa May unveils Brexit speech 


How reassuring it is to learn of cabinet unity and to see all the ministers emerging from yesterdays meeting solidly behind the Prime Minister. This display of government harmony and unification, was clearly demonstrated as the assembled ministers strolled off afterwards, almost arm in arm into the sunhine flooding Downing Street.The usual suspects in todays press are unanimous in their praise for Theresa May and the way in which she has unified the government and the cabinet behind her keynote speech to be delivered later today in Florence.

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We may all rest comfortably and releived in the knowledge as reported, that Theresa May and her camp have united with Boris Johnson and his camp and we may now look forward to a wonderful deal with our European colleagues as we march forward behind a new, revitalised Prime Minister who is clearly in charge and in control of the situation.

(You may detect a degree of sarcasm in this post. The sarcasm is very much intended)

Thursday, 21 September 2017

No great reconcilliation prior to "Keynote" Brexit speech.

There has been no great rapprochement

Boris Johnson and Theresa May

The life expectancy of this conservative government can be counted in months rather than years.
Similarly, the expectations of Theresa May to remain as Leader of the Conservative party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom cannot last beyond next Christmas or perhaps even less. Regardless of what the usual suspects in the media may wish us to believe, there has been no great rapprochement between the waring factions in cabinet, or between Boris Johnson and Theresa May over the question of the Brexit and the stalled negotiations with the rest of the European Union on the terms of Britain's exit from the market.
Ever since publication of Johnson's 4000 word article in the Daily Telegraph last Saturday (16th September), there have been numerous reports of near civil war in cabinet between those demanding that Johnson be sacked immediately, and those supporting Johnson stressing that the Prime Minister's position is too weak to sack him and in any case Johnson is providing leadership by saying what needs to be said. Johnson has held leadership ambitions for some years and now clearly sees this as a perfect opportunity to mount a bid for the top job. His cronies and supporters have spent the last 5 days, not very convincingly playing down the prospect of a leadership challenge and with the press, particularly the Express, Mail and Telegraph stessing how Johnson has "stepped back from the brink" and now with some miraculous reconcilliations, the cabinet was "a nest full of singing birds". This of course is just pretentious banality, churned out to mollify the public and present a unified face for future negotiations with Michel Barnier and the EU team. It is today suggested that Johnson has agreed Theesa May's "offer", that the United Kingdom should pay the EU 20 Billion Euro as an exit payment and also that the Prime Mnister belives that Johnson is "doing fine work".
Most if not all of the soothingly reassuring words from each of the camps are purely for public consumption and do not hide the reality of the power stuggle taking place or the hostility of the Prime Minister and her camp towrds the Foreign Secretary, hightened by her inability to sack him. Boris Johnson often portrays the role of the "Fool" in Morris Dancing,without appearing really to be a part of it, but fooling around while actually adding to and not distracting from his own position. The "Buffoon" became Mayor of London for 2 terms, standing down in 2016 after being elected as MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip the previous year. He now seeks to topple Theresa May as leader of the Conservatives and become "ipso facto", Prime Minister of this country. However, the image of Johnson dangling from a Zip wire waving two Union Jack's a wearing a blue hard hat, is impossible to erase from our memory's.

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On Friday of this week, Theresa May will be in Florence to deliver a keynote Brexit speech to E U leaders seeking to underline Britain's hopes for a "special partnership" with Europe post-Brexit, but in fact is widely being seen as an attempt to break the current deadlock in negotiations. The outcome of this speech and the reaction to it will either mark the actual end of Theresa May and her premireship, or be just another sticking plaster to allow her to limp on in residence at Number 10 for another few months.

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Whatever result pans out from the Florence speech, Boris Johnson waits in the wings for his eventual and I beleieve inevitable elevation to the top job. We then will have the nightmare scenario of the blonde buffoon in Number 10 Downing Street and the blondish megalomaniac (who wants to totall destroy North Korea and presumably a number of other countries as well), in the Whte House.

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

A long and rambling address to a packed but very quiet General Assembly

Donald Trump speaking at the UN

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I have just listend to the whole of Donald Trump's address to the United Nations.
Long and rambling, the "speech" seemed to last for hours and covered the usual "America does not wish to impose its values or way of life on other nations" and "America will do what ever is necessary to defeat the evil regimes of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria,the Iranian dictatorship, Terrorism, Al Qaeda" etc etc.
Trump also stated that America will totally destroy North Korea.
If he was expecting standing ovations every few minutes, he was sadly dissappointed.Only the occasional ripple of applause broke what was a very quiet Assembly Hall.
However, what became very apparent by the end of his oration was that not only is Trump a racist, a misogynist and a hypocritical war monger, he is also a very dangerous hypocrite and war monger.
The American people have elected a megalomaniac to the position of most powerful man on the planet and the rest of the world will pay the price.

Monday, 18 September 2017

New Agenda on Sunday. is out! Edition of 17th September 2017

Good morning everyone.

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I have tried, but Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes are just not credible as the characters they are supposed to be portraying. She is by far too pretty, pleasant and "nice" to be acceptable as the woman who was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and later became Empress of India. He on the other hand wanders around the (not very convincing) sets gruffly mumbling in a (not very convincing) German accent, looking puzzled rather than a man seeking to be master in his own home. Compare these two performances with those of Robert Hardy and Annette Crosbie portraying the same characters in the brilliant television series "Edward the Seventh" from a few years past. I refer of course to "Victoria", the second series of which is now on every Sunday evening. I wonder if this serial will run right through events ending in January 1901? If so, they need to get the historical accuracy and chronology better than they have so far.

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Boris Johnson is bidding for the leadership of the Conservative party. no matter how often he or his cronies deny it. His latest 4000 word article in the Daily Telegraph outling his "Brexit Plan", sparked outrage in some parts of the Conservative party demanding that Theresa May should sack the Foreign Secretary immediately. The other half of the conservative party jumped to the defence of the blond bruiser, screaming that Boris is right and that May is too weak to remain as leader. Can the United Kingdom really afford to have a bunch of squabling egoists running the country at this momentus time in our history? Personally, I preferred Johnson as Chair or pannelist on "Have I Got News for You.

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Theresa May's sordid backroom deal with the DUP requires Parliamentary approval. Those Tories who were opposed to the shabby ploy will now have to face the reality of either sticking with their profound objections to being in bed with the DUP, or ditch their principles and support their Prime Minister.

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There seems to be a bit of a flaw in the character of Sebastian Vettel. After his outrageous tactic of driving into the rear and then the side of Lewis Hamilton's
Mercedes when the safety car was deployed in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku in June, he had a bad start from pole position in the Singapore Grand Prix and going into the first bend squeezed  Verstappen one of the Red Bull and team mate Raikkonen, in the other Ferrari, causing all three to go out of the race in a spectacular shunt. Again the FIA stewards found that it was a racing incident and no further action would be taken. In Baku, Vettel was handed a 10 second penaly which had no effect at all on the final placings. It seems that Vettel and Ferrari can do nothing wrong in the eyes of FIA. Hopefully, Vettel will calm down before he does some serious damage.


There comes a point in time, when threat, becomes no more than repetative empty blustering verging on the point of farcical absurdity.The United States is churning out the cliche and rhetoric, in the knowledge that the "military option" would be a disaster leading to a catasrophe not seen since the end of WW2.
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It has become wet and cold over the past week with the Daily Star predicting "Polar chill to savage UK with SNOW, frost and hail. There is a chance of further snow flurries over the weekend"Oh dear. Thermal underware time has arrived

Have a nice week

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The only solution to the "threat" of North Korea, is the diplomatic one

US warns of military option if North Korea nuclear and missile tests continue

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There comes a point in time, when threat, becomes no more than repetative empty blustering verging on the point of farcical absurdity.The United States is churning out the cliche and rhetoric, in the knowledge that the "military option" would be a disaster leading to a catasrophe not seen since the end of WW2.
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The unstable Trump and the arrogant neocon Nikki Haley, must be made to understand that there would be no winners emerging from yet another American military adventure in a foreign country. The only solution to the "threat" of North Korea, is the diplomatic one. The sooner that the hawks in Washington, (and Seoul and Tokyo) come to understand this and cease their endless belicose threat and confrontation then the sooner a negotiated settlement may be reached.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Homelessness has increased every year since 2010

Government spends four times more subsidising private housing than building affordable homes
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This conservative government and the ConDem coalition before them, perpetuate shameful policies to (a) create division within society and (b) ensure that the cost of housing in both the private and rented sectors remains artificially high.Divide and rule has always been the credo of the "establishment" in their dealings with ordinary people. It is a vile strategy executed by dispicable politicians to benefit their supporters and benefactors.In the meantime, more and more people are forced into homelessness because they are not able to afford the ever increasing burden of rents or the spiraling costs of house purchase. The National Audit Office criticises the government, reporting a sharp rise in homelessness over the past five years,brought about by increasing private sector rents and cuts in housing benefit.

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The report goes on to state that homelessness has increased every year since 2010, with rises in rough sleeping and households living in temporary accommodation. This situation is a direct result of government policies,which are subsidising high cost private housing for sale, to the exclusion of building affordable homes for low income families, for rent or assisted purchase.

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This callous indiference towards sections of our society, is an abdication of government responsibility and is directly responsible for growing numbers of people living in tents pitched on small areas of waste ground, or sleeping in doorways of shops or other public areas or living in totally inadequate "temporary accommodation". It is a situation whch no civilised should tolerate in the 21st Century. In many ways, this government is producing housing conditions not seen in the United Kingdom since the 1930's. It is a situation which we must resolutely resist and vigorously oppose.