The last female British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was famous for saying “There Is No Alternative”. The present Prime Minister, Theresa May, attempts to take the same line.
There is good news and bad news for her following her decision to pull the Commons vote on the Robbins-Weyand deal. The good news is that she has avoided an almost certain defeat in the Commons. The bad news is that her prospects of renegotiating the deal with EU is even more hopeless.
It need not be thus. She will now be going to the EU saying, in short:
“Help me out here; I need to sell this deal back in London”.
But suppose she were to resign, handing over her place to Boris Johnson. Boris would be going to the EU saying, in short:
“Sorry, mes amis, but you blew it by being too greedy. We are not going to ratify the Robbins-Weyand deal, or anything like it, so our future trade will be on WTO terms. Now, would you like to sign off on some of the uncontentious bits of a withdrawal arrangement, like citizens’ rights, and make some practical arrangements to facilitate future trade? If so, we might give you some of the £39 billion.”
There are many who shudder at the prospect of Boris as Prime Minister, and he certainly has his flaws. But then again, so Continue reading
It may well be that Dominic Grieve, a mild looking Conservative politician, might be the butterfly which flaps its wings which ultimately causes the storm which brings down the United Kingdom as a united and independent nation, and signals the end of its democracy. I refer, of course, to his amendment passed a few hours ago in the House of Commons. I will get to the detail of this shortly, but first some background.
Those who have sought in the past to subjugate the British Isles to continental power have never been too keen on democracy. When Boudicca’s husband King Prasutagus died, leaving his daughters as heirs, the Romans did not say:
Well, fair enough. It’s a free country. We’ll take that on board.
Instead, they annexed his kingdom, flogged Boudicca and raped the daughters. For a while, that didn’t go too well, but in the end, Britain was no more than a vassal state, and the Romans were able to kill Continue reading
It is a blessing that old rockers are still having fun.
Mark Knopfler is a few years older than me, but is evidently still in reasonable shape. Hopefully, my daughter Annabel will rustle up his latest album as a Christmas present.
Meanwhile, I am playing in my local band here Robbies’ Road. The requirements for membership of the band are living on Sampson Road, Myponga Beach, and being called Robert. Or Rob. Or Bob. Sometimes we play covers. Sometimes my songs. And sometimes songs by our vocalist, Rob Weedon (no known relation to Bert). We have fun, too. But it would be hard to pretend that Continue reading
Some facts, that of themselves are not really contentious:
- Until Australia successfully introduced its “Stop the Boats” policy a few years ago, many economic migrants arrived in Australia by boat;
- Those boats were operated by people smugglers. A passage was not cheap, so it was typically the relatively wealthy who could afford the trip;
- Many died en voyage because the boats were unsafe;
- Of those that made it, many have made very successful lives for themselves, working hard and often creating businesses;
- Brexit is due in just a few months;
- Mark Carney, the Canadian/Irish Governor of the Bank of England, a Euro-Federalist, has predicted that the UK economy will do badly following a Clean Break Brexit;
- Nevertheless; increasing numbers of economic migrants are now seeking to get from France to England by boat, in order to get out of the EU and into the UK before Brexit;
- Their journey across the English Channel, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, at night, often in rubber dinghies or stolen small craft, is very dangerous. And expensive – these trips are organised by people smugglers who charge thousands of Euros for a passage;
- These economic migrants are resourceful – they have made it overland from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and other countries.
But what to conclude from Continue reading
When I first heard that people were comparing the Robbins-Weyand Deal to the Treaty of Dover, I thought it was a bit over the top.
But as event have unfolded, it seems, if anything, a mild comparison. Continental Europe has made little attempt recently to hide that it regards the deal as carte blanche to:
- Break up the UK. They say that Northern Ireland is a price that we have to pay for leaving;
- Give up all rights to British fishing waters to EU boats;
- Hand Gibraltar over to Spain (notwithstanding the overwhelming wishes of the people there, and the fact that Gibraltar has been a part of the UK for much longer than it was ever part of Spain);
- Prevent the UK ever from signing trade deals with any other country;
- Tie the UK in eternity to restrictive regulation from Brussels, with no say.
It is unreal. The country voted for a clean break from Europe in a People’s Vote. Trade with Europe is a relatively small and fast reducing element in the UK’s economy. How on earth did we end up with Continue reading
Ziegler Wasserwerfer 9000
It is really quite likely that there will be riots on the streets of London in about six months’ time.
As I write this, the Brexit saga is on course for a clean break, on the basis that the Robbins-Weyand draft deal is likely to be voted down in the House of Commons, and there is no majority for anything else in particular. The EU, and their fellow travellers in the UK, are likely to be hopping mad. The UK, free to compete with the EU without all of the financial and regulatory burdens which apply within the EU, represents a real threat to them. The last thing they want is for an economically-liberated UK to be free to enter trade deals with the rest of the world. And they have managed to persuade a large swathes of flopsies in the UK that there is something VERY BAD about this sort of freedom.
It is possible, of course, that the EU will somehow manage to derail the whole of Brexit, perhaps by delaying it for a year (“that will be another £10 billion thank you, you stupid, merde Rosbifs”) in which case, the majority of the UK electorate, which voted to break free of these ghastly bureaucratic parasites in a binding people’s vote back in 2016, will not be happy bunnies.
It has been a while since there have been decent riots in London. Global warming has not really arrived, but nevertheless, the likelihood is that there will be a nice warm weekend next summer in which large numbers of people will come out onto the streets of London, providing decent cover for those that Donald Trump calls BAD PEOPLE, and they will start smashing up shops and businesses, not to mention any people who take a different view.
Now what you need in these circumstances is two or three Ziegler Wasserwerfer 9000s. These water cannon don’t really hurt people, but they do make them cold and wet. And by and large, the flopsies don’t like getting cold and wet, and so with the assistance of Continue reading
If reports are true, Tony Blair is even more ghastly than we thought. He has apparently praised Ollie Robbins for deceiving the Cabinet about the true nature of his Robbins-Weyand deal before then encouraging the Labour Party to reject it. Blair has apparently said:
I take my hat off to Olly Robbins, Olly is a very skilled guy, the elaborate camouflage of all the different points is a tribute to the skills of the British civil service, I say that sincerely.
This deal isn’t a compromise, it’s a capitulation.
The withdrawal agreement will keep us tied to EU trade policy until there is an end established by ‘joint consent’ – in other words, the EU has a veto.
It is coated in heavy fudge, but that is the inedible biscuit beneath the coating.
All this does rather suggest that getting rid of Ollie Continue reading
Michelle Barnier and Sabine Weyand have done an excellent job of outmanoeuvring the British civil service at every turn in the Brexit negotiations. On behalf of the EU, they have conceded virtually nothing, whilst extracting more or less complete surrender from the UK side.
They have confidence on their side, of course. The EU always wins. Whenever any vote goes against them, they simply have it reversed.
It is fair to say that they’ve had the wind behind them, in the sense that the British side has been led by Ollie Robbins, a committed Europhile. The negotiations might have been harder if the rug had not been pulled out from under David Davies and then his successor Dominic Raab. Whenever it looked like either of those Brexit secretaries would put up any opposition to EU demands, number 10 grabbed the reins from their hands in order that Robbins and Weyand could make the agreement they both wanted. Philip II of Spain would have succeeded in his Spanish Armada if the British Navy had been commanded by Continue reading
If you have a vote, and have not yet cast it, now is the time to do it. The issue that most people care about is dogs: who is most likely to roll back the ridiculous anti-dog by-laws that we have recently been suffering from?
In Field Ward, Leon Zarins will get my top vote as a dog-lover. You have to vote for 4 candidates. So for me, that is:
So – Olsson certainly does not get my vote!
In Light, you would probably want to go:
With a bit of luck, enough dog lovers – or just people who recognise that the wishes of most residents should prevail over the demands of a few activists – will get elected, so that Continue reading
Today, Englishmen celebrate the thwarting in 1605 of Arch-Remainer Guy Fawkes, who attempted to frustrate English independence from Europe by blowing up Parliament. We do this, as we have for the last 5 centuries, by letting off fireworks on the evening of November 5th each year. A simple pleasure now constrained, ironically, by EU Directive 2103/29/EU.
This quiz question is multiple choice. How many words are there in this Directive?
As usual, no prizes other than PIA.
Hint: the recital begins thus Continue reading