Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Churchill or Chamberlain? May or Corbyn? the choice is yours.

I do not doubt that Jeremy Corbyn is a man of integrity and conviction. Unfortunately, I perceive that among those convictions are pacifism, unilateral disarmament, appeasement and a naive student-union politics type belief that there will always be a way of reaching a consensus which is mutually beneficial to both sides. Sadly, I believe that it is those very attributes which mean he is not the right person to be Prime Minister, particularly at this portentous time.

Given the momentous negotiations that we are about to embark upon as we withdraw from the EU and as we hear the increasingly bellicose and aggressive rhetoric which is emanating from Brussels, I am convinced that what we need right now is a government which is led by someone who will stand up for what’s best for Britain in the face of the hostile punishment beatings Mr Junker and Mr Tusk want to hand out. The last thing we need is a leader who will follow a line of least resistance to achieve “peace for our time” at any cost, as I fear Mr Corbyn will if he stays true to his integrity and conviction.

Churchill or Chamberlain? May or Corbyn? the choice is yours.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Terrorism: No Fear, No Surrender! - So why do they do it?

Yesterday we witnessed another senseless act of terrorism on the streets of London. We are told that the perpetrators of these atrocities do this in the belief that the killing of innocents and an attack on the symbols of our freedoms and democracies will eventually coerce us into abandoning our lifestyles and system of government in favour some other alien belief system. Given that throughout history this approach has never seemed to have worked why do these small fanatical groups keep on trying such an obviously failed tactic?

While I could just possibly understand how an individual could convince themselves that being a martyr to their cause could elicit sympathy for it, I am having trouble figuring out how someone else can radicalise a person to the point where they think that wreaking havoc and visiting carnage and destruction on innocent civilians will bring about change? I suppose though that if we really want to understand how people go about radicalising and recruiting bombers and murderers then perhaps we need to ask someone with experience of doing this how they go about it.Knowing your enemy is the best way of defeating them. 

Sadly, with the very recent demise of Martin McGuinness, we have missed a golden opportunity of maybe getting inside the head of a full on bloody handed terrorist general who has sent out agents to kill and maim in the name of a cause. However, perhaps we could persuade, for a very large fee of course, the war criminal Tony B Liar to speak with his friend Gerry Addams who, based on his not inconsiderable experience, would I'm sure have some valuable tips, trick and insights he could impart? Actually, given that it could be argued that Tony B is largely to blame for the circumstances that have unleashed the dogs of war in the Middle East and brought about the terrorist plague the world now has to endure, maybe he could be persuaded to waive the fee? Okay, maybe not.  

In the meantime let's continue to send out the message that even as we mourn our dead we strengthen our resolve to continue with our lives as normal and let our motto be: Terrorism?: No Fear, No Surrender!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Opinions are like belly buttons. We all have one but they don't count for much and a failed ex-politician's is no better than anyone else's

Those that know me well will be aware that while I have strong opinions I hope that they have been reached after serious thought, research and reflection. I hope that I am not too arrogant to assume that I am always right and I welcome hearing the thoughts and reasoning of others.

I know that Len Harvey is also a man of well reasoned opinions and the fact that we stand on opposite sides of this argument do not mean that either of us should be locked in a room, especially in a democratic country such as ours. Interestingly Rob Jollands and I are also on opposite sides of the Brexit debate yet apparently are united when it comes to thinking that Tony B Liar is neither morally nor ethically qualified to make the statements contained in his speech; fermenting revolution by asking people to "rise up" I din't think is helpful and accusing the electorate of not being intelligent enough to see through the lies of politicians is a bit rich coming from someone who took spin (or lying as most of us would define it) to new heights while in office.

I believe that everyone is entitled to have a say in what kind of Brexit they think is best. The problem appears to be that, informed or not, it appears that a majority of British people have voted for us to take back control of our boarders and refuse the principal of the free movement of people within the EU. This one single fact does have consequences. Once you choose to opt out of one of the four fundamental principles of the EU the ruling Brussels bureaucrats will automatically then seek to bar you from enjoying the privileges of the others (the free movement of goods (the free market), the free movement of capital (excluding the City of London's money markets) and the free movement of services (the European Union;'s custom's union).

This is where I think Mr B Liar's arguments are flawed. It is not Theresa May who is pushing for a hard Brexit or rushing us to a cliff edge but the aforementioned Brussels bureaucrats who will drive us there whether we want to go or not. Theresa May has set out in her speeches and in the white paper submitted to parliament her desire to negotiate access to the free market and the custom's union and to apply for passporting rights for the City of London to carry on trading. It is Brussels who seem implacable in refusing to allow us to take back control of our borders and will also try to force us to stay in the custom's union, which means that we cannot negotiate our own trade deals with other countries.

Now, as a poor boy from a cotton town in lancashire I like to think I have demonstrated that I hav some grasp of the consequences of Brexit and am still some what itate the Tony B Liar should imply that I am too uneducated to have made the decision I did. As I pointed out in the title of this piece Mr B Liar has his opinion of Brexit and of my decision, but like his belly button he should keep it to himself.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

An Infinite Number of Monkeys

I guess it had to happen sooner or later. If you accept the proposition that an infinite number of monkeys all sat at typewriters could eventually produce the works of Shakespeare then eventually, I suppose, Jeremy Corbyn was going to say something sensible which I agreed with.

Well you don't have to wait any longer. In a recent speech Corbyn told an audience of Scottish MSPs and activists in Glasgow that "independence would be a serious mistake, and would lead to “turbocharged austerity and a glaring hole in the money required to fund essential services”.

Like I said - If you have an infinite number of monkeys anything is possible.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Brexit trade deal could take 10 years, says UK's ambassador

The BBC understands Sir Ivan Rogers, Britain's ambassador to the EU, warned ministers that the European consensus was that a deal might not be done until the early to mid-2020s. What they’re not telling you up front is this is the same Sir Ivan, who conducted David Cameron's negotiation over the UK's relationship with the EU; and look how that turned out.

I'm sure there are those who will say, with some justification, that his long history of association with the movers and shakers in the EU make him well placed to know how these people think. However, given that his appointments over the years have all been made and supported by most of the greatest Europhiles our governments have ever seen; Kenneth Clarke, Sir Leon Brittan, Tony B Liar and Gordon Brown, to name but four; I have to wonder about how spin free his pronouncement is.

Mr Rogers served in HM Treasury, including as Private Secretary to Kenneth Clarke, when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. He then was seconded to the European Commission as Chief of Staff to Sir Leon Brittan, returning to be Director, European Strategy and Policy and later Director of Budget and Public Finances under Gordon Brown.
In 2003, Rogers was chosen to succeed Jeremy (later Sir Jeremy) Heywood as the Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, Tony Blair. After three years in this role, Rogers left the service in 2006 to become Head of the UK Public Sector Group at Citigroup. In 2010 Rogers transferred to be Head of the Public Sector Industry Group, UK and Ireland, at Barclays Capital from 2010 to 2011.
In 2012, Rogers returned to government as the Prime Minister's Adviser for Europe and Global Issues and the Head of the European and Global Issues Secretariat, based in the Prime Minister's Office at Number 10, replacing Jon Cunliffe who had become the senior British diplomat at the EU. On Cunliffe's move to the Bank of England the next year, Rogers succeeded him again, moving to Brussels in 2013.
As of 2015, Rogers was paid a salary of between £170,000 and £174,999 by the Foreign Office, making him one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time.
I would guess that he did not support the Brexit camp and I suspect that his dire warnings factor in his personal negotiating “skill” (look at the "deal" he got with Cameron) and whiff strongly of Project Fear?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Richmond shows UK's Europe split as wide and deep as ever (Robert Peston Headline 02/12/2016)

It's not just Robert Peston. All the Remoaner press are claiming that the Lib Dem win In the Richmond Park by-election is a rebuke to the government's plan to exit the EU. Let's look at the facts for a moment rather than the spin.

The seat is set in the heart of the London metropolitan area, which voted overwhelmingly to 'Remain'. The constituency itself also voted overwhelmingly to 'Remain'. I don't find it at all surprising that, at the first opportunity, they voted to ditch their Brexit backing MP. Zac Goldsmith has only himself to blame. What he should have done is put aside his own opinions and party loyalties and done his best to try to represent the will of the majority of the people who elected him or stood aside for someone who would. That's what democracy is all about.

This result is not a straw in the wind for the Remoaners, who should remember one swallow does not a summer make. What actually remains once the smoke and mirrors have been put away and the fog of battle has cleared is that a clear majority of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU and thankfully, that's what our government are seeking to bring about.

It's impossible to say this this result reflects the mood of the whole country. It's my guess that if we were to hold a by-election in a safe Labour seat in the North of England, where the sitting MP was vocally anti-Brexit, then probably UKIP would walk it with the Conservatives coming a close second, or vise versa.

If strategy were up to me I'd advise Mrs may to press ahead with the invoking of Article 50. Once that has been done and the inevitable withdrawal has begun the immediately call a snap general election. Go to the country asking for a clear parliamentary majority so that she and the government can negotiate the best deal possible; keeping faith with the will of the people to take back control of our borders, our laws and our judicial sovereignty. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Brexit Remainers Still Seeking To Overturn The Referendum

The remain campaign seem determined to ignore the manifest and expressed will of a majority of voters in the referendum. Having lost the vote and the argument for a re-run they now are seeking to use the Commons and the House of Lords to to keep us in Europe.

Make no mistake all this talk about debating the government's strategy for the negotiation of a withdrawal from Europe has nothing to do with democracy, In fact the very opposite is true. What they are seeking to do is to force the government into adopting a so called "Soft Brexit", by making them promise to keep the UK in the "Single Market" (the SM). They do this knowing that to gain completely unfettered access to the SM we will have to accept the free movement of people, continue our agreement to accept and adopt EU laws, submit ourselves to the authority of the European courts and their unelected lawmakers and also continue to accept the free movement of people. These conditions are of course exactly what the British people voted to get rid of.

This fifth column hiding on the back benches are also trying to force the Brexiteers to reveal their entire negotiation strategy ahead of any negotiations. Anyone who has ever conducted any negotiation process knows that the first rule is that you keep your cards as close to your chest as possible and you never ever reveal ahead of time where your "red lines" are, orwhere you are prepared to compromise. It appears to me that the remain camp are acting as agents for their pals in Europe in trying to uncover our secrets, perhaps so they can exchange them for a seat on the gravy train when we are beaten to the point of surrender because we entered into a negotiation stripped of all our weapons and defences.

I believe that I also detect the odious smell of George Osborne provoking his proxies to act as his cat's paws in still trying to deliver Project Fear. Is George cooking up other machinations, to a recipe he learnt from that master of the dark and devious arts, his friend Peter Mandelson? Chief among these cap's paws is the governor of the Bank of England. During the referendum campaign Mark Carney was a cheerleader for Project Fear and ever since the vote he has continued to talk down our economy and talk up how dire life will be after Brexit. George has also got a number of his colleagues to approach the media in a continued attempt at bringing down Theresa May by death by a thousand cuts.

I think that we should applaud Theresa May's pledge to extricate us from Europe; all the more so because while it may not be something she campaigned for, she has recognised the will of the people and is trying to carry that out. I am sure that she and the ministerial team she has put in place can negotiate us an exit from Europe that will ultimately bring sovereignty and prosperity back to Britain. I don't for one moment think that we will get everything we want; negotiations are never like that. There will be a price to pay, but I'm sure that if the dissenters would accept the democratic decision we have taken, stop trying to keep us in Europe by the back door and above all cease this attempt to hamstring our negotiators before we've even started we can forge a deal that works not only for us but their (and our) friends in Europe.

I think those in parliament should contemplate the consequences of  our being forced by their efforts into becoming a vassal sate of Brussels. Such an outcome would, in the long run, be as bad for Europe as it would be for us. To put it crudely and to paraphrase the old saw; a fudged brexit which shackles us with the free movement of people, EU law and leaves us still making massive monetary contributions to a club we no longer want to be in would leave us in the door of the tent still pissing in. While a clean hard Brexit leaves us outside the tent too busy making our way in the wider world to piss off anybody.

Let's all accept that Brexit is want the country voted for and that"Brexit means Brexit". Let's leave our negotiators to negotiate a clean break and not a fudge and, most importantly, let's not hobble them by having them compose a battle plan in full and open view of the enemy.