Bog Roll :: stuff/politics

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

25 Jun 2021

Brexit VI

We are now 6 months into Brexit and 5 years since the fraudulent referendum that has plunged the UK into a self inflicted crisis that I fear it will not emerge intact from.

Basically every promise that the Leave campaign made has turned out to be a lie that Remain said it was. The fishing industry has been thrown under a big red bus, Northern Ireland has been cut of from Great Britain, citizen has been abandoned, and the new trade deals are either basically the same as before or as for in the Australian one, worded as to kill off the British beef and lamb industry...

All the fears of the Remain campaign are slowly coming true, jobs have left, imports are down, exports are down, the pound is down, skilled people have left, costs are up, business are drowning in red tape, the economy is growing slower than it was previously, and inward investment has dried up. Northern Ireland and Scotland are pulling at the very fabric of the Union...

How things will actually pan out I don't know, but while the Brexit fruit cakes are enthroned in Westminster I don't any change in direction. Long term I suspect that Scotland and Northern Ireland will break away. Eventually England will be forced to rejoin the EU, but on much less favourable terms than the UK had, but that will still probably be a good thing...


01 Jan 2021

Brexit V

Well it has finally happened. The UK left the EU in 2020, and then a wafer-thin agreement was agreed and the transition period ended on the last day of 2020. Northern Ireland is de facto still in the Customs Union and there is now a border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Gibraltar is joining the Schengen area, and Kent is now a giant lorry park. After all the promises it turns out that the UK will have to follow most EU directives after all, and has zero say or veto in any of them, failure to do so will result in penalties.

This is probably the greatest confidence trick in British history, and was done so a few super rich people can avoid paying tax... One can only hope that a sane government is eventually elected in the UK, and moves to rejoin the EEA, and finally the EU. Though the terms will never be as generous as the ones the UK used to have, and it's also possible by then that the UK won't exist, Scotland and Northern Ireland may have left...


17 Oct 2020

Brexit IV

Brexit is the gift that keep giving. The UK is now heading for a no-deal BREXIT after Johnson's so called oven-ready deal has turned out to be a lukewarm turd. Not content with signing a treaty with the EU that he then decided to ignore before the ink is even dry, he's now turning large areas of the Garden of England into a lorry car park, breaking the Union up, throwing the economy under a bus and failing to deal with a second and predicted wave of COVID.

It's hard to know if the Brexit zealots are:

  • Incredibly stupid - and believe their lunatic rhetoric
  • Know what they are doing because they will personally benefit from the collapse of the UK

I'm not sure which is worst, being criminally stupid or being a criminal. Either way most of the current Tory party aren't fit to be in government...


27 Sep 2020

2020

When this year started I didn't think the world could get any worse. Brexit was happening and panning out to be the utter disaster that I thought it was going to be. Trump was proving to be an even bigger moron that I thought was possible and the UK had just elected a lazy clown as PM.

First up my step father died, which was a surprise and not a very nice one. He had a decent innings and had a pretty decent retirement, and his illness had no symptoms until the final few weeks, so he didn't really suffer - which is the best one can take from the situation.

While attending my step-father's funeral COVID exploded and I was nearly trapped in the UK, with no where to stay and no clothes to stay in. I managed to get home, via a long, expensive and tortuous route, and then spent several days in bed sick as a parrot. I don't know if I had COVID or stress enhanced cold/'flu, as tests weren't readily available at the time - and I still wonder...

My favourite compact camera died, and I've not yet replaced it - but given the situation it's hardly surprising...

The UK went into semi-lockdown and France went into real lockdown, so I didn't leave the house for weeks and other than my wife, I saw no one, which was all very odd. As I already work from home that wasn't an utter disaster, but I have put weight on this year as I just haven't been out as much.

We have started to work on the house, which is going well, but is absurdly expensive. The original quote was €100k, which I thought was way to low, and in my mind budgeted for €200k, but the current quote is now €240k, and we've already spent €50k on essential work... When it's all done, well probably add €1 to the value of the house for every €2 to €3 that we spend. Not a good return on financial investment, but it will be good for us.

At this very moment France and the UK are hurtling towards a very nasty second wave of COVID, and while France is dealing with it better than the UK, it's only marginally and in both countries there is a strong current of idiots opposing the scientific advice and trying to make things worse - though at least in France they aren't in the government...!

Finally the UK is heading towards some kind of absurd no-deal Brexit, or some kind of weak to useless deal Brexit, which will make things very hard in the UK for a while - which I'll at least be partially shielded from...


20 Aug 2020

Brexit III

Here we are hurtling towards a no-deal BREXIT. The only way to stave disaster in Ireland was to agree to a border between NI and the rest of the UK. To add insult to injury the whole of Kent will now be treated commercially as the EU to provide enough space for all the customs clearances that will be required.

Taking back control over our borders seems to mean losing the cooperation we had before, so now we have less control than we started with. For example from 1 Jan, refugees can't be deported back to the EU anymore, the UK will have to deal with them!

Getting rid of red tape, appears to mean thousands of new civil servants, and millions of new forms, so there will be more red tape than people could possibly imagine, though it now looks like the stronger green laws, will actually be weaker food standard and environmental protection so that the US can export their vast and highly suspicious agricultural surpluses to the UK, wiping out British farming.

The easiest trade deals in history have turned into one utter farce after another one, and so far the UK has made deals for only 10% of the UK's global trade so come 1 January the UK will be trading from a worse position than before for 90% of the foreign trade. While the EU has improved it's trading position by more than the total value that the UK contributed in trade to the EU totals.

Foreign companies have pretty much said in the event of no deal, then they will up sticks and move most or all of their operations to the EU, and so far that seems to be mostly happening, bye-bye British motor industry. This seems to be already happening, and is expected to accelerate.

So far it's safe to say everything that the remain side said would happen, is happening, and everything the leavers promised has turned out to be a lie. Hardy surprising really, reality is what it is... If Trump goes down in November then things will look a lot worse for the Brexiters than they do now.

I don't like being this right, with something as important as this, but I (and many others) did say this at the begining... Brexit II


13 Mar 2019

Brexit II

So the Maybot has lost another vote by a huge margin. What happens next? Who knows? The reality is that there are actually only three options, and two of them have problems...

The UK can go for WTO only with or without a transition deal. The problem with that is that it will break the Good Friday Agreement, which has kept the piece in Ireland. To keep the boarder open requires a deal of some sorts and the hard right Tories don't want a deal. May's deal has been rejected so leaving without a deal is possible but it will create a boarder in Ireland and cause chaos in the UK.

The UK could adopt a so called soft Brexit, like the Norway option. That basically means that the UK would not have any say but still be subject to most EU rules. It would work and solve the Ireland problem, but would be a pointless exercise, and is demonstrably worse than the deal the UK currently has. The Tory hard right don't like it because EU anti-money laundering rules would still apply...

Finally there is the option to revoke Article 50, and stay in the EU, though there would be much apologising to do, and much of damage that has already been done, will take a long time to recover, if ever.

The basic problem is that the referendum was stupid, it asked a question where one option was undeliverable without breaking the Good Friday Agreement or was leaving in name only.... Then there was the illegal activity by the leave campaigns, the foreign interference, the vote rigging and other irregularities... and only because it was non-binding it can't be struck down...

Not a lot has changed since I said the same in 2016: Brexit Mess.


20 Jun 2017

General Election 2017

The result of the General Election this spring was a bit of a surprise. Most people don't win elections, the other side normally lose them. The Tories called the election with a working majority in parliament and a huge lead in the opinion polls and an extremely anti-Labour media on their side.

Even though the Tories spent a lot of money and were easily able to make fun of the generally lacklustre Labour campaign, it was very clear that May has the charisma of a fart and is about as popular as one in a confined space...

In the end the result was a nice-surprise, the Tories lost seats and their majority but Labour squandered their luck and also failed to win a majority. It would have been much better if Labour had let the LibDems take a few more seats, and then the Tories would not have been in a position to form a chaos-coalition with the DUP.

The train-wreck that is Brexit is still on going, but the Tory position is now weaker than it was before the General Election and everyone else in the world now thinks we are bonkers! The only hope now is that the wheels fall of this insanity and we stay in the EU, and at the next General Elections the Tories get kicked out...


18 Apr 2017

General Election 2017

So Mayhem has called for a snap election! It's a gamble but probably the best call she can make given the state of play. Brexit is going to be a disaster and she faces dissent within the country, parliament and her own party. Pushing a head with Brexit is the worst possible course but the one she has set herself, an election allows her some wiggle room.

Labour are virtually unelectable at the moment, so it's unlikely that they will win the General Election, and they may even lose some seats to as well. In that respect it's the best time to attack, when your enemies are weak.

While the LibDems are more popular than they were at the last General Election and openly pro-remain, she is gambling that they'll never be able to win out right - which is probably true.

If she wins a clear majority then that will silence some of the opposition within parliament and allow her to press on with the insanity. If she doesn't win a majority, then she can say she has no mandate and she can squirm out of Brexit, for her it's a win-win situation, either way it won't be her call.

I predict that Corbyn will resign the day after the general election as Labour does very badly. That will probably be obvious as I expect them to do poorly in the local elections in May too.

I expect the LibDems to do well, picking up seats in the remain areas where the previously polled well. How well is difficult to say, 20 would be nice, but 30-40 would be brilliant. I don't know if that will be enough to keep the Tories out of office.

It's hard to say how the Tories will get on, the seats in the leave areas will return Tories, but those in remain areas may rebel or do odd things. I suspect that they will take some seats from Labour though, so it's difficult to know how many they will end up with. I suspect they will be largest party in parliament, but I just hope they don't have a working majority.


28 Jun 2016

Brexit Mess

There are three ways out of the self-imposed Brexit mess than the UK can take...

We can go cap in hand to the EU and say it was all a silly wheeze we played and we want to stay. Not likely if one of the Brexit loonies becomes our next PM, but still possible. We can expect the EU to ask us to surrender some of our special deals that no one else has though. It would be a political climb down on an epic proportion, but the referendum has no legal standing and technically parliament can ignore or it as is, or call a general election and say that trumps it and it's up to the next parliament to decide.

Option two is a bit of slight of hand. We leave the EU officially, so the Brexit loonies can claim something but we actually go straight back in all but name as Norway does in the EEA. On the practical level nothing much would actually change but we would lose all our say in how things get done, would still be subject to most EU rules and probably have to sign up to more rules than we do already. Personally I'd be happy with that, but long term is a stupid position to be in, and we'd be worse off in every way that Brexit camp claimed we'd be better off - which is ironic...

The final option is that we really come out of the EU and the EEA. In that case we can expect to see a weaker pound, slower growth, poor exports and a generally basket case economy for decades to come, Not a nice prospect for anyone...

Of the three, staying in the best option, it maximises our benefit and democratic power and while we will have to pay some kind of penalty for the chaos we've caused it would be the better long term option. The Norway option is tolerable, would minimise the damage of leaving the EU, but reduces our influence and democratic power, and we would have to pay a heavy price for it, even being forced to join Schengen - which I'd like but a lot of Brexiters would have fits over... The final solution is obviously absurd and is the path to economic ruin and I assume most of the Brexiters that can think are trying to avoid this, without having to admit that they were wrong.

What will happen? Who knows, but it isn't going to be nice and I'm not looking forward to the next few years....


24 Jun 2016

Thank you Mr Cameron

Mr Cameron is an idiot. He probably only offered a referendum to placate the swivel-eye-loons on the right of his party because he was a weak leader and he doubted he would win the general election. Once he won the general election he then had to deliver on a referendum he was almost certain to lose.

While the Brexit camp stuck to jingoism, bigotry, xenophobia, nostalgia and every old lie in the fascist handbook, the official Remain campaign didn't cover itself in glory either. The result was sadly a forgone conclusion, a lot of badly educated and poorly paid people, lied to for decades swallowed the even bigger lie and gave Cameron a bloody nose.

I can't say that I am surprised with the result, nor can I say that I am surprised with the result of the result. The UK will now go into recession, how deep and how long is anyone guess - but lots of jobs will be lost as the economy is hardly that strong to start with. The pound will settle to a new low level, and everything we buy being imported will be more expensive. A bunch of privileged Etonians will choose a new PM - so much for democracy, and the NHS will be privatised on the alter of neoconservatism.

Things will get a lot worse before they get better, and if Europe gives us a hard time, and the United Kingdom breaks up, then I won't be surprised either.

10 May 2015

General Election 2015

Open Rights Group

The UK has just had it's General Election. Labour failed miserably to increase their vote. The SNP picked uploads of votes and seats - mostly as they felt betrayed by the failure of delivery of anything after they agreed to remain in the union. The Liberal Democrats lost votes and seats a plenty as expected. The result is now we have a weak Conservative government with a slim majority - that will no doubt destroy it's self as the swivel-eyed loons on the far right of the party start to make increasingly unrealistic demands on the rest of the party.

The nutters in the home office, with the Liberal Democrat "sanity" checks removed will now demand ever increasing powers to snoop on everything we do, so that they can protect us from what ever problem they have invented to scare us with next...

I now feel compelled to support the Open Rights Group with my money as well as my moral support. If the lunatics aren't stopped then we'll have no civil liberties left.


15 May 2011

People Voted No To Fair Votes

The referendum didn't go the way I wanted. I'm not surprised. While the reason to vote yes was strong, our current system is dreadful and any system, including AV is better, it was very poorly argued for.

There is virtually no reason to support the status quo, but the no forces were very loud, well funded by big business and used every dirty trick in the book.

  • It's hardly surprising that most MPs were against the change - some of them would have to get off their fat arses and work for a change.
  • Big media didn't want it as it would make it harder to put and keep politicians in their pockets.
  • The tories were against it because demographically it would make it harder for them.
  • Clegg is very unpopular personally, so because he was for AV makes it easy to vote No for a lot of people. This is an utterly stupid reason but I think it did make a difference.

It's possible for the rest of my life we'll be stuck with one of the most unfair voting systems in the democratic world. The only plus side to the election is that my local LibDem councillor was re-elected, though people voting labour out of spite nearly let the Tory candidate in - did I mention "First past the post" is a crap system?


19 Apr 2011

Referendum 2011

This May the UK will holds it's second ever national referendum. The issue is to change the current first-past-the-post "FPTP" voting system for parliament for an alternative-vote "AV" system. I am in favour of voting reform and while AV is not the best system I do believe it is better than the current FPTP system. As a consequence I am supporting the national Yes To AV campaign. Two weeks ago I distributed "Yes To AV" leaflets in my neighbourhood.

Today the "No to Fair Votes" people sent their very glossy leaflet via the Royal Mail. Either they can afford to pay to post their message or they don't have any volunteers to rely on.


03 Nov 2010

Census 2011

Soon the UK will go through the non-sense of the census. Last time in 2001 there was a big fuss because more people put Jedi, more than the number of identifying Sikhs, and more than Jews and Buddhists combined.

This time round the British Humanist Association are encouraging people to tick the "no religion" box if they aren't really religious. Many people who don't partake in organised religion any more and don't even think of themselves as religious, give strength to the religious fringe trying to manipulate British politics if they tick a religion box on the census.

If you are religious then go ahead and tick the box, but unless you a practising member of a religion please don't.


11 May 2010

Coalitions...

Poor old Nick Clegg, he has three dreadful options to pick from:

  1. Join with Tories - big differences there, so possibly short term stable, but long term it must explode.
  2. Join with Labour et al. - probably unstable and Labour have offered concessions in the past and failed to deliver.
  3. Join with no one and face another general election, probably doing worse that the current one.

Which ever way you look at it, it's unpalatable. Although popular with their own supporters more than 60% of the population really hate the Tories. Labour clearly lost the election and even with Gordon out of the way, they are not the most popular people in the UK this week.

To add insult to injury, whatever the colour of government it's not going to be popular, with massive spending cuts and tax rises required to balance the books and head of Greek style bailout....