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Being Boris alone was never going to be enough to get a deal with the EU where for anyone else there never was going to be one

October 1, 2019 2 comments

images-2We’ve been watching the malaise take hold and the chaos take over in Parliament now over a course of many months.

There have been innumerable opportunities for the Government, the Official Opposition and the current quasi-government-Remain-collective to go a different way.

But they have not.

When it came to Boris’ appointment as Prime Minister in late July, the reality is that events leading to that point gave him only a choice to go one of two ways.

Boris could have chosen to immediately take every step necessary to facilitate a General Election and use the opportunity not only to reengage but effectively re-enfranchise the Electorate with the world of politics as he did so. Or take the alternative pathway which was to choose to do what he has done.

Focusing on the UK position rather than engaging or seeking to proactively engage the EU in any way before a General Election was the only way that Boris had the chance to really stack the deck of cards in his favour when it came to taking everyone with him over a ‘no deal Brexit’.

Instead he seems to have chosen bluff, bluster and possibly blunder too as he, his Ministers and entourage have repeatedly preached passages from the unwritten rules of negotiation. They suggest that they are in control of a secret process that they are so on top of that they have been open enough to make everyone including the EU aware of.

The truth is they are and have been anything but.

Whether this play by Boris was deliberate or simply unintended at the start, the lack of care and consideration for the realities that underpinned the EU’s more realistic motives for insisting on the Backstop, have made everything he has done since July look like a very impetuous and self-serving choice.

The Backstop issue has and will always be resolvable. But it will only be complicated by any attempt to avoid the realities that underpin all the concerns that people have in Ireland about a return to a hard border alongside those for a future where the Province becomes tied into any system of governance where it no longer has any form of choice.

The deal that it has been indicated Boris is about to table to the EU and therefore also the Irish, is not one that demonstrates any kind of real choice.

It really doesn’t make best use of the opportunity to keep the border open. It simply relocates the physicality of customs checks that go with any hard border to an out-of-sight, out-of-mind location – which is failing to look the issues in the eye and therefore nothing more than a politically expedient choice.

As I wrote at length on the 1st of August, the technology and therefore the opportunity exists to create a free-flowing open border.

Yes, there is hard work and real negotiation that would need to take place as well as smashing down many of the institutional shibboleths that would obstruct this kind of thinking and practicality from outside of the box as the natural choice.

It is only the lack of foresight, understanding, political will and basically the objections of individuals – like all of the MPs that we now have blocking Parliament – preventing it from being a real option that the EU might not immediately like or endorse, but would accept as a very practical solution once they know that there is no way back from the UK / EU divorce.

As we look back over the summer and as we head towards the 31st of October exit date for the UK to Leave the EU, it increasingly looks like history will tell us that Boris was just another Prime Minister who squandered the opportunity to lead us properly, simply because he took what seemed like the easy choices right at the pivotal moments when no matter how hard it was he could have simply chosen the alternative option which was to do the right thing for all of us and not just for him.

I hope to be wrong on this. But from where I view all of this now, it looks very much as if Boris believed he could achieve results where others had tried and failed, just because he is Boris. All as if the Marvel Universe is no longer fiction, and a Prime Minister with superpowers based in London is a reality that has come to pass.

 

To download the PDF version of my 1 August essay on a Border Solution please click Beating the Backstop

image thanks to telegraph.co.uk 

Government should be ensuring that people can afford to live on a basic income, not make cheap headlines from a non enforceable wage

October 1, 2019 Leave a comment

Our MPs are so busy getting drunk on their own power and glory, they really have lost sense of reality with the policies that they continue to propose.

The problem is that without looking at the detail more deeply – as the people we have trusted to run this Country really should – the soundbites that they keep pumping out in isolation sound all so very good.

In quick succession, we have had the Liberal Democrats. the Labour Party and now the Conservatives throwing out policies from their Conference platforms that have been designed as nothing more than cheap tricks to buy voters off.

Promising the earth and then failing to deliver has very little cost for the unscrupulous politicians involved.

But policies like simply cancelling Brexit, reducing the working week for everyone to 32 hours and raising the ideal hourly rate for the Living Wage has a real impact that will not deliver the beneficial experience that these politicians are suggesting they can control.

Pretending that Brexit and the vote that led to it can simply be cancelled as if it never happened would be beyond stupid and would have very serious consequences for everyone – no matter what fairytales those obsessed with Remaining in the EU would like us to be told.

But what we earn and how we earn it not only has an everyday effect on how we live our lives, it is also all about what we can afford.

Politicians on all sides are completely out of touch with what it actually costs us to live. The reality is that even on a 40-hour-week paid at £10.50 per hour in 5 years time, thats only £420 per week or £21,840 per annum. It’s not enough today for a single adult without children to be self sufficient, let alone tread water or basically survive.

The cost of living in this Country is stupidly out of control.

The way that we measure the health and success of our economy should not be wage rates and rises, GDP or statistics in any other form. But whether the poorest amongst us can look after and completely fend for themselves on the basic minimum wage without going into debt, claiming benefits or having to look to charities to someway get involved.

The way that a more enlightened government or MPs who actually know and have respect for what they are doing would achieve this is to actually use the power and responsibility that they have been given to make changes the the framework that business and finance operates within. Not to tinker on the edges by applying sticking plasters that will have already lost their ability to heal anything by the time that they come into use.

Too many businesses, financiers and property owners are taking too much value out of every product and every service that is provided in this Country, without putting like-for-like benefits back in.

The system is complex and complicated and few of us really understands how finance, markets and supply chains work. But the benefit is all going one way right now and continuing to take the most from the people who can least afford it. All so the people at the top of the chain can keep adding to a cash pile they have no genuine need to use, whilst looking at the ease with which they can work the system and concluding that they can take even more.

Politicians should not only know, but be acting proactively to address this. Not to eliminate the financiers, business people and economists like Labour might like to do so. But to introduce a considered set of ethics and regulation in every aspect of business in this Country, so that end users are only ever paying whats fair for the basic products and services that are essential to live and survive. But above all, is no more than what they can actually afford.

Until we have politicians prepared to take the steps necessary to address the real cause of the cost of living problem, the way that economics work means that the people who are now having to go into debt, look to the government or charities just to get by and stay alive will continue to see life as something that they simply cannot afford.

 

 

MPs are getting high on their own supply and are on target to wake up only when all damage possible has already been done

October 1, 2019 Leave a comment

We talk about the ‘Westminster bubble’ as if there is a dome like structure physically parked right over the middle of London under which our establishment and political elite exists. But the humour made out of the detachment that our MPs have from the realities of the world outside has now subsided as significant truth that underlies the joke has been exposed.

Not content with imprisoning a Prime Minister and refusing to go to the Country – as everyone but them realised that time is running out for democracy to be restored – the Remain-collective-Opposition has now moved on to creating a new constitution of its own design, all as the wrecking ball it has aimed at British Democracy swings back and forth keeping the dynamics of the situation continually on the move.

On Wednesday they are tabling a Bill in Parliament to nominate a new PM.

Yet despite Boris Johnson’s attempts to call a General Election, this quasi-Government has refused to seek legitimacy for their position. As such, no vacancy for a Prime Minister actually exists.

To continue going down the road that these MPs who oppose Brexit and the will of the People are going, only serves to underline the truth of what their aims are.

Their contempt for democracy and the People who lent them their power has now been completely exposed.

The reality is that there is no way back to the system that once existed. Where losers consent and therefore their respect ensured the legitimacy and follow through from both Parliamentary and Electoral Votes.

Over the course of three years, the majority of MPs in this Parliament have overridden the principles of democracy both in their relationship with voters and with the constitution itself.

The damage is done and what is more, these MPs, completely intoxicated with their own power, now believe their own hype and are behaving as if anything goes.

An alternative to the system we have does not appear readily available and this is probably why they are confident that nothing can now stop them.

They have the Courts on their side and believe that there is no power above or below them that can or will stop them. They are certain that they can continue completely unhindered because there is no longer a bigger fish swimming in the pool that is able to get involved.

But the alternative they are not counting on is the British People itself.

A fuse has been lit and when the inevitable explosion comes, these MPs who have got high on their own supply will realise that they do not know better than the People they were elected to represent. That for all the glory and fleeting headlines they temporarily generated – as they wrecked the system that gave them power – it would not only have been responsible, but much wiser to have done exactly what they had been told.

We the People deserve significantly better than to be treated the way we are by politicians who are obsessed with their own ideas and place in the world, rather than with any legitimate cause.

Their selfishness and contempt for others has certainly assured them a legacy and place in history. That will be the destruction of the system of democracy in this Country – for no other reason than their determination to sell out their homelands to a Foreign Power called the EU.

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