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Yes – Taxi Driver Qualification could be tighter, but further centralisation of the rules will discriminate against good driver applicants as well as bad

February 12, 2019 Leave a comment

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One of the most tragic ways that MPs and Politicians fail the Electorate, is by giving excessive weight to the advice and input from membership organisations that sell and portray themselves as representative of entire demographics or communities. For they are susceptible to the very same biases, tunnel vision and levels of self interest on the part of their representatives and leaders that the MP would be expected to consider if they were just talking to any one person alone.

All too often, Ministers who have little or no real-world experience of their brief or the wherewithal to understand at an intrinsic level, what someone is telling them who has, respond in knee-jerk fashion to what these organisations tell them. They are under the misapprehension that the words of such representatives genuinely reflect the will and desires of whole swathes of the Electorate, when reality is that they seldom do any such thing.

With four years experience as a Licensing Chair which ended in 2015, I was intrigued to hear the news that the Government is now to Consult on changing the qualification rules for Taxi, Hackney and Private Hire Drivers. The direction of travel suggested being to emphasise that the rules governing their Regulation should become more uniform, and therefore centralised so that an applicant or driver dealing with one Licensing Authority would now be effectively dealing with them all as one.

In principle this sounds good. There is definitely a disconnect between the reality that Drivers are often only Registered or ‘Licensed’ by one Local Authority, but in almost every case other than a large Licensing Area such as London, they will cross into the jurisdiction of at least one and possible many others perhaps as often as every day.

This does indeed leave grey areas over infringements in the regulatory sense. But more importantly where existing Taxi Drivers and their Operating Companies are concerned, there is a big issue over outsiders treading on toes. Vehicles from other areas are perceived to be stealing business from ‘local firms’ with the subsequent suggestion that the Authority Licensing that ‘outsider driver’, employs a policy where anything goes.

Because Taxi Licensing Policy is open to localised tweaks, additions and therefore non-adoption of policies which might have been adopted elsewhere too, it is easy to give fictitious credence to the arguments that roll away from myth that every Authority is run differently.

The reality is that the rules governing all forms of Licensing are already heavily centralised, have been set in London and in the main part with basic issues like qualification, are pretty much consistent wherever you might go.

Unfortunately, the Taxi Lobby has form when it comes to influencing Politicians to change rules for their own ends.

A decade ago, changes to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 closed a loop-hole preventing private drivers from gaining a fee for transporting Special Educational Needs Students between their homes, schools and colleges. Sold as a way to raise safety standards, the outcome of this ring-fencing of local authority contracts to a the closed audience which lobbied for it landed Local Educational Authorities with an average additional annual bill of at least £1 Million, without any indication that the benefit to the end user at larger was in any way improved.

Yes, there is always a need to make sure that the rules are tight. But rules can also be twisted to benefit those with the most to gain whilst there is a significant cost to others.

We should all be very concerned about the potential for further regulation which is being sold as being in the best interests of the Public, that may actually only favour particular types of operators, has the potential to price others out of the marketplace and put up prices for all customers.

All this at a time when Taxis themselves are increasingly the only lifeline available for people disadvantaged by the remote nature of their communities, where commercialisation of public services has failed them more than perhaps most.

Like Planning Law, which is often perceived mistakenly as being set locally by District Level Authorities, Licensing is predominantly set centrally already. It is just interpreted in the main part by Local Licensing Authorities.

In what is a typically quasi-judicial setting that some would recognise as not being massively dissimilar to the Magistrates Court, applications and reviews that cannot be determined by Officers under delegated powers are heard by a panel or bench of three of the Council’s Licensing Committee Members.

Within such a setting, there is regrettably always a chance that because of the inconsistency in the quality, approach and motivation of local Politicians – as with Parliament – that you will get a different outcome from a hearing. It is very much dependent upon who is sitting, who is chairing and facilitating, how they interpret the evidence given, how they are advised by Licensing Officers and yes – just because it’s the way that it all went that day.

It is here that there is real inconsistency within the Licensing system.

But this inconsistency needs to be tackled with measures put in place to ensure that there is consistency in determinations, that impartiality is the guiding factor in all outcomes and that nobody sitting in ‘judgment’ is allowed to influence a decision because of personal bias, experience or because they are on a power trip and want to get their own way that day.

The risk in moving towards a national form of Licensing administration is that it will remove what little flexibility is left within the system. Flexibility that needs to be monitored and improved, but not overlooked, forgotten or ignored.

Not everyone wants to be a Taxi Driver. Many people take on the role as an in-between to keep themselves working whilst the move between other things. Some take on the work because they do not like being employed but do not want the responsibility of being self-employed in the generally accepted sense and are as such making the very best of things that they can.

Yes, there have been some very serious cases of Taxi Drivers abusing the responsibility and the trust that they have been given. But whilst what those individuals have done is wrong, the cases that are now being used as a reference point for changing the whole industry are statistically very few, and like in many areas where Government Policy is being used to pursue the passions of the few, there is an inherent danger to this of the tail being used to wag the whole dog.

The signifiant danger is that by appearing to tighten up rules which are already working well – when you consider that you will never create the perfect system, there are many would-be Taxi Drivers who could be assets to an industry which itself is facing challenging times, which will be denied entry to these roles at an incalculable cost.

People who could now, through the further synchronisation of rules be excluded because of the already overzealous nature of decision making in the public sphere, where risk of any kind – which includes giving people the benefit of the doubt when they are turning their lives around or are leaving mistakes made in their youth a long way behind – would be in much shorter supply.

Dehumanising the system might be reflective of the world at large, but the disadvantage and cost of such steps will be much more far-reaching than what will only ever be a perceived and tangible benefit to very few.

image thanks to unknown

Corbyn has the ability to win, not because of what he does, but because of what others don’t

February 8, 2019 Leave a comment

img_2576One of the greatest misinterpretations of recent weeks has been the ongoing assessment of the media and the Labour Party that Jeremy Corbyn is sat on the fence and will not commit to anything.

Granted, much of the commentary on the Labour Leader is reflective of his role or non-role in the Brexit process.

But looks are deceiving.

Corbyn’s letter to Theresa May this week tells us all a lot more than we realise about the game that for him is now in play.

Yes, the commentariat and opinionati are busy reflecting on the content and generally overlooking the reality that it beats May at her own game when it comes to achieving a Brexit which is not actually based on leaving but very much Remain.

But even less attention is being paid to the more strategic angle of not only this letter, but everything that Jeremy Corbyn does. All of which is clearly developing around creating the circumstances under which he would be able to facilitate the installation and then implementation of a Marxist regime.

Oh we’d see that coming if it was ever really a threat is the very kind of response you would get from anyone who is taking Corbyn’s chances of becoming PM less than seriously.

Yet nobody in power now has control over the outcome of events and what Brexit might really become.

Memories are short. And whilst we may never know or understand what the Labour MPs directly involved were thinking when they nominated Corbyn as a leadership candidate following the resignation of Ed Milliaband, we can be reasonably sure that they did not bank on what have already been the consequences and what may now become.

Indeed the magnitude of that original decision must have become painfully obvious for them when Corbyn then went on to see off a leadership challenge, just as the momentum movement ushered in by his accession have began to take over everything Labour as they have become increasingly involved.

Today, what normal people see as the quantum leap which would be Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister is a threat that is very real. Not because of anything specific or particularly good about what he does.

But as then, right back at the point that he was first nominated to be Labour Leader. Simply because the threat is neither cognicised or taken seriously by some, whilst others are too busy trying to exert control over everything else to achieve their own plans, to see that their own inaction as the flip side of their actions will have very serious consequences for all involved.

You can do the right things at the right time or you can live with the consequences from that point thereafter.

Right now, Corbyn has his eye on a prize which is not entering into common thought.

Whilst there is occasional mention of his aim of a socialist state – often in the same breath as mention of the unfolding tragedy created by his fellow socialists in Venezuela, nobody is really contemplating how this idealist could precipitate the transition from our capitalist democratically now to the Marxist nirvana where he would like us to be.

Corbyn’s letter gives reality to what may be both hope and genuine intention for the UK to go over a cliff edge as a result of Brexit at the end of March, in the circumstances that a completely unplanned ‘no deal’ scenario should unfold.

For the student and believer of revolution that Corbyn is, the prospect of civil unrest and the chaos that he believes would be guaranteed to accompany it, an out of control Brexit ushers in the opportunity to seize power whilst the wheels of government screech to a halt and anarchy has the potential to rule the streets.

What his plan, vision or desire doesn’t consider is that the socialist revolutions upon which he has based his goals have never been a sure thing, even when hindsight has allowed the victors to write the history.

Even the greatest communist takeover we know of, the Russian Revolution of 1917 was very much touch and go when it began. It could so easily have ended up very differently with minor changes in events and if the key players involved had made different choices and done different things.

That the majority of our MPs now function within a Westminster bubble where inaction, reaction, self-interest and fear driven decision making could take us over the edge in just 49 days is concerning.

How they would then react if the Marxist Corbynites should find themselves in the position to even try and spring anything remotely akin to a revolution from our Streets is a completely different thing.

Corbyn finds the project of chaos desirable at any cost, because the chances of him securing the outright or majority electoral victory which would allow him at least 5 years in government with the mandate to destroy the Western version of the UK and replace it with ‘socialism done properly’ are actually very remote indeed.

He is therefore dependent upon others not doing their job and breaking the rules to stop him when he and his kind would be prepared to. The very time that good leaders lined up against his plan would know and act on the fact that they should.

The realities of a Corbyn majority Marxist government are something that must be avoided and any chance that he might have to grab power outside the process of our democratic convention, must be avoided at all costs.

For if the point should now come where the British People feel justified in taking to the Streets, what could be for them a genuine protest against the ineptitude, ignorance and irresponsibility of the so-called representatives who have worked proactively over 2 and a half years to destroy democracy just to prevent a real Brexit, could quickly be hijacked and used to introduce a type of governance which will be insecure and therefore brutal.

We should never underestimate what to all of us would be the true cost.

The question we should perhaps be asking ourselves, is whether there are any Politicians left in Westminster who can see any of the wider, but nonetheless very real risks to this Country that are now unfolding. And if they can, would they or are they indeed capable of being the leaders we will need to stop a doomsday scenario unfolding at the hands of idealists, no matter what might be the personal cost?

Party Politics is the means, not the end and until the emphasis is correctly restored, we will all suffer the result

February 7, 2019 Leave a comment

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The most extraordinary thing about these extraordinary times, is that they feel so extraordinarily normal.

Watching the Brexit crisis unfold has become a daily routine so embedded, that it feels like it will never end. And much of the responsibility for that impression falls squarely at the feet of the Politicians who are running the Country as part of the Government, and collectively as the bigger part of our 650 Elected MPs.

It doesn’t matter whether you Voted Leave or Remain in the Referendum. Labour, Lib Dem, SNP of Conservative in the 2017 General Election. The commonality that we all share within this incredible mess, is the feeling that what our Elected Representatives are doing simply isn’t right, and that we should all be able to expect a whole lot more.

Our political landscape has now become so unpredictable, we could never get odds on what tomorrow might bring.

For those of us looking more closely at what is unfolding and where we go from here, there is genuine concern, not only about what will unfold with control over Brexit now so clearly absent. But what happens when a clear direction does manifest and we have a better idea of what the coming months and possibly years might then have in store.

The reason for this is that the problem with the leadership that we now have in the form of Mrs. May is not one that is restricted only to her presence.

The problem is now an insipid trait amongst many of our MPs and Politicians. One that does not provide great confidence when considering how we now move beyond Brexit, potentially via a period of crisis, and then go on to address the many issues which are collectively causing all of us and the communities that with both live and work in, significant pain.

We have been burdened with the class of Politicians that we have, not by accident. But because en masse, the majority are the standard product of the Party Political system in the UK. A system that now exists only to further its own ends, rather than those of the People its candidates are elected to represent.

This is not to say that our sitting MPs are not capable, intelligent people.

But the system that exists has now been in place for so long that it has evolved to recruit and promote politicians in each Political Party’s own image.

MPs are delegates of the Party. They are not the Representatives of the People or the Constituencies from which they have been Elected that they should be. And the grand plan of the Political Parties is that they should only ever be on message and that they present that message as directed, effectively, without deviation and in a standard form. This is why media interviews with MPs look very automated, unnatural and are a damning indictment of what UK Politics has become.

People recruited to conform, rarely have the initiative, confidence and wherewithal to represent others. They do not have the drive to lead, innovate or adapt to the changeable nature that is the requirement of a Government which can be both responsive and responsible, that considers cause, effect, consequences and the impact of everything that they do – as any Government that is going to lead the UK forward positively and confidently must now do.

What is more, there is nothing wrong with our system of democracy.

It is the political parties and the politicians that currently inhabit it which makes it all appear wrong.

For they are incapable of looking inside of themselves to identify the causality of their problems. Instead always looking outwards to attribute blame and look for solutions by changing the political environment that surrounds them. Thereby overlooking the genuine answers to the questions behind everything that is happening for us. Making things progressively worse, whilst never actually addressing anything which is genuinely the cause of what is wrong.

Political Parties came into existence to facilitate the workings of like-minded representatives working within this democratic system.

They were a simple means of bringing politicians together in order to get things done. Not to create an autocracy or dictatorship run by Party Leaders, which is what the main Political Parties have now in many ways effectively become.

Nor were they designed to create a system where a local political group could make demands of their MP on the basis that the MP, once appointed by the Electorate then becomes only a delegate for them, sent to Westminster only to pursue their specific agenda, rather than those of all the People they were elected to attend on behalf of.

MPs, Councillors, Mayors and Police & Crime Commissioners are elected to represent EVERYONE in their Constituency.

No matter the size, demographic, politics or circumstances involved. The moment they surrender their principles, their workload, their ideas and the impartiality that democracy ultimately requires of them once in post, they are failing everyone for the sake of self-interest.

Party Politics is no longer just the means but the end in itself, and the majority of the Politicians who represent them are little more than a number, facilitating non-democracy, even if democracy is the name by which this travesty is still called.

We are now caught within a vicious cycle. We cannot get the change in politics we need because the leaders need to be replaced with people who think differently, but the people ready and in place to replace them fundamentally think the same way. So when the replacements become the leaders, they will still manage and lead things exactly the same.

 

No Mr. Verhofstadt, irresponsibility is signing the UK up to an agreement with the EU that only you can walk away from

February 6, 2019 Leave a comment

img_2558Stunned as we all should be that the Conservative Party and Parliament itself has allowed May to take things this far, the reality today is that 8 days from now, May is going to come back with an unchanged Withdrawal Agreement and the expectation that she will just continue going around in circles until a majority of our MPs toe her line.

Nothing has changed.

Not since the Vote in Parliament last week.

Not since the Vote in January.

Not since the Vote was canceled in December.

In fact, not since the Prime Minister tabled her notorious sell-out, dumped on an almost fully acquiescing Cabinet last July.

May made it clear with her announcement in Northern Ireland yesterday that she will not seek the removal of the ‘backstop’ in her talks coming up tomorrow with the EU.

Nobody should now be deluding themselves that whatever she comes back with for Valentines Day will be at best, mealy-mouthed words, without substance, guarantee or any intrinsic value to what they say.

Helpful as ever, Guy Verhofstadt has now stepped in to back up the Prime Ministers position from May’s back room in Brussels to preach to us that it would be irresponsible not to have an insurance policy in place.

But insurance for who exactly Mr. Verhofstadt?

This nonsense backstop that has been created is not any kind of insurance for the UK.

The Backstop is an irreversible tie-in to a legally binding obligation to only ever be in a relationship with the EU, in which only the EU has power and as such can actually control.

We do not need a minimum trading arrangement with the EU which will never allow us to do anything more. And we stand to lose so much more than we realise by allowing the fearful in business in government to stop us all from gaining so much, because they have self-serving interests that they do not want to lose.

No, the UK is not just about trade and economics.

The economic and financial benchmark we are being sold as the way to interpret success, failure and our future is disingenuous in at best.

It is not our true reality as a Country, no matter how credible the lies might sound that we are now being so regularly told.

May has effectively now told us that she is not seriously entertaining the Malthouse Agreement, no matter what we have otherwise been told.

We can only now hope that the ERG Group of Conservatives and all those MPs from across the House who put their Constituents first will stand firm next week and be clear that May can no longer continue.

For as long as she is Prime Minister, it will be her ‘deal’, a ‘Brexit in name only’ exit from the EU, and everything else will be obfuscation and lies, whilst she waits for the last shreds of British Democracy to hit the road.

 

 

 

 

It’s not a ‘no deal’ Brexit we have to fear. It’s the ineptitude of the Politicians who are ‘in power’ and will be ‘in control’

February 2, 2019 Leave a comment

img_2543From the top to the bottom of the Government, the display of self-interest and wanton disconnect from the world outside of Westminster has been both exposed and demonstrated for how serious it now is. Brexit has certainly demonstrated the worst aspects of our Political System for all that they are and it is indeed troubling that it is not possible to list anything that we could consider as being the best aspects in the very same sentence.

The malaise affecting Government isn’t only of it. In fact, the problem with the quality of those in Government is perhaps better illustrated by the same reality which has rolled itself out across all areas of influence too. It is present across all the sectors and in its simplest form has come from the cultural disposition which is focusing on all the wrong things when selecting candidates for key jobs and responsibilities.

It isn’t as simple as having a bitch about some old boys network or any other form of nepotism. Those certainly exist. But they are in no way nearly as damaging as the impact of a failure to focus on what is important and how you qualify any individual for a position which is then going to have considerable impact upon others – whether that be in politics, government, charities or business.

Because so much is taken at face value when decisions are made, we have people leading this Country who in many cases simply have no understanding of, nor the disposition to emphasise or learn about the people and the lives they are responsible for or upon whose lives their actions will impact.

So when you have a Government that can’t even see nor understand where its metaphorical feet and therefore foundations are located, they then reach out to membership organisations like the CBI, who are supposedly representative of the business community, but are run by people who are unikley to have ever been at the cutting edge of the genesis an unsupported, sole-trader/SME start-up business and the process of developing it thereafter, and think that entrepreneurism is a skill which can be learned by reading about it online.

This Country has unwittingly sleepwalked into a position where inexperienced leaders are being guided and led by the inexperienced because they are too inexperienced to know what inexperience looks like.

Until now, this downward trajectory didn’t matter. The over ambitious and self serving have been left to get on with managing everything, because as a culture, we the British People have just stood back and let them get on with it as we accepted that this was the way that things were always done.

But then came Brexit.

Right from the moment that the abuse of the compact between the Establishment and the People was first taken to a new place and David Cameron instigated the European Referendum (which should never have been needed anyway, had many previous Governments been doing the job they should have been doing exactly when it should have been done), the whole ball of bandaids which we have allowed Government after Government to stick upon problem upon problem, has began to unravel.

They didn’t know what to do then. They don’t know what to do now. Simply because they now know that it is no longer inevitable that they will always get their own way.

If the majority of the political construct which is our Parliament were to be honest with the Public, they know what the People were asked to Vote on in 2016, and that it was not anything like or even a derivative of Remain.

However, because they simply have no idea how to manage uncertainty of any kind when their experiences have always told them that their career pathways and responsibilities are assured – so long as they always play ball, they cannot bring themselves to accept that anything other than problems and trouble will exist if the UK were to go any other way than Remain.

The greatest opportunities for this Country exist with the set of circumstances where we are as one agile enough to adapt to and accept them all for what they are.

That agility will never come from pretending we are another country where the sclerotic set of rules only ever constructed to create the pretence of a level playing field between 28 different cultures will inevitably mean we will not ever be the same again, whilst we will never have the confidence to value who we really are.

That confidence will only come from Leaving the EU. We must Leave without ties and with full and unequivocal Independence from the EU Regime. That should have always and must now be our only and overriding purpose.

The significance of the opportunity that awaits us as a Country upon Leaving the EU cannot be underestimated.

Talk of having to have a deal to leave a relationship is all that it ever was.

The only reason that the Establishment is so focused upon perpetuating the myth that Leaving with No Deal will be a disaster, is because the people who populate its lead positions today are incapable of making decisions in live time, without a pre-ordained plan or strategy.

It is on this basis that we should perhaps be asking ourselves the question, what has this, the Country of Thatcher and Churchill really now become?

We really have no reason to fear a misnamed ‘no deal’ Brexit, as we will always have a deal, agreement or whatever you want to call it with the EU.

It’s the ineptitude and unsuitability of the Politicians and Society figures who are supposedly ‘in power’ and will therefore be ‘in control’ when we do that we should really be concerned about.

Because it is they who will cause the problems, as they cannot see and therefore embrace real opportunity for what it really is, simply because its something that they have never experienced, are qualified to manage or have been appropriately prepared for.

 

A deal at any cost is no deal at all

February 1, 2019 Leave a comment

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Abraham Lincoln once said ‘nearly all men can stand adversity. But if you want to test a man’s character, give him power’.

Sadly, when our Members of Parliament do not pay attention to how the events they are involved in unfold and how other MPs have behaved around them as they have in recent days, weeks and months, it is hard to imagine that they consider the lessons provided by such figures from history to be worthy of any great thought.

Regrettably, such an approach on the part of our Elected Representatives comes at most disadvantage not to them, but to us, the People who Elected them. And we have the right to expect them to learn not only from history, but also from every opportunity as each and every one of them comes along.

Today, this avoidably chaotic Brexit process has reached a point where pretty much everyone outside of Westminster, despite MPs best efforts, has the true measure of what our MPs are doing. What their motivations are and what is now going wrong with British Politics full stop.

The general population may not be positioned or indeed be able to elucidate the reasoning of their position and views as eloquently as some of the Politicians who spend the better part of their lives in the media view.

But neglecting the reality that the views and thoughts of each and every one of us are as real, if indeed not more so than any of our MPs themselves, is a position that every Member of Parliament should now be considering in light of how clear the desperate nature of our Prime Minister’s and her Government’s Position on Brexit has now become.

We are faced with a situation where MPs should know from a catalogue of past experience that the EU was not going to play ball over reopening May’s ‘deal’. Just as it should be very clear to them that this is a Prime Minister prepared to do and say anything to stay in Office and keep her legacy in the form of her Brexit Withdrawal Agreement untouched and very much alive.

It is in light of this reality that we now see the possibility of pork barrel politics emerge, or what is in effect the prospect of individual Labour MPs being bought off with financial sweeteners for their Constituencies coming in to view.

With democracy in the UK so obviously in peril due to the behaviour of MPs already, the advent of this approach by a Prime Minister, who should long since of had the dignity to step aside, is both dark and worrying indeed. Not least of all because it is us, the same people who are being ignored by an Establishment preoccupied with stopping a meaningful Brexit, who are yet again being treated as if we are mushrooms. Treated as if it is ok to attempt to keep us in the dark, and that being fed on a diet of informational horseshit is all it will ultimately take to get whatever plan they have passed without us realising what they are doing.

However, the Prime Minister and all those with her who are willing to trash our democracy should be aware of one very big point.

We can all see exactly what they are now doing, and a deal at any cost is no deal at all.

The Prime Minister and her Government does not have a mandate to push through her flawed idea of Brexit at any cost. Neither does any majority constructed of our sitting MPs.

Any form of Brexit based on anything other than the genuine Will of the People – no matter how those against it choose to interpret it for their own aims, will not be legitimate.

As such it could, should and almost certainly would be overturned if they should appear to succeed in achieving what are clearly dubious aims.

It is what the cost will be to this Country, to our People and to our future because of this ridiculous, irresponsible and self-serving behavior on the part of Politicians who should know a lot better, that should now be of the greatest concern.

 

 

We must now Leave without a deal if we want a relationship with the EU that is acceptable to those who Voted Leave AND Remain

January 31, 2019 Leave a comment

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No matter if you Voted Leave or Voted Remain, the fact is that few of those representing us in Westminster have managed to cover themselves in glory during the Brexit process and EU Referendum Campaign.

We have now witnessed so many events and been provided with so much evidence to support what has long been suspected – that the majority of MPs have sought election only for the purposes of personal gain, that whatever now happens in the coming weeks and days over Brexit, it is inevitable that we will not view Parliament in the same way as we did previously ever again.

What is most striking about the lack of leadership across the Commons that has now been so clearly defined, is the complete absence of agility in both thought and action that has led to opportunity being seen and portrayed as a threat, rather than the doorway to transformation and change which will benefit the Country. Opportunity that would give us the chance to leave many of the problems behind that we cannot address whilst we Remain bound to the Laws and Directives of the EU.

Whilst the lack of foresight and understanding fits well with a Parliament made up of MPs who behave this way, the UK has been severely disadvantaged as a direct result.

We have watched helplessly from outside the Westminster bubble as those high on power and their own self-righteousness have squandered each and every opportunity to set off, restart or return to a pathway which puts the UK first, rather than allowing the use of a switched deck which even now is very much stacked towards the EU remaining in control of our future relationship, with not one of these self interested Parliamentary factions really ever getting their own way.

It is painful to watch how irrational fear is ruling the whole Brexit question to the point where the stupidity and intransigence of key people has become so efficiently overlooked, that there appears genuine surprise when they do the same things again or behave like nobody can better their own game.

The failure of this Parliament to deliver on the People’s Instruction and the chaos that has ensued will not easily be forgiven. Nor will the absence of leadership that could have focused on the reality of a 52%-48% Vote Result which was always going to require consideration, communication and consequence-based decision making that works for those who Voted Leave as well as Remain.

It is unacceptable to suggest that this was and is impossible. The question has only ever been about the how.

In truth, Brexit was destined to be a complete mess from the moment David Cameron was replaced by a Prime Minister who supported Remain.

Remain was from the point that Theresa May entered Downing Street always going to be the default stepping off point, rather than what would have been the case if we had had a Leave Voting Prime Minister. One who could have looked at the process right from the start as being the UK is now out, so how do we build bridges which will be different, but look, feel and behave as they would have, if we had indeed Remained.

To be fair, even a good ‘Leave’ Prime Minister night have struggled to achieve this outlook. As developing strategy as a vision and without real-time experience of the circumstances you will be working with is never as easy or simple as looking at things as if they will always be the same or in the sense of only ever having to work with that which is known and your own experience.

But with May at the helm it never has and never will be possible, as her purpose is not selfless. It is about a legacy and is entrenched with a mentality that the Politicians around her are subordinate in every sense and could never achieve anything that she could in any way.

By backing the Brady Amendment this week, many of those MP’s on the Leave side of the House have again fallen into the very same trap that they have done already on numerous occasions before. Missing opportunity after opportunity to take things in a very different direction, rather than allowing the Remain-led PM May run down the clock on the expectation that the misplaced fear over a so-called ‘no-deal exit’ will finally push her own Withdrawal Agreement, without alterations, over the line.

Make no mistake. The unaltered May ‘Agreement’ is actually worse for the UK than it would have been to have never had the Referendum Vote and today to have been in the situation that some mistakenly think is Remain. And if our MPs have shied away from decisions over Brexit already on the basis of their irrational fears, looking those fears in the eye to stop May now, will require much more of them now, simply because the crunch point appears to be so very near.

The reality is that we will not achieve anything like the relationship with the EU of which we as a Country are capable, if we should accept the terms of any agreement which already exists or is formulated under the duress and questionable decision making of a Parliament which contrary to the position of the Electorate is overwhelmingly supportive of Remain.

In fact, the very best thing that could happen now is that the attitude of the EU does indeed become the catalyst which crystallises the position of Leaving without the deal that we never actually needed. A destination and indeed journey that would then put us in realtime at the point where even those Politicians without vision might then be able to see the relationship an dynamics between the UK and EU for what they are and build agreements over trade and joint working that keep power and influence where it should be – in London, not Brussels, and prevent those whose priorities are in the EU and not the UK from ever again being free to develop any kind of behind-closed-doors understanding with a Foreign Power, that a series of previous Governments and Prime Ministers never had the mandate to ever do.

The question is of course, will they want to?

 

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