Sunday, 4 June 2017

A meandering look at sexism and racism


In order to look at the subject of sexism and racism this particular post will probably be used against me as sexist and racist. I hope it is neither. I hope it is an overview.

Turning first to the harder of the two, Racism. Diane Abbott has the following tweet attributed to her:

“Desperate stuff by May. Claims I want to wipe DNA database clean. Never said that. Curious that she is singling me out for attack #BBCQT.” 

There is no getting around this: Ms Abbott is not white and happens to be female. However both these are irrelevant and Ms Abbott should know it. It is deeply irresponsible in my view for her to suggest that Mrs May was being racist if that is her implication. 

Mrs May is focussing on Ms Abbott because, well, Ms Abbott is the Labour Party's weakest link. Her interview on LBC was, from the Labour Party's point of view, a disaster and Ms Abbott has the unfortunate propensity to put her foot in it.

Looking at Sexism, it is my opinion that Mrs May should not be so easily acquitted. To suggest regarding Mr Corbyn naked is sexist and Mrs May should apologise to him. If any man were to suggest regarding Mrs May naked, then the Equality and Diversity lobby, not to say 'the sisterhood' of women MP's would be up in arms demanding that man's resignation.

It is the case that when you look at adverts in a commercial break, many are aimed at women; mascara, lipstick, skin lotions of all types to try to entice the women to buy those products to 'look better'. 

Politicians have said that women should be judged on what they have to offer, not what they look like. Incidentally the same applies to men although William Hague was ruthlessly lambasted for daring to wear a baseball cap.

Politicians like Harriet Harman who, perhaps more than any politician, is responsible for the breaking of the glass ceiling on behalf of women and for relentlessly pursuing the Equality agenda. She was ably supported, amongst others, by Theresa May before she became Prime Minister.

I happen to agree with these women. No one should be judged on their ethnicity, gender or sexual proclivities but on what they SAY. I suggest two questions initially: Is what the person said true? Does it make sense?

Unfortunately, all this work has been undone, ironically, by two women. First by Diane Abbott herself who, instead of defending remarks made 30 odd years before, said:

“I had an afro. It was 34 years ago. The hairstyle has gone and some of the views have gone. We have all moved on,”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/28/diane-abbott-under-fire--afro-remark-questioned-about-ira

The good work has also been undone by Theresa May who said the following:

Mrs May added: "Jeremy Corbyn's minders can put him in a smart blue suit for an interview with Jeremy Paxman, but with his position on Brexit, he will find himself alone and naked in the negotiating chamber with the European Union.

"Now I know that's an image that doesn't bear thinking about. But actually this is very serious. We are approaching the end of a long campaign but it is crucial that everybody remembers this important fact."

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/theresa-says-jeremy-corbyn-would-13112915

Earlier in the campaign, Mrs May was talking about 'boy jobs and girl jobs' in the home:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-philip-may-husband-boy-jobs-girls-one-show-take-bins-out-bbc-prime-minister-marriage-a7727481.html

All of this is sexist commentary by both these female politicians. 

Which just goes to show that when next promoting the cause of equality and diversity, not only politicians, but all those involved should take a long hard look at what they are about to say before opening their mouths and destroying their argument. 


A Lamentable Campaign



The following exchange is reported between Mrs May and Sam Blackledge in "The Plymouth Herald" 

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/three-minutes-of-nothing-herald-reporter-reflects-on-pm-encounter/story-30363961-detail/story.html

"Two visits in six weeks to one of the country's most marginal constituencies - is she getting worried?

TM: I'm very clear that this is a crucial election for this country."

Plymouth is feeling the effects of military cuts. Will she guarantee to protect the city from further pain?

TM: "I'm very clear that Plymouth has a proud record of connection with the armed forces."

How will your Brexit plan make Plymouth better off?
TM: "I think there is a better future ahead for Plymouth and for the whole of the UK."
Will you promise to sort out our transport links?
TM: "I'm very clear that connectivity is hugely important for Plymouth and the South West generally."
----
That is three "I am very clear" and one "I think"
Look at the answer on Plymouth - it does not answer the question! There is no substantive response and no plan. Similarly for Transport links; the politician did not answer the question
Then there is this:

"I've said that I think no deal would be better than a bad deal. Now I'm confident we can get a good deal with the right plan for those negotiations, because I think a good deal is in our interests and in the interests of the rest of the EU". (Mrs May).

"Now I'm confident we can get a good deal". OK Theresa what does a good deal look like? What Norway has? or Iceland or Lichtenstein or America or any other country? Tell us what does a good deal look like?

"with the right plan for those negotiations": What is the right plan? What does it look like, what will we be presenting in those negotiations?

"Because I think a good deal is in our interests". You don't say! surely not! 'and in the interests of the rest of the EU' (ditto)

This campaign from a Conservative Party point of view is a shambles. It has been built and run around the person of the Prime Minister: 'Theresa's Team'; 'My Manifesto'; 'A vote for me and my team' and is all about HER, not the party and not the country - HER. (It would be just as bad as if it were all about HIM).

In what is being billed as the most important election on the most important decision since the end of the Second World War (Brexit) you would have thought that Mrs May would present a Brexit vision.

It is not being discussed. 

I am a natural Conservative but I am not a Conservative Party supporter. The Party is not even Conservative. It is Blairite Labour. Where is the vision of where the United Kingdom's final home will be? - no one is saying.

This has been a lamentable campaign and unfortunately the leader of the Conservative Party is responsible for it.

This is not leadership or the pretence of leadership. It is utterly irresponsible and the Conservative Party (not least Mrs May) should be ashamed.











Friday, 2 June 2017

2017 General Election - A VERY Personal Perspective


This is meant to be the 'Brexit' Election. Mrs May said that she was calling it because so many people were trying to thwart the Conservative (May) Government's Brexit vision.

I want to try to keep this dispassionate. People should not be judged by their ethnicity or by their gender or by their sexual preferences but by what they say or, in this case, what they are not saying. 

In this Brexit election, Brexit is hardly being discussed. The Prime Minister started this campaign with a lead of 22% and this has been frittered away to a lead of 3% and within the margin of error. The cause of this is the way the campaign has progressed right from the moment it started. The blame for this lies firmly at the feet or in the hands of Mrs May and is entirely her responsibility.

The reason for this, in my view, is the way that the Conservative Party has run its campaign. It has been very presidential. It has also been lamentable. 

We have "Theresa's Team"; we have Mrs May calling the manifesto "My Manifesto"; we have her saying "a vote for me and my team" and in some circumstances the words 'Conservative Party' are very much an after thought. I am looking at a leaflet that says the name of my Conservative candidate 'standing with Theresa May', NOT  'standing with the Conservative Party'

We are 22 months from Brexit. The first negotiation will be in mid-June. We do not have any time to waste on pointless posturing. At the end of March 2019 the United Kingdom becomes a third country. President Tusk has said so in his reply to Mrs May:

"While an agreement on a future relationship between the Union and the United Kingdom as such can only be concluded once the United Kingdom has become a third country" 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/31_03_17_eu_draft_guidelines.pdf

This means that between the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union and the negotiation of a new agreement some kind of interim deal will be required or there will be a 'hard Brexit'. The question is 'What does a hard Brexit look like' and the answer is 'not pretty'. I unhesitatingly recommend reading http://www.eureferendum.com for more comprehensive analysis but the idea that 'No Deal is better than a Bad Deal' is garbage.

The Conservative Party and 'President May' still pretends that 'No Deal is better than a bad deal"

The Conservative Party and 'President May' refuses to recognise that if there is a 'Hard Brexit' there will be massive consequences for Cross-border transportation at Dover, Holyhead and at other ports as well as no flights from UK airports; we will have problems and disruption to trade such as selling Pharmaceuticals, Meat and other products.

The Conservative Party and 'President May' refuses to acknowledge the problems for customs and other databases to which we will have no access from the end of March 2019 under a 'No Deal' scenario for which we have no substitutes as far as I am aware. Government IT projects have not historically had a reputation for getting it right first time success.


At least the Labour Party want to make every effort to stay in the single market and we could stay in the single market and have some controls over immigration if we joined EFTA/EEA and invoked Article 112 of the EEA treaty - read Dr Richard North on this. The problem is that Mrs May will not countenance it. This is NOT strong and stable leadership (whatever that means) and anyway 'Brexit means Brexit' and 'Strong and Stable Leadership' are NOT in any way plans or a templates - they are meaningless mantras.

Mrs May is showing the most remarkable lack of ANY leadership let alone the Strong and Stable type.

The Conservative party does not deserve to govern. It has abdicated its authority by pretending it can achieve something which it is is impossible to achieve. 

The European Union will not negotiate a new deal in parallel with the exit agreement. The exit agreement must come first and THEN we can negotiate a deal. In between these two events which may take five years we need something else and Mrs May has 5 days to tell us what that looks like. 

No deal is not it and will not do.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

THANK YOU - LEAVE WON

Thank you is totally inadequate. I have been banging on about the referendum ever since it was called and even set up my own blog to bang on about it. 

The most important thing in the world to me was that I had power. Being in a political superstate I did not have power. Now there is a chance that I do.

A few notes. First the Leave vote was 51.9% against Remain 48.1%. Chuck Umunna is saying effectively that we should respect the 48% who voted remain. As Peter Hitchens writes:

"We're already being told that the winners must 'respect' the 48% who lost the vote called by their own side to crush (the) anti-EU movement once and for all. Well, no doubt we must be nice to them, and not gloat too much, but it is for them to respect the majority they did not expect."

All the noise about a second referendum because the remainers did not get the result they wanted is garbage. In 10 years time they will live in a country where they have power and, if they get elected, implement the policies they want.

In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon is saying that she will seek discussion with Brussels immediately in order to keep Scotland within the European Union. Well it does not look like she is 'respecting' the voters in Scotland that voted to Leave.

I have a feeling that Ms Sturgeon will not get very far either. I am not sure that those states who have internal stresses, like Spain with Catalonia, would welcome a nation that is newly independent from its traditional state. 

If Ms Sturgeon is able to get a second Independence Referendum and Scotland goes it alone, that is up to Scotland and I will be relaxed about it. It will mean the end of the Barnett formula and all that entails but if that is what Scotland really wants that is up to them.

In Northern Ireland, the scene is rather different. There is in place a way of calling for a 'border vote' where the people of Northern Ireland can vote on whether they want to reunite with the South of Ireland. Sinn Fein are calling for such a vote. That is entirely for the people of Ireland.

In the meantime I will do all I can to help Dr Richard North with promoting a sensible plan and route map to leave the European Union. Flexcit. 

It is, incidentally, not Germany or France's business how quickly we serve the Article 50 notice. Neither is President Hollande in any place to demand a new Prime Minister is appointed quickly. It is none of his damn business. They don't get it - we do not have to listen or take any notice of the European Union anymore.

"Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the (European) union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements" (Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty). OUR constitutional requirements, not theirs, OURS.

This is my last blog here. I am thinking about setting up a new blog but in the meantime, thank you to everyone who has visited or read this site. 

We voted to Leave the European Union.


Sunday, 19 June 2016

Vote to LEAVE the European Union


This post will be my last before the Referendum - I will put one up with the result and a brief analysis of it at the weekend.

For me this referendum is not about markets or money or trade; it is about power.

The problem with the European Union is that it is not an Inter-Governmental organisation, it is a Supra-National one to which the United Kingdom is subservient.

The really strange thing is that, in my view, the Government of the United Kingdom would have MORE power outside the European Union and you would have thought that David Cameron and Gideon (George) Osborne would WANT more power. The United Kingdom as a member of the European Union certainly does NOT have power.

Under Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) it has precious little influence let alone power and is outvoted more than any other nation state. With the inevitable entry of more states, whatever power it does have will be further diluted.

I want a United Kingdom which is an Independent Sovereign State and which acts Inter-Governmentally with other Sovereign States as a negotiator amongst equals. It is not equal or Independent or Sovereign now.

I want a Government, one that I might have voted against, to have power - MY Government.

Vote to Leave the Political Construct of the European Union

Vote for an Independent Sovereign State

Vote to return power to YOU, the people and electors of the United Kingdom

Vote so that this and future generations will have Power

Vote against Supra-Nationalism and FOR Inter-Governmentalism

Vote to Leave the Political Construct of the European Union

Vote to LEAVE the European Union

Saturday, 11 June 2016

LEAVE and secure the future of YOUR country

It now looks like the referendum campaign is going to turn nasty. It is reported that the Remain camp are going to make this personal with attacks on Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson:

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/eu-referendum-panicked-remain-camp-plans-to-take-out-boris-as-polls-swing-in-brexit-campaigns-favour/ar-AAgTXrC?li=BBoPWjQ&ocid=mailsignout

As an aside I have no idea how the Conservative Party will reunite after the civil war that this has become and in many ways I hope it doesn't. It deserves to be penalised or to split because of its behaviour in the last few weeks.

This referendum is NOT about the Conservative Party or about Alexander Johnson or David Cameron. This referendum is about WHO governs the United Kingdom and who has power. 

It seems to me that the stock market and the money markets are already factoring in the possibility of a Leave vote. It is true that some stocks are down on six months ago but I honestly believe that they will bounce back after the referendum.

The 'deal' Mr Cameron brought back is being undermined by those very leaders who agreed it with him. It is not legally watertight and some of it is dependant on future treaty change which is not on any horizon and will not be before the French and German elections in 2017.

I also do not accept that Herr Schauble can dictate for the other 26 States what they will accept and agree to and what they won't. If we opt for the EFTA/EEA option and that is the agreement then we still have access to the single market despite an old German man's view. 

The important thing is that we will be outside the POLITICAL construct of the European Union. 

It is being mooted that maybe Denmark and Sweden might follow the United Kingdom in leaving the European Union and joining EFTA/EEA perhaps creating a 'Northern European Inter-Governmental Organisation' 
David Cameron has LIED about the deal and he knows it. He has led a disgracefully negative campaign and has suggested all sorts of horrors will befall the United Kingdom in the event of a Leave vote which I do not think the majority of the electorate believes.

In some ways I think that the European Union will welcome a Leave vote. They will turn it into a 'beneficial crisis' and hasten full Economic and Political Union in the Eurozone, get rid of Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty so no other state can leave and generally tighten the Franco-German grip on the supra-national state.

The most important thing is POWER and who has it. In a regional supra-national state the United Kingdom does not have power. 

The United Kingdom has been outvoted more than any other European Union state. The views of the electorate or even of its politicians are sidelined by Qualified Majority Voting (QMV). This will only get worse. Whatever the 'weight' of our vote now, it will inevitably be diluted when more states join.

This referendum is about POWER and WHO has it.

Vote to repatriate power from a bureaucratic supra national regional power.

Vote for the next generation and future generations to live in an Independent Sovereign State that has power and influence at the Top Table.

Vote so that United Kingdom politicians are answerable to the electorate of the United Kingdom and not to bureaucrats in Brussels

Vote to secure the future of your country

Vote to take the United Kingdom out of the POLITICAL construct of the European Union

Vote for a POSITIVE alternative

Vote to Leave the European Union


Monday, 6 June 2016

LEAVE - There is no reason to vote Remain


Today has been a very significant day. Realising that Leave has a lead in three separate opinion polls, pro-offshore-centralised -Supranational-State-with-no-say-supporting MP's have broken cover. The BBC published the following article on its website:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36457120

"Pro-Remain MPs are considering using their Commons majority to keep Britain inside the EU single market if there is a vote for Brexit, the BBC has learned.
The MPs fear a post-Brexit government might negotiate a limited free trade deal with the EU, which they say would damage the UK's economy.
There is a pro-Remain majority in the House of Commons of 454 MPs to 147."
This is EXCELLENT news. 
This means that the vast majority of MP's, faced with a Leave vote will campaign together to get the softest possible landing for the United Kingdom which is the EFTA/EEA (Norway) Option. There is no risk at all from a Leave vote. It is NOT a leap in the dark
There are 649 MP's (excluding the Speaker). 454 (69.9%) are sensible and will ignore the ravings of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and Michael Gove and go for the option that gives the United Kingdom the best of all worlds - continued access to the single market and restoration of Sovereignty to the United Kingdom. It might be the case that they actually begin to EARN their salaries at last.
To be fair, EUReferendum and Richard North have been saying this for at least two years
The urgent need to regain our power was also illustrated today by the former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman:
'Shown the presidents of EU Councils, courts, the Commission, Parliament and Central Bank - all male - she replied: "A) I don’t know who they are, and b) I don’t like the fact that they’re all men."'
Dealing with the last point first, this is not an Equality and Diversity issue; far from it. There is after all Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde to consider. This is NOT about sex or looks.
"I don't know who they are." We have an MP who has voted and who is willing to vote for a Government whose members she does not know. I mean - how awful is that?
We need to regain power partially so people like Harriet Harman who does not know who her political masters are will know once we are out of the European Union.
We do not need to worry about trade anymore - that is now covered.
A Leave vote carries NO RISK
Vote to take the United Kingdom out of the Political construct of the European Union
Vote to re-empower YOU, the electorate
Vote with confidence for a bright future in an Independent Sovereign State
Vote so that your politicians will represent YOUR views and not be outvoted by 27 other states
Vote to take the United Kingdom out of the Political construct of the European Union
Vote to Leave the European Union.