Sunday, 26 June 2016

The Biggest Mistake of the 21st Century

I have now moved beyond the shock of the Brexit result into anger, although an uneasy, slightly nauseous, feeling remains.

I'm angry at the Tory right and at Cameron for giving in to them, for allowing a referendum and creating a situation which will lead not only to withdrawal from the EU but also to the breakup of the UK. He will be remembered as the politician who made one of the biggest mistakes of the last 100 years, alongside Neville Chamberlain and Anthony Eden!

I'm also angry with Corbyn, with his virtual absence from the campaign until the last few days and his lukewarm 7 out of 10 endorsement of the EU. He may be honest but he's no leader. With his half-hearted campaign he has betrayed his own electorate by paving the way for the most right wing government since the eighties. The economic reaction to the uncertainty, reduction in investment, a drift away from the “UK” by businesses, lower activity generally and higher unemployment, will all result in a recession and lower tax receipts followed inevitably by further austerity measures and public spending cuts by a government that will relish this opportunity to impose their dogma. All of this will impact on the poorest and the lower paid. With half his shadow cabinet about to resign Corbyn's on his way out, but too late!

Apart from Nigel Farage the Leave campaign team didn’t seem to be relishing their victory.  It’s much easier to win a battle than to take responsibility for rebuilding from the rubble, but if Farage has his way the destruction will continue, because he will try to unpick the last forty years of EU inspired legislation whether good or bad.

I hope that you’ve read my previous blog about Boris Johnson’s lying and dissembling. With his turbulent personal history and, as a proven liar, he should not even dream of putting himself forward for Prime Minister. He’s just totally unsuitable for high office and he won’t be able to joke his way out of the embarrassing interviews and press articles that will come later. I'm waiting for an "anyone but Boris" petition to sign. I've already signed a petition calling for independence for London (where I used to live) and another petition calling for a second EU referendum.

The UK will be blamed for every EU crisis that arises. I don't accept the proposition, that the EU will get on with reform in our absence and that Britain will be the sacrificial lamb that enabled it to happen. France and Germany are already talking about closer integration with more harmonization of tax and social protection. They just don't get it, and without us they will have nobody shouting in their ears that this is not what the people of Europe want! We stood a better chance of reforming the EU from within. Our sacrifice is needless and will achieve nothing positive.

The country has never been so divided; between young and old; rich and poor; between England and Scotland; and between England and Northern Ireland. Great Britain is almost certain to fragment into “Little England” and Scotland as separate nations and who knows what Northern Ireland and Wales will do?

With almost all important world leaders, apart from Putin, and also those responsible for financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank, telling us we should remain in the EU, a large proportion of English voters put up two fingers in a protest vote ultimately against their own best interests. Most were voting about immigration concerns whipped up by the right wing and foreign owned tabloid press.  One of our acquaintances gave as a reason for voting Brexit that "he didn't like the way they looked at our women". Since he wouldn't be able to tell an eastern European from an Englishman by looking at him, I can only assume that he was referring to the many Asians from his home town, none of whom would be removed by Brexit. 

As well as being worried about the possible effect on my pension funds and investments, I have the certainty that a lower pound will reduce our pension income, which is converted directly into Euros. There is also the likelihood that our State pensions will be frozen and not increased annually because this rule was applied only to UK expats living in the EU and certain other countries with which bilateral agreements have been established. 

I voted remain and I hope that all those who voted for leave will enjoy seeing their wealth and their employment opportunities diminish.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Boris Johnson is a well-known liar

Of course we all know that Boris, in his time as the Telegraph’s Europe correspondent, made his reputation by inventing Euromyths about straight bananas and one size fits all condoms etc.; in effect creating the Big Euromyth which he has now used to pull the UK out of the EU; but when I saw this interview with Chris Patten I was surprised that he was able to call Boris Johnson a liar so directly and without any risk of legal proceedings for slander.

I investigated further and discovered that Boris was sacked from the Times in 1987 following a story in which he fabricated a quote from his godfather, an Oxford academic, who was ridiculed for Boris' inaccuracies.
He has also been sacked from Michael Howard’s shadow ministerial team in 2004 for lying to Guy Black, (Howard’s press secretary), David MacLean (the Tory Chief Whip) and the Press about an affair that he was having with Petronella Wyatt that resulted in her having an abortion. 

But the most revealing episode of his character so far has been in a recorded telephone conversation with Darius Guppy, one of his Old Etonian chums, in which he agreed to get the address of a News of the World journalist, Stuart Collier, so that Guppy could arrange an assault intended to scare him off investigating a fraud case in which Guppy was involved. This took place in 1990 when Johnson was the Daily Telegraph's Europe correspondent. In an interview with Eddie Mair, Johnson subsequently denied that he had done anything wrong and said that he was just humouring his friend.  

Judge for yourself whether he was asking Guppy questions about how much he was going to hurt Stuart Collier in order to humour him. 

Government ministers have had to resign for far less than any single one of these escapades and yet Boris is still being considered as a potential Prime Minister.  We are now in a period of post-truth politics in which skilled individuals, who are good at saying what people want to hear, whether it is true or not, can rise above reasonable and sensible discussion and get away with it.

Do we really want a proven liar leading the country?

Sunday, 19 June 2016

So if the UK votes "leave" then what?

As the New York Times says we would be in control again but of what and who would be in charge? Let's speculate!

David Cameron resigns because, although the “Leave” camp has said that they want Cameron to stay in office after the referendum, his position is unsustainable and made impossible by the undermining of his negotiations with the EU by his own reinforced and confident right wing. 

After a great show of agonizing and false reluctance, Boris Johnson agrees to stand and is elected leader of the Tories and therefore Prime Minister. In a re-run of the Blair -Brown Agreement he picks Michael Gove as his chancellor, and together they quickly set about implementing the radical right wing policies proposed by members of the Leave Campaign.  With Gove as the brains and Boris in the role of spin-meister, dealing with the task of presentation, amongst other things they:

Scotland has another referendum after a year or so and votes overwhelmingly to leave the UK and rejoin the EU;

Wales demands more independence;

Northern Ireland is forced to close its borders with Eire to limit migration and thus reneges on a central plank of the Good Friday Agreement.

After a couple of years of spin and fantastic stories from Boris (who is after all a journalist at heart, who made a career as the Telegraph's Europe correspondent, out of writing “funny” EU stories about straight bananas and one size fits all condoms) is finally called to account for his policy U turns, broken promises and the growing economic chaos.  Unable to joke or lie his way through it, he loses a vote of confidence in Parliament and is forced to call an early general election before he is replaced as leader.

Then we are presented with a choice between the left, in the shape of Jeremy Corbyn, the original charisma black hole, and Boris because, although he is a proven liar, he is at the same time the personification of Teflon Man and the UK’s answer to Donald Trump, don't forget that he compared the objectives of the EU to those of Hitler.  To complete the choice, standing on the sidelines will be Nigel Farage, the ghostly reincarnation of Enoch Powell.

So if you want a radical right wing government and a bright future vote Brexit