Category Archives: politics

Brexit Unravels Due To Lack Of Planning

Hello

Theresa May suddenly realised the scope and the detail of Brexit when she attended the G20 Summit on 7-8 July 2017 in Hamburg, Germany.  Up until then, she seems to have thought that she could manage it all by herself.  Her sacked Aides were known for their arrogance.  Has it masked ignorance?

In an effort to delegate policy of how to leave Europe she asked Chancellor Phillip Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis.  However they argued over the detail, in public. Mr Hammond wanted a gradual exit to cushion the economy and Mr Davis stated also in public that the UK would leave the EU and Customs Union in March 2019.  She must have wanted to wring their necks.

Now the Gove, that elusive but confused chameleon has made the fundamental mistake of a Company Director out of his depth.  In February we all lauded settling of the EU Fishing Policy where we would have a 200-mile band around our coastline for us to fish alone.  (That does beg the question of our 22-mile barrier with France and does that mean we can fish 200 miles inland on their lakes?)

Of course a 200-mile barrier is daft in the North Sea but M. Gove told the Danes that they could fish in UK waters.  His office said it was about how near the British coast can they fish?  M.Gove sees this as a freedom.  When we all thought the fisheries policy was mainly settled, why must he muddy the waters?  The translation of the Danish meeting was made by a Scottish MP.

The tragedy for other policies is that during the 14 months after the UK voted to leave the EU, there was no plan made.  Theresa May’s boorish aides stamped down on discussion and were known for their arrogance.

Where are the female MP’s?  Women are just as good at arguing as their male counterparts and could spell triumph instead of the disaster we seem to be rumbling towards.

And whose stupid idea is it to leave the Customs Union? I remember 25 years ago in France, outside any Customs Union, having to stand up for the British government who refused to accept French lamb in retaliation for the French ban on our beef.   Please, we do not need repetitions of this childish apolitical behaviour.

We need a plan for each Department of Government and sharpish.  Is anyone listening?

LucyLou

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Ronald Reagan’s Jellybeans & The US/UK Special Relationship

 

It would easy to criticize the way that President Ronald Reagan, USA,  did things, but now seventeen years after he left Office, his legacy of charm with fair-mindedness prevails.

For instance, every journalist of the twenty or so foreign newspapers lined up to see him, be asked to take a jellybean.  If you ate it you would have been in a pickle.  He used them as a way of being fair to everyone and not giving one person favouritism over another.

I will see the person with the yellow jelltybean.”

I remember thinking that was daft, but it is actually very fair.

One day he made these tough, global journalists laugh.  He said that he had written John Major, Prime Minister at the time (1990 – 1997) a ‘Dear John’ letter.  The British people present fell about laughing!  Okay, I can see that some of you will be bewildered, so let me explain.  Before the advent of email, if a girl sent a gentleman a letter, starting ‘Dear John’, it meant she wanted to dump him, excise him from her life.  Ronald Reagan was appalled and ever the fair-minded gentleman that he was, he uttered those seemingly immortal words:

“No, no.  The US and the UK have a special relationship.”

So it has been for 27 years.

Enter Theresa May who was captured on camera by the BBC, wondering where she should stand for the G20 members’ photograph.  She was alone; no-one else was there.  Why wasn’t she talking with anybody?  Angela Merkel and Francois Marcon were seen talking to her earlier in the G20 Summit.  (Fishing policy is the first policy to change, so that was good news before the Summit.  I am almost dreading her view on the G20 Summit.)

Enter Donald Trump, whose paltry excuse for not coming to see us during his world tour, was that he did not want to be booed.   He certainly got his comeuppance from anti-establishment demonstrators in Hamburg.  It seems that he has no political sympathisers old enough to remind him about the special relationship with the UK and he obviously sees us as a bit-player on the world stage.  He is mature enough to possibly blame the Scots who refused to take down a windfarm out at sea, as it destroyed the view from the golf course he wanted to build.

He should be reminded that the special relationship revolved around the American bases parked in our country, as part of their refuelling and firing strategy between the US and Russia. I never was keen on being the first country to be hit, should Mr Trump decide to press the red nuclear button.

Personally I think we should join the Trans-Pacific Alliance as soon as possible.  Let us consolidate our relationships within Europe, yet take other relationships  elsewhere.  Canada and Australia have both issued invitations.  I hope that we accept with grace.  The person who somehow thought it politic to mention Norway’s deal with the EU should be put in the stocks.

LucyLou

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The Last Crisis for UK: Step Up Or Fail

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Two days ago I would have blogged that UK PLC was sailing into the wind, and was at that critical point where you use the sail to try to come about.  It then flaps wildly and you lose any advantage. You have lost the wind and in our case, we lost the plot as causes were thrown up in the air and fell into the laps of not one, but two Cabinet Ministers with opposing views.  They ended up spitting in the wind as the rest of UK PLC ripped their policies to shreds.

Today, we have reached the last crisis, not the latest, but the last.  We have to step up, not to accept, but to reverse it.   Neither one, nor two, but three Japanese banks are relocating their financial and investment hubs to Germany.  Frankfurt has been waiting in the wings for a decade or more to become premier financial hub for the EU and we have thrown it at them.  For some reason that I don’t understand, we and the rest of the world should watch what is happening to the Japanese economy.  They have slowing growth and an ageing population. In order to grow, their government wants to raise sales tax from 8% to 15% to help its economy.  As you can imagine, this is as popular with the public as a ton of bricks.  There is talk of economic failure otherwise between 2021 and 2023.   But there has been some muttering here about raising taxes to pay for the latest wheeze.

Does it occur to nobody that the rest of the world is looking at our government?  The £1 billion, set to become £1.5 billion given to the DUP, ensures votes with the government on certain votes, but not all of them.  It is the worst agreement that I remember and has caused the start of banks moving to Europe.  This is not a knee-jerk reaction, but one that is in response to our failing government.  Unfortunately Theresa May’s agreement sent a signal to global partners that the UK is a walkover.  She must resign immediately and long-term MP’s and MEP’s should guide us towards Brexit.  Find a new Conservative leader quickly.

We are failing Europe.  Whatever has happened fiscally up to now, should be discounted.  It is only important what we do from this moment.  Raising taxes is far too easy and unpopular with hard workers.  If they are penalised, they may well relocate.  We have long had the best talent and we need to keep it.

If you are reading, you may know someone who can fix it.

Wish us luck.

LucyLou

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The First Steps To Brexit

Hello Everyone

Theresa May has done well in her first foray into the Brexit negotiations.  She has made an offer to EU citizens, who have been here for five years, that they can have British citizenship and remain permanently.

The fact that the Court of Justice of the European Union  has immediately refused Theresa May’s offer, is what happens when people are depressed.  After thinking for a while, they tend to think that the offer is not too bad and with a little tweaking, they can accept it.

However, the Court of EU Jurisdiction wants to have power over EU citizens living here.  The most important feature of any deal is that a country withdrawing from a union of states will be free of any legal jurisdiction.  It is one of the features we hate most and being mavericks, we don’t like anyone wielding power over us, except our own government.

Theresa May’s offer is kind to EU citizens already here.  With luck, the fretting over Brexit will mean only those who are serious about making their homes here, will wish to stay.  The other reason is that various nationalities are having as many children as possible to anchor them here and also to claim UK Child Welfare Benefits when they go home.  It is ridiculous, but true and it’s bloodsucking in my view.

It is decision time for all EU citizens in the UK.

Have a reflective week

LucyLou

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Unethical to Dive Into Ireland’s Politics

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Theresa May cannot use people for political expediency just because you are desperately hanging on to office.  It is unethical to dive into Ireland, without a by-your-leave and not care about all of the people who live there.  There is peace, yet these things are fragile and grabbing the DUP’s 10 votes, could disturb that fragility.  What right does a British government have to give the DUP’s its ear, when it stands as a neutral arbiter of northern and southern Ireland’s politics?  You’re correct.  It has no right.

I once met a very brave Englishman, whose hearing was destroyed by a bomb.  During the explosion he covered two children’s bodies with his own and saved their lives.  He was a hero. Those children were Irish, North or South?  He never said; they were just children.

The thing is, that Irish people have had a measure of peace after the end of the Troubles. The problem is that Martin McGuiness, (Sinn Fein) the Deputy First Minister to Mrs Foster (DUP), resigned in January this year, but passed away in March and no replacement has been discussed. He resigned because there was an initiative in green energy, overseen by Mrs Foster, which ended with £490 million overspend to businesses. He wanted Mrs Foster to resign but she refused. There was disagreement between the two biggest parties: Sinn Fein and oh dear, DUP.  One rule of the Good Friday Agreement (10 April 1998) is that if Mrs Foster is First Minister then a member of Sinn Fein must be her Deputy.

Asking the DUP to join the Conservatives is like Nicola Sturgeon asking for a second Scottish referendum.  Neither woman will accept that it will be a hollow victory if you force people to accept what you want, without thinking about consequences. Personally, I am horrified that the Conservatives are even thinking of talking to DUP.  Our General Election was democracy in motion.  The Scottish Referendum did the same when people voted to remain in the EU.  The ability to take a step back and look at the bigger picture is not always innate.  That is why we have discussion, in a Cabinet, for example.

The Conservatives do not have a majority and will have to work hard to ensure that enough MP’s of any party vote to get the Bills through.  Leave the diplomats to talk to Irish political parties to continue the Good Friday Agreement.  We want peace in Northern and Southern Ireland; there is no way any British government can interfere and not be partisan.

Besides, Theresa May is showing a strong hand in Europe with Brexit.  I would like her to continue with that.   There cannot be a deal with DUP alone.  The Good Friday Agreement is in place. Please stop meddling.

LucyLou

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Save The Country And Thereby Yourself

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Allow me to suggest, belatedly,  to Theresa May, that we have been honoured by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, as he has spent the best part of a year, finding people who can best help the UK to leave the EU.

Time waits for no man and certainly not for us.  In the political murkiness which has followed this UK General Election, please surround yourself with MEP’s, who know the EU system.  Let us be assured that the EU is one enormous system and you don’t know your path through it.  It does not matter what political creed the MEP’s follow, only that they want the best for our country.

Surrounding yourself with people from across Parliament who are experts on Europe, each with their own speciality, is how we will leave easily. Unfortunately, according to The Guardian, (13 June), an EU Ambassador told them that we do not appear to know what we want let alone how to get it. I have wondered about that for a long time.

Our response looks  rough and ready, due to the lack of time between the Election on 8 June and start of Brexit talks on 19 June 2017. Negotiations are  best made by using the best people and never by one person.  That would be a dictatorship and we are a democracy.  Moreover the Referendum last year gave the majority to people wanting to leave.

We have a Department for Exiting The EU (DExEU) under Conservative MP David Davis. Unfortunately half of the Ministers have resigned, most recently the well-regarded peer George Bridges, against the wishes of David Davis, amid reports he had doubts about the UK’s Brexit strategy. Lucy Neville-Rolfe, a Treasury Minister in charge of communicating Brexit to the City also announced her resignation. (Dan Roberts, Daniel Boffey & Jennifer Rankin 13 June AFP News)

Now the EU insists on a formal opening of Brexit talks with a British Minister present, to lend credence, which is enough to annoy the calmest of negotiators.  The British wanted to get on with talks between officials.  The EU wants four-weekly cycles of negotiation, each one about one speciality.  That makes sense.

If Theresa May saves our beloved country by sorting out our policies and way forward for exiting the EU, then she will save herself as well.

Wish us luck.

LucyLou

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Grenfell Tower’s Cladding May Have Caused Tragedy

Hello Everyone,

The tragedy at Grenfell Tower in West London was caused by greed on the part of the contractors who could have put up apparently fire-resistant panels for an extra £5,000. On a price of £2.6 million this is nothing.  Mind you those panels are banned in Germany and cited as 12mm board.

The problem was not only in the panels.  It was the gap between the cladding and the concrete building which caused a conduit for the fire.  A firefighter described being scared for the first time and thinking it reminiscent of 9/11 in America.

Personally,  I think that the building should be taken down and rebuilt with sprinklers as a condition of building. There should be directions to people to leave immediately rather than the current instructions to stay in their flats and await rescue.  I don’t think that the fire hoses could reach 24 storeys.  In a neighbouring building,there were no fire extinguishers to be seen and no fire alarm.  This may have been due to gangs in the area using them as weapons. The only solution to that is a crackdown on gangs, by using community and Special Police visible in the community.  It would be much appreciated by the residents.   It would be ridiculous if it wasn’t so sad that the owners of the building had so little care for its tenants and owners.

There are other high-rise buildings across the country with cladding like the Grenfell Tower.  All high-rise buildings, say above four floors, should be inspected immediately for fire conduits.  A solution could be to remove the cladding .  That would remove the conduit or gap between the panels and the concrete walls, apparently causing the fire to spread so rapidly.  As an Architect of Grenfell Tower said:

“We built a concrete building in 1974 and concrete simply does not burn like that. “  *

Sadly, local Councils across the country have been saying today that cladding on their tower blocks meet fire regulations.  This is the point.   In 1973 we joined the Common Market, later to be the EU.   The Chief Health & Safety Officer at the small company where I worked, told me that this was the end of British Standards, envied the world over.  We would in future follow the Common Market’s regulations, which were a lot lower.  And look what’s happened and what could happen.  So Councils, please don’t behave like the ostrich: take your head out of the sand and investigate all of your tower blocks, to give residents peace of mind.

‘Arnold Tarling of the Association of Specialist Fire Protections, said yesterday:

“When this block was built, it complied with the old fire regulations.  Had it been left alone, it would never have burned like this.  “ **

As a long-term solution, maybe the towers could be painted with fire-resistant paint? This could make them pretty for the residents.  I vaguely remember seeing a TV report about a high-rise block in London being depressing to look at and Councils must have then concentrated on the aesthetics.

The company involved in this cladding refurbishment in 2016 should never have been in operation.  Mr and Mrs Bailey were Director and Company Secretary respectively of Harley Curtain Wall, which went bankrupt in 2015, owing £1.18 million. Under UK law, if your company goes bankrupt, then Directors cannot hold such posts for five years.    However Harley Facades Limited, their other company continued in operation and indeed later bought Harley Curtain Wall back for £24,900.

It is a loophole in British business where companies can go bust and then start up again soon afterwards.  That is probably why the Baileys think that they are in the clear and they may well be as I am not an expert in company law. But they should never have been allowed to be Directors after going bankrupt. I do fear there may be a loophole within another loophole, legislation being what it is.  At the very least it merits investigation.

LucyLou

*(Sam Greenhill, Josh White, James Tozer – Daily Mail, 16 June)

** same article

 

 

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