From the office suite of Munguin


June 23, 2017

The Barclay Brothers

The Daily Telegraph




Dear David and Frederick,


One of my minions, a pleasant enough fellow by the name of Tris, was looking through the papers this morning, and, having made short shrift of the respectable ones, decided to have a glance at the rest.

In doing so he came upon your article about Theresa’s offer for EU citizens currently residing in Britain, as they have every right to, the right to remain there after Britain leaves the EU on March 31, 2019. He noticed that you used the word “migrants” to describe these people, many of whom are the backbone of our NHS, healthcare, catering, agriculture and tourism industries (amongst others) in these islands, and who are absolutely essential to their continued success.

[As an aside, it is interesting to note that much has been made in the right-wing tabloid press about these “migrants” taking British jobs and being responsible for the 1.6 million unemployed in the UK. 

Of course, this isn’t really accurate, as I’m sure you well know but the truth doesn’t make great headlines, does it?.  Many of the 1.6 million unemployed are very short term out of work. Ending one job and unemployed for a couple of weeks before starting a new one, to be replaced on the register by other temporary unemployed people.

Of the rest, those that might be considered to be “long-term” unemployed, a very considerable number are over 50. The trouble is that people in that age group face considerable discrimination in the employment market for a variety of reasons including health, skills, stamina and image issues.

In the younger age groups, other issues including criminal records, drink and drugs abuse and ill health exclude large numbers for the serious employment market. How many do you employ?]

Of course, it won’t have escaped your notice that even if businesses wanted to employ people from the long-term unemployed categories above, and supposing the necessary skills could be found there, there would still be a massive shortfall, three million being considerably greater a number than 1.6 million]

I note too that your report calls Brits living in the EU, “ex-pats”, and appears to underestimate their number by around a sixth.

[Some of this number are people of working age who could doubtless take up posts left vacant by the departing “migrants” were they to go home. Many, however, are people who retired to the sun and who would/could not.]

To return to the original subject of this letter, could you perhaps let me know why someone who goes from, say Germany to England to work would be considered by your newspaper to be a “migrant”, whilst someone who makes the opposite journey would be an “ex-pat”? Is it biological? Are Brits somehow different to other people, or is it just prejudice on the part of your paper.

Oh and as you are both English nationals and you live in Sark, would you consider yourselves to be ex-pats or migrants?


Best wishes



PS: I love your castle. Very classy. Tell me, is that Breeze Block? Did Donald Trump design it?





With apologies to Hans Christian Andersen


The Tory Manifesto appears to have, erm, disappeared from their website…


Thank goodness IT wasn’t written on parchment. Shredding that would have caused problems!


Austerity Britain. We are all in this together. Well, except the crown, which didn’t want to get the underground.




When I get nervous, I bite my nails.
n myvatn
Lake Myvatn, Iceland.
n highland cottage
Scottish country garden.
n brussels
Brussels sprouts anyone?
n vivipariouslizard david
Viviparous Lizard (taken by David).
n baby
Sometimes you just have to help a fellow creature out.
n finland
The land of Lakes, Finland.
n bedmates
Best mates.
n forgetmenot.jpg
Forget-me-not wood.
n husavik
Husavik, Northern Iceland.
n locust
Is that sweeties you got?
n macaroni
I’m a macaroni penguin. You can call me Mac.
n mist
Morning mist.
n pomegranite
N Munguin's Personal Piper
Strange that in the second photo they felt they needed to say which was the penguin.
I’m the winner.
n zavodovski island
Zavodovski Island, Antarctica
n squ



Munguin wishes David Davis the very ‘best of British’ when he goes to Brussels to start talks on Monday with his brand new team who have in the job only a few days and are still looking about to see where the canteen is. He doesn’t, however, hold out much in the way of hope that it will be anything other than a complete catastrophe. In the article below what was already a seriously bad situation appears to have become catastrophiceuscot

(From the FT: June 13.


I’ve copied this from the FT (without permission) because some people don’t seem to be able to access their articles. I know there’s a payway, but I don;t pay and yet seem able to get in. Weird!

The UK’s Brexit department has seen two of its four ministers depart this week, just days before negotiations with the EU are due to start, in a sign of mounting tensions between Downing Street and the ministry’s leadership.

David Jones, who led the Welsh arm of the Vote Leave campaign ahead of last June’s referendum, was sacked on Monday night and replaced by Joyce Anelay, a Foreign Office veteran who campaigned to remain in the EU. David Davis, the Brexit secretary, was not warned.

George Bridges, who was in charge of pushing Brexit legislation through parliament, quit on Tuesday after falling out with Theresa May, the prime minister.

According to people close to Lord Bridges, an EU advocate, he had become frustrated with the lack of consultation between Downing Street and the Department for Exiting the EU (Dexeu).

“Bridges is said to have quit on policy grounds, convinced Brexit couldn’t work,” said one Whitehall figure. “There is some disarray.”

Even after the departure of Mrs May’s key aides after the election, Lord Bridges continued to be “unhappy with how things were going,” the Whitehall figure said. The challenge of taking a slew of Brexit-related legislation through a hung parliament in the coming two years was also daunting, his allies added.

Lord Bridges was replaced on Tuesday by Steve Baker, who headed the contingent of pro-Leave Conservative MPs during the Brexit campaign.

Officials tried to shrug off the news, with one saying that little should be read into the loss of some “junior ministers”. A Brexit department spokesman said it was “nonsense to suggest that the Department for Exiting the European Union is not ready for the start of negotiations”.

But Jill Rutter, programme director at the Institute for Government, described the personnel changes as deeply undesirable.

“This is absolutely the time when Dexeu needs to get moving, both with a major raft of legislation in parliament and the start of the Brexit negotiations. The departure of both ministers basically makes what was a difficult task even more difficult.”

Before the latest departures, Dexeu had already been hit by the exit of James Chapman, special adviser to David Davis, the Brexit secretary, who left Whitehall for the private sector. Mr Davis lost another key ally, his parliamentary private secretary Stewart Jackson, who lost his seat in the election.

Elsewhere, Lucy Neville-Rolfe, who was put in charge of overseeing Brexit’s impact on financial services in March, also abruptly departed on Tuesday.

Dominic Cummings, the mastermind of last year’s successful Leave campaign, said the departures were just the “tip of the iceberg”.

Bridges is said to have quit on policy grounds, convinced Brexit couldn’t work . . . There is some disarray

Whitehall figure

“Top Whitehall officials are screaming that DEXU [sic] under [cabinet secretary Jeremy] Heywood and DD [David Davis] is total shambles & disaster likely,” he said on Twitter. “If Leave MPs don’t assert themselves to force management changes on Number 10 and DEXU Brexit talks = guaranteed debacle.”

The two new ministers will have only days to get up to speed with a host of different responsibilities.

Barry Gardiner, shadow trade secretary, said the government should slow down and take stock. “This sort of turnover of ministers and senior advisers that the department has seen poses the question of how on earth, a week after the general election, the government can be ready with a new team in place to take the negotiations forward.”

It is the departure of Lord Bridges — voluntarily — which sheds the most light on the tumult inside Dexeu. He was responsible for taking the Article 50 legislation through the House of Lords and was effectively responsible for the fine details of the Great Repeal Bill.

A former adviser to John Major, he ran the Tory research department in the 2000s and became a peer in 2015. Before becoming a minister last year he ran a lobbying firm and was an adviser to Ana Botin, group chairman of Banco Santander. His close allies include George Osborne, former chancellor, and Lord Hill, the former EU commissioner.

“George had a gruelling and difficult job getting the Article 50 bill through the Lords, the upper house is pretty much uncontrollable at the moment,” said one ally.

Lord Bridges could take his recent experience back into the private sector, the person suggested.


a may dimbleby
Dimbleby, arch Tory, on election night.
But the important thing is “what does Arlene think?”
Keep calm and carry on.



Get Grenfell Tower victim’s parents to the UK


Mohammed al-Haj Ali


It is beyond belief that we have to have a petition to get this lad’s parents here. Rudd should have been on it automatically.

But there you are. We do have to have a petition.

So let’s tell the government that we are human. Even if they hardly know the meaning of the word.