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?



31 thoughts on “LETTER FROM MUNGUIN”

  1. I seem to remember a programme many moons ago about this pair of greed merchants. They apparently run Sark like it is their own private fiefdom.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I notice the usual, paranoid, right-wing assumption that “Europe” will chuck out “British” “ex-pats” if the fragrant Theresa and her equally fragrant regime do not refrain from chucking out “Europeans” living in the UK. It’s an excellent example of how horrible people with objectionable codes of conduct assume that other people too are guided by their own worst instincts.

    The swarming clouds of “”””””” that I am using are because all those words mean different things to different people… and that I may not use them that way myself.

    To return to my point, the ONLY government that has been quacking about chucking any European citizens out of anywhere is the UK one… yes, I’m saying that the whole notion of using our compatriots from elsewhere in the EU as “bargaining chips” (I prefer the term “hostages”) in negotiations with the EU to ensure that “British” “ex-pats” had the right to remain in the EU was ALWAYS a canard and a delusion. In other words, May was attempting to hold our compatriots hostage for any OTHER demands she felt like making, because it never could have been for the ostensible reason.

    I am pleased to see the EU negotiators taking a very firm line with the Westminster regime on this. Of course, many of us already knew that the regime is mendacious and deluded. The degree of shock that is felt among the Usual Suspects when doused with the ice-cold water of reality will, of course, depend on just how deluded they were to begin with.

    Fun and games for the rest of us. Bring popcorn. I could, I suppose, make a terribly nasty comment about hoping that the shock will be enough to see them off, but that would be terribly nasty of me so I shan’t do it, but damn them all to hell instead.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. No one except the most deluded racists and the most incredibly ignorant want people to be sent home.

      Spain never wanted to get rid of the hundreds of thousands of pensioners who own houses over there; Germany doesn’t want to get rid of the highly skilled engineers who are working there. (And Switzerland doesn’t want rid of our Terry… or so I’ve heard).

      You’re right, it’s all about the unpleasant nature of racism that the lower press try to appeal to.

      The EU will take a firm line over everything becasue it is organised and well staffed and well prepared. (I suspect they have used the months of delay to staff themselves and acquaint themselves with the rules, unlike the Brits. Mr Davis’s ministerial team changed as recently as last week!

      Britain has gone into this with the attitude that the EU needs it more than it needs the EU.

      And they are wrong.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/23/eu-expats-condemn-theresa-may-pathetic-offer-on-brexit-rights?CMP=share_btn_tw

    But it was met with fury by EU citizens who say it increases rather than eases anxiety, particularly because, they claim, it is cast in the “language of immigration law” rather than existing EU law.

    They say the offer is also damaging for Britons in Europe to whom, a fortnight ago, the EU offered a lifetime guarantee of all their current rights, something that the British team in Brussels failed to acknowledge on Thursday night, instead talking of how the UK’s offer was only on the table if it was reciprocated by the EU.

    Did May know about the EU offer?

    Do any of them have a clue what they are doing?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, thanks Tris, I missed that one. At least I have the excuse of being a bit wabbit, those goons on the Britnat side don’t. Either they’re appallingly ignorant or they’ve got to the stage of believing their own propaganda. Not that the two are mutually exclusive…

      If they’re still persisting with that negotiating position, when it is demonstrably based on a false premise, and one that was yet again shown to be false just days ago, only one other explanation occurs to me: it’s a bit of reality-bending Big Lie propaganda, so the Britnat side can say they’re breaking off negotiations because the Europeans refused to offer British expats in Europe the same guarantees that the Westminster regime is so magnanimously offering EU migrants in the UK. The Usual Suspects will have public fits of apoplexy, and the truth that the EU people offered ours something much better, and said that what the Westminster regime was offering was simply not good enough. [To anyone wondering what happened to all my “”””””, don’t push it – stick’em in yourself. I also let people put their own milk and sugar in their tea.]

      I peered a bit at the top of the article in the Telegraph and read that the fragrant Ms. May says that EU citizens in the UK will have the right to stay permanently after Brexit and “be treated like British citizens”. If those words are accurately reported and are not just sloppy use of the language, they could be weasel words (cf. “normally”): treated like British citizens, but not the same as, maybe. And anyway – “British citizen”? What’s one of those? We’re subjects of Her Majesty, don’t forget, of fellow serfs and freedmen, not citizens!

      Besides, as being treated like a British citizen is like being treated like sh*t, no wonder the EU are saying it’s not good enough.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, exactly. Who wants to be treated like we are?

        I think we should prepare ourselves for the lower newspapers (and I include the once mighty Telegraph in that) and the moron comics like the Express and the Star, to take everything that doesn’t stick one to the foreigners, and turn it into how unutterably ghastly they are being to poor wee England who never did anyone any harm.


        Dead Ringers (Radio 4) wasn’t as good as last week’s edition, but there were a few funny moments with Davis, the master negotiator) leaving ever more desperate messages on Theresa’s ansaphone.

        And some good Trump stuff.


    2. May’s offer is particularly bizarre because it is as though the EU had never written down their proposal, published it on the internet for all to see and formally delivered it to the UK government. Her phrasing makes it sound like the UK’s offer is more generous. It isn’t.

      T May said she would publish the detail on Monday. Even that is odd. I would expect publication of the detail to coincide with her speech. Not doing that sounds like furtive dissembling and sloganeering. Why make a speech about something that will be published in 5 days time? Nobody ever does that. Even the venue was weird. The UK and the EU now have formal channels of communication and the EU have made it clear that is the forum for debates about Brexit. Theresa May then went ahead and made a speech at a venue where the EU have specifically rejected debate on her chosen topic. This is not how to win friends and build trust.

      The UK is setting itself up to be a battle but it is all so pointless. All it does is eat into the time required to sort out the detail that could be spun as positive for the government.

      I just don’t understand the political motivation behind this (assuming it isn’t just incompetence).

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, to be fair, she has a simply impossible job. Try to keep 60 odd hard Brexit MPs who want the country ruined, on board?

          Maybe what she thought she would achieve in the election she so disastrously called, was enough people that she could ignore the hard liners on either side.

          How did that work out again?


      1. Well, to kick off with, I would never rule out utter incompetence where this government is concerned.

        My take was that she hadn’t read her briefing papers… and that no one in the Berexit Ministery (with which you would have thought she might have agreed the text of her speech) had either.

        Now, to be fair, as most of them seem to have been appointed in the last week, that may not be surprising.

        You probably don’t want to sit reading boring papers when you are still trying to work out where the canteen is.

        That she made her speech where she did sounds like Tessy saying: “We don’t care what you think or what your rules are, we’re British. We once ruled a quarter of the world. We say where speeches are made.”

        It does seem to me that, in the worlds of the old song… If there’s a wrong way to do it… was written specially for Mrs May.


  4. Tris,

    Someone must absolutely hate the EU so much that they are willing to say that decency, the EU position, is evil, and that their view, xenophobia is correct.

    I despair, quite a lot, recently.

    Over the last ten years or so I met a lot of Europeans here in Scotland, from Polish Plasterers, to folk in high-up academic positions. I liked every one of them that I met. They seemed to have similar, vaguely socialist ideas, much like us. It was only after talking to them that I realized that their ideas, and mine, were not vaguely socialist. That they were mainstream in Europe.

    It is England, sorry guys, that has given up on centrist policies. That have been pulled, perhaps against their better interests, to the right.

    And the areas of Scotland that voted Tory?

    Cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

    This is, perhaps becoming a two way fight between outward looking nationalists, and inward looking Brexiteers. Quite a reverse of previous identities, eh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I guess the politics in Scotland is different from that in England.

      There was a young Hungarian couple (students) who came to live in my apartment block, about 6 years ago

      They turned up on my door (as they had with everyone else in the building) to offer biscuits and introduce themselves.

      I, having been in the same situation in France, offered help if they came up against any problems, or anything that they didn’t understand(their English was far from perfect at that point).

      On a couple of occasions, without being intrusive, they did seek help and slowly Dani (the lad) and I became firm mates. His girlfriend went back to Hungary after a year.

      I doubt if I have ever met such a kind decent hardworking person in my life. We’ve all become friends with his family, and indeed spent a holiday in Budapest as guests of his parents. He introduced me to many other students from Europe. They all seemed to be cut from the same cloth. Delightful people.

      As far as I’m concerned, we should have more of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A fine piece.

    I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed in messrs Barclay’s fortress/castle or gaff.

    It lacks something. This might be either the fairytale style as presented by that nice Disney chap’s little business or the possibly more appropriate mordor-esque style of the other Dark Lord.

    It leaves one feeling they simply weren’t trying.



    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL, Jim. Thanks.

      It kinda makes me laugh that they built this on a tiny island, conveniently out of reach of the UK tax people.

      Imagine twin dark lords… well, knights anyway.


  6. The Tories are going to replace Human Rights with their own,one of which will be the right for Tories to continue to be complete and utter b******s.
    People don’t count in Tory land,only donors (cash ones that is).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Of course the reality is the citizens rights was one of the 3 subjects EU negotiators had tabled some time ago.
    May’s ‘offer’ is feeble.
    The Telegraph is not a credible source of news and hasn’t been for some time. Peter Oborne left the Telegraph because he wasn’t happy with it, or maybe he was pushed, tho come to think of it he was also on QT defending the Daily Mail, so perhaps that story isn’t a good example of anything!


  8. Nice letter Mr. Munguin wrote. And the Barclay boys do have a very nice house. I wonder if it’s entirely typical of the housing on Sark?

    In some ways, the Barclays remind me of our Koch Brothers…..Charles and David, who own the second-largest privately owned company in the United States. Each worth about $50 billion, they pour hundreds of millions into Republican politics. The family home is in Kansas, which doesn’t have quite the cachet of the Barclay place on Sark. On the other hand the Kochs have palatial homes for skiing in Colorado, sunning in Florida and California, and lots of others. Nice to be rich! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmm, no, I think we could safely say that the average house on Sark is more like the ne above. Below, Le Manoir de Sercq (as it is known in Sercquiais, the local patois, which is so similar to French that I can understand it)


  9. I always rejoice in the fact that the Barclays, like all of us, the great, the good, the bad, the evil, the sadly deluded, irrespective of our personal wealth or “worth” end up drawing the same six feet of dirt – or handful of ash, if that’s your preferred ending. It’s a dead certainty. Welcome to the all-inclusive citizenship of humanity!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. That’s true. And in the meantime they live in something that more resembles a 5 star golf hotel than a castle, satisfied and content in the tackiness of it all.


  10. It pains me to have to say this but is it not the case that the loathesome Barclay pair are Scottish?

    Given the proximity of The Channel Islands to the French mainland it has always puzzled me that the French have not tried to reclaim what was once part of their country.

    Surely they have a better claim than Argentina have over The Falklands which have never been part of Argentina and are hundreds of miles away from said country.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, Scottish parents, but born in England.

      You can see the French coast from the islands. I’ve no idea why they don;t take them back… or didn’t at some time.


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