RANDOM THOUGHTS

It appears, from Radio 4’s Today programme interview, that Liam Fox wants to hold US/UK trade deal talks in secret.

You might well wonder why.

Well, maybe it’s because it will allow corporate lobbyists to influence the talks while the UK public and parliament will have no idea what is on the table as quid pro quo.

What you reckon Mr Fox… Oh sorry, DOCTOR Fox, wants to hide from us?

NHS?

Workers’ rights?

Agriculture?

Environmental standards?

Fracking licences?

Foreign affairs?

Defence?

Is it because, if it is done in public, the “ordinary” people will see the UK fold its tent every time the US makes a demand?

What do you think?

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Also on the Today programme, the BBC out and out lied about Africa and trade deals. Mrs May is in South Africa to drum up support for a future trade agreement.

Mike Galsworthy pointed out:

Argh! talking crap about why we have “huge tariffs” on “African countries” & whether we can lower tariffs. This is ignorant. 33 African countries have ZERO tariffs to EU – coz they fall under “Everything But Arms” agreement.

Also, on top of this, the EU has various deals with African regions in development, aimed at helping Africa integrate into global trading system (EU is Africa’s biggest trading partner)

The EU has *huge* interest in the economic development & stability of Africa… especially given the proximity and immigration issues. With these trade deals, I understand EU even planning to invest to help African producers meet EU quality levels to help boost exports to EU.

Small wonder that the BBC’s “flagship” news programme has lost 800,000 listeners in a year.

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That’s £500,000,000 per annum, by the way.

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NOW WE ARE SERIOUSLY LOOKING AT NO DEAL

Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now?: 2018 Edition by [Dunt, Ian]

Not long after the referendum, Terry Entoure pointed me in the direction of “Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now?” a book by Ian Dunt, the editor of Politics.co.uk.

In the first chapter, Dunt paints a doomsday scenario of a no deal exit, a scary, dystopian vision of the future. I was seriously worried by the time I finished. Fortunately, right at the end of the chapter, he admits that this is an absolute worst case scenario and highly unlikely to happen. The rest of the book is a little more upbeat.

!EXIT

But because the different factions of the Tories and the DUP can’t agree on anything that would be even halfway acceptable to each other, never mind the European Union, and the clock that Monsieur Barnier pointed out was ticking over a year ago, is still heading to that 11 pm deadline on March 29, 2019, it is beginning to look like that is what we are heading for. For those in doubt, this is what it would look like.

May has always said that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, but frankly it isn’t true, any more than her other witterings have been… you know, like “being very clear” about stuff, and being “strong and stable” in government.

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Today David Dark Money Mundell, a man who makes Jim Murphy look like a  halfway decent Secretary of State for Scotland, has said that a no deal scenario would be preferable to the break up of the United Kingdom.

That as the UK government admitted that it was stockpiling medicines and foods against this eventuality, emergency measures are being drawn up, notes of advice will be issued to households over the coming months and Jacob Rees Mogg, Brexiter Extraordinaire admits that the UK could be looking at 50-60 years of austerity.

It’s all an awfully long way from £350 million a week for the NHS.

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I can only imagine that Muddle is speaking for himself on this matter. As a Cabinet Minister, I assume he wouldn’t be obliged to suffer any of the privations that the rest of us would endure. But of course, his seat around the cabinet table and the ministerial car and fat salary would disappear overnight were there no Scotland to Secretary of State for.

He most certainly isn’t talking for me, but then, I doubt that in his entire life he has ever spoken up for the likes of us… you know, ordinary Scottish people.brexitstamsp

Still … look on the bright side, folks… We can always laugh at this stupid arse.

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MORE BREXIT MADNESS

Iron Lady made of  Papier Mâché
brexit4
So, how many dead for Brexit?
b
Aye, the trouble is that most of them will be Mr Bun the Baker.

berex

b1
Well, that’s a relief.
b3
You just stick to what you’re best at mate, drinking and smoking.
b2
Pity that the easiest thing in human history is proving too hard for you, you bloody disgrace.
bre999
How long before they are calling on us to display the Dunkirk Spirit?
br boris eu
Well, well…
brex123
So Davis has gone, but is his replacement any less ridiculous?
brexit5
And, talking of ridiculous…
brexxi
Yes, Lord Bramall, it is. Indeed it is.
brex9
Stunning. What did she promise Dacre for that? Lord Dacre of Brexit?
breex
And today they managed to make their own policies illegal…
Breden
Oh yes. Let’s be like Denmark.

Some Random Pictures

Because things have been hectic for us today… Sorry!

 

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This is Bertie the Blackbird, who is fond of sultanas but turns up his beak at currents! Go figure how fussy some of my animals are.
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He’s not averse to the odd worm though.
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Part of a friend’s garden.
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Getting overgrown at Munguin Towers. Good for hiding in though…
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Munguin likes to oversee the gardening, usually in conversation with Lord Buddha Voldermort whose company he seems to prefer to mine… Odd animal.  BTW someone could do with a bath!
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Sometimes he chats with his tortoise instead…
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Or even climbs a tree…
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But mainly he sits on his fat lazy butt in the sun, while someone fetches and carries for him.
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This fella is a random dog we met outside the best chip shop in Dundee, Glenns in King Street, Broughty Ferry. Even if they weren’t staunch independentistas (which they are), the food would still be pretty fantastic.
n jims dog seth
This is  Albus Fumblepaws. As Jim points out, there can be little doubt about which country he comes from.
n albus fumblepaws, albie, Jims
Albie for short..well, come on, who’s gonna shout ALBUS FUMBLEPAWS across the park?

Finally, BJSAlba sent me this link today. It’s absolutely hilarious. Well worth a read, but not while you are drinking tea!

 

NOW WHY WOULD THE BBC MISS THAT OUT?

Sympathies to the now ex-employees of Maplins and Toys R Us. The UK is a pretty bad place to find yourself unemployed. The UK government (although by and large NOT most of the DWP staff) will treat you as if you are some sort of thieving, lowlife criminal out to take money away from doing up Buckingham Palace or HS2, just because you need to feed your family and pay your rent. They will demand that you take any work, no matter how unsuited you may be to it, and if you turn up a few minutes late at one of their appointments, in the diminished number of jobcentres, miles away from where you live, for any reason at all, they will do their best to starve you and your family. So I hope you find work very soon.

I fear that this is just the start of what is coming at us, and to suggest that it is nothing to do with Brexit is to live in a Narnia-like world…. where, should you wish to visit, you will doubtless encounter David Davis avoiding Michel Barnier, Boris Johnson setting up congestion charging on the Irish border, DOCTOR Fox taking Mr Werrity on a government-funded trip on a new Royal Yacht Britannia, Jacob Rees Mogg and Nanny in the Bently, the Maybot, being trailed around like a rag doll by her boss, Arlene and of course Humpty Dumpty and the Mad Hatter.

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From Jolyon Maugham QC…

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Going back to the BBC… part of the Today Programme this morning came from Northern Ireland and at least one interview from Derry. I’m wondering if it was a BBC policy that the interviewer should refer to it as LONDONderry?

BUT THE BRITISH PEOPLE VOTED FOR THIS…ERM, DIDN’T THEY?

a dims

Laura Kuenssberg has just tweeted this illustration of the economic impact assessments that MPs have been allowed to see. Important to note forecasts are for a fifteen year period – and predict how much more slowly the economy would grow, not how much it would shrink, so they still expect growth, just a good bit less of it.

So, if you voted for Brexit, this is how much worse the pro-Brexit “Department for Exiting the EU predicts your future will be.

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Scotland, were we to stay in the single market, which May has ruled out (on pain of the disgraced Liam Fox resigning… Yeah yeah, I know, anyone else would see that as a massive bonus, but what the hell???) would lose 2.5% of our growth. With some sort of Free Trade Deal, a very dubious possibility, we’d lose 6%, and if we work on WTO figures,  the most likely scenario, 9%.

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This is broadly in line with the conclusions of the Scottish government’s impact assessment which found that Scotland’s GDP would be 8.5% lower by 2030 than it would be if it stayed in the EU if Brexit resulted in the UK trading with Europe on WTO terms. It would be 6.1% lower with a free trade agreement, but only 2.7% lower if the UK stayed in the single market.

That’s in a country that voted 62-38 to REMAIN.

!AB

But, with the broad shoulders of Britain, and the strong and stable hands and legs and arms and possibly other bits of the Maybot… what chance does Barnier have?

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Hoi Munguin:

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Aye right… whatever.