Sunday, 29 January 2023

How's Brexit Working For Ya Leavers?

Some people are slow to the party, some are just not that bright and others just let their racist views cloud their judgement and it is probably a mix of all three which led to the Brexit vote although for most people I spoke to at the time, 'kicking out the foreigners' was the most quoted view.
As a remainer, i am happy to ask them 'How's that working out for you?' sure in the response as the UK’s economy tanks, the now missing foreigners means empty shelves and fruit and vegetables rotting in the fields and the £350 million a week for the NHS as promised on the side of the bus never materialised.
A BMG poll shows that one in ten of people who voted for Brexit in 2016 are now considering the benefits of reversing Brexit and rejoining the EU although none of the main Political parties are offering it, Labour only stating they will try to do the best with what they will inherit and the Conservatives still under the delusion that they can get Britain back on an even keel outside of the European Union.  
Asked what the new converts to the virtues of the EU believe the impact of going back in to the economic bloc would be, 47% of voters believe it would improve the NHS, the economy and the cost of living crisis,  and improve trade, only 24% sticking to their guns and saying it would be negative.
How the Brexiteers who have now changed their mind thought leaving the Worlds largest Single Market and asking the vast army of foreign workers to leave would not have a negative impact on the country was mind boggling at the time and generally i would say better late than never but it's too late now, we are out and suffering the economic and social whirlwind as a result and even if we did decide to go back in, the EU would require their pound of flesh in return and a long, drawn out process over years to readmit us.
Nobody can say they wasn't warned, a much repeated refrain at the time from leavers was they knew what they were voting for and if they did, and if this is what they expected to happen, then they are even bigger morons than i gave them credit for.

Ukrainian Tanks Not A Game Changer

Russia's army has over 3,000 battle tanks in its military so it is hard to understand how the decision by NATO powers to send the 200 tanks to Ukraine is being presented as a game-changer in the war, tipping the military balance towards Ukraine.
According to former American and British Generals, the same ones remember who led some of the most powerful nations to defeat against rag-tag armies in Iraq and Afghanistan, this tank force will blunt any Russian offensive and lead to Ukraine evicting Russian forces from Ukrainian territory.
To my mind all this will do is escalate the war and brings NATO deeper into the conflict as Russia targets the Wests tanks as soon as they are off the carriers,the Kremlin saying that they will burn on the battlefield which will lead to Zelensky urging even more be sent his way from NATO nations.
Now that he has some tanks, the Ukrainian President is urging fighter jets be sent next which NATO has considered a red line they will not cross but tanks was also once a red line and that has been stomped all over with this decision.
With the West becoming more involved in a proxy war, the use of Russian nuclear weapons becomes more likely as Russia and UKraine are now both in a war that neither can afford to lose and the chance of any peace talks fall further away and that is the only possible conclusion to the conflict.
I don't know what the answer is but the decision to send even more military equipment to the Ukrainian's is just an escalation of the horror of this war and brings the West even closer to conflict with a desperate, nuclear armed military superpower.

Zahawi Gone But Sunak Still On The Hook

 The Government are trying to spin the Nadhim Zahawi scandal as showing the Prime Minster is strong and full to the brim with integrity for sacking the Conservative party chair for serious breach of the ministerial code over his tax affairs and while it is true that he did him did sack him this morning, it was only after trying desperately not to.
If we rewind to September when it first came to light that Zahawi had deliberately funneled his earnings through an offshore account, the Iraqi born Minister denied being under investigation by HMRC, while at one point being the Minister in charge of HMRC, and threatened to sue any journalists that repeated the claim  calling it: 'inaccurate, unfair and clearly smears'.
When it was announced a fortnight ago that Zahawi had been made to pay £3.8 million in unpaid taxes and been fined £1.2 million for non payment, Zahawi issued a statement saying the tax office had concluded he had made a: 'careless but not deliberate error', careless in HMRC speak is described as
'a failure to take reasonable care, defined as the behaviour which the person did or failed to do', in this case not declare the £27 million he shoveled into a Gibraltar Bank account when he sold his YouGov shares, HMRC deciding Zahawi 'did not conduct himself in the way that a prudent and reasonable person would have done'.
While Zahawi played on the Careless aspect as is he had forgotten to include it on his tax Return or somehow accidentally forgotten to pay the £3.8 million due in tax, The Head of HMRC, Jim Carra, last week stuck the boot in stating that: 'No penalties are given for innocent tax errors'.
After Journalists began to do what we do best and started digging further into the former head of HMRC, Sunak referred his friend to the ethics committee while it was revealed that Sunak had been warned in October when he appointed Zahawi to a Cabinet post that there was concerns over his tax affairs but still promoted him anyway and then this weekends revelations that Zahawi had some very dodgy friends receiving oil contracts in Iraq.
Today's publishing of the verdict that Zahawi had breached the ministerial code on seven separate occasions and the conclusion that 'Zahawi’s conduct as a Minister had fallen below the high standards we can expect from those who serve in the government, left Sunak little choice after his initial 'nothing to see here' and the 'matter 'had already addressed this matter in full' defence and then trying to kick it into the long grass.
Zahawi for his part showed no remorse and issued a statement following his sacking where he blamed the media's conduct which he said went beyond legitimate scrutiny of his tax affairs which showed an arrogance on a grand scale.
Sunak may hope that with Zahawi gone the spotlight won't turn on him and what he knew and when he knew it but that isn't going to happen, journalists smell sleaze and will be rightly gunning for him again, the non-dom wife avoiding UK tax hasn't gone away, and with the Commons Privileges Committee investigations into Boris Johnson lying to parliament over the Parties held in Downing Street while the rest of country was in lock-down once again laid bare in public and the soon to be
published inquiry findings into multiple bullying allegations against his deputy prime minister, Dominic Raab, Sunak must be having some very sleepless nights.

Saturday, 28 January 2023

Defending the Occupiers

Thursday, nine Palestinians are killed when the Israel military enters the occupied Palestinian territories and then a further two Palestinians are killed at the subsequent protests. The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, is due to arrive for talks next week released a statement which said both sides should seek to de-escalate tensions.
Friday, seven Israelis are shot and killed as they left a synagogue in East Jerusalem in retaliation and Joe Biden called it 'an attack against the civilised world' and Blinken stressed America's unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.
That the people hosting the talks is so obviously coming with an Israeli bias doesn't bode well and this is tragic events on both sides and we can only hope cool heads prevail but even if they do, Israel will continue to visit genocide against its neighbour and continue its military occupation and deadly incursions while it steals its lands and America will continue to bankroll it to ensure it can continue to do so.
There may be talks penciled in for next week but there have been talks for decades and we know exactly how this will end up, Israel will make impossible demands which the Palestinians refuse to adhere to and talks will collapse, Israel will blame the Palestinians for not wanting to talk peace and then continue to murder them and steal their land.     
Been there, done that, buried the many dead Palestinians.

Sunday, 22 January 2023

Idea's From The Keyboard Of Lucy: Europe Coming Together

It is thought by some people who haven't bothered to read up on it, that the goal of the European Union is to have one big country and i have also thought it sounds like a good idea to me, all 44 countries in Europe today coming together as one big Superpower Nation.
Obviously the name (i quite like Europa), flag (the blue starry one is quite boring) and national Anthem of the new country would have to be sorted out but the more i think about it the more big decisions would have to be made such as what language would we use? Apparently there are over 200 languages spoken across the continent but most seem to speak English as a second language so i would plump for that unless there is a version of Esperanto we could all use.
Then there is the question of Religion, anyone who had been to mainland Europe know they do like a Church and a bit of Bible bashing over there even if most of them are Catholic, they are different flavours of Catholicism especially with the East and West of the Continent so that could prove to be a bit sticky, some people do get very uppity when try to dabble with their religion so we would have to kick that one into the long grass for now.  
Another potential bump in the road could be that some countries just don't like each other for historical reasons, war had broken out for over a thousands years between one European nation and another with 126 since 1900, mostly over religion, land and resources so becoming one would on one hand alleviate them wars as we all share one religion, the land and it's resources but it would be tricky to get some nations to give up regions they have spent centuries keeping out of the hands of others.
Within Europe, economic differences are rife with G7 Nations rubbing along next to some who are dancing around with their legs crossed looking for suitable receptacle so they would benefit immensely from a tens of billions shared European Government pot and i would be fine with using the Euro although it would mean changing all of Britain's keyboards which hasn't seemed to have got around to including the € symbol on then yet.
Mostly the idea that keeps nations apart and warring, putting their own interests first even at the detriment of others, would be removed and that would be the biggest win, everything else could be sorted out later and we have the EU with many nations having the same currency and a European Parliament and Laws, we already have the infrastructure so someone should suggest it.

Bye Jacinda, Missing You Already

Politicians you actually warm to are very unusual, the amount of current politicians i can honestly say i like can be counted on the little finger of one hand and now that they have now said that they are quitting, with New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern goes the only World Leader i wouldn't strap to a rocket and fire into
the Sun.
She was honest enough to hold up her hands and say she was stepping down as she 'no longer had enough in the tank to do the job', something we can only wish plenty of other leaders were decent enough to do rather than drag themselves on but as it is unlikely she will turn up on our shores to sort out the British debacle which is the Conservative Party, we can heap praise on her for her efforts over the last five years.
Her Covid response of 'going hard and early' received praise from all around the world and saw numbers of cases and deaths at one of the lowest rates in the World until the measures were lifted in August 2021
She banned offshore oil and gas exploration and took part in LGBTQ parades but it was the response to the horrific Christchurch terror attack which saw 51 people killed by a White Supremacist.
Adhern met with victims’ families, promised to never say the name of the shooter as not to give him the notoriety he craved and immediately changed the country’s gun laws, taking 62,000 firearms out of circulation.
She showed that a great leader can be empathetic, kind and considerate and looking around at the rest of them she leaves behind, those are qualities sorely missing.

Wecome To The Year Of The Rabbit

As it's the second new moon after the winter solstice, Xīnnián hǎo or if your Mandarin is a bit rusty, Happy New Year and welcome to the Year of the Rabbit according to the Chinese zodiac.
As the animals rotate every 12 years, you are also a Rabbit if you were born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 or 2011 and your lucky numbers are 3, 4, 6 and any numbers containing them both (34, 46 etc) and your lucky days are the 26th, 27th, and 29th of the month and lucky colours are red, pink, purple and blue.
People born in a year of the Rabbit are believed to be kind, patient, vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious and most compatible with Goats (born 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003) Dogs (born 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006) or Pigs (born 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007) but steer clear of Rats (born 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008) and Roosters (born 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005).
The rabbit is associated with the moon in Chinese culture and is based on The Moon Rabbit in East Asian folklore which you can see on the Moon, bent over his block pounding herbs for the Gods, China's Yutu-2 lunar rover gets its name from the Chinese characters for 'jade rabbit'.
The Rabbit symbolises longevity, peace and prosperity and so 2023 is seen to be a year of hope.

Saturday, 21 January 2023

This Is Avoiding The Chaos

When Rishi Sunak took over the Prime Minister role in October, his first comments was that his government will have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level, seems that he left the word 'not' out of that sentence because since then the Prime Minister has received a Police fine, the second in nine months, and a former Chancellor of the Exchequer, the man in charge of HM Revenue and Customs, was fined for not paying his taxes due to HMRC.
If you are responsible for making the countries laws, it should go without saying that it's far from ideal to be caught breaking them and it moves into farce if you film yourself and post it to Social Media while you are doing it as Rishi did with his seat-belt dangling illegally behind him as he chuntered on about his levelling up policy which even the police couldn't miss as an own goal and sent him the 'you now owe us £500 for not wearing your seatbelt' letter.
Nadhim Zahawi has dismissed his £5m HMRC penalty for not paying his tax as careless rather than a deliberate attempt to evade paying taxes 21 years ago when he set up his business with his father because as we all know, when it is paid through an offshore account to avoid Capital Gains Tax, it is easy to forget and get a bit careless with telling HMRC, especially when you are running it.   
Taken in total, it could seem that the Government are either so full of incompetents that it is beyond humour or full of charlatans lining their own pockets in the knowledge that it is highly unlikely they will survive the next General Election, hence why Rishi Sunak has a fondness of flying around making short trips in a RAF Jet such as the recent trip to the North of the country to announce new carbon saving 'Green Freeports'.
On the TV tonight we had Justice Secretary Dominic Raab who tried valiantly to defend his colleagues before returning to his office to continue his fight against the investigation against the ten bullying allegations against him.
At the last Election the Conservative Party pitch was the safe hands of their leadership under Boris Johnson or chaos under Jeremy Corbyn so we can only thank our lucky stars Labour never got in power then and we avoided al that havoc and disruption, this is meant to be a serious country after-all.

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Yems The Deliberate Racist

Former Crawley manager, John Yems, has been on TV bleating that he is owed an apology for being called a racist despite being found guilty of having committed 12 breaches of Football Association rules on discrimination including calling an Asian player a 'curry muncher', a Muslim player a 'terrorist' and black players 'Zulu Warriors' and 'Arnold Schwarzenigger'.  
The Independent FA panel have now banned him for 15 months rather than handing him a lifetime ban because they did not believe Yems was being deliberately racist which he has used as cover to say that: 'I wasn’t found to be racist, i never used racist language with intent and if anyone is owed an apology I think I do'.
The now unemployed Yems said that he was guilty of only using old-fashioned language and as for him being a racist: 'That’s a terrible, terrible thing to say to somebody and it’s so easy to throw them accusations' which is true, especially easy if you use racist language towards the non-white players which he did so that makes him a racist so yep, he made that very easy.
Bizarrely, the FA have said that they 'fundamentally disagreed' with the decision of their own panel and are now considering their legal options to get him banned altogether but Yems is keen to get his apology so Sorry John if you are being called a racist but not a deliberate one because of your racist statements, obviously you are a deliberate one. Hope that clears up any misunderstanding.

Still A Lefty

 It is often said that people turn more right wing as they get older but i have never found that to be true, there are younger people with awful right wing views and they never see the light and keep their selfish, egotistical viewpoint all the way through their lives and i have a theory that the younger ones
absorb the views of the parents and it is not until they leave their parents and strive out on their own that they develop their own views, if at all.
My parents were both lefties and i have kept that left wing viewpoint ever since and people say to me that i can't be all left about everything, their must be some right wing views and luckily there isn't so nope, it's lefty all the way although some things seemed to have been pushed into the left column without particularly being a lefty view.
You would assume that everyone would be interested in Environmentalism and not polluting the only planet we have to live on but nope, their are some who are quite happy for others to go on spewing out the poison into the atmosphere and clogging up the seas with plastic while the seas and oceans lap around their ankles but i see them as useful idiots of the companies and corporations who would suffer financially if they had to radically change their ways.
Equality for all, ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity in life regardless of sex, race, religion or sexual preference should also be a given but women are still seen as inferior, blacks continue to suffer racism, wars of religion continue and anyone who isn't heterosexual are considered somehow 'wrong' and are denied the same rights as straight people.
Politically, right wing Governments are all for maintaining the status quo which sees the poorest in society continue to suffer with austerity while the money gets shoved to the top in that failed attempt at drip down economics, that half of the world's net wealth belongs to the top 1% of the population should be considered a travesty but they are there to maintain that rather than distribute the wealth evenly so everyone can benefit.  
Wars continue and we choose which side we are on so our Governments financially and militarily back hateful nations like Israel and Saudi Arabia in their murderous and immoral conflicts and try not to mention the hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians killed.
It is good to sometimes check your beliefs but i read something when i was a teenager which went something like 'It's true that life isn't fair so let's do our best to make it fairer' and that belief is as strong today as it was then so no shifting to the right here, i am happily and still thankfully firmly on the left side of the ideological fence and wonder why everybody isn't?