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Truss Fridge

Reflections from a sea dog

Don Adamson writes from Yorkshire on the latest mayhem which contributes to our Britastrophe.

This week’s quotes: “Johnson’s ‘levelling up’ agenda is ailing and listless, a casualty of Johnson’s lack of seriousness …   Few doubt the new chancellor’s intellect but he swings between genius and idiocy …  an attention span of four seconds … The Chancellor rattles the Treasury … the Treasury needs good advice more than ever … may not be enough to avoid a downturn … None of this bodes well for the public finances. Yet the government is expected to announce tax cuts … Having got their woman into Downing St dodgy financiers can look forward to … deregulate their businesses yet further … Kwarteng should be able to get his ideas through with less sense checking from experienced officials…. However resounding the next crash the sound for friends of Kwasi wil be ‘kerching’ … Department of Health and Social Care is proving shy about efforts to claw back billions of pounds from underperforming suppliers … progress on suspect suppliers is close to bugger all …Priti Patel put former Australian Foreign Secretary (who helped create Australia’s harsh anti-refugee system) in charge of ‘independent review’ of her Rwanda scheme  … leaked files showed guards hitting children or demanding sex from female inmates in grim camps in Papua New Guinea … If Downer could not detect abuse in Australia’s infamous offshore camps it seems unlikely he will spot it in Rwanda … Chris Philp, new appointment as Chief Secretary to the Treasury … why pay any tax at all when they can simply fold their companies when owing hundreds of thousands of pounds to Revenue and Customs … It was refreshing to hear a Labour Politician unapologetic about opposing Brexit, clear about the palpable damage was doing …  Sept ans plus tard qui peut pretendre que le Royaume-Uni a beneficie du Brexit (Translation – after seven years who can pretend that the UK benefits from Brexit) … the answer is next to nobody. The tragedy is that the few who do pretend are sitting round the cabinet table, living in la la land imagining that Brexiters who ‘knew what they were voting for’ knew that it was bankers getting bigger bonuses … many of Thick Lizzie and Kwarteng’s plans are detailed in an economically illiterate pamphlet they published ten years ago … Britannia Unchained … unremarkable, badly researched, cherry picked data using taxi drivers’ anecdotes as ‘evidence.’ … evidence is thin … lifting the ban on bankers’ bonuses … even Johnson retreated on this idea … the authors without a science or maths degree between them or any sense of irony … one of the most illiterate parts of the prospectus is the notion that we will all have to work harder … in fact British workers put in longer hours but productivity remains low … the obvious change  is more training, investment and better management … if you don’t believe ‘Britannia Unchanged’ the pamphlet has the evidence to convince you  … the opinions of taxi drivers … the authors are terrible at maths, economically illiterate, ignorant of science and engineering and completely unaware of how to research a book or write well … smug, selfish, self satisfied, lacking in empathy, ignorant of facts and believing in their own fantasy economics …unfortunately they are now running the country …

Pip Pip            

Don Adamson, Medway Delta (Retired), Saboteur and Brexorcist First Class 

Brexit-Psyche

Portraits of Brexiteers

As part of our continuing work to Brexorcise the population as a preparatory step on the road to rejoining the EU, I encountered two tough cases recently. Selecting your target is vital if you want to make the most of your time, but given that I go out daily with an open invite to talk to people painted on my t-shirt, bicycle etc. one cannot always choose your ‘client’ for Brexorcism. Learn the underlying psychologies, sociology and therapeutic approaches here. The two individuals were themselves quite complex and this underlines the need to use personalised approaches to reach such people.

The Club Landlord

I had the ultimate confessional from the Club Landlord last night. A man in his 50’s who was jailed for violent crimes in his 20’s. He has taken to God of late, believes in Brexit mainly because he watches You Tube videos that tell him that the whole world is a conspiracy and that most of the time we are lied to. Amongst the lies that he believes we have been told include that COVID exists. The conversation went on for hours. He is a lost cause in terms of Brexorcism so I chose to just listen to him. He has picked up the term critical thinking from somewhere but tends to go only to the internet for his information, and then, a fairly narrow channel of material. He voted for Brexit as a protest vote and does not care about the outcomes, even though he has teenage children. I know him quite well and mainly feel sad for him.

There is no single standard Brexit Brain. Learn how to enter them by clicking on the image.

The Trade Unionist

I stopped at a cafe with my bicycle. A man about 50-60 approached and observed my signage, opening up with “I would die for the King and my country”. After some introductions, he self identified as a trade unionist. I imagined him to be left of centre and enquired “what do you think about Brexit?”. He replied that it was the best thing that had happened to Britain as we could make our own Labour laws. He winced as I pointed out that Liz Truss plans to roll back the working time directive which prevents exploitation of the masses, but dodged the question about this. I asked him about what he was now able to do because of Brexit and he answered with some twaddle about WW II. I restated the question but he returned to WW II. I asked “Were you in WW II?” He replied yes but clearly this was not true. He eventually admitted that the country was just the same as it was before Brexit, in other words, that there were no benefits. We moved on to Mick Lynch and host of other topics and it was hard to get away from him. Finally we discussed the 2019 election, Boris, Corbyn and so on. I explained from personal experience of standing a cat for election that my experience on the doorstep demonstrated that Boris and Brexit did not win but Corbyn lost, in part due to our populist media but possibly due to his own presentation and policies in a word that is more sensitive to style over substance. To my surprise, he revealed that he voted for Boris Johnson !! A trade unionist, Brexiteer who voted for a right wing populist. To quote Jim Morrison “People are strange”.

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Populism will eat itself

Rage Against The Brexit Machine

This rant from stalwart campaigner Don Adamson.

This week’s comments: “Johnson seems set to make the House of Lords worse …  has been described as ‘absurd’ … ‘anachronism’ … the best day care centre for the elderly in London … 4th Earl of Russell said … ‘Britain was governed by spiritless Papal bum boys’ … Johnson intends to ennoble 30 of his chums …  Thatcher only ennobled 7 in her leaving list … MacMillan a minimalist 1 … others expressed alarm at the quality … Nadine  Dorries, culture secretary, cabinet toady and author of soupy historical sagas … in the 1920s Lloyd George flogged honours openly … tariff … £10,000 for a knighthood … £50,000 for a peerage … Johnson’s appointments are likely to be worse … he has created peerages at a faster rate than any PM in the last 50 years … the House of Lords is odd. That does not mean it is worthless… deep seated problems … dangerous short term grandstanding … Thick Lizzie blithely ignores the fact that her government signed the NI protocol she now deems unworkable … scale of industrial unrest is massive … transport workers, nurses, doctors, lawyers …  frequent assurances were flimsy ambitions … Tories still see no evil in Brexit even though it is the driver of problems … Thick Lizzie would have us believe that tax cuts would provide the loot … as likely as her assertion that barking dogs would deter drones from flying drugs into prisons … that calls for adult conversation far removed from unedifying Tory debate … Johnson was the worst PM in our history … Tories bought the Thatcher tribute act guff … quite soon we will have to acknowledge that Johnson only had the second worst cabinet of all time … Thick Lizzie does not take diplomacy and Foreign policy seriously … Braverman has defended law breaking … odd to put her in charge of law and order … as for absolute absurdity can anything match putting Rees Mogg in charge of “levelling up” ? … failed Ian Duncan Snot … failed John Deadwood … failed David Frost … a political culture gone badly wrong … a cabinet of misfits, failures, ideologues, third raters … we used to look to Britain as a role model … with respect and admiration …. not now … post truth virus that gave us Brexit and Johnson has got worse … 60% of voters think Johnson got Brexit wrong … can of worms … a growing buyer’s remorse towards Brexit … Britain is no longer a pro Brexit country … mounting disillusion towards Brexit … Labour’s ultra-cautious stance on EU is not working … Labour’s manifest weakness on the subject may cost it dear … the public mood has shifted…  Johnson’s absurd narrative … betrayal of greatness … potential ministers refused to serve under him … subservient mediocrities, willing to accept humiliation after humiliation … could continue no longer … historians across the political spectrum will judge Johnson’s premiership to have been a calamity … the worst PM in UK’s history … least suited for office … persistent casual frivolity … David Cameron runs him  close … UK at its most dysfunctional and economically weak since 1945 … Johnson’s conduct is mind boggling … Johnson had no idea how the Customs Union worked … weird courtier David Frost … calamitous negotiations … no evidence that he had thought through the implications … companies creak under the burden of extra red tape … queues at Dover are insanely long … all was wacky under Johnson … officials at No 10 doubt if Johnson read the deal negotiated by the hopeless Frost … historic economy wrecking deal … was almost certainly not scrutinised by Johnson … frivolity combined with instinctive mendacity … adolescent thought process that killed many in lockdown … not bothering to attend vital COBR meetings … lying …. honours to friends, party donors and powerful editors … promising much … not bothering to deliver … as UK economy teeters he enjoys two holidays and parties at Chequers …there is no evidence that Johnson had any sense of what was required to revive a divided, battered country … his successor might prove to be even worse …  Johnson may have ripped apart the soul and credibility of the Tory Party … willingness not to be too picky about accepting money has been great for tory funding … octogenarian multi millionaire is the BBC’s go to person when awkward accusations are made … if anything Maitlis played down Tory bias at the BBC … Sir Harry Evans was not impressed when he met Paul Dacre … Evans fearlessly took on governments and big business … Dacre is the surly baron of Middle England …  one last Johnson scandal … resignation honours list … a disgraced PM being able to fill the House of Lords with cronies is drawing widespread outrage … Johnson’s inability to tell the truth … so many lies you could not fit them into one edition of a newspaper … Johnson was known to be a liar before he became PM … the damage he has done is immense … Johnson has proved that lying wins elections and large majorities … there is no need to cover fields with solar panels; just stick them on every roof … the dimmest, meanest, most gullible and blindly tribalistic 0.3% of the population choose the PM … most economists agree that imposing tax cuts as the country heads to economic meltdown would be at best ineffectual and at worst suicidal …It is fitting that one of Johnson’s final acts as PM was to appoint his own Deputy Chief of Staff to the committee on standards … co-owner of consultancy that specialises in expensive advice to Gulf despots … weak procedures … conflicts of interest … ‘baleful consequences of family breakdown’  … thank Heaven the Daily Mail has not spent the past year hysterically supporting a politician who walked out on his first wife .. Divorced his second wife … fathered an unknown number of children … how did rationing succeed in WW2? … mostly fair … hence broad support … UK inexplicably ignoring electricity generators’ windfalls … passing most of the costs to the consumer … Keir Starmer is talking out of his hat … at least he has a plan … Thick Lizzie ignored the implosion of the NHS and social care under 12 years of Tory government … two pandemic excdrcises woefully concluded that we were woefully ill prepared … leadership candidates played to the crowds … scientists, economists and epidemiologists agonised … the biggest mistake was leaving lockdown so late … more Covid deaths occurred … South Africa banned sale of alcohol during lockdowns … greatly reduced hospital admissions (many are alcohol related) … with such a high alcohol dependency in Westminster this was never a viable option in UK … we did not have the palliative care teams, PPE protection and testing  capacity to cope … if public services are poorly resourced the harm is greatly magnified … increase in deaths 21% … Covid 19 deaths this summer double seen last summer … Covid boosted private hospital chains while the NHS was in crisis … a PM equally blonde, boosterish and untethered to reality … Times acting as mouthpiece for one of the most repugnant and incompetent Home Secretaries in recent history … ‘like reading the Express’ … can get away with printing any old rubbish … Guided by a right wing Brexiter with outdated economic views Thick Lizzie is setting the UK on a disastrous course … relentless demand for tax cuts … has made a rod for her own back … she believes her own flawed rhetoric and advice from right wing pro Brexit economists … the stakes could not be higher .. Thick Lizzie could wreck the economy and do egregious damage to social fabric … Tories want to reduce debt but have increased it from 74% of GDP in 2010 to 103% in 2021 … Trussonomics are expected to blow a £60B hole in the Budget … debt to GDP ratio on an inexorable upward trend … exporters already face strong post Brexit headwinds … 12 years of inconsistent and poorly framed leadership … Minford’s economic advocacy is not appropriate to 21st century Britain … None of Thatcher’s ideas have any significance today … Thick Lizzie needs to listen to other economists … hollowing out of the Tory Party … defenestration of its brightest MPs … leaves a talent pool so shallow it is no surprise we have a duck in Downing St … some kind of Thatcher tribute act … Thick Lizzie’s cabinet cannot match the intellect, critical thinking and political skills in Thatcher’s cabinet … there has never been a period when the challenges we face and the quality of people facing them have been so vast … Johnson’s shameful and wasteful time in office … nothing even remotely resembling strategy …  ‘Levelling Up in the Bullshit slogans category is a gold medal winner … Thick Lizzie plays to the crowd rather than take her responsibilities seriously … xenophobic paranoid gammons picked our PM … a Little Englander who plays to the crowd … they do not have the sense to see themselves as others see them … the reality of Britain’s position will come as a shock to her … The US Foreign Service is not stupid … the President takes a deep interest in Ireland … the people of Northern Ireland and business do not want this .. it is because of the zealots and swivel eyed loons in her party … Thick Lizzie wants a fight with the EU … patently cynical attempt to destroy the NI protocol and to break International Law … Consequences will be dire … legal and reputational damage to Britain is huge and getting worse … obeying the law and honouring commitments matter … pity the poor Brexiter … the brilliant Brexit they imagined has been stymied …May’s deal delivered everything Brexiters said they wanted so they rejected it … they are no more coherent this time than they were before … economist in name only Patrick Minford …such nonsense would be funny if those people were not so close to power and if the people in power did not seem to desperate to appease these political toddlers …  what they want is impossible …  beyond all reason and beyond all sanity … in the hope it will deliver the Brexit Nirvana … there is little hope the new crew will steer any better than the last …  “Can Thick Lizzie fix Britain (Comment: of course; just as soon as Johnson builds his proposed bridge to Mars) … Trust must eschew pantomime radicalism if she is to succeed … an enormous job in front of her  … Britain’s predicament is worse than many other places … 1,000 patients a day wait more than 12 hours in accident and emergency departments … sceptics have many reasons to be dubious …  made promises she cannot keep to a tiny electorate … she maintains the fiction that Brexit is unallowyed good … Jacob Rees Mogg should be put in a museum not in charge of anything … Boris Johnson … shambolic and unlamented … cartoonish mixture of tax cuts, deregulation and Brussels bashing … commitments would keep the Brexit head bangers happy but would do little to help business … she will be remembered as a reactionary, not a radical … in 2025 or earlier she will face a deeply dissatisfied public in a general election … Suella Braverman will make Priti Patel look like a bleeding heart liberal … judges were horrified …  NHS woes will be a major battleground in the next election … Truss is the fourth roll of the dice for a party squinting hard … the country may be looking for something else entirely … a repeat is about to unfold … expensive promises … economy has been bludgeoned … alarming for investors …

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Not my Brexit

Cowards of the Country

I try everyday to engage members of the population in a dialogue about Brexit, what I call Brexorcism. Today’s intervention was not a dialogue but I thought it both funny and incredibly sad at the same time.

I had stopped at a cafe en route home from Maidstone on my bicycle, which has signage as a ‘conversation starter’ for people who wish to discuss Brexit and the European Union with me. In over 90% of cases, this is a hugely positive strategy, opening up the conversation anew in what was a hugely Brexity area of the country. In the last three months, I have not had one instance of pushback on Brexit. Buyer’s remorse has set in, in a very big way. Most people do not however believe there is a way back from our unique act of self-harm.

Sitting outside the cafe with my tea, I had noticed that two builders had observed my bicycle and the signage out of my peripheral vision. I decided to let them be, as it is always better to let my subjects approach me than the other way round.

Of course, I listened into their conversation whilst drinking my tea. Over the course of 15 minutes, one builder aimed to persuade the other that he should now retire and enjoy life. This was based on a longer discussion that business had collapsed in the last 6 months and lots of complaints about the escalating cost of building materials (this, of course, is a direct effect of Brexit and has been happening steadily over the last year or so). I packed my things up and cycled down the road. A few minutes later, they passed me in their truck and one of them shouted “wanker” out of the window. Clearly angered by the decline of their businesses due to Brexit, they chose to strike out at someone who could have helped their situation rather than the Government. This ‘blame game’ is typical of the few remaining Brexiteers. I repeat that, in the last three months of cycling around Kent with such things on my back or on my bicycle, I have not experienced a single piece of pushback from the public, quite the opposite in fact. I have had to work quite hard to explain that Brexit can be reversed, albeit with some difficulty.

Quite clearly, the will of the people has changed on Brexit, based on literally hundreds of miles travelled and conversations had. What has NOT changed is the belief that Brexit can somehow be undone. This is why I wrote the manual on Brexorcism and the Brexit satire book, to reach outside the bubble. We will not succeed at reversing Brexit without working on the masses. Placing hope in demographic change is simply laziness. Check the books out on ETSY. They make excellent Christmas gifts for tired Remainers or Brexiteers in regret.

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Don Adamson

Reflections on The Queen

This from Don Adamson.

The Queen is dead. God Save the King. My first thought on hearing the news was about Prime Ministers. Churchill, love him or hate him punched a hole in history. Eden is remembered for a grave error after years of respectable public service. He should have listened to the diplomats. MacMillan dragged the Tory Party kicking and screaming in the 20th century. Pity the effect was temporary. Douglas-Home was unlucky with his timing. He presided over an exhausted and accident prone government. You could say the same about Brown. Wilson, Heath, Callaghan and Major could have achieved more but for the lunatics around them who p****d in the soup. Blair tried to drag the Labour party kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Pity the effect was temporary. Cameron May, Johnson and Truss were/are worse than useless. These Tories do not learn from their experiences.

We now have Charles III. He experienced the longest apprenticeship in history and his best years are behind him. I wish him well but I cannot help feeling that if it is necessary for the monarch to submit meekly to Tory lies then the Monarchy has outlived its usefulness.

HMQ visited NZ in 1977 for the Silver Jubilee. NZ is a realm so Government House took the lead. I was tasked to approach the NZ Post Office to arrange for mail to be collected and delivered to the Royal Party. I went over there and found this old fossil with a pile of documents on his desk. He pointed at the pile and insisted the information was all there. He would have it all sorted in time for the Royal Visit. I reported this through the proper channels. It was getting rather close to the visit when I got a telegram from London saying that they really needed that schedule of postal delivery and collections. I returned to the NZ Post Office and found the same swivel eyed loon staring at the same pile of papers.

I suggested that we needed to match the visit itinerary with daily times when the Post Office closed their mail bags and sent the bags on their way. It was fussy, detailed work and easy to make a mistake. It was certainly not rocket science. All you needed to do was concentrate and check your findings carefully. According to the itinerary HMQ would be in a certain town on a certain date. Ask the Post Office to collect and deliver mail in accordance with existing schedules. It took about an hour. I made two copies of the draft, left one copy with NZPO and took the other back to my office to incorporate into a telegram. A few days later we got a reply along the lines of thanks chaps, this is what we need but may we suggest one, repeat one, very minor repeat minor amendment. I phoned the swivel eyed loon in the NZPO who went ballistic: how dare I criticise the splendid work he did. I called him down and he agreed to the one, repeat one, very minor adjustment. I later learned that the swivel eyed loon was decorated for his efforts. That is right. Somebody else got the medal for the work I did. I might have been angry if I had not been laughing so much. Besides: one hour of uncomplicated work hardly merits a medal. Such things happen. The captain of a destroyer was awarded a medal for his heroism at Dunkirk. Later investigation revealed that the captain had been on leave that week. The medal should have gone to the first mate. You expect incompetence from the army and air force but higher standards are expected of nautical types. 

There were two security incidents. Cops had to intervene to rescue somebody saying nasty things about HMQ. Badmouthing the Brits was one thing but being nasty to the Queen was another. While HMQ was in Wellington we got a package for her from London. I never knew why that went through British channels rather than NZ channels. The office car took me over to Government House. There is a two tier police system in NZ. You have traffic cops who deal with vehicular crime and regular cops who deal with anything else. There were 12 traffic cops at the gates of Government House and 6 regular cops. Behind them there were three soldiers from the NZ SAS. The Kiwi SAS differs from other SAS units in that they wear the maroon beret of the airborne forces not the sand coloured beret favoured by other SAS regiments. The kiwis did wear the standard winged dagger cap badge worn by all SAS units. What I found interesting was that two corporals carried automatic rifles while the one officer wore a sword and belt. Perhaps this was to kill the bad guys quietly so as not to upset the Queen. I delivered the package to the Queen’s Private Secretary who suggested I leave by the back gate. There was no security at all on the back gate 

2001 was an important centenary for the Australians. They wanted to celebrate it style. They asked that we should stop the traffic for half an hour one afternoon mid week so some Australian dignitary could lay a wreath at the Cenotaph. Some idiot of an MP had to kick up a stink about that. I felt there were two relevant points. 1. Laying wreaths at the Cenotaph meant as much to us as it did to Australians. 2. If this was only a once in a century event then it seemed churlish to disoblige the Australians. 

The Australian army sent a contingent of troops to stand guard over the Royal Palaces. I passed them once or twice. They were alert and looking for trouble. I could almost feel sorry for anybody who meddled with the Queen while these guys were on sentry duty. 

Nothing is as it seems in Buckingham Palace. I remember being summoned to a conference at the billiard room in Buckingham Palace. I naively wondered if I might squeeze in a game if I asked nicely. It was not to be. They had moved out the billiard table and replaced it with a conference table; Chiz!

I always enjoyed the Christmas parties at Buckingham Palace. How I wish my mother had lived to read that sentence. They were held in the Palace Mews. Traditionally the “Mews” is the accommodation for horses and horse drawn vehicles. I assumed the party would be a barn dance or a hay ride; no such luck. It was just an ordinary room where people drank wind and nibbled canapés. In the event HMQ died of natural causes and at a great age. This indicates that the officers responsible for her safety were top of the range. 

We went to Welham Green for the weekend. We wanted to see Rohan and I would take the day off to join in the anti Brexit protest in London. The protest was cancelled; which was a scunner. The good news was that I got to see more of Rohan. I may need to go south again in a few weeks when they decide to hold the delayed protest. Have you noticed that Monarch’s only die when there is a Tory government in office? What is the reason for that?