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Monthly Archives: October 2020

GOVErnment

Michael Gove is a slippery customer. Here is one of his latest lies about progress, or lack of it, in GOVErnment negotiations with the EU for a trade deal:

“The terms on which Canada and the EU waive tariffs on each other’s goods is all we seek. That’s what the EU said it would offer us but at the eleventh hour it seems the bloc won’t take yes for an answer.”

No, Michael you have have forgotten important details!

In the Political Declaration accompanying the Withdrawal Agreement, the PM agreed that a level playing field should form part of any new trade agreement. At that point, the EU were willing to offer a Canada style agreement. After the 2019 General Election, Johnson went back on his undertaking. It was then, as a direct reaction to that broken promise, that the offer of a Canada style agreement was withdrawn.

This did not come out of the blue at the 11th hour, as Gove dishonestly suggests.

Theresa May acts as a lie detector for GOVErnment

Why is a level playing field important? Because it guarantees fair competition between companies, free from distortion created by national barriers and unfair advantages.  This  is shown clearly in the key issue of disagreement in the  negotiations – state subsidies to industry, where propping up failing firms or attracting foreign investment is at stake. In the latter case, there is great temptation for governments to bribe international companies to establish themselves in their countries, particularly where access to a market of big as the EU is involved. That is why such bribes are forbidden under EU law, except for regional development in poorer areas, under common rules.

The UK position is to refuse to abide by the same rules as the EU, arguing that this is a breach of sovereignty. But in reality we are demanding the freedom to offer unlimited investment subsidies, a huge  advantage over the EU members which we did not  possess before we left.  Obviously, the 27 EU states would be out of their mind to allow this !

The UK side often complains that the EU’s level playing field is stricter than the terms in the EU/Canada Agreement. There is some truth in this. It is justified because the UK is a much larger industrial power than Canada and, even more importantly, it is on the EU’s doorstep. Where foreign investment is involved, for example, an Indian company is unlikely to invest in Canada in order to take advantage of free trade under the EU/Canada agreement. The situation is very different with an EU/UK deal, as our success in attracting foreign investment as a result of  EU membership proved over the last 40 years.

A Canada deal cannot be “cut and pasted” over to Britain. The levels of trade are different. Our proximity to Europe, with intention to undermine standards, means that the comparison is simply invalid.

Unless our country reverts to negotiating honestly and reasonably  with our neighbours, we can expect little more than No Deal, with all the misery which it will bring.

Say NO to GOVErnment!

TAKE ACTION

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Michael Gove – More slippery than Teflon

Say No to politicians who break the law

Borassic Park

Medway council made a complete cock up when they commissioned an art installation by Glastonbury artist Cold War Steve, but one which I have enjoyed immensely. It seems that the Tory controlled Council thought that it would be a nice idea to cheer their residents up by commissioning an art installation in Medway Country Park, a place for families to walk and cycle, freed from the troubles of the day. Imagine their surprise when they realised that Cold War Steve does surrealistic and satirical art on Brexit? Within hours complaints started to arrive. I heard that the Councillors then started fighting about “who dunnit”.

Brexit Blind Date – Click image to find Cold War Steve’s work

I was alerted about the installation by someone last Sunday. On Tuesday I had a “Ron Weasley moment” from Harry Potter, having a sudden and compelling need to go down to the installation. I told my wife and we set off. We almost immediately came upon one of the artworks which had been ripped off the stand and thrown into the River Medway. A crowd had assembled around the stand. I decided to shimmy down the bank, realising that I might find it hard to get back up, went out onto the mud and retrieved “Tim Wetherspoon”. I have dubbed Medway Country Park as “Borassic Park” as a result of Steve’s marvellous work.

Gammon in aspic

I called the Council to retrieve the artwork in case of theft and then called the media. The result was a piece in the Kent Messenger. The comments are hilarious and well worth reading.

An incensed caller to the newsroom said his granddaughter had been left shaken by the image of “a near naked Boris Johnson next to a mass grave”. He said: “What the hell are they playing at having such ‘art’ on display?

Truly offensive – Brexit – Find Cold War Steve’s work by clicking the image
Some of my fellow residents seem to think that I crave publicity and actually organised the attack. How very sad

I could not resist a little careful augmentation of a couple of the exhibits with some of The EU Flag Mafia’s Britastrophe Stickers whilst I was down there … placing the stickers carefully for pictures and then removing from the artworks.

Priti Patel welcomes migrants on the Essex coast
Matt Hancock oversees herd immunity for Old Age Brexiteers at the White Cliffs of Dover

We have asked Cold War Steve if he would like to work with us on a project at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury soon. Details to follow.

Fix my bike Dom

Read up on why Brexit can be suspended at Suspended Animation. Read up on why Rejoining may be a unicorn in the long term at Fool Britannia. Check out the implications of Brexit for Kent and Medway at Not In My Back Yard.

Write to your MP to demand that Brexit be suspended in the wake of Corona.

Snitch on MPs for voting to break international law.

If you like this article, please support us with a regular donation via GoFundMe or Patreon. Give us a tip via Paypal. We need support to continue doing this. It takes considerable time. Thank you in advance.

Read our book on Brexorcism

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Gammon Fest
Brexit Fiesta

Halt Brexit

On Monday 5th October, the House of Commons are due to debate the petition to Halt Brexit for a Public Inquiry. It would be very useful if you would write to your MP on the subject. Here are some sample letters to use. To write to your MP, please go to Write to Them.

Dear xxx,

I write to ask you to support the motion to Halt Brexit for a Public Enquiry on Monday 5th October. It must have become obvious to you that Corona crisis + Brexit disaster = a Britastrophe. If you are not convinced, I’d ask you to read the report by LSE, summarised at http://brexitrage.com/brexonomics

Of course, it’s not all about economics. We seem to be headed towards no deal Brexit again, having been deemed illegal by the House of Commons in the last Parliament. It is widely predicted that Brexit will lead to extremely bad social outcomes in the winter of 2021, alongside flu, flooding and the 2nd COVID wave. with medicine and food shortages. Are the deaths of children and vulnerable people to be your epitaph as an MP?

It is time to show that you are able to take principled decisions when the good of the nation is at stake. You will be aware that the Supreme Court stated that Brexit would have been deemed illegal had the referendum been binding, but deferred the judgement because of the non-binding nature of the Brexit vote. We also know that the desire to leave the European Union has now declined to just 35% versus 57% wishing to remain.  We are at present in a situation where international law may be breached if we pursue the provisions of the Internal Market Act. I’d hazard a guess that the only trade deals we’ll be pursuing will be with North Korea and Venezuela in such circumstances.

I await your answer.

Yours sincerely

YOUR NAME

Dear xxx

I see that petitions about Brexit are to be debated in Parliament on 5 October. One of them is “Halt Brexit for a Public Enquiry” because the Electoral Commission decided that illegal overspending occurred during the Referendum campaign.  Another is about extending the transition period.

At the time of the Brexit referendum, nobody could have foreseen Covid.  I have always been a Remainer but I do appreciate that many who voted for Brexit were making the best decision that they could with the knowledge they had at the time.  Many, of course, are now changing their minds and I appreciate that it takes a lot of courage for people to say that they think the decision to leave the EU was wrong.  I hate all the personal attacks and insults and division in the country.

Times have changed tremendously since the Brexit vote.  As you will be well aware, the number of Covid-19 cases is rising nationally.  We should be concentrating on defeating Covid and rebuilding Britain..  Brexit on top of Covid will do untold damage that will last for generations.

I believe that you are a hard-working and honest MP. Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham was a big trigger for those disobeying the Government rules now.  I really don’t like the current dishonesty in Government, and am shocked by the idea of breaking international law. At school years ago we were taught that the use of “Conservative” in the party came from the idea of “conserving what is good.”  But that is not what’s happening at the moment – many of the elements I have always loved about Britain – the sense of fairness, the honesty, the belief in the rule of law, even the quality of our food, the feeling of “safety”, the availability of medicines – are being jettisoned because of the 2016 vote and determination to stick to the result no matter what the damage to the country.

I hope that debating these petitions will help the Government to reconsider its policy and change its approach.

Very best wishes

YOUR NAME

Dear xxx

Petitions about Brexit are, I understand, to be debated in Parliament on 5 October. One covers extending the Transition period. The other is “Halt Brexit for a Public Enquiry” because the Electoral Commission decided that illegal overspending occurred during the Referendum campaign. 

I am aware that H.M. Government were fully aware of the implications of the Withdrawal Agreement via DExEU and that it was fully aware of preparations that needed to be made, and would have a plan to achieve them all in time. 

It has become clear that this is not the case. The arrangements (Deal or No Deal) would have needed to be settled at least, say, 6 months at least before the implementation date, and yet we now have only 3 months to go, the possibility of a Deal sabotaged by the Internal Market Bill, and no evident plan that has any measure of bilateral agreement. The evidence for 31st December 2020 being an appropriate date was thin from the beginning. The evidence that it is now the appropriate date does not exist. 

Importantly, the proposal now from the Tory Party is unambiguously a proposal for No Deal, because the EU will make no treaties with an organisation that breaks the agreements already made.  So we therefore need to discard the suggestion that the “Will of the People” is being carried out, since “No Deal” was never proposed in the referendum. It would be sensible however to investigate the process by which votes were obtained in that referendum, because that will be helpful in any decision to set that result aside and investigate what is truly wanted or wise in 2020 / 2021

I hope that debating these petitions will help the Government to reconsider these points and change its approach.

With  best wishes

YOUR NAME

I write to ask you to support the motion to Halt Brexit for a Public Enquiry on Monday 5th October. It must have become obvious to you that Corona crisis + Brexit disaster = a Britastrophe.

A Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) envisaged by Theresa May’s government would have provided 2 years for an orderly transition of business, and government long-term economic analyses are based on this. Since then we have approached a No-Deal precipice three times with another fast approaching, and businesses have not had the time to prepare. The current government, influenced by the coronavirus crisis, has given itself carte blanche to spend whatever it wants on anything at all and is flailing, indecisively wasting huge quantities of money on hypothetical eventualities. There is still no certainty about what comes next and this is going to cause permanent heavy damages to British businesses, far worse than the original long-term analysis predicted.

Please stand up for your country and our children’s futures and support the motion to Halt Brexit for a Public Enquiry.

With  best wishes

YOUR NAME

Dear xxx, 

I have adopted a ‘wait and see approach’ about the Internal Markets Bill, despite my concerns. With the Bill now having passed through the House of Commons, those concerns were clearly justified.

Surely Conservative backbenchers should have learned by now that reassurances or undertakings from Johnson are worthless?  Haven’t the last nine months proved beyond doubt that Johnson agreed the Withdrawal Bill and the Political Declaration merely to persuade critics in his own and other parties to agree to a general election? Having got his majority, he swiftly reneged on the fundamental issue for the EU, the level playing field. Then he selected Mr Frost, a known enemy of the EU and non-believer in regulatory alignment, to ensure a drawn-out unproductive negotiation. Now he is playing the same trick. Unless you and others support the petitions due to be discussed next week in the Commons, he will surely proceed to No Deal and use the illegal measures in the Bill, once it has become law.

Bogus accusations of bad faith by the EU will be the excuse.  This process has already begun. I have a seen a reply from another MP. This  refers to a nebulous EU threat to block the sale of  British agricultural products within the EU. This, it is claimed, ‘would prevent the transfer of animal products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland under the Northern Ireland Protocol.’ No information is given as to who made this threat, whether it has formal status and the forum in which it was made. This may be the party line, but without such details, one may doubt whether it was ever made, given the Government’s record of dishonest propaganda. There is also a list of  scenarios in which the Bill’s illegal provisions would be used. These assume bad faith or unreasonable actions by the EU in the future , and are highly  provocative. As the record clearly shows , it is the British side, not the EU, which has acted in bad faith throughout the negotiations and continues to do so, notably  by the mere act of passing an illegal Bill through Parliament.” 

In this matter, as in much else, one can seen the hand of Dominic Cummings behind the scenes. This over-powerful adviser has no respect for our Institutions, Parliament, the Constitution or the law itself. He has built a power base at the heart of Government which is already beyond accountability.  His activities are not confined to ‘getting Brexit done’.  Our planning system, our local democracy and the BBC are under threat. There is a stench of corruption and cronyism emanating from No 10. Irrespective of the outcome of Brexit, it is time for Conservative MPs to act as they did following the 2017 general election. Then they told the Prime Minister that unless she dispensed with her advisors, Nicholas Timothy and Fiona Hill, she would face a leadership challenge. In the name of Britain’s democracy the same needs to be done now in the case of Dominic Cummings and his tribe of aides. If Johnson is unable to do without him, it is time for him to be replaced.

Apologies for the length of this e-mail and all best wishes as ever

YOUR NAME

LETTERS WORK – See this reply – this MP is clearly conflicted but can say no more publicly.

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Banana Republic

Written by a former Conservative Councillor from Tunbridge Wells.

“I didn’t leave the party. The party left me”

In last week’s article on negotiations with the EU we showed that it was  Johnson’s regime which had acted in bad faith up to now.  One aspect of the level playing field, state aid, needs to be looked at further. Here, negotiator Frost enlarges on his usual mantra about Britain being an independent country by insisting that it is therefore entitled to spend its own money as it wishes. But there are limits to this seemingly reasonable argument.

As individuals, we all have the  right to spend our  money as we wish. However, if we do so in a way that gives us unfair advantages over our neighbours and damages them, we should not expect favours from them in return and may face retaliation. 

In the case of state aid, Frost is actually demanding a more favourable position for Britain than we had as an EU member. 

This is not reasonable.

It does not represent the spirit of Britain in terms of fair play. It is more like Trump’s spoilt child approach.

Click on the image to view last week’s post

As a member of the EU, we had freedom from tariffs and quotas and had access to the single market. In kind we were expected to comply with EU state aid rules. These ban state aid to attract investment (except in development areas). Now we are demanding these advantages plus the right to offer state aid without limit. This is a benefit which even member states are not allowed to grant to their firms. 

It is hardly surprising that this unreasonable demand is a sticking-point for the  EU.

Report MP’s for breaking international law using the letters and contact links at Stop Boris’ Junta.

Particularly, since the UK was the top recipient in the EU of overseas investment until very recently. This is no longer so, thanks to Brexit. It could be retrieved if negotiations were not blocked by the inept negotiation skills and the hubris of Frost and the rest of Johnson’s regime.

Instead, however, the Government proceeds with the Internal Market Bill. This contains clauses contrary to the EU Withdrawal Agreement, Johnson’s General Election promises on Brexit. The bill also breaks international law.

Tory MPs have deflected the issue by referring to a vague EU threat to block the sale of  British agricultural products within the EU. They claim:

“This would prevent the transfer of animal products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland under the Northern Ireland Protocol.”

However, no information has been given as to who made this threat, whether it has formal status and the forum in which it was made. Without such details, it is doubtful if this threat was ever made at all, given this government’s record of lies.

The Johnson regime also lists scenarios in which the Bill’s illegal provisions would be used. These assume bad faith or unreasonable actions by the EU, and are highly provocative and self-defeating. This game of chicken has provoked the expected reaction from any organisation who is threatened by criminals. In other words, the initiation of legal action against the UK for breaking international law.

It is Britain, not the EU, which has acted in bad faith. We continue to do so, notably by the mere act of passing an illegal Bill through Parliament. 

Write to your MP. Ask them to suspend Brexit on Monday 5th October via Halt Brexit.

Adrian Ekins-Daukes plans to lead Re-Boot Britain in order to boot Tories out of Local Government in the 2021 elections.

Please support our ongoing journalism and other activism

In case of doubt, Boris Johnson’s statement about bananas was a big fat LIE.

Futurama – Shaping Britain’s future via the arts

We have exclusive use of The Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury in November on Tuesday November 17th from 6.30-8.30 pm. Futurama – Re-Boot Britain is a multi-media arts event on the future of Britain and the World for our children. “Futurama” covers a range of future based issues for our children:

  • Climate Change, XR and environment
  • Brexit, Populism and Pop Art
  • BLM, racism and xenophobia
  • Social change, the future of work and living with COVID

All these will be expressed through different artforms. This extraordinary event will be live streamed and captured on film, so it will live beyond the event itself via You Tube etc. To be in the audience, get your free ticket here. To present your work at Futurama read on.

Themes

Media

Art meets the melting iceberg of politics

To pitch your idea please e-mail me at peter@academy-of-rock.co.uk. We expect good media coverage for this event on TV / Radio and in the newspapers / social media. The outputs will last for all time, so your work will gain global coverage.

We will stage an art exhibition in the foyer. We plan the use of digital art / photography exhibition as part of the backdrop to the event in the theatre.

The Gulbenkian Theatre

Constraints

There is a limit of seven people to be on stage at any one time, five backstage. We will manage this via a comprehensive risk assessment.

We can have an audience of up to 100 people, socially distanced in the Gulbenkian Theatre. This includes performers and any video crew.

I require a professional pitch from people wishing to stage a performance so that I may include in our COVID risk assessment. This will include a thumbnail sketch of what you intend to do, how many people will be involved, how much time is needed and any special considerations you will need to execute your plan (equipment and so on).

Futurama – Re-Boot Britain comes early to Kent.

Don’t miss it …

Inspiration for your own performances follow:

The Festival Goers – Cold War Steve
Music and Extinction
Black Lives Matter and Musical Expression

“If there ain’t no justice then there ain’t no peace” Prince