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Monthly Archives: November 2020

SuspEND Brexit

Dither and Delay

On September 22, Boris Johnson was advised to go into lockdown. Six weeks later we are going into lockdown … but not until after we have infected more people via Halloween and Guy Fawkes night. Since there is a cycle of several weeks between infection and illness,, most of the unnecessary deaths from COVID are already baked in. Johnson used dither and delay back in February whilst minting 50 p Brexit coins, bonging Big Ben etc. instead of listening to experts. This accounted for 30 000 unnecessary deaths. It is not fair to say that Johnson is doing a good job on COVID.

Dither and Delay means Deaths

Too little, too late
Too Little, Too Late again

As a cynic, you might suggest that the only reason Johnson dithered was to ensure that people were too busy / frightened / shocked etc. to notice whether he “Gets Brexit Done”. Cummings promised “Shock and Awe” in autumn and the current wave of fear is exactly their plan. We will have just 11 days, JUST 11 days to “Get Brexit Done” once we lift lockdown. Michael Gove has already admitted that lockdown might be extended past December 02. It is sheer madness and irresponsibility to combine Corona Crisis and Brexit Disaster for a Britastrophe at this point.

Contact “super spreaders” on Social Media (Twitter and Facebook etc) with messages about Suspending Brexit. Use the hashtag #SuspendBrexit. Sample tweet:

Here are some super spreaders to consider – make your own list : @campbellclaret @peston @kayburley @afneil @mrjamesob @AndrewMarr9 @bbcnews @itvnews @DavidGauke @theresa_may @Jeremy_Hunt @MichelBarnier @13sarahmurphy @RussInCheshire @AcademyOfRock @guardian @bbclaurak @SirPatStew @EdwardJDavey @Keir_Starmer

This is how The Daily Maul see the need to Suspend Brexit due to dither and delay:

Take Action – Click on the links

Write to your MP today and make the case for Suspending Brexit in the wake of Corona 2nd wave, dither and delay and just 11 days till Christmas to Get Brexit Done

Do the same by writing to the media on all sides

Support our “Red Wall” tour of the UK with the Bollocks to Brexit Mini Cooper

Find out why Suspending Brexit is still possible

Find out why Rejoining is a unicorn in the mid-long term

Read more of The Daily Maul, Sun and Excess

Suspend Brexit - end dither and delay
Suspend Brexit - end dither and delay
Suspend Brexit – end dither and delay
Find Mutant Algorithm at https://academy-of-rock.bandcamp.com/album/britastrophe-2
Life on Mars

Penny for the Guy

The Daily Maul

In these crazy times it becomes difficult to tell satire from real life, so here’s a little help to separate facts from fiction:

FACT : Priti Patel has banned protests of more than two people so that Johnson can “Get Brexit Done”, without having to have any visible resistance on the streets. We can still organise resistance. See 11 ways to SuspEND Brexit in a COVID safe way.

FICTION : Donald Trump has not been accepted by Martians. Applications outside the Solar System have also been rejected by Star Trek command.

FACT : The Daily Express has blamed Remainers for the Joe Biden victory. I never knew we had so much power.

FICTION : David Bowie does not live on Mars.

FACT : The Trump meltdown means that Boris Johnson has no “BATNA” in negotiation terms (BATNA = Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement). Just to follow the car showroom analogy, the EU showroom and US showrooms are not of equivalent value anyway, since 50% of our trade comes from our relationship with the EU. Walking out of the EU showroom to the Trump one is rather like leaving the Mercedes showroom for the Trabant one, in terms of cars.

FICTION : Nigel Farage has not infected anyone with COVID. He has however infected 17.4 million people with a pack of lies. Many people have now awakened to this fact and no longer want Brexit.

FACT : Boris Johnson has had to do a U Turn on COVID, due to Dither and Delay for 6 weeks. He was told by scientists to introduce a lockdown on 22 September. Instead he waited 6 weeks to do so until bonfire night. In doing so he has already placed tens of thousands of people on the Corona bonfire. This will likely mean that the lockdown will be extended. Basically:

A stitch in time saves nine

FICTION : There is no such thing as a COVIDIOT detector. However there are many vital signs : the assumption that every nurse and doctor in the world is in on the “scam” ; the suggestion that dead people are fabrications and so on.

FACT : Nigel Farage’s new Reform party is spreading a very dangerous disease : ignorance. It will kill more people. Nearly 40 Tory MP’s turned into anti-maskers yesterday when the lockdown vote was taken.

FACT : Mars cannot support intelligent life. It can however support Donald Trump. Donald did claim that Mars was in fact part of the Moon in 2019. More on Brexit and David Bowie at Rebel Rebel.

FICTION : Larry the Cat has not been touched by Donald Trump.

FACT : Nigel Farage has not managed to blow up Parliament. Please give a penny for the guy, as Nigel’s Reform party appears to be failing. In other news, Thanet and Swale MP’s Craig McKinlay and Gordon Henderson have just voted against lockdown. It is perhaps no coincidence that their constituencies have the highest incidence of COVID in Kent. They get our award for COVIDIOTS and are literally going to be responsible for further unnecessary deaths through their careless attitudes towards the people that voted for them. Write to them to express your concerns : Craig McKinlay ; Gordon Henderson.

Click the image to support our continuing work
Click the image to support our continuing work
SuspEND Brexit
Click to write to your MP and ask them to Suspend Brexit in the wake of Corona

With thanks to the image of Boris Johnson by Charlie Everett.

The Blame Game

The Blame Game

When cases began to rise at the start of the present COVID wave, Boris Johnson laid the blame on the general public i.e. us. He said that people had been too relaxed and freedom-loving to obey the rules and that if restrictions were needed it would be our fault. The blame game is utter nonsense. Yes, some people broke rules, notably Dominic Cummings, Robert Jenrick and the PM’s father. But Brits are generally very rule-abiding and complied with lockdown etc. more than other European countries. This isn’t surprising … one of our national traits is a love of queues. We join one even before we know what it’s for!  The likely reasons for the rise were the government’s easing from first lockdown which was:

  1. Too early – the science suggests cases would have halved if it had continued for 2 more weeks.
  2. Too much too soon and all at once so the cause of the rise was unclear.
  3. Telling people that going to pubs was their ‘patriotic duty’.
  4. The Government’s reluctance to ask people to wear masks until the end of July.
  5. The ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, encouraging going to restaurants. This did not create any long term impact on the economy, but kept people mixing.
  6. Announcing summer holidays were ‘on’.
  7. Telling people to return to the office and that those who didn’t would be more likely to lose their jobs.

The public did nothing wrong except follow government advice

The Blame Game
The Blame Game

The first new restrictions applied by Johnson were too feeble to stop cases from rising exponentially. These have led to general  lockdown.  Johnson and his cronies probably knew this would happen.  However, by blaming the public for the initial rise and telling us it would be our fault if it carried on, he had to maintain the credibility of his scapegoat for sufficient time, to avoid taking any responsibility himself.

History is now repeating  itself 

In March, Johnson’s failure to lock down 10 days earlier cost the deaths of twice as many people as would have otherwise occurred. Delay this time in putting effective measures in place will again result in the needless deaths of thousands of people.

Too little, too late
Too Little, Too Late again

Take Action

Write to your MP and demand that they oppose the toxic combination of Corona + Brexit

Write to the press with the same ambition

Changing Minds on Brexit

Changing Minds on Brexit

The aftermath of the Trump election shows us that we still have a long way to go in order to lead with truth, transparency and humility in a troubled world. In the UK, Boris Johnson is copying Trump’s design, by escalating his false promises, blame and lies to nuclear levels. “Operation Moonshot” has just failed to deliver. Christmas is almost certainly cancelled. Johnson continues to blame others for our Government’s continual “Cake and Eat it too” approach to Brexit negotiations. Changing Minds on Brexit on an industrial scale will be required if we are to return towards trust in politics and politicians. In this context I intend to serialise some chapters of my book “Let’s Talk About BREX..it“.

A successful Brexorcism takes skill, patience and time. Here is the preface to the book:

Why I wrote this book

I was in my late 50’s when Brexit began.  I am now over 60 and although Brexit is “in the microwave, gas mark four”, it is still far from done, some would say overdone.  Brexit will probably come undone in the coming year one way or another.  Speaking personally, Brexit will not affect me positively or negatively.  Outside my anti-Brexit life, I am an author, business consultant, speaker and knowledge worker who has always traded on a worldwide basis. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll be in a shallow grave by the time that any of the supposed Brexit benefits materialise.  Even 18th Century retro-Latin imperialist adventure capitalist Jacob Rees-Mogg said that we will get nothing back from Brexit for 50 years … I’m impatient in the age of Corona … not for myself, but for future generations.

Setting Brexit and Corona aside for a moment, we are merely responsible landlords of planet earth. If we do well in our lives, our aim should be to leave the planet in a better state that when we arrived.  If the nature of our life and work does not allow us to answer that call, we must at least be guided by the principle of “do no harm.”  We owe it to our children, their kids and the planet to do our best and stand up to those who would do harm in pursuit of narrower and more destructive goals.  Brexit is a narrow ambition that would continue England’s love affair with disaster capitalism, lower standards of environmental stewardship and increased carbon footprints from more global trading.  This is all happening at a time when the drive to solve world problems requires greater levels of collaborative leadership and co-dependency.  Complex world problems require joined up thinking instead of splendid isolation and “I’m alright Jack and Jill” behaviours.

This requires us to continue the conversation with leave voters and, of course, Remainers, some of whom now have terminal Brexit apathy.  These difficult conversations are made even more difficult when we currently must conduct them using socially distanced means.  This book equips you with strategies, skills and stories to help you have these difficult conversations.  A mind shift requires skill, patience and time.  Over thousands of hours of fieldwork, it becomes apparent that, sometimes you need several sittings with your chosen subject, client or victim.  The book provides a compendium of support with skill and patience.  It will also help you use your precious time to greater impact.

Grab a copy of Let’s Talk About Brex..it on Amazon – click the review

Human beings have achieved great things for the planet.  Sadly the human condition also includes a few human faults.  Greed, avarice, ego and so on.  We have witnessed it most recently in the fanatical stockpiling of toilet rolls amidst the Corona crisis. It means we think short term, sometimes selfishly and nostalgically. Crucially we don’t always realise that we are in this together with our neighbours and others we share this fragile earth with.  As far as I know, earthworms, hydrangeas and molluscs do not share the faults of the “human race.”  It is perhaps time to stop racing and trying to Trump each other, to consider what we can learn from the rest of the animal and plant kingdom.  After all, we are allegedly more intelligent than snails …  We must learn to be responsible custodians of planet earth.  Brexit threatens to isolate Britain in a world that desperately needs more collaboration and co-operation.  Worse still, Brexit takes Scotland, Northern Ireland and some parts of Wales and England down with it.  To what purpose?  I am still waiting for answers.

You may be asking yourself “Surely it is too late to stop Brexit?  A piece of paper was signed on 31 January 2020 so isn’t it all done now?”  I will work through the arguments as to why Brexit can be stopped later in this book.  However, some Remainers suffer from what psychologists call “Learned Helplessness”?  This is the condition where people believe that there is nothing they can do to alter the course of Brexit or that they should not interfere, due to faux notions of “democracy” or “the will of the people”.  In other words “we can’t do anything” and “we must not do anything”.  My own brother who voted to Remain is part of what the Rt Hon Ken Clarke calls the “indifferent majority” and has quoted “the will of the people”.  In truth he is fearful of the far right and it’s easier to comply rather than resist.  Whilst I completely understand his position and that of others like him, such people are an absolute danger to the resolution of such problems.  I am quite sure that the vast majority of the German people did not think that Mr Hitler would do anything awful in 1938.  Some simply looked away.  Simply stated, silence is assent. 

Taking first the issue of feeling there is nothing that can be done to change things, this is fundamentally untrue.  This book offers a wide palette of things we can do.  At the highest levels of thinking, quite simply, Brexit is a political process and not a legal one. All that is needed at the basic level would be an e-mail to cancel it, followed by a lot of grovelling in private, probably the fall of the prevailing Government or certainly the key players.   Eventually a lengthy public process would be created and some “ceremony” to allow us to rejoin the EU or simply not to leave.  However, this “christening ceremony” would almost certainly be followed by “terms and conditions”, based on the fact that our Brexit belligerence has been largely informed by decades of the UK “having its cake and eat it too” aka getting its own way on things like Shengen, the Euro etc.

On the question of “should we interfere?” this again is a simple matter to debunk. Democracy informed by gross lies on the NHS, immigration etc. targeted Facebook ads, overspending on election campaigns are not the high-water marks of democracy. In any case, some four years on, the demographics of Brexit have altered considerably with approximately 1.5 million leave voters having spun off this mortal coil and 1.7 million young people becoming eligible to vote, creating a significant shift on the “will of the people”.  As I write this update, it rather seems that these demographics are likely to be disproportionately affected by Boris Johnson’s Corona Cull of older voters.  In any case, “Generation Greta”, above all else, understand our connectedness and co-dependency.

The other question that should be troubling you some four years later is the one that asks the Buzzcocks’ Brexit question “What do I get?”.  Perhaps we don’t ask the question in a selfish way, but nonetheless it becomes relevant to ask what benefits are on offer to our fellow citizens if we are to endure some 50 years of pain to get there.  It is a question I’ve asked tirelessly during thousands of hours of street encounters and one I still cannot get any sensible answers on from the common man or woman.  The best I have had in recent times came from the man who wanted to leave the EU so that he could land a 5 lb bass from the Swale in Kent and the other man who was willing to throw all the benefits of EU membership away because he personally thought that garlic was used too much in the local cafes and restaurants.

Changing Minds on Brexit

Brexit is, at one level, a gross example of selfishness, greed and avarice by a few disaster capitalists.  These people have successfully persuaded the masses that Brexit will be good for them, although the mounting body of evidence suggests otherwise.  The Dunning Kruger effect and misplaced pride prevent some leave voters from admitting that Brexit will not deliver any of the supposed benefits we were mis-sold so slickly and compellingly.  This plays out daily via snappy catchphrases such as “Take Back Control”, “Brexit Means Brexit”, “Pop Brexit in the microwave”, “Let’s get Brexit done” etc.  Feelings overwhelm facts in the tsunami of data that arrives daily across our TV screens, computers and smartphones.  In the words of XTC “Senses Working Overtime”.

The information age is also in part responsible for the Brexit vote.  Aside from interference in the voting process by Cambridge Analytica and underground targeted Facebook ads, another effect is in play here.  We receive some 34 GB of data daily.  This more than the average person received in their entire life in 1800.  Quite naturally the response to “drowning in data” in some cases is to shut down from information overload altogether.  Nigel Farage understood this well, when he asked the nation to vote with their hearts and not their heads after we were numbed senseless by data.

I originally titled this book “The Brexit Monologues.”  Why a monologue I hear you say?  Surely a conversation is a dialogue?  Well some of the conversations I’ve had with some hardcore leave voters have been monologues.  In other words they simply wish to unload their “story” on me before there is any possibility of a dialogue.  I have had literally thousands of conversations with Brexiteers in cafés, bars and on the street. Listening skills do not usually begin until I have invested sufficient time and energy in understanding their viewpoints, however much I may disagree with them.  It is also essential to establish a platform of expertise and some basic trust if they are to listen to you in preference to their own trusted advisor, whether that is Nigel Farage or the bloke in the pub.  Why exactly should they wish to listen to me anyway?  Many of them simply want to download their concerns, issues and fantasies about Brexit and their feelings of being left behind.  In listening to these people, I have found that these monologues are actually quite revealing.  At the same time, some level of change can occur by simply allowing these people to vent their feelings of rage, disappointment, and regret about their lives.  Occasionally and usually after a degree of patient listening, it is possible to separate their feelings from the causes of these feelings.  In other words to separate their regrets from the fact that the EU is not the root cause of their regrets.  Once we achieve this, we have the possibility for what I term a “Brexorcism”, in other words a shift in their beliefs about the world and about Brexit in particular.

Brexorcism
Click the image to find the book

Changing Minds on Brexit provides strategies, skills and stories to help you change minds, whilst helping you to look after yourselves in the process.  I use the word Brexorcism not because I’m expecting you to throw holy water at your subjects!  Nor do I expect you to have to deal with people whose heads and viewpoints rotate 360 degrees.  We are generally dealing with quasi-religious beliefs or even identity level change, where Brexit is intimately linked with people’s sense of self, Queen, country and flag.  When we engage with a leave voter, we are sometimes challenging people at the level of who they are or the very why of their being.  This requires skill, time, patience and flexibility on our part. 

The book also helps with healing the divides that Brexit has set up on our DIsUnited Kingdom, whether family, friend or community based.

This book is not just about Brexit ghostbusting.  Where Brexit leads, Trump, Erdogan and others follow.  Just as sure as ladies’ hemlines rise and fall for no particular reason with the whims of fashion every year, populism and the rise of the far right in difficult times are also fashion statements that others follow.  So, you will find this book of immense value if you are trying to fight populism anywhere in the world.  

On New Year’s Day 2017 I coined the catchphrase “Break Brexit Before Brexit Breaks Britain” in the shower.  I note this has been adopted and adapted quite widely.  I recently realised that it needed updating. On New Year’s Day 2019 I came up with a new mantra which remains relevant:

“We seek a Better Britain in a Better Europe for a Better World.”

We are all in this together and it is about time we woke up to the fact.  We can no longer live in unsplendid isolation in the 4th industrial age.  Yes, we need to reform our politics and the very notions of capitalism if we are to survive.  But turning our backs on problems and opportunities that we face as a global village is not a sensible response.

I hope this gives some clues as to why you might want to read the book … read on …

Take Action

Write to your MP and demand that they oppose the toxic combination of Corona + Brexit

Write to the press with the same ambition

The game has changed

The game has changed. Here’s a quick piece of Brexit analysis on the day that the world turned in on Trump and Brexit populism.

Johnson’s Brexit strategy has relied on the ability to bully Europe. Johnson has used the bargaining chip that Britain will become a rogue state on the edge of Europe with an Anglo-American trade deal. The game has changed …

NO LONGER APPLIES

Joe Biden has a long memory regarding Johnson’s attacks on Obama, women and ethnic minorities. The game has changed and the so called special relationship …

NO LONGER APPLIES

Johnson had relied on breaching The Good Friday Agreement and breaking international law to “Get Brexit Done”. The game has changed …

NO LONGER APPLIES

https://twitter.com/The_ChrisShaw/status/1325146317287526400

The EU has tried to accommodate Britain in Brexit negotiations, so as to maintain a sense of decency in world politics. This, despite the fact that Britain has not made any good faith attempts to negotiate. The game has changed …

NO LONGER APPLIES

Trump favoured UK in terms of doing a trade deal, as a means of pivoting against the EU. Biden’s appointment means that the EU’s main focus will now turn to America, rather than a small country in economic and social ruin. The game has changed …

NO LONGER APPLIES

We can no longer expect Trump to be focused on the UK and Brexit. His next two months will be fully occupied in fighting legal actions, making himself look even more foolish and gradually being ostracised by his allies. I imagine he will spend a lot of time on the golf course. Perhaps a slot on “I’m a failed celebrity, get me out of here”. The game has changed …

NO LONGER APPLIES

https://twitter.com/RichardBoorman/status/1324305503510552576

In conclusion, the game has changed and …

BREXIT NO LONGER APPLIES

Take Action

Write to your MP and demand that they oppose the toxic combination of Corona + Brexit – sample letters below

Write to the press with the same ambition

Write to EU leaders and encourage them to hold firm on Brexit negotiations now that Johnson is alone

Please read Brexit Choices and Suspended Animation

Johnson – alone again naturally
Betrayed by Brexit Johnson
Johnson – all by himself
Dry your populist tears Johnson

Sample Letters to MP’s – TY Rachel Ashley and Catherine Reynolds

Dear xxx,

Given the Biden victory, would you now agree that a two year extension to the transition period is probably wise, to allow Britain to cope with the COVID crisis?

Yours sincerely

Dear xxx

I see your government has done another u-turn on free school meals in the holidays for hungry children. Surely this is getting embarrassing for MP’s such as yourself, who support the government one week only for the Executive to do a u-turn the following week (or so). This looks like a failure of leadership to me.

I assume this was announced yesterday because most of the world of the world was watching Joe Biden defeat Donald Trump in the USA Presidential election. However President elect Biden’s stance on Brexit is well-known. He thinks the UK is following a foolish and divisive line which has the potential to severely damage Anglo-Irish relations and undermine the Good Friday Agreement. He has said more than once the USA will not trade with the UK if it breaks the Good Friday Agreement. It is telling that when asked by a BBC journalist if he had anything to say to the BBC he said ‘I am Irish’.

I ask you to reconsider your position. Brexit is going to add considerably more damage to the British economy at a time when it is massively struggling under the economic pressure caused by COVID. I am aware the PM Johnson was in talks with the President of the European Commission yesterday and I assume that is to try and cobble together some sort of deal for Mr Johnson to then sell to the British people as the best deal ever when we all know that at best it will give Britain a few crumbs from the EU table and will still cause, what could turn out be, irreparable damage to the British economy with no hope in the short or medium term of even the semblance of a deal with the USA to mitigate a small part of the damage.

I am therefore asking you to put Britain first and to put pressure on the Executive to go to the European Council and ask for Brexit to be suspended for 2 years with Britain still in transition mode. Your current leader should have no difficulty in doing another u-turn to achieve this as he is very used to doing them. A two year suspension of Brexit will give your Party time to sort out what is clearly a failure of leadership and the Government time to get control of how the country can begin to live with the COVID 19 virus without severely damaging either the economy or the health of the nation.

Yours sincerely