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Category: Brexit

Brexitometer-Deal

Soft Brexit Illusion

Theresa May knew it. Gina Miller knew it. Michel Barnier knew it. There never was such a thing as a soft Brexit. We are now inheriting the ‘benefits’ of a hard Brexit though Brexit’s delinquent and dysfunctional offspring … the cost of living crisis, a return to climate vandalism, the sale of the century (NHS), skill shortages, recession and depression, pay freezes, Brexit red tape, travel, residence and work restrictions, the fragmentation of Brexit Britain into 4 + nations, demonisation of ‘forins’ and a retreat on our science and technology base, to name but a few of the effects. And to quote The Carpenters, “We’ve only just begun”. Biz Catalyst 360 and UK in a Changing Europe (UKICE) offer glimpses of what’s to come in the socio-economic, political, legal, technological and environmental suicide formerly known as Brexit. Read on ….

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Hard - Soft Brexit Cognitive Dissonance Continuum
Read our original article on this. Written in 2020 as a warning which was ignored by populist Remainers and the big beasts.

The illusion of a soft Brexit deal was akin to a stepping stone across a pond. Without the stepping stone of a soft Brexit, it is likely that we would have turned back from the cliff edge of a hard Brexit as the chasm was too dangerous. Theresa May knew this when she threatened the ERG with the choice of a hard Brexit or no Brexit at all. She did this several times during negotiations. May was thwarted by leading Remain voices such as Femi Oluwole who began to insist on the ‘safe Brexit’ which was not safe at all. The European Movement and Best for Britain joined in, pleading for the stepping stone. I understand the desire to manage expectations, but the time to drop the Remain project was 31st December 2020 and not 18 months later. It gave remainers the excuse they needed to give up. We know the rest.

I believe that May was playing a dangerous game with the ERG to break their grip on the Conservative party and Brexit. She may have succeeded if the Remoaners had not turned against her. I pleaded with people to support May but visceral love / hate binary responses took over. I warned that we would get Johnson if we ousted May. No one listened. We did. Quite a few blamed me for supporting Theresa May. Michel Barnier knew. Oh well.

Don't Talk Just Kiss

The last remaining Brexiteers

This week, I’ve been out and about in Medway and Deal in Kent discussing the fact that Brexit has failed and that we can and must Rejoin the EU to save Britain from itself. Reactions to this have been overwhelmingly positive. But, as always, the comically sad stories of the exceptions make for much better reading ….

Bicycle racists

I visited two pubs in Medway. Within a few minutes of my visit to one, a woman came to tell me that my bicycle had been vandalised. In fact someone had broken the sign off. The pub in question was full of older very suntanned people talking about their holidays in Europe. One of them presumably thought that it was their right to teach me a lesson whilst smoking a fag outside. Imagine their anger when they find out that they will no longer be able to travel to Alicante or Tenerife after Brexit if they have criminal records …

I was broke but not broken. The trouble is, if we had spoken about the matter I’d hazard a guess that the person who did this would have agreed that they don’t have the Brexit they wanted, IN SPITE of a 90% Brexit cabinet for FOUR years, a Brexit PM who allegedly delivered Brexit from an OVEN and now a fully RACIST PM in Rishi Sunakered. I felt pity for the person who did it. I will now have to redouble my efforts to get a secure sign for the bicycle.

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Deal or No Deal

We went to Deal in Kent yesterday with the Bollocks to Brexit Mini Cooper, stopping at Ash for breakfast much to the delight of the chickens and the people at the cafe there. Deal WAS very Brexity. It is no longer. The town is close to Dover where they even have a racist pub. UKIP and the Tories stoked racism there to preserve the illusion that Brexit will solve all their problems. In large measure, the people were not fooled. A wonderful chap called David Reid put the event together. He ran a Brexitometer which overwhelmingly showed that people now realise that they were lied to about Brexit, save for one person who even went as far as saying that he believed Boris’ suggestion that we would have straight bananas if we left the EU. Johnson also said that Brexit would make your wife’s breasts larger. I have checked with several woman and this is also untrue.

Only one in 40 felt that they had not been lied to about Brexit in Deal of all places.

We parked up and began our work. On returning, someone had used lipstick to write on the car, YES lipstick. This bourgeous protest made me feel very sorry for the perpetrator. Some of the stories we were told by people lined up with this ‘dirty protest’. One woman walked past and said “I like Brexit”. I politely asked what did she like most about it and she ran away. Another man shouted at the car “Bollocks to you” as I drove by. Sadly, he had nothing else to offer me. Two women tried to explain that carbon dioxide was good for plant growth and we should put cars with their engines on in polytunnels to promote food growth!! But MOST people were quite willing to say that Brexit has failed and that we should Rejoin the EU. Some were not sure how this might happen. I explain this in the book Reboot Britain.

Lipstick on my collar … put a Brexit spell on EU.

Points of order

The word bollocks is vulgar but not offensive as we demonstrated when Essex traffic cops tried to arrest us on the M25 and then had to back down. Read Sex Pistols v The Queen 1977.

Our car has a snowflake in place of the O of BOLLOCKS. The projection by Brexiteers of vulgarity is, of course, a product of their own tesiticular minds.

Mini Cooper
Support the tour. Click on the bollocks.

One man in Deal claimed to support our campaign but objected to Charlie Mullins’ (former CEO of Pimlico Plumbers) use of the word ‘Bollocks’ in our Chas and Dave Cockney Brexit Knees-UP song which we performed on the street. His argument was that children could be polluted by my bollocks. Methinks the ‘lady’ doth protest too much. Later on that day, I heard a young women shouting at her three kids (aged around 3 – 7 years old) “stand together you fucking c…nts – we’re crossing the road”.

With thanks to the wonderful force of nature that is David Reid for organising the event.

Last Orders

Here’s the latest round up of myths put forward by the last remaining Brexiteers to justify their fading Brexit unicorn:

Brexit is done

A barmaid in a pub on Thursday told me that Brexit is done. When I tried to explain that it is far from done and that impacts would continue long into the 2020’s she then invoked a made up ‘rule’ that “we don’t talk about Brexit in this pub” (there was no sign) !! This kind of cancel culture is a bizarre development from people who say they wanted Brexit freedoms. Of course, it’s untrue. To look at what’s coming over the hill with Brexit, see Biz Catalyst 360 and UK in a Changing Europe (UKICE). p.s. I cannot recommend that anyone spend their money in this pub in future.

Brexit is an unbreakable spell

A couple of the last remaining Brexiteers have told me that our CPTPP deal means that we cannot legally rejoin the EU. Something akin to the unbreakable vow in Harry Potter. Of course it is horseshit but it is all they have left. The Tories continue to diverge away from the EU, in order to increase the difficulty, but nothing is impossible in politics. Read what Gina Miller has to say about Rejoining the EU. It could take just 3 years to stop the carnage and we would gain an immediate uplift just by applying to join anew.

I love Boris

The same sad landlady who told me that Brexit is done as Boris put Brexit in an oven also came out with “I love Boris”. I had to ask her “what do you love about him? Is it his hair, his fertility, his oral skills (oratory), the way he dresses like a tramp or something else?” Strangely, she did not know. Usually people are able to explain themselves. I found this strange although I’ve heard it before. Precisely why a much longer sitting and effort over time is needed to Brexorcise the worst cases of “Bojona-19”.

Lipstick on my collar …

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Hard Facts about Hard Brexit

Here’s some very short helpful facts about Rejoining the EU and putting Brexit to an early. The Tories are still trying to run the illusion that the will of the people must be respected. Brexit is no longer the will of the people with only 18% of the British population now thinking that Brexit is a success and with 55% now wanting to Rejoin the EU.

63% of people in Britain now think that Brexit was a mistake

This figure is rising rapidly, as Brexit reveals its many ugly heads

I predict it will be between 67 and 74% by early 2024 !!

Rejoin statistics
I predict between 67-74% by the beginning of 2024. In any case, a supermajority.

The upward curve towards the rejection of Brexit by the vast majority of people will be asymptotic, up to perhaps a residual hardcore of racists and people clutching Brexit unicorns (80% ++ insert your own number?), but it is climbing rapidly. There will be a huge social desirability to be on the ‘winning side’ once Brexiteers realise that they are no longer a majority. I find that they operate in herds and had an interesting chat about ‘in and out’ groups with a psychologist called Elvis on this recently. Quite why I always choose the leaders of social groupings in cafes and pubs for Brexorcism purposes.

86% of young people in Britain want to rejoin the EU

Savanta Poll
Helpful facts. Keir Starmer, are you paying attention?

Only 18% of Brits now believe Brexit is a success

Nigel Farage has declared Brexit a failure

Farage v Cats
Listen to Nigel Farage being handed his arse on a plate by clicking on the cat.

The vote leave demographic is literally and metaphorically a dying breed

Public opinion on Brexit is now way ahead of politicians

Rejoining is possible, inevitable but difficult. Clear strategy, focus and leadership are needed

Join Gina Miller’s True and Fair party

Contrary to what people believe, another referendum is not the only way to settle the matter democratically.

  • Via Parliament: once Brexit carnage becomes more widely and deeply felt, legislative initiatives to mitigate the effects of Brexit (for example a single market or customs union application) may grow. If supported with the combined weight of opposition parties, who currently give the Government a free ride on Brexit, an incremental route back into EU membership may evolve.
  • General Election: the levels of Brexit carnage might become so great over time that joining becomes an election issue. Set against that possibility, people would have to conclude that Brexit was a cause or correlation with their lived experiences. This has been difficult so far, as CoVID, and now the Ukraine crisis, mask Brexit’s damage. However, that cloak is slowly being removed. For this reason, it matters that the word Brexit is not airbrushed out of the political lexicon. Labour’s collusion to date has thus far boxed it into a position that makes a U-turn difficult, but not impossible.
  • Another Referendum: a new referendum could be offered, even though I don’t favour using one. However, a second referendum might be considered as a ‘christening service’ once the ‘will of the people’ changes sufficiently. Despite the first referendum having been conducted by simple majority, it is likely any successor would require a super majority of 66%. This presents a very high bar, so it would be fair to use the same ground rules as in the 2016 referendum.
  • Government of National Unity: Things may become so bad that the idea of a Government of National Unity (GONU) becomes feasible once again. In August 2019, a GONU seemed a realistic possibility until the opposition parties responded to Boris Johnson’s temptation of a General Election. Considerable social, economic and political disruption would be needed for such a scenario to be possible, so the probability is arguably low. However, nothing can be ruled out in any disruptive political environment. Present scandals within the Tory party and Putin’s actions may reveal yet more problems. A coalition government is perhaps the latest manifestation of GONU. Perhaps this will get rid of our current GONADS Brexit government? !!

See the article from London for Europe for a full discussion on settling the democratic process:

Click on the image to read more on agile and flexible strategies to join the EU anew.

See below our five goals which we pursue with like minded people at our meetings. Join us 1st Wednesday of the month online at 8pm. Click on the image for the ZOOM link. Please add your thoughts on more helpful facts about joining the EU anew and Brexit disaster and subscribe to this platform.

Reboot Britain Goals
Reboot Britain Goals.

Here’s three things you can do to make progress on getting Brexit gone:

Write to Keir Starmer about this. Please use the material in the Bylines article HARD LABOUR to help compose your letter

Write to King Charles III using our template letter at KING CHARLES III – Yes, Chas has no authority, but he has massive soft power. Make him work for his privilege

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The wonderful Larry and Paul.
Private Eyelines

Don Adamson’s Brexit Blog

Don Adamson writes his weekly roundup from the Bungled Brexit Bunker in Barnsley.

This week’s homework

One – The Whigs, later Liberals, were a major force in British politics from about 1690 to about 1920. Several factors brought about the decline of the Liberal Party. One was the rise of the Labour Party and extending the franchise to working people. Another was a major scandal about granting knighthoods and peerages to very dubious people, usually this was a financial arrangement. A third factor was financial misconduct by Cabinet Ministers; notably the Marconi shares scandal where Cabinet Ministers awarded lucrative government contracts to Marconi on the basis of Ministers having inside knowledge. Do you see a resemblance to recent events? Is it time for another radical change in British politics? 

Two – In 2010 we got a hung parliament. Labour had been in office for a number of years. They were exhausted and accident prone. It is interesting that the Tories did not win outright but had to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. In 2015 the Tories won an election with a small majority. In 2017 we got another hung parliament in an election that Labour should have won outright. The Tories entered into a very dubious arrangement with Ulster Unionists. In 2019 the Tories won a huge majority in an election that Labour should have won. Last week there were three by-elections where Labour should have romped home. Labour got one seat, Lib Dems got another and the Tories got a tiny minority in what usually one of the safest Tory seats in the country. What is happening? Tories have proved themselves unfit to govern. Labour has been Absent Without Leave since 2010 and flatly refuses to return to work. How are we going to get out of this mess? 

Three – Discuss the following statement – Keith Starmer talks about there being no case for Rejoin and that Britain’s best hope for the future is outside the EU (despite all the evidence to contrary). Starmer is, in fact preparing for Rejoin. It is all part of a cunning plan to deceive Gammons and Flagshaggers. We are in this mess because Tories told (and continue to tell) an infinity of shameless lies. What useful purpose will it serve for Labour leaders to repeat the same discredited Tory lies?  

Read Post-election analysis

Four – Discuss the following statement – Rumours circulate to the effect that a person named in Johnson’s controversial honours and awards has only one qualification for a peerage: This person is Johnson’s illegitimate firstborn. The flaw in this argument is that Johnson cannot count up to one. 

Five – Discuss the following statement: I spent many years being irritated by Irish, Scottish and Welsh Nationalists (alphabetical order) moaning about the English. Then Brexit came along and I began to understand what they were moaning about.

Six – Nigel Garbage claims to have been victimised by the NatWest Bank. Did this victimisation happen because (uniquely among Gammons and Flagshaggers) Nigel Garbage noticed that Brexit has failed? 

Read Brexit has Failed

This week’s quotes 

Theresa May at least had some sense of propriety

… Richy Scumbag travels in private jets and helicopters … outdoing even Johnson … spent £100,000 on travel in April … taken £54,418 from private donors over two month period … 

Environment 

Keith Starmer told Times Radio “I hate tree huggers”… 

Download our song written for COP26 on Bandcamp. Link on You Tube.

Rupert Murdoch’s summer party Starmer attended

… Whatever Starmer is thinking, his appearance at the party seemed as forlorn an exercise as his ‘We are not reversing Brexit’ article for the Daily Express … Brexiters say ‘You cannot trust him’ … Party leaders seem to believe in the power of the press … When Blair travelled to Australia at Murdoch’s behest the Sun was selling nearly 4M copies a day. The News International titles had a combined sale of 10M copies. Today many news organisations have stopped publishing audited figures … Press Gazette concluded that our national and daily papers now barely sell 6M between them … estimates the Sun sells about 770,000 against the Mail’s 780,000 … when Blair won his landslide the Times was selling about 800,000, is now about 216,000 ‘’’ the Telegraph has gone from just over 1M to 188,000 … Newspaper circulations have been in decline for a long time, but the rate of collapse is accelerating. In 2010 the Sun was selling 3M copies daily, the Mail 2M … Mail stuck with May to the end and was messianic in defence of Johnson … it hectored the Tories into electing Thick Lizzie and perpetuated the fantasy of her competence … It seems that no PM can take office without making early contact with Murdoch, Rothermere or the Telegraph … it is hard to escape the impression that the meetings are about taking orders: cut taxes, emasculate the BBC … nowadays people get their news elsewhere  … notably social media … and publications that are increasingly seen as more reliable sources. Private Eye sales are growing fast as newspapers are sinking … sells around 250,000 a fortnight … more than Telegraph, Times, Express FT, i, or Guardian can manage on an average day …  Eye breaks important stories and exposes corruption … Fleet Street is slow to follow up … Symbiotic relationship between the Tories and the right wing press will face biggest test in the coming year. Their futures depend on it. If they fail Tory Party could face oblivion, newspaper proprietors could lose billions … Starmer should not have attended Murdoch’s party … 

Private Eyelines
Private Eyelines parodies the populist media. Click to read.

World renowned economist Adam Posen 

… described Brexit as the only time a country declared a trade war on itself … it is getting worse … expanding it to an immigration war on itself … these mistakes are going to have longer lasting effects … Five Prime Ministers and five governments in seven years … That is Italy like territory, perhaps not quite Argentina (COMMENT: You might not think it now but pre 1920 Argentina was one of the richest countries in the world).  … we have had volatile and irresponsible economic policies … excessive austerity … Brexit  … productivity problem … undermined credibility … less faith in the government’s ability to deliver … costs of Brexit worse than the optimists predicted … made inflation worse … red tape …admin costs and supply chains … the UK has become a small economy and must start acting like one … UK is sailing in the wrong direction … NHS is crumbling … education and training are underfunded … it is getting worse … start talking about rejoining … that might seem like common sense but we live in a country where the government thinks such talk is treason … we need to Rejoin, and, most importantly to stop the government’s war on its own country … Britain’s stock market is drifting into irrelevance Bribing the Tories Mantrac selling industrial equipment to Russia long after the Ukraine invasion … Tories accepted £5M earlier this year from  Mantrac’s owner, Egyptian Mohamed Mansour … 

Read Hard Brexit Facts

Sexual harassment 

Tory lawmaker faces ejection from Parliament for groping strangers at a London club …Ex SPAD Daniel Korski … Tory Candidate for London Mayor … groping allegation by TV writer Daisy Goodwin…. she has been contacted by other women with ‘some interesting stories’ … Mayoral selectors suggest that anybody associated with this government would lose to Labour … 6 Weeks is the time it took BBC to respond to allegations of presenter paying teenager for explicit photos … 5 years is the time it took Tory party to  respond to allegations of MP Chris Pincher making unwanted sexual advances … Russell Tillotson, former Tory councillor … was, on 29 June  convicted of four sex offences .. 1984 – 2001 while a teacher at Tonbridge school… The lurid affair of Hew Edwards has raised more questions about the state of British journalism … the young person’s lawyers, published in the Sun, were nonsense and the police ruled out criminal charges… 

Tabloids one month after launch of US websites for Mirror, Express, Irish Daily News … not going to plan … US audiences not flocking to the news brands … New York office engulfed in  a sexism storm reminiscent of 1990s lad mags … absolute shit show … Express online .. Resulted in a potentially expensive shitshow… 

Mutiny in Metroland 

Conservatives despatched Tory MPs from Parliament … Tories’ old heartlands not yet lost but they are becoming contested battlegrounds … in 2021 a Lib Dem was elected MP for Chesham and Amersham … earlier this year Lib Dems took control of councils in commuter towns around London … current polling suggests they could surge from 14 Parliamentary seats to 40 or 50 … a majority in Metroland voted against Brexit, which left a widespread impression that banking and the professions were a low priority for the Tories … rage has subsided but has left dismay … Johnson and his cronies mocked …the drinking, bullying, and sleaze of his administration seemed divorced from modern corporate culture … sewage spills … Lib Dems have used them to signal that politics is now fetid … voters feel overlooked and taken for granted by governments … a sentiment normally associated with poorer constituencies … Richy Scumbag is struggling to reverse Tory fortunes … estrangement may be too far gone to prevent a Tory rout …  the earth is shifting … 

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

Editor’s note : Somewhat spookily, Vera Lynn died on the day I released this song and I got hate mail from the Brexiteers as if I had caused her demise …. oh well ‘Alo Vera charts the story of the Brexiteer with Brexit Buyer’s remorse but who cannot tell his mates down the pub …

Don Adamson is a true patriot – not befuddled by British Brexit mythology.
Houses of Parliamentary Paralysis

Qvo vadis, Britain?

In this reflective piece by our guest writer Paul Higgins, he asks what next for Brexit Britain.

Seven years after the referendum and three after the UK effectively left the European Union many things still puzzle political analysts. While outside the UK it is crystal clear that Brexit has been a disaster, many in the UK still think the opposite. Cognitive dissonance characterised the more extremists in both the brexiter and remainer sides, even though remainers were always more rational and fact driven and that may have been one of the reasons behind their defeat in 2016. In any case, it is astonishingly surprising that, 7 years after the referendum, the UK is still unable to hold a civilised debate over Brexit.

Brexorcism is the key

Brexit was a major disruption in British politics. A rational, calm and mature democracy like the UK suddenly fell into the arms of the extreme right nationalist populism and has not recovered yet. Proof of this is that the so-called Brexit heroes enjoy a high level of impunity when it comes to breaking the law, lying to Parliament or losing a bank account. In the eyes of their followers, it’s nothing but the lefty, woke, EU and civil service elites trying to punish them for Brexit. They won’t even argue whether they broke the law or lied, that doesn’t matter and they will ignore it, it’s the attack on Brexit itself that explains everything.

Support our UK Tour to Rejoin EU

Brexit is the ultimate reason why they feel they are better than the French, the Germans, the Dutch or the Swedish and they are not going to let anyone or anything question that. Even if the economy and public services are crumbling, it is a price well worth paying because superior beings need to be sovereign which, in their view, means different and not mixed with other Europeans. It is true that the cost of living crisis is biting the support for Brexit though. Polls estimate that the proportion of Britons that would vote remain now is about 63% whilst 37% would still vote for Brexit. But it is astonishing that, given the state of the country, remainers do not double that 20-point lead. There are many factors explaining this, the main ones are:

  • Brexit is still too emotional and facts are denied or reinterpreted by each side to accommodate their respective narrative. The war in Ukraine, COVID or the weather in Spain affect only Brexit Britain; whenever the EU makes a concession and allows the UK to trade in more favourable terms than any other third country, it is because we are better and they need us more than we need them; if not then it is because they want to punish us for Brexit. Whether it is to hate us or to love us, we will always be special. What they can’t even consider is that the rest of the world doesn’t think that Britain is special.
  • The press is prolonging this situation not only because most tabloids have embraced the national-populism cause, but also because, when not, they tend to go not for the truth or the facts but for the middle point in any debate remotely related to Brexit, even if that means softening an outright lie with a half lie.
  • The two main political parties don’t want to touch Brexit even with a nine feet cane. The Tories have invested a huge amount of political capital in Brexit and they can’t just make a u-turn and say ”sorry, we got it wrong” and Labour thinks that they can take the remainer vote for granted and take the fight to the Brexiter red wall.
  • The sense of entitlement that led to the leave victory in 2016 has somehow spread and most parties think that they can renegotiate the most inconvenient aspects of the deal with the EU and the EU and 27 countries will just accept any changes the Brits would honour them with a proposal.
  • Brexit, like communism or any religion, is an ideal and as such it can’t be questioned. Editor’s note : That’s why we wrote the book of Brexorcism, to deal with quasi religious based beliefs about Brexit. Whatever happens it would be because Brexit has not been implemented pure enough, because we didn’t believe hard enough, because this was not the Brexit people voted for or because of the works of the devil and you can replace devil with the blob, the establishment, lefty lawyers, civil servants or the EU.

Read Useful facts about Brexit

In any case, as long as this sorry state of affairs in the collective British psyche doesn’t change, it is very difficult to have a serious and responsible debate among ourselves and with Europe. A debate about what kind of relationship we want with Europe and, moreover, to convince our neighbours that any change in that relationship is going to last longer than the few years between two consecutive general elections.

Editor’s note: Please note objective five of our goals.

Five Goals
Five Goals. Click to read more.

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Icberg Strat

Election elephants in the room

The big story from the by-elections this am is a Lib Dem landslide in Somerset and Frome with a 29% swing. Labour also put in a record performance in Selby with the biggest swing recorded for decades. However, the Conservatives surprised everyone by crawling across the finishing line with 495 votes in Uxbridge. Labour say that they achieved this by opposing the extension of the ULEZ scheme, a policy that Boris Johnson originated. However, the Labour candidate in Uxbridge opposed the extension of ULEZ to keep in lockstep with Tory policy on the matter, opposing Sadiq Khan and the entire environmental movement.

Tories voted to kill kids

Someone said that Labour could have won if the Greens had loaned their 700 or so votes in Uxbridge. I think it highly unlikely that Green party members would have loaned their votes given Labour’s capitulation to the Tories on ULEZ, a core issue for Green party voters. This was a victory for people who don’t mind killing children. Given that many young people don’t vote Tory, I can almost imagine the text on Johnson’s WhatsApp messages on his phone “Let the bodies pile high”. Just remember it was Grant Shapps who ordered Sadiq Khan to extend ULEZ.

Vote Tory to kill your kids would have been a more honest electoral slogan.

Ming vase broken

A lack of opposition (Keir Starmer’s so-called Ming vase / ice rink strategy) may not have helped Labour in Uxbridge. Worse still, Labour are asking Sadiq Khan to roll back his ULEZ initiative which affects one in 10 cars in London. Climate denial is not the answer and capitulating to swivel headed loons worse. Sure more help needs to be given to affected people to do the right thing, but this is Tory policy rather than Sadiq Khan’s decision.

I was ambivalent about Labour, as I am a realist but their recent position on climate change has turned me from ambivalence to opposition. Not content with running my kids socio economic futures with brexit, they are now chasing the far right climate denial bus ….

Brexit’s Breaking Britain

Brexit remained the elephant in the room at the by elections. No one discussed it, yet it is at the root of most of our lived experiences in Britain as depicted by the iceberg below. By extension, a lack of opposition on Brexit and the products of Brexit (cost of living, NHS crisis and so on) may well come to bite Labour on their collective bottoms. It’s entirely feasible that a lack of opposition on child benefit by Labour may also have played into the overall result in Uxbridge.

The Brexit Iceberg
The Brexit Iceberg connects front of mind issues with their underlying roots.

Approximately 2500 votes when to other parties such as Lawrence Fox, other far right parties and some anti-ULEZ parties. I don’t buy the argument that these far right votes would have gone to Labour if these parties had not split the vote. The lesson for Labour here is clear:

Oppose

Oppose

Oppose

Tell the truth

I have just listened to Daisy Cooper refusing to answer a simple question on Brexit on BBC Radio 4. In conversation with senior figures such as Sal Briton and Irina von Weise, we agreed that the Lib Dems need a clear USP on Brexit rather than a mealy mouthed apology (we’ll join when the time is right, yada, yada). Nick Robinson just savaged Cooper live on this point who replied with a word salad of internationalism, environmentalism etc. This is why I’m backing Gina Miller and The True and Fair Party.

Join the True and Fair Party today.

Join True and Fair today

Brexorcisms work

To those that tell me that the electorate are stupid and we can’t talk to them about uncomfortable truths such as Brexit, climate disaster, asylum seekers and so on I say horsehit. But we must hold these difficult conversations in a skillful way. Quite why I wrote a book on the gentle art of Brexorcism based on therapeutic interventions supported by psychology and anthropology. A Brexorcism takes skill, patience and time but I have 1000’s of hours experience in changing minds on Brexit. The approach applies just as much to other difficult issues. Labour and Lib Dems ought to be in the business of confronting racists, climate deniers and so on rather than chasing their votes.

Support mass Brexorcisms

Nonetheless, however many Tories attempt to spin the election results, it is a crushing defeat for Rishi Sunakered. We have not yet seen the outfall of this shocking result. No doubt Nadine Dorries, Liz Truss, Kemi Bad Enoch Powell and Penny Morduant will be sharpening their claws. John West sums up the outcome:

Follow John West for hard facts about politics.
We are everywhere

This week’s quotes

Don Adamson writes from his Barnsley Brexit Bunker.

This week’s homework: 

One – Compare the two words Media and Mediocrity. Is there a similarity of meaning? Do the words come from the same root?

Two – Discuss the following statement: ‘I just cannot bring myself to say anything nice about my father. He brought nothing but anguish to our lives.’ That is what producer Charles Finch said about his father; the actor Peter Finch. What would you expect Boris Johnson’s sons and daughters to say about their father? 

Three – ‘An over-fat flatulent windbag, a master of inconsequence now masquerading as a guru, passing off his vast limitations as pious virtues’ That is what Richard Harris said about Michael Caine. Do you think that Harris let Caine off lightly? 

Four – Discuss the following statement. Wallace is reputedly one of the more competent Cabinet Ministers in this government. He was even considered for the job of NATO Secretary General. Last week he made a gratuitously offensive remark about valiant Ukrainians heroically resisting the Russian military monster: ‘We are not part of Amazon.’ As a consequence Wallace has asked to be moved out of the defence job in the next Cabinet Reshuffle. Tories know a lot less about history in general and WW2 in particular. FD Roosevelt blenched when he saw the list of military equipment that Churchill demanded of the USA. These Tories imagine themselves to be bargain basement Churchills. Did they ever imagine themselves as bargain basement FD Roosevelts? If Wallace is one of the more competent Tory ministers what does this say about the dimwits in the Cabinet? 

Five – Johnson refuses to hand over his mobile phone to the authorities investigating his misconduct as PM. We are given to understand that the mobile contains evidence of Tory incompetence and corruption. There is already an abundance of open source material to prove that and it seems unlikely that there might be any more hidden evidence on that subject. Rumours are circulating that the mobile has evidence that we know about but may not be able to prove; for instance: a) that the whole point of Brexit is to wreck the NHS and sell it cheap to asset strippers or b) that the whole point of Brexit is to decriminalise sex offences (especially child molesting). What other explanations might there be? 

Six – Johnson is living rent free in a house provided by the Bamford Group (robber baron capitalists of the worst description and unrepentant Gammons). Johnson likes to be photographed by Murdoch and Rothermere lackeys when he goes jogging in the vicinity of the house. People in the neighbourhood show their displeasure by flying the Euro Flag. Why do these flags never find their way into trashy Murdoch and Rothermere tabloids?

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This week’s quotes: 

Children are shrinking poorest fifth of households now need to spend half their disposable income to eat healthy diets

… years of poor diet lead to obesity and affect children’s heights … British 5 year olds among the shortest in Europe … average height started falling in 2014 … deprivation clearly goes hand in hand with stunting … average boy in the most deprived area of Britain is now 1.3cm shorter than in the least deprived area…

Bregret : Rising disillusion with Brexit

… polls find that sizeable majorities of Brits now regret the decision to leave the EU … margin as wide as 60-40 … steady shift … demography … older people mostly backed leave while younger folk preferred Remain … passage of time tilts against Brexit … Those who did not vote in 2016 now break strongly against leaving the EU … 20% of those who backed Leave in 2016 now say they would support Remain instead … Why? … disappointment with the outcome … high cost of living … falling real wages, struggling public services … high immigration … leaving the EU has clearly made problems worse … Britain was one of the last G7 countries to recover to pre pandemic levels of output … inflation and interest rates are higher than in most European countries; net migration is running at highest level ever … promises made by Vote Leave have proved illusory … broadest promise that there would be no downside to Brexit but only upside looks empty … Nigel Garbage admits that Brexit has failed … Jacob Grease Bogg, Tory Brexiter, is laughed at for citing benefits of Brexit … rising disillusion … Johnson’s notably thin Trade and Cooperating Agreement ….  Delusion is believing something despite evidence to the contrary … Brexiters adhere to their beliefs despite compelling evidence that their predictions about Brexit were wrong…

Read helpful facts

Discrediting the falsehoods of Brexit and Rejoining the EU are the way forward

… numerous motivations for Brexit, some were, at best, incoherent and at worst outright lies … only a third of those eligible voted for Brexit … Few people would disagree with the statement that the country is in a mess … David Davis accused of abusing parliamentary privilege and being ‘a political has been who botched Brexit … ‘

Johnson destroyed almost all he touched

… promises of a better tomorrow based on Brexit has left everybody who voted for it with less not more … Johnson is now universally viewed as a liar makes Brexit’s failure more palatable to Brexiters. It was his fault, Nigel Garbage’s fault, Grease Bogg’s fault, and the media’s fault, not theirs… Johnson’s Daily Mail column is not only ruinously expensive but increasingly embarrassing … Rothermere, Mail owner, is not happy … paying over £1M  for the appallingly bad column .. Provided a more than adequate supply of clownish incompetence…. 4thMail column took aim at the ‘odious, transparently wrong and unnecessary Ultra Low Emission Zone’ imposed on London by, er, Mayor Boris Johnson … what do readers make of ‘erudite’ jottings … Masil has taken the unusual step of moderating online comments, a step usually reserved for contentious or legally risky pieces … one positive post was published immediately … swiftly down voted by readers … 10 worst rated comments praised Johnson’s column … previously loyal Mail readers told Mail they had decided to stop buying while Johnson was on the payroll … 

National Rejoin March 23 September looks to be the mother of all marches

… 20 times more popular than last year … coaches booked from around the country …  Peter Corr, founder, says ‘almost all coming will be coming as Brexit has hit them the hardest … UK inflation caused by Brexit … can only be fixed by Rejoin … everything bad happening in the country is made worse by Brexit’ … clear warning to Keith Starmer… 

Lie of the Week Nigel Garbage

…  ‘establishment is trying force me out of the country by closing my bank accounts’ … Coutts exclusive bank used by the Royal Family … Garbage admits he does not meet the financial threshold for a Coutts account (£3M in savings or £1M in investments) … Garbage is being very, very dishonest … 

Torygraph speculation about the value of Torygraph titles has fluctuated wildly since the titles were seized by Lloyd’s Bank after a £1B loan to the owners turned bad

… initial estimates of between £400M and £600M for the titles may be absurdly optimistic given the extent to which the Barclay family have appeared to leverage up the business … I have hear the jaw droppingly low figure of £68M mentioned …Lloyds taking control of the company was extreme and unprecedented and shows they have no confidence in the Barclays … Barclays massively overpaid when they acquired the titles of £665M in 2004 … motives of the Eurosceptic twins had been … ideological … Lloyds Bank face a new headache … Fraser Nelson Spectator editor,  threatens to  quit and take his core team to set up a rival right wing weekly … Murdoch … interested in Spectator if decoupled from Torygraph titles …  Rothermere only interested in Torygraph’s paying subscribers as his own operation has been struggling for some time to get a figure anywhere near that … Rothermere rumoured to shutting down Mail on Sunday …  profitable and once respected newspaper … mired in family scandal and extremism … Torygraph has been snatched from the Barclay family by Lloyds Bank … Torygraph played a part in diminishing the public’s respect for politicians … reputation tarnished by extremist output … despite all the evidence to the contrary Torygraph refuses to admit that Brexit has failed … outlandish views … Ofcom just ensure that whoever buys the paper also meets the definition of ‘fit and proper’ that is required of media owners (COMMENT: Yeah, Right)  Tory billionaire keen to enhance their influence over the government might not clear that hurdle …

Immigration 

Braverman’s Rwanda plan is on hold but the cruel and crazy stance remains … cost of sending each migrant to Rwanda … £169,000 … £63,000 more than keeping them in the UK … Government is so committed to the scheme that it is not open to rational argument …  polls show that immigration is nowhere near the obsession with voters than it is with the Tories … questionable on many grounds … inhumane … government struggling to justify an untenable argument…  government policy has a lot of holes … Rwanda government said it would only take  2000 asylum seekers initially. Last year 46,000 people crossed the channel in small boats … Illegal Migration Bill has so many defects it seems largely unworkable … most likely outcome is a perma-backlog of undecided asylum claims … government must hope that tough talk will go down well with voters … by the time the election comes and policy has still not worked it will have upset all voters…

University Admissions practices 

A vast hereditary mediocracy… 

National Health Service 

Only the rich paying more taxes can save the NHS … NHS is in crisis …7.4 million people waiting for treatment up from 7.2 million a month ago, with more than 371,000 people waiting more than a year for routine treatment … short of 154,000 doctors, nurses, midwives and technical staff … that number will more than double in a decade … only the USA among developed countries has a higher rate of avoidable deaths than ours … all universal healthcare systems are feeling the pinch but the NHS more than most … 18th out of 19 countries for MRI and CT scanners per million of population … second worst for avoidable deaths … puts politicians in charge who know nothing about healthcare and dislike funding it … most chronic diseases have mushroomed, from diabetes to depression to  dementia …  chewed up money the NHS does not have … crumbling estate and 150,000 vacancies … 25th in the league table for doctors per 1,000 population and 18th for nurses … Staff are expensive but so is waste … GPs and hospital doctors taking early retirement has risen by 9.3% year on year since 2008 … three years after the start of Covid the department has spent £14.9B overpaying and over ordering PPE, medicines and vaccines … excessive profits on PPE so vast it is not hard to see how £14.9B made opportunistic scamsters very rich indeed … The only good Tory is a suppository …

Nadine Dorries infrequent visitor to Commons but draws her salary

… topped up by her undeclared income from GB News … more than a month since she announced resignation as MP…

Read 50 Shades of Gray

Shock and Awe

Shock and Awe

The recent announcements from Boris Johnson’s Government indicate that Dominic Cummings‘ “Shock and Awe” campaign is in full swing to subjugate us into accepting Brexit under the safe umbrella of COVID crisis for a 2021 “Britastrophe“. Here’s what “The Sun” has to say about shock and awe:

In cased you doubt some of these satirical headlines, here are the links to the base stories behind the Government’s cynical shock and awe campaign to bludgeon us into accepting any kind of Brexit deal.

322 Tory MP’s vote to starve children

Priti Patel crushed by law courts for threatening to remove migrants without access to justice

20% food price hike after Brexit

Kent – Toilet of England

It is well-known in personal situations, that people who are confused or frightened tend to accept any kind of advice that is given to them. This is why counsellors do not offer advice. The campaign by the Government is designed to gaslight us into a state of terror, where we will accept almost anything they choose to do. There is no way back from such policies and Dominic Cummings’ guidance comes directly from the tactics of Nazi Germany. I predict that Britain will be in a state of war with itself by mid winter 2021 under the combined effects of Corona + Brexit. We cannot rid ourselves of Corona, especially since Government actions are specifically designed to cause more deaths than necessary. However, we can rid ourselves of Brexit, to properly focus on the disease. Take action today using the actions below.

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Shock and Awe

Shock and Awe
50 Shades of Sue Grey

50 Shades of Gray

I had a curious encounter with Kevin Gray on Linkedin the other day. Kevin is CEO of Bath Building Society and, as such, I expected a degree of skill not available to the average soul. Kevin was responding to a post about Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership skills and the SNP in general. It transpired that Kevin does not like the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon or Scottish Independence although he is a Scot in England. Not unsurprisingly, Kevin also likes Brexit. But quite surprisingly, given his position as CEO, he had swallowed some of Boris Johnson’s lies. The transcript of the dialogue that follows illustrates just how pervasive the Dunning-Kruger effect is and especially so when one tries to change someone’s mind using online media. This BBC post was the initial trigger for Kevin’s outburst at Nicola. She rightly pointed out that Boris Johnson’s preoccupations with getting Brexit done, childbirth, ovens, fridges etc. had made a considerable impact on Britain’s ability to focus on the pandemic. I have left Kevin’s remarks unchecked in purple. My replies are in red. The entire conversation is exactly as it emerged on Linkedin. No editing etc. Simply reportage.

Kevin’s initial reaction was : “Hhhmmmm. Not so sure about that. If there was one example of where Brexit did actually help anyone it was in allowing the uk goverment to move quickly with the vaccine taskforce and deliver mass vacination ahead of EU states. I suspect Devolution did not help however. Having x4 parliaments/assemblies to deal with in the UK must surely have slowed up the response? Much as Nicola was a great politician, I would personally not give too much air time to any nationalist whose aim is only to deliver further and much more serious division in the UK.”

Given Kevin’s senior position, I felt no need to hold back and I replied thus:

“I’m afraid this is incorrect Kevin. We could always have done this as an EU member. The truth will come out in the COVID inquiry. Do remember that the vaccine was developed by foreign scientists. In desperation, Johnson used buying power to snaffle up the supplies. Speaking as a scientist, I must remind you of the short-sightedness of stockpiling medicines in a GLOBAL pandemic. This strategy sprang from Johnson’s desire to mask Brexit carnage with the COVID cover up. The result was a “Britastrophe”. Please check with scientific facts if you don’t believe me.” 

To cheer him up and keep it a bit lighter I sent him a copy of the song I wrote in 2020 to epitomise the word Britastrophe:

Kevin was undeterred :

“Don’t get me wrong… we were ill prepared for the pandemic and the preps and early actions were inadequate. I’m pretty sure the enquiry will recognise that. Nevertheless, I’m pretty happy that early political action to stockpile and make early orders might have protected my friends, family, neighbours and their relations and friends in the UK. When it comes to avoiding death of my loved ones…I’m happy to jump the waiting list. We steal nurses from the third world ‘day in day out’ for the NHS so no new low standard applied there. I can’t see how being in the EU would have made a positive difference to the outcome for the UK quite frankly. I also think that SNP will find any cause to justify further separation, angst and years of pain in these islands that will be far worse than any political split from the EU. Some of us are Scots with families divided by politics on this matter. The SNP have hardly covered themselves in glory with their running of the NHS in Scotland for oh so many years after all. Now… an EU wide future plan including with the UK involved would make a lot of sense.”

I decided to challenge the basis of his competence. I am quite sure that Kevin is a competent CEO of a building society, but not so sure about this matter of science :

“Kevin, I imagine that you are NOT a biologist, epidemiologist or similar. As I said, your first statement was demonstrably wrong and the stockpiling of medicines is not a victimless crime. I’m quite disappointed that a CEO can have so little systemic thinking.”

Kevin defended himself again : “We sadly live in an imperfect world where states do not have equal resources or peoples have access to the same levels of health care. I agree that stockpiling vaccine was not victimless but the NHS holds drug stockpiles as part of their business as usual. British citizens benefit from the NHS hiring foreign health workers, often at the expense of others’ health care. It’s not right… but the primary duty of the UK government is to protect UK citizens. Same elsewhere. The UK government was following the preps for the wrong pandemic and clearly failed to implement lockdown as quickly as it should have. They failed to see what had worked in Asia to control SARS. That undoubtedly cost lives. I still cannot see what difference being in the EU would have made though. Happy to be put right on that point. The seeds of our slow initial response were sown decades ago. The next pandemic could be far worse so let’s hope the learning is swift.”

I decided at this point to put some external expert support from a Government source and offered him a way out of his fake news and an opportunity to ‘kiss and make up’ online :

“Kevin. Please read full fact : COVID and Brexit. Now you may correct the record on here. People believe fake news so please add a fact check to your original post.

‘Wrong pandemic’ – coughs … 🙂 I won’t embarrass you further on here but you are welcome to an online leaders’ debate.

Re your point ‘Some of us are Scots with families divided by politics on this matter.’ I can help you with the family healing issue. Read my book on Rebooting Britain.

You made two further points : ‘They failed to see what had worked in Asia to control SARS. That undoubtedly cost lives.’

This was not so much a failure, which implies accidental ignorance. This was wilful ignorance. Johnson and Hancock deliberately put infected patients into care homes due to the false narrative of herd immunity and a non-existent protective ring. This cost 40 000 unnecessary deaths. As regards Johnson’s level of attention and focus on the problem, this image sums up his leadership skills in this area :

Brexit Too Little, Too Late
Johnson’s dithering cost lives.

You also said ‘When it comes to avoiding death of my loved ones…I’m happy to jump the waiting list. We steal nurses from the third world ‘day in day out’ for the NHS so no new low standard applied there.’

This too is a false equivalence. I won’t bore you with the details but it is one of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s skills. To learn more read the book. Both situations are deplorable (poaching foreign nationals and stockpiling drugs in a pandemic), but they are NOT equivalent.”

By this time I thought Kevin was probably looking for an equitable way out of the matter, having perhaps wished he had never begun this encounter. He used the well-worn Brexiter phrase in an attempt to find something we could agree about:

Kevin : “Well everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I hope we can agree on that. The truth will out in the end and I’m sure that we may all be enlightened. I’m pretty sure that we can also agree that it won’t be 100 years before the next pandemic.”

I’m afraid I could not let this false equivalence pass for peace either :

“Kevin. Facts trump opinions I’m afraid. When they are put in the scales of truth, facts outweigh opinions.

But you are most welcome to join me on a leader’s debate on ZOOM at your convenience with an invited audience on “Brexit Futures”.

Human intervention has probably guaranteed that it will not be 100 years until another health crisis, possibly fungal and far more problematic, but nonetheless, Brexit will have a deeper impact on lives and livelihoods in the long term than COVID has, save for those killed by Johnson’s careless care home strategy, for which there is no way back for them.

The Brexit impact films are worth a look – all fact checked.”

At this point, Kevin ran away as they often do. I would draw some lessons out from this dialogue ….

Lessons learned

Brexiteers can come from anywhere. Even CEOs and intellectually bright are susceptible to illusions about Brexit. This merely confirms that Brexit is a religion / ideology and we must use strategies that address beliefs and identity change rather than the usual toolkit.

The lies put forward by Brexiteers have been installed like permafrost on some people’s minds. I very much doubt that Kevin is stupid. I imagine he can count money, but maybe not microbes or viruses.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is powerful when a figure of authority is challenged online where position power counts for nothing. I gave Kevin several levels of expertise to help him revise his view that Brexit had helped the COVID vaccine delivery programme but he stuck to his previously held beliefs.

Online Brexorcisms are always problematic. See the reasons why in this extract from Reboot Britain below.

That said, other people watch these online interactions and stay silent. They are sometimes more important than the other person in the conversation. Kevin made himself and his company look pretty daft in this interaction.

I doubt I will be getting a Christmas card from The Bath Building Society … oddly enough Bath voted to Remain. I wonder if some of the good people of Bath are reviewing their local building societies …

Online Brexorcisms
Read the book by clicking the extract.