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April Brexit Showers

April Brexit Showers

In our occasional round up of April Brexit Showers via the medium of populist media parody, we offer you “The Sun”. The only difference with The Sun is that we include some facts …

I have to include a fact and fiction checker just for clarity:

FICTION : When Liz Truss said she got a great trade deal with Japan, she meant “for Japan”. A really good deal in fact, with five times the amount of trade going to Japan.

FACT : Dairy exports have fallen by 96% due to Brexit.

FACT : Meat exports have also fallen by 25% and these losses are expected to be permanent.

FICTION : Rachelle does not plan a trip to Scotland or Ireland. Nicola Sturgeon does not need her help to Get the Tories out in Scotland. Rachelle is however available for modelling assignments in France.

FACT : Northern Ireland is beginning to become the great tragedy of Brexit as tensions continue. This is not news. It was always predicted to be the case.

FACT : If you want to help get the Tories out at the local elections, contact me for leaflets via email gtto@academy-of-rock.co.uk. We have 12 000 left for rapid distribution.

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The Brexit Bounce

The Brexit Bounce

I was somewhat depressed when we ended up with a Brexit deal as I had hoped for no deal on the basis that it would offer people a short sharp dose of Brexit realism. I had thought that the slow death / boiled frog syndrome of a Brexit deal would mean that people would not notice any changes and this piece of trickery would allow Boris Johnson to get Brexit done under cover of the terror of COVID. Just 40 days on and we are already experiencing “The Brexit Bounce”. I am surprised to say that, even with our oven ready Brexit deal, the outcomes are far worse than I expected. Proof positive that nobody in Government read the terms and conditions on the sale of the century. In this piece, we review the Brexit Bounce. Remember, we’ve only just begun …

Selfish about shellfish

Both DEFRA and George Eustace have admitted that the EU were right about the problems of selling shellfish after Brexit. Paul Bowers reports that this ought to be a resigning issue for Eustace, but these are not ordinary times, they are Brexit times and instead he’s trying to distract, by threatening military disruption of French fishing. This is a very dangerous game.

Write to Boris Johnson to call for George Eustace to resign. Use Paul Bower’s guide to writing letters to MPs and this example to help you

Selfish about shellfish

In case you are thinking it’s all about the bass, wrong, over half of British traders report difficulties in exporting from UK.

Euromillions

The government has announced a £20 Million fund to help small businesses affected by Brexit. That’s £3.17 per business. How shall we spend it?

Write to your MP. Ask them for suggestions on how best to spend the £3.17

In other news, it is reported that the Brexit hit to London’s financial centre will be £9.5 BILLION. That’s £1533.33 per person. How shall we lose it?

And Amsterdam took over from London as Europe’s leading share dealing centre as more companies plan to leave the UK – Read more at The FT.

Winners and Losers

Don’t stop the music

A great exhortation but one without substance now that musicians are working out the true cost of Brexit. NME report on how Brexit will more or less end touring for artists. Classic FM entered the fray in 2019 on this and the impacts were confirmed by one of our members on our Monday ZOOM call, who works for the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Elton John also stepped in recently in The Guardian as did Fish. Of course the issue also applies to others working in the arts. Reports of up to £600 for visas to perform in Europe make it uneconomical for most artists to even consider working outside Britain.

From Carnaby Street to Brexit Street

Down on Brexit Street

The FT reports on impacts in the fashion industry all the while that second hand clothing piles up at the borders, with 5.3% tariff on clothes, making it almost impossible for charities to continue their work.

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Bread and Circuses

Having declared that the activities of Black Lives matter were disagreeable, the Government plans to erect statues of Captain Tom and Margaret Thatcher. Of course, Captain Tom’s work was laudable. It’s just that his efforts would not have been needed if the NHS were to be funded correctly. Now we also hear that the NHS is once again being prepared for eventual sale, following Matt Hancock’s announcement that health is to be taken back into political control in the middle of a pandemic. This is another extremely dangerous move and the timing is catastrophic.

Welcome to Brexit Britain

Professor Chris Grey presents the most well balanced appraisal of the European Commission’s mistake with reference to the use of Article 16 on the island of Ireland recently. Proportionality matters.

“In and of itself it was an indefensible error by the EU. But all political systems commit such errors and it was speedily corrected, so whilst there may well be some lessons for the European Commission in what happened the idea that it says anything one way or another about the merits of Brexit is nonsense. Inevitably some Brexiters leapt upon it to claim justification, and some erstwhile remainers professed that it had changed their minds about Brexit. But there was no reason for that except for anyone who imagined that the EU is a perfect institution that never makes any mistakes, which remainers shouldn’t have and Brexiters surely didn’t. And let’s be clear, this episode has not led to the breakdown of trust between the UK and the EU – that was caused by the UK’s behaviour over the last four years or so, years in which the EU has been remarkably consistent and rational. That doesn’t excuse this piece of stupidity but it should put it in perspective.”

Professor Chris Grey

Our own Re-Boot Britain correspondent in Northern Ireland Jane Morrice wrote this piece on the subject, where she proposes a creative compromised with Scotland:

“That creative compromise may lie with Scotland. An independent Scotland welcomed into the EU with open arms would leave England and Wales reminiscent of a headless chicken, cut off from their nearest neighbours, isolated and alone. It would also leave Northern Ireland out on a limb more susceptible than ever to increasing pressure for a move towards a shared or united Ireland. If that were the case, the possibility of the three nations that support EU membership coming together to form an arrangement between Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland could be a worthy alternative.”

Jane Morrice is a former vice-president of the European Economic and Social Committee and deputy speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly

Lobster Thermostat

Yet more fishermen have been hit by Brexit this week and the damage is not temporary nor anything to do with the EU. 71 pages of paperwork must be filled in for ONE lorry of fish. 71 PAGES !!! Yet again it is Britain’s fault for not reading the contract, whilst promising the earth to fishermen. Mike Cashman has two songs about fishing featured on this week’s 16 Million Rising radio show.

Sale of The Century

Matt Hancock wants to “take back control” of the NHS. This is quite irresponsible as it is currently at breaking point with COVID. Any sensible person would tell you not to introduce system wide change when the system is operating over capacity. Put simply, more people will die. Also this change is intended to make the NHS more saleable, through giving power to Westminster to make decisions about the everyday management of the NHS.

So, why is he doing this now? Quite simply because they are piling everything that is potentially difficult through Parliament whilst COVID is still driving fear into people’s hearts. There will be no resistance.

Far from The Brexit Bounce, this already looks like The Brexit Flounce

The Brexit Bounce
The Brexit Bounce
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With thanks to Carol Hudson, Daphne Franks, Adrian Ekins-Daukes, Elwyn Lloyd-Jones, Irina Fridman, Helga Perry, Jo Wace, Lisa Lanfranchi, Louise Hunter, Greg Newman, Mike Cashman, Paul Bowers, Peter Daws, Roger Cracknell, Philip Waller and Ron Tendler for their help in producing this.

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Hierarchy of needs

Just 20 days into Brexit and it seems that nearly every industry and sector of society are either asking for a hand out or a hand up after Brexit. Some of you will be familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Here’s the Brexit hierarchy of needs:

The Dark Side of the Loon

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On the run

Working up from the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy, it has become apparent that our so-called free trade deal is not free, nor frictionless. We can already see low-level shortages of fresh food on supermarket shelves. Tony Hale, managing director of London-based DH Foods, said he had five containers of fresh pork sitting at Rotterdam port that was now “completely rotten”. Another mentioned £500 000 worth of meat rotting after being delayed by our ‘frictionless trade’. Fishermen protested in Downing Street on Monday and the Government tried to buy them off by offering £23 million in compensation for losses. Let’s do the math:

£23 million = £19 166 for each fisherman

Our attempts to secure a Brexit deal for the fishermen have cost £7 BILLION. That’s 304 times more than the sum of money being offered !!

£19 K sounds a lot, but of course it’s barely enough to live on for a year, in return for the fishermen’s silence. A fisherman’s friend once said that “a cod in the hand is worth two in the net”, but this is plainly a fobbing-off strategy. Cod only knows what we’d do without EU …

Controversial thought. Should people who largely voted for Brexit be rewarded for that decision? Arguably not.

These effects are DIRECTLY related to Brexit

The bribe for the fisherman sets an important precedent. If you feel you have been adversely affected by Brexit, simply write to Boris and ask for a ‘bung’.

Breathe

Parliament voted down an amendment to the Brexit Trade Bill which sought to ensure the NHS is excluded from future trade deals. This means that The NHS is once again up for sale on the international markets, breaking yet another Conservative manifesto promise. Expect American styled healthcare charges in the future and the eventual end of our NHS, currently free at the point of delivery. Oh, yes, and the £350 million per week has still not materialised …

Boris Johnson narrowly avoided defeat on a bill to avoid parliamentary scrutiny on trade deals with regimes which commit genocide. One can soon expect Liz Truss to come back from North Korea signing deals for missiles in exchange for cheese.

Breathe in the air
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Read our satirical spoofs of The Sun, Mail, Express at Private Eyelines

Brain Damage

Maslow did not deal with money in his hierarchy of needs, as it was what fellow traveller Frederick Herzberg termed a ‘dissatisfier’. Simply stated, doubling your salary does not double your motivation, but an inadequate wage is a massive source of dissatisfaction.

Losing your livelihood can also lead to mental health issues, aka what Pink Floyd referred to as ‘brain damage’ on ‘Dark Side of the Moon’. We are currently in the midst of experiencing what could be described as ‘collective PTSD’ in the UK, as lives and livelihoods are destroyed by COVID. Whilst it makes total sense to close down non-essential activities, such as hairdressers, nail bars etc. and to restrict social participation in sports and hospitality, the impacts on mental health are considerable.

Whilst Brexit is not a direct causal factor of these COVID-related closures. Brexit has contributed to our lack of resilience in the UK and therefore our sense of dystopia about the future. Going forward, Brexit will do much more damage to our sense of belonging and place in the world, with impacts on lives and livelihoods. We can only express our sorrow to those people whose lives depend on the resumption of their businesses. All we can do is to point out that the measures taken by Boris Johnson have been too little, too late. This has resulted in repeated lockdowns and restrictions and extended the pain from COVID. Adding Brexit to COVID results in a ‘Britastrophe’.

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The Great Gig in the Sky

I am part musician, part scientist, part business academic, so it pains me to say this, but if we had to choose between eating and music, the rational choice would be to eat. Yet our Brexit Government has voted for neither. With shops now emptying of fruit, veg, meat and fish, one could have taken consolation in music. Yet it emerges that Boris Johnson rejected a special deal for musicians working in Europe as part of the Brexit trade deal. I wrote on the issue of musicians working in Europe many years ago, in Voices for Europe and recently the world’s most famous musicians have protested against this criminal assault on the arts by our Government.

Won't get fooled again (by Brexit)
Won’t get fooled again (by Brexit) … We’ll be fighting on the streets – click on Roger Daltrey to help Re-Boot Britain – Graphic by Cold War Steve www.coldwarsteve.com

UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden urged musicians to use their ‘star power’ to lobby the EU to ease new visa and work permit rules. Dowden revealed his pathetic idiocy and ignorance in suggesting that musicians should be able to break international trade agreements. In doing so, he made himself and his Government look especially stupid. The fault rests with third-rate  negotiator Frost, who, instead of looking after the interests of musicians and others, wasted months of negotiations parroting the words that Britain is a sovereign country.

Money

Anthony Grayling reports on further gradual shifts to move our financial services out of Britain.

HMRC are also charging truckers for delays that THEY are causing in terms of customs checks. This will not go well. There have been several reports on extensive delays for lorry drivers. In case you are confused about why this is happening, this helpful diagram explains all:

Alone again, naturally – our place as a 3rd Country

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Time

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.

The Government has ended the restrictions on the 48-hour working week, although employers have not complained of feeling unduly shackled by EU standards and the majority of workers working more than 48 hours a week willingly opted out with better pay conditions. This opens the door to the exploitation of poorly paid workers. This breaks the government’s election manifesto pledge and was a key part of the Tories’ appeal to voters in traditional Labour seats which helped the party to secure its 2019 General Election victory. 

Time is of course at the heart of our problems with delivery of fresh food and medicines, many of which require cool chain delivery and which rely on Just In Time manufacturing in order to reach us in good condition. In some cases we have yet to see the impacts of Brexit in these areas but the signs are not good.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson continues to gaslight us into accepting sub-optimal doses of the COVID vaccine. He is going against best advice from the manufacturers and the WHO although they understand our sense of desperation, given the toxic effects of Corona + Brexit. This decision is not risk free and we shall find out the effects by experimentation.

Just 20 days in and Brexit carnage has begun, from the top to the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, as we enter the Winter of Discontent.

Will we see the dark side of the loon soon?

Mike Cashman sums up for us:

ACCEPT WHAT HAS HAPPENED AND MOVE ON?

How often have you heard this?

Well, this article compiled by Peter Cook summarises some of what has happened in the first 3 weeks of real Brexit. We all need to recognise these real problems that have arisen from the fact of Brexit and from the reckless rushed and incompetent negotiation. No one should refer any more to Project Fear – this is Reality and businesses are facing disaster.

Do we accept that this has happened? Government Ministers consistently refuse to answer questions about reasons for our dreadful situation, whether that is Brexit or Covid. As expected, they have started to blame Covid for Brexit problems.

Will Boris Johnson now move on? Will his Government act honourably, do what the Dutch Government have done and resign en masse with him? Ask your MP.

We finish as we began, with a performance of Pink Floyd’s “Another Prick in the Mall”, on a train after The People’s March:

With thanks to Sy Donne, Irina Fridman, Helga Perry, Adrian Ekins-Daukes, Mike Cashman, Jo Wace, Martin Housden, Lisa Lanfranchi, Carol Fraser, Roger Cracknell, Patricia Manning, Daphne Franks, Peter Daws, June Austin, Greg Newman for helping compile this article.