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:
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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’.
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.
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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.
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.
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:
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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.