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Saturday 3 March 2018

Brexit: No deal, No money.

It was always going to come down to this - a trade deal in exchange for danegeld. Mrs May's speech has done all it could - in uniting public and political opinion at home, as far as is possible. The zealots and bigots of the EU will be stone deaf to suggestions of a pragmatic outcome; they would still rather destroy all Europe than concede favoured access for a single British wiper blade. It's easy for the Brussels bigots to have principles - they don't have national parliaments or voters to bother about, just denunciation for heresy by their fellow unelected officials. 

So to me Mrs May's speech was also what I term a 'Court speech'. In a construction dispute, once it's clear that you're headed to some sort of tribunal settlement, correspondence between the parties is always written for the benefit of the adjudicator / arbitrator  rather than the enlightenment of the other party. So this speech was eminently reasonable, offered real concessions, restated red lines and reminded the EU that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. One can imagine counsel for the United Kingdom quoting from it extensively before the judges at the International Court in the Hague.

The only thing of which we can be absolutely certain is that the EU bigots will spew May's offer out next week, with insults, sarcasm and barbed invective - all of which will sound nicely absurd, deeply unreasonable and plainly wrong when read-out in the calm of a Hague court in three years time. One of the purposes of Mrs May's speech was to invoke just this sort of idiotic reaction - and idiots such as Verhofstadt, a gobby man who simply can't keep his gob shut, have already started piling up the evidence. 

With the only uncontested payment being £10bn a year or so for the two year transition period (if it happens) everything else in the outline settlement - including the EU's insistence that we can't offset the UK's share of asset values in the EU - is noncontractual, an ex-gratia settlement. It's on the table to pay for a bespoke trade agreement. No deal, no pay. 

Sunday's election in Italy may offer the EU an additional headache, and now Mr Rutte from the Netherlands is also pushing back against the Federasts as the Visegrad group grow in confidence. Now where are the fools who used to lecture us all that 'the British simply aren't interested in the EU'?

Friday 2 March 2018

Ice giants and snow trolls

Another intermission post whilst we wait for Mrs May, so those of you who want a choc ice or a smoke please slink away now. 

Ice giants
It's a short filler piece at the end of the news here - how Britain can't cope with 5cm of snow. Well, to a point, Lord Copper. Here we can expect snow up to 2m deep in winter, though it's not been over 60cm since I've lived here, and dawn temperatures of -20­­° are not unusual. We all cope and things carry on as normal; the postman ploughs his little van through snowbanks, the refuse vehicle wears snowchains and folk always wear hats and coats inside the car. Plus we have winter tyres and anyone owning a decent tractor or loading shovel can bid to be a snow clearance contractor. The trains don't miss a beat and most of the time the schools stay open. 

So wearily I have to explain for the fifth time that ice and snow events are rare enough in the UK not to maintain a standing provision for them - it's easier to take a minor economic hit from snow disruption every ten years than pay for kit and provision that will be redundant most winters. Austrians aren't ice giants - in fact they're less cold tolerant than most Brits, the houses and pubs here being without exception grossly overheated and actually uncomfortable for an Englishman used to Anglian country houses maintained at an equable 16° in winter except for the spaces immediately in front of the open fireplaces. 

Only the main road through the valley here is salted - all the rest of the steep little single lane ways up the sides are gritted. Salt only works to -15°, and the grit is surprisingly effective once cemented into the ice, a bit like driving on worn sandpaper. 

Snow trolls

In addition to the comments to previous posts I've now had two emails asking me to exclude a commentator whom many contributors find disruptive. I have to say he doesn't upset me and I'm sometimes quite grateful for a sharp puncturing of any hubristic posturing into which I stray. He was also quick to defend Mr Spalton's undoubted very high standards of expertise, erudition and wisdom when this was challenged. I'm also dyed to the core in my commitment to free speech and against censorship, and have warned previously against a real danger of social media becoming an echo chamber, so I embrace dissent as healthy.

On the other hand I am deeply conscious of the offence taken by several loyal and long standing readers, and aware that the person concerned quite naturally can't resist so easily provoking a reaction from many. 

So for now a plea, please, to not get either entrenched or go into full combat mode on this.

Thursday 1 March 2018

Brexit battle lines drawn

In what can only be a co-ordinated campaign by Ultra Remainers, their forces are all on the same battlefield at the same time. Ultra Remainer serving and ex-civil servants, two ex prime ministers, both delusional (one who imagines the ERM and one who imagines the Iraq War were good things), Corbyn's public conversion to a Customs Union, the launch of the EU draft agreement, Barnier, and rude mechanicals and noises off as Andrew Adonis, AC Grayling and the other establishment PTSD casualties set up a louder than usual whine. Blair of course will be spreading his poison from Brussels today - so loathed is he by all sections of the British public there can be few platforms for him here. 

It's instructive that the Telegraph has now adopted the 'Ultra Remainers' term to describe all those establishment figures who have staked their wealth and careers on the EU bandwagon to the extent that they can't let go. With just over a year to Freedom Day, and backed by Soros billions, they will throw everything into the battle. 

Of course I don't mean anything as vulgar as Brexiteers and Ultra Remainers battling on the street. Ultra Remainers don't really do streets and no ordinary Remainer I know could be arsed actually to fight for it, unlike a good proportion of Brexiteers who are rearing to go. No, Ultra Remainers slink along the corridors of power, loiter in mahogany clubs, whisper at black tie events, rat-gnaw at Euro chicken at glittering tables. They thought they governed Britain and are still smarting from the slap they got on 23rd June 2016. They are not prepared to give up power so easily. 

That they are now prepared to so nakedly reveal themselves, from civil servants to their EU handlers, means either desperation or a confidence that they will not be exposed as having conspired against an elected government, will never face sanctions for their actions, will never face a stripping of their honours or a degradation of their estate. If we win this battle, I pray we prove their confidence misplaced. If we lose, I seriously fear the extent of civil disorder that will result. 


Tuesday 27 February 2018

Whitewater ride for Brexit

There can be no-one left in Britain today, bar the poor 'Grayling' sods who have lost all reason, who imagines that the EU is a benign organisation. After fomenting conflict and death in the Balkans and Ukraine, they're now using the tensions in Northern Ireland to threaten the UK with a border war. Sadly the current Irish PM, Varadker, is a preening queen more at home in the darkness of Dublin's sleazy gay nightlife than in the halls of statesmen. He is a creature of Brussels and will do exactly as he is told, whatever the cost to peace and to the people of Ireland.

If anyone doubted that a fight against the EU is a fight against evil, this surely should convince the doubters.  

Brussels is said to be preparing tomorrow to destroy the progress we all imagined had been secured over Christmas. They will insist we impose a hard border in Northern Ireland, and we will refuse. Their driving the UK towards either a hard exit or a Labour government, a new referendum and a reversal of Brexit is deliberate and inescapable. This is not a negotiating process designed to ensure an amicable future, but unsheathed hostility and territorial aggrandisement, meddling by power-struck fools and amateurs in Brussels with an undistinguished record of failure, conflict, death and disaster in everything they've ventured. They're gambling, and playing with peace in Northern Ireland.

Corbyn is as big a fool as Varadker. His Customs Union stance neither endeared him to Labour remainers not cemented the Labour allegiance of Labour Brexiteers. It has, perhaps, turned the first cog of the ratchet that will lay a trail of 'reason' as to why the UK should not leave the EU, and a reversal of Labour's manifesto position. 

This is a whitewater ride for Britain. Either we find the courage in our hearts to come together to stand against the might of Brussels, or we surrender our wealth and our democracy, abase ourselves on our bellies and beg the unelected officials of Brussels for mercy. And yes, they seriously do believe the latter option is now possible.

Monday 26 February 2018

Crooked Phil Shiner still a shit

The Telegraph carries the story this morning of how crooked lawyer Phil Shiner, now struck-off, hid his assets to avoid paying for the costs of his campaign of dishonest and utterly morally corrupt  false and manufactured allegations against members of HM Armed Forces, devised as part of a crooked plan to deceive justice and get rich.
"The Insolvency Service discovered a trail that included transferring ownership of his £300,000 house in Birmingham and two guitars he valued at £3,500, to a family trust in December 2016. The terms of the trust allowed him to live in the property. He also sold two commercial buildings for a total of £550,000, transferring the money to his now defunct law firm Public interest lawyers. According to the Insolvency Service, he then took at least £170,000 out of the law firm to top up his pension by almost £95,000, putting the rest into a family trust.
Justin Dionne, Official Receiver from the Insolvency Service, said: “Mr Shiner thought he could be clever by giving away his assets to his family members so that when he declared himself bankrupt there wasn’t anything to pay his creditors with."
The man is an utter shit with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. What concerns me are the number of  Phil Shiners amongst the neolib Metropolitan elite still exercising their crooked avarice.  

I'll post again after the Corbyn speech - which could well prove a watershed for us all