Brexit again

I’ve not posted for a while. Well over a year in fact. That’s a long time. Derby have a new manager (Frank Lampard) after appointing and losing Gary Rowett (shame. Almost.).

and still Brexit isn’t done.

Again, we have discussions and debates about which type of Brexit we should have. What then people wanted and voted for. How much better no deal is than a bad deal.

And yet, truth be told, a bad deal is a disaster for the country. If you don’t believe me, read the government assessments.

It’s taken over two years, plus two prime ministers and two Brexit secretaries to get to this point of a negotiated divorce agreement.  And we have a few pages on a future relationship that will be worse than membership of the EU. These things are self evident, supported by Government assessments.

Yet we persist.

And at the same time the UN inspector says that the UK has 1.5m people living in destitution. That’s all on the heads of the UK government.

Leaving the EU won’t solve this major stain on our country.  It needs a change of hearts, minds and bodies in government.  And it always has done, despite what people may have told you…

Israel

Let me be honest. It’s never a place I’ve wanted to visit.

Now I’m here after a complicated trip…

Flight to Zurich, then to Tel Aviv… then the fun starts… long lines at immigration… bagagge picked up OK… internet expensive and difficult so I need a GPS… car rental takes for ever to sort…  then the GPS takes me around in circles before I finally get on the road and head north.

Four hours after landing I arrive at the hotel.  Tired and exhausted.

I’ve seen a shepherd – and biblical shepherds couldn’t have been more disreputable.  Lots of flowers and lots of cacti…

A few Israeli flags but some massive Palestinian ones…

Driving is tricky… signs in Hebrew, with place names in Arabic and English so you never quite know what’s required…

still, safe and sound so now for bed…

 

 

Reflections on Brexit

So it’s been a while. Sorry. Actually, I’m not. I’ve been fuming, in a loudish way, about Brexit for about a year and that’s hardly conducive to sensible blogs.

But this week ‘negotiations’ have started. A couple of weeks. And we had a General Election.

We’ve had terror attacks and a major tower block fire.   So there is stuff to discuss…

I’ll start with Brexit, because it’s the Big Thing.  It seems to me that things have taken time to change.  Cameron resigning threw the cat amongst the pigeons and that wasted time.  May appeared as Leader and unelected PM after a futile contest of back-stabbing and bitterness.  ‘Brexit Means Brexit’ she thundered – although no one quite new what that meant.  Labour struggled with Corbyn as Leader with factions and fanatics creating a welcome diversion for the Tories and their divisions.

The polls gave May a 20 point lead and Corbyn no chance.  Remainers had a march but didn’t really get organised and it seemed Brexit meant the worst kind of leaving…

Then May, after a series of mistakes, blunders and U turns, decided that – against her word – she’d call a snap election…

And that’s when the world changed…

Corbyn is at his best talking to real people about issues. He’s rubbish when trapped around dropping bombs (a good thing I’d say; we’ve had too many war mongers) but get him talking about real people and he’s red hot.

May is rubbish around people. She’s rubbish around Stage managed people.  She has the leadership skills of a cow shed and the charisma of a sheep dip.  Repeating ‘strong and stable’ when ducking debates isn’t strong. Blaming things you’ve been in charge of for the past six years for failing to keep people safe from terrorists isn’t stable…

Corbyn lost the election but I suspect he’s won the next one…  May won the election but lost all power…

Now Brexit negotiations have begun and we are still no clearer about what we want to achieve than some vague notions of taking back control of things we control, and wanting some relationship with the EU that isn’t what we have now…

so it’s all nonsense. And Diddy David Davies went to Brussels without any prepared papers and had to concede on all the points being discussed…

We are a long way from leaving the EU. The economy isn’t great. May has no credibility and the lies of the leave campaign are exposed more clearly each week.

The sooner people change their minds the better we will all be…

Ties

I’m off to a breakfast meeting this morning. I’m on the train which is good. It’s going to be a hot one so I’ve sensibly gone for the linen option – it worked in Seoul so Brum and Notts should be fine.

However, there is a challenge…

At lunchtime I’m off to an Old Boys’ Lunch, which is a first… not being an Old Boy of course. I’m old and I was once a boy. No, this is a first in the sense that I’ve not done one of these.

Its at a Golf Club in a salubrious neighbourhood. I asked about dress code… 99% wear lounge suits or blazers…

I haven’t worn a suit since 2012… and its hotter than a hot tub today, so the blazer is out…

The dress code does, though, require a tie…

Its hotter than a boiler room on a tramp steamer in Macau and I have to wear a TIE!  (The emphasis is all their’s)…

So I shall…  I shall also be mature about it… my readers would expect nothing less…

New Nukes

So it looks like May is going to agree to an expensive deal after all. So we will get a design notorious for over running, backed by money from China and all at a massive price premium.

The decisions to privatise the CEGB in a piecemeal fashion continue to hurt the country. Instead of having a design that we sell to the world, we pay over the odds for a French one…

 

Incredible India

It’s been 15 or 16 years since I was in India.

Things have changed. Driving is a little less chaotic, cars are newer.   Security it tighter

Some things haven’t.   Tuk-tuks with no lights. Motorbikes going the wrong way. Pedestrians wandering the roads.

The people are still wonderful, high class hotels are still high class.

It’s incredible.

Brexit

I like to comment on the absurd and daft normally. But this Brexit thing has got me riled. Really riled.

So here are some thoughts and points. I don’t expect you to agree or comment or anything. Frankly if you voted out I don’t want to know you:  you’ve voted on the basis of lies, untruths and an odd sense of something.

You’ve made the far right happy. Your decision has already led to hate being heaped upon people.

Mid you voted remain then you’ve been let down – massively let down – by the political class who are now ‘just getting on with making the best of things’ by working together to vent spleen and stab each other in the back…

  • not everyone who voted leave is a nationalist or a racist but you supported a position put forward by nationalists and racists
  • Farage wanted to get Britain out of the EU – now he wants to destroy the EU…
  • the EU isn’t perfect but it’s played a massive part in delivering peaceful transition from dictatorships of the left and right to democratic systems
  • if immigrants are to blame for your problems then you aren’t seeing your problem – a lack of services and hospitals and doctors and school places and houses is the fault of successive governments
  • you vote for cuts and you get cuts
  • there may be an n missing from the above
  • removing migrants from an area will reduce – directly and rapidly – funding for the NHS in local areas. It will reduce funding for school places.
  • I hear that people want Britain to be great again. No one knows what this means or how to achieve it because it is abject bollocks
  • voting leave has raised the prospect of the Northern Ireland peace process being derailed
  • the people of Gib voted to stay. If we do leave their position as part of the U.K. will change
  • the prospect of leaving the EU has raised the possibility of Scotland leaving the UK
  • Cameron, Osborne, Corbyn, McD, etc. failed the campaign
  • Boris and Gove and IDS and Farage are opportunists without a plan
  • can anyone explain what control is?
  • if you want to live in a democratic system then the UK isn’t really it… Largest legislative body outside the PRC is the House of Lords – unelected
  • we have an unelected ahead of State who has been in position for 60+ years
  • the Baby Boomers had the best this country had to offer – jobs, growth, education, prosperity, health, pensions, unearned income from privatisation and house price increases. They largely voted to have their cake and eat it, again damaging the prospects of the young…

Im sure there is more I could say.  I may or may not. But I won’t forget…  I still feel sporting success and failure years later. This is a political decision that isn’t reversible.  This is different.

Morocco

So I’m in Morocco. Currently in Tangiers after flying from the hot, sunny bit on the east of the Atlas Mountains to Casablanca and then being driven to Tangiers.
It’s a diverse place. Friendly people. Great food. Stunning landscapes.
If you want sun then give it a go – I doubt you’ll be disappointed.