Bristling Brock speaks out...

 

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Politics is a strange phenomena, I find.   It ranges from the mundane but necessary regulation of the state to the excesses and stupidities of the state - and in between we have the rivalries of belief, ambition and choice.   Seldom, however, do we see the process of politics - for that is our chosen method of governance - actually addressing the betterment of the population at large.  Rather we see vested interest, wealth and power prevailing over common sense and any spirit of government of the people, by the people and for the people.   And the Windrush saga is a fine example of state stupidity, of the state blindly pursuing regulation rather than common sense or even humanity.   It is a story that we should regret ever became a story for it shows us up to be blind, callous and unthinking as a nation.   The PM needs to put this matter right, and do so quickly.  Excuses don't cut it.   Apologise for being stupid, rescind any equally stupid talk of punitive measures and move on.   There's plenty else out there for them to face up to.   

In Trumpland I see Mike Pompeo is already acting as Secretary of State even before his nomination is signed and sealed by going to North Korea and talking to 'the other side'.   I hope he pulls something remarkable off and defuses the tensions over a Far Eastern nuclear armageddon.   I shudder at the thought of Trump and Kim facing off to each other but if clever players on both sides can prepare the ground carefully then we might all just survive any tomfoolery with nuclear weapons.

And talking of nuclear weapons and threat, the West still faces a grandiose Russian master-plan to dominate the world.  The ping-pong of insults going back and forth over the Novichok incident in Salisbury, further compounded by the Syrian chemical attacks upon the civil population all heighten tensions and force hands that shouldn't be played.   Whilst we shouldn't be alarmist we should nevertheless be alive to the intent of Russia and particularly the intent of its leadership.   We've already been exposed to cyber interference, assassinations on our streets, aircraft probing our defence capabilities and blatant disregard for the opinions of the UN.   I'm no great fan of the toothless UN but it is the only instrument between the 'warring' parties right now.   As with North Korea, we should be actively seeking ways of defusing tension whilst making sure we are prepared for the worst.

Back home we have the peers in the Lords making a rumpus over whether the UK should actually try and remain in the customs union in order to 'resolve' the Irish border issue.   Nobody seems to have thought about talking to the EU about this as their declared position is that leaving the EU means leaving the customs union and the single market.   I'm actually in agreement with the EU on that one - if we're leaving, then we should leave and create new positions of our own.   The Irish border question, undoubtedly thorny, should not be the decider on our terms for Brexit but if we haven't got governance that can resolve this properly it'll make me wonder how on earth Britain used to rule two thirds of the world !

On the same Brexit theme, I see that Nicola Sturgeon is making political noises again after a quiet period of reflection.   To the devolved assemblies it seems that Brexit implies a so called 'power grab' by the Westminster government whereas they, of course want powers devolved to them as part of the package before any deal is signed with the EU.  In truth, nothing much has changed over the last seven or eight hundred years with England being the dominant ethnic, cultural, political and social hub of the British Isles.   Matters were as hot and volatile then as they are now because nobody likes being the junior partner in the ball-game and divisions are stoked by the ambitions of individuals - be they political or commercial.   When Britain started divesting itself of empire it should also have thought hard about the British Isles as well for there will always be grumblings and dissatisfactions from different ethnic and cultural camps that never actually quite get resolved.   If nothing else, our history should have taught us that. 

And lastly, the story of the airliner that had an engine explode and tragically kill a passenger, but which was safely landed by a steely lady pilot is worthy of much praise.   At the end of the day humankind triumphs over the fickleness of technology and we should be thankful that is still the case.