Bristling Brock speaks out...

 

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Despite the political rhetoric it is hard to see how the PM can square the argument over the customs 'backstop' plan and at the same time fulfill the Brexit mandate to a satisfactory level of acceptance.   The inevitable scenario this creates is that there will either be a very soft Brexit extending in many respects beyond 2020 (and for 'soft' read a continuing associate membership of the EU) or a very hard Brexit where no satisfactory deal is agreed and we just pack our bags and leave.   It is equally hard to see why the Irish border issue should be so problematic and also why it should be being regarded as a British problem rather than an EU problem.   That this could be the defining issue that guides the final outcome of the negotiations seems absurd - if we have no deal then there will be a hard border - but that border will exist on both sides of the frontier; if we have a a deal that by any other name means we effectively stay in the EU customs union for an undisclosed period of time then we do not have Brexit, rather a devious manoeuvre that still has us shackled to the increasingly chaotic EU - but a soft border with Ireland.   It is just as hard to fathom why the government argue that an electronic customs border cannot be put in place within the remaining time left before the negotiating door closes on Brexit next March.  This is bunkum even by Westminster standards.   We are one of the most advanced technical nations in the world and it is not beyond those capacities to introduce a workable electronic border.  What we all might ruminate upon is that it is not the technology that is lacking but it is the following of EU procurement rules that is dogging any progress on this.   Why on earth are we so hung up on the EU procurement rules when the whole purpose of Brexit is to rid ourselves of this and many other bureaucratic nightmares ?   Get wise in Westminster - screw the EU procurement rules and organise a contract with a British technology company that can get on with delivering the solution.  If we awarded such a contract to a foreign company, God help us in the future !

Our governance is being just as short-sighted by allowing Russian 'black' money to be effectively laundered through British financial institutions.  After the Salisbury incident it is incredible that no measures have been taken to isolate, freeze and suspend Russian financial trades through the City.   What does our esteemed government think it is doing in allowing this vile traffic to continue ?  By default it is supporting organised crime, exploitation, abuse of human rights, slavery, prostitution and vast amounts of drug trafficking - just the stuff we really want to be connected to from this aggressive and totalitarian state.   And what happens to the profits they glean from trading through the City ?   What happens is that all these criminal practises start to migrate to the source of the money - in this case, the UK, making our towns, cities and countryside a haven for every Eastern European rogue out for a buck.   We already have enough criminals established here.   Enticing more is nothing but utter stupidity.  And this says nothing about our foreign policy reactions to Russian expansionism - that's an entirely separate story of woe !

Israel is still shooting Palestinians and rattling sabres with Iran and yet the UN sits on its hands and makes mealy mouthed protests that wouldn't deter a mouse.   As a global community we let ourselves down enormously by dual standard reactions to events in some of the world's hot-spots - though in truth the UN has been an abject failure across the board for the last half century or more.  That Trump has openly sided with Israel and effectively dismissed the notion of a free Palestine (with or without a Hamas government) and beligerently opened up the new US embassy in Jerusalem has given the Israeli's carte-blanche to do what they like against whomever they please in the name of 'defending' themselves.  The glint of cleverness in Trump's Korean strategy has been instantly doused by his actions in the Middle East.

And staying on Trumpland for a moment longer, his stoking of trade war sanctions and tariffs against China is yet another example of his lack of understanding about anything.   Bully boy tactics might have just worked on North Korea but they won't work on an economy as powerful as China's.   Someone smart once said a long-time ago that we should 'Let China sleep on for when it is awoken, the world will tremble'.   China is certainly not asleep and whilst we might not like much about its politics and style of international business, prodding them with a sharp trade stick will affect us all.   You might like to ask your so called friends and neighbours, Mr Trump, and find out what the collateral damage might be on them before you start trying to Lord it.

And lastly - John Bercow.   What a nasty specimen he has turned out to be.   Whilst I'm all for parliament having a few more characters and personalities in the House (it's desperately grey and lack-lustre at the moment) this odious little man needs to be shifted.   But I'm sure he'll survive in post under current circumstances.