Bristling Brock speaks out...
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The government have launched their Brexit opening shots at Brussels with proposals for the future of the customs union relationship. From what is being said there is little in the way of detail as to how these suggested options might work which in general is fine at this stage but nevertheless needs that detail available for when the negotiators sit down across the table from each other later this month. Brussels, of course, will shrug their shoulders and say 'Non' and will likely continue with that stance until there is the pre-cursor agreement on EU citizens therights, the Irish border question and, of course, the size of the divorce bill (aka: how much the EU can screw out of us).
What occurs to me is that all this posturing and counter manoeuvring was entirely predictable once Article 50 had been invoked. So what has our government being spending its time preparing - a discussion document on the minutiae of the customs union. Brilliant ! This will be a football kicked back and forth for some time, no doubt, with the cabinet still divided on the essence of Brexit, the negotiating points and the vigour with which it is levered. In the meantime we'll have Messrs Barnier and Verhofstadt twiddling their thumbs whilst the clock continues to tick away our precious negotiating time.
And what of this growing noise from the wings about another referendum ? All these vocal politicians - past and present - angling for a second vote because they think we were all duped by the first one. Do we not pretend to be a democracy ? If this was to be suggested in France, should they ever be in the same position, there'd be a boom in guillotine manufacturing and the aged would be marshalled into gainful employment to knit 'head bags' at the foot of each - though no doubt they'd want to negotiate to keep their public holidays and be paid well above the minimum wage before serious knitting could commence. Was Brexit not Brexit ? We all knew that the EU wouldn't be a passive bystander in this unique event and that it would tie the process up in constitutional knots just to complicate the whole matter. Where is our British resolve, our ability to see a way forward and take it by the horns ? Pussyfooting around with discussion documents that the EU probably won't even read really doesn't set the proper scene for Britain. Grapple with what needs grappling with - making it conditional upon satisfactory future trading arrangements being established - and start making some meaningful progress.
On a lighter note - just to show how 'Great' Britain still is, I rejoice at the news of the tortoise fished out of the garden pond and given mouth to mouth resuscitation to bring it springing back to life. Well done, whoever you are. It certainly made me smile and continue to believe there is still hope in Britain !
North Korea seems to have taken a half-step back from the brink of nuclear Armageddon whilst elTrumpo maintains his belligerent rhetoric and ego feeding Twitter pages. A belated attempt to ameliorate the anger over the Charlottesville riots has cut no ice with most onlookers and the two incidents together paint a sorry picture of how life is unfolding in this almost Disneyesque land that is also a superpower. If this wasn't so important for the world at large it would be like watching an episode of Flash Gordon battling Ming the Merciless. Tragic.
No doubt there'll be more episodes of Trumpomania following soon.
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Has anyone noticed how the most trivial infractions of our obsessively politically correct society make the 'righteous brigade' jump onto their bandwagons and berate the rest of us with their views and opinions ? I'm looking at the Clark's shoes farrago that has raised absurd accusations of dangerously defining gender roles in our young ! What tosh these self appointed guardians of public opinion speak, pretending they have some innate expertise that sets them above mere mortals. Unless anyone hasn't noticed, girls and boys ARE different and we should celebrate that and recognise that this gender distinction is the very fabric of human society. It's nothing to do with discrimination, it's to do with allowing youngsters to be young and free until such time as THEY can make their own informed decisions. Our excessively non-offensive culture with these people spouting out their indignation should oblige them to reflect - because if we don't we're going to end up with some very weird people populating our land in the future (and we probably have enough already).
It seems the Prime Minister is back from her holidays. I wouldn't deny anyone a well earned break but it seems to me that with Brexit planning having already wasted 14 or so months prevaricating, hand wringing and teeth gnashing you might reasonably have imagined that the cabinet would have continued - along with its cohorts of faceless civil servants - working on this vital issue throughout the summer. Am I being unreasonable ? After all, they wanted to be in government, they forced an unwise election to try and validate it and then they, shall we say, scarpered off on their holiday escapes. Perhaps I'm missing something vitally significant here but to me it underscores the increasingly strong thought that we actually do not have a proper government in situ right now. What we do have is a collection of individuals occupying government posts who broadly have little faith in their leader, dislike each other rather a lot and petulantly mislead each other with either no communication at all or a bare minimum of it.
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Well, here we are in 'blog-world', a new site and starting from scratch with a few selected thoughts on British politics, Brexit and some world affairs. Previously, comments and opinions have ranged far and wide with more than a touch of cynicism but we'll start off with a gentler josh at some of the current goings-on and not too much political character assassination - yet.
It seems that most British politicians have headed for the hills on holiday and no doubt in support of their European colleagues in Brussels who spend most of their time in the hills busily filling in their expense claims. But we won't dwell on that too much today as we want to set this blog rolling with a calm, thoughtful and relaxing style. That won't last more than a couple of weeks so be prepared for an 'upping of the Auntie' (though heaven knows why Auntie should be involved in all this - but that might be because I can't spell the meaningful version...).
Despite the holiday season the political parties are preparing for the conference season. That's always the highlight of the early Autumn and we, the ordinary folk who make up the electorate, are likely to be once again bombarded with meaningless rhetoric, false promises, pledges to this and that that will seldom materialise and goodness knows an awful lot of anguished gush about how they are the only ones who can make things better ! Well, we all know how that's gone over the last century or so.
Perhaps this is all to do with the current state of play where political leadership seems to have become very fragile and incumbents made permanently nervous about being ousted. I think the British do ousting quite well and the plethora of candidates for ousting - both leaders and minions - make this a jolly interesting season approaching. Pens and keyboards at the ready. We might, nevertheless, reflect a moment on this situation. Why are there so many reviled politicians in our government (and everyone else's government if we take a quick scan at them) whom seem hell bent on embarrassing themselves with utterances and foolish remarks ? Why also do we have a calibre of politician that lends itself to this public scathing, and why - this being the most important 'why' - do we, the electorate, actually vote for these people ?
The answers would be endless, I'm sure, but it begs the thought that this combination of ineptitude and apathy have led us into a political wilderness on an almost global scale. Wherever you might look, national governments appear to be in a state of perpetual crisis, defending positions rather than leading forward. Maybe, for us Brits, it's something to do with our changing culture, national identity and the often innocuous drift into values and beliefs that have no tradition or foundation (which some would argue is a rightful break in the rule and disciplines of our society whereas others might counter-argue that the very essence of our social, economic, religious and political woes stems directly from such a break). The net result, of course, is that we are divided as a nation state - not just a 'for and against' division but a division with more facets than the Koh-i-Noor, complex and frequently misunderstood. And that is a retrograde step in our long history which the political process is finding extremely hard to handle and learn about.
Yet wonky politicians add to the stuff of life and particularly for blogs. There's no doubt that in the weeks ahead, Brexit, conferences, personalities and occasional foreign upstarts will colour these pages nicely.
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