Behind Brexit lies a yearning for a past we destroyed

Was that period perfect? Of course not. Bad things happened, poverty existed, governments screwed up, and there were wars and reversals and crises. But the general trend was for increased wealth, health, life expectancy, security, openness, home-ownership, saving, disposable income, social cohesion, and acceptance of others. In the years since the mid- to late-80s, to put it mildly, the pendulum swung back. Those gains – and for the vast majority of us, they were substantial gains – have juddered to a halt, stagnated, and then begin to slide inexorably back.

Prior to that, wages were high, growth was almost constant, unions ensured jobs were safe, education was free, productivity was strong, healthcare was well funded, and housing was cheap… More here.

A quite brilliant article.

The humbling of Britain

This is not “taking back control”. This is not the proud, independent, liberated Britain that the Brexiteers promised. It is grotesque, calamitous, an epic act of self-harm brought about not by some war or disaster but by our own stupidity. And the true “enemies of the people” are not those opposing this catastrophic Brexit. They are not the million decent people from every background who marched in London last Saturday, or the five million who have petitioned to revoke Article 50, but those whose lies, zealotry, and political recklessness have all but broken Britain. For posterity’s sake, those self-styled “patriots” who have so grievously betrayed their country should be named and shamed… More here.

It’s all so sad.

The obscene moral spectacle of Theresa May’s resignation

What an abominable circus. It’s hard to know where the greater blame should be put. On the prime minister who has made her own eradication a bribe to force through the product of her failure? Or the great defenders of British sovereignty who have suddenly decided none of their principles mean anything if there is a chance to finish off a political rival?

These figures have spent the last two and a half years saying that a second referendum could not be allowed because it would damage trust in the British political system. But somehow they are unable to comprehend that their cosmic level of hypocrisy might do the same thing to anyone unlucky enough to observe it… More here.

This is a superb article that sums up a lot of what us Brits are going through at the moment. There is a small selection of powerful people in the UK who have zero morals and who do not care who they hurt, a bit like in the US at the moment.

The Fox News White House

Hannity was treated in Texas like a member of the Administration because he virtually is one. The same can be said of Fox’s chairman, Rupert Murdoch. Fox has long been a bane of liberals, but in the past two years many people who watch the network closely, including some Fox alumni, say that it has evolved into something that hasn’t existed before in the United States. Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor of Presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and the author of “Messengers of the Right,” a history of the conservative media’s impact on American politics, says of Fox, “It’s the closest we’ve come to having state TV.” More here.

Pretty sure many of us thought he would be out of the White House by now. But still it goes on…

Why the UK cannot see that Brexit is utterly, utterly stupid

Instead there has emerged one justification for reducing real wages, for allowing our economy to lose over 2 per cent of its GDP, to allow firms to make and enact plans to leave the UK: the 2016 referendum. People voted for it, so it has to be done. It is described as the “will of the people”. Yet few bother to note that almost half the people voted the other way, with those that would be most affected not even having a vote ­– and that this victory was won by illegal means. All of that is brushed aside… More here.

Half of the country has gone mad and the rest of us are not doing enough to save both halves.

No imaginable route of escape from the Brexit straitjacket

Mrs May’s manoeuvring is about stifling – rather than giving – voice to antagonisms in her party. The same can be said of Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn. His party is also divided over how to proceed over Brexit, with the membership pushing for a second referendum on the issue. Mr Corbyn has committed himself to a “confirmatory vote” but made progress to it contingent on an improbable sequence of events. Paraded as a noble expression of national dispute, his policy in reality is a repression of it.

For parliament there seems no imaginable route of escape from the Brexit straitjacket. The danger is that the public is being lulled into the idea that the apparently impossible would prove possible somehow. Denial for both Mrs May and Mr Corbyn has worked until now; but it is increasingly reckless, especially for the prime minister. The causes of Brexit are still with us, with levels of inequality and poverty rising. Mastering the mechanics of politics is not enough. Politicians need to master its substance… More here.

We are a month away from Brexit day and we are where we are. We are nowhere, we are repeating the same arguments and votes every other week, we are completely aware of the problems Brexit will cause and at least half of us are deliberately ignorant to the facts.

The problem is that the population is divided on Brexit and so are our MPs. Families are divided and so are work colleagues and this is why a referendum where a simple majority was classed as a win is ridiculous. I don’t like where this is going and I am just as disappointed by the opposition as I am with our current government.

We got through the war and we’ll get through this

A MAN born more than three decades after the Second World War is acting like he flew Spitfires against the Luftwaffe.

Martin Bishop, 41, from Lincoln, has declared that ‘we got through the war, and we will get through Brexit’ despite being minus-38 years-old when Hitler invaded Poland… More here.

Heard so many people use the war as an example of why we will be fine after Brexit. The difference is that we had no choice but to go to war, Brexit is a choice.

In answer to the first question — “What do we mean by ‘leaving the EU’?” — the book suggests options including “becoming a European Economic Area member like Norway.” That position is now anathema to Brexiteers, whose views have hardened on what leaving means as negotiations have continued… More here.

As Brexit gets closer the views of those who led the ‘criminal’ campaign get more hardline as do those who support them.

A controversial ferry contract awarded to a company with no ships as part of no-deal Brexit plans has been scrapped, the government has said. Ministers had faced criticism for the £13.8m deal with Seaborne Freight, which the BBC found had never run a ferry service. The Department for Transport said it decided to axe the deal after the company’s Irish backer pulled out… More here.

Incompetence or dodgy deal, or both?

As we get closer to Brexit day, the whole thing gets sillier. I have still not heard one fact based argument that shows how Brexit could be positive for the UK. I simply hear people saying things like ‘It will all be fine’ and ‘You have nothing to worry about’ without a shred of evidence to back up the belief.

It’s no different to climate change deniers. They don’t believe scientists and conclude that they are somehow being paid to come up with all of the evidence they have (yes, evidence). They are happy, however, to simply ‘know’ that it is not true because they have sat in a chair for a long time and listened to the likes of Trump and the Daily Mail.

Seriously, parts of our population have completely lost their minds. They have become ignorant to the truth and are instead choosing to believe what those in right-wing circles tell them without any evidence at all. They are quite happy, however, to dismiss ‘evidence’ if it does not fit their world view, their very narrow minded world view.

These are the people who follow others, those you work with who have no opinions and who just settle for an easy life. These are the people who only think about themselves and who could not give a damn about the next generation. They know the risks involved here, but are too insular and selfish to care. It’s driving me crazy and I suspect it has only just begun.

As a final thought, I’m not sure who has handled Brexit more deceptively, but I suspect that Jeremy Corbyn is the worst Brexiteer of all.

A broken system

The problem of free work is getting worse as the UK’s freelance army grows. The number of self-employed people in the UK has increased from 3.3 million in 2001 to 4.8 million in 2017, according to the ONS, contributing the most to employment growth since the financial crisis. Yet self-employed workers earn on average £240 a week, compared to £400 by those in full-time work… More here.

One small aspect of many things that are wrong in the UK at this time. The issue of rich stealing from poor is a growing one that only seems to be escalating.

Brexit is a lie

May’s defeat should dispel any illusion that there is a happy ending to the Brexit story. The truth of the matter is that the project that defined May’s premiership — negotiating a Brexit deal acceptable to both the EU and pro-Brexit legislators in her Conservative Party — was structurally impossible. The terms on which Conservative Brexiteers wanted to leave the EU were not acceptable to EU negotiators, and the compromises necessary to bring EU negotiators on board were not acceptable to Conservative Brexiteers. No amount of negotiating could address this dilemma… More at Vox.

No amount of arguing and negotiating will hide the fact that what was sold to the British people is impossible. Well, it is possible, but only by seriously damaging huge parts of the UK.

The Best Men Can Be?

I’ve been shaving since I was 12, since the beginning I used Gillette because that’s what my father used, now I will never use it again, and neither will my father, collectively been your customers for 50+ years never again #BoycottGillette #Gillette

@Gillette has made it clear they do not want the business of masculine men.

I will grant their wish.

I have used #Gillette razors since they sent me a free sample on my 18th birthday, and will no longer buy any of their products.

Watch the video above and then read the two comments below it.

So, ‘masculine’ is getting upset by an advert?

‘Masculine’ is bullying people?

I see this all of the time. Men who believe it is masculine to talk down to women, who believe it somehow threatens their masculinity to show sensitivity to others.

Men who believe they are 100% masculine often do not understand what true masculinity is.