The last laugh: David Cameron and George Osborne failed the UK bitterly – but succeeded in hoodwinking the BBC.
There I was, virtually self-flagellating by surveying the post ‘Brexit-Day’ fall-out on Twitter, engaging in a bit myself, when I was fortunate to come across a tweet from our former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
I very nearly choked on my cup of tea.
“Trying to convince you various fiascos were triumphs”. Yes. He really did use those words.
“Happy memories”? Well Mr Osborne, your “happy memories” acting as an Agent Provocateur, openly attempting to deceive those who would keep the British public informed, are actually pretty distasteful to some of us. Certainly to those who still perceive honesty and transparency as a good thing, and/or the most important qualities we want to see in a politician.
But perhaps it’s this exact flippancy about dishonesty, as so marvellously demonstrated by the man who once controlled Britain’s finances, that’s enabled this age of ‘moral bankruptcy’ and zero accountability we’re currently facing. Down the barrel of an economic shotgun.
Politicians of his ilk are literally laughing in our faces.
For information (as Yr Obdt Srvt is currently too tired to think straight).
The fact that the UK government was trying to use international security as a bargaining-chip for a trade deal gives a very poor account of Mrs May and her cronies.
Theresa May’s Brexit launch suffered a series of heavy blows after key planks of her opening strategy were point-blank rejected by Europe’s top politicians.
German chancellor Angela Merkel publically dismissed her plan to begin talks on a lucrative trade deal, saying negotiations on Britain’s EU divorce – including a bill potentially hitting €60bn – must come first.
European Parliament negotiator Guy Verhofstadt then brushed off what was described by others as Ms May’s “blatant threat” to withdraw British terror and crime-fighting co-operation, in order to extract a good trade deal.
Asked if he thought Ms May was engaged in “blackmail”, the European Parliament’s co-ordinator for Brexit said: “I try to be a gentleman, so towards a lady I don’t even use or think about the word ‘blackmail’.”
Back in London the Prime Minister was accused of souring the fledgling Brexit talks with her attempt to tie pan-European security collaboration to any deal.
Ken Livingstone arrives at the hearing that will discuss whether his comments about Hitler and Zionism brought the Labour Party into disrepute [Image: PA].
Having done a great deal of research on this case, This Site knows that Ken Livingstone has not brought the Labour Party into disrepute, but has accurately quoted facts.
Whether that is accepted by the panel from the Labour Party’s National Constitutional Committee is a different matter, of course.
Mr Livingstone is right to say there had been “real collaboration” between Nazis and German Zionists in the 1930s – there was.
He is also right to say that this does not mean Hitler was a Zionist and that he never suggested this. The reasons for Hitler’s deal with the Zionists are well-documented in other articles on This Site and it is to be hoped that they are fully explored in the hearing.
Of course a huge amount of the case against Mr Livingstone is that his comments caused deep hurt and offence to Jewish people including Holocaust survivors. One must question the truth of that statement.
Are these people offended because the statements were untrue? Clearly not, because it isn’t.
Are they offended because it contradicts what they thought was true? Possibly.
Are they offended because they were told to be offended by people who were distorting the facts? This is likely. The right-wing mass media were full of anti-Livingstone commentary at the end of last April and the beginning of May – all of which could be refuted very easily if one only mentioned the facts.
So Ken Livingstone’s comments weren’t responsible for any damage at all; on the contrary, it was done by the comments made against him – and it is those within the Labour Party who made those comments who should be facing disciplinary action.
The hearing concludes today (Friday, March 31).
Ken Livingstone has dismissed criticism of his controversial comments about Hitler as he headed into a disciplinary hearing.
The former London mayor could be expelled from Labour by a misconduct panel over his claim that Hitler had supported Zionism in the 1930s.
As he arrived he said there had been “real collaboration” between Nazis and Zionists before World War Two.
But he said claims he had said Hitler was a Zionist were “fake news”.
This scepticism was abundantly clear in the way the House of Commons greeted the statement on Article 50 that Mrs May croaked her way through yesterday – a statement that was so cliched, uninspiring and false that her fellow MPs didn’t even wait for her to finish making it before they started subjecting her to mockery and ridicule:
Content aside, the presentation of this #Article50 statement is shocking. May being mocked by MPs. When Britain needs strength, we get May.
“This is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back,” she said – lying.
“We will make our own decisions and our own laws, take control of the things that matter most to us…” We always did; we always had.
“… and take the opportunity to build a stronger, fairer Britain— a country that our children and grandchildren are proud to call home. That is our ambition and our opportunity, and it is what this Government are determined to do.” Lies and drivel. Conservative policy has always been to increase unfairness. When she refers to “our children and grandchildren”, she means the offspring of rich Tories – not future generations of the British people at large. A Tory’s ambition is to help him- or herself, and that is the opportunity Mrs May is taking.
“At moments such as these—great turning points in our national story—the choices that we make define the character of our nation. We can choose to say that the task ahead is too great. We can choose to turn our face to the past and believe that it cannot be done. Or we can look forward with optimism and hope, and believe in the enduring power of the British spirit. I choose to believe in Britain and that our best days lie ahead. I do so because I am confident that we have the vision and the plan to use this moment to build a better Britain.” None of this meant anything at all.
“Leaving the European Union presents us with a unique opportunity. It is this generation’s chance to shape a brighter future for our country—a chance to step back and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be. My answer is clear: I want the United Kingdom to emerge from this period of change stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking than ever before. I want us to be a secure, prosperous, tolerant country, a magnet for international talent and a home to the pioneers and innovators who will shape the world ahead. I want us to be a truly global Britain: the best friend and neighbour to our European partners, but a country that reaches beyond the borders of Europe, too – a country that goes out into the world to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike.” Still no sign of any content.
PM statement on Brexit. She is going for the Guinness Book of Records on the number of cliches she can squeeze into a speech. Oh dear!
“That is why I have set out a clear and ambitious plan for the negotiations ahead. It is a plan for a new deep and special partnership between Britain and the European Union—a partnership of values; a partnership of interests; a partnership based on co-operation in areas such as security and economic affairs; and a partnership that works in the best interests of the United Kingdom, the European Union and the wider world. Perhaps now, more than ever, the world needs the liberal, democratic values of Europe…” At this point she was interrupted by an eruption of laughter across the Chamber.
Theresa May delivers Article 50 Statement.. refers liberal democratic values of Europe. The Chamber erupts! #BrexitDay
“That is why, although we are leaving the institutions of the European Union, we are not leaving Europe. We will remain a close friend and ally. We will be a committed partner. We will play our part to ensure that Europe is able to project its values and defend itself from security threats, and we will do all that we can to help the European Union to prosper and succeed.
“In the letter that has been delivered to President Tusk today, copies of which I have placed in the Library of the House, I have been clear that the deep and special partnership that we seek is in the best interests of the United Kingdom and of the European Union, too. I have been clear that we will work constructively in a spirit of sincere co-operation to bring this partnership into being, and I have been clear that we should seek to agree the terms of this future partnership, alongside those of our withdrawal, within the next two years.
“I am ambitious for Britain, and the objectives I have set out for these negotiations remain. We will deliver certainty wherever possible so that business, the public sector and everybody else has as much clarity as we can provide as we move through the process. That is why tomorrow we will publish a White Paper confirming our plans to convert the acquis into British law so that everyone will know where they stand, and it is why I have been clear that the Government will put the final deal agreed between the UK and the EU to a vote in both Houses of Parliament before it comes into force.
“We will take control of our own laws and bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Britain. Leaving the European Union will mean that our laws will be made in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, and those laws will be interpreted not by judges in Luxembourg, but in courts across this country.
“We will strengthen the Union of the four nations that comprise our United Kingdom.”
"We will strengthen the union of the four nations that comprise our United Kingdom." These are really words coming from her mouth.
“We will negotiate as one United Kingdom, taking account of the specific interests of every nation and region of the UK. When it comes to the powers that we will take back from Europe, we will consult fully on which powers should reside in Westminster and which should be passed on to the devolved Administrations. But no decisions currently taken by the devolved Administrations will be removed from them. It is the expectation of the Government that the devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will see a significant increase in their decision-making power as a result of this process.
“We want to maintain the common travel area with the Republic of Ireland. There should be no return to the borders of the past. We will control immigration so that we continue to attract the brightest and the best to work or study in Britain, but manage the process properly so that our immigration system serves the national interest. We will seek to guarantee the rights of EU citizens who are already living in Britain, and the rights of British nationals in other member states, as early as we can. This is set out very clearly in the letter as an early priority for the talks ahead.”
Again this ridiculous language from May that she'll 'seek to guarantee' rights of existing EU migrants. Why doesn't she just guarantee them?
“We will pursue a bold and ambitious free trade agreement with the European Union that allows for the freest possible trade in goods and services between Britain and the EU’s member states, that gives British companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets, and that lets European businesses do the same in Britain. European leaders have said many times that we cannot cherry-pick and remain members of the single market without accepting the four freedoms that are indivisible. We respect that position and, as accepting those freedoms is incompatible with the democratically expressed will of the British people, we will no longer be members of the single market.” This is a breach of a Conservative Party manifesto pledge, of course.
“We are going to make sure that we can strike trade agreements with countries from outside the European Union, too, because important though our trade with the EU is and will remain, it is clear that the UK needs to increase significantly its trade with the fastest growing export markets in the world.” And will the UK’s workers have to suffer reduced rights, and the UK’s consumers buy lower-quality goods, as a result of this?
“We hope to continue to collaborate with our European partners in the areas of science, education, research and technology so that the UK is one of the best places for science and innovation. We seek continued co-operation with our European partners in important areas such as crime, terrorism and foreign affairs. And it is our aim to deliver a smooth and orderly Brexit, reaching an agreement about our future partnership by the time the two-year article 50 process has concluded, and then moving into a phased process of implementation in which Britain, the EU institutions and member states prepare for the new arrangements that will exist between us.” At least she has finally accepted that a phased approach is necessary and the change cannot happen all at once.
“We understand that there will be consequences for the UK of leaving the EU. We know that we will lose influence over the rules that affect the European economy. We know that UK companies that trade with the EU will have to align with rules agreed by institutions of which we are no longer a part, just as we do in other overseas markets—we accept that. However, we approach these talks constructively, respectfully and in a spirit of sincere co-operation, for it is in the interests of both the United Kingdom and the European Union that we should use this process to deliver our objectives in a fair and orderly manner. It is in the interests of both the United Kingdom and the European Union that there should be as little disruption as possible. And it is in the interests of both the United Kingdom and the European Union that Europe should remain strong, prosperous and capable of projecting its values in the world.” Here, she was backtracking furiously from previous, confrontational, comments.
There was more, but it is pointless to continue; the point is made.
Under Mrs May, the UK is backing out of Europe – meaning nobody has any idea where we are going now.
Least of all our hapless, hopeless prime minister.
During the EU referendum Vote Leave pledged to repatriate £350m it said was being sent each week to the EU [Image: BBC].
Of course the laughter that greeted Tulip Siddiq was actually intended for those members of the British public who voted ‘Leave’ in the belief that the UK even gives £350 million a week to the European Union, let alone the belief that a Conservative would ever use that money to fund the NHS instead.
Chris Grayling’s claim that the idea of giving £350 million a week to the NHS – as painted along the side of the infamous “Brexit bus” that toured the UK throughout last year’s EU referendum campaign – was merely an “aspiration” is completely false.
Boris Johnson was indeed one of the many Leave supporters who campaigned using the slogan – and never once suggested that the NHS would not receive all £350 million per week, that the UK doesn’t provide that much in any case, or that he and the other campaigners only aspired to use the money in this way.
So, on the day the UK’s unelected prime minister, Theresa May, notified the EU of this country’s intention to leave that organisation, it was entirely appropriate for Tulip Siddiq to ask whether the pledge would be honoured.
The response she received spoke volumes.
Not only was Boris Johnson “smirking” at the British public – the whole Conservative Government, Theresa May included, was laughing at us.
An MP was greeted with laughter from the Government benches after she asked when Theresa May would fulfil Boris Johnson’s Brexit pledge of £350m for the NHS—and accused the Foreign Secretary of “smirking at the British public”.
Labour’s Tulip Siddiq asked whether the Prime Minister would honour the Vote Leave campaign slogan used by prominent Brexiteers including Mr Johnson and Michael Gove, and which was plastered across the now-infamous red bus.
Cabinet minister Chris Grayling later claimed the slogan was merely an “aspiration”.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Ms Siddiq said: “The Foreign Secretary during the EU referendum campaign urged people to, and I quote, ‘Take back control of huge sums of money, £350m a week, and spend it on our priorities such as the NHS’.
“The Prime Minister will trigger Article 50 today. Can the Prime Minister confirm precisely when she wants to fulfil the promise made by her cabinet colleague, who is sitting on the front bench smirking at the British public?”
A lying toad: Theresa May tells Parliament there is no turning back from Brexit. This is simply untrue.
For information: Theresa May is a lying toad.
A leaked resolution from the European Parliament shows Theresa May is fundamentally lying about Article 50, on the day she invokes it.
The Prime Minister invoked Article 50, the process for leaving the EU, on 29 March. She has notified European Council President Donald Tusk by letter.
In May’s accompanying statement, she said: “This is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back.”
But a leaked resolution from the European Parliament shows that is simply not true: The UK will be able to revoke its notification of Article 50 but this must be “subject to conditions set by all EU27 so they cannot be used as a procedural device or abused in an attempt to improve the actual terms of the United Kingdom’s membership”.
While the process is vague at this initial stage, the resolution’s guiding principles clearly state that the UK has the power to stop Article 50. So contrary to May’s statement, Britain could turn back.
72 per cent of the EU’s remaining 27 states must accept the incoming withdrawal agreement. Then, it must pass through the European Parliament on a simple majority vote.
The Secretary of State for Health contacted a survivor of female genital mutilation (FGM) and invited her for an interview only in order to ask if she could still have orgasms, it seems. If this is true, he should be sacked at once.
FGM is a serious issue and yet the tone of Jeremy Hunt’s question indicates not only that he wasn’t taking it seriously at all, but that – frankly – he was titillated by it. That is inappropriate to a point well beyond insult.
The person subjected to his questioning – Nimco Ali – seems to have taken it all in her stride; she can be heard laughing at the memory of it, and she said she considered him to be entitled to ask such questions because he’s the Health Secretary.
This Writer takes a different view.
Hunt’s behaviour is yet another reason he is the worst Health Secretary in UK history. Shallow, false and unprofessional, he disgraces every citizen of the United Kingdom.
And yet we put up with him.
Jeremy Hunt has been accused of asking a Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) campaigner whether “girls like you” can still have an orgasm.
Nimco Ali claimed the Health Secretary found her via a Google search and that he had no idea about FGM at the time.
The former civil servant, who is the director of the Daughters of Eve non-profit organisation, told the News Roast podcast that the pair met at his Whitehall office four years ago.
“This man is the Secretary of State for Health but he has no idea about FGM and I don’t think he even reads his briefings,” said Ms Ali, recalling her thoughts at the time.
She said he asked: “What I really want to know Nimco, is, can girls like you have an orgasm?”
The Department of Health refused to comment on Ms Ali’s allegation.
Nigel Farage: Why does he have that smile on his face? [Image: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images].
What does this say about Nigel Farage?
To This Writer, it says that he is finally showing his true colours. Having campaigned tirelessly for the UK’s ruin, he is now planning to run away – possibly to the United States – to escape the backlash when the inevitable happens.
In fairness, he stuck around longer than most of the other Brextremists. Michael Gove and Boris Johnson were out the door while we were all still absorbing the result.
David Cameron (not a supporter of Brexit, but the person most directly responsible for what happened because he called the referendum to prevent a threatened split in the Parliamentary Conservative Party) resigned on the day the result was known.
But Farage has spent months crowing about the result.
Now he’s saying he won’t hang around to suffer the fallout.
This should be the final nail in UKIP’s coffin.
Nigel Farage has suggested he doesn’t plan to stick around if Brexit goes badly.
On Monday night on his regular radio show, the former Ukip leader, who has reportedly been waiting to be offered some sort of position in relation to President Donald Trump’s administration for months, said he would skip town if Brexit became an economic disaster.
On the eve of the UK government triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, notifying the European Union of this nation’s intention to leave, Theresa May released a statement via the ConservativeHome website.
This Writer thinks it would be useful for people to read the responses the article received when it was publicised on Twitter, before reading her actual words. They show the depth of public feeling against what she is doing.
So, when ConHome tweeted the main message – “Now that the decision has been made to leave the EU, it is time to come together” – these are the responses it received:
You can read the thread yourself – most of the comments are in the same vein, making it clear that Brexit is catastrophic for support of the Conservative Party.
Now read on, to see what Mrs May said that has upset them all so much:
“When I sit around the negotiating table in the months ahead, I will represent every person in the whole United Kingdom – young and old, rich and poor, city, town, country and all the villages and hamlets in between.
And yes, those EU nationals who have made this country their home.
It is my fierce determination to get the right deal for every single person in this country.
For, as we face the opportunities ahead of us on this momentous journey, our shared values, interests and ambitions can – and must – bring us together.
We all want to see a Britain that is stronger than it is today. We all want a country that is fairer so that everyone has the chance to succeed.
We all want a nation that is safe and secure for our children and grandchildren. We all want to live in a truly Global Britain that gets out and builds relationships with old friends and new allies around the world.
These are the ambitions of this Government’s Plan for Britain. Ambitions that unite us, so that we are no longer defined by the vote we cast, but by our determination to make a success of the result.
We are one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future.
And, now that the decision has been made to leave the EU, it is time to come together.”
Dementia sufferers are among people who will be affected by curbs to Personal Independence Payments [Image: iStock].
For information: This emergency debate takes place today.
A final attempt to halt controversial curbs to disability benefits will be made [today, March 29], after MPs were granted an emergency debate.
Ministers will be accused of a “troubling subversion of democracy” after sneaking through the changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIPs), hitting the mentally ill.
Ministers refused to allow a vote on ‘emergency legislation’ to tighten the criteria for PIPs, overturning a tribunal ruling that they should also cover conditions including epilepsy, diabetes and dementia.
Anger grew when it emerged the Government’s own welfare experts had called for a delay until the changes had been properly tested and “clearly understood”.
It was “not clear” how assessors would interpret the changes – raising the danger that claimants would not be “consistently treated”, the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) warned.
On Monday night, the Government was defeated in the House of Lords over the controversy on a Labour motion “regretting” the changes and demanding a review of their impact on people with mental health conditions.
Now MPs will finally get to put the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on the spot, after John Bercow, the Speaker, granted the 90-minute debate.
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