Category Archives: European Union

Tories oppose ban on ‘fire and rehire’ – supporting oppression of employees by foreign bosses?

Apologies for using the ‘foreigners own UK businesses’ line but it is important to make the point that Brexit hasn’t stopped people from foreign countries interfering in employment practices here.

On the contrary – foreign ownership of UK businesses and assets is higher than ever. Weetabix was taken over by a US corporation four years ago – after the decision to quit the European that was motivated partly by a (racist) desire to stop foreigners from taking our jobs.

How is it better for foreigners to dictate increasingly worse pay and working conditions for people in this country?

And why is the UK’s Tory government – that pushed through Brexit as a way to counter foreign interference – supporting the exploitation of our workers via fire-and-rehire?

It doesn’t make sense, does it?

Look:

Exploitative bosses? Our Angry Yorkshireman must mean the Americans who are now in charge of Weetabix:

So, what’s the message?

Johnny Foreigner coming to the UK to do work that British people won’t touch is bad…

But Johnny Foreigner owning UK businesses and attacking employees’ pay and conditions is good? For whom? It certainly isn’t helping you.

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Brexit: Northern Ireland protocol has made UK untrustworthy to other nations

He WAS lying (allegedly): I know this image was about Covid-19 but it turns out to have applied for Brexit as well. Who knew? (Pretty soon we’ll be able to apply it to everything he says.)

Look how the Brexiteer right-wingers close ranks when their Holy Grail comes under criticism:

Dan Hodges, who claims to be a columnist for a national newspaper, reckons that Remainers are terrified that the UK’s Tory government and the European Union could come to an agreement over the now-thoroughly-unworkable Northern Ireland Protocol.

Jonathan Lis tells it like it is:

You see, it seems Boris Johnson – who works part-time as the UK’s prime minister, let’s remember, told a Northern Irish politician that he did not intend the NI Protocol to be workable, before his Brexit was voted through by Parliament, protocol and all, with his (public) blessing:

It seems the PM’s former right-hand-goblin, Dominic Cummings, has confirmed this:

What are representatives of other nations supposed to think?

I would say they’d think exactly what the former Taoiseach of the Irish Republic – now its deputy prime minister – Leo Varadkar has said:

Mr Varadkar said:

“Surely the message must go out to all countries around the world that this is a British government that doesn’t necessarily keep its word and doesn’t necessarily honour the agreements it makes.

“And you shouldn’t make any agreements with them until such time as you’re confident that they keep their promises, and honour things, for example, like the protocol.”

Meanwhile negotiations on a new NI Protocol have commenced – and already the commentaries suggest that Mr Varadkar’s is the prevailing view:

Aren’t those last comments interesting? In fact, the Brexit we ended up with – that Boris Johnson negotiated – turns out to be almost exactly the same as the “no deal” Brexit that his own government’s Operation Yellowhammer documents predicted in 2019 – and Jeremy Corbyn publicised in September that year:

He was ridiculed at the time. But he was right.

Two and a half months later, the UK elected the liar opposite him. And now nobody else in the world will believe us again.

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NI protocol: Frost’s new plan gets cold reception from EU. Rightly?

Lord Frost: he has turned his back on ‘Building Back Better’ and he isn’t ‘Getting On’ with anything – particularly the EU and Northern Ireland.

Both the UK and EU are putting forward ideas to change the Northern Ireland Protocol that aims to prevent a hard border being set up between the province and the Republic of Ireland. The problem is obvious: they don’t agree.

Worse still is the admission by Brexit Secretary Lord Frost that the UK only signed up to the protocol, back in 2019, because Boris Johnson was in a hurry to “Get Brexit Done”.

The implication is clear:

Johnson has only ever seen Brexit as an electoral tool – to fool voters into electing a Conservative government. He never really supported its agreements.

Let’s remind ourselves of what Johnson said about the deal in 2019, and what he has said about it since:

So it was a “great new deal”, but only up to the point at which it was implemented, after which it was a barrier to trade. A barrier that Johnson and Frost created!

Frost has now turned on the deal that he himself, personally, negotiated, saying that it is no good. It seems the whole world has responded with incredulity at the sheer cheek of this man, many agreeing with Neale Richmond’s analysis of him, below:

Frost reckons the NI Protocol is unworkable and blames the EU for imposing rules that restrict the flow of UK goods across the artificial border that Johnson put in the middle of the Irish Sea after lying that he’d do no such thing.

He has devised an entirely new protocol that strips the European Court of Justice of its governance role and proposes international arbitration of the way provisions in the protocol are implemented.

But the EU has said it would be very hard to see the Protocol surviving without ECJ oversight and was set, today, to propose its own changes:

The proposals are understood to include a unique deal around agri-food – which includes agriculture, horticulture, and food and drink processing – aimed at sharply reducing the checks on products moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

There will also be an arrangement to allow the continued sale of chilled meats from Great Britain in Northern Ireland; these products were facing a ban.

The EU has also said it is going to change its laws in an attempt to solve regulatory issues which are posing a threat to the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland.

Clearly there are huge differences between the two sides and these are likely to lead to weeks of negotiation, with the future of peace in Northern Ireland – as provided under the Good Friday Agreement that many signatories have already abandoned – in the balance.

For Johnson and his government, the damage has already been done. Their contradictory behaviour has been universally condemned by opponents and former allies alike, both within and outside the Conservative Party:

Particularly infuriating is the Johnson government’s refusal to discuss any of its policies without lying about them – including this one:

Clearly there was no good faith and the plan was always to cause trouble in Northern Ireland and to rip up the agreement later.

And what about Bernard Jenkin’s appearance on the BBC’s Newsnight?

Notice the faux pas at the end when he said, “We tried to make it worse – work.”

But Jenkin wasn’t convincing. Too many of us have had our eyes opened to the harm these lying clowns have caused, and we’re not going to believe any more.

Some of us have been proved to have been right all along:

We are realising what Johnson has been able to do, simply by lying repeatedly to us – not only about Brexit but about everything else he was planning to do:

And we see the consequences:

The trouble now is those tribal members of the public who simply won’t accept the evidence that is now in front of them.

It is.

And some will carry on supporting it, even when their own standard of living plummets.

All we can hope – those of us who seriously want a better future for our bitterly divided and misled island nation – is that enough people have realised the depth of Johnson’s – and Frost’s – betrayal to make a difference before it is too late for us all.

But the clock is ticking…

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Latest feared Brexit-related shortage is of GRITTER DRIVERS. Good luck on the roads this winter!

We’ve had shortages of fruit and veg harvesters in farms, and are now seeing shortages of butchers and abattoir workers.

We’ve had shortages of nurses for years.

Our transport infrastructure is already suffering because of the shortage of hauliers, and now it is about to take a second hit because…

Local councils are saying they cannot pay drivers as much as haulage firms, meaning there won’t be any gritter lorries de-icing our highways during the winter:

This could bring the UK to a total standstill – and in the depths of winter, when we’ll need food and supplies that allow us to heat our homes more than ever.

Of course, the reason councils can’t afford to pay gritter drivers is simply that the government doesn’t pay them enough grant money to be able to afford the new going rates. Any resulting tragedies must then be laid at Boris Johnson’s door.

According to Sky News:

Transport spokesman David Renard added: “While most councils have been able to keep services running, some may find that their gritting services are affected in the same way that some have seen waste collection services impacted.”

Although he stressed that councils will be trying to plan ahead to ensure their winter services are resilient, he warned additional training for this on-demand sector will “not alleviate the short-term pressure on frontline services”.

Given these courses take up to 16 weeks to complete, trained drivers won’t be hitting the roads before Christmas – fuelling fears that shortages could overshadow this year’s festivities.

Mr Renard said: “Fast-inflating HGV driver salaries in the private sector risks exacerbating issues in the public sector, with the rises potentially creating a retention as well as a recruitment problem for councils and their contractors.”

It should be remembered that the government has tried to lure drivers back from the EU with a temporary HGV visa scheme.

However – and possibly because they remember being stuck in a Kent car park over last Christmas, with no toilet or washing facilities – very few drivers have taken up the offer. Very few:

This Writer saw a suggestion on the social media that even those 27 applications were not, in fact applicable.

The suggestion was that they were test applications relevant to each EU member state, made to ensure that the system was working properly!

And, of course, the Tories are also running into “sauce for the goose” arguments:

Yes indeed – and we know that the government can’t blame poor pay and conditions for nurses on anybody else. It is therefore hypocritical of Johnson and his cronies to berate haulage firms over low pay when their derisory pay rise for NHS staff has now been translated into a pay cut by new conditions that their political choices have created.

All we can do now is hope for a mild winter.

If we get ice, there will be death on the roads – because of Boris Johnson and his godawful Brexit.

Worse still, the knock-on effect could bring death to our homes – and, depending on how often we all check on our neighbours, it could be weeks or months before we even know the total death toll.

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‘If Johnson refuses to save our bacon, farmers should dump pig carcasses outside Number 10’

Pigs in peril: yes, I’m using the same image as before – of a pig that looks like Boris Johnson. It’s to establish a ‘running theme’ between stories on this topic.

A shortage of butchers and abattoir workers caused by Brexit means 4,500 pigs are likely to be culled within days – and the government isn’t even talking to farmers.

It seems the government is not only failing to help the UK’s livestock farmers; it is refusing to help them.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s only reaction to the crisis was a poor taste comment last week that the pigs would have become “bacon sandwiches” anyway – stupidly missing the point that they’re not going to become any kind of foodstuff at all.

Meanwhile, it seems his government is failing to help the UK farming industry – which faces implosion – while signing trade deals with foreign countries for substandard food.

It seems this is the true meaning behind the Brexit slogan about “Taking back control”: destroying the UK farming industry and buying bad food from abroad.

For a snapshot of the situation, watch this BBC interview with a pig farmer – and take note of the comment on Twitter that this is someone who campaigned for Brexit . Undoubtedly this person is now regretting turning a blind eye to Johnson’s lies:

Personally, I like Sam Brook’s suggestion of how farmers should deal with this issue:

It really is the only way to bring the situation home to Boris Johnson: dump it on his doorstep. Do any of our farmers have the guts to do it?

UPDATE October 12, 2021: Minutes after this story went up, a Facebook commenter wrote: “Don’t do that – we know what those Tory boys do with dead pigs.”

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The UK is collapsing – and the threatened pig cull is just a symptom

Boris Johns- oh no! This is just a pig! But if Johnson’s fate was the same as that awaiting up to 150,000 porkers, he would undoubtedly have thought twice before telling all those porkIES about Brexit.

Who thought the sunlit uplands, post-Brexit, would look like this?

And now we’re being told that potentially 100,000 pigs will be killed – not for their meat, but because there is a nationwide shortage of butchers and abattoir workers.

According to Sky News,

The crisis has been blamed on an exodus of eastern European workers, many of whom returned to their home countries after Covid-19 travel restrictions were eased but have not returned.

That has meant the abattoirs where they worked are operating at as much as 20% below capacity – unable to take as many pigs as normal – leaving farms overcrowded.

Meanwhile

The UK faces a shortage of pigs in blankets this Christmas as a lack of butchers threatens to disrupt supplies of pork, industry leaders have said.

Over to our pigs-in-blankets correspondent, Katy Brand:

At least nobody is trying to blame this crisis on Covid-19.

The shortage of butchers and abattoir workers represents a significant threat to the UK economy.

How much is a pig worth? How about 100,000 – or 150,000, as we’re now hearing the losses rumoured to be?

A lot of money, This Writer would reckon.

And James Rees’s neighbour isn’t the only one. Here‘s Peter Mortimer, 73, whose pigs aren’t ready for slaughter and will therefore miss the currently-mooted cull, but who

said rising costs and a lack of local labour were among issues that had made his business in Metfield, Suffolk, “unsustainable”.

“It’s about time he [Boris Johnson] realised action is needed immediately to sort this problem out,” said Mr Mortimer.

“He doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to understand the situation – he’s lost the plot.”

Asked why he was bowing out, he said: “There have been a few issues, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was that I needed to employ some more staff, and I advertised locally and I got no response at all.

“The job involves getting your hands dirty – like abattoir work – and people don’t want to get involved.

“We’ve also got high feed prices – wheat passed £200 a ton on Friday, and its unsustainable to feed pigs, with the prices we’re getting [for them], for any length of time.”

The knock-on effects are frightening. The abattoirs are losing money, as is every other business along the chain from farmer to plate.

And those of us who enjoy a nice slice of pork, or bacon, or gammon, or sausage, or – yes – pigs in blankets will end up going without.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson and his Brexiteer friends are still saying Brexit will bring enormous benefits to the whole nation.

I have a doubt, though.

How will our businesses prosper if they have all gone bust because of Boris Johnson’s short-sightedness?

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‘Unpopular’ Johnson to fight shortages with temp EU driver scheme – with too few places

Empty shelves: Boris Johnson created the shortages with his stupid Brexit – as this satirical image makes clear. Now he’s scrambling to find short-term solutions because he’s upset that the backlash is harming his popularity.

Boris Johnson’s idiocy has painted him into a corner so tight that his only choices make him look even more blindingly daft.

His Brexit stopped EU haulage drivers from working in the United Kingdom and this led to a worsening of the shortage the country was already facing.

Johnson refused to put HGV drivers on the list of those who would be allowed to work in the UK, saying that the country (in fact, only a quarter of current UK citizens) had voted to end freedom of movement.

How true those words became!

Now we have no freedom to move groceries…

No freedom to move other goods…

And because fuel tankers aren’t reaching filling stations, no freedom to move at all. On this, Johnson’s Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, tried to assure motorists that there was no crisis – and they ignored him, sparking mass-hysteria panic-buying.

This response from the public indicates that the population at large has no confidence in government claims.

That’s what happens when a prime minister lies constantly – and leads a government of liars.

Now, Johnson is planning a U-turn, saying he will put EU drivers on the visa scheme allowing them to work in the UK.

So he is making a liar of himself – again.

And he is saying the scheme will be restricted to 5,000 drivers – nothing near the 100,000 who are needed.

If he’s saying this will be enough, he’s making a double liar of himself.

That’s according to haulage bosses:

Toby Ovens, managing director of Broughton Transport Solutions, said he is not convinced a temporary visa scheme will solve the current shortage of HGV drivers.

This is just another Tory bid to hoodwink us.

Johnson is saying what he thinks will calm us down: “All is well. We are solving the problem. Go home. Go back to sleep.” That sort of thing.

He’s just looking for short-term relief from the pressure this situation has created – not on the UK’s transport infrastructure, but on him.

He doesn’t like the fact that people are – rightly – blaming him for a crisis that would not have happened if he had not insisted on forcing on us all a Brexit deal that he had not even read.

And This Writer doesn’t think for a moment that it will do him any good.

Because we know we can’t trust him and his promises are worthless.

Source: Temporary visas for 5,000 foreign lorry drivers will NOT solve supply crisis, haulage boss warns  | Daily Mail Online

Can’t get a dentist? Blame the Tory Brexit

The most amazing part of this is that it probably isn’t part of a Tory NHS privatisation plan but is more likely to be an accident because Boris Johnson doesn’t understand his own Brexit.

It turns out that the UK’s chronic shortage of dentists is at least partly due to the fact that, since Brexit happened, the UK will not accept practitioners from the European Union because their qualifications don’t count.

I’m not going to go into the details but you’ll get the gist by following the link below.

Renata has qualified as a dentist both in Brazil and in Italy, in the EU. The UK needs dentists, but does not accept her qualifications.

Source: EU dentists who qualified overseas blocked from practising in UK – East Anglia Bylines

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Brexit pushes firework prices up – cancelling bonfire night for most. Including Tories?

A Bonfire Night fireworks display – or, more appropriately from this year onwards, a TORY fireworks display.

Is this really another “unforeseen” result of Brexit?

New, post-Brexit import rules mean the UK will now receive only 30 per cent of the fireworks the country had last year.

It means most Bonfire Night celebrations will be cancelled and prices will be pushed up, so the only such celebrations taking place will be held by the very, very rich.

People like the Tories, in fact.

It’s almost as if they had planned it to deprive the plebs of an evening of fun, while rubbing their noses in the fact that the rich Tories can still enjoy it themselves.

Sadly, we can easily believe that to be true.

Importing from countries such as China, the main supplier of fireworks globally, requires the cooperation of the EU member state, where these container ships dock on the way to the UK. Belgium, for example, charges extra for any explosives sent via their ports because they don’t want involvement with UK civil explosives.

Prior to Brexit enforcement, the UK could attribute a code to the manufacturing site in China to identify and trace the explosives. now the UK is no longer within the EU, importers require the national authority of the EU Member State of import to allow that code to be sent to the manufacturing site. So shipments from China arriving in the UK are dependent upon the cooperation of an EU Member State.

Secondly, fireworks face the same issues with UK ports and domestic transport that any other goods face, caused by Brexit labour shortages. Many EU workers have returned to mainland Europe, and others haven’t had their work visas renewed, causing mass labour shortages in the UK supply chain.

Finally, fireworks are impacted more by Brexit than other imports, as they have a long shelf life when stored correctly, so wholesalers don’t want to take the risk of stocking up on CE marked goods when they can’t be sold past the end of 2022.

It’s one of those situations that make you long for the success of a modern-day Guy Fawkes.

Source: Brexit cancels bonfire night: Import rules reduce UK firework supply by 70 per cent – CityAM : CityAM

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Rush for fuel shows what we think of Tory ministers’ promises


“‘Buy petrol as normal,’ says minister” – according to a BBC News headline.

So of course we all did the exact opposite. Motorists have been queueing at filling stations all day long, topping up their tanks and bringing Jerry cans along to be filled as well.

“Once bitten, twice shy”, as the old adage runs – and we have all been bitten far too many times by our worse-than-useless Tory government.

Remember: the Tories deliberately caused the crisis in fuel by making damned sure that Brexit would create a shortage of lorry drivers.

They have also caused huge problems with the import and export of goods, thereby ensuring that prices would skyrocket and you would not be able to afford them.

What kind of government – of Prime Minister – deliberately engineers the impoverishment of their entire nation?

Boris Johnson’s Tory government – that’s what kind!

I’m only sorry I’m unlikely to be around to see how the history books describe this perfect storm of stupidity in around 100 years’ time.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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Health Warning: Government! is now available
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The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook