Tag Archives: ‘No’

‘Australia deal’ or ‘no deal’? It’s all semantics, says Sharma

Alok Sharma: I’ve cartoonised the pic of him so he doesn’t look too contagious. The alternative would have been an image of a pilchard.

Alok Sharma – what a gift to satire.

Today (October 19) he was on the radio, gifting us with his interpretation of the kind of Brexit trade deal Boris Johnson is likely to hand British businesses:

No deal. But he tried to dress it up by calling it an “Australia-style” deal.

How did he think he’d get away with it?

Nick Ferrari on LBC made him look the fool he is:

“It’s a question of semantics”!

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, semantics is the branch of language and logic concerned with meaning; Sharma was admitting that an “Australia-type” deal and “no deal” are the same.

He was just – desperately – trying to dress it up to pretend that it wasn’t; a last-ditch bid to fool the less attentive or less well-read among the radio audience.

I don’t think it worked:

You’d probably get a better answer from a pilchard.

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If Starmer hadn’t whipped Labour to abstain on #spycops bill, this support for murder, torture & sex crimes would have been defeated

Keir Starmer: he probably thought he was being smart but all he really did was get it wrong again.

Well, isn’t this interesting?

The tweet isn’t quite correct; only 20 MPs voted against the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill that would authorise people from the Financial Conduct Authority (for example) to commit crimes up to and including murder, rape and torture in the course of an investigation – and they were all from the Labour Party.

But only 182 Tories voted for it.

If Keir Starmer had not whipped Labour MPs to abstain – and take note that exactly 182 of them did – then this endorsement of crime by a criminal government would have been stopped in its tracks.

Defenders of the Bill have claimed it isn’t as bad as some of us are saying – that spies working for the various government agencies would need approval to commit crimes before carrying out the acts for which the planned law would grant them immunity.

But the safeguards against abuse are said to be “very vague and very broad” and, as I mentioned in a previous article, there is the issue of “mission creep”: agents will end up committing ever-more-extreme crimes because they are told to do so on the spur of a moment, creating precedents to stretch what is permissible until it covers anything at all.

Take note: Starmer used to be a human rights lawyer.

But he just gave an insult to human rights a free pass to the next stage of becoming law.

And his supporters are trying to flood the social media with claims that he is a good thing. #StarmerOutstanding, they say.

He is outstanding. He is an outstanding threat to the well-being of you, me and everybody we know.

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PMQs: Starmer misses Johnson’s gaping-open goal, allowing the Tory to make a fool of him

Johnson and Starmer: we have a PM for whom the initials more appropriately refer to him as a Performing Monkey, but the ‘forensic’ former Attorney General is incapable of beating him, despite his incompetence.

Keir Starmer’s protestations of support for Tory government anti-Covid policies came back to bite him on the arse in Prime Minister’s Questions.

Two weeks after supporting the government in its decision to close pubs at 10pm, Starmer u-turned, demanding an explanation of the science behind it. He gave Johnson a perfect opportunity to land a knockout blow – and launch a new anti-Labour soundbite:

I was dismayed:

Sadly, that was the way of it for the whole of this week’s PMQs – as I had feared at the outset:

Look at the rest of my commentary on the confrontation:

He didn’t. But Johnson picked up on that failure and it led to the knockout later on.

As I write this, Jo Coburn on the BBC’s Politics Live is suggesting to Labour’s Stephen Doughty that Starmer wrote Johnson “a blank cheque” by offering his support “whatever restrictions are in place”.

That failure – that lack of closure – seems to have given Johnson the confidence to launch his own attack.

I could have done better:

Starmer is under attack at the moment, for his failures to lead an effective Opposition against the Johnson government.

On Twitter, the general public are at each other’s throats with many attacking him under the #StarmerOut hashtag, while others have tried to subvert that with an opposing line, #StarmerOutstanding.

In the real world, the union Unite has withdrawn 10 per cent of its funding because Starmer “isn’t listening” on matters of major importance (I’ll make more of this in a separate article).

If he can’t respond to these criticisms – as he failed to protect himself from Johnson soundbiting him into shreds – then he must seriously reconsider his position.

He is leading Labour into irrelevance.

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‘Go to the cinema’ says Johnson. Fool me twice, shame on… who?

Not the cinema announcement: but the caption behind Boris Johnson (that I made for a previous story) is also appropriate to this one.

I know it’s just a coincidence, but shortly after This Site published an article criticising the Johnson government for jeopardising the arts and entertainment in the UK during the Covid crisis, BoJob himself made a pronouncement about it.

He got it all wrong, of course.

Johnson should have announced financial help for venues and businesses – for the duration of the Covid crisis, while his restrictions make it impossible for them to break even, and in addition to any schemes already in place that clearly aren’t doing enough.*

You see, I’d rather be able to go to the pictures, even if the auditorium is practically empty by order of the government, than for the cinema to be closed – possibly for ever.

Instead, BoJob passed the buck to us – as usual.

“Go to the cinema,” he told us – just as he told us to go to the pub and the restaurant back in the summer.

And what happened?

There was a huge spike in Covid-19 infections and Johnson blamed us.

Fool us once, BoJob, shame on you. Fool us twice – shame on us.

What will you do if we go and there’s another increase in Covid infections? Blame us for your mistake again?

What will you do if we don’t, and lots of cinemas go out of business? Blame us again?

I think it’s best if we just ignore Johnson as an incompetent nincompoop and make a rule that any unhappy consequence is his concern, not ours.

Oh, and this will make it easier: the film he wants us to go and see? It’s the new James Bond, No Time To Die.

And its release has just been delayed until April next year.

And also: Cineworld is closing its 120 UK cinemas anyway.

So we can happily stay away for the time being, and still say we were following Johnson’s instructions.

And in the meantime, we can demand to know what he’s going to do about the economic crisis he caused.

Here are comments from just a few people who feel as I do:

*It seems this is unlikely to happen because Johnson and his government haven’t actually started any of these schemes. Here’s @RussInCheshire with The Week In Tory:

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Tory threat to our cinemas as their failure to cope with Covid hits entertainment industry

“Delayed AGAIN???” Daniel Craig wonders whether the new James Bond film, No Time To Die, will ever see cinema release.

I don’t want to have any “it’s not their fault” mewling over this.

Cineworld is not the only venue for the creative industries that is suffering as a result of the Johnson government’s failure to get a grip on Covid-19.

But while BoJob and his buddies funnel money hand over fist to their chums in fake firms, set up in a pretence at treating/preventing the disease, they’re letting our artists and entertainers go to the wall.

They’ll say it’s because they haven’t got a legal means of helping but I think they just want to end fun in our lifetime.

Cineworld is set to temporarily close its UK cinemas in the coming weeks.

The firm is writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to say the industry is now “unviable”.

The firm says it has been hit by delays in the release of big-budget films, putting 5,500 jobs at risk.

The premiere of James Bond film No Time To Die has been postponed twice and is now due for release in April 2021.

Philippa Childs of entertainment and broadcasting union Bectu said: “The delay in the release of the Bond film along with the other delayed releases has plunged cinema into crisis.”

In a socially-distanced country, cinemas simply aren’t viable. Current guidelines mean operators should “organise seating to ensure two-metre distancing can be maintained; where two metres is not viable, one metre with risk mitigation is acceptable. Mitigations should be considered and those introduced set out in the risk assessment”. In Scotland, the two-metre rule must be maintained strictly.

That means only a handful of people can attend any auditorium at any time and it becomes unviable to employ the staff needed to run a venue.

It’s not often that I agree with this tweeter any more, but I’ll make an exception in this case:

Cineworld expects to make 5,500 staff unemployed while the 120-venue chain is closed – throwing them on the scant mercy of the Johnson government.

The hope is that they will be able to re-employ those members of their former staff who survive a winter of Covid-19 and the Tories’ harsh benefit conditions.

If that happens, I hope the company doesn’t take the easy – and very Tory – option of using this as an opportunity to cut staff pay and conditions. That would be a step too far.

Source: Cineworld to shut down UK screens after Bond film delay – BBC News

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Should we have any sympathy for Leave-voting farmers facing bankruptcy after ‘No Deal’ Brexit?

Sheep: British farmers voted for Brexit like herds of sheep driven on by the dog. If they had thought for themselves, perhaps they wouldn’t now be facing bankruptcy.

A former chief economist for the National Farmers’ Union has said one in three farms could be driven out of business within five years if Brexit continues without a trade deal with the EU.

According to Farmers Weekly:

Sean Rickard said half of all farms were already unprofitable – and would be even less so after the government phased out direct payments to growers and livestock producers.

The situation would deteriorate further with no deal, he added.

Didn’t these people all vote for Brexit?

This Writer remembers attending pre-referendum meetings here in Mid Wales, with rooms full of Welsh farmers clamouring for the UK to leave the EU as soon as possible.

My recollection is that this was the pattern across the UK.

So it seems to me that they are getting exactly what they wanted.

Source: Farms could fold in no-deal Brexit, warns top economist – Farmers Weekly

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Why is Boris Johnson trying to blame the EU for steering us towards the ‘no deal’ Brexit THAT HE WANTS?

Boris Johnson: don’t believe him when he says the EU is blocking a Brexit trade deal; he has been the obstacle, all the way down the line.

“Pass-the-buck” Boris is at it again!

It seems Boris Johnson is trying to hoodwink us into thinking the European Union’s refusal to compromise is pushing us towards a ‘no deal’ Brexit:

Boris Johnson has admitted the UK is currently heading for a no deal Brexit, with progress now “very difficult” as the two sides refuse to compromise.

In a new gloomy summary of the state of the talks, No 10 described an agreement as only “possible” – with a strong attack on the EU’s refusal to bend.

“An agreement is still possible and this is still our goal, but it is clear it will not be easy to achieve,” the prime minister’s spokesman said.

But isn’t it true that Johnson is the one whose refusal to compromise has put us all in this position?

Immediately after last year’s election it was reported that Michel Barnier had said it was “unrealistic” to expect a “global negotiation” on trade to be completed by December 31, 2020 – meaning it was known that we were unlikely to leave with a deal, nine months ago.

I wrote: “That will be exactly what Johnson wants, if he really is in cahoots with rich hedge fund managers who have been said to have funded his Tory leadership campaign on the condition that he take us out of the EU without a deal so they can profit from betting on it.

“And it will make it possible for Johnson to sell off our remaining national assets – including all those parts of the National Health Service that are worth having – to the United States in the dirty deal that many of us have been foretelling for several months.”

It’s all coming true.

And the 14 million people who voted for Boris Johnson were told it would happen and chose to ignore the warning.

An infinitesimal minority will profit from it – that’s the whole point of leaving without a deal.

But that leaves very nearly 14 million Tory voters who are going to spend a long, long time regretting their choice in December 2019.

Source: Brexit: Boris Johnson signals no deal increasingly likely and hits out at EU for refusing to compromise | The Independent | Independent

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Labour NEC challenged to hold ‘no confidence’ vote against Keir Starmer

Smug: Starmer can afford to look complacent, despite the call for a ‘no confidence’ vote, because it seems unlikely that Labour HQ will allow it to happen.

It won’t happen, of course – the centrists are digging themselves in deep and won’t let annoying facts get in their way.

But it is definitely worth your while to know that Momentum members Camden – all members of the Labour Party – have demanded that the party’s National Executive Committee call a vote of ‘no confidence’ in party leader Keir Starmer – their own MP.

The motion, passed on July 24, states that Starmer:

  • Took no immediate action against those former staff members whose racism, sexism, and ableism was exposed in the leaked report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
  • Reversed the overwhelming vote at Conference against the occupation of Kashmir, giving free reign to Prime Minister Modi’s imposition of martial law and spreading persecution of Muslims in India.
  • Downplayed the international Black Lives Matter movement as “a moment”, and labelled as “nonsense” the demand to defund the police in favour of greater community investment.
  • Kept in his Cabinet Rachel Reeves who joined Boris Johnson and other Tories in praising Lady Astor, a well-known Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite, while firing Rebecca Long-Bailey for retweeting a reference to Israeli training of US police – a fact which he described as an “antisemitic conspiracy theory”.
  • Said he “supports Zionism without qualification” and called attacks on Apartheid Israel “antisemitic”. In so doing he links all Jewish people with the crimes of a particular state – the very essence of anti-Semitism.
  • Refused to hold this Tory government accountable for its handling of the pandemic, making Labour complicit in a per capita death rate which is the second highest in the world and which has disproportionately affected people of colour.

This Writer expects the motion to get short shrift from the now-devoutly-centrist party hierarchy.

Starmer may find a procedural problem that means it can be dismissed as out of order.

Or, even if it comes to a vote, party apparatchiks may make excuses to disqualify hundreds of thousands of party members from voting.

What will happen? We’ll find out soon.

Source: Labour civil war: Sir Keir Starmer faces a vote of ‘no confidence’ from his own Camden Left-wing members – Labour Heartlands

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New deal? No deal! We can’t accept a plan for the future from the failed PM who deliberately wrecked it

Some have suggested that it was a campaign speech – and as such an indication that the Johnson government is rudderless.

Some have suggested that it was an admission of six months of failure and guilt.

Those are the more palatable options.

To This Writer, it seems far more likely that Boris Johnson has taken advantage of a Hell-sent opportunity to reduce the United Kingdom to helplessness – and is now working out how he can re-mould it for his own personal profit.

I don’t believe any of the promises he made. He mentioned the mythical 40 new hospitals he has been promising us for the last – what – nearly a year, now. Bear this in mind:

At a time when almost every industry other than construction was at a standstill, and the economy could have benefited from a large government investment, not a single stone was laid on any such new hospitals. Not one.

So we must ask: when Johnson says he will “build, build, build” with a £5 billion plan for homes and infrastructure… who will benefit?

Questions have already been asked about the cost. It seems £5 billion is unlikely to cover all the claims he made in his speech. But this is nothing new to those of us with any long-term experience of Johnson.

He talks big but delivers little.

When Johnson mentions an “opportunity guarantee” to ensure the chance of an apprenticeship or placement, I fear for the future of young people.

When he says he wants “to fix the problems that were most brutally illuminated in that covid lightning flash”, I question whether he means problems we faced, or problems for him? Where is the detail that could put our minds at ease? We find it – like Johnson – is sadly lacking.

Look at his promise to change planning laws.

Those laws are in place to safeguard the people and the environment – two things about which Johnson cares little.

How would his changes affect developments like the controversial Westferry plan, that has mired both Housing Minister Robert Jenrick and Johnson himself in a huge corruption scandal?

“Sometimes you have got to get on with things,” said Johnson. To hide Tory wrongdoing?

You can be sure that, whatever happens next, Johnson and his government will be cherry-picking who they help, and who they throw to the wall; which firms he helps, and which go out of businesses.

If I had the money, I’d make a hefty bet that the beneficiaries of Johnson’s “New Deal” will be those that make donations to the Conservative and Unionist Party – and that those who don’t currently make a contribution will be put under considerable pressure to start.

All as a matter of economic necessity, of course. Nobody will catch a whiff of impropriety – especially as this whirlwind of activity known as “Project Speed” is expected to happen so fast.

I’m not convinced – and I’m not alone. See:

Source: Coronavirus: Johnson sets out ‘ambitious’ economic recovery plan – BBC News

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Johnson’s Brexit is one betrayal after another

Boris Johnson: his Brexit is an insult , even to those of us who voted to leave the EU.

There’s more happening in the UK than Covid-19 and Dominic Cummings.

But the Tories’ mismanagement means none it is good.

Take Brexit: the instant he was shot of the need to pander to the DUP, Boris Johnson threw out all pretence that he was going to demand the same trade and customs conditions in Northern Ireland as in the rest of the UK.

So he is paving the way for the restoration of the Province to the Republic by making it easier for them to align than for NI to stick with the rest of the UK.

As for the trade deal: he has thrown the inexperienced Liz (“cheese!”) Truss into the arena, adding fuel to claims that he is in collusion with hedge fund bosses who want to profit from Brexit by betting that the UK’s economy will collapse.

There was huge outcry about these stories last year – but now Johnson has carte blanche to do what he likes.

A new Brexit border in the Irish Sea will not be ready by Boris Johnson’s end-of-year deadline, according to a new analysis that warns more than 60 administrations, government departments and public bodies will be involved in overseeing the new system.

Ministers finally admitted last week that there would be some checks on certain goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK from next January, when the Brexit transition period comes to an end.

Johnson and others have also refused to consider extending the transition period, despite having no agreement between the EU and Britain over the practical treatment of Northern Ireland and little prospect of a trade deal being in place by the start of 2021.

Source: Johnson’s promised Brexit border in Irish Sea ‘will not be ready in time’ | Politics | The Guardian

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