‘Ignorance is bliss’ is a phrase coined by Thomas Gray in his Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College; a poem in which he nostalgically reminisces about the bliss of youth with its carefree days of playfulness unmarred by the dark realities of adult life and the responsibilities thereof (and there are suggestions that the voting age should be lowered even further – but I digress). In fact, never mind the foregoing digression, it would appear that present day politicians are to a man – regardless of age and sex – still in the bliss of youth and consequently have yet to reach the dark realities of adulthood; but yet again I digress.
Readers may have noticed that output on this blog has been, shall we say, minimal of late. This is probably due to my fatigue at repeating content that has been posted previously and a realization that repetition becomes boring to readers.
to which I added this further comment:
I mention the above as, in talking to someone this evening, the suggestion was made that should the current government make a ‘pigs ear’ of Brexit, it would be then necessary to begin all over again – which may well mean that Stage 1 and Stage 6 of FlexCit will make it necessary to combine the two in order to arrive at the decision for which the people voted in June last year – said combination which is sommat for which I have argued since its inception; indeed, maintaining in the process, that Stage 6 should have been Stage 1.
Paraphrasing the lyrics of The Kinks, ‘you’ refers to our politicians, our media and the majority of the public who voted for Brexit.
For ‘starters’ I am tired of waiting for:
- politicians who believe one can ‘leave’ the EU and remain in the Customs Union;
- politicians who believe that the UK can leave the Single Market and the Customs Union and still trade with the EU;
- politicians who believe that a free trade deal with the EU can be negotiated within two years (or less), when history shows us otherwise;
- politicians who believe that membership of EFTA means having to obey all the rules of the EU without any say in their formation;
- politicians who believe that membership of the EEA means being unable to control immigration;
- politicians who appear to have no idea that the EU is but a middleman where the setting of global standards are concerned
In short, I am tired of waiting for politicians who know nothing of ‘matters EU’ to show an inclination to rectify their lack of knowledge on the subject; I am tired of politicians who believe they are Gods gift to the country when in fact they are the greatest curse our country has borne.
I am tired of a media who blithely repeat the statements of politicians without any thought as to whether what the latter is saying is true or not. I am tired of a media who, unlike any of the electorate, can hold politician’s ‘feet to the fire’ on a daily basis – but don’t.
With the news that it appears Theresa May will be triggering Article 50 on 29th March – a ‘major’ birthday and ‘wedding anniversary’, so it seems May has a warped sense of humour perhaps? – an action of which it would appear she and her government are nowhere near ready as they have no idea of what is involved, nor have any idea of how they can achieve their stated objectives – the media seems more interested in the following:
- The Labour Party are more concerned about ‘infighting’ (source);
- Whether or not there might be a ‘snap election‘;
- Whether full-time politicians are necessary;
- Whether a Member of Parliament should, or should not, have extra-curriculum activities.
In the preceding article I questioned whether the media was crucial to transparency in this country, commenting on twitter that it was most obviously not on past and present performance.
To those who are of the opinion that Brexit can be swiftly resolved, I can only refer them to the ‘interview‘ of Sir Ivan Rogers by the European Scrutiny Committee. Those in Ukip, together with those of similar views, do need to watch this video – and listen and learn!
Richard Drax (at 10:29:00) posed a question using the analogy of belonging to a golf club and in terminating that membership stating that one is not liable for any future payment. The man obviously does not understand the difference twixt a payment and a commitment to pay. Unfortunately he is but one of 650, it seems, who has not a clue about matters EU – and these are people we are forced to pay in order that they may take decisions on our behalf for our benefit?
It is often said, especially by those who live here (and it would appear with some justification) that closure of the coal mining pits caused severe hardship as a result of greatly increased unemployment and bitter divisions within communities, even within families. This was especially the case in Seaham and the immediate surrounding area.
Seaham had three collieries: Vane Tempest, Dawdon and ‘The Knack’; while just a few miles away there were other collieries located at Easington, Murton and Horden. After nearly three decades Seaham has recovered, Murton is still recovering, Horden has become a suburb of Peterlee, while Easington still exhibits a ‘dead/run-down’ appearance.
So the long-heralded speech by our Prime Minister on Brexit has taken place – and we must make of it what we will.
For those advocating a move ‘sideways’ to EFTA/EEA there is disappointment – and for those wanting out of the Single Market and the Customs Union there can only be mixed feelings as she said that she does not want this nation to have an associate membership of the European Union, but it would appear she is willing to accept, if necessary, some form of associate membership of the Customs Union. A tad odd, no?
Can we please stop:
Where the position of the UK – in their negotiations with the European Union – are concerned, two ‘papers’ have come to light which appear to have bypassed those with an interest in ‘matters EU’, in that I have seen no reference to them; especially in respect of Brexit and life thereafter.
The first, a paper authored by Rishi Sunak MP (Conservative: Richmond – successor to William Hague) details the ‘supposed’ advantages of ‘Free Ports’ and the trading potential contained therein. It is worth mentioning that Switzerland, being outside the European Union, has a ‘Free Port’ located in Geneva, albeit for works of art and ‘valuables’.
In response to this article I have submitted the following comment, which is subject to moderation:
Referring to your article, as someone whose work has focused on coalition governments and how the Civil Service works with political parties; social housing, green energy and property development sectors; and who has a BA in history and a MSc in Public Policy, would it be impertinent of me to ask how you can write on ‘matters EU’?
I ask the question as the most obvious ‘interim solution’ about which you write is for the UK to move to EFTA/EEA membership – an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution, one which is readily available and which would then allow for time to negotiate a ‘final solution’ – yet you fail to mention it. Why? Why would such an interim agreement be so difficult to achieve?