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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:19 pm 
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SomeGuy wrote:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:05 pm 
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Is he confusing it with total crime?

If so, the UK is definitely worse than the US per capita.

The data is a little dated (2002). Funny when you try go Google it, all of the first searches are Lefty sites going apeshit over Trump's comments to the terrorist Mayor of London. Had to use Bing.
https://www.nationmaster.com/country-in ... s-per-1000

Your crime rate appears to be increasing as well.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/916 ... and-wales/
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46984559

America's crime rate is decreasing.
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics ... -rate-2018
https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/ ... tinue-drop


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:17 pm 
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You just wait until England joins your Union: that'll put a spike back in your curve!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:22 pm 
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13 days until 11 months (minimum) of faux sovereignty. Woohoo!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:31 pm 
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JANUARY 29, 2020

BoJo Johnson’s Brexit Fantasies

by KENNETH SURIN


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Immediately after his general election victory BoJo jetted to the private Caribbean island of Mustique with his latest mistress. Sequestered in a rental villa that cost £20,000/$26000 a week for a couple of weeks (probably paid for by one of his billionaire pals), and supposedly chugging down vodka martinis while sunning his plump frame on the beach, BoJo was unavailable for a response at the start of the Iran crisis. Not that he would have done much. With an unenviable track-record when it comes to being Trump’s lapdog, his response would have been all-too predictable.

Parliament started its post-New Year session, but everything was low-key and there wasn’t much to do, as the Tories sat on their comfortable 80-seat majority, and Labour was in the process of choosing its next leader, with Jeremy Corbyn as its lame-duck leader until his successor is chosen.

BoJo is easily bored, so most parliamentary business was left to his talentless subordinates.

In his two political positions before he became prime minister—mayor of London and foreign secretary– BoJo was averse to any kind of administrative heavy-lifting, preferring to leave this to his staff.

Philandering apart, BoJo’s energy levels are lifted by vanity projects and publicity stunts.

His vanity projects (buying second-hand water cannon from Germany even though the London police didn’t want them (they were sold for scrap later), a white-elephant garden bridge across the Thames which was never built (but whose preparatory work cost £43m/$56m of public money), and playing to nostalgia by reintroducing a red double-decker bus with failed air-conditioning and windows that can’t be opened (and which cost twice as much to build as its celebrated but abandoned predecessor).

BoJo’s failed publicity stunts include being stuck on a zipline, 5 metres above ground, during the 2012 London Olympics. BoJo, in a suit and wearing a hard hat and waving 2 plastic Union Jack flags, had to be hauled to the ground by staff using a tow line.

Invigorated by his sojourn in Mustique, BoJo embarked on his latest stunt: to have the Big Ben bell ring at 11pm on Brexit day, January 31.

Big Ben has been undergoing renovations since 2017, though a temporary floor had been put in place to strike the 13-ton bell during Remembrance Sunday and at the New Year. The floor has since been removed and would need to be reinstalled at a cost of £500,000/$650000.

A parliamentary commission dismissed the plan because of the cost, so BoJo went along with the suggestion made by a couple of his buffoonish Brexiter MPs to launch an online GoFundMe campaign called “Big Ben must bong for Brexit” to pay for the chimes. As of 23 January, the campaign has raised around £250,000 of its £500,000 target, so it is unlikely that Brexiters will get their Big Bong celebration.

The next stage in the Brexit saga, apart from the official EU exit date of January 31, will be the presumed conclusion of a trade deal with the EU by the end of 2020.

Agreeing to negotiate a deal, and setting up a provisional timetable (though the two sides have different versions of it), has been relatively easy, while actually negotiating the deal will of course be the difficult part.

Both sides know what they want from the deal (in the UK’s case this is a trade deal compatible with its Brexit aspirations– which so far seem no more than mouthing the Tory election slogan “Get Brexit Done”– and its need to make trade deals with other countries, while the EU is open to this provided certain conditions are met and its trading interests protected).

Both sides know how far they’re prepared to yield on each point (e.g. the sum paid for the “divorce settlement” is the point on which both sides will probably be most flexible, regulatory alignment between the UK and EU will probably be the most difficult, arrangements regarding fishing rights will be somewhere in between, etc.)

Moreover, both sides typically know where the other’s baselines are (in the case of the EU, this will be the Irish Republic’s final terms for its trade and diplomatic relations with the North—the Republic being an EU member, the EU will set these terms as a negotiating baseline rather than go against them).

In the case of the UK, a baseline is likely to be fishing rights, since the French, Danish and Dutch are keen on access to British waters, while the UK is set against this move.

Another EU baseline, which tripped-up Theresa May when she was prime minister, was the EU’s insistence on “sequencing” talks, so the UK has to agree one set of issues before the EU will move to another set.

Agreement will not be reached, or be much harder to reach, if a side insists that one or more of the other side’s baselines be crossed (e.g. the UK will almost certainly demand that the EU separate the “4 freedoms” (movement, goods, capital, services)– so that, for instance, the UK won’t accept free movement between itself and the EU countries, but may be willing to allow the other freedoms to exist (with or without modification).

Sticking points: both the UK and EU have to determine what protections they require to prevent the other side from using the deal to misuse their respective markets. For example, the EU will be determined to ensure that any UK-EU deal will not be a way for US food imports to circumvent EU food standards.

For instance, if the UK undertook to uphold EU food standards in its trade deal with the EU, then while US chlorinated chicken, irradiated fruit, etc., can be imported into UK markets, they will not then be exported from the UK into the EU market.

Another EU baseline would be not allowing the UK an unfair post-Brexit competitive advantage. The EU will not sign-up to a trade deal that allows tariff free, quota free and frictionless access to UK goods being imported into the EU if there isn’t a level playing field in terms of production standards, and so on, because that would constitute unfair competition. The EU would not therefore allow a product into the EU via the UK that happens to be cheaper or of lower quality because of differing production standards.

For instance, the EU requires milk chocolate to contain at least 20% dry cocoa solids and darker chocolates to contain a minimum of 35% dry cocoa solids. In the US the FDA mandates that American milk chocolate must contain at least 10% dry cocoa solids, and that semisweet and bittersweet American chocolate must contain at least 35% dry cocoa solids. The British chocolate manufacturer Cadburys also has an operation in the US, licensed to Hershey, meaning that American chocolate bearing the Cadbury name is actually produced by Hershey.

The EU might baulk at the movement into the EU of Cadbury chocolate made by Hershey, and brought to the UK before being exported to the EU. Semisweet and bittersweet American chocolate would of course pass muster because their required cocoa-solid content is the same as the EU’s.

It is a misimpression to think that all EU trade deals are handled by Brussels exclusively. Some deals covering policy areas that are not the sole preserve of Brussels have to be voted on by national parliaments, and sometimes regional parliaments, depending on the constitution of the EU-member-state in question.

These hybrid deals can be fraught with difficulty because each country and region has its own commercial interests to consider before signing.

The more extensive a trade deal is, the greater the likelihood of it going beyond the authority of Brussels and requiring the approval of individual member states.

Deals that involve cross-border trade in services – a key UK objective – are very likely to be hybrid agreements and thus subject to votes in the relevant national parliaments. The EU has already said that the final agreement will have to be ratified by all 27 member states.

This is why a trade deal between the EU and other countries takes 4-7 years to bring to the gate, and it shows why the BoJo is living in cloud cuckoo land (as are his Brexiter supporters), if he thinks he can get a complete deal by the end of this year. But posturing and privileged incompetence are BoJo’s forte, not attention to detail and technicalities.

The European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has already made it clear that BoJo will not get a complete deal if he insists that one must be finalized by the end of 2020. The European Commission has also said the EU will not be ready to open trade talks with the UK on a post-Brexit trade deal before the end of February, which leaves only 10 months for the UK to finalize a trade deal.

I’ve only mentioned a few of the complexities involved in each side’s baselines, and there will be hundreds of them!

The EU also has the upper hand when it comes to bringing heft to the negotiating table. A mere 9% of EU trade is with the UK while 47% of British exports of goods go to the EU.

Apart from an EU deal, BoJo will also want one with the US and China. In fact, he intends to pursue parallel trade talks with the EU and the US after Brexit Day on Friday, with some hardline Tory Brexiters convinced they can be played off against each other. Faced with the prospect of a “bidding war” with the US, the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said “There will be no overbidding on our side”.

Barnier has also said that border checks on goods will “become the norm” after Brexit – even if Johnson secures the no-tariff, no-quota deal he seeks.

At the moment, BoJo seems to be concentrating on a trade deal with the US rather than China, with its potential impact on NHS drug pricing and NHS outsourcing to the American health industry, and importing American chlorinated chicken or hormone-fed beef.

But a trade deal with the US is likely to include provisions that militate against one with China. To quote The Guardian:

“But the US has another priority: to constrain the growth of China’s economy as far as possible, particularly in areas such as tech. The new US-Canada-Mexico trade agreement has a “poison pill” clause, which would allow the US to pull out if either of the other two countries signs a trade agreement with a “non-market” economy such as China. The US is likely to demand a similar clause in a US-UK agreement”.

The Trump administration is also demanding that Huawei, the Chinese tech giant, be excluded from bids to supply the UK’s 5G network. This US baseline for a UK-US trade deal is therefore likely to breach a major Chinese baseline for a China-UK trade deal.

The Tory Brexiters have long been saying that membership of the EU makes the UK a perpetual “rule taker”.

They will be in for a surprise when the UK begins trade negotiations with the US. All they need do is ask the Canadians who the “rule taker” is when they engage in painful trade negotiations with their power neighbour!

At present, a mere 3.5% of the UK’s exports go to China, less than the UK’s trade with Ireland, whose economy is minuscule compared to China’s.

Britain’s huge financial services sector has limited access to China, and the UK’s focus on any trade deal with China will almost certainly be on increasing this access.

But here there are likely to be stumbling blocks, especially since the UK’s financial sector has an unenviable reputation for being the money-laundering capital of the world. To quote The Daily Coin (January 18, 2020):

“In 2016 Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, who has spent most of his career investigating the mafia, claimed Britain was the most corrupt country in the world.

Saviano told an audience at the Hay-on-Wye Book Festival: “If I asked you what is the most corrupt place on Earth you might tell me well it’s Afghanistan, maybe Greece, Nigeria, the South of Italy and I will tell you it’s the UK. It’s not the bureaucracy, it’s not the police, it’s not the politics but what is corrupt is the financial capital. 90 percent of the owners of capital in London have their headquarters offshore”.

The Daily Coin also quotes Nicholas Wilson, a whistleblower on the criminal activities of London’s banks:

[b]“He [Wilson] said: “Nothing can be done to clean up the City of London. If any politician tried to dismantle the City of London the world economy would collapse. Drugs money was the only thing that kept the banks going during the 2008 financial crisis.”


In 2016 the Home Affairs Select Committee claimed £100 billion in illicit money was being laundered in the London property market every year.

Mr Wilson said the bank with the worst reputation was HSBC which he said was implicated in 18 of the 25 top corruption scandals listed by the watchdog Transparency International last year…..

Mr Wilson said the political and financial establishments were closely entwined and he said there have been numerous examples of former MPs and ministers going to work for banks and former bankers entering politics or influential jobs.

The City of London Corporation declined to comment and the Financial Conduct Authority, which was also approached, did not provide a comment”.

It will be interesting to see what the Chinese government, which keeps its own banking sector on a tight leash, will do when BoJo and his emissaries come with a request to open China’s financial doors to cowboys from London’s banks, eager and coked-up to unload their toxic financial instruments on Chinese markets.

Kenneth Surin teaches at Duke University, North Carolina. He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:18 pm 
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Brexit Day has finally arrived! Can't wait to enjoy unbelievable freedoms tonight at 11pm, at which point we will remain in the EU in all but name for the next 11 months but have no say in anything.

Awesome!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:32 pm 
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Slacks wrote:
Brexit Day has finally arrived! Can't wait to enjoy unbelievable freedoms tonight at 11pm, at which point we will remain in the EU in all but name for the next 11 months but have no say in anything.


Compare that to the say we're all going to have in what the UK does over the next 5 years.

(Not including those Brits who work in the Bond Market...)

:-?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:13 pm 
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Holyman wrote:
Slacks wrote:
Brexit Day has finally arrived! Can't wait to enjoy unbelievable freedoms tonight at 11pm, at which point we will remain in the EU in all but name for the next 11 months but have no say in anything.


Compare that to the say we're all going to have in what the UK does over the next 5 years.


Yes, so much say, which will of course be used to give the masses a voice and not - say - trash employment rights, food standards and create a tax haven off the coast of Europe to keep the elite nice and rich.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:58 pm 
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Slacks wrote:
Holyman wrote:
Slacks wrote:
Brexit Day has finally arrived! Can't wait to enjoy unbelievable freedoms tonight at 11pm, at which point we will remain in the EU in all but name for the next 11 months but have no say in anything.


Compare that to the say we're all going to have in what the UK does over the next 5 years.


Yes, so much say, which will of course be used to give the masses a voice and not - say - trash employment rights, food standards and create a tax haven off the coast of Europe to keep the elite nice and rich.


You just gotta find yourself on the right side.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:15 am 
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11.13pm. Freedom at last.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:17 am 
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Happy Independence Day!!!

At last, you are free from the yoke of Eurofaggotry!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:21 am 
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I'm just heading home from a social in the West End.

Nobody talking about. No activity on the streets connected with it (I didn't go to Whitehall today...).

All going off with a bit if a whimper...

(:|

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:22 am 
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Though I imagine it's a different story for the yokels...

>&8~

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:11 am 
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https://www.thebeaverton.com/2020/01/bo ... dence-day/


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:11 am 
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I wonder which side the Independent news is on?:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:28 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:10 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:59 am 
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So no fireworks show and you still can't buy an AR with a 100 round drum mag?
What was the point?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:10 am 
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So no fireworks show and you still can't buy an AR with a 100 round drum mag?
What was the point?


That’ll be the Scots when they UKexit.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:56 am 
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Oooh, looks like Sinn Féin may form the next government of the Irish Republic...

That will certainly help matters, no end.

>*^*<

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:32 am 
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'Cos these are the constituencies held by Sinn Féin in the north of Ireland after last December's election:

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Not sure what that means if the same party is governing the entire nation to the south...

>*^*<

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:02 pm 
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Holyman wrote:
Not sure what that means if the same party is governing the entire nation to the south...


Probably not gonna happen, this time at least:

Quote:
Chastened by losses in local and European elections last year it braced to lose some of its 23 seats in the 159-member Dáil assembly and fielded just 42 candidates, about half that of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

This means an election surge will not fully translate into seats despite Ireland’s system of proportional representation. Fianna Fáil remains the bookies’ favourite to be the largest party and to lead the next government.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:16 pm 
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FEBRUARY 5, 2020

Boris Johnson’s Brexit Got “Done”

by KENNETH SURIN

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Formally, BoJo’s Brexit got “done” at 11pm on Friday, 31 January.

The impression that Brexitannia is now no longer a member of the EU is somewhat misleading. The UK now enters an 11-month transition period, due to last until 31 December 2020, that will still keep the UK bound to the EU’s rules.

The UK will remain in both the EU customs union and single market during this time, while it works out a trade agreement with Brussels. Or any trade deals with other countries that can substitute for those the UK relinquished as a result of leaving the EU.

BoJo, persuaded more by his love of the grand gesture than any sense of realism, set himself a deadline by end of 2020 to get a comprehensive deal with the EU, but the EU has set time-frames (both sides have confirmed that negotiations will begin on March 3rd) and conditions the UK– with increasing certainty as time runs out—will be unable to meet.

The UK faces a dire economic situation if it settles for a No Deal Brexit, and the EU’s game plan from now on is becoming obvious.

While observing all protocols, run out the negotiating clock on the UK, so BoJo has to plead for an extension to his end of 2020 deadline, which, given that he had promised to die in a ditch if he didn’t get Brexit “done” by Halloween last year, could start to dent his credibility with his Ukanian base.

BoJo, like his exemplar Trump, relies on a team of toadies and a compliant Murdoch-led media to abjure strategy in favour of impression-management and PR.

Trump in his cheesy flummery calls this “listening to his gut”, claiming, however improbably, that his “gut” outdoes those around him who rely on their intellects.

BoJo, though just as crass and vulgar as his American counterpart, enjoyed a more patrician upbringing, so such earthy references to sounding out their bowels is something the presumably genteel Johnson nanny taught BoJo and his siblings to eschew.

BoJo is a chancer, bully, and manipulator, with all the weaknesses these dispositions entail, and the EU negotiating team has already started to take advantage of these traits.

Step One: confirm all the way that you are impervious to such bullying and posturing, since they are intended solely for the UK electorate.

Step Two: take every opportunity to remind the UK, and the Tories especially, that this mess was entirely of their own making, so the onus for resolving it is placed on BoJo and not the EU.

Step Three: allow as many proxies as possible to complicate the life of the bully, such as having EU-member Ireland confound BoJo on its post-Brexit relations with the UK’s north of Ireland (hence when northern Ireland expresses a desire for reunification with the Republic the odds are that the EU will back reunification); or saying and doing nothing about Remainer Scotland’s threat of secession from the UK (the EU flag was taken down in the rest of the UK but Scotland is continuing to fly it); or showing partiality with respect to the British colony Gibraltar’s strong Remainer desire as a result of its close economic ties with Spain, and so on.

Spain has territorial claims to Gibraltar, and the EU has backed Spain in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations by giving Madrid the power to exclude Gibraltar (designated as a British overseas territory) from any trade deal agreed with Brussels. This will have serious implications for Gibraltar’s economy and its fiercely pro-British inhabitants, pitting their economic interests against their British identity.

Step Four: the UK will require trade deals with non-EU countries after Brexit, so put in place conditionalities and baselines with regard to the UK that will require these non-EU deals to be absolutely congruent with EU interests.

The EU insists the UK must agree to alignment with its rules on workers’ rights, the environment and state aid, as the condition for a deal, in order to preempt the UK stealing a competitive advantage. BoJo however insists he will make no such concessions, and that there will be no alignment of any kind. Something, someone, will have to give.

Many countries have for decades traded with the UK under the auspices of the EU, so they will wait to see what (if any) deal the UK will strike with the EU before they negotiate bilaterally with the UK.

BoJo and his handlers are now touting the prospect of a Canada-style trade deal with the EU. Canada’s deal with the EU took 9 years to negotiate, and eliminated 98% of tariffs on goods, but did little for financial services, the latter being of course a key UK objective in any trade deal.

It also turns out that France still has the ability in the transition period to veto the sale of British Steel to a Chinese corporation. British Steel has a plant in France, which the French now say is of vital “national interest” to them.

Japan has already indicated to the UK that securing a Japanese trade deal will depend on BoJo completing one with Brussels first. Since much of the business Japan does with the UK is undertaken via the EU, Japan will need to know what kind of relationship the UK will have with the EU before it strikes a bilateral deal with Johnson.

Several Japanese car manufacturers have plants in the UK, and they will want a UK-Japan deal which does not expose their operations to any commercial risk as a consequence of Brexit. For instance, if British-manufactured Japanese cars face a tariff barrier when exported to the EU, it is almost certain the Japanese will relocate production to the EU itself—the EU has 27 member states versus the UK on its own, so the arithmetic on this is a no brainer if you are Japanese. Japan will want UK alignment with the EU’s trade rules, a possibility already ruled out by BoJo. Something, someone, will have to give.

BoJo added a complication to a possible trade deal with the US when he announced that the Chinese tech company Huawei would be allowed to supply Britain’s 5G network,. The US has voiced its concerns over data security. To quote The Guardian:

“The green light to Huawei was given in the teeth of concerted opposition from the US and some of the prime minister’s own backbenchers. America has warned that the company’s participation in 5G networks would represent a major security risk to the west, given its close relationship to the Chinese state. Huawei has already been excluded from 5G networks in Japan and Australia on the grounds that control of vital infrastructure could fall into the hands of a potentially hostile power. One Republican senator said on Tuesday that “London has freed itself from Brussels only to cede sovereignty to Beijing”.

While the US’s “security concerns” are no doubt overblown (Trump talks about upcoming military operations with fawning guests at Mar-a-Lago, and speaks in advance with Putin about US air strikes in the Middle East without extending the same courtesy to his western allies), BoJo has always shown he’s pretty challenged when it comes to technology.

This is obvious when we see video of BoJo sitting at a computer, but his use of the demarcation between “core” and “non-core” 5G functions to say that Huawei’s participation in the UK’s 5G network would be confined to the latter prompted much derision in the media—the main reason why 5G is superior to previous phone technologies is that it is designed to operate seamlessly across the entire system, thereby eliminating any barrier between “core” and “non-core”.

No doubt BoJo will seek to convince the Americans that a trade deal is completely different from such security concerns over phone technology, but will this carry weight with Trump, with his penchant for taking advice from the mercurial Rudy Giuliani, Sean Hannity on his latest Fox News show, an array of rightwing evangelical “spiritual advisers” keen to tell him he was “sent by God”, and his fat-cat golfing partners?

The Tories owed their convincing election victory to persuading voters in Labour strongholds that voting for a Tory-Brexit will bring them a boatload of goodies (which of course Corbyn and “socialism” would not).

This was a snake-oil con, but it worked in the election. The possible evidence so far that it wasn’t a con is receding over the political horizon.

Despite a Tory election pledge to have it lifted, austerity is continuing because of Brexit — the Bank of England is moving interest rates from the current emergency rate to an even lower rate, and BoJo has told all his ministers to reduce spending by 5%.

BoJo promised that the Labour areas which switched to the Tories over Brexit would reap rewards in the form of increased investment, and so on. The opposite is now materializing, as funding already earmarked for these “Left Behind” areas is being transferred to prosperous Tory shires in the south-east of England. A review of local authority funding could move £300m/$357m from councils in highly deprived areas to Tory-controlled shire councils.

This being Brexitannia, a moment resembling a Monty Python sketch, or Bertie Wooster in a PG Wodehouse novel putting his foot where he shouldn’t put it, is not likely to be far away.

+ A couple of Brexiter MPs, with BoJo’s support, launched an online GoFundMe campaign called “Big Ben must bong for Brexit” to pay for its chimes (which had been silenced during renovation) to sound on Brexit day. The sum needed was not reached, so there was there was no Big Ben bong.

+ A 50p coin to commemorate Brexit was released. The original Brexit memorial coin had to be melted-down, at taxpayer expense, because it was marked with the original departure date of 31 October 2019. The replacement coin bore the mendacious inscription “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations”, and a storm in the proverbial teacup arose when various members of the Ukanian cognitariat said an Oxford comma was needed after the word “prosperity” to meet some hard-to-identify linguistic norm.

+ The Conservative HQ issued a tea towel to commemorate Brexit with a triumphant “Got Brexit Done” slogan and BoJo’s jowly visage stamped on it. Over-priced at £12/$15, the towel’s critics said it resembled something to be found on a roll of toilet paper, and that Brexit would of course not be “done” until the UK and EU finalized an exit deal.

Also on Brexitannia-related display:

+ A sign seen in a Dublin Bar: “All Brits must be accompanied by a European after 11PM,
Except Scots, they’re sound”.

+ A “Brexit Day” poster demanding that all residents speak the “Queen’s English” has been posted on every floor of an English city tower block.

+ A Dutch city replaced the Union Jack with the Scottish Saltire in a line-up of EU flags.

In the midst of all this kerfuffling, the EU’s message to Brexitannia has been unambiguous and unwavering: whatever deal we give you will be inferior to what you had as an EU member.

The Tory Brexit has never been more than a marketing ploy for the electorate, so all BoJo can do in response to an implacable Brussels is to repeat to his supporters the plaintive refrain that “Brexit is Brexit”.

To which Brits like me say: “Of course it bloody well is, so what’s next?”.

Kenneth Surin teaches at Duke University, North Carolina. He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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"We are moving into an era where authority cannot be the Truth.

Only the Truth shall be the Authority in coming times, as the sanctity of all authorities will be questioned."
- Sadhguru


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:20 am 
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7th February, 2020

Four Million Children Living in Poverty as Numbers Rise

by Sadiya Chowdhury


Children have had the highest poverty rate in the UK over the last 20 years, according to new research.

Four million children were living in poverty in 2017-18, up by 400,000 in the past five years.

Despite rising levels of employment, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's (JRF) State of the Nation report says in-work poverty has also gone up because often people's pay, hours, or both are not enough.

Fourteen million people across the UK currently live in poverty - 56% of them are in a working family, compared to 39% two decades ago.

Two million pensioners are also living in poverty, up by 300,000 over the past five years.

The report says there are regional differences in poverty rates, with the worst figures in London, the North, the Midlands and Wales.

The lowest rates are in the South (excluding London), Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Two major drivers of differences in poverty rates are the availability of good-quality jobs and housing costs.

The JRF says "levelling up" the country - a promise made by Boris Johnson - will require action on low earnings in places like the North East, which saw the largest increase (2.2%) on high housing costs.

Moses Zikusoka, 54, the son of a diplomat, grew up in Hampstead and worked for one of the world's biggest brands before he had three children.

Now, as a single-parent, Moses says he is trapped in poverty in a vicious cycle he cannot escape.

"It's a myth - there's no way that as a single parent you can do this on your own," he told Sky News.

"You have to have a support network, whatever the support network is, or else you will collapse, and you'll fail yourself and you'll fail your children."

Mr Zikusoka works in retail and says working full-time hours is simply not compatible with being a single-parent.

He said: "I went from part-time to full-time employment in the hope of moving my career on the managerial ladder.

"But the challenge was, you end up working longer hours, you earn more money, you have to pay more tax, you have to spend more on childcare, and you see less of your children.

"So the net result is you're actually worse off than when you started."

JRF executive director Claire Ainsley said: "The new government has an historic opportunity as we enter the 2020s.

"Past successes in recent decades show that it is possible for the UK to loosen the grip of poverty among those most at risk, but this progress has begun to unravel and it will take sustained effort across the country and throughout the governments of the UK to unlock poverty.

"It's not right that so many are unable to build a firm foundation to their lives because their jobs are insecure or they can't find a home they can afford. Without a better deal for working families, and a social security system that provides a public service for all of us, the UK faces further division and deeper poverty."

Frances O'Grady, general secretary of trade unions federation the TUC, said the government must crack down on business models "based on poverty pay and insecure jobs".

She has called for zero-hours contracts to be banned and an increase in the minimum wage to £10 an hour.

Becca Lyon, head of UK poverty campaigns at Save the Children, hit out at the controversial Universal Credit scheme, saying the social security system must be reformed and childcare support improved.

The Trussell Trust, which runs food banks across the UK, also criticised Universal Credit.

Chief executive Emma Revie said: "The findings from JRF's report today could not be clearer - for too many people it's becoming harder and harder to keep their heads above water.

"At food banks, we're seeing issues with our benefits system, like the five-week wait for Universal Credit and payments not covering the cost of living, pushing more people than ever before to food banks."

James Taylor, from the disability equality charity Scope, added: "These findings are shocking, but sadly will not be surprising to disabled people.

"Life costs much more for disabled people, on average £583 a month. At the same time, huge numbers of disabled people are denied the opportunity to get into and stay in work."

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "Tackling poverty will always be a priority for this government.

"We know that getting into work is the best route out of poverty and there are more people in work than ever before. Wages are outstripping inflation and absolute poverty is lower than in 2010.

"We know that some need more help, which is why we spend over £95bn a year on working-age benefits.

"Millions will see their benefit payments rise further from April and we're also boosting the incomes of pensioners each year through the triple lock."

https://news.sky.com/story/four-million ... t-11928032

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"We are moving into an era where authority cannot be the Truth.

Only the Truth shall be the Authority in coming times, as the sanctity of all authorities will be questioned."
- Sadhguru


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