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Showing posts from June, 2016

I Blame...

17 million Brits, out of the 46 million who had the vote (37% of the electorate), have decided to force the UK out of the EU. It's a pity 28% of us didn't bother to vote. It's devastating news for the UK, the EU and the whole world (except Putin and Trump apparently). But apart from the elderly deluded xenophobes who put their cross in the wrong box, here's who I really blame. The EU For not realising this might happen. Not only should they have been reforming their inefficiencies - or at least explaining to everyone what they might already be doing to improve things - they should have offered the UK better concessions over immigration. Their intransigence in the face of growing xenophobia throughout the whole EU will be their undoing. As I write this the day after the vote, the worst affected stock markets are Spain, Italy, France and Germany. The FTSE (UK), paradoxically, is one of the least affected (although massively down). The Conservative Party I'

After Brexit

So it's June 24th and the UK has voted to leave the EU (I wrote this on the 20th). It's looking increasingly likely that the more the experts try to scare the public, the more the polls are showing that about half the public want to commit national suicide to teach those experts a lesson. "The more you tell me we need the EU, the more I want to prove you wrong" (even though I haven't a clue about the facts ). But I'm not going to 'scaremonger' here any more. Too late for that - although I suspect the horrendous murder of Jo Cox will have an impact. Who wants to associate themselves, however unfairly, with a psychotic xenophobe. It would be even more tragic if voters ignored Jo's impassioned final campaigning plea, to Remain. So winding the clock forward a few days and we've voted out, there's no way back. Cameron's referendum gamble has failed and he's allowed the country to vote itself into decline... The final curtain of the B

We're asking the passengers to fly the plane

Would you trust patients to run a hospital or children to run a school? You might ask their opinion, but no sensible person would expect them to know what they were doing to improve health outcomes or education results. Those who bothered to get involved might have the best intentions for a while but would soon realise there's a huge amount they don't know about the consequences of their naive actions (or inaction). What we do in hospitals and schools is employ experts to safeguard and prioritise the interests of patients and students. Those experts (unelected because patients and students don't all have the skills to judge who would be good at it) ultimately report to people who are elected to be accountable for all patients and all students. If they do their jobs badly, they are replaced. So what would happen if you did ask the patients to run the hospital or students to run the school? What priorities would they have and what would be the consequences? Firstly I susp

Ali vs Trump

Just an observation, but we universally mourn the passing of a narcissist ("The Greatest") whose job was to beat people senseless. OK he stood up for racial equality and turned pugilism into a sort of art form. But he was an extreme egotist who openly insulted his opponents, calling them ugly etc, made up simple sound bites to increase his popularity, and was utterly devoted to claiming he was the best looking, most intelligent, most successful human being that ever lived. The more he told people how wonderful he was, the more popular he became. Sound familiar?... except Trump's orange and unlikely to become a muslim. Is this what it takes to become sanctified as a global hero... a total lack of humility? There's a picture going round in some of the endless newspaper supplements showing Mandela and Ali meeting. I'm sorry, but sad though his life became as a bankrupt sufferer of Parkinson's, they're world's apart in my book.

Would we pay more for their stuff?

I'm confused. Brexiters argue the Germans, Italians and French will still want to sell us their cars, so continued free trade with the UK is in their best interests. But we'll have to negotiate this (with an EU unwilling to make leaving easy) by threatening to make their cars more expensive for British people to buy. We'll do this because WE need to make imports more expensive to try to restore our balance of payments. Are Brits prepared to pay more for their Audis, Fiats and Renaults in order to make British cars more appealing, or do Brexiters want to pay more in order to punish them for taxing our insurance and banking products? Either way, imports will cost more. While in the EU, we buy their cars because we like the choice and don't want our own government to tax them. Indeed it would be better for British car manufacturing if we went back to the good old days of being encouraged to buy cheaper British cars (made by foreign owned factories). Is that what Brexite