Tag Archives: Brexit

Sometimes you get surprised

Well, well, well. You know all that doom and gloom BREXIT was supposed to bring? I’ve just been reading the UK chancellors budget speech and I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Tax cuts and infrastructure investment? Now that the EU shackles are off, the UK can and is doing it’s own thing.

As an investor I do have my reservations of course. The whole ‘Green’ thing. Has anyone done the sums on the extra baseload generation capacity and extra infrastructure the UK will need for all these whizzy little electric cars and suchlike? Yet I found nothing in the speech about new power stations apart from wind and solar. That’s going to be a big bloody help when the wind doesn’t blow on a cloudy day.

They’re going to have to get busy building these new Rolls Royce SMR plants, as well as making sure no crazy hippies or other witless nonsense merchants can damage them.

As a concept I like the SMR and the prospect of fast rollout and installation times for small nuclear reactors. I’d like it even better if there was a heavily camouflaged option. One that could be hidden in a place like Corsham Quarries, or other disused MOD sites or mines. Places that could easily be made secure and protected with a lot of rock between them and the outside world. Not that these SMRs will do a Chernobyl, they are being built and designed by Rolls-Royce after all. Unfortunately the reputation of Nuclear Engineering was not best served by a Soviet regime turning off all the safeties just to see how high they could crank up the volume. Nor was it well served by sticking old model boiler reactors on the shores of Japan which are notoriously vulnerable to earthquakes and subsequent tsunamis a la Fukushima. However, what all the anti-nuke faction forget is that nuclear is still the cleanest, safest option when it comes to power generation. You’re far more likely to get damaged by a cuddly toy.

Now if the powers that be can start to get these SMRs in situ before 2030 and at least start to update the electrical grid, then the UK may, and I’m putting a big conditional ‘may’ on that, have all the whizziest electrickery cars a body could desire. If of course someone discovers a new source of available cobalt etc or the much vaunted Graphene batteries prove viable. However, I’m still not totally sold on an all electric vehicle UK. There are journeys they are okay for; urban only commutes for example, but for non-rail travel outside major urban conurbations, trucking and agriculture, electrical vehicles are still, at this part of their developmental cycle, chocolate teapot time.

Mrs S and Youngest, a.k.a ‘North’ are delighted that the EU mandated ‘tampon tax’ is going away. “About bloody time.” Said ‘North’. I am also pleased about the removal of VAT from books and magazines. Then there’s going to be no extra taxes on fuel or Al Cohol and friends? Just what do these Tories think they’re doing? Running an economy? Well hold my breath.

PSBR has shot up, but the BOE have just cut interest rates, so now is a time to invest in infrastructure, not merely spend to buy votes. Necessary investment like the promised 50 billion on broadband. If I was asked, not that anyone is going to, I’d say the UK’s first post-BREXIT budget is a bit of a gamble, but not an unreasonable one. If it were me I’d give the infrastructure improvements the nod and cross my fingers, toes and nostrils, which is what I strongly suspect Bojo is doing. The Tories will score a big win if they only manage to fix the potholes and let the traffic go where it may.

Sounds like a plan.

Looking forward

Well, the champagne (A small bottle of Pol Roger) is on ice, awaiting 3pm Friday 31st, BREXIT day. That’s 3pm Pacific Standard, 11pm UK, midnight in Brussels, or should that be midnight for Brussels? Mrs S just reminded me, but I’d already made preparations.

Rain permitting I will be hanging out the Union flag to rub various noses in it. At least if I see any of the despised circle of stars banners on display in the neighbourhood. I choose to celebrate my countrymen’s decision and success in wresting themselves from the pelagic ooze of Brussels. Good luck chaps. I wish you all well. May the sun always be on your backs and the road rise to meet your feet. I have a seeming that those backing a Bojo led BREXIT have put their money on a winning horse.

My path looks like I shall be taking a different road and despite the current threat of Chinese Coronovirus, Mrs S and I are feeling optimistic. Plans are afoot and so shall we be.

The sad news is that Elderly Friend declines further by the day, her marbles continue to rattle out and down the memory holes of existence. However, that’s dementia for you. Within the next month or two we expect to visit her only to be greeted with a surly “Who the hell are you?” and the door of her sheltered accommodation slammed firmly in our faces. This is a thing we are resigned to facing. It’s part of the downside of being a Power of Attorney, but one you have to expect. All we can do is play along with her continual confabulations and await the long-dreaded phone call from the staff. She might see one more Spring, she might not, but at the current rate of decline I think she’ll be pushing up the daisies before they break bud. We’ll sigh, Mrs S will cry a little and I will do the honours like we did for her husband back in 2011. My goodness, was it that long ago?

Notwithstanding, the future beckons and we must heed its call, stepping up to the challenges we are set.

May our gods go with us.

Happy independence day UK.

Digging out

Well, the snow has stopped falling and our driveway cleared after an hour of vigorous snow shoveling on my part. It was good exercise as there was between ten and eighteen inches of global warming snow to shift. Now my working morning is being punctuated by soft subsonic thumps as the ten inches or so of snow on the roof slides off in a series of mini avalanches as a welcome thaw sets in. However the sun is out and I’m looking forward to getting out of the house for the first time since Friday. Or was it Saturday? Bloody hell, I’ve lost track. It’s already Thursday.

Working from a home office is all very well, but you do need a change of scenery after four or five days or a little cabin fever starts to set in. So we’re going out. I’ll deal with the rest of the shenanigans my morning job throws at me later. It’s only numbers. Easy enough.

The outside world trundles on without any input from this household. The Iranians have ‘fessed up to downing that Ukrainian airliner and are having to put up a patsy to take the fall for an error from higher up the food chain. BREXIT moves ever closer to a WTO ‘no deal’ outcome because the Eurocrats are still trying to stymie the whole process and why wouldn’t they? That’s their fat expense accounts that are about to walk out the door. A seventh of total EU yearly contributions are about to wander off whistling happily. Unless they get their act together, fast.

If asked I’d say the spectacle was almost pathetic, rather like the Limp Dem peer who essentially called all pro-Brexit voters ‘ignorant Nazi’s’. Which just illustrates the depths of desperation some people will sink to.

Despite all the whining and bitching from the opposition benches, who seem to be of the disarrayed mindset that if they can’t direct the game, they’re going to run interference for the opposition, things proceed. Unfortunately for them, Bojo has his majority and can more or less ramrod through the necessary legislation regardless of any opposition from the upper house. Blair set the example in the 00’s with his repeated use of the Parliament act, so the boot is now firmly on the other foot.

For BREXIT night itself I’ll be laying in a bottle of pink fizz to drink the health of the dear old UK and wish everyone in the old country every possible success. Eleven pm UK time translates to three pm Pacific, so a Friday afternoon glass of bubbles should provide a happy end to that working week.

Anyway. Where’s me shades? That reflected snowlight is getting kind of intense.

Merry whatever

These are strange times when even wishing someone well can elicit a hate crime prosecution. Despite this, I am feeling pretty optimistic for the New Year what with a successful BREXIT being on the cards, want to wish my last remaining reader all the best for the festering season. Solstice, Christmas, Yule, whatever; and if you’re offended by that there is no hope for your diseased and raddled soul.

Here’s an old favourite of mine to pass the flowing bowl around to. Unless you’re one of the perpetually offended, in which case you do not love yourself and will find that very few others do.

See you in the New Year.

The fear factor

While crunching numbers, as I am wont to do because it’s what I earn a crust doing, I was listening to a Timeline documentary on YouTube, where the narrator was telling the tale of the Black Death and the social changes it helped bring about.

The thing that resonated with me was the various fanatic cults that arose during those times, even before the plague arrived in their locale. Convinced that the plague was the wrath of God (Although God has told me he did try to tell them about having a good wash now and then, but no-one was listening – as usual), certain groups of people turned to that good old standby of, instead of trying to deal with their personal hygiene issues and stop killing the cats that kept the rats down, chose self flagellation. That’s right, they went about the streets crying “Woe, woe, we’re all doomed” whilst lashing their own backs with a knout, a nasty sort of cat of nine tails with metal bits sewn into the whip ends. It is said these groups of ‘Flagellants’ as they were known, whipped themselves so hard that their blood would spatter street walls as they passed. It did not save them. In their self-weakened state, most perished.

So it is that I see the “Not my Prime Minister” and anti BREXIT campaigners, driven by their own fear, choose to roam the streets crying “We’re all doomed!” and getting under everyone else’s feet. Rather like the silly ‘Extinction rebellion’ protesters. They achieve nothing and are wasting their own and everyone else’s time. Rather like the flagellants of medieval times. They lack the reasoning ability to connect cause with effect themselves, so in ignorance devolve into a hideously primitive groupthink.

Unfortunately, Youngest is counted amongst their number. Which is a disappointment. I thought she’d learned about people who keep themselves down by being the authors of their own undoing, and that there are no saviours our there. According to her, they’re all apparently terrified that those nasty mustachio-twirling Tories are going to go around gloating over all the “Aha! Some poor people to torment, har-har me proud beauties!” You know, the working people who the Limp Dems and Islington Labour don’t really care about. Except when getting their vote in to support a bunch of unemployables like Corbyn.

What I saw during the campaign was Bojo, the UK’s very unclownish Prime Monster, going around, getting his hands dirty on the shop floor. Which is something I can respect rather than the opposition whose sole electioneering approach was gladhanding activists and loyalists while mostly ignoring the electorate or beating them over the head with scare stories, earnestly trying to re-educate any recalcitrant voter and crying “Vote for us, or the Tories will eat your babies.”. That and calling anyone who didn’t agree with them immediately unpleasant names. Well done chaps. Did it work? No prizes for giving the correct answer.

The thing is that neither BREXIT nor minor variations in the Earth’s climate are going to be harmful. Now they could be, but only if people refuse to rise to the challenge of a bit of extra sunshine rain or snow, or cling to the notion that a bunch of people who have never worked in the private sector over the channel know better than local people with their noses to the grindstone, fixing problems as they arise. Seriously, the immediate future contains more opportunity than threat. At least for the UK.

All the public moaning and groaning from the defeated are like a bunch of mardy teenagers who Mum and Dad have finally called ‘time’ on are achieving precisely nothing. All the Slebs whining like kicked bitches instead of claiming a little grown up dignity and facing their mistakes likewise. Although Lily Allen’s tactic of bursting into tears and sobbing ‘vote Labour’ has given a lot of people a bit of a giggle. It’s not that we’re unkind, it’s just that it’s funny to see all these people who think because they are good at entertaining have any idea about how the world really works.

So all these British slebs who didn’t get their way are going to leave the UK? Yeah, right. But where to? Surely not to that hell hole the Trump-infested US of A? No? Well the Yanks just dodged a bullet there. To the cultural backwater that is Canada? Mm, only if they’re happy to play to the odd bilingual Moose and a couple of puzzled bears. Australia? Watch out for the big hairy spiders and the Salties, not forgetting the deadly drop bears and one extremely unfriendly sheep near Brisbane. Heaven forfend that these ungracious slebs might have to learn another language. Even if they had the brains.

The truth is, as I pointed out to our young companions whilst we were visiting London, despite the odd knife attack, the western world is safer than it has been for quite some time, if ever. Fewer deaths from disease, wars, and even extreme weather events (Explanation here). Fewer road deaths. Indeed, fewer deaths from everything, apart from those claiming a Darwin Award, (Sightseeing on erupting volcanoes and suchlike).

Most of us are living longer and healthier lives to the point where getting a message from HM Queen to centenarians now has to be semi automated. That’s right, more people than ever before in the western world are making three digits, elderly friend included. Even if her wits are somewhere west of their preferred location.

Indeed. it’s getting to the point where pension payouts won’t begin until you’re eighty. Not that it’s a bad thing. One of my cousins just picked up his last P45 at age 79. Wound up his business and was last heard of travelling eastern Europe. Similarly I expect not to officially ‘retire’ until 70. Not that I really mind. Even then I’ll find something to make a few extra bucks on the side. Trusting for state pensions to be your sole source of income in your frail dotage is not a brilliant idea. Personally, I have two pensions in the offing, Mrs S has three and that’s without factoring in our investments. Having lost three pension funds over the years, (2 pots raided by New Labour, one when the company I worked for went belly up big time) I’ve become very cautious about those Ponzi schemes and nowadays employ a broker, an accountant and a lawyer to keep my investments secure. They earn their money.

Oh well, it might not be such a short life after all, and we will have to find our merriment where we may.

Now don’t cock it up….

Well done to the Tories. At the time of writing Boris and his boisterous blue crew have secured a solid majority in the UK Parliament. According to the FT’s tracker they hit the magic 322 seat marker around 5:10am UK time. I went to change into PJ’s and my new dressing gown before heading back for a large whiskey. One minute it was 320, then I blinked and 322 popped up on screen. Not sure what swung it for him but I’m quietly glad it has. I’m sitting here in my PJ’s drinking Black Grouse and nodding to myself in grim satisfaction,

Even if Big Nige and company didn’t get much of a look in, the Brexit party deserve an honourable mention in despatches for getting out there and fighting the good fight. A quiet Knighthood for Big Nige when all the fuss has died down wouldn’t come amiss. He deserves a pat on the back. As do all the Brexit MEP’s about to become redundant. Anne Widdecombe especially. Her speeches have been pure comedy gold. What a trooper.

Anyway…..

5:41am UK time. 352 seats to the Conservatives.

5:47am and all of a sudden it’s 355. Hot damn! I didn’t think they’d make more that 345. Glad to be wrong though.

5:58am and it’s 357 no, I blinked, it’s 358. This has the same feel watching Thatcher’s election victory after the Falklands war. Will it go over 360 seats, I ask myself, sitting in my office a third of the way across the world.


Man, I’m glad I held on to my sterling reserves, I’ve just looked at what the pound is trading at. And it’s due to go higher. An avaricious little smile is threatening to split my face in two, rather like my brokers did yesterday when we discussed our future financial plans.

So what does this considerable 35+ seat majority mean? Well the notorious Benn act can be booted to the kerb for a starter and it’s sponsor Oliver Letwin thrown in the Tower to rot. Britain can exit the EU in January and let the Eurocrats come scrambling after Britain’s crumbs. As I’ve previously mentioned in an earlier post the European Central Bank still thinks that Quantitative easing and putting the printing presses in high gear will solve their economic woes. The data does not support this conclusion. As I said to my broker, “People lie, numbers don’t.”

As for Britain leaving, well, that will not make the SNP happy, but so little does. The Scots will push for a new vote on Scottish independence and if Boris is wise he’ll let them have it. Right in the ballot box. Because as we’ve seen before, when push comes to Barnett Formula, the Scottish electorate will blink. They know why. Who pays for all their social benefits and services? England, that’s who. On it’s own the Scottish economy is like Rab C Nesbitt on a Saturday night. Tottering and barely coherent. The SNP might believe in socialist economics, but their economy doesn’t.

To their credit the SNP booted the Limp Dem leader out of her sinecure seat. Don’t know about who will replace Corbyn. If it’s McDowell, so much the better, he’s a raving Marxist of the worst sort which will turn people away from the ideological dead end that Labour has become. That said, I’m a Marxist too, but at least I’m a Groucho Marxist.

Pass the whiskey and cigars. I’m taking Friday off.

Jesus H Christ on a Bike! The Tory seat count just hit 361!……. I’m off to bed.

Update: Well, well.  Three hundred and sixty five.  That should do it, although I’d be happier if someone was in Parliament that we could be sure would hold the Tories feet to the fire.

Oh well, we’ll see what happens in January.

Parent stuff

Mildly concerned about the most recent knife attack in London as it happened in an area that Youngest regularly passes through on her way to and from various venues. So it’s the usual mildly frantic back and forth on the messaging services we use to confirm she’s not in amongst the victims or witnesses. Don’t know what we’d do if she was, but the very least would be us on the next available flight out to London to help out any way we could. Nice to hear that the Met were on the ball and shot the assailant, but not so good for the folks he managed to damage.  By the way, kudos to the guys who tackled the knife wielder with a fire extinguisher and (Would you adam and eve it) a Narwal tusk.

We fretted for a while about Youngest getting caught up in these things, but this is where she has chosen to be, and it turns out she was in a nearby pub with her mates at the time, having missed the whole stabby event by twenty wonderful minutes. We’re relieved, but what can you do but do the parent thing and at least show her that we do worry about her safety?

Other news is that I picked up my postal ballot yesterday and will be using it shortly. Small hint; it won’t be going to any remainer candidate, they’ve been messing things up for the last three years to the point where UK business is having trouble planning much needed investments and creating employment and thus wealth. Mrs S feels the same way, so as far as we’re concerned Labour, the Limp Dems and Greens are out of luck. They’re all equally clueless.

As for the vociferous big business lobby who continually push for European integration, which will be good for them but very few others, they got the UK into this mess, so no sympathy for when BREXIT does finally happen. I hope Johnson does get a large majority to push BREXIT through but I’m also hoping that Big Nige and the BREXIT party will bag a few seats, just enough to keep the Tories feet to the fire. One should not put thy faith in people with such a singularly poor track record of backsliding. Okay, my heart says vote Tory, but my head says they’re not to be trusted.

What else? Oh yes, I brought my Lemon and Grapefruit plants into the kitchen, away from the frosts and hailstorms which are currently making their presence felt in our neck of the woods. One of the Lemon plants is looking a bit scraggly, but out of the other five, three have stems almost as thick as the tip if my little finger. Also our four Grapefruit seedlings are well leafed and will probably need larger pots by the time Spring rolls around. It’s quite the little jungle in the sunny corner of the kitchen. Our deck garden is looking a bit woebegone after the adverse weather, however, ’tis the season etcetera.

With regard to our current Canadian day jobs, Mrs S and I have decided we’re jacking them in 2020 when our contracts end. It will mean a bit of rearrangement of tax and investment strategy, but we should be fine. I have a not inconsiderable cash reserve to drop into the pot, which will help. Why we’re doing this is the continual messing around the Ministry insist on imposing on our organisation. The plan is for me to do a little online retraining, as will Mrs S, then next spring we’ll be packing our bags and setting off for pastures new for a while to see what we can make of things. Even with only a minority Trudeau Government in charge they will economically damage Canada to the point where it is going to be much less business friendly than we’d like, so we’re spreading our wings and pootling off to see what we can find.

Recovery mode

Well here we are, back in our chosen BC domicile. Still feeling rather rough around the edges and mildly debilitated. Whatever we have has subsided a little but not gone. It’s just lurking around like a deranged stalker, choosing it’s moment to leap out shouting “AHA! Bet you thought I’d forgotten you, eh?” On the plus side it doesn’t look like either of us are about to die, although our mutual coughs have yet to disappear.

At present there’s a risk we might both get fired as the new accounting system head office set up is (We think) still not fit for purpose. Not that it’s our fault, but the idiot in charge is covering her back, doubling down and setting deadlines which another division have just refused to comply with. That’s right, they’re trying to force us to use a new accounting system which our much larger sister division has just binned. Thus I am working on a Sunday and the following Remembrance day holiday to see if I can iron the bugs out.

So, come Wednesday there was this big video conference where we thought we were going to be hauled over the coals for not being able to make their poorly documented package work. It’s on days like these one feels like Edmund Blackadder on the eve of his proposed epic voyage around the world. That scene where Lord Melchet hands him a blank sheet of paper as a map, asking him if he’d mind filling in the details as he went along. (In episode 3 ‘Potato’) I get annoyed when people do this to me because; firstly I don’t get paid enough and secondly it’s their package which they are paid to manage. Now they’re handing out deadlines and ultimatums? Eff off. I’m no slacker. If a job is at all possible it gets done. If it isn’t, well sorry peeps but you’re not exactly paying megabucks and I’m inclined to do tortoise impersonations to within the shell of my previous job spec. My immediate boss knows this and has written some very pointed emails to the jokers pushing this implementation. Besides, if I can’t do it, I can’t think of anyone else in the organisation who has made it work. Good luck with finding my replacement guys.

Mrs S has seen my reactive scowl and remarked that maybe it’s time we both handed in our papers on this particular company. My response is that maybe it’s time we both moved on.

Well the upshot is that despite feeling like I’ve just had a serious run in with a steamroller we’ve not only beaten their deadlines to a bloody pulp by sheer old fashioned slog, along with a little ingenuity where guidelines were lacking and emerged victorious once more. Having handed in a report on the weaknesses of their systems, as soon as we’ve caught up we’ll be allowing ourselves a bit of a time out.

Despite being disappointed that we weren’t in the UK for BREXIT I see Bojo, the UK’s deceptively jovial Prime Monster has refused to play nice with Big Nige and the BREXIT gang. He may be refusing to be seen to be playing ball with a free trade, free speech faction just in case certain high-rolling donors pull their much-needed shekels from the Tories coffers. Maybe he thinks the election is in the bag. He may be wrong like Treason May was. The remoaners may yet have a sting in their treacherous little tails. The Tories I think, will need any support the light blue faction can offer. Same as they currently need the DUP. Cave, cave Mister Johnson.

However, my judgment is currently very cloudy and I feel like I need a weeks rest to recover fully. As far as any election goes December 12th will be the acid test.

Don’t make them angry – too late

Today was a quiet day after all the shouting and posturing from various groups, including that bunch of treasonous vermin in Parliament. The ones desperate to block BREXIT, that is. Also quiet because the silly people of extinction rebellion are getting the message that their antics will no longer be tolerated with good humour.

I get the sense that both groups have worn out their welcome. The most credible polls say a Tory landslide if Bojo, the deceptively clownish UK Prime Minister can get his deal through. If not, the light blue ticket will make serious inroads into the overall vote. Then may the Lord have mercy on the souls of the betrayers of democracy. Or not. Like so many, I no longer care. For heavens sake have done!

I also get a seeming that Corbyn, when it comes to an election, will lose out massively to Farage, because certain leave constituencies would not vote Tory if you tortured them with horrible spiky implements, but they’d back the light blue ticket or stay home with a vengeance rather than back Labour as currently structured. Farage will gain support because he and his don’t like or trust the Tories, they see him as a threat and, dear children he most certainly is. People overall are sick of the artificial delays, many remain first time voters have openly stated that they will not vote so again. The logical conclusion is that disaffection with the anti-democratic antics of Parliament is a palpable force.

Yes, the banner wielding student activists and public sector boomers were out in force around Parliament on Saturday, but when the rain came down, the noisy blue flag waving party, about 1000-1500 strong (My estimate) at speakers corner went silent. I was actually less than two hundred yards away when it all went suddenly quiet. Then carried on walking with a quiet savage smile on my face as Mrs S and youngest were luring me on with the promise of red wine and decent steak. Which, dear reader, I later consumed with gusto and chimichurri sauce.

Now a different kind of rain is about to fall for all these anti democratic protesters. They are making everyone else angry. As we saw with those commuters and the XR protesters, that anger will flare. They had better hire bodyguards next time they pull that crap. Especially outside of London.

What we’re in the middle of now is effectively a new peasants rebellion, a new Battle for Britain and the UK. If Boris falls, so will all the mainstream parties in a real ballot box romper stomper if the people are betrayed yet again. Never mind your soft soap ‘people’s vote’ which is just another way of trying to hold back the growing tidal wave of disaffection. A solemn promise was made. No ifs, no buts. We Brexiteers knew what we were voting for. Out means out. ‘Deal’ or no.

Me, I’ve already voted in Canada and hope my solitary ballot does some good against the corporatism of the Liberals and Tories. Not to mention the other rob dogs calling themselves the Greens and NDP.

Tomorrow I have work to do before pootling off to visit the Science Museum and later a pleasant evening lecture on something hopefully devoid of anything remotely associated with 21st century politics. Tick tock. Pass me a whiskey love.

Anyone else?

Has anyone else noticed a singular trend in Western politics? How comedy and entertainment is intruding from the lowest to the highest? No? The ask yourself about the previous professions of certain leaders.

Prime Minister UK. Boris Johnson; Journalist and one time host of “Have I got news for you”
President of the Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky. Playwright and Comedian
President of the USA. Donald Trump; ex-host of “The Apprentice” Property magnate and speculator
Co-founder of the Italian anti-EU Five Star movement. Beppe Grillo comedian and activist.
Ex=President of Czechoslovakia. Vaclav Havel. Playwright.

All have been entertainers and all taken centre stage in times of revolutionary turmoil against entrenched establishment political forces. Anyone else notice the trend? All social liberals but fiscal conservatives. Victor Orban of Hungary is to the right this particular spectrum.

Oh and Farage, the outsiders outsider, who Boris Johnson’s cabinet have half seriously threatened to nominate as the UK’s EU Commissioner should Brexit fail. Oh boy, that could be a real barrel of laughs.

No wonder the Eurocrats are refusing to negotiate further. Not to mention the fact that they want what they want and the UK had better play ball or else you horrid little British people. Behind all that bluff and bluster they are scared shitless. When the UK leaves the EU without a deal, like the UN, they will run out of other people’s money faster than a drain. Other countries will follow.

The Benn act can tell Boris Johnson to stand on his head and blow bubbles out of his arse, but in the end it won’t matter. The Speaker may collude with foreign bureaucrats. If Boris can’t get a deal because the Eurocrats won’t budge, that’s that. I hate to be a smug bastard (Well only as bit) but I’ve been saying what other people have for a long time. No deal was always the only deal, because the Parliamentary remain faction don’t understand the Eurocrats for what they are, arrogant little men with all the empathy of a bad tempered scorpion on acid. That arrogance has now bred a form of desperate bravado as almost a seventh of the EU budget is about to go AWOL. Like a bad parent chiding a rebellious grown up son or daughter, all they can threaten is “We’ll cut you off!” when in the end event it is they who will be the losers. Like a child leaving an abusive family to start a new life, Britain’s best option is to walk away.

One note about Boris Johnson. This man has hidden strengths. Anyone who watched the old news parody show ‘Have I got news for you’ when he took over the hot seat will be in no doubt as to how thick his skin can be. Both sides of the fashionably lefty panellists used to rip into him something cruel, yet he maintained an air of self deprecating buffoonery and good nature against the cruellest barbs that could be thrown his way.

I notice these things. I think a few more people do as well.

Who told you that?

Which is an exceedingly good question to put to the anxiety prone hand wavers one comes across from time to time. Who, with any real credibility, is saying that the world is going to burn up in eighteen months and what is their agenda. And who says leaving the EU will lead to everything in the UK grinding to a sad and inevitable halt? ‘Activists’ who are all sound and fury, the idiots who have become their own tales, that’s who.

Mrs S and I were discussing this today on a short drive out to the mall. The consensus between us was that all the “We’re all doomed!” faction are a bunch of ignoramuses who believe all the cultish nonsense they’re fed. I believe that no force on earth can stop a man with a true righteous hunger (a.k.a Deus impeditio esuritori nullus), and hunger is what these milquetoast radicals lack. All they have is the vapid echoes of clickbait media releases funded by rich bastards who feed off the stock exchange instabilities the activists create by blocking streets and wasting everybody’s time. The fact that some of these activisty types have been raided by the Met, who have reportedly taken some pink cushions into custody, indicates that these few nonsense merchants have peaked. Especially after that hilariously mismanaged incident with the decommissioned fire engine (See video below).

They’re not only wrong, they’re completely inept as well.

Notwithstanding the above, we were both getting a touch of cabin fever after almost a week without seeing the outside of our little domicile. We also haven’t had a real holiday since last year and need some different air to stay sane. The rain has been enough to keep me out of the saddle and the speed traps have been out in force over this last week. So, instead of picking up speeding tickets, we got out of the house to do a little peoplewatching and see what the rest of humanity in our little corner of BC was up to. To which the answer was, not a lot. Just the usual.

I’m all packed for London and will be making contact with friends and (gasp!) family while I’m there. It’s absolutely true. Two of my family members are actually deigning to travel down to the smoke to see their cousin and sibling (Me). Good gravy, whatever next? What are they really up to? Normally they wouldn’t even cross the road to piss down my throat if my lungs were on fire. Something is up. As in balloon going. I know my clan, to paraphrase the words of Edward Young “They ne’er take tea without a strategem”. I have a suspicion I’ll need my lawyer on speed dial. Might not be such a bad idea to put a London brief on retainer.

Which only leaves me wondering as follows; will BREXIT really happen on time like Bojo the suspiciously unclownish UK Prime Minister says? Or will the Scottish courts go on obstructing, creating legislation on the fly? BTW; Scottish law is slightly, but markedly, different to English law. Which is something the Blair-created ‘supreme court’ seems to be forgetting. Ho hum, less than two weeks to the nineteenth. Tick tock.

As for here across the pond, I think the Canadian populace knows what it needs to do on the 21st, but whether they will kick the corrupt and hypocritical Trudeau and his Liberals far enough out remains to be seen because Scheer, the Tory leader is so damned wet and cut from a similar cloth. Will the conservatives upend the vote, or will the Greens and PPC make inroads? I see few clues. Locally there are few, if any lawn signs on private properties in our neighbourhood and the political doorknockers haven’t yet wheezed up the steep bit of the hill where we live. although my vote is already promised to the local PPC candidate. Can’t speak for Mrs S, she’s always been her own woman, although I suspect she’ll be voting blue.

Dear Remainers

Hello My dear BREXIT remain campaigners,

Just a little missive from over the pond to say hi and point out a few things. If the UK does not leave the EU on the 31st October 2019 you are all screwed. Not just you, but the Brexiteers as well. In fact the whole population of the dear old UK. As an expat, my funds have very little exposure in Europe at present, but yours. Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. You are so totally fucked. Not because of BREXIT itself, but by the continual uncertainty and delay you have caused.

Why do I say this? Well a few reasons actually, and they’re not hard to see from my moderately lofty viewpoint. If the UK bends the knee to the EU, either as a vassal state or still within that bureaucratic morass, I have seen hints that the next decade won’t be much fun for UK Plc as a whole. In fact you’ll only think it’s fun if you’re really into sadomasochism in a big way. This includes all those small to medium sized businesses struggling to compete in an environment ever more skewed by the EU to favour the big corporates.

Point of order here; you Remainers might think that you are on the side of ‘democracy’. Yet any effective democracy will die if the UK stays within the EU. Because the EU as now structured has about as much democracy as had the old Soviet Union. Don’t take my word for this, the documentation is all on the EU’s web site. All the legislation. All those regulations that will begin to tighten around the UK like a seventeenth century hangman’s noose. One that slowly constricts and strangles whilst the feet of the condemned dance in the air. Slow and painful. The economic punishment beatings of austerity will forever be your lot. See Greece.

You see, all the bad things that will follow a failed Brexit will be for your own good. Also to serve as an example for any other bumptious little country with ideas above its station who dares to even think of leaving the glorious EU empire. Also like Greece, your constitution and a thousand years of law will be torn into tiny little shreds. If you have the ill fortune to find yourself in a court of law, the onus will increasingly be on you to prove your innocence against fairly flimsy evidence. Think that’s easy? I could cite the examples of the UK Family courts where most fathers are considered guilty upon the most paper thin allegations. Like the so-called Canadian court of human rights where evidence for the defence can be (and often is) dismissed at whim. You’re there so you’ve got to have done something? Right? Think Twitter hate mobs are bad? These will be worse. Not only that but not falling foul of the rising flood of legislation will be an increasingly more difficult task. You will have lost even the pretext of innocence before the law. The process will go like so; allegation, automatic charging, show trial, conviction, sentence. Defence? Oh dear me no.

By the way, did you know that although the EU does not officially have a death penalty, there is a law on their statute books that allows for one to be imposed should you ‘insult’ the European Union? Go look. It was there when I last checked. So wrongthink might take UK citizens to whatever execution device the Eurocrats deem fit. Be that a bullet in the head or the horror of the Fallbiel. Even if at first it is only those filthy Brexiteers who literally get it in the neck. Don’t think that these self-serving Eurocrat bastards won’t consider mass murder to keep themselves in positions of power and privilege.

My brother in law, a staunchly typical remainer, has indicated that he would be more than happy to fill mass graves just for the ‘privilege’ of remaining within the European Union. So don’t say that it’s all paranoia. Remainers have left those on the pro leave side of the fence with no illusions on associated matters and what they’ll do, given half a chance. So give the pseudo moral outrage a rest. You’re only fooling yourselves.

Add to that, in case of civil unrest I hear that there are plans to deploy non-UK Police personnel and non-UK military personnel on UK territory. Think I’m talking from an orifice not normally used for that purpose? Go look it up. All within the EU’s web pages. The EU Army we were told was an febrile illusion invented by a deluded pro BREXIT faction? That’s there too. Ever closer union? Now we learn that was always the way this was going. The Eurocrats have been working toward that goal since day one. A new German empire with it’s own patrician class that you won’t be able to get rid off.

Free person or modern day serf. Ask yourself this; do you really want to be at someone else’s unfettered beck and call all your life? The EU will make you all slaves to a self-selecting elite. Think it’s bad now?

Oh and the European Central Bank is in serious financial trouble. The printing presses are rolling and ECB interest rates are sub zero. If you haven’t pulled your funds out, do so now. As a small investor I took this step a couple of years ago.

Now there is, however, one bright spot in all the imagined gloom that the remainer pundits endlessly (and tediously) predict. If a ‘no-deal’ Brexit does go through on the 31st October, at least you won’t have to hear another EU Parliament speech from Nigel Farage ever again.

See you in mid-October,

Stay safe.

Bill

P.S. I may be outside Canada when our Federal elections happen, but there’s a thing over here called ‘advance voting’ so Mrs S and I can get our anti-Trudeau ballots in the box before we board our plane.

Don’t panic

I mean it. My own life has taught me that the biggest killer out there is panic. Flailing or running around and shouting will not help. So don’t do it. Trust me on this. A cool head will get you through more scrapes than being a drama queen and expecting other people to take up the slack. Indeed I have found my own personal policy of walking softly and taking a step back when faced with the unfamiliar and occasionally dangerous has often gotten me out of a tight corner.

In this vein we’re having to think ahead with regard to Elderly Friend. Her rapid slide into dementia has both us and the care home thinking that she’s not long for this world. She may even die while we’re in London. So. Funeral home fees and arrangements have to be checked, funds set aside for end of life care, nursing etc. All that stuff you get the joy of as power of attorney. However, this is the job we signed up for and it has to be done. The grunt work of signing off on those details like funeral services and ensuring the right ashes go in the right urn. Just in case.

However, a little foresight has often proven useful too because it’s of limited use being cooler than liquid Nitrogen if the ground is literally crumbling under your feet. Having a fallback option, just in case, isn’t needed that often, but I like them as they are very reassuring. Doesn’t have to be much, just simple stuff. For example, on road trips, I carry enough first aid stuff to be able to suture moderate wounds and stop bleeds whilst being able to provide some form of pain relief or sluice out a dust afflicted eyeball or contaminated cut. My credit cards are kept separately in case I get my wallet nicked. We always have double travel insurance and I never enter a place unless I already know where the best exit is. Mrs S often jocularly chides what she calls my ‘paranoia’, but despite the odd minor faux pas it’s been a long, long time since I was caught properly left footed.

We’ve gotten lost in the wilds of Ontario with dwindling fuel, but not unrecoverably so. We’ve lost money on investments, I lost five thousand dollars on three particular stocks last year, but more than made it back on others and spent a meagre two fifty on advice of how to set the loss against tax. Then made all my money back and then some on the same stocks by June this year. We try to invest across a wide spread, never put all our fiscal eggs in one basket and try not to panic if there’s a short term drop in the market like over the New Year 2018-9.

Because having at least one alternative is way better than being caught with your financial unmentionables around yer ankles. So it is with a WTO or ‘No deal’ Brexit. Now being a suspicious sort when it comes to news media, reading all the “Noooo! We’re all going to DIE!!” nonsense being peddled even in the FT. I really am thinking of cancelling my subscription. Fortunately I have my own sources. So I did a little digging.

Here’s what I found; imports will not grind to a halt. There are structures already in place to allow imports without delays at all major UK ports. Same for exporters. If you don’t already know, then you haven’t been listening. The tax authorities have been ready for a no deal scenario for over two years. I got that via Pinsent Mason (Major UK law firm who deal in international law by the way). Also from the guy who has just transferred out from being in charge of the port of Dover says they’re ready for ‘No deal’. HMRC have set up 190+ ‘pop up’ customs posts, in addition to the normal ports facilities who deal with clearing import and exports. The only problems will be from EU customs, so you’re more likely to run out of Cheddar at Calais than Brie and Avocados in Birmingham. Besides, where in the EU grows Avocado’s for heaven’s sake? Oh yes, France and Spain. The Netherlands are a major distribution hub and exporter, but don’t actually grow any. The major growers range from Israel to Mexico, New Zealand to Kenya, then there’s Colombia, Morocco, South Africa and the USA. Can’t get your Dutch Avocado? Fine, there are plenty more sources out there with produce to sell. Cut out the EU middle man. Ship direct from the growers, and don’t think there aren’t deals already being cut by the buyers for Messrs Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and Sainsbury.

Even if the EU embargoes all imports to and from the UK, remember this; they need the UK markets more than the UK needs the EU. Never mind not getting a GBP39 billion payday, if they tried cutting UK Plc off without a cent they’d bankrupt a large proportion of their own internal economy. According to a financial report I read 12th September 2019, the European Central Bank is going to cut interest rates and start printing money, a failed policy by the way, which has already hit the Euro. Internally, they are already in trouble.

For expat UK pensioners in European countries (No names, no pack drill) this drop in the Euro means their UK pension will be worth more as the pound sterling will buy more. Expats I know they have been hit badly because of all the Remainer panicmongering driving the value of sterling down at least twelve percent lower than it should be. It would be nice to see them better off.

Me, I don’t put my faith in state pensions, mainly because I like to know where my money is and what it’s up to. As well as the payout of any given state pension being less than likely to support me in the style to which I wish to become accustomed in my forthcoming frail dotage. Also because I don’t trust politicians, any of them, not to plunder public coffers for their own short term gain. They can buy votes with someone else’s dime.

Oh yes, and I’ve finally bowed to Mrs S over buying a new cell phone so she can keep tabs on me, investing in a dual sim Samsung A20 with case and armoured glass.

Looking ever more forward to London, when I will be trying to console those of the Remain faction I encounter by speaking soothingly and gently holding their hands to reassure them.

Why specifically hold their hands? Just to make sure none of the nasty little sods manage to take a swing at me. Like I said, foresight.

Points of failure

Following the BREXIT news, I see Bojo, the UK’s deceptively clownish PM has just outmanouevred the remoaner MP’s. He called their bluff. Talk about cojones, I’d hate to play him at poker. Despite being in a weakened position he flipped the noisy remoaners the bird and Labour, recognising that much of their own voter base were the ones who mostly voted ‘leave’, folded.

The BREXIT party poses a significant electoral threat to the Corbynites, as it does to the Tories if Bojo fails to deliver on the 31st October. Farage and co are likely to capture a significant part of their vote and they know it. The Limp Dems might garner a few seats because of split votes, but they won’t make much headway in largely leave constituencies. The numbers are against them. A hung Parliament would result with a majority of dark blue (Tories) and light blue (BREXIT party). Maybe Farage would deal, maybe not.

A lot of what I see going on at present is all sound and fury, signifying nothing. The Remain faction won’t get any bills past the Lords in the time frame available to them and the Tories won’t invoke the Parliament act to force the issue. Only the ruling party with a firm majority can do that. Boris Johnson won’t go cap in hand to Brussels, partly because even the EU has lost patience and won’t negotiate further and partly because if he does bend the knee, from an electoral standpoint he and the rest of the Tories would be heavily overdone toast. I think he understands that this is his defining moment and he must not fail.

Judging from the mood of things from over here in BC, the British voting public, outside of a few noisy activists, have had enough. Now if it does come to a UK General Election, there are certain parties who will be in for a punishment beating at the ballot box. Those who have demonstrated bad faith will be the worst hit. Which is what the Corbynites fear. They have broken faith with a good deal of their traditional voter base who wouldn’t vote Tory even if threatened with red hot pokers, but might well vote BREXIT party or just stay at home in disgust. All the remainers “We want an election and we want it now” rhetoric is just guff, as has just been proven. The shadow of Farage hangs over them all and they know it.

These are their points of failure. Despite the threat of electoral annihilation, the remain faction will not give in, but will grow ever more shrill, right down to the wire. The thing is, to continue the poker metaphor, they’re a busted flush. They’ve played their best cards and bet the farm but they are beaten. Now they’ll try to kick over the table and call a mismatch, but they’re too late. All Bojo and company have to do is stand firm and filibuster like their lives depend upon it. Because in a way they do.

My, my, this is interesting. I’m positively looking forward to London this October.

Update:  Speaker Bercow has resigned?  Good gravy.  Whatever next?  All I know is that another must be elected by the Commons while one of the previous speakers three deputies stands in.

Having had a quick breeze through the history, a Speaker’s resignation is unusual, but not unprecedented.  So apart from calling into question Bercow playing ducks and drakes with certain parliamentary rules, it’s going to be business as usual.  The Brexit clock ticks on.

Interesting times

“May you live in interesting times” as the legendary curse goes. Well, these past few days have been interesting as far as we are concerned. On the home front, elderly friend is slipping away down the sad path of dementia toward the long night. Her short term memory is all screwed up, so when she cannot find anything she’s on the phone to us at all hours. Brother in law had a bit of a fright when lack of regular sleep caught up with him and he simply collapsed. Twice. Mrs S wants to up sticks and move countries yet again and guess who is being given all the heavy lifting? Now our normally reliable car has packed in, so I’ve had to arrange for full diagnostic. Looks like an easy fix (allegedly) for the garage, being something to do with a bit of electronics having given up the ghost, unfortunately my automotive skill set and tools are sadly lacking for such a relatively modern vehicle, so off to the shop it goes. Fortunately we’ve still got the Mutt to get about on.

This morning, having had a breeze through the FT, I see the Queen, God bless her, has given the green light to Bojo the UK’s deceptively clownish PM, to suspend or prorogue Parliament. Of course all this has the remoaners up in arms, claiming that this is ‘anti-democratic’, but their pointless prolonging of BREXIT has clearly gone against the democratic mandate that was handed down to them in 2016, so yar boo to you lot. The delay has already cost the UK dearly. The Queen knows this, Boris knows this, the remoaners don’t seem to care. They’re just acting like a bunch of spoiled brats.

They’ve had three whole years to get a deal from the EU and they have failed. So WTO terms it is. In sixty five days from the time of writing and counting. No referendum, no votes, no attempted palace coup by the fantasists who think that Corbyn driving to Buck house in a taxi and forcing the Queen to make him PM. Err, can I point something out? You know the old challenge “You and whose army?” Well, fun fact; HM Queen is commander in chief of the armed forces. All the officers and squaddies in the Army, Navy and Air Force have sworn loyalty to her, not some unpopular and crabby left wing politician. It’s her army, not the Corbynites. The Police are also sworn to the Queen. True, they may be managed day to day by politicians, but they work for her. She’s the boss. The Chairman of the board. The EU attempted a stealth takeover, but over half the people of the UK used their votes to say “Out.” and that’s that.  HM Queen rules UK, okay?

Oh, by the way, saw this over at Raedwald‘s. So apposite, so goddamn on the money when it comes to the remoaners. So I too shamelessly nicked it.
Remoaner Tantrum

Since even before the 2016 referendum those who intended to and voted leave have been subject to continual abuse and insult from the opposing faction, which is no way to change hearts and minds. Newsflash kiddies; you can only convince someone to change their mind through persuasion. Constantly beating them over the head and abusing them just won’t cut it. This is negotiation 101, as they say over this side of the pond.

Right. Now I’m off to talk to a mechanic or two. Yes, these are indeed proving interesting times.