to avoid attachments and entanglements in foreign affairs
at 11 o’clock tonight Great Britain will no longer be a member of the European Union
the rest of Europe doesn’t like that much
England has a rich history
it’s time we made some more
Self-Serving Useless Politicians are Destroying England’s Future
You can always tell when politicians are lying, because their lips will be moving.
There’s a thing called BREXIT, which is a kind of acronym for the exit of Great Britain from the European Union. It’s been going on since the referendum on 23 June 2016, when 51.9% of the British people voted to get out of Europe all together.
Since then our utterly useless, supine Prime Minister, Mrs. Theresa May, has lied, procrastinated, and vacillated, doing bugger all about getting this country out of the European Union. The Prime Minister has been defeated in one vote after another in parliament ~ firstly her original (very bad) exit deal with the European Union was rejected, then her (slightly) amended deal was rejected, and now the idea of leaving the European Union without an exit deal has also been rejected.
WTF do these members of parliament want?
However, the default legal position is that Great Britain will leave the European Union on March 29th, whether there is an exit deal in place or not. To change that default leaving date will require a change in the law, and that’s not as easy as some stupid politicians think.
However, I have no doubt that our self-serving, dishonest, fucking useless parliament will find some way of delaying the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union ~ indefinitely.
The real deal is that NOBODY KNOWS WTF is going to happen over the next couple of weeks. Add to that nobody knows WTF is going to happen in the weeks, months, and years following our supposed exit date on March 29th.
Except that the English public will be voting a hell of a lot of these fucking useless politicians out of office come the next general election.
Some say that Brexit is a confusing mess which ever way you voted. And that Brexit is just like unfriending Europe on Facebook. All I know is that if the self-serving politicians don’t get on with it there will be Hell to pay.
Some people are psychologically incapable of telling the whole truth about anything.
Brexit was the first brick knocked out of the establishment wall.
Brexit is the invented word used to describe the exit of Great Britain from the European Union, and right now that process has descended into black farce and chaos.
The simple facts are these;
- On the 23rd of June 2016 the people of the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union.
- Since then the political establishment here did bugger all for a couple of years about organising Great Britain’s exit from the European Union.
- The plain fact is that hardly anyone in the politic establishment wants Great Britain to leave the European Union ~ our Prime Minister Mrs. Theresa May included.
- Over the past few months Mrs. May negotiated a very unsatisfactory ‘exit deal’ with the European Union.
- This deal was put to Parliament yesterday, and Mrs. May suffered a crushing, humiliating defeat by 230 votes ~ by far the biggest defeat by a sitting government ever.
- Today, Wednesday January 16th, Mrs. May faces a vote of no confidence in parliament, she is likely to win that because hardly any Member of Parliament wants to face a general election right now.
- Any previous, honourable Prime Minister would have resigned yesterday after such a crushing defeat in parliament ~ Mrs. May has no real honour.
- As things stand, Great Britain will leave the European Union on March 29th 2019, whether there is any kind of a deal in place or not.
- The majority of the English people couldn’t give a
fuckdamn if there’s a deal in place or not, we just want out of the European Union.
The political establishment is hated by the majority of the people in the United Kingdom, and if politicians fudge, obfuscate, kick the can down the road again and delay Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, there will be a blood-letting at the next general election that will make the English Civil War look like a garden party.
Some say you can tell when a politician is lying because their lips will be moving. And that the idea of an honest politician is just an urban legend. All I know is the political class here is hated and mistrusted as never before.
Theresa May is no Churchill
To be an ideal guest ~ stay at home.
Have you ever had one of those house guests you wish had never turned up at all? Well it seems that President Trump is less than an ideal candidate for a State Visit to the United Kingdom.
To be fair, this great country’s Queen Elizabeth II has hosted some very unsavory and embarrassing characters on previous state visits to her United Kingdom: from Mobutu Sese Seke in 1973, (then the president of Zaire), Robert Mugabe, in 1994, and Xi Jinping the leader of China in 2015. At least Mr. Trump isn’t a homicidal maniac who has criminalised homosexuality or stopped women from being educated or voting.
Mr Trump is merely ill-mannered, badly educated, and prone to saying what he really thinks. Really, in no way a typical polite and cultured American.
The president broke Royal Protocol three times when he visited the 92 years old Queen at Windsor Castle. Firstly he kept her waiting for a quarter of an hour in 80 degree heat, he refused to bow to the Queen, instead shaking her hand, and the he turned his back on the monarch and walked ahead of her when inspecting the guard of honour. You know what? You just don’t do that here.
An Englishman thinks all American males are ignorant, boorish, and uneducated ~ Trump proves it.
A significant proportion of the population of these Islands have protested against the President’s state visit; thousands of
fucking stupid protesters have hit the streets in a display of left-leaning-liberal indignation, (including the leader of our Labour Party, the facile Jeremy Corbyn.) I’m not certain what English law says about banners that use Fuck and Cunt in their slogans, but that was deemed perfectly acceptable in the anti-trump demonstrations. A million people, (allegedly), have signed a petition to stop this state visit.
Meanwhile, the supposedly completely independent BBC has taken advantage of every opportunity it could find to denigrate President Trump, his State Visit, and America in general. It’s appalling that this state-funded broadcaster has lowered itself to the same level as those ignorant rent-a-mob street protesters.
In an interview with the Sun newspaper here, Mr Trump also enraged Brexit Remainers by saying that Prime Minister Theresa May had wrecked Brexit. And you know what? This president says it like it is, and more often not he’s right. As Prime Minister Mrs. May is as much use as a concrete life-preserver ~ no good at all.
So, President Trump’s State Visit has enraged some, but their petty indignation says more about their narrow-minded, juvenile attitudes that it does about Mr. Trump.
Some say that if you don’t agree with someone, you should stop them from talking. And, that if you take to the streets and protest loudly enough you will force ‘the authorities’ to sit up and take notice. All I know is that I like Mr. Trump better than I like the people protesting his visit to this Great Britain.
I think that slogan is so cool
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
Writing about politics is not my forte, nor do politics often interest me. However, I am moved to comment a little on the debacle that is the exit of Britain from the European Union ~ Brexit.
In a Parliamentary debate, Jeremy Corbyn, (the leader of the Labour Party, the guy who looks like a bad geography teacher), accused Theresa May, (the Prime Mininster, the woman who looks like the head mistress of a third-rate girls’ school), of being stuck in Brexit Groundhog Day.
For those at a loss as to the allegory, ‘Groundhog Day’ is a 1993 Bill Murray movie based on a story by Danny Rubin. In the film Murray plays arrogant TV weatherman Phil Connors, who gets stuck in a time loop on Groundhog Day in Punxsatawney, Pennsylvania, and is forced to relive Groundhog Day, over and over again. As it goes, the pathetic Jeremy Corbyn chose a bad allusion. The Bill Murray character is arrogant, but capable ~ our Prime Minister, Theresa May is neither. The Bill Murray character uses these endlessly repeating days to find different strategies to try and woo the beautiful Rita Hanson, (played by the beautiful Andie MacDowell) ~ I’m not even certain that Theresa May has one strategy, never mind using the time to find different strategies to get Britain out of the ugly European Union. And, Theresa May is not nearly devoting enough of her thought, time, and energy to getting Great Britain out of the European Union.
The Government cannot just be consumed by Brexit. There is so much more to do. ~ Theresa May.
However, the Prime Minister has, at least, 5 insoluble problems:
- The country is deeply divided. In the EU referendum on 23 June 2016, only 51.9% of those who voted, (72.2% of the electorate), said they wanted to get out of Europe. Not only that, there were huge regional variations, with London voting strongly to stay in the EU.
- Parliament is deeply divided. In all honesty, most of the self-serving members of parliament, (that would be about 90% of them), want to stay in the European Union. The EU is an endless ‘gravy train’ for politicians ~ when Britain leaves all those highly-paid, generously pensioned, non-jobs will no longer be open to British politicians.
- Great Britain is the number 2 source of funding to European Union Institutions, (after Germany), and EU officials and politicians are terrified of what will happen to their finances when Britain finally leaves. Consequently the EU is demanding a ‘Brexit divorce settlement‘ of 100 billion Euros ~
fuck offon yer bike. The irresolute Theresa May is currently offering 20 billion Euros. In the view of the majority of English people, we should walk away without paying a penny.
- Most of Europe has a strong dislike of England because; we are better than they are, we have won every war with them that’s ever been fought, and we refuse to learn their foreign languages. This dislike spills over among European Union politicians, officials, institutions, and their press and broadcast media. That makes substantive negotiations extremely difficult.
- Deep within herself, Theresa May seems to be someone who would prefer compromise to confrontation. She lacks confidence, having called what turned out to be a disaster of a General Election on June 8th this year. She lacks charisma, even the clown Boris Johnson has more genuine charisma than does Prime Minister Theresa May. There is no steel in her soul, one can just imagine what Margaret Thatcher would have made of Brexit negotiations ~ likely she would have hit the alcoholic Jean Claude Junker with her handbag.
Those who think in Britain they can push the Brexit button and not have a bill to pay are seriously mistaken. ~ Charles Michel
What Great Britain needs now is a Winston Churchill, not an irresolute Neville Chamberlain. (Churchill’s reputation has been hijacked by pro-Europeans, who have obviously never read his books The Second World War, or A History of the English-Speaking Peoples.)
In the best interests of Great Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May has got to be brave, she has got to be strong, and she has got to be tough. I’m not holding my breath.
click on the book
Ultimately, food is the most satisfying form of comfort.
Even though spring has arrived in more southerly parts of the world, it’s still cold and wintry here in Northern England. Trust me, there’s still a need for comfort food here in the colder parts of the world.
First for you this week, from Joanne at No Plate Like Home is a great English staple ~ shepherds pie. Usually made with ground beef, but sometimes with ground lamb, this 45 minute dish is a fantastic midweek dinner.
And next, from English Foodie abroad at Chez le Rêve Français, we have another savoury pie, this time a chicken and leek pie. This looks a fabulous dish, which should take you around an hour to make.
Chicken and Leek Pie
Now for something easier and quicker from Chungah at Damn Delicious, there’s this great sheet pan steak and fries. I really like dishes we can make in just one pan.
Sheet Pan Steak and Fries
Soup is also a wonderful winter comfort food, and from Canadian girl Heather at the flourishing foodie I can offer you this cauliflower, leek, and carrot soup. Would be great with some crusty bread and fresh butter.
Cauliflower Leek and Carrot Soup
Something that isn’t a savoury pie, but kind of ticks all the pie boxes. From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest, there’s this great looking Irishman’s beef brisket burrito. I’m not usually a fan of burritos, but I really like the look of this dish.
Irishman’s Beef Brisket Burrito
Another Irish Beef dish, this time Irish Beef Stew from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes. You know what? In England we really like Irish Beef, but St. Patrick’s Day does nothing for most of us ~ maybe the English history with Ireland is just too long and chequered ~ and likely to more so as Brexit plays out..
Irish Beef Stew
Finally for this week, from Heather Christo, some real late-night comfort food. This rich, but vegan and gluten free brown sugar spiced banana rum cake. So, what’s not to like?
Brown Sugar Spiced Banana Rum Cake
A big thank you to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday
The Steel Of The New Iron Lady.
There is a wailing and gnashing of teeth among Britain’s left-leaning inner city liberal elite today. The snowflake Guardian newspaper has completely thrown its toys out of the pram. Tim Farron, the pathetic failed Leader of the Liberal Party, says that Teresa May has completely betrayed Britain.
All because, in a landmark speech yesterday, British Prime Minister Teresa May signaled that she fully accepts the will of the majority of the English Peoples and will negotiate the hardest of hard Brexit with the moribund European Union.
There is a 12 point plan for when Britain finally exits European Super State, the major elements of which are;
- Britain will leave the European Single Market.
- We will end freedom of movement and take control of immigration.
- Britain will no longer accept rulings from the European Court of Justice.
- We will leave the European Customs Union.
- Britain will look to the whole world when we make our own trade agreements.
The Prime Minister gave European politicians a stinging ultimatum and said that she will just walk away from a bad deal, and that if they don’t negotiate a mutually beneficial trade deal with the United Kingdom they will be committing an ‘act of calamitous self harm’.
Addressing stunned European Union ambassadors she threatened that Britain will set itself up as a low tax rival if European leaders tried to impose a punitive exit deal on Britain. If Europe doesn’t play ball, then Britain will just walk away and let them get on with it. Anyhow, it’s likely that the European Union will implode after Britain leaves.
Teresa May is waving both the carrot and the stick, and it’s a pretty big stick. Britain is the fastest growing G7 economy, the fourth biggest economy in the world, the second biggest contributor to NATO after the USA, London is the world’s greatest financial centre, and English is the only truly world language.
The original Iron Lady was British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who had a close political relationship with President Ronald Reagan. Perhaps Teresa May and Donald Trump will forge a similar history making Special Relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Perhaps Mr. Trump could even persuade Teresa May to throw cold water on the whole stupid, tax funded, man-made climate change CO2 hysteria. After all, England has bugger all in common with Europe, and a hell of a lot of shared history and culture in common with America.
Some say that all Britain will regret turning our backs on the European Union. And, that our economy will falter and fail. All I know is Europe ain’t seen nothing yet.
these opinions are mine and mine alone
Most of the news media has confidently predicted that Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States.
Most of the news media confidently predicted that the United Kingdom would vote to remain in the European Union in our referendum of 23rd of June 2016.
In the event England decisively voted to leave the European Union, and a new word entered the language; Brexit.
Leave aside the political rights and wrongs, and instead look at the effect that politics has on the Pound or Dollar in your pocket.
The immediate impact of Brexit has been twofold.
- The value of the pound fell dramatically on the foreign exchange markets, (FOREX). There was no good reason for this other than the Political Establishment creating alarm and despondency in Project Fear, in an effort to persuade voters to opt to remain in the hated European Union.
- The price to the consumer of all kinds of goods and services has been increased by mostly unscrupulous suppliers and retailers off the back of Brexit and the fall in the value of the pound. Some of these price increases are fairly justifiable, for example the UK price of petrol, (gasoline), has soared. But then oil is priced and traded in US Dollars. Some price increases blamed on Brexit are just fatuous, for example Walkers Crisps, (chips), have increased their prices by 10% and blamed it on Brexit. Walkers crisps are made in Britain from British potatoes.
There is one lesson to be learned from this. Markets, manufacturers, retailers, service companies, and politicians will use any change in the world order to justify price rises / tax increases / rapid falls in the financial markets. What they are saying to the man in the street is; ‘don’t blame us, it’s all your own fault for voting for the wrong result’.
What you didn’t know is that the major players in any market; banks, brokers, governments, insurance companies, speculators and the like, can all make money in a falling market, (aka a bear market). Principally they do this by ‘selling short‘, that is they sell stocks, commodities, foreign exchange that they don’t actually own for delivery at a future date. Then, when the market concerned falls, they buy the stocks, shares, commodities, foreign exchange they need to complete the contract ~ but here’s the thing, they buy at a lower price because the market has fallen.
Now, you or I can potentially make money in a falling market by selling short through our broker, but this is a very bad idea, because what you are doing is creating a risk where none exists, and that’s just gambling. Entering into this kind of deal is a very fast way to go broke.
However, it benefits the major players in any market to create uncertainty, because where there is uncertainty and chaos there is profit for them. And, where does this profit come from? Actually it comes from you and I, the average man in the street. Because of political uncertainties the cost of just about everything I buy, including my overseas road trips, has gone up. The value of almost everything I own has fallen, including stocks, bonds, and hard cash.
Should Donald Trump be elected President it is likely that chaos will hit the US financial markets. You can even take a bet on what will happen to Wall Street after the election. I can firmly predict that if Clinton loses the value of the US Dollar will fall, as will the Dow Jones Industrial Average. And why is that? Because it suits the speculators to make it so.
As it happens, nobody yet knows what will happen to the UK economy now that we are committed to leaving the European Union. Nobody yet knows what kind of President Mr Trump will make, nor what kind of handle on the US Economy Mrs Clinton has either. Most of the short-term economic impact of politics is down to speculation and not fact.
Personally, I disagree with just about everyone in that I believe Trump will make a better president than Clinton, (as far as the US Economy is concerned), and that Brexit is better for the UK Economy than staying in the European Union and Single Market could ever have been.
But then, I’ve never been one to have fashionable views.
these opinions are mine, and mine alone
There has been much talk about the fall in the value of the Pound Sterling against the United States Dollar and the bastard Euro since Britain voted to leave the European Union. Without getting into the politics of it, what’s all this about, and what does it all mean?
To start with; the exchange rate, or foreign currency exchange rate, or Forex rate, measures the value of a base currency, (your own currency usually), against a foreign currency. Thus the $ / £ rate is currently about 1.22, which means one pound sterling gets you one dollar and twenty-two cents. The exchange rate is the price of one currency against another. Some people also use movements in exchange rates to measure the strength of a currency’s underlying economy. This is like measuring global warming by looking out of window at today’s weather. It’s a
piss very poor gauge.
However, long-term trends do tell you something ~ like the recent fall in the value of the pound could have been predicted years ago because of the amount of UK debt sloshing around. The fall in the value of the pound has very little to do with Brexit, and a lot to do with the UK government printing too much money for years, and years, and years…
A weak economy is the sign of a weak economy, and a weak economy is the sign of a weak nation. ~ Ross Perot
Ross Perot doesn’t know much about Forex either.
What does this mean to you and me? Well, for a start, the exchange rate tells you very little about how much your savings / salary / holiday money is worth in your preferred destination. For that you need to know about purchasing power parity. What this theory says is that my money still goes a hell of a long way in Orange County, California, USA. As an example, car rental and the price of petrol / gasoline, is still cheaper for me in the USA than it is in England. So is the cost hotels, eating out, and etc. I have suffered a potential windfall loss in the change in the price of the USD against GBP, but on the scale of things does that worry me? Nope.
Worrying about movements in currency exchange rates is a lot like worrying about what the weather is going to be like next week. It’s interesting, but pointless.
Forex rates do have an effect on people, but not in the way you’d think. Forex rates, interest rates, purchasing power, inflation, government fiscal policy, all these factors kind of mush together to create an amorphous mess that hardly anybody understands. So let me break it down for you.
- The man in the street and small businesses. Forex rates hardly affect you at all, in relative terms. When it comes to the cost of your vacation abroad the movement in exchange rates is a tiny proportion of your overall spend. Here in England stuff you buy at home may get slightly more expensive, but that’s really down to lying politicians and the bosses of big businesses using exchange rate movements as an excuse for price hikes. If exchange rates had gone the other way do you think things at home would get cheaper? Of course not.
- Businesses buying and selling overseas. Here the sterling / dollar / euro / yuan exchange rates actually mean something. It means stuff you sell in pounds sterling has become better value abroad, while product you buy abroad in foreign currency has become more expensive. So what? That’s what management is all about, and if you don’t understand Forex, why are you dealing in foreign currencies anyway?
- Multi-national companies. Forex rates affect the big multinationals not at all, it’s merely another variable in their international treasury management operations. When a multinational like Unilever says they have to increase their prices to UK supermarkets because of the fall in the value of the pound, they’re lying.
What really impacts on everyone is this purchasing power parity thing, and that’s a lot more complicated than just exchange rates. For example, the national minimum wage and cost of health care has a lot to do with purchasing power parity.
As far as governments, central banks, and politicians are concerned, they could care less about Forex rates. They may talk a good talk, and wring their hands from time to time, but they really, really don’t care.
What should you do about movements in foreign currency exchange rates?
- Don’t worry about it, because it’s as pointless as worrying about the weather.
- Don’t create translation exposure. Pay for stuff in your own currency, and if you’re selling abroad, then sell in your own currency ~ (if you can, if not consider forward currency cover). Don’t ever borrow money in a currency you don’t earn. Also, don’t save in a currency you don’t want to spend.
- Don’t buy complicated Forex products, (if you don’t understand it, don’t buy it), or pay for advice on exchange rates. In fact never, ever, pay for financial advice of any kind.
- Shop around. Buying or selling foreign currency is the same as buying and selling anything else. Spend a little while looking for the best deal. But beware, there are more crooks in this market than there are in the used car business.
- Forget exchange rates and look instead at purchasing power. If I can buy the exact same thing on Amazon.com in $ as I can on Amazon.co.uk in £ which is going to be the better deal? You know what? 99% of the time it depends on where I want it shipped to.
The true currency of life is time, not money, and we’ve all got a limited stock of that. ~ Robert Harris
Mostly, movements in foreign currency exchange rates are simple ~ they will affect you in ways you cannot understand, cannot predict, and can do nothing about, so forget it. For some people, foreign currency exchange rates are frighteningly complicated and dangerous animals, but given that these people usually work deep in the research engine rooms of the world’s biggest banks, it’s safe to let them get on with whatever it is they do, which is not a lot.