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Boris Johnson and the Destruction of the Union? Why?


Whatever the possible pitfalls, the latest being the row over the resignation of Kim Darroch, the British Ambassador to the United States (July 11), Boris Johnson will certainly become leader of the Conservative and Unionist) party on July 23. He will get the support of the majority of the electorate of local Conservative members, as can be presumed from their socio-demographic make-up, and is confirmed by sporadic if uneven polling. Indeed, he probably has a majority on the votes delivered so far (July 11).

There is only minor doubt that he will become prime minister. It is certainly possible that Theresa May does not want Johnson to become prime minister, but the only major-party alternative is Jeremy Corbyn, and it is difficult to see her recommending Corbyn over Johnson to the Queen.Although some might consider it the lesser of two evils.It would be highly amusing but almost impossible for May not to propose Johnson as her successor on the grounds that he does not have parliamentary support. Still, the Independent today (July 14) is saying that Johnson has an actual majority of just 1.

In any case, the prime minister will be the one who commands a majority in the House of Commons, and Johnson  needs virtually the entire Conservative party and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) under the prevailing confidence and supply agreement. It is quite possible that Johnson becomes prime minister only to lose a vote of no confidence, probably not through losing the support of the DUP’s 10 MPs (Sinn Fein hold the other 7 NI seats but do not take their seats) but abstentions within the Conservative party (e.g., Dominic Grieve, Ken Clarke, etc.). Then, there would have to be a general election. Labour cannot form a government, even with the SNP, without a general election. They need more MPs.

Unionism is important at this point, and it has implications for Scotland and Wales as well as Northern Ireland. Unionist is part of the official name of the Conservative party, although it is hardlyused in England.

In Northern Ireland, at parliamentary level, Unionism was represented by the Conservatives until the 1970s, but now by the DUP, which was founded by Ian Paisley in 1971, on its own. The Official Unionist Party (OUP) still has representation at local and European level. Northern Ireland has 17 seats in the UK parliament as well as its own assembly in Stormont (which is now suspended following the end of the DUP/Sinn Fein agreement). Note that Conservative Unionism has a long history. To cite Wikipedia. “The Liberal Unionist Party was a British political party that was formed in 1886 by a faction that broke away from the Liberal Party. Led by Lord Hartington (later the Duke of Devonshire) and Joseph Chamberlain, the party formed a political alliance with the Conservative Party in opposition to Irish Home Rule.”

Wales has had its own assembly since 1998 after a referendum in 1997, and will soon be called the Welsh Parliament (Senedd). It has a semi-proportional voting system and now has restricted law-making powers. Labour has held close to half of the Assembly’s 60 seats since its inception, and with 29 seats now leads a government coalition with the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru in opposition.

Scotland has had its own devolved parliament of 129 members since 1999 as well as 59 members at Westminster. The partly proportional Scottish Parliament is currently dominated by the Scottish National Party (SNP), as too is Scottish membership of the UK parliament (with 35 SNP MPs). In the referendum of 2014, Scots voted on independence, with 55% remaining to stay in the UK and 45% for independence. The issue of independence has not gone away, particularly as Scotland is strongly anti-Brexit.

eu brexit issues

 

Turning to Boris Johnson, there’s been a lot in the press about Johnson’s “English Brexit”; that is, in the referendum, there was a majority for Brexit only in England and Wales. Plaid Cymru support Remain, so much so that they are not putting up a candidate in the Brecon and Radnorshire byelection on August 1, instead supporting the Liberals (and thereby Remain).

The Conservative’s dependence on the DUP is well documented. The arrival of Johnson will not change this, but his government’s existence will depend on the extent to which Johnson and the DUP alienate Conservatives to the left and centre

The combination of a no-deal Brexit and Johnson’s unpopularity in Scotland may enable a new Scottish Independence referendum to succeed. IanBlackford, the leader of the SNP in the Westminster Parliament has been especially vehement against him.

Wales, perhaps surprisingly, had a majority of Leave voters in the EU referendum, but I haven’t seen any Johnson-specific Welsh polling.

In these highly uncertain times, the future is difficult to predict. However, one outcome is Johnson wins the Tory election process, becomes PM for a limited period, until Tory MPs begin to understand what they may have unleashed on the electorate, and contributed to the final death throes of the Tory Party.

And Corbyn steps in and takes over.Wham! 

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Brexit means Brexit – UK courts running scared, so not following the law!

Yesterday gave us yet another unfortunate diabolical twist in the sorry saga that is brexit.
Lord Justice Hickenbottom refused leave to appeal a decision, made in the High Court, in the case brought by Sue Wilson and others against the Prime Minister.

The case argued in essence that the decision by the Prime Minister to trigger Article 50 was made, by her alone and was made based on the outcome of a referendum which was flawed by illegallity. The plaintiffs argued that:

  1. Because of the illegal overspending by both main leave campaign groups the referendum was undemocratic and therefore illegal in common law.
  2. The Prime Minister’s behaviour in triggering Article 50 based on the result of such a flawed vote and her continuing to follow a policy of leaving the EU in the full knowledge that the vote was illegal and undemocratic was neither reasonable nor rational. She has made public statements admitting this.

The case was initially dismissed by Mr Justice Ouseley on the grounds that it was “out of time”, effectively too much time had passed between the action being taken and the case being brought to court. This decisiion was described by Dr Robert C Palmer (a lecturer in law) as “brutal and absurd” because it appeared that legal technicalities were trumping democracy, legality and the spirit rather than the letter of the law.

In the hearing, Lord Justice Hickinbottom accepted that had the referendum been binding upon the executive then the proven law breaking by Vote Leave and Leave.EU would have meant that the referendum could, should and almost certainly would have been set aside. It was accepted that because the referendum was only ever advisory the court had no power to do that, but it was also accepted that May’s treatment of the result as though it was binding on her government gave an opportunity to argue that point. In the event what he was asked to do was to allow an appeal where, should the plaintiff be successful, the court would state that the referendum result was illegal and undemocratic. They would be asked to make a statement nothing more, what action the government took with regard to that statement would be a matter for them.

Leave to appeal was denied proiding a death blow to the rule of law for demoicracy in the UK

The decision to refuse the appeal has not yet been explained, and will not be until the judgement is given in writing at some future date although it is being assumed that once again the time limit will be given as the main factor behind the decision.
My concern is, that whatever reason is given in the written judgement, the real driving force behind the decision to refuse leave to appeal is quite simply that the brexit process is now so horribly toxic that the judiciary want no part of it.

None of them want to see another disgusting headline like the one published in the Daily Mail by it’s then editor Paul Dacre which described the judges in the Gina Millar case as “Enemies of the people” and certainly none of them feel inclined to be the subject of such a headline.

 

So that is where brexit has taken Britain, British society and the rule of law.

We have known for a long time now that the brexiter community are uninterested in facts or evidence, we have known that in order to get support for their case, all the leaders of brexit have to do is throw a nice juicy soundbite to their flock, throw in a line about blue passports or fish and bingo.

We have also known that a huge number of MPs are far more interested in their own careers, lifestyles and expense accounts than they are in their county or their constituents which is why Prime Minister May has been able to continue to cling on to power while lying to the country, holding parliament in contempt, and suffering huge and embarrassing losses in the house of commons, to say nothing of her record number of ministerial resignations.

What is now becoming apparent, and is far more worrying, is the seeming unwillingness of the courts and the judiciary to uphold common law and British democracy  in the face of an aggressive, right-wing (mostly foreign-owned) press and in the face of an unthinking and unintelligent online mob,  which can be whipped into a frenzy at the drop of a hat by the likes of Farage and Rees-Mogg, or even by proven halfwits like Andrew Bridgen (famed for his unforgettable views on obtaining an Irish passport) or Nadine Dorries who pleaded to be told what the customs union was because she kept losing arguments about why Britain should leave it (and no I’m not kidding!)

It has been clear for a very long time that brexit has split british society in a way which will take generations to repair. It becomes increasingly clear on a daily basis that any kind of brexit is going to be extremely economically damaging and that a no deal brexit would be catastrophic for Britain. Now it seems that the brexit rabble rousers inside and outside the house of commons have created a monster, a mob, that now even scares the judiciary and that does not bode well for a post brexit UK.

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Your support could encourage Sir Vance to ride to the rescue?

Your support could encourage Sir Vance to ride to the rescue?

There is little doubt in my mind, that the current “malaise” in UK politics represents a virtually unique opportunity for the Lib-Dems to clean up the mess that has polluted UK politics for some time now, particularly since David Cameron the architect of the Brexit catastrophe used a referendum to try and solve internal Tory party problems.
His resignation, possibly due to his awareness of the stupidity he had enacted, led to M Theresa May, famous for the original drivel of “Brexit Means Brexit” and herself initially at least a committed remainer, now arguing the will of the UK people must be respected.

But since when has a 52% vote in favour meant disregarding the votes of the remaining 48%..

There is nothing holy about a mass suicide, kamikaze movement that kills off opportunities for impoverished voters in the UK and countless unborn generations of children for decades. IMHO.

In fact, there are legal cases going on where Theresa May has publicly admitted that she knew very well that the referendum was based on falsehoods, distortions and the like. The first time the case was submitted, the judge ruled that it was “out of time”. However, an appeal was launched where the judge ruled case will be heard,  and who knows what penalties will be imposed on a PM who has publicly admitted that the referendum was loaded, and unfair. A big red bus was all it took to deceive the UK electorate, which had developed the mindset that all that had gone wrong in the UK was due to the EU, in addition to incompetent BJ with the big mouth, former foreign minister who wisely resigned and continued operating behind the scenes. with Gove aiding and abetti8ng him until they had a fall-out.

We wil try to keep you abreast of these developments to see what we can do, with or without Sir Vince. But rest assured though, we have some high profile actions and issues we will be taking up and launching in the very, very near future in some unusual ways. 

Click here to hear a short sample of Tobias’s magic! and relax  Just 3mins 30 secs, but all available on Spotify!

We need your encouragement I believe with your support this could turn out to be a factor in briniging  an end to Brexit. The last lap which we are now  entering is the most important that “Great Britain” ( great is misnamed, as it also means notable,, and does not just refer to size)   has ever faced in the whole of her hitherto colourful and magnificent past history. I used to have a certain pride in being English, but that has gone now into the gutter.


Please take this issue on board, like ti and circulate as widely as you can, it as it will make a profound difference.Otherwise I will eat my chocolate hat!

Brian Turner 74-year-old geriatric activist, fighting this during his retirement.

2019 Feb 21st

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Theresa May Creates Toxic Mess – very good at it, how much better could she be?

Peter Sutton Reading this article it is both good news and bad news.

Tobias Wallin’s – “Still in the Bank”  helps witht the good feelings, and sth will happen!


The good news is that there may be another opportunity to get the illegal referendum result declared null and void on the grounds that it is wholly undemocratic.
Clearly if that happens it is a very short step for the court to declare that May’s decision to trigger article 50 on the basis of an illegal referendum result (which she has already admitted she did) was not reasonable and therefore article 50 must be withdrawn. RIP brexit.

The bad news however is that the judge in the original high court case was fully aware of all of this.
He knew May triggered article 50 based solely on the referendum result because that had been established in an earlier court case. He also knew that May was aware of the illegality when she triggered article 50 because she admitted as much (through her counsel) in his court. She said:

(more…)

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So they told you that a ‘No Deal’ Brexit would be ‘just fine’! Think again!

How difficult will it be to establish new trade with non-EU countries after a hard Brexit?

If you think that there is an easy solution with a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, and that as Jacob Rees Mogg and others have claimed, that it is only a question of some new trade deals to replace what we lose with the EU, then please read this article.

It makes it abundantly clear that trade with other world economic powers will go nowhere near replacing what we stand to lose with the EU and that the impacts on the British economy will be enormous.

The UK’s trade with the EU and the other countries with which the EU has trade agreements and which will be lost to the UK post Brexit, is so large (69%) that the UK will find it very difficult to find new trade deals to compensate for the fall in EU-related trade that results from Brexit.

It will be particularly difficult to compensate for any lost trade in intermediate goods with the EU. It will also be difficult to land any new trade deals with other countries quickly, except perhaps the rolling over of existing EU trade agreements with smaller countries.

To illustrate the scale of the trade challenge facing the UK, only 7% of UK exports go to the BRICS (Brazil, India, Russia and China) while 44% go to the EU. This means that a modest 5% drop in trade with the EU as a result of Brexit would require a 31% increase in trade with the BRICS, just to stand still.

It is not just a matter of arithmetic. It is a lot easier for the UK to trade with neighbouring European countries than other countries. Distance is the biggest and most obvious barrier to trade but it is not the only barrier. For example, in developing (and some developed) countries, there are often bureaucratic or political hurdles to overcome, which can include onerous customs requirements, cultural differences, language barriers, legal uncertainty and discriminatory tax. In some countries, negotiation of trade deals may involve risks of bribery and corruption. It can also be a challenge just to get paid on time: credit risk is often higher.

It is also a question of the UK’s relative competitive strength in trade. Those markets which are attractive to the UK are likely to be attractive to other countries and trading blocs. China and India are attractive because of their scale, but the UK has been losing market share in India to Germany and France; in China, Germany does 4 to 5 times more trade than the UK. Similarly, the UK’s stated target countries may find other partners more attractive. For example, Australia has demonstrated that its first priority in Europe is a trade deal with the EU27 trading bloc.

The attractiveness of overseas markets to the UK depends on a combination of factors including size of trade, proximity and comparability of legal system, language, culture and, of course, historic ties. Taking these factors into account, the FT analysed future market potential for 2050 using detailed trade analysis from a specialist trade consultancy, Ciuriak Consulting, and long-term economic forecasts from PwC. The FT concluded:

The EU27, US, China, India and Canada are the most attractive markets for the UK today and remain so in 2050.

The top five risers, which are expected to be more attractive in 2050, are Russia, Nigeria, Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia.

The top five fallers, which are expected to be less attractive in 2050, are Saudi Arabia, Japan, Australia, Brazil and South Korea.

The government’s own impact assessment says that the economic impact of UK trade deals with other countries would be SMALL compared to the benefits of EU membership. A trade deal with the US would only benefit GDP by about 0.2% in the long term. Trade deals with other non-EU countries and blocs, such as China, India, Australia, the Gulf states and Southeast Asia would add, in total, a further 0.1- 0.4% to GDP.

The US is the UK’s main trading partner outside the EU, however a trade deal with the US seems very unlikely. In May 2018, an authoritative study published in association with Harvard Business School explained why in careful detail. The study concludes:

“We discuss the key potential upsides, possible risks and principal negotiating issues from both US and UK perspectives. We conclude that it is highly unlikely that a free trade deal between the US and the UK will be secured in the near term and that the likely potential benefits for British businesses are less than often suggested.”

Source: FT, The post-Brexit trade deals that Britain needs to prioritise, 3 January 2018
Ciuriak, Dan and Siauw-Soegiarto, Fanny and Sun, Sharon Zhengyang, Quantifying the UK’s Post-Brexit Export Potential: A Gravity Model Analysis (April 22, 2017). Available at SSRN.
PwC, The World in 2050, February 2017
EU Exit Analysis, Cross-Whitehall Briefing, January 2018 (published March 2018)
On the Rebound: Prospects for a US-UK Free Trade Agreement, Peter Sands, Ed Balls, Mehek Sethi, Eleanor Hallam, Sebastian Leape, Nyasha Weinberg, May 2018

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Brexit and Chequers

I think the Chequers proposal is dead in the water. Neither remainers or leavers can accept it, if accepted UK will become a vassal state under the EU, and then where will we be?

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Introduction To Dance

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A wonderful sample of Tobias Welin singing, further info from Spotify or his website  http://www.saibotmusic.se 

Dance Dancing is generally considered an art because there are specific steps or foot movements that need to be observed and followed when one is dancing to a certain type of music. Grace as well as skill is essential for a professional dancer in their performances. Though not everyone is gifted with the elegance required in being a talented dancer, learning the basics in dancing is important since you never know when your terpsichorean competence is required. A number of people enjoy dancing as an outlet of releasing one’s tensions after a hard day’s work. There are individuals who go an extra mile in trying to learn a new dance step in order to be up-to-date with the latest dance crazes. Fortunately for those who want to learn, there are dance schools that offer formal as well as short courses in dancing. Everyday, new dance steps and choreography are being invented hence, the evolution of dancing continues.

Dancing can also be a form of exercise to burn unwanted fat away. Many exercise regimens today have incorporated dancing as part of their physical activities. The rationale behind such incorporation is that dancing utilizes almost all parts of the body leading to a healthy blood circulation within your body. By combining dancing with your daily exercise, you can enjoy yourself while keeping your body fit and trim.

 

Dance music refers to the musical compositions that accompany the performance of a dance. Music is an essential part of a dance as a dancer’s movement and steps are executed to suit the rhythm or tempo of the musical arrangement. Perfect harmony in dancing is achieved when the dancer flawlessly moves in synchronism to the music that is being played.

The dance music is normally monikered the dance for which it was named after. At present, you have the following dances – the bolero, the cancan, the cha-cha, the fox-trot, the jitterbug, the mambo, the meringue, the minuets, the polka, the tango, the salsa, the swing, the twist, the waltz, folk dances, rock and roll, modern dance, among others. Aside from the music that accompanies the dancer, each dance boasts of having their respective trademark steps and movements that symbolizes the particular dance. Thus, just by looking at the foot works and the hand movements, you can easily identify what type of dance is being performed.

Costumes are likewise essential parts of a dance especially if one is dancing as a profession or when one is engaged in a competition. One should comply in wearing the proper costumes since you would want to avoid an accident while dancing. For example, if you were the female dancer, you would not want to slip on your flowing dress when dancing the tango or the swing. Keep in mind that although your dress or costume accentuates your dancing, it is best to put on something that is comfortable and suitable. Shoes are another consideration when dancing. You must use appropriate shoes that ideally fits your feet and will not hamper your movements.

To dance is an expression of one’s individuality. There are many dance forms that you can try to your heart’s content.

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Source by Michael Russell

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The Lib-Dems really do appreciate our support, and they need it, let’s give it ALL NOW. The last lap.

C

Brian – thank you so much!

We really appreciate your support for our campaign for an Exit from Brexit. This Government is a shambles – and they’re making an absolute hash of the Brexit negotiations.

That’s why we think you, the British people need the final say on any Brexit deal – and if it’s not right for you & your family, you should have the chance to reject it and stay in Europe.

Support is growing every minute for our campaign, but we can’t let up. Here are a few things you can do right now to help:

1 – Share the campaign on Facebook

Your friends and family are much more likely to join our campaign if you ask them – it only takes a few seconds and you can make a massive difference! Share the campaign on Facebook today:

Share on Facebook

2 – Share the campaign on Twitter

Twitter is a great place for our campaign to get noticed – and by sharing it on Twitter, you’ll help make sure we get more supporters – and better media coverage as well. Share the campaign on Twitter today:

Share on Twitter

3 – Donate and help us spread the word

We’re also running adverts online to make sure as many people as possible join our campaign and every £5 you donate will mean 12,000 people see our campaign online. Will you donate today?

Donate now

Thank you again Brian. Together, we will take the fight to this Conservative Brexit Government and we stand a real chance of exiting from Brexit.

Vince

Vince Cable
Leader of the Liberal Democrats & MP for Twickenham

PS: You can also help by forwarding this email to your friends and asking them to sign the petition. Your friends can do that here: libdems.org.uk/exit-brexit


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Facebook, Cambridge Analytics and Academic World

The academic at the centre of the Facebook data scandal has said the social network is in full-on “PR crisis mode”.

Aleksandr Kogan’s remarks came as he faced a grilling over his role from MPs.

The social network was fully aware that its platform “was being mined by thousands of others”, he said.

He also rubbished Cambridge Analytica boss Alexander Nix’s initial claims that it had not received data from him.

“That is a fabrication,” he said.

In a later clarification, Cambridge Analytica did admit that it had licensed data from the firm set up by Dr Kogan, although denied that the information was used in the US elections.

At a press conference held after Dr Kogan’s appearance before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Cambridge Analytica spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the company was “no Bond villain”.

“Data analysis is commonly used for better targeting and is perfectly legitimate. It is not some Bond-like brainwashing as has been portrayed by some.”

Money-making exercise?

Dr Kogan was questioned by MPs about his role in the data harvesting row.

He revealed that he had signed a non-disclosure agreement with Facebook, which prevented him from revealing some details about his relationship with the tech giant to the MPs.

The Cambridge academic has become a central figure in the debate over whether the personal information of millions of Facebook users was used in US elections without their consent.

During the committee hearing, he explained that he was approached by SCL – the parent firm of Cambridge Analytica – in spring 2014 about monetising an app he had developed at the University of Cambridge’s Psychology Department.

He set up a commercial entity – Global Science Research – and later developed the personality quiz My Digital Life for SCL, using a market research firm to recruit 200,000 people to take part.

At the time, the social network’s terms and conditions – which have since been changed – allowed developers to cull the details of all of these people’s friends as well.

“Initially the conversations with SCL were about consulting services, survey designs and the interest in Facebook data grew out of that,” he said.

MPs grilled him on the relationship with business partner Joseph Chancellor, with whom he set up GSR and who is now employed by Facebook.

“Facebook has called your company a scam and a fraud. Is it not odd that they employ someone who by their admission has violated the platform’s policies?” asked committee chairman Damian Collins.

“I don’t believe that they actually believe this. They know that their platform is being mined left and right by thousands of others,” Dr Kogan replied.

“It is convenient to point the finger at my firm and call it a rogue agency,” he added.

He was asked whether the firm had been set up as a money-making exercise and replied that it had only received £230,000 in total.

Initial payments of between £600,000 and £800,000 from SCL were used to pay those who agreed to take the quiz, he said.

In written evidence presented ahead of the committee, Dr Kogan pointed out that the personality scores provided to Cambridge Analytica’s parent firm SCL were “highly inaccurate”.

“We estimate that we were right about all five traits for about 1% of the people.”

He added that the data would not have been useful for micro-targeting ads on Facebook.

Not brainwashing

Alexander Nix
Image captionCambridge Analytica’s suspended chief executive Alexander Nix has postponed another appearance before the DCMS committee

Following his appearance, Cambridge Analytica broke its silence on the row with a press conference held in London.

Spokesman Clarence Mitchell agreed that the data Dr Kogan had provided to the company had been “virtually useless”.

“It was only just above random guessing in statistical terms,” he said.

He reiterated that the data had not been used in the US presidential campaign and that while Cambridge Analytica had pitched for work to both Vote Leave and Remain, it had undertaken no work for either side in the EU referendum campaign.

He said the results of an independent inquiry into the company were due imminently.

When questioned about the notable absence of currently suspended Cambridge Analytica chief executive Alexander Nix, Mr Mitchell said he was “not here to speak for him”.

But he defended Mr Nix’s decision to “postpone” an appearance in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

“He is keen and willing to speak to the DCMS committee but has been advised that he should not do so while an independent inquiry is ongoing.”

On Thursday, Facebook’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, will be questioned by the committee.

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