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illegal referendum result (which she has already admitted she did) was not reasonable and therefore article 50 must be withdrawn.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:

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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

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.

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:

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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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