The Fifth Horseman

Madness in Washington, madness in Westminster, are manifestations of the same “damaged and defective” world disorder. In America and Britain, a moral paralysis is afflicting people with the power to effect a cure.

Trump is a deadly distraction for the British, who loudly denounce him while being blind to their own Brexit faults. They don’t want their country to decline from global power to Trump’s patsy, and ultimately Putin’s, but they are not doing anything to stop it.

Republicans should “defend their country rather than the damaged and defective man who is now its president” James Fallows, The Atlantic

Tory Brexiteers are saying,
“The loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs will be worth it to regain our country’s sovereignty”
Anna Soubry, reporting extremists’ conversations in the House of Commons, 16 July, 2018.

A TRUMP CARD(IGAN)
Punch cartoon depicting Lord Cardigan leading the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava, 1854.
Yet another over-privileged nut-case with inherited wealth and delusions of sovereignty leads everyone else into disaster.

Brexit is as damaged and defective as Trump. The links between Trump and British right-wing Brexiteers are now in the public domain, yet still the powerful drug Denial sedates the electorate, duped by a coup d’etat into believing that unnecessary self-harm is a democratic imperative.

The extreme right wing of both countries very skillfully manipulated voters into turning the tool of democracy against themselves by deploying “opaque” and “insidious” advertizing techniques. (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

Now the British are spooked by a second Referendum, which would actually be the third, on EU membership.

You hear people say, “You can’t just keep on having votes until you get the result you want. It’s not democratic”.

That’s the very definition of democracy: you carry on voting in peaceful election after election throughout your life in the hope you’ll get the result you want before you die. It keeps us quiet. Our expectation of another chance to vote prevents civil war. Democracy, like State Religion, was adopted because it was convenient, not because it was natural or immutable.

If something is not working, if you see the State is sick, you call for a vote to change it. The British are notoriously bad at complaining. They get bad service and bad government as a result. The Poll Tax that sparked a people’s revolt was only one of the abominations against equality and liberty during the Tories’ eighteen-year reign at the end of the 20th century.

THE TRIUMPH OF POVERTY by Lucas Vorsterman. British Museum. Image: WGA

We’re already in the middle of a bloodless civil war, one with no end in sight, not now the over-privileged, rich, right-wing idealogues dreaming of tax havens and workers without rights have got their populist alliance.

Are you really content to just sit and watch while the world burns?

sof_aacute__by_ekhi_guinea-d756999
Sofa by Ekhi-Guinea

Or, like the majority of MPs, do you put your caste before your country, ideology before humanity, self-interest before national interest?

Or do you want to take action against what you know in your heart is wrong?

Excerpts from Anna Soubry’s speech in the House of Commons, advocating the benefits of frictionless trade and deploring the Prime Minister’s decision to accept the extreme right-wing Tory amendments to the customs bill:

“[Parliamentary Tory Brexiteers have said in private conversations] that the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs will be worth it to regain our country’s sovereignty…

Nobody voted to be poorer.

Nobody voted leave on the basis that somebody with a gold-plated pension and inherited wealth would take their job away from them…

Members on the frontbench and across this place should be shaking their heads with shame – this is the stuff of complete madness

And the only reason that the government has accepted these amendments is because it is frightened of somewhere in the region of 40 members of parliament – the hard, no deal Brexiteers, who should have been seen off a long time ago and should be seen off.

These are people who do not want a responsible Brexit, they want their version of Brexit – they don’t even represent the people who actually voted Leave. The consequences of this are grave…..”

She’s Conservative, blonde and was born in Lincolnshire. Listen to her low-pitched, emphatic voice, see the wagging finger of reproof, and you might think that She, not the legendary Ayesha of Rider Haggard’s late Victorian tales of misogynist imperialist adventure, but the Tories’ own sacred cow, the first great British champion of the European “single market without barriers – visible or invisible”* had been reborn:

ANNA SOUBRY SPEAKING IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

The world has turned upside down so many times, none of us know our arses from our elbows. Right-wing Brexiteer Edward Leigh MP, interrupting Anna Soubry’s speech to insult her, as is the arcane custom of our parliamentary representatives, unintentionally paid her the highest compliment:

“You’re no Margaret Thatcher”

That’s the best news in British politics for a generation.

*Margaret Thatcher, speaking at Lancaster House in 1988.

 

Advertisements

INFORMED CONSENT

“The public…need guarantees on NHS staffing, access to medicines and the safety of the NHS from any US-UK trade deal, before they can be satisfied that… Brexit will do no harm to our NHS and social care.”

Source: More United

These are the warnings shared by ten professional health organisations with all Members of Parliament about the impact of Brexit on the most unifying of our nation’s modern institutions, the one that heals more divides than football coming home, more than the monarchy, more than the Lottery, TV soap operas or Dad’s Army, the only one attending most of us from birth to death, the one that gives health to national identity:

  • ending freedom of movement from the EU could deprive the NHS of essential staff
  • any new customs checks or barriers for medicines and equipment could have very serious implications for care and push up costs, and
  • any economic damage from Brexit would make it difficult to deliver an NHS funding boost

Nine MPs from six parties, including two GPs, a surgeon and two former Health Ministers, have united to ask the Prime Minister asking for urgent action to protect the NHS from Brexit:

Screen_Shot_2018-07-05_at_13.14.34
Page2Screen_Shot_2018-07-05_at_13.14.47.png page 3Screen_Shot_2018-07-05_at_13.15.00

“At its 70th birthday, the NHS faces – in Brexit – perhaps the greatest threat to its survival in its history.

I’m an NHS doctor who works in the A&E department. I voted Leave in the EU referendum, but now I’ve joined the campaign for a people’s vote on the final terms of the Brexit deal.

“The consent given by the public for Brexit was not informed consent. In medicine – and surely to any reasonable person – consent which is not informed is considered invalid, and this mandates a vote on the Brexit deal.”

Source: Charles Gallaher The Independent

REMAINER OR LEAVER, YOUR NATION’S HEALTH NEEDS YOU TO DEMAND A PEOPLE’S VOTE ON THE FINAL BREXIT DEAL

Save our NHS and save our nation from self-harming by signing
the petition for a People’s Vote

 

We Demand

THE PEOPLE’S VOTE

TOO BIG TO IGNORE

THE DEMOCRATIC RIGHT TO CHANGE OUR MINDS

Over 100,000 people marched on Saturday, over 100,000 people have signed already.

PLEASE MAKE IT EVEN BIGGER

Whether you are a Leaver or a Remainer, if you are resident in Britain, if you are a British National or an EU National, and you love this country, please join the movement to have a say on the final deal that will make or break
all our futures, and the lives of our children.

PLEASE SHARE

Over 200,000 people have signed

Rose tiara

Rose Tiara, Me Too Era © PJR

This ghostly exuberance, this rose-pink nostalgia, pink, the colour of ironic femininity and about-to-be-lost illusions, knowing and sweet; this decaying crown of experience in the benighted, bee-endangered, Brexit semi-coma is the last shout of beauty on the edge of dying.

On the edge of good taste, too, some would say. Such overt flirtation and florid excess, such abandonment to the moment, such tender voluptuousness, too fragile to touch; their éclat is not for all seasons.

Performance at this level is exhausting. Tomorrow, or the day after, their lovely faces will shrivel, shrink from their reflections, and shed fragrant tears, little pink silk sheets littering the floor, until they are bald.  I owe them the courtesy of hiding them before anyone else sees them like that.

On my last English mantelpiece, the flush of full-blown roses looks dimmed, as if an interfering prig has veiled a group of over-dressed, over-scented, over-the-top fifty-something women at a party long ago, their magnificent defiance muted into memory – 

nah, old pink roses will be back screaming and shouting at you from somewhere next year.

The Misgovernment of Britain

“THE UNCERTAINTY, MUDDLE AND DRIFT [OF BREXIT SHOWS] THAT VICTORIAN THEORIES OF GOVERNMENT SIMPLY DON’T DESCRIBE ANY LONGER THE REALITY OF HOW THE UK IS MISGOVERNED”
Tim O’Connor

“I live and practise in the United States, a parliamentary democracy where a written Constitution is supreme. The UK, though, has a system of contingent Parliamentary supremacy (with the Crown in Parliament – the Executive – dominant), and no written constitution.

One may prefer one model over the other. I prefer that of my adopted homeland, as it happens. But one may argue for either, and the UK’s has, in fairness, generally muddled along pretty well on precedent and incremental adjustment.

Until now, that is. In the last week or so, you back home have seen the UK Supreme Court deciding, obiter dicta, that it knows better than legislators what voters want; and Parliament ruled not to be supreme, but bound by an ad hoc referendum in a past Parliament.

Moreover, Parliament has ceded control to the Executive in making laws – the so-called ‘Henry VIII’ powers, agreed without discussion – and decided not to give itself a say over the Executive determining the UK’s standing in the world, instead freeing the Executive to act unfettered.

Oh, and as you may not have noticed, witnesses summoned to give evidence to Parliamentary select committee enquiries only come by their own discretion, and, like Arron Banks, can seemingly walk out when they feel like it.

So, which system is it? Parliamentary supremacy? Judicial control? Executive control? One popular vote nearly two years ago that seemingly now binds all future parliaments?

I honestly do not know. I doubt if anyone can say with true certainty. (Scots constitutional lawyers are meanwhile brawling, as if about the last bottle of full-sugar Irn-Bru, over a Sewel convention that nobody is even sure is broken.)

So far as I can tell, UK constitutional structures at the moment aren’t just mixed, they’re scrambled. Brexit is a universal solvent, and all the previous structures are crumbling and mingling within the struggle over it. And that cannot be a sustainable state of affairs.

Whatever ultimately happens with Brexit, the UK is going to have to clarify constitutional structures in a way it hasn’t done since the Irish Home Rule crisis. The uncertainty, muddle and drift, where nobody is truly sure who has what powers, under what limits, cannot continue.

The thing is, I’m uncertain, on the evidence of the mess that’s been allowed to develop today, that there is the requisite appetite or expertise to carry out the difficult constitutional exercise of picking one system, clarifying it and sticking with it. I am sure, though, that Victorian theories of government simply don’t describe any longer the reality of how the UK is misgoverned.”

Tim O’Connor, Attorney at Law

Lorenzetti The Effects of Bad Government 1337 -39, Sala della Pace (Hall of Peace) Siena.
Image: WGA

The ultimate measure of a hero

Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul. Michel de Montaigne

Memory is the mother of all wisdom. Aeschylus

We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.  Marcel Proust

Bravery never goes out of fashion. W.M. Thackeray

The ultimate measure of a man is…where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King Jr.

I am 96 years old and I hope that you will join us on this march on 23rd June for the future of Britain.
Stephen Goodall