The Delusion That Bankrupted A Nation

Pieter Boel Large Vanitas Still-Life 1663 Oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille.
Image: Wikipedia

The latest economic facts about Brexit:

Mark Carney. Governor of the Bank of England, “told MPs yesterday that UK households were £900 per year worse off than they would have been based on forecasts from May 2016 – just before the Brexit vote. As the Bank of England governor put it, “that’s a lot of money”. And that’s before we’ve even left the EU.

The vote to leave the EU has [caused] the value of the pound to tumble and inflation to rise from 0.5% to 2.5%.

But worse economic disruption could be yet to come if May’s hard-Brexit plans wrench us out of the EU’s single market, with which we do half our trade.” Open Britain.

Lucas Vorsterman Triumph of Poverty c. 1624 -30
Pen in brown, with gray and brown wash, black and red chalks, and white highlights, British Museum, London. Image source: WGA

 

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Our fault

This is one of mankind’s greatest crimes. The ivory trade is threatening elephants with extinction. Persistent poaching of animals with the biggest tusks has messed with their evolution. Elephants are being born without tusks. 

Humans are a plague on the planet we share with other animals. We are our own worst enemy. We still have the power, if not the will, to protect other animals from us.

Image: Getty

SIGN AVAAZ PETITION TO END THE IVORY TRADE

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Arcane Bully

The Special Meaning of Being Whipped in the British Parliament

The Conservative Party enforcers put the screws on elected representatives known to be in support of the Repeal Bill that begins the unravelling of the UK’s laws from EU legislation.

The parliamentary party Whips are euphemistically described as “team managers”, which must explain the reluctance of this blogger to be a member of anything.

During the current fight to Britain’s death, aka Brexit, the ruling party Whips reduced “a female MP to tears”. That’s how it’s reported in all the press, from blue to pink to red. Not “reduced an MP to tears” but a “female” MP.

#MeToo?
Don’t take me there, the trampled shrine where the true victims lie speechless and forgotten.

“Calm down, dear?”
Artemesia corrected you years ago.

judithgentileschijpgArtemisia Gentileschi Judith Beheading Holofernes 1611-12 Oil on canvas Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples. Image source: WGA

DON’T WHIP ME AGAIN

Single Trading Nation at Sea

“The tectonic plates of the world economy are shifting. With an independent trade policy, Britain can put itself in a strong position to benefit, opening up access to fast-growing markets across the world.” Liam Fox, in The Financial Times, 11 November, 2017

Ships_at_Spithead_1797The imperial British vision of free trading Ships at Spithead 1797
Image source: Wikipedia

Our biggest gift to the world

Global warming will exceed 4C by the end of this century The Independent

“There can now be little doubt: this will be the last century of civilisation in any form we currently recognise.”
Christopher Oxford

War on Nonsense

Lord Rochester with monkey by Huysmans c. 1675. Image: WGA

Extracted from Twitter thread of Sean Jones QC:

“Brexit fanatics’ responses to my arguments take two broad forms:

1. Shut up, traitor. You lost, just get over it!
2. Why not stop sulking, come together with us and work for a jobs-first, bountiful Brexit?

…..what do I say to the invitation to collaborate in an imaginary pain-free Brexit?

It’s not an invitation I propose to accept, for three reasons:

1. I believe Brexit is an act of national self-harm in all its conceivable forms, and with there still being a reasonable chance it won’t happen, that’s what I want to advocate, and work towards.

2. It would not be like joining a collective Amish barn-raising. After demolishing the existing, perfectly good barn, there is still no unity of Brexiter vision, or purpose, about what to do next. The loudest of them are against having a new barn on principle.

3. Even if those anarchist Amish could be stopped from questioning what the negotiations are intended to achieve, what am I expected actually to do? The answer to that question is clear. What they actually mean is… Shut up. Just stop pointing out the dangers. Stop identifying the harm. We’d rather not be reminded of reality. We’ll go on putting up our vaguely barn-shaped shack made of balsa wood and papier-mache.

Put aside how sinister that it is. It’s also stupid. With a project this hazardous, risk-blindness will all but guarantee failure. We are seeing it in the negotiations right now. A refusal to do the basics: to realistically assess our bargaining position and be clear about our aims courts disaster.

If Remainers ever fell silent, all that would be left would be the sound of the wind rushing in our ears as we fell over the cliff.

I will take action. I will do all I can to help those confused by the Brexiters’ crass stupidity. And ultimately, I’m determined this nonsense will not happen.”
Sean Jones QC

Cornelius Norbertus Gijsbrechts, Trompe l’oeil with Studio Wall and Vanitas Still Life 1668.
Image: SMK.

“Man is the reasoning animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal….His record is the fantastic record of a maniac.  I consider that the strongest count against his intelligence is the fact that ….he blandly sets himself up as the head animal of the lot: whereas by his own standards he is the bottom one.”
Mark Twain,
The Lowest Animal, 1896

Rotting from the inside

Balthasar van der Ast, Basket of Fruits, 1625 Oil on wood, Staatliche Museen, Berlin. Image: WGA

“[Grimsby] voted by 70 per cent to 30 per cent for Leave. Two weeks ago, the anxious representatives of one of the town’s biggest remaining industries, seafood processing, went to Westminster to petition MPs to grant Grimsby the exceptional status of a free trade port if we leave the Single Market….

[Cornwall’s] farmers reported that fruit and veg are rotting in its fields because so many EU migrant labourers have left since the referendum…The farming industry will collapse. The hospitality industry will collapse.”

Article by Jenni Russell in The Times, 16 November, 2017

Full article

Brexit heartlands want someone else to pay

Well here’s an irony. As Brexit in whatever form gets closer, and its damaging implications for trade and jobs start to become clearer, some of the regions, industries and groups that most enthusiastically supported Leave are starting to raise the alarm about its impact or demand special exemption from its consequences.

Take Grimsby. It’s one of the most deprived areas of Britain; it hasn’t flourished in the decades since we joined the EU and it voted by 70 per cent to 30 per cent for Leave. Two weeks ago, the anxious representatives of one of the town’s biggest remaining industries, seafood processing, went to Westminster to petition MPs to grant Grimsby the exceptional status of a free trade port if we leave the Single Market.

Grimsby is desperate to avoid the imposition of post-Brexit tariff barriers, delays and customs checks on its fish business, because it imports 90 per cent of its fish fresh from Europe. It is also worried about losing the 20 per cent of its workforce that comes from abroad. If Brexit goes ahead without any special concessions to Grimsby, then an industry that includes Young’s and The Saucy Fish Co, and that employs 5,000 people, fears it will lose its competitive edge to rival centres in Germany and France.

Cornwall wants special treatment too, after rejecting the EU by 57 per cent to 43 per cent…. Continue reading