A Driving Instructor's Blog

Brexit

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Well, the Clown Prince has finally had something go his way. We’re set for a General Election in December.

I am a lifelong Labour voter (and one time active Labour Party member), but I cannot vote for them while Corbyn is leader. His stance on Brexit – and what I know he feels about EU membership, in spite of the grudging position the Labour Party has adopted – means there’s even less chance of me voting Labour right now.

Quite honestly, under normal circumstances it doesn’t really matter who gets into power after a GE in the sense that the world keeps turning. It’s only after a few years that policies start coming through that begin to upset people, and that starts a chain reaction which leads to a change of power at the next GE. The only PM who has ever done any real good for this country in terms of the economy was Tony Blair. After him, even Gordon Brown wasn’t that bad, although most elderly and unenlightened members of the electorate will forever blame the 2009 global recession on him, as he was unfortunate enough to have it happen on his watch.

Right now, though, the only thing that interests me is Brexit, and I don’t care who is in power if their pledge is to stop it.

Brexit is not a political issue. However, it most definitely is a political tool. Johnson can count on every moron who wants to leave the EU voting for him just because he is promising to leave no matter what. However, remain voters are fragmented across several political parties. Recent opinion polls suggest that the remain/leave sentiment is still split 50:50, with the possibility from some polls that the remain side is further ahead than it has ever been since the referendum (though still close to 50:50). Even if the remain side had 60% of the vote in terms of EU membership, in a separate political vote to elect a government this would be split among two main parties Labour and Lib Dems) and several smaller ones.

Right now, Remainers are f***ed, because Johnson is almost certainly going to walk away with it. And this is in spite of the lies and appalling oratory he favours (I never thought I’d hear a reference to Charlie Brown in Parliament, but I did yesterday). I mean, I never thought people could be so stupid as to vote to leave the EU. But they did (albeit, only just). In the same year, I didn’t think people could be so stupid as to put Donald Trump in the White House. But they did. I’m not even going to wonder if they could be so stupid as to freely vote Johnson into No. 10, because I’m pretty certain they will be.

And all because they desperately want Brexit.

There is only one party that has had the balls to state outright that if they come into power they will stop Brexit. That is the Liberal Democrats. And that’s who will be getting my vote in the GE. I don’t care what their other policies are, because it simply doesn’t matter that much. But Brexit does matter. A lot.

So I urge all Remainers out there to ditch their political allegiances and vote for the Lib Dems. I also urge all young people – especially students – to plan ahead and make sure they can vote wherever they will be on 12 December. I’m fairly certain Johnson will have considered that the younger voters are the strongest remain demographic, and that with most Universities finishing for Christmas around that time some will perhaps not be registered properly to vote.

Brexit is wrong. It was wrong in 2016. It’s wrong now.

And it will still be wrong in 50 years’ time, when most current Brexiters won’t be around, but a lot of young people will be. It’s your future. Make sure you try and save it.

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Eggs snapping exotically in a pool of butterMost people will remember the Edwin Curry saga back in 1988, where she claimed that most eggs were contaminated with Salmonella. It led to a dramatic fall in egg sales (60%), and it destroyed her political career.

Ironically, there actually had been a Salmonella epidemic, even though the furore resulting from her comments sought to deny any problem.  The whole matter is quite complicated, and I won’t go into it here. But it wasn’t until about 2017 that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) finally announced that it was, after all, safe for “vulnerable people” (pregnant women and the elderly, in particular) to eat soft-boiled or runny eggs. It’s funny that even though there was “no problem” back in 1988, it took 30 years to officially come out and declare it in such a way that the implication was there had been a problem for all that time, but there you go.

In between times, it had been a case of yes/no/maybe when the question about the safety of eating eggs – especially soft-boiled or runny ones – cropped up.

I read an article somewhere in the last week that mentioned a Salmonella outbreak across several flocks (the difference between a “flock” and chickens in general is a highly complex and political situation in itself). But an FSA alert came through today warning people that British Lion Eggs (those are the ones that Brexiters believe have red, white, and blue yolks, and which play Land of Hope and Glory when you crack one) from Flock 1UK1187 with Best Before dates of 22, 23, and 24 September may be contaminated with Salmonella, and should be cooked thoroughly.

FSA emphasises that this affects a single flock code, but the story I saw suggested more might be affected, so I expect this one to escalate.

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I’m a lifelong Labour voter. In my youth, I was even an active member. But I simply cannot vote for them while Jeremy Corbyn is leading them. That’s just on general policies and leadership issues, though. Corbyn’s turn-and-turn-about half-and-half stance on Brexit is a separate reason why I wouldn’t vote Labour, no matter who was leading them.

I have only voted for one other party in my life, and that was at the last elections. My vote was specifically for an anti-Brexit party and, in hindsight, it was a wasted vote. ChangeUK made the right noises, but it wasn’t their time.

The Lib Dems gained a lot of votes in those elections, but now they’ve come right out and said that they will cancel Brexit if they are elected in the forthcoming General Election.

They’ve got my vote. I was already planning to vote tactically this time. Now I won’t have to.

Brexit was a national embarrassment on 24 June 2016, and it has become more so with every single day that has passed since then. The sooner it is stopped, the better we will be able to repair the material damage it has caused. As for the underlying social damage, well quite frankly, those idiots who got us into this back in 2016 can go to hell. It’s where they were trying to take the rest of us these last three years, so they’ll be quite at home.

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EU - dropped starYou will remember the Leave campaign’s Brexit bus, which stated:

We send the EU £350m a week – let’s fund our NHS instead

This was enough to persuade many people of restricted intelligence to vote to leave the EU back in 2016. They genuinely believed that we really did send that amount of money and got nothing in return.

Worryingly, even as recently as October 2018, 42% of the electorate still believed this stupid claim to be true – even though it has been proven false many times over. We have never “sent” £350 million, and whatever we do “send” doesn’t take into account the rebates, grants, funding, and business contracts that EU membership brings.

Even if we did actually send £350 million a week and get absolutely nothing in return, a recent study has concluded that Brexit has cost the UK £550 million a week since the referendum! And that’s on top of the imaginary £350 million. The study also said that there had been no significant boost in exports following the collapse of the GBP. A massive boost in exports is a major tenet in the Brexiters’ unicorns and rainbows vision of the future, remember.

The damaging cost of Brexit in this study is actually the lowest figure out of several other studies into the same issue. Previously, Goldman Sachs has estimated that Brexit has cost us as much as £600 million a week, and the Bank of England put it as high as £800 million a week (both on top of the imaginary £350 million). One thing I am certain of is that studies by Goldman Sachs and the BoE are to be trusted more compared with the warped fantasies of thick prats in Wetherspoons who drive white vans.

Even taking this latest (and lowest) figure, and assuming that the £350 million was real, if Brexit finally happened tomorrow, it would take over two years before we started to be “better off” by not paying that £350 million anymore thanks to the extra it has cost us already. And even that is based on the unicorns and rainbows premise that the £350 million we won’t be sending to the EU isn’t going to be needed trying to claw back what we loose by not being EU members.

Of course, the typical level of Brexiter intelligence dismisses these figures – which are all in the same ball park, and produced by experts – and instead adopts some imaginary and undisclosed number they prefer the look of, and which equates to us somehow being better off.

Brexit is a screw up of Biblical proportions.

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Leave campaignerThere’s a story on the BBC website at the moment which deals with the fact that the Passport Office has started issuing passports without “European Union” on them. It seems that they’re using up old stock, so some passports do have it, whereas some don’t.

An ardent Brexiter, Peter Brady (and his wife), are a little put out by the fact that his is the new style, whereas she got the old one. You can look at the link yourself – it’s probably best I don’t use the photo on there because it appears to have been taken by Brady himself, and would no doubt bring deluges of copyright issues if he saw it on here.

Brady says that he feels like he has got his identity back.

Let’s just clarify this. This guy has updated his passport, and received one which instead of saying:

European Union

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Now says:

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

And this means he has “got his identity back”? I think Brady’s “identity” is absolutely clear to most of us if this makes him wet his pants so easily. It was his kind that got us into the mess we’re in right now, and his kind that is preventing the government from making the clear best choice sitting right in front of us. He is simply incapable of understanding what he has done to this country.

I updated my passport several months ago specifically so I could have a burgundy one with “European Union” on it for the next ten years.

People like Brady are the voice of Brexit. Clueless, xenophobic fossils. If you really want a picture, the stock image at the top of this article shows Brexit’s true face. That is the face – assuming it is still part of this mortal world – that has damaged the lives of generations to come.

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The petition to revoke A50 is being discussed in parliament today. It should be pretty clear that if the outcome is anything other than a revocation of A50, then the whole exercise is a charade which ignoEuro Flag - with the idiot UK star fallenres true public opinion.

The petition has amassed over 6 million signatures. Official estimates put fake signatures at under 4%, meaning that there are at least 5.75 million real ones. By contrast, any Leave petition manages a few hundred thousand at best. In fact, the signatures for the revoke A50 petition are probably more numerous than all the other Leave petitions put together.

Brexit was the stupidest thing this country has ever done. It was decide by a tiny, tiny margin of stupid people – people like this wanker who caused disruption to the Eurostar service yesterday. His name is Terry Maher, and when the debate is held later today, the government needs to seriously consider that he – and people like him, who haven’t got a clue – were the ones who voted to get us into this mess.

It’s frightening when you consider that the only reason Brexit hasn’t been stopped on the obvious grounds of common sense is that the government is afraid of upsetting the troglodytes that exist in society. People like Terry Maher, and a great many of others who voted for Brexit.

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Article 50 petitionIf you haven’t already seen it, get on over to this petition to revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU. Sign it. And tell others about it.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/241584

We’re getting closer and closer to the point of no return with Brexit, but the whole platform it’s sitting on is sinking lower and lower all the time.

Brexit was a stupid idea to start with, and was caused mainly by stupid bigoted people who should never have been given the opportunity to vote on something that was light years beyond their comprehension. We’re now being driven by some foolish ideas about “democracy”, where even though everyone can see that Brexit is a bad idea, we’ve got to carry on with it because it would be “undemocratic” not to.

No it wouldn’t. What it would be is National Suicide.

Sign the petition. And hope that someone in government suddenly uses their brain to avert what will be a disaster for this country.

When I wrote this – on 21 March – the signature count had just broken through 2 million. By early afternoon on 24 March it passed 5 million.

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gibraltarOr, “How to get deliberately angry over something trivial”.

Brexit is the gift that just keeps on giving. Unfortunately, these gifts are invariably parcels of dog crap.

The latest episode involves the EU’s reference to Gibraltar as a British “colony” in one of the latest documents. The flag-waving tosspots who hold court in this country are up in arms over it. A UK spokesman (well, spokesperson – the BBC probably made sure they spoke to a woman) said:

This will not change due to our exit from the EU. All parties should respect the people of Gibraltar’s democratic wish to be British.

It’s a shame the spokesman doesn’t feel quite so strongly about Gibraltar’s democratic wish to remain in the EU. Their result was the first to be declared and was 96% in favour of remaining! I repeat: 96%.

As far as UK petty semantics goes, Gibraltar is officially a British Overseas Territory. However, up until 1983, even we classified it as a British Crown Colony. Nothing much has changed in Gibraltar’s standing since then, except for the official British term to describe it.

Even in the Gibraltar Constitution Order referendum in 2006 the word “colony” was used. One of the campaign groups at the time issued a press release, stating:

[the new constitution]… is not the act of self-determination which will decolonise us… [and it]… is as colonial as its 1964 and 1969 predecessors

Interestingly, a British film archive website – which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council – carries old film of Gibraltar. What makes it interesting is that the site is called Colonial Film (Moving Images of the British Empire). So people still reckon Gibraltar isn’t a colony?

It doesn’t matter what you call it, anyway. It’s still the same piece of land it ever was, almost wholly self-governed, and still pissing Spain off just by being there. And it is still as much a colony as it ever was (or wasn’t), albeit one which has much more reason to remain in the EU due to its location, which voted with a 96% majority to do so, and which has had that strong desire trampled underfoot thanks to flag-waving morons.

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Donald Tusk TweetI’ve been saying this since 24 June 2016, but Donald Tusk has uttered the words that our own government is too stupid to work out for itself.

If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?

Brexit needs stopping NOW. It should never have been allowed to get this far, because the morons who voted for it have had time to harden what little minds they have in expecting it to go through – no matter what the cost. The only options remaining are national suicide, or nullify the referendum result and do the right thing. Stay.

Nicola Sturgeon has also said something which fits neatly with that:

We have reached the point now where it would be unconscionable to kick the can any further down the road.

It should never have been kicked so far. The country was always going to lose in any exit from the EU, and every day since 23 June 2016 has raised negative after negative. The only positives – if you can call them that – have been nationalist fantasies based on the premise that we’re British and everything will be OK. It won’t be “OK”. And doing the right – and obvious – thing now means that the perceived loss to those people who have difficulty walking and chewing gum at the same time will be that much greater, since they’ve been given false hope for over two years.

Leaving the EU has revealed that it will be a catastrophic on all fronts. It needs to be stopped.

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UK Mean Monthly Temperature - 2017It seems to have escaped everyone’s attention yet again, but if we draw a horizontal line on a graph of temperature versus time of the year at, say, 10ºC, there is a tendency for the actual temperature to be below 10ºC in winter and above 10ºC in summer. It’s funny, I know. But as far back as I can remember, that’s the way it’s always been.

In 2017, for example, the mean UK temperature for each month is shown in the graph above. Notice how spring and summer was warmer than autumn and winter.

Let’s add 2018’s data so far to this graph.

UK Mean Monthly Temperature - 2017/18The only anomaly – if you can call it that, since February and March were a lot colder than last year – is July. Nevertheless, this is sufficient for the amateurs who go under the title of “reporters” for rags like the Daily Mail and The Sun to get their rulers out, draw a line through May, June, and July, and start predicting that we’re all going to die because by October it’ll be above 60ºC. Of course, come September, they’ll be predicting the usual Ice Age accompanying “the coldest winter on record” (and that’s an actual quote from at least one of those two comics over each of the last three or four years).

Yes, it’s been hot. But it’s not like we haven’t had hot spells before. Just like when it’s cold, it isn’t like we haven’t had cold spells before, either. And it goes up and down throughout the year as we pass through the seasons. Furthermore, even though it has been hot, this year’s “hot” has been quite pleasant most of the time (and I hate hot weather) since it hasn’t been accompanied by the usual humidity we tend to get in the UK.

Here’s the same chart with 1976 added to it.

UK Mean Monthly Temperature - 1976 addedFair enough, this July was about 1 degree hotter, but other than that there’s nothing much different. Christ, I was in a maths lesson at school in June in ‘76 and it snowed on the 14th (or was it the 12th… whatever), and it’s not done that since!

When you look through the data from 1910 until the present, July had the same mean temperature recorded for 1983. It was slightly hotter in 2006, and almost as hot in 2013. Other years have simply fallen within the range.

There’s no question that average temperatures have risen over the last hundred years or so – especially since the 1950s – but that doesn’t mean that any new high or low is a sign of Armageddon. Most of it comes down to the Jet Stream. The last few years, it’s spent summer down by the equator, flinging low pressure system after low pressure system at the UK. This year, it’s vacationing somewhere up near Iceland, and fairly consistent high pressure is pulling air up from Europe. It happens.

Sometimes, I’m embarrassed to be British. We moan when it’s hot, we moan when it’s cold. We moan when it’s wet, and we moan when it’s dry. We moan if it’s a crap summer, and we moan if it’s not. For f*$k’s sake, get a life, people. It’s been one of those “glorious” summers just over 50% of the twats out there voted to go back to in 2016. Enjoy it – you might not be able to afford the next one.

Just remember. In a couple of months it’ll be bloody cold again. And probably wet – just like it was before it got hot this year.

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