A Driving Instructor's Blog

Brexit

Interconnecting cogs and gearsThe only people likely to not realise the significance of technology in the world today – other than a few isolated tribes in the Amazonian rain forests – are Brexiters. Even if they’re technically capable of understanding, they won’t, because they’re blinded by their obsession to leave the EU no matter what the ultimate cost.

My view on Brexit should be well known by now. It was the stupidest decision this country has ever made, and it was largely made by the stupidest people this country has ever thrown into the gene pool. They should never have been given a direct vote on something they did not understand. And make no bones about it, in spite of what some may claim, the majority of Brexiters haven’t a clue about what they’ve done. All that mattered to most of them was the idea that Britannia would Rule The Waves again without any help from those damned foreigners, and that we would kick out anyone whose skin was not alabaster white by the afternoon of 24 June 2016. It was those two things, coupled with the lie emblazoned across that big red bus about spending £350,000,000 a week on the NHS, that carried the vote.

Since last June, having more or less resigned themselves to not seeing convoys of people being kicked out of the UK (yet – they still live in hope), they’ve spent much of the time accusing the media of “bias” every time it reports simple economic facts. The pound falls in value, reporting it is left-wing bias. Someone mentions the risk of losing access to the single market, it’s “remoaner bias”. Interest rates stay fixed, the BoE is anti-Brexit. There’s talk of interest rates going up, the BoE is anti-Brexit.

They are just too thick to understand that the economy isn’t controlled by a single light switch, but is more akin to a supercomputer, full of logic gates and conditional switches. A better analogy for what I’m going to say next is that it is like some huge steampunk device, composed of myriad interconnecting gears and cogs.

Brexit has been like someone ramming a huge spanner into it.

Most Brexiters will have been completely unaware of Galileo, a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) being developed by the EU. The fact that many Brexiters are probably also unaware (or certainly wary) even of GPS in the first place means that they will have also been unaware of its limitations. Civilian GPS resolution is limited to 4 metres at best, though the military can resolve to less than 10cm. Since it is controlled by the US, the service could be switched off at any time in any significant conflict scenario. Galileo GNSS, on the other hand, would offer the same resolution to all users, and this could be down to a few centimetres once it is operational. The USA has not been happy about this.

Galileo is a combined effort by the ESA and the European GNSS Agency. As a member of the EU, the UK has equal rights to work on EU projects, and SSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd) in the UK has so far built navigation payloads for 22 of the estimated 30 satellites needed to form the Galileo system in space. SSTL will retain those equal rights right up until the day the UK officially leaves the EU.

And that’s where the potential shit hits the fan.

On Thursday this week, the contract for a further 8 satellites is to be signed at the Paris Air Show. However, SSTL is unlikely to have delivered all 8 of those by the time Brexit happens on 29 March 2019. At that point, it will become “illegal” for the UK – as a “third country” – to work on certain aspects of the Galileo system. Only a Brexiter could also fail to appreciate that it would kibosh any future involvement, or that the UK’s use of Galileo once it becomes operational would also become questionable.

Each Galileo satellite costs about €30 million (£26.5 million), and SSTL will be earning a significant chunk out of that right now. After Brexit, they probably won’t – not unless this issue is added to the growing list of Things The UK Must Demand From The EU during Brexit talks, and is resolved in our favour.

On a related note, another jingoistic outburst yesterday involving The Queen’s Speech reports that Britain will “shoot for the moon”.

One will focus on growing the space sector and would allow satellites to be launched from the UK for the first time, as well as develop scientific missions and manned vertical rockets.

I can see it now. Once the mandatory “democratic vote” involving school children has taken place to name the new launch system, the Rocky McRocketface Two-stage Payload Deployment System Mk I will eventually have the opportunity to do one of three things:

  • make it into space
  • explode over the North Sea
  • explode over somewhere else. Like Hull

I noticed some Brexiter commenting on Facebook yesterday:

Facebook post - Leslie Chiazzari DuckworthAt the moment, all Brexit supporters can do is try to make silk purses out of sows’ ears. Notice how, after informing everyone that the government wouldn’t be launching the satellites directly (no, really?) he skims over the massive logistical issues, which should be quite clear to any sensible person.

Satellite launching in Australia and the USA (and Russia, for that matter) is successful for one main reason, which can be demonstrated easily using ruler and a map of the world.World Map

Australia is over 30x bigger than the UK, and it’s population density is over 140x less. Woomera launch site is 4 miles from the nearest road (and there are only two of those in a radius of at least 150 miles), and 8 miles from the nearest town not including Woomera itself (and 35 miles from the only other one after that). The USA is over 40x bigger than the UK, and its population density is just a tenth of the UK’s. Cape Canaveral is at least 4 miles away from the nearest non-military town, and over 12 miles away from the nearest large town. Both of these launch sites have convenient oceans nearby, with nothing for thousands of miles.

In the UK, even in the middle of one of the national parks, you’re lucky if you’re further than a couple of miles away from any place where people are likely to be, even if they’re just passing through on bikes or having a cream tea in a cafe. And that’s especially true near the only coast line with enough sea to minimise the risk of pissing off the neighbours if a launch went titsup. Of course, there’s Scotland – and if we could persuade them to let us screw up some heathland, then there’d only be the matter of the weather, with rain, snow, and gale force winds for 360 days of the year.

Before we gloss over these risks, it’s worth remembering that the last mission we had any significant involvement with (the only one I can think of, actually, where we tried to land something ourselves) created a new crater on the surface of Mars. And we we weren’t even involved with the initial flashy, explodey bit. Launching rockets in the UK carries immense risks, and these never go away, since even with successful launch systems there is a risk of catastrophic failure every single launch. It happens even to people who are quite good at it, and who have a proven track record. We don’t.

If anything goes wrong in Woomera, the sand just gets a bit of browner. In the US, there’s a big splash. Over here, you could lose Cardiff.

And finally, there is the timescale and cost. Considering that the current government will be lucky if it lasts another 6 months with the way things are now, identifying a location, building the facility, developing rockets, testing them, then finally using them will take a decade or more. Assuming everything is a complete success at each stage – which would buck the trend for everyone else who has ever gone into this industry – the entire development sequence will only cost money. It cannot make money until it is successfully launching stuff into space. And even then, the implication is that it’s our stuff.

Each launch of the Ariane system costs about £150m. It cost billions to develop – and it took decades to develop.

Ironically, there’s already a bloody system in place. And it is called Ariane. And we’re walking away from it, to build our own as a result of our suicidal decision to leave the EU.

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Urban foxTheresa May originally backed remaining in the EU. Now, she is the über-mouthpiece for Brexit. This blatant about-turn alone should tell you all you ever need to know about both her and the Tories.

The Tories are – and always have been – the party for the elite. They have never represented the working class. However, Brexit has given a lot of working-class people all manner of delusions, and May’s master stroke has been to simply change her outward-looking spots to appeal to these idiots.

So anyway, in related news, I see that May will allow a free vote among her party on the repeal of the Hunting Act – an Act which banned hunting with dogs.

I’m not going to go into the issue of fox hunting in any detail. All I will say is that anyone who hunts and kills foxes or any other mammal for sport using dogs is scum. Theresa May is quoted:

As it happens, personally, I’ve always been in favour of fox hunting…

As I say. Scum. Not content with pushing us back to the 70s, May wants to make it the 1870s.

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Dropped star on EU flag29 March 2017 is a date which will go down in history as a turning point.

It marks the point at which stupidity as a prerequisite of being allowed to vote in the UK was officially sanctioned. It also marks the official sanctioning of hatred and xenophobia as a British trait suitable for campaigning purposes, since the only reason the aforementioned stupid people cast their votes the way they did last June was because of hatred and xenophobia directed at Europeans (and anyone else who doesn’t look British if you’re just too stupid to realise they might not be). Oh, and because of that bloody bus promising £350,000,000 a week to the NHS.

Of course, the Americans have taken a similar wrong turn with the election of a certain gentleman who – if you take into account some of the more artistically contrived stories the last few days – is either a complete a**hole or a misunderstood genius.

Occam’s Razor springs to mind here: if you come across as an a**hole to just about everyone who hears you every time you open your mouth, all things being equal, you probably are an a**hole. The same goes for Brexit, of course, because no matter how many times you repeat the mantra “everything will be all right”, the simple fact remains that the UK is leaving the largest economy in the world to strike out on its own as the fifth largest, and without having a clue how it is going to manage to retain that position.

Yes, Article 50 has been triggered.

So, 29 March 2017 will live in infamy as the precise point when the UK turned from metaphorically shooting itself in the foot, and aimed a little higher.

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Another nail in the coffin of the UK as any sort of world power comes as it is announced that Theresa May will trigger Article 50 – the official notification of the UK’s intention to leave the EU – on Wednesday, 29 March 2017.

Remember: 29 March 2017.

It is a date which will live in infamy.


Incidentally, I saw a very appropriate comment posted by someone earlier today. They said:

The clocks go forward one hour on March 26th.

They go back 40 years on March 29th.

I wish I’d thought that one up.


And this one sums up pretty much everyone who voted to leave the EU:

why do remoaners always mention bananas when taking about the EU? I don’t mind if I never eat a banana again, I just want to get out of the EU, to be honest with you I don’t eat foreign food, it probably taste nice but I don’t trust it, Europe is ungrateful, we taught them English, gave them civilisation and taught them basic skills like how to use a knife and fork and use toilet paper.

Only thinking of himself, and so narrow-minded that he’ll only eat lard and gravel spread on BRITISH cardboard. The frightening thing is that he almost certainly believes that part about teaching Europeans to speak English and “civilising” them. And this clueless twat was allowed to vote last summer.

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World MapThis article makes interesting reading. The heads of more than half of the top 500 companies in the UK say Brexit has already had a negative impact business, and two-thirds believe it will worsen over the next 12 months. The only people who have benefited so far are those who export, where the weaker pound has helped them – which makes me wonder what my arsehole of an ex-company’s directors said, since they don’t export very much, and yet were vocal supporters of Brexit prior to the referendum.

What really pisses me off is how every negative story ends with something along the lines of:

Despite ongoing uncertainty, the majority of business leaders – 96 percent – were confident their company can adapt to life outside the EU.

Idiots. It’s just like that asteroid that apparently slammed into earth 66 million years ago – life on Earth may have survived, but the dominant dinosaurs were wiped out. By comparison, managing to survive Brexit would not mean that Brexit is a good idea!

It’s funny, but all you have to do is look at a map of the world (above). Then consider what the world is like in the 21st Century.

We are not going to f***ing survive on our own – even less so if we move in with America just to try to alleviate the inevitable effects of Brexit. And it is unbelievable that anyone should believe otherwise, and especially not the leaders of large companies.

With Trump in the White House, another World War is looking increasingly likely. Trump has talked complete bollocks since the moment he was inaugurated, and yet Theresa May has already given him the key to her flat, which pretty much confirms whose side we’d have to be on once any war started. Europe, on the other hand, looks as if it would be more likely to tell Trump to shove it.

The USA might be the largest economic power in the world, but it is far from being the dominant military one. It is also shackled by being entrenched firmly in a particular moral foxhole, whereas those it might end up in conflict with have no such restrictions, and would happily adopt any moral position (and war tactic) that suited them in order to come out on top militarily. Furthermore, America is now managed by a complete asshole, and any war would be a disaster – both for America, and anyone else who had placed themselves in that same foxhole.UK size versus ego

Theresa May is incapable of realising that Brexit is not as simple or as narrowly defined as David Cameron’s idiotic referendum question last June implied. The extremely narrow winning vote to leave the EU was wrong last year. It’s even more wrong now.

The UK’s size versus the rest of the world is currently the inverse of the size of its ego.

The UK should be a part of Europe. Geographically it is. But it should also be part of it both economically and politically.

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Neville Chamberlain - Peace for our timeOn 30 September 1938, Neville Chamberlain (then, the British Prime Minister) returned from a meeting with Adolf Hitler. He is famously pictured holding a piece of paper aloft, and he can be seen on newsreel footage saying:

This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine. Some of you, perhaps, have already heard what it contains but I would just like to read it to you: ‘ … We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.

Later that day, outside Downing Street, he was quoted:

My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.

“Peace for our time” was previously uttered by Disraeli (another British PM) after a meeting with Germany in 1878. You’d need to be a very dumb (or a Brexit voter) to not know what happened next in both cases.

Cut to 79 years later, and Theresa May cosied up with Donald Trump last week on an official visit. Trump made some noises that would have been music to May’s ears – about Brexit being good, and stuff like that. After she left, and while she was travelling to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey (a Muslim country, you understand, though you won’t if you’re a Brexiter), Trump announced his ban on Muslims entering the USA. Theresa May refused to comment for several days, until we were fed a snippet where she had pretty much been forced to say she “[did] not agree” with the policy.History repeats - Theresa May in "Peace for our time" pose

I’m just saying.

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Theresa May and Donald TrumpTheresa May has spent the whole time since she became PM absolutely refusing to give details of her plans for Brexit, and refusing equally absolutely to involve parliament in the whole affair.

UK Courts previously ruled that Parliament must be involved. Theresa May appealed that decision, and after yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the original decision, she is now quoted as saying:

I recognise that there is an appetite in this House to see that plan set out in a White Paper. I can confirm to the House that our plan will be set out in a White Paper published in this House.

The words ‘cow’ and ‘two-faced’ spring instantly to mind. This is precisely the opposite of what she has been saying since last summer, and which she went to court to try to maintain.

Furthermore, when Theresa May came to power, the likelihood of Donald Trump becoming president of the USA was seen as being as likely as Hell freezing over. I do not think – for even a second – that Theresa May wanted Trump in the White House, and I am equally certain that behind closed doors she made the same comments that the rest of the world was making. If nothing else, we can be absolutely certain that, given the choice, she would not have wanted Trump.

But Hell froze over twice in 2016 – once with Brexit, and then with Trump – and will go down in history as a turning point, in much the same way that 1914 and 1939 were turning points. Therefore, it is sickening that May is now kissing up to Trump.

Every single thing Donald Trump said or did during his election campaign went against the morals of huge swathes of people. Indeed, the only people in America who he didn’t insult were the same sorts of people who voted to leave the EU in the UK (with the exception of women, who he insulted every time he opened his mouth). American Redneck males love him. And that’s all, folks.

Trump has more recently claimed that “water-boarding” – a type of torture used on people to make them confess to anything you want them to confess to, and which is similar to drowning them slowly – works. Torture is illegal under both US and International Law. He intends to build a wall between Mexico and the US, in a chilling echo of Berlin in 1961. He has already started moving on controversial oil pipelines through Native American territory – still more chilling echoes, this time of the White Man’s advance through the Americas in the 1700s and 1800s. Trump is also a climate change denier, and has recently ordered the American Environmental Protection  Agency (EPA) to delete all data relating to climate change from its website (he has previously claimed that climate change is a Chinese hoax).

Then we come to Trump’s comments relating to women (well, anyone who isn’t heterosexual and male, really). To be sure, some of his quips would be innocuous on their own. However, every single one of them takes on a whole new meaning when you consider them all together, and especially when you remember that they have come repeatedly from the mouth of a man who is now President of the USA.

Just as you don’t need to be a genius to know with absolute certainty what Theresa May thought of Trump as a prospective White House candidate, or her reaction when he won, you also don’t need to guess very hard to imagine Trump’s view of Theresa May – past or present.

Theresa May broadcasting that she wants to cosy up to Trump in spite of all of this is simply an example of two desperate people looking for support. May is trying to screw the UK, and Trump is trying to screw the US. Neither realises it – but the shocking thing is that the public as a whole doesn’t realise it, either. That’s why we have May and Brexit this side of the pond, and Trump and… well, you can’t really put him into words… on  the other.

Brexit is wrong. Trump is wrong. And God help us all.

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EU/UK FlagsThe government has lost its appeal against having to put the decision to trigger Article 50 to Parliament.

Let’s not forget:

  • allowing morons to vote on EU membership in the first place was the worst decision any government has ever made in this country
  • Britain is part of Europe
  • It should also be a member of Europe
  • the days of the “British” sneering at foreigners should have been forced into the dustbin of history and left there

If only someone would grow a backbone and reverse this idiotic “decision” to leave. The narrow ‘leave’ vote was based entirely on prejudice, hatred, and sheer ignorance by those who cast their votes that way.

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GBP vs USB - 11 Jan 2017I just did a quick check of the exchange of the GBP versus USD and noted that it is currently at a new 30-year low of $1.206. The previous low was in early October last year at around $1.211.

And still the retards who voted to leave the EU are convincing themselves that everything will be all right.

It won’t. And it’s going to get much worse.

Oh, and one more thing. If it wasn’t for Donald Trump and his influence on the strength of the USD, GBP would probably be much lower than this.


Oh dear! Just had a look now, and pre-trading movement shows it off the side of another cliff – it’s down at 1.200, probably as a result of Theresa May’s continued incompetence and determination to destroy the country.GBP vs USD - late 15 January

WE must remain in the EU. When will they realise this, and decide to overrule the halfwits who voted to leave?

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An update from Charles Goerens, following the previous communication on this:

Dear Madam or Sir,

Yesterday I decided together with Guy Verhofstadt to withdraw my amendment on Associate EU Citizenship. We realised that this has become a very important issue that cannot await treaty change – as was my intention when I first tabled my amendment – since this might take years.

Yesterday evening, the House of Commons decided by a majority of almost 400 to support Theresa May’s plan to trigger article 50 by the end of March 2017. Hence the prospect that Article 50 will be invoked has become very real indeed.

The European Parliament will define its position on the Brexit agreement through a resolution during spring 2017. This seems to be the best opportunity to give Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt the possibility to enforce the Associate EU Citizenship.

I recognise this might come as a surprise to many of you, but please understand that the abovementioned procedure makes it much more likely for the Associate EU Citizenship to succeed than through an amendment.

Yours sincerely,

Charles Goerens

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