barclaydave

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Month: February, 2019

To trust in one another right from the start

Having watched Bohemian Rhapsody (on the flight to Dubai) I thought I’d go with some queen for this post. Music is copyrighted by Queen and EMI and video is presented courtesy of YouTube, apologies if it doesn’t play where you are but I’m sure you can find it on whatever video platform you have available in your area.

Having read so much regarding a people’s vote in the UK ahead of a no deal Brexit (both pro and con) everyone seems hell bent on destroying this country from the 1% who can sustain the losses by moving elsewhere, to those saying they are unwilling to have a second referendum because the people spoke in 2016.

The referendum result from 2016 should have been declared null and void because less than 75% of those eligible to vote actually bothered to vote. The result was less than 5% in favour of leave (the leave campaign wanted a second referendum called if they lost by less than 10% of those voting) because they won they went silent on their call for a second referendum (surprise surprise).

I have said it before and I will say it again, Europe doesn’t need us, we need Europe for job security, to ensure the rights of Brits living in Europe and the rights of Europeans living here. We cannot afford to leave without a deal but this Government are willing to run the clock down so that is all we have left. Just think for a minute whether a second referendum will change the vote for Brexit, and think what a no deal Brexit will do to our economy, living standards, jobs and world standing.

We leave without a deal and we are subjected to WTO rules for 4 years while we negotiate trade deals with every country on the planet. In the meantime everything in the shops is more expensive, jobs are harder to come by, pay drops because people take pay cuts to guarantee them work and the minimum wage becomes a thing of the past with average hourly rates dropping to around £2.50 per hour for the menial jobs (janitors, cleaners, waiting staff, etc) and those who are working for this pittance unable to meet rent payments or even live.

I know some will think that I am using scare tactics, just think what is already happening, financial institutions who used to have their European Headquarters in London have moved out to Paris, Berlin and Brussels. A lot of countries who have manufacturing plants in the UK have shifted new models to their home countries or elsewhere in Europe. They will continue to wind down their interests in the UK following a no deal Brexit. A lot of the 1% have announced their intention to leave these shores (taking their wealth with them) following a no deal Brexit. Think on the cumulative effect of this on our economy and then think whether a no deal is in our best interests.

If there is a second vote it has to be on the outcome of Brexit. There will not be a deal with Europe because they don’t want to give anything further to us in order to protect our rights. They don’t have to since we are leaving them not the other way round. This means that our only option will be to leave without any deal, unprotecting our citizens in the EU and offering no protection for EU citizens living here. I really don’t think those who voted to leave thought it through and the minority want to leave at any cost.

Would leaving without a deal preserve the United Kingdom? Think about this, Scotland voted by 60% to 40% in favour of Remain, and Northern Ireland voted the same way. Leaving without a deal causing Scotland to feel isolated and Northern Ireland more seriously ignored than ever before since the troubles began in the late 1960s. Do you think Scotland will lie down and not push for a second independence referendum? Of course they will push for it and this time it will succeed and then Northern Ireland will push for an independence referendum. Unlike Scotland, however, they will vote to leave the UK and join with Southern Ireland and re-integrate with the EU. Scotland, once independent will seek to rejoin the EU, accepting the Euro as their currency. What then for England and Wales? Wales seem to have rejected a no deal Brexit so would they then seek an independence referendum and, if passed, seek to rejoin the EU? That is seeming probable with every day that passes and a deal becoming less likely. Therefore there will be 3 of the UK nations leaving and asking to, or else rejoining, the EU.

England on her own will fail, so how long after accepting a no deal Brexit will the Government be able to survive before seeking to rejoin the EU? I don’t think it will be very long. Once the UK has been broken up into the constituent countries and 3 of the 4 applying for reentry or rejoining the EU, what would be left for the biggest country in the Union? Sink or Swim, and swim will mean asking to overturn the decision of Brexit. What will the EU do at that point? I think they will laugh in England’s face and put up conditions for reentry that all we currently have would be lost. Including the £, forcing England to join the Euro with fewer powers of veto than we currently enjoy.

The fault will lie at the foot of the Tory Government who think that 40% of the electorate give it a mandate for change. They don’t, we need to stop the madness now and a people’s vote to accept the deal offered by the EU, leave without a deal or withdraw A50 is needed where a no vote is taken as withdrawal of A50 to give a mandate for action. That way if fewer than 75% of those eligible to vote actually go out and vote we take the non voters/invalid votes as opting for remaining within the EU.

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The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older

Normal service has now been resumed and this post comes with a lyric title and a video to accompany it. The copyright is owned by EMI/Universal and Pink Floyd and the video is provided by YouTube, apologies if it doesn’t play where you are but you can always do a search on your local video playback site.

One thing we find we have less and less of as we age is time. We have to decide what we do with the time we have and that is true at any age, however, older people will usually try to do more with their time as they know time is fleeting. It’s astounding how quickly the time disappears.

The only thing I know I have less of than some others while having more than some. I want to ensure that I continue to make a difference in whatever time I have left. That’s why I blog, and tweet, as often as I can without going overboard and posting every day when I don’t always have anything to say. Dear reader, you know that I strive to post twice a week, some weeks I blog more often and others less, because of the fact I only post when I have something to say.

At the moment there is a lot of proof coming to light about Russian involvement in the politics of the West. Does this surprise anyone at all any more? I think we are becoming immune because there is so much and so many people involved are under investigation. People like tRump in the USA and Jeremy Corbyn in the UK. There can be no doubt that the Government in both countries is conspiring with Putin and Russia, the only question is what do these Governments have to gain from the collusion.

It’s obvious what Putin gets out of messing with our politics, he disrupts the Government and can end the trade embargo he currently has from both the EU and USA. The question remains though that removing these will benefit Russia but what will it benefit the Governments who push to remove this?

I know that tRump is a big denier of anything and everything but Global Warming is a thing and it needs to be addressed before 2025 if we are going to stand a chance to reverse it. The thing is that we are the first generation who have recognised the damage we have done to the planet. Our children have now woken up to the fact that they cannot rely on those in charge to do anything to save the planet. If we don’t do anything at all then the planet will be fighting a lot harder for survival. For those who believe that the planet will not fight to survive tell me what causes the unnatural weather we have currently been experiencing.

In conclusion I would like to point out that time is passing and we are running out of time to do anything about the state of the planet, denying it is a problem is adding to the problem not detracting from it.

Just nod if you can hear me (Part 2)

https://city-sightseeing.com/en/112/dubai/244/hop-on-hop-off-dubai

I have been asked for the link to the World Wide city sightseeing link, here is the one for Dubai but the others can be found on city-sightseeing.com

The song which inspired the last post’s title was of course, Bob Dylan and the Band with Lay Lady, Lay. In case you missed the song here it is, copyright is not owned by me but by Sony Music, Bob Dylan and video is courtesy of YouTube. Hope you enjoy it, however, due to YouTube restrictions it may not play where you are.

While I’m here I think it may be an opportune moment to post my thoughts of today. Those of you regularly following my blog know that I only post when I have something to say, not one for keeping “normal” hours I keep vampire hours (in other words I don’t sleep for very long).

Of course I’m very upset at the Russian involvement in our and America’s political elections/referendums. It seems that there is a new revelation every day from the FBI and MI6 confirming that Russian bots are hi-jacking the social media airways to disrupt the West and leave us free to hackers from inside Russia. They are determined to bring us down as Putin blames us for the fall of the Soviet Union (USSR). Had he read his own Russian History, he would have seen that the rise and fall of communism in Russia was foretold by one Rasputin, he knew he was going to die a painful death so told the Tsarina that she had nothing to fear if the proletariat killed him, however, if he was killed by the ruling class then she and her family would be killed and the proletariat would rise and take power which they would keep for 70 years. 1917-1989 is 72 years but I think we should allow him some leeway since the Revolution took more than 12 months to finalise.

What can you say about the monk that hasn’t been said before? He was a hard man to kill as he was poisoned, shot, stabbed several times, thrown into the Volga and the cause of his death was… Drowning.

Anyway, enough of that and the second embedded video, copyright unknown but the basic track is Boney M. Rasputin.

If you have been following my life history you will no doubt be aware that I lost 1969 when my external hard drive crashed, I am currently working on a re-write and will publish as soon as it is finished. I think I may have some real problems at the moment however, I stopped looking for work prior to going to Dubai and applied for a tax rebate (I have since received this and it has been banked and cleared) however, I have been invited to apply for several positions with an immediate start and don’t think I can take one, should it be offered, before the beginning of April. If anyone is aware of UK tax law and can give me some advice on this please reply to this post and I will pick it up as soon as I can, thank you.

Time I think, for me to go and get ready since I am going out soon to see what I can find in order to boost my income further since I have already saved £90 per month from April 2019.

Stay while the night is still ahead

No music attached to this post, but if you know the title of the song from the lyric in the title you can always listen to it on YouTube while reading this.

I have received a payment from Royal Mail to compensate me for them losing my tracked item (I was going to be paid £306 for this item) the cheque is for £50. Is this a piss take or what? The item was tracked and the tracking said it was delivered but the company claimed they never received it.

Following an investigation by Royal Mail they admit the fault was with them, hence the compensation, but £50 is a joke! They have had the same compensation figure for years and with inflation and a devaluing currency surely it should have been increased before now?

Anyhoo, that’s not going to get my phone delivered or found, I’m just so pleased that I blacklisted it when it went missing, whoever has it now has a brick. Of course that won’t stop them selling it on eBay so watch out for an iPhone 7, 128Gb, black in the Southampton area.

On a less fractious note, I have recently been asked to sign several petitions taking off across the Atlantic and have been more than happy to do so. We all know that the current occupant of the White House in Washington DC is a hate fuelled a$$ hole, who believes women exist for his pleasure and enjoy him grabbing their genitalia. Now he’s pledged to decriminalise homosexuality in every country. Of course when asked how he was intending to do this he denied all knowledge of it.

He would though because he’s the biggest homophobic a$$ hole on the planet. Have you noticed that he has still not made his tax returns public? I think that may be because he hasn’t paid any tax, ever, in his lifetime.

We have to ensure that we hold those accountable for using tax havens in order to avoid paying tax. If the billionaires paid tax, as they should be doing, then our economies wouldn’t be doing a nose dive. I don’t think we have to go back to the bad old days when the tax man took 95% of income above a certain amount (yes that’s what George meant by his opening line in Taxman). I don’t think 70% is unreasonable on earnings above £750,000 do you agree?

Just think what could be done with that additional income by a Labour Government. The NHS could be adequately funded for the first time since 1979, more police and firefighters employed to keep us safe, social housing programs not seen since the 1980s. Everyone would benefit, but we do need to remove the tax havens and get multinationals to pay tax where they generate their profits.

Just nod if you can hear me

Music is from Pink Floyd and copyright is owned by Pink Floyd, Universal/EMI Harvest. Video courtesy of YouTube and, if it won’t play where you are then my apologies for that. You could always check your local video player for a working version of the song.

Returned home yesterday morning, knackered and with a headache but happy to have seen Dubai. Not at all what I expected from a Muslim country, education is open to all (yes women are free to attend school and then go to university and get a degree). Gay and lesbian couples are also able to openly walk the streets holding hands, everywhere there are signs promoting the year of inclusion and if this isn’t eye opening then you must not have read anything about the treatment of women in other Muslim countries where anyone deviating from the normal male in any way is kept behind and prosecuted for daring to challenge the patriarchy.

It was also strange to find a ski slope (with chair lifts and a snow boarding slope) in the desert within a shopping mall (The Mall of the Emirates) there is also an indoor ice rink (at the Dubai Mall) and more shops in the Malls than you can shake a stick at. The Derai City Centre Mall has seating in the tourist lounge but none anywhere else, there is also a free tourist shuttle bus to the main hotels around Derai city (where the airport is located).

Everyone is so friendly and make you feel welcome (not just your money) of course there is the tourist tax to pay at the hotel but as this is in the local currency it isn’t very expensive. Dubai doesn’t have a taxation policy, unlike the US so the prices you see are the prices you pay. The currency isn’t split into anything lower than a 20/100 of a Dirham therefore they will round down your shopping to the nearest 20/100 of a Dirham in the shops we went to in the area of the hotel (we stayed at the Grand Excelsior but, there are many other hotels within easy access of the Dubai Airport).

There are many tourist buses offering hop on/hop off services but we used the City Sightseeing ones (they are the same franchise as the City Sightseeing ones at home in Newcastle, the ones we used in New York and New Orleans as well). We did the blue and red routes, sunset route (night tour) and the guide was very well received. As well as English the narrative is also available in other languages including Arabic. If we ever make it back then I would like to do a day trip to Abu-Dhabi, the capital of the Emirates, and apparently well worth a visit.

My wife didn’t fancy the caravan tour on camel of the desert and then an overnight stay with bedouins at an oasis. There are a lot of mosques as you would expect and the structures are absolutely amazing, much more feeling of a deity’s home than some churches I’ve visited. I got the impression that, although it is a strict Muslim country, there are a lot of foreign workers there and, while drinking is not allowed in open areas, only if you are drunk in public areas will you feel the wrath of the local police. If you drink in moderation then this will not be a problem. I can see why people from all over the planet move to the Emirates to work, with so many ending up in Dubai.

If I manage to find my pictures then I will include these in the next post about my week in Dubai. Till then I hope you enjoyed this post and the music that accompanied it.

Couldn’t sleep a wink last night

Music to accompany this post is from Roxy Music, video may not play where you are, if you can’t view it then apologies. For the rest please enjoy the music while you read today’s meanderings of a troubled mind.

For those who live in America can you explain exactly what the State Of The Union address is supposed to be? I’m puzzled after listening to (part of) the latest SOTU. I thought it was supposed to be like our Queen’s speech on the opening of Parliament where the current Parliament lays out their challenges for the following period and gives details of how the Government hope to achieve these aims.

tRump didn’t set out anything he was going to achieve in the coming 12 months, what I saw was all about him and the Mueller investigation. He seems to have no idea how to run the country to make it better, only to use public funds to line his own pockets. Once it all comes to light he will be arrested and I just hope that he does serious hard time for all his crimes against the American people and the Free World he was supposed to be leading.

Am I wrong in seeing the manner of Nancy Pelosi’s applause following the SOTU? Did it really look like she wanted to cut his throat, or was that just me? Anyway, on a much more positive note I think tRump has finally found his wall, it’s called Nancy Pelosi.

That’s only part of the problems I have encountered this week. Twitter seems to delight in criticising @AOC who truly is a breath of fresh air in the House of Representatives. Instead of answering her critics she rises above their bile and gives them put downs any comedian would be proud of when heckled. She really is an amazing woman and I hope she has a long career in American politics without losing her gloss.

I feel that we need a public enquiry into the Leave Campaign ahead of the 2016 referendum because we were lied to by those who wanted to leave the EU at any cost. They also spent double the amount they were told they could spend on their campaign. Like tRump, the bulk of this money seems to have come from Russia.

If the referendum was hijacked by Russia then we deserve answers and a second referendum especially since 35% of those eligible to vote didn’t bother, the result was less than 5% in favour of Leave so that is not a mandate to leave at any cost. We deserve a say in our country, especially when jobs are going to be lost if we leave without a deal. The leaving would only be the thin edge of the wedge as well, Europe will penalise us for leaving the family, the rest of the world will not come to our aid immediately and those companies who have moved manufacturing to the UK to have a foothold in Europe will up and relocate. Nissan have already moved production back to Japan for models they promised were coming to Sunderland, how long before they close the plant completely after Brexit?

Northern Ireland will not accept a hard border between them and the Republic (as I’ve said before) removing the border will mean reunification with the Republic and, therefore, a re-entry into Europe. Scotland will follow suit and attempt to negotiate an entry into Europe for themselves, which they will probably get as that will prove to the Eurocrats that it was only England who didn’t want to be in with a Europe working for the good of all Europeans.

Anyway, this is definitely going to be my last post before I return from Dubai on 17/02/2019. Hope you enjoy next week and it’s not too cold where you are.

There’s a hidden door she leads you to

Change of pace as this may well be my last post for a while, to celebrate 17 years married to the latest wife I’m off to Dubai at the weekend. Music for this post is from a much missed singer songwriter I remember from my misspent youth and the title track of the first album of his I owned. If it doesn’t play where you are then I am sorry, if it does play please enjoy.

I have seen a lot of things happen in my lifetime, the spread of sex workers into every area of modern life, human trafficking, terrorism, austerity (which seems to mean taking from the poor and giving to the rich) the rise of: racism (again), slavery (once more), hatred and violence everywhere.

In the 21st century I thought we would see an end to racism and slavery once and for all, yet it is all around us and is being brought to the forefront once again by POTUS45 and Theresa May. They are using fear tactics to promote racist hatred, fear of immigrants and terrorism to get their own way. They both lie and continue to lie in order to perpetuate the myths of their countries being under attack so that they can deport with impunity, murder (not personally but getting other countries governments to do it for them), using a foreign power to keep them in power and they expect to get away with it for years to come?

Times have changed since the 1930’s. The public are better educated (most of us), there is widespread use of social media and the internet makes getting messages out there a lot easier than it was back in Nazi Germany. Today both Governments in the UK and the USA are targeting blacks, how long before they start targeting Jews? May has kept up the attack on the poor to keep feeding the rich in an attempt to hold onto power. She knows when she calls a General Election she will have to hope the backlash against her splits the opposition vote as it did for Thatcher in the 1980’s otherwise we will see a Labour Government pledged to tax the rich, fairly adding to the countries coffers. Increasing spending on the NHS and re-Nationalisation of industries which should never have been privatised in the first place. This scares her because, if things go against her then, her party may never recover again. After the second World War, there were things put in place to ensure that never again would one nation ever try to destroy one race of human beings. In an attempt to eliminate European Wars a treaty was proposed to link Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg. Churchill was invited to join with them in an effort to avoid conflicts such those which resulted in 2 World Wars in the early part of the 20th century. Churchill declined, saying “Why would we join up with 3 countries we have recently liberated from the other two?”

Very backward thinking on his part. We were lied to and cheated in 2016, this has now been recognised by the majority of the electorate and, May knows, a second referendum will end the misery of Brexit and call for the withdrawal of Article 50. That is the current will of the people. In 2016 35% of the electorate didn’t vote believing, wrongly, that the vote would fall in favour of Remain. the vote was lost by less than 5%. Because the margin was so small we deserve the chance to have the final say between a hard Brexit (with no deal) and remaining within the EU with a say and a Veto. We have seen a lot of jobs disappear already with the threat of worse to come once we have left the EU. That’s why the people have to be given the final say on whether we leave without a deal or withdraw Article 50 and Remain a member state with our own currency, laws and monarch.

I don’t believe that leaving and then rejoining is in anyone’s interests since we would be reduced to a small voice against a huge juggernaut which Europe is about to become. We would be forced to accept the Euro as our currency, would probably lose our right of Veto and be forced to increase our contributions to the pot, all the while having more unemployed mouths to feed. We have to stop the rot now before it becomes worse for us.

The Remain campaign fought within the law, spent what they were told they could spend and still came within 5% of Leave. Leave used more funds than they should have, lied and cheated to get what they wanted out of the referendum, and they still failed to deliver a deal which worked for the British people AND the EU.

OK, enough already, I will finish now and hope you all have a very happy New Year (since it’s the Year of the Pig).