Mike Vickers' Blog

November 17, 2019

Looking for a Democratic Leader

Filed under: Brexit, Politics, UK Parliament, Westminster — derryvickers @ 9:21 pm

The Leader in today’s Scotsman

https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/leader-comment-least-worst-leader-is-far-from-the-best-case-scenario-1-5047397.

“On the Remain side of the argument, the likes of Labour’s Keir Starmer, Anna Soubry, the ex-Tory who now leads The Independent Group for Change, and Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, who had the Conservative whip removed and is now an independent, have stepped up to the plate.

But Starmer has to cope with his boss’s obfuscation on Brexit, Soubry’s profile has slipped since she quit Johnson’s party and a single independent will always struggle on the national stage.

However, when Grieve says Johnson is an “extremely troubling” individual and that he has “never experienced a politician in modern British history who is so elastic with truth”, there are lots of Conservatives who will take that seriously and be worried.”

Happy to go with Starmer, Soubry or Grieve. OK, these are all Remainers.

But there is no one on the Leave side that inspires anyway.

November 16, 2019

Scotland declaring UDI

Filed under: Scottish Independence, Westminster — derryvickers @ 11:14 am

I refer to my recent blog

https://derryvickers.com/2019/11/15/1461/

and I wonder, should Scotland declare UDI, whether the UK government would charge the SNP ringleaders with Sedition and issue long prison sentences on each?

More Tower Block Cladding Fires

Filed under: Gaza, Jeremy Corbyn, Yasmin Qureshi — derryvickers @ 11:06 am

I note that the fire in the students’ Cube at Bolton East looks like a replica of the Grenfell Tower though thank heavens no one seems to have been killed there.

I note that the Labour MP is Yasmin Qureshi but is not reported to be yet on the scene; if so this a grave omission.

But I note that Yasmin fell foul of the media by seeming to compare what is happening in Gaza with the Holocaust some 5 years ago.

https://labourlist.org/2014/02/the-situation-in-gaza-is-bad-but-to-compare-it-to-the-holocaust-is-grotesque-yasmin-qureshi-should-apologise/

She has since apologised.

But I personally feel that the comparison has some truth even though subsequently removed, as the wars of attrition continue unabated between Israel and Gaza.  I note that only yesterday an Israeli plane killed a whole family in Gaza “by mistake”.

November 15, 2019

Clara Ponsati and Aamer Anwar working together

Filed under: Aamer Anwar, Clara Ponsati, Law, Politics, Scottish Independence — derryvickers @ 11:13 pm

I support Catalonia and consider the prison sentences on members standing up and trying to set up an independent Catalonia should be withdrawn; the sentences are horrendous. But they knew what they were doing and what they might expect.

I don’t think Clara should be extradited to follow suit knowing what would await her if she returned.

Aamer Anwar is doing a great job at defending Clara’s extradition at, I suspect, much reduced fees.

And he gave a great Jimmy Reid lecture.

See the video at

Clara Ponsati

Clara Ponsati with Aamer Anwar

Video of Aamer Anwar’s 2019 Jimmy Reid Foundation lecture

November 13, 2019

The Modern Messiah

Filed under: Brexit, Climate Change, Greta Thunberg — derryvickers @ 1:55 pm

The Twenty Century Messiah.

Greta Thunberg: Called out by the presidential Pharisees

It was ever thus.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/13/greta-thunberg-to-hitch-a-ride-to-europe-with-australian-youtube-influencers

November 6, 2019

Rees-Mogg impersonating Burlington Bertie from Bow

Filed under: Brexit, Music, Westminster — derryvickers @ 7:43 pm

Burlington Bertie

Rees-Mogg

October 27, 2019

Unthink the Britishness

Radical Independence Campaign Scotland [RICS] Event in Glasgow: 26/10/19 – a few comments
‘Unthink the Britishness’

From today’s Guardian

“I came to fusion because I passionately believe that it is needed – that it can change the world,” says Chapman. “I’m convinced that not only is fusion important: it’s going to happen.” We’re not on the verge, but it’s just about in sight.”

It could equally have been

“I came to Scottish Independence because I passionately believe that it is needed – that it can change the world,” says Lesley Riddoch. “I’m convinced that not only is Independence important: it’s going to happen.” We’re not on the verge, but it’s just about in sight.”

Is Independence an attitude of mind?

Getting the Referendum through, looks to be target of a lot of the people at the meeting yesterday.

It’s a little like the Leader poem by Roger McGough.  To ‘Wanna be Independent – I am Independent – What shall we do now’.

OK I stretch the point

Yesterday was a good event

Even though the hearing loop was not on – I continually hammer this with the organisers of the event I attend, and they all apologise and promise to better, I heard quite a lot.

I am now used to Aamer Anwar having been to his Jimmy Reid lecture and read his address on becoming Rector of Glasgow University, but his speech is still good with Hope at the end

Lesley Riddoch was good in the final wind up session even though we got a touch of the Nordics.

And I did like ‘Unthink the Britishness’

Get rid of the feudal society once and for all.  I could add: Eradicate David 1 who I am studying at a course given by Edinburgh University.

But it is not that easy.

“Unthink the Britishness”; but its more than that – its unthink Western Europeanism.  You will reply that Norway has successed and I hope they keep to it.  But Sweden is backsliding, and Denmark?

Are we fighting ‘Human Nature’?  John Gray take a very pessimistic view.  Dawkins- The Selfish Gene.  I much prefer the late Stephen Jay Gould.

But to closer at home; I note that for all the good intents of the SNP Government to move Scotland towards the constitution of the RICS it is failing, and this is NOT wholly Westminster’s fault.  It is more that the SNP are at best hitting their heads against Democracy and all its legal trappings as we know them.

It is unclear to me that Full Independence will resolve all the history of European Civilisation and reach the promised land of the RICS Constitution.  It’s the people who love to be in power; ‘power corrupts’.

As a small aside it could be that the small comings together of the townships such as Eigg and Knoydart are the nucleus of a new human society.  Gould put forward the concept of Punctuated Equilibrium that change takes place in small groups away from the centre but once these small groups become strong enough, they move back and take over the centre.

In my experience the small townships are as much populated from across the UK as a whole, as from just Scotland.

BTW Cat Boyd was one of last persons proselyting the original RICS Constitution.
Realism and Passion are uncomfortable bedfellows.

Find the RICS Constitution at:
http://radical.scot/about-ric/ric-constitution/

 

October 25, 2019

Immigration

Filed under: Immigration, Mary Dejevsky, Politics — derryvickers @ 8:52 am
Mary Dejevsky

A View on Immigration

 

 

 

 

 

 

A seminal clip

What role does the UK have in taking in immigrants?

Mary Dejevsky argues there is a limit. Any country has a right to decide, up to a point.

I remember at a Nordic Horizons, the Swedish official responsible for handling immigrant refugees from the Middle East said that Sweden takes a limited number of immigrants from Africa but it is limited, and at some point he has to say ‘enough is enough’ and he recalled the heart-breaking task if saying No to a desperate mother and child who if accepted would exceed his Government’s quota.

I dislike Priti Patel ‘of the smirking face’ and I certainly do not like the implications of stopping the free movement to and from the EU to the UK, but I do recognise that controls and documentation are necessary if only to know who resides in the country.
And providing an effective system which was honoured fully would remove cash arising from the smuggling in backs of refrigerated lorries.
And should eliminate the need for forces repatriation.
I would not be against an Identity Card scheme, but this would have to be universal and applied to All including UK existing residents.

But a blanket points system is abhorrent; for instance, it should be bypassed where unaccompanied children are involved who should be given automatic right of entry.

 

 

October 21, 2019

Italia Viva

Filed under: Anna Soubry, Italy, Politics — derryvickers @ 9:27 pm

Renzi launches Italia Viva

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsUZy80B1WE

Perhaps the Independent Group for Change needed to start this way

October 18, 2019

Johnson in a Rush – To minimise the Opportunity for MPs to read the Small Print

From Today’s Financial Times

The deal that Boris Johnson signed with the EU yesterday has immense economic and constitutional implications for the UK.

In any normally functioning democracy, a treaty of this magnitude would be subject to extensive parliamentary scrutiny — if not a confirmatory vote by the British public.

The reality is that neither of these things is happening, or indeed likely to happen. MPs are being given little time to scrutinise the text before being asked to hold a landmark Commons vote tomorrow.

As for the confirmatory referendum, there will be numerous attempts by MPs to secure one in the days ahead if the Johnson deal is passed. But MPs on all sides are now so fatigued by Brexit that their efforts are unlikely to end in success.

The absurdity of the situation is not difficult to see. As Martin Wolf argues in the FT, the Johnson deal damages the UK economy. As he writes: “It is going to make the country substantially poorer than it would otherwise be. It is going to reduce the resources available to any future government to deliver on domestic policy promises.”

The constitutional implications are possibly worse. The Johnson deal means Northern Ireland will be in a completely different trading relationship from the rest of the UK. This will inevitably fan the flames of militant unionism for the first time since the Good Friday Agreement.

Note, for example, this story that the Democratic Unionist party met loyalist paramilitaries — including the Ulster Volunteer Force — to discuss the implications of a mooted Brexit deal this week. This is troubling.

Meanwhile, Scotland, which voted Remain, will want the same preferential trading terms with the EU as Northern Ireland. Instead, the Scots are being subjected to the hard Brexit that Mr Johnson is imposing on the whole of Great Britain. 

As the commentator Ian Dunt writes: “It is as if Westminster were trying to write the SNP’s independence campaign for it.”

One other aspect of this deal should not be ignored. Many MPs will vote for the Johnson package tomorrow because they think they are avoiding no deal.

But this simply isn’t the case. Under this treaty, the UK will enter a standstill transition period until December 2020. If there is no fully-fledged trade deal agreed with the EU by then, the UK will crash out anyway.

In other words, if the Johnson deal passes tomorrow, Britain will spend the first half of 2020 having the same argument it has had for the past three years. Do we accept the tough trade terms the EU wants to inflict on us? Do we ask for an extension? Or do we crash out?

MPs campaigning for a confirmatory referendum will not give up hope. If Mr Johnson succeeds tomorrow, they will try to pass an amendment demanding one in the time left before the UK’s departure on October 31.

But the numbers probably aren’t there because MPs and the British public believe that passage of the Johnson deal will mark the crossing of a Rubicon. They want the UK to move on to other things.

Of all the illusions about Brexit, this is probably the greatest of all.

 

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