Mike Vickers' Blog

April 1, 2020

SURE – from the EU

Filed under: Coronavirus, Europe, Planning, Sustainability, Workers Rights — derryvickers @ 9:50 pm

Ursula von der Leyen addressing the EU Community

Because of the coronavirus, “our daily life has changed radically. Millions of people can’t go to work, but they still have to buy groceries and pay their bills. Companies pay salaries to their employees, even if, right now, they don’t earn. Europe is now coming to their support, with a new initiative, called SURE, sure – points out the President of the EU Commission von der Leyen – the regions around Milan or Madrid are part of the backbone of the European economy. Thousands of strong and healthy companies are struggling because of the current crisis. They need our support to overcome the crisis.

This is why we have developed a concept of short-lived work. It aims to help Italy, Spain and all the other countries that have been hard hit. And it will do so thanks to the solidarity of the other Member States.’ “How does Sure work? We have learned the lessons from the 2008 financial crisis. The Member States that had this tool helped millions of people stay in their jobs and companies to overcome the financial crisis with their employees. SURE means short-term work supported by the state.’ In the past, it has mitigated the effects of the recession, kept people at work and allowed companies to return to the markets with renewed vigour.

The idea is simple, she explains: if there are no orders, companies should not lay off their workers. In their free time, workers will be able to be taught, for example, new skills that will also benefit both the company. So people can keep paying rents and buying what they need. This also has a positive impact on the economy. They will be able to return to work as soon as the blockade is finished, when demand resumes and so orders It is essential to quickly restart the European economic engine.”

I hope SURE works even though we are not part of the EU anymore,

January 29, 2020

The European Parliament

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, European Parliament, Scotland — derryvickers @ 8:48 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jan/29/brexit-meps-to-vote-on-withdrawal-agreement-ahead-of-uk-departure

What more is there to say other than

‘Haste Ye Back Scotland’

January 12, 2020

People Trapped but a Little Hope

Filed under: Equality, Europe, Human Rights, Immigration, Philosophy, UK Parliament, United Nations, USA — derryvickers @ 10:56 am

It’s hard to be sanguine, enlightened.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/12/operation-identification-texas-migrant-remains-identify#_=_

“Soil is carefully dug and then brushed away and the bags removed from the ground. Inside are bones but also small items that give a touch of humanity and threads of stories where flesh – and names – are missing. A little note. A half-drunk bottle of water. Prayer beads, a soft toy.”

But the UK is no better: ‘vetting’ all applications for children stuck in Calais wanting to join their parents and relations already in the UK.

There is hope and action from the young

“Texas State University graduate students lift the remains of a migrant from a gravesite at La Grulla cemetery on 17 December 2019 as part of the project Operation Identification. Photograph: Gabriela Campos”

I note that there is the UN

Declaration of the Rights of the Child Law and Legal Definition

But this is ‘none binding’

Surely in an ‘enlightened’ world the UN Declaration of Human Rights should be extended to include the Free Movement of All Peoples.
And be binding.

After all, we live in a so called ‘Global World’

December 20, 2019

The Dictator’s first move

Filed under: Brexit, Dictatorship, Europe, Johnson — derryvickers @ 8:23 pm

John Crace

‘Brexit was done. Even if it wasn’t. And anyone who dared whisper the word Brexit again after 31 January would be arrested for thought crimes. Boris had hoped he would feel more elated than this, but instead he could only feel disappointment closing in. He had gained the world, but had long since lost both his family and his soul. His narcissism would inevitably destroy him. In the beginning is my end. Now the light falls.’

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/20/to-johnson-the-brexit-spoils-and-the-amnesia

One might add:

‘Beware the Ides of March’

In 44 BCE, Julius Caesar’s rule in Rome was in trouble. Caesar was a demagogue, a ruler who set his own rules, frequently bypassing the Senate to do what he liked, and finding supporters in the Roman proletariat and his soldiers. The Senate made Caesar dictator for life in February of that year, but in truth, he had been the military dictator governing Rome from the field since 49. …..that the next 30 days were to be fraught with peril, but the danger would end on the Ides of March.

December 18, 2019

Enter Johnson the Dictator

Filed under: Dictatorship, Europe, Johnson, Supreme Court, UK Parliament — derryvickers @ 2:30 pm

Under plans made by Theresa May, the incorporation of all EU case law made by the European Court of Justice into UK law after departure would have left the supreme court as the only body able to overturn these decisions.

But asked about reports that Boris Johnson had ignored concerns from some ministers and decided to allow lower courts the same power, his spokesman confirmed that this would be part of the new withdrawal agreement bill.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/18/lower-courts-can-roll-back-eu-laws-after-brexit-no10-johnson-confirms

November 24, 2019

Thousands of EU Staff fed up with Brexit and are going home

Filed under: Brexit, Electioneering, Europe, Johnson, Nurses, Politics — derryvickers @ 9:46 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2019/nov/24/general-election-2019-conservatives-manifesto-tax-nhs-spending-live-news

Just to make good the EU Nurses going home through the threat of Brexit

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/nov/24/nhs-winter-crisis-thousands-eu-staff-quit

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.

 

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, Johnson, Northern Ireland, Scottish Independence, UK Parliament — derryvickers @ 11:22 am

Tim Farron – Belfast Telegraph

“Those factors added together mean that the border in the Irish Sea would be absolutely permanent – that, in my opinion, is a racing certainty.”

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/farron-fears-latest-accord-will-rip-the-uk-apart-and-lead-to-a-united-ireland-38606378.html.

Johnson chose the wrong  date for leaving the EU:  He should have chosen the 5th of November not the 31st October

October 14, 2019

Johnson Double Talk:

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, Immigration, Johnson — derryvickers @ 9:47 pm

The Queen’s Speech

My Government remains committed to ensuring that

resident European citizens, who have built their lives in, and contributed so much to,

the United Kingdom, have the right to remain. The bill will include measures that

reinforce this commitment.

 

But the caveat:

 

Confirming our commitment to the EU Settlement Scheme and giving EU

citizens and their family members who apply a right of appeal against

decisions under the Scheme.’

September 10, 2019

Doesn’t Northern Ireland have an Anthem

Filed under: Bercow, Brexit, Europe, Good Friday Agreement, Ireland, Johnson, Theresa May, Westminster — derryvickers @ 6:37 am

“While Bercow completed the formalities required to prorogue parliament in the House of Lords, opposition MPs sung songs, including the Red Flag, Jerusalem, Scots Wha Hae and Bread of Heaven (in Welsh, with harmonies).”

Doesn’t Northen Ireland have a national song or are their MPs totally on the Tory side.

Paul Waugh sums up Johnson:

“Even more than Theresa May ever was, Johnson is a now zombie PM in a zombie parliament. Unlike her, his answer is to shut down the graveyard (the Commons and Lords). Yet like May, he thinks he can get a new lease of life through a general election. Let’s see if the script is more The Walking Dead than Carry on Screaming.”

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