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

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and consider the prison sentences on members standing up and trying to set up an independent Catalonia should be withdrawn; the sentences are horrendous.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

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.

 

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.’

October 3, 2019

Theresa May less than convinced by Johnson

Filed under: Brexit, Johnson, Theresa May, UK Parliament — derryvickers @ 9:19 pm
On hearing Johnson in full Flight

The Waugh Zone:  On hearing Johnson in full flight

 

 

September 26, 2019

Rather the UK Cabinet has no Moral Right to Sit

“This parliament is a dead parliament,” [Geoffrey Cox] said. “It should no longer sit. It has no moral right to sit on these green benches.”

Expel the Johnson (Mussolini) Dictatorship.

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