Mike Vickers' Blog

April 25, 2019

Hardenberger playing Haydn – A relief from Brexit and Climate Change

Filed under: Hakan Hardenberger, Music, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, World Class — derryvickers @ 10:50 pm

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra gave an excellent concert this evening in the Queen’s Hall Edinburgh.

The main soloist was Hakan Hardenberger, one of the world’s greatest trumpet players, and his playing of Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E-flat put Brexit and Climate Chamber right out of my mind for half an hour. Hardenberger and Conductor, John Storgards achieved an amazing balance between trumpet and orchestra and the audience just loved it.

April 24, 2019

Nancy Pelosi on Brexit: why Irish-US diplomacy is a powerful force in border talks – Liam Kennedy

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, Good Friday Agreement, Ireland, Politics, USA — derryvickers @ 6:00 pm

Nancy Pelosi on Brexit: why Irish-US diplomacy is a powerful force in border talks – Liam Kennedy

““Let me be clear, if the Brexit deal undermines the Good Friday Accord, there will be no chance of a US-UK trade agreement.”

For the full article

https://flipboard.com/topic/nancypelosi/nancy-pelosi-on-brexit%3A-why-irish-us-diplomacy-is-a-powerful-force-in-border-tal/a-w_Ey6CIET_CQgimrtlY0Vw%3Aa%3A2815871887-ff4a09e83f/scotsman.com

Lyra McKee, A Funeral and the Good Friday Agreement for Hope in Ireland

Filed under: Brexit, Good Friday Agreement, Ireland, Politics, The Troubles — derryvickers @ 1:55 pm

One can but hope for Northern Ireland

Remember the Good Friday Agreement 22 May 1996

A catholic reporter’s funeral service in a protestant church

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/apr/24/theresa-may-to-attend-lyra-mckee-funeral

“Northern Ireland’s political parties have called a de facto truce in the region’s toxic, dysfunctional politicking. Sinn Féin and DUP leaders appeared together in Derry after the killing, drawing praise and encouragement to start talks on restoring power-sharing.”

Let’s just hope it’s a stimulus for Power Staring to begin again on 22 May 2019.

You can find more of a eulogy to Lyra McKee and the Good Friday Agreement at

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/21/killing-lyra-mckee-derry-shows-how-hard-it-is-for-wars-to-end-sinead-oshea

The Last Supper Then and Now

Leonardo's Last Supper

Greta Thunberg talking with Caroline Lucas and Jeremy Corbyn at the UK Parliament on 23 April 2019.

Greta Thunberg should be encouraged to speak to the UK Parliament as a whole.

In any case, if Trump is allowed to speak to the UK Parliament in June (and I hope Bercow succeeds again in stopping him) then Greta should be invited to follow immediately afterwards.

 

April 21, 2019

To Focus on a Brexit Resolution

Filed under: Europe, Good Friday Agreement, Ireland, Jeremy Corbyn, Politics, Yeats — derryvickers @ 9:45 am

I did not know how to comment on the murder of Lyra McKee in Derry last Thursday but Brian Wilson showed the way in Saturday’s Scotsman.

https://www.scotsman.com/lyra-mckee-s-murder-shows-danger-of-no-deal-brexit-in-n-ireland-brian-wilson-1-4911924

I particularly welcome: “This is not just “one issue among many” but – as I have repeatedly argued over the past couple of years – the one that must condition the whole negotiation. You cannot have a hard border within Ireland. Full stop.”

And his conclusion: “While there is no ideal solution to Brexit, there are certainly lessers of evil. There are many good reasons for real leaders to act on that principle and Irish peace is one of them.”

I am repeated reminded of Yeats ‘A Second Coming’

Let’s hope that the Good Friday Agreement remains intact.

April 16, 2019

Notre Dame

Filed under: Europe, In Our Time, Italian, Notre Dame, Sustainability, Travel, World Class — derryvickers @ 3:17 pm

Molti anni fa, ben circa dieci anni, noi, come una famiglia, abbiamo visitato Parigi per il fine settimana con Ryan Air. Siamo andati in giro, siamo passati SacréCoeur, abbiamo visitato il Louvre, visto il Mona visto da lontano e siamo andati al centro Pompidou con tutte le sue tubazioni esterne, e abbiamo salito la Torre Eiffel. Abbiamo apprezzato molto la cucina francese.

E, naturalmente, abbiamo accodato per andare in giro per la Notre Dame.

Non sarà aperto di nuovo nella mia vita, ma speriamo che nostri figli  saranno in grado di farlo. Anche così non può essere proprio come prima del fuoco. Capisco che ora non ci sono alberi abbastanza alti almeno in Francia per sostituire i legni del tetto.

I giornali sono pieni di bruciato, ma non catturerà la tragedia di essere solo sul Seine e guardare il tetto crollare.

April 15, 2019

The Strange Case of Julian Assange

Filed under: Assange, Europe, Jeremy Corbyn, Patrick Cockburn, Politics, Social, USA — derryvickers @ 2:15 pm

Assange had pleaded political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for the last seven years.

He was eventually expelled last Thursday and arrested by the Met.

Since then many have come to his defence and an equal number have attacked him because

Julian Assange is wanted on two counts:

  1. Hacking and Leaking US military information principally on its war in Iraq
  2. Accused of rape in Sweden

You can read more about Hacking and Leaking in

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/julian-assange-wikileaks-chelsea-manning-war-democracy-a8867816.html

Cockburn believes that leaking / whistleblowing is essential in this increasingly authoritarian world and finishes his article with:

Assange is likely to pay a higher price than Ellsberg for his exposure of government secrets. The Pentagon Papers were published when the media was becoming freer across the world while now it is on the retreat as authoritarian governments replace democratic ones and democratic governments become more authoritarian.

The fate of Assange will be a good guide as to how far we are going down this road and the degree to which freedom of expression is threatened in Britain at a time of deepening political crisis.’

In his and Jeremy Corbyn’s view the UK Government should reject any US request to expatriate Assange to the US.

But to the Rape Charge, so far one case has been closed but the other is still open and the Swedish Government has yet to request expatriation. If the Swedish Government does ask for Assange to be repatriated to stand trial then the UK Government would find it difficult to refused, we are currently still part of the EU with Sweden.

Dani Garavelli in the Scotsman on Sunday:

https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/dani-garavelli-assange-apologists-make-light-rape-case-1-4906997

‘Labour backbenchers, including Diana Johnson, Stephen Kinnock, Stephanie Peacock and Stella Creasy, signed an open letter to Home Secretary Sajid Javid seeking assurances that every assistance would be offered to Sweden should it make an extradition request.

Garavelli noted that:

‘In the end though, as so often, it was Emily Thornberry who nailed it. “Why weren’t the Swedish authorities told in advance of Assange’s ejection from the Ecuadorian Embassy as the US clearly was? Our priority should be the alleged two victims of sexual violence in Sweden and not a ruse to get him extradited to the US as a whistleblower,” she wrote.

And that sums up the main difference between the two potential charges: A clear court case as to whether Assange did or did not rape two ladies in contrast to the undoubted leak of US extremely dubious human rights violation in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At present of course Assange is in UK custody and the UK government will have to decide whether to expedite Assange to Sweden if asked, or to the US. In my view the UK should expedite to Sweden, but I don’t know if the UK Government can successfully seek a clause in the agreement to so could prevent Assange there after being expedited to the US.

Just to finish for the time being; it looks clear that the Ecuadorian Embassy was pleased to get rid of their visitor after seven years

‘I think the first thing to say is Ecuador has been making some pretty outrageous allegations over the past few days to justify what was an unlawful and extraordinary act in allowing British police to come inside an embassy,” [Jennifer Robinson, Assange’s lawyer] said’

https://www.scotsman.com/news/assange-s-lawyer-claims-ecuador-made-smears-to-justify-arrest-1-4907277

Post Script:  I have now read a similar view to my collection above. See

https://labourlist.org/2019/04/labours-response-to-the-arrest-of-julian-assange-doesnt-cut-it/

April 12, 2019

Our Young are showing The Way

Filed under: Climate Change, Education, Greta Thunberg, Italian, Sustainability, World Class — derryvickers @ 2:28 pm

What more is there to say, other than Bully for all of you out there who spending your Easter holidays on the picket lines

https://ukscn.org/ys4c-where

The Guardian article

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2019/apr/12/youth-climate-change-protests-across-britain-live

A Young Volunteer

 

From Corriere della Sera

Greta Thunberg invita all’assemblea di FridaysForFuture in Italia

Appuntamento a Milano il 13 aprile per discutere la direzione che deve prendere il movimento studentesco contro il climate change che il 15 marzo ha riempito le piazze del mondo

 

 

 

 

 

April 11, 2019

Scozzese Giornale: 11 aprile 2019

Filed under: Black Holes, Brexit, Italian, Knoydart, Land Ownership, Scotland, Travel, World Class — derryvickers @ 10:23 pm

Nello scozzese Giornale di oggi: 11 aprile 2019

  1. Naturalmente,, Le Simulato foto of il buco nero in galassia M87.
  2. Macron infelice con la Brexit ritardata rischiando il Rinascimento dell’UE.
  3.  Varadkar (EIRE President) si collega al Regno Unito per rimanere nell’Unione doganale con l’UE.
  4. Traffico legato all’asma.
  5. Il volto di Bonnie Prince Charlie (non sembra che Bonnie a me).
  6. Borders Rail treni sovraffollati e spesso cancellati (sono un appassionato di treno).
  7. Un’altra storia sulle ragazze di Derry e quanto è fedele alla vita dei tempi. Buona TV ma un paio di volte è sufficiente.
  8. E in Real Homes una tenuta in Kilchoan Knoydart è in vendita per £ 5m.

Numero 8 mi interessa soprattutto perché è adiacente a/a sud della Fondazione Knoydart dove abbiamo buoni amici.

Per il blurb sulla tenuta di Kilchoan si veda https://www.onthemarket.com/details/6572192/

Ma per saperne di più della Fondazione Knoydart andare a http://www.knoydart-foundation.com/.

Il villaggio principale della Fondazione può essere ottenuto solo in barca da Mallaig.

La tenuta di Kilchoan è una tenuta sportiva; Io non sono un fan di Sporting Estates ma mi rendo conto cervo bisogno di essere colti, ma preferirei che fosse per il pasto non per lo sport.

Sarebbe eccellente se la Fondazione potesse acquistare la tenuta. Non posso che sperare.

 

BTW oggi è ancora un altro giorno in cui non abbiamo lasciato l’UE; Spero che ci saranno molti di più.

Scotsman: 11 April 2019

Filed under: Black Holes, Brexit, Knoydart, Land Ownership, Personal, Scotland, Travel — derryvickers @ 10:14 pm

In today’s Scotsman: 11 April 2019

  1. Of course, the simulated photo of the Black Hole in galaxy M87.
  2. Macron unhappy with Brexit being delayed risking EU Renaissance.
  3. Varadkar (Eire President) plugs for UK to remain in Customs Union with EU.
  4. Traffic linked to Asthma.
  5. The face of Bonnie Prince Charlie (doesn’t look that bonnie to me).
  6. Borders Rail trains overcrowded and often cancelled (I’m a train buff).
  7. Another story on the Derry Girls and how true to the life of the times they are. Good TV but a few times is enough.
  8. And in Real Homes an estate in Kilchoan Knoydart is up for sale for £5m.

Number 8 particularly interests me because it is adjacent to/ south of the Knoydart Foundation where we have good friends.

For the sales blurb on the Kilchoan Estate see https://www.onthemarket.com/details/6572192/

But to know more of the Knoydart Foundation go to http://www.knoydart-foundation.com/.  The main village of the Foundation can only be got to by boat from Mallaig.

The Kilchoan Estate is a Sporting Estate; I’m not a fan of Sporting Estates but I realise red deer need to be culled but I would rather it was for meal not for sport.

It would excellent if the Foundation could buy the Estate. I can but hope.

 

BTW today is yet another day when we didn’t leave the EU; I hope there will be many more.

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