Tag: Brexit

Who will sing for England

 

I watched a documentary about The Proclaimers over the New Year. I take an interest in musicians and how they achieve success in the creative field. I’m not over-judgemental and try to find aspects to admire even if I don’t like the final product. Hence I can appreciate the clever construction of a song or piece of music which is not to my taste at all. I exclude the tuneless Bananarama from this. For those of you who do not know, The Proclaimers are a couple of identical Scottish twins who burst onto the scene with great energy (a must-have in my book) in the late 80s with their anthemic song “I’m gonna be”, which most will know better as “500 miles”. They arrived as something different in the music landscape, heavily influenced by punk, folk music and the musical political activism of Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners (“Come on Eileen”.) They made a deliberate decision to sing in their broad Leith accents. In the documentary they came across as intelligent, articulate and rather dour, by no means an unwelcome attribute in these days of emotional incontinence. Talking heads were wheeled out to show that the band generated a strong Scottish fan base, not least by openly espousing the cause of Scottish independence. Krankie described how they had radicalised her and many of her generation. As we know, their intervention was not decisive on the 55:45 vote which, much like Brexit, apparently remains open to “interpretation”. Nevertheless, the twins produced a pivotal song called “Cap in Hand”. Here is the chorus:

But I can’t understand why we let someone else rule our land
We’re cap in hand.

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Nationalism

Quite often we hear how nationalism is dangerous. Bad. Wrong. It has negative connotations, and is associated with both the world wars. If you want to see how far the SJW poison has spread google nationalism. Negative images and Nazi flags abound. Yet nationalism is rising across the world. Brexit and Trump are two clear examples. Also, nationalist governments have been elected in Austria, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. Catalonia has a separatist movement that appears to be growing in strength. So is nationalism really that bad? And why is it on the rise?

A Look Back at History

Let us examine World War One. Surely the clearest case that shows nationalism is bad? Different countries, each with a notion of their superiority, squaring up to each other and being belligerent. Eventually it spilled over in to open war. But was it really nationalism? Most of the countries involved had some kind of Empire. Britain certainly did. France had overseas territories. Russia had a land empire, as did Austria Hungary. The Ottoman empire had held sway over the middle east, parts of North Africa and Europe. Germany had some colonies but badly wanted an empire. Britain was afraid of losing hers. Russia was always looking to expand, and draw in more Slavic peoples. The Ottomans wanted to win back territory, and vie for more land with Russia.

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The Great Brexit Betrayal

Guardian Council, Going Postal

I ought to warn you, Dear Reader, for this is a conspiracy theory. It has no basis in facts apart from my thoughts and observations and I’m going to present my case without a shred of empirical evidence; although I do assume that the evidence is out there just waiting to be found. But do also be warned, please, that only because it’s a conspiracy theory doesn’t mean there isn’t also a conspiracy.

Let’s cast our minds back to the 23rd of June 2016, when surprisingly enough the British people democratically decided to leave the European Union in the largest exercise of their free will so far – and dare I say for ever, for any plebiscite is indeed unlikely to be repeated now that everyone knows just how dangerous referendums can be.

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UK Since the Referendum-Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

(All data, graphs and figures from the Office for National Statistics. Available under the Open Government License.)

Where to begin? The amount of disinformation before, during and after the referendum on EU membership has been staggering. Now commonly called fake news, this has been spread by various mainstream media across television, the internet and old fashioned newspapers. It includes national broadcasters, key politicians, pressure groups, vacuous celebrities and even a U.S. President. As the saying goes there are “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” So I am going to examine a few. As with most things the context is key. We are now in a position to see what has happened 18 months down the line. Looking at long term trends also helps put things in perspective.

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EU directive – General Data Protection Regulations

Sweaty Dave, Going Postal
Europa Building, Brussels

You may be wondering why recently you have been getting post from banks, utilities and financial institutions amending Terms and Conditions.
A new set of rules are coming into force in May next year, which few of you will have heard of, but most will be affected. General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), an EU directive, comes into force in the UK on the 25th of May 2018, despite Brexit. GDPR are an update upon the older, looser Data Protection Act and will be followed by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) due in 2019.

Few companies or individuals have started to prepare for the new regulations and most that do, say they will struggle to be ready in time.

What is all the fuss about?

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Brexit Negotiations

Godfrey Bloom, Going Postal
Prof. Godfrey Bloom

We hear of the proposed £60 billion pay off to the EU. It grows everyday. The extraordinary aspect of this whole sorry affair is the complete lack of professionalism in theses negotiations.

Possibly no surprise as the participants are all drawn from the political & bureaucratic class. Untrained in these matters & playing with money that belongs to someone else. As the Americans would say, nobody has any ‘skin in the game’.

From a British perspective this approach was flawed from the beginning. The standard of the modern politician in Europe is woeful. The British civil service are third raters promoted paradoxically on their uncritical commitment to the EU project. In short nearly all the players in the game are Remainers save one or two token Leave politicians as window dressing for the home electorate.

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Independence

Stuart Beaker, Going Postal
Finland, Land of a Thousand lakes

Throughout this year BBC Radio 3 have been celebrating the centenary of Finnish national independence, their declaration of freedom from Russian rule on 6th December 1917. Being Radio 3, Sibelius’ name and music has been much invoked, including of course the unashamedly nationalistic Finlandia which has become the de facto anthem (despite his long-held opposition to the sung version, apparently only given up after many years – unaccountable beings, composers..)
I quote from Kids Britannica (free excerpt):

(1865–1957). To the world Jean Sibelius is one of the great composers of symphonies. To his fellow Finns, however, he is far more. They revere him as one of Finland’s greatest patriots. His music, inspired by Finnish myth and literature, roused national fervour and helped the Finns preserve their spirit despite the iron rule of Russia (1809–1917). His tone poem Finlandia is one of the noblest expressions of love of country in all music…

The BBC have habitually, and approvingly, referred to him as ‘fiercely nationalistic, a patriot’. The titanic irony of this in the face of their studied neutrality in the recent Catallonian saga, and their open dismay at our own current situation, has apparently passed the broadcasting grandees by.

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The EU is Doomed, Part Four

Jonathon Davies, Going Postal

Problems between East and West

When the Roman Empire fell in the west, what remained in the east carries on. To us it is commonly known as the Byzantine Empire, they called themselves Romans. It took on a more Greek identity, focused on Constantinople, and had its own Patriarch to oversee orthodox Christianity. It was they who successfully converted the Russ, ancestors of modern Russia. Here was preserved much of the ancient learning from Greek and Roman academics, scholars, doctors, philosophers, scientists, mathematicians, etc. The Empire had split in to east and west, each with its own Emperor.

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The EU is Doomed, Part Three

Jonathon Davies, Going Postal

Brexit

Bryan Ward-Perkins’ The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization (2005) makes the point that constant invasions led to rebellions, as a measure of self-help to deal with the situation. This further depleted Imperial resources. The Empire in its latter days had a tendency to break up in to smaller blocks. Well, in this vein we have had the Brexit rebellion. Fed up with uncontrolled migration, 17.4 million people voted to leave. When the U.K. does eventually leave, this will further deplete E.U. resources. Allied to this Britain rode out the 2008 financial crisis better than most. This was because it was not tied to the disaster area of the Euro single currency.

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