The First Steps To Brexit

Hello Everyone

Theresa May has done well in her first foray into the Brexit negotiations.  She has made an offer to EU citizens, who have been here for five years, that they can have British citizenship and remain permanently.

The fact that the Court of Justice of the European Union  has immediately refused Theresa May’s offer, is what happens when people are depressed.  After thinking for a while, they tend to think that the offer is not too bad and with a little tweaking, they can accept it.

However, the Court of EU Jurisdiction wants to have power over EU citizens living here.  The most important feature of any deal is that a country withdrawing from a union of states will be free of any legal jurisdiction.  It is one of the features we hate most and being mavericks, we don’t like anyone wielding power over us, except our own government.

Theresa May’s offer is kind to EU citizens already here.  With luck, the fretting over Brexit will mean only those who are serious about making their homes here, will wish to stay.  The other reason is that various nationalities are having as many children as possible to anchor them here and also to claim UK Child Welfare Benefits when they go home.  It is ridiculous, but true and it’s bloodsucking in my view.

It is decision time for all EU citizens in the UK.

Have a reflective week

LucyLou

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Unethical to Dive Into Ireland’s Politics

Hello Everyone

Theresa May cannot use people for political expediency just because you are desperately hanging on to office.  It is unethical to dive into Ireland, without a by-your-leave and not care about all of the people who live there.  There is peace, yet these things are fragile and grabbing the DUP’s 10 votes, could disturb that fragility.  What right does a British government have to give the DUP’s its ear, when it stands as a neutral arbiter of northern and southern Ireland’s politics?  You’re correct.  It has no right.

I once met a very brave Englishman, whose hearing was destroyed by a bomb.  During the explosion he covered two children’s bodies with his own and saved their lives.  He was a hero. Those children were Irish, North or South?  He never said; they were just children.

The thing is, that Irish people have had a measure of peace after the end of the Troubles. The problem is that Martin McGuiness, (Sinn Fein) the Deputy First Minister to Mrs Foster (DUP), resigned in January this year, but passed away in March and no replacement has been discussed. He resigned because there was an initiative in green energy, overseen by Mrs Foster, which ended with £490 million overspend to businesses. He wanted Mrs Foster to resign but she refused. There was disagreement between the two biggest parties: Sinn Fein and oh dear, DUP.  One rule of the Good Friday Agreement (10 April 1998) is that if Mrs Foster is First Minister then a member of Sinn Fein must be her Deputy.

Asking the DUP to join the Conservatives is like Nicola Sturgeon asking for a second Scottish referendum.  Neither woman will accept that it will be a hollow victory if you force people to accept what you want, without thinking about consequences. Personally, I am horrified that the Conservatives are even thinking of talking to DUP.  Our General Election was democracy in motion.  The Scottish Referendum did the same when people voted to remain in the EU.  The ability to take a step back and look at the bigger picture is not always innate.  That is why we have discussion, in a Cabinet, for example.

The Conservatives do not have a majority and will have to work hard to ensure that enough MP’s of any party vote to get the Bills through.  Leave the diplomats to talk to Irish political parties to continue the Good Friday Agreement.  We want peace in Northern and Southern Ireland; there is no way any British government can interfere and not be partisan.

Besides, Theresa May is showing a strong hand in Europe with Brexit.  I would like her to continue with that.   There cannot be a deal with DUP alone.  The Good Friday Agreement is in place. Please stop meddling.

LucyLou

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Save The Country And Thereby Yourself

Hello Everyone

Allow me to suggest, belatedly,  to Theresa May, that we have been honoured by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, as he has spent the best part of a year, finding people who can best help the UK to leave the EU.

Time waits for no man and certainly not for us.  In the political murkiness which has followed this UK General Election, please surround yourself with MEP’s, who know the EU system.  Let us be assured that the EU is one enormous system and you don’t know your path through it.  It does not matter what political creed the MEP’s follow, only that they want the best for our country.

Surrounding yourself with people from across Parliament who are experts on Europe, each with their own speciality, is how we will leave easily. Unfortunately, according to The Guardian, (13 June), an EU Ambassador told them that we do not appear to know what we want let alone how to get it. I have wondered about that for a long time.

Our response looks  rough and ready, due to the lack of time between the Election on 8 June and start of Brexit talks on 19 June 2017. Negotiations are  best made by using the best people and never by one person.  That would be a dictatorship and we are a democracy.  Moreover the Referendum last year gave the majority to people wanting to leave.

We have a Department for Exiting The EU (DExEU) under Conservative MP David Davis. Unfortunately half of the Ministers have resigned, most recently the well-regarded peer George Bridges, against the wishes of David Davis, amid reports he had doubts about the UK’s Brexit strategy. Lucy Neville-Rolfe, a Treasury Minister in charge of communicating Brexit to the City also announced her resignation. (Dan Roberts, Daniel Boffey & Jennifer Rankin 13 June AFP News)

Now the EU insists on a formal opening of Brexit talks with a British Minister present, to lend credence, which is enough to annoy the calmest of negotiators.  The British wanted to get on with talks between officials.  The EU wants four-weekly cycles of negotiation, each one about one speciality.  That makes sense.

If Theresa May saves our beloved country by sorting out our policies and way forward for exiting the EU, then she will save herself as well.

Wish us luck.

LucyLou

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Grenfell Tower’s Cladding May Have Caused Tragedy

Hello Everyone,

The tragedy at Grenfell Tower in West London was caused by greed on the part of the contractors who could have put up apparently fire-resistant panels for an extra £5,000. On a price of £2.6 million this is nothing.  Mind you those panels are banned in Germany and cited as 12mm board.

The problem was not only in the panels.  It was the gap between the cladding and the concrete building which caused a conduit for the fire.  A firefighter described being scared for the first time and thinking it reminiscent of 9/11 in America.

Personally,  I think that the building should be taken down and rebuilt with sprinklers as a condition of building. There should be directions to people to leave immediately rather than the current instructions to stay in their flats and await rescue.  I don’t think that the fire hoses could reach 24 storeys.  In a neighbouring building,there were no fire extinguishers to be seen and no fire alarm.  This may have been due to gangs in the area using them as weapons. The only solution to that is a crackdown on gangs, by using community and Special Police visible in the community.  It would be much appreciated by the residents.   It would be ridiculous if it wasn’t so sad that the owners of the building had so little care for its tenants and owners.

There are other high-rise buildings across the country with cladding like the Grenfell Tower.  All high-rise buildings, say above four floors, should be inspected immediately for fire conduits.  A solution could be to remove the cladding .  That would remove the conduit or gap between the panels and the concrete walls, apparently causing the fire to spread so rapidly.  As an Architect of Grenfell Tower said:

“We built a concrete building in 1974 and concrete simply does not burn like that. “  *

Sadly, local Councils across the country have been saying today that cladding on their tower blocks meet fire regulations.  This is the point.   In 1973 we joined the Common Market, later to be the EU.   The Chief Health & Safety Officer at the small company where I worked, told me that this was the end of British Standards, envied the world over.  We would in future follow the Common Market’s regulations, which were a lot lower.  And look what’s happened and what could happen.  So Councils, please don’t behave like the ostrich: take your head out of the sand and investigate all of your tower blocks, to give residents peace of mind.

‘Arnold Tarling of the Association of Specialist Fire Protections, said yesterday:

“When this block was built, it complied with the old fire regulations.  Had it been left alone, it would never have burned like this.  “ **

As a long-term solution, maybe the towers could be painted with fire-resistant paint? This could make them pretty for the residents.  I vaguely remember seeing a TV report about a high-rise block in London being depressing to look at and Councils must have then concentrated on the aesthetics.

The company involved in this cladding refurbishment in 2016 should never have been in operation.  Mr and Mrs Bailey were Director and Company Secretary respectively of Harley Curtain Wall, which went bankrupt in 2015, owing £1.18 million. Under UK law, if your company goes bankrupt, then Directors cannot hold such posts for five years.    However Harley Facades Limited, their other company continued in operation and indeed later bought Harley Curtain Wall back for £24,900.

It is a loophole in British business where companies can go bust and then start up again soon afterwards.  That is probably why the Baileys think that they are in the clear and they may well be as I am not an expert in company law. But they should never have been allowed to be Directors after going bankrupt. I do fear there may be a loophole within another loophole, legislation being what it is.  At the very least it merits investigation.

LucyLou

*(Sam Greenhill, Josh White, James Tozer – Daily Mail, 16 June)

** same article

 

 

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Soft Or Hard Brexit

Hello Everyone

What simple words we use to describe an enormous undertaking.

David Davis must start the talks in a few days’ time as beginnings are often ceremonial.

As this means such a lot to those who voted to leave in the recent Referendum, we really do need it to be steered by a cross-party committee.  Just because your shirt is red or blue does not indicate negotiating ability and we need that in spades, focussed brains on leaving in the best way for us.  Isn’t it great to think that the EU no longer has power over us.  We don’t have to think about whether what we do correlates with their laws etc.

There is concern over whether  we stay in the single market.  We can negotiate from outside it.  Besides, we have already been offered a seat on the Trans Pacific Alliance, which includes ex-Commonwealth countries.  It is generous of them considering the way we dropped trade with them following our entry into the Common Market, as it then was.

If a soft Brexit means happy landings, then I am all for it, but we must be inclusive especially of a new group of voters: young people.  Emboldened by Jeremy Corbyn, (that may well be his legacy) to vote, many for the first time means that we have to keep that interest.  They are the ones to be most affected by Brexit and all parents will know that anyone over 25 is a dinosaur.  Bluntly, they do not want Grandma making their life decisions.

It is ridiculous to suggest there will be no viable deal.  Theresa May has suggested this in the past, but I hope that she has dropped it. I find it difficult to believe that any politician who voted ‘Remain’ is truly able to negotiate a way out of the EU.

It is admitted by Theresa May that she made a mess of the Election.  It is just that she did not trust her Cabinet in the same way that many start-up business owners, find it overwhelmingly tempting to do it all by yourself, because you are the only one who can be trusted, right?  It is a hard lesson to learn.  At Prime-Ministerial level, there is no room for this and her Assistants were dreadfully arrogant to staff .  Madness indeed. There is no room for failure here and making a mess here would be catastrophic for us all.

So it does matter how MP’s voted in the Referendum and I ask you to please only have MP’s who voted to leave the EU. I was delighted to see in today’s ‘Daily Telegraph’ * that Labour and Conservative MP’s are talking to each other.  Hurrah!  They are putting our country first, which is what MP’s come into Parliament to do as part of their job.  It is not ‘cloak and dagger’ as the journalist seems to think.  It is normal for MP’s to discuss it with each other and take back their thoughts to the Prime Minister. She is not Maggie Thatcher who decided everything and neither is she John Major, who took us out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism on 16th September 1992.  (Actually we crashed out after the pound could not be kept above a pre-set rate.)  But John Major kept his nerve.  He believed in collective decision-making.  Theresa May will grow in stature if she takes their views onboard and hopefully continue as Prime Minister.  We just need faith.

We are caretakers of our beloved country. Every MP knows that and we rely on them to negotiate a graceful exit from the EU, for the next generation.

LucyLou

 

*(written by Kate McCann and Gordon Rayner)

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Hung Parliament 2017 Seeks Deal With DUP

Hello Everyone

The Conservative government’s loss of seats in the General Election has ruined its majority.  Its knee-jerk response has asked for support from the Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) seats in Northern Ireland..

This government cannot make a deal with any party from Northern Ireland.  This is because the British government governs Northern Ireland in the same way it governs England, Scotland and Wales.  The DUP has 10 political seats out of a total of 90 seats, almost 10% of the seats .The government cannot give one party an advantage over the rest.  It is unethical.

Usual moral ground would be to leave the DUP alone.  However desperately I may want my own choice of political party to be in Parliament, I cannot be doing with politicians who fling the high moral ground out of the window when convenient.

The morals of the current Conservative government have already been called into question during the election by allowing only three people to decide on the manifesto: Theresa May and her two assistants.   Now she wants the DUP and their 10 seats to swing to a majority in Parliament.

Our first priority should be for the wellbeing of the people of Northern Ireland.  The DUP are naturally jumping at the opportunity to be more powerful.  (Theresa May has no chance as the Irish are the best and loveliest talkers in the world and that accent ….)

I watched a documentary about Northern Ireland yesterday and it rivals England for beauty.  I never knew that.  Sixty years ago my father and his friends from Liverpool went on holiday by motorbike to Ireland.   When they visited the Irish parents of one of their group, the eldest son refused to stay in the same house as Englishmen.  Such was the depth of hatred for the British.

Lots of people have terrible memories of the Troubles 1968-1998, yet we have been at peace these twenty years.  How dare a British government put that at risk? It’s inconceivable and the thing is, my heart though true blue, is wobbling.

Having another election would be tumultuous for us all, but it may be the only honest way through.

LucyLou

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Thank You, Ariana Grande

Hello Everyone

Ariana Grande became known to us during a fabulous concert for Manchester, almost two weeks after tragedy struck the foyer of the venue.  She is a real gem.  Her kindness beamed from her in the photograph with Georgina Callender, 18, who sadly passed away.  When I first saw the photo, I did not know who was the popstar.  I had to look it up elsewhere.  It is because she is beautiful, like her fan, from within.

Your song ‘Over The Rainbow’ brought us all to tears.  Thank goodness for people like you.

LucyLou

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