Yes, well done Natalie

Here, in the bloodlands of Belarus, I found hope for the future of Europe
Natalie Nougayrède


Minsk is, of course, outside the European Union, in a nation where a dictator rules, in something of a grey zone between Europe and Russia. Few people in western Europe know about Belarus, let alone have been there. Yet it should be prominent in our consciences. “Belarus was the worst place to be in world war two,” the historian Timothy Snyder once noted. In his book Bloodlands, Snyder recounts how 14 million people were murdered between 1933 and 1945 in an area that stretches from the Baltic sea to the Black sea, with Belarus worst affected: a quarter of its population were killed as a result of both Stalin’s and Hitler’s policies.

We ignore much about our continent’s history if we overlook the plight of this region, where the two totalitarian systems converged with horrific consequences – at once plotting together and competing as they laid claim to territory and exterminated those living there, or deported people there to die.

Yes, quite, the dream or European Unity is so supported by the slaughter of the two previous attempts at European Unity, isn’t it?

A useful rule of thumb from Will Hutton

This case would best be made by Labour as the centre of a cross-party coalition: it has credibility as a fighter against poverty and abusive capitalism and an advocate for internationalism. But the case for tolerance and openness cannot be made from a tribal silo. I admire Tories such as Phillip Lee, Jo Johnson and Sam Gyimah who have resigned on this issue, and others such as Anna Soubry, Justine Greening, Sarah Wollaston, Ken Clarke and Dominic Grieve. I would be proud to stand and campaign alongside them – and also Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas and Vince Cable. Any differences are secondary to what unites us.

Given that Execution Dock might be an appropriate end for Willy we’re able to compile a little list here, aren’t we? Or as we might put it, anyone Willy would campaign with is objectively wrong by dint of that willingness.

Iceland’s in the EU now, is it?

Brussels has warned Britain that Brexit will stop its people eating fish and chips unless the UK caves to EU demands to fish its waters.

Theresa May on Thursday told MPs she had “firmly rejected” a demand for access to fisheries in return for a UK-EU trade deal.

Minutes later, Sabine Weyand, the European Union’s deputy Brexit negotiator, tweeted that a fisheries agreement was “in the best interests of both sides” and shared research that showed Britain needs EU imports of cod and haddock to keep eating fish and chips.

Well, not really Polly, not really

What few realise is that we are living through a revolution that has been a long time brewing among Tory party entryists. Those clawing to dethrone Theresa May are of a different ilk, only just within a recognisable Tory penumbra. Infiltrators, bent on destroying from within the party that harbours them, inhabit another planet from Heath, Clarke or Heseltine – but nor are they Thatcher’s children, either. Leaving Europe is only a part of their revolutionary project, a means not an end. Because they are revolutionaries, the more dramatic the break and the wilder the chaos, the better. They are bent on the creative destruction of a stagnant old order, so as to plough up the ground for a fertile new radical right beginning. Tax-haven Singapore beckons.

We’d not want to be, post-Brexit, as left wing as Singapore.

Froggies not living in real world

Advocates of new Brexit deal ‘not living in real world’ – Irish minister
Pro-Brexit British ministers are “not living in the real world” if they think they can renegotiate the divorce treaty agreed with the EU last week, Irish Foreign …

Reuters UK

France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal
President Macron and other member states fear Britain could gain advantage over them by undercutting EU environment laws.

The Guardian

Google News headlines……

Slightly odd

The UK’s strength in science is because of the EU – not in spite of it

The UK was strong at science before 1992, when the EU came into existence. It was strong at science before 1973, when we joined the EEC.

So, err, how?

That the current institutional arrangements are entwined just means adaptation to current circumstances, not cause and effect. You know, that scientific method of analysis?

About that Brexit deal

Nope, I’ve no information about it, no special view either.

So nothing really to say. Other than let’s go, let’s go hard, and sort things out as we bumble along. It being the very thing we Brits are good at, bumbling our way through problems.

That’s a no then

European Union fishing fleets must be given wide-ranging access to British coastal waters as the price of agreeing an all-UK Brexit divorce deal, the Telegraph can reveal.

Senior EU diplomats have warned that any plan to grant the UK a temporary customs union to solve the Irish backstop problem must come with cast-iron guarantees that EU boats will be free to fish in UK waters.

Given that the CFP is pretty much the worst EU policy in the first place, this is where we just say No. Nope, and bugger off.

Might be worth a go

Petition to Parliament:

Stop possible second referendum on E.U. membership
There is a growing band of people that want to reverse the result of the democratic vote of this country to leave the European Union and are calling for a second referendum. This is mainly by the people that lost the vote two years ago and cannot accept the democratic vote of the majority decision.

Although not legally binding the referendum on whether we stay or leave the EU carried out on the 23rd June 2016 was the clearest indication of the will of the electorate. At that time our Prime Minister David Cameron assured us that the result of the referendum would be carried out. We must ensure the democracy rules

So he’s an idiot then

In normal times and in all good faith, politicians at a general election present a manifesto they believe will improve people’s lives. Politicians of a like mind will largely agree with that manifesto, believing it to be better than the alternative. In government, with all good intentions, the manifesto is implemented – maybe not in its entirety and with compromises being made. That is politics, in normal times.

But these are not normal times. Brexit is different. As an MP who campaigned for Remain during the EU referendum in June 2016, I do not believe I can, in all good faith and with all good intentions, tell my electorate that I have changed my mind. First, my constituents won’t believe me. And second, I did not enter politics to knowingly make my constituents poorer. This presents a moral dilemma for Remain-supporting MPs, especially those whose constituents voted to leave.

We now know more about what leaving means than we did two years ago. A £40bn divorce bill.

There is no divorce bill. The entire claim is that this is what we owe already. We’ve got to pay this whether we stay or leave.

Or he’s lying of course but no politician would ever do that, would they?


Britain could be forced to end daylight saving time by the European Union after Brexit, a Lords committee has warned.

The European Commission is planning to end the changing of the clocks a month after Brexit in April 2019, during the transition period.

It has raised concerns that daylight savings time is disrupting people’s sleep, damaging their health, and inhibiting productivity at work.

It comes as Britain is set to change the clocks back next Sunday, which could be the last time under the EU’s plans.

The EU might decide to stop doing it, sure. We’ll be free to follow suit or not. And we’d be damn fools not to. The costs of being out of step being far greater than any savings by the doing. In such matters coordination being more important than the thing itself.