Merry Christmas, etc.

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Being away for most of December was the ideal excuse not to do any Christmas cards, so I haven’t and this is not a Christmas picture.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.

#StopBrexitIn2018

 

Brexit is putting me off this whole ‘will of the people’ idea

Words count, which is precisely why free speech is so precious. But to be a citizen is to be vigilant and resilient – to understand the power of language and the cunning with which it is used. It is also to be what the PM calls a “doubter”, a sceptic in the face of certainty, a jealous guardian of the right to change one’s mind. The next time you hear someone claiming to speak for “the people” – and you will – be sure to count the democratic silver.

Source: Brexit is putting me off this whole ‘will of the people’ idea | Matthew d’Ancona

Archbishop admits forcing PM to drop crackdown on illegal schools

The Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted to personally lobbying former Prime Minister David Cameron to drop proposals aimed at tackling illegal, extremist religious schools and safeguarding the children with them. …

Source: Archbishop admits forcing PM to drop crackdown on illegal schools

Once again leaders of organised religion show they consider themselves first.

Why the EU is an exemplar of democracy, not anti-democratic

Sadly, despite what anti-European campaigners have over-promised, Brexit means less transparency, less influence and less effective decision making on bilateral and multilateral agreements.  It doesn’t increase our sovereignty, it decreases it. Theresa May’s oft repeated insistence that she will not provide a running commentary on negotiations significantly reduces the sovereignty of our Parliament.  That democratically elected MPs are being denied the opportunity to hold the government to account over these negotiations is not just the thin end of the wedge.  It is a poor precedent for less effective negotiations and a less democratic process which will inevitably lead to lower quality agreements that we cannot be sure will be enforced equitably.

Unlock Democracy, 02 Nov 2017

David Davis warns EU not to put ‘politics above prosperity’ in Brexit talks

David Davis, the Brexit secretary, has warned Germany and other European nations not to “put politics above prosperity” as they negotiate the UK’s split from the EU.

The Guardian

Fucking hypocrite!

Placebo Myths Debunked

Placebo treatments are often sold as magical mind-over-matter healing effects, but they are mostly just illusions and non-specific effects.

Source: Placebo Myths Debunked

An interesting piece.

Russia used hundreds of fake accounts to tweet about Brexit, data shows

Researchers discover that accounts run from troll farm in St Petersburg tried to sow discord between Britons

Source: Russia used hundreds of fake accounts to tweet about Brexit, data shows

More indications that Brexit is not a good thing for the UK.

EU migrants give more than they take

So, why would Britain want to put a put a ‘brake’ on the numbers of citizens from the rest of the EU coming here, resulting in a drastic reduction in the huge benefits they bring to our country?

I asked the same question during last year’s referendum campaign on the James O’Brien LBC radio phone-in programme.

Mr James O’B responded:

“You leave me only with xenophobia and mild racism as the only motivation for the ‘Leave’ campaign…”

Is that right? Some Britons would prefer to forego the benefits that migrants bring to Britain because… they don’t like foreigners?

If so, that’s a high price the country will have to pay for the disease known as xenophobia. 

http://jondanzig.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/eu-migrants-give-more-than-they-take.html

How Brexit Was Engineered By Foreign Billionaires To Bring About Economic Chaos – For Profit

EUReferedum states in its overall aims for a post-Brexit Britain that: “Within the United Kingdom, our vision is for a government respectful of its people who will take on greater participation and control of their affairs at local and national level. Our vision fosters the responsibility of a sovereign people as the core of true democracy.”

On its current trajectory, Brexit is not going to deliver any of those noble outcomes, unless of course, you happen to be a foreign billionaire with significant interests in the game.

Source: How Brexit Was Engineered By Foreign Billionaires To Bring About Economic Chaos – For Profit – TruePublica

The Six Tribes of Brexit

This article in the FT, The six tribes of Brexit revealed, is behind a paywall. It describes the results of an Ipsos MORI poll of 4,000 voters carried out during 2016. It distinguishes six groups of people: three Leaver and three Remainer. Like all analyses of this type, not everyone fits neatly into one of the groups and not everyone in each group is exactly the same.

In my summary, I have just picked out the key characteristics of each group as bullet points, but remember labels like “older” and “left school at 16” mean “more likely to be older” and “more likely to have left school at 16 than the national average”.

‘British values’ Leavers (10% of population)

  • older
  • retired
  • lean heavily towards UKIP or Tories
  • live away from cities
  • think immigration is bad, but not experienced its effects first-hand
  • “things used to be better”

Working-class Leavers (15%)

  • youngest Leave group, half under 45
  • live in social housing
  • live in north of England
  • live in non-rural areas
  • economically deprived

Moderate Leavers (18%)

  • more rural than working-class Leavers
  • least likely to vote UKIP among Leavers
  • still anti-immigration
  • left school at 16

Disengaged Remainers (16%)

  • similar to working-class Leavers, but less likely to vote Labour
  • Least educated among Remainers
  • Least likely to vote
  • live in London
  • low anti-immigration sentiment

Young, urban Remainers (11%)

  • Youngest Remainers
  • renters
  • highest share of students in group
  • grown up in multi-cultural Britain
  • militantly Labour and pro-immigration

Older, liberal Remainers (15%)

This is me.

  • older homeowners
  • university educated
  • work in highly paid and skilled jobs
  • live in SE and Midlands
  • Labour or Liberal Democrat supporter
  • positive attitudes towards immigration