Archive for the ‘Brexit’ Tag

What insights can I add?

I am observing, like most of us, events in the USA. This time last week, I shivered at that image of Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, holding the hand of Donald Trump, President of the USA. OK, she held his hand to steady him as they walked down some stairs. He’s 70 after all.

I have struggled with Owen Smith, Labour’s leadership challenger and now rebel. But he has gone up in my estimation relating to the last week’s vote in the UK Parliament sanctioning the trigger for Article 50 – starting the process of exit.

Brexit in the context of Trump is a different proposition to the one at the time of the referendum in June 2016. Especially with UK International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, being linked to Trump’s sinister corporate Dark Money (and notwithstanding Nigel Farage’s recent antics).

More significantly, however, is the realisation that we are all being hoodwinked by the Trump administration. Take, for example, Jon Snow’s tweet this morning where Trump has a go at his successor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the Apprentice reality TV show:

Now Jon Snow is a good journalist. Indeed, he will be running next week a series of programmes about fake news (maybe this is why he sent the above tweet). US journalists persist with the White House briefings and are lied to by Sean Spicer, Trump’s media spokesperson. But they persist. It really is the only world they know. But the issue is different: the protagonist has changed. There is plenty of fake news about, for sure. Blatant lies, yes. But these are distractions from what is really happening. The media is being distracted apart from Fox News, the source of news for most Trump’s supporters.

Time to wake up? It seems to me that the EU has woken up. Theresa May’s offer to act as a bridge between the EU and the USA was rejected. I’m undecided whether it was laughable that the British even offered to play this role in light of Brexit, or whether this is a maturing EU. An EU that realises that it will be the bulwark of democracy in the new world. The USA is going to be lost.


Euro_flag_yellow_lowThis is my letter of 26 June 2016 to my Member of Parliament, Amber Rudd.



26 June 2016

Dear Ms Rudd,

My reading of the referendum result is that the country is now experiencing a constitutional crisis. It is clear that there was no contingency on either side of the debate – though I dispute that it was ever binary – as to what would happen afterwards. Indeed, it was remiss of me not ask this question of anyone prior to the vote. Maybe that reflects our collective complacency regarding the result.

We are told this is the will of the people. First of all, it is an advisory referendum. The people have spoken, for sure, but it is evidently clear that they have not spoken about the EU, rather the liberal elite’s many years of neglect. It is not surprising when, given a “meaningful” vote, it is used to give that very same elite a kicking. I can understand that.

Second, this was all about party management, not British interests. It should never have been called. And it should never have been decided on a simple majority. On this I want to know how this was ever allowed. For example, what was the input from the civil service and state lawyers? Why was it a only a simple majority? What is the Monarch’s role in this? What risk assessment was done? And is the sovereign Parliament going to talk about this before the nuclear button is pressed? Are there any lessons from Democrats in the USA trying to get gun control debated?

Third, there is a vacuum now at a time when leadership is required. Just looking at the newspapers this morning the issues do not seem to be about what we are going to do. Rather Conservative and Labour Party politics. So, who will succeed Mr Cameron (we cannot wait until October!)? And Mr Benn’s challenge to Mr Corbyn. These are side shows.

Please tell me who the “states-people” are. Is there anyone I can trust in the political class? Who are the people who are going to lead us? What are the Parliamentary options? Which street should I protest on?

Most disturbingly, the campaign has legitimised racism, xenophobia and no doubt other phobias – gender, sexuality, etc. History tells us that this is dangerous for the country and the continent. This is no longer a party matter. How can I help you stop this madness?

Kind regards,

Dr Andrew Grantham


Who wants to be Prime Minister of the divided Isle?

Euro_flag_yellow_lowHere in the UK at the moment, we are being fed a daily diet of EU in-or-out gruel. Two camps vying for our vote in the referendum on 23 June. Cannot wait. The out side are particularly interesting because for neither camp is it about values – the values of sharing the planet, trading to stop us fighting against one another and protecting human rights.

So, in the red corner are the fascists who believe that immigration is at the heart of the country’s problems and exit would first of all stop all of the Poles, Romanians, etc. coming and taking our jobs, houses, schools, etc., but also make it easier for the country to stop the middle-eastern refugees from entering because the borders can again be controlled. Having just crossed a border today at Gatwick Airport, I cannot see that the border could be better ‘protected’ from the latter category. Frankly.

In the blue corner we find the renegade Tory ministers who are interested in being big fish in a small pool (England) rather than small fish in a big pool (Europe). Apparently, we make better laws than other Europeans. We are better at negotiating trade deals than Europeans, something to do with our imperial history. We could negotiate the necessary trade deals with key markets in the time it takes to say Xi Jinping or Donald Trump. And of course, these countries need the British market because they sell more things to us than we do to them – as if that was a good thing.

Leading this intellectually cat-brained movement is Boris Johnson (right)Johnson, the selfless Mayor of London. Johnson claims, of course,
that he did a lot of soul searching before opting for Brexit. He did not really want to oppose his own prime minister. But he just had to. He is not doing it as a springboard to being prime minister when a wounded David Cameron gives up after being found to be on the wrong side. No.

Choices, choices.

Pic: Boris Johnson, Mayor of London twitter