Tag Archives: Scottish independence

I’m Backing Britain

(original edit of my article for Taxi magazine)

By the time you read this, Our Glorious Leader, Theresa May, will have triggered Article 50.  When Mrs May presses the button, we have two years to leave the European Union.  I didn’t feel strongly either way when I voted out, and only time will tell if I made the right decision.  All I know is, all the uncertainty, and all the talking down of the country, has caused anxiety.  We just need to get on with it and go forward with a bit of confidence.

I didn’t think leaving the EU would be so complicated.  It didn’t bode well on day one, when David Cameron shirked his responsibility and had it away on his toes.  He didn’t expect the referendum result, nobody did; but plans should have been in place for that eventuality.  While everyone’s dithered, there have been court cases, more voting in parliament and the Lords, and threats from the EU that they’re going to give us a tough divorce (well, they have to do that to deter other countries from leaving).  And now the Scottish Nationalists are trying to distract proceedings and split the United Kingdom at a time when we should all be pulling together.  Finally though, The Queen gave her assent, and it looks like it’s going to happen.  Sadly, modern royals have little to do with the day to day running of the country.  Centuries ago, the king or queen dictated everything, but all they get to do now is put a rubber stamp down where they’re told to by some public school upstart.  I’d like to see the Queen given more powers, not less.  Maybe let her chop a few heads off like in the good old days.  They could start with Nicola Sturgeon.  Anyway, I digress.

I’m not sure why negotiations are expected to last two years.  I don’t understand all the talk about hard-boiled Brexit, Full English Brexit, and semi-skimmed Brexit.  The referendum question was binary: in or out.  When I voted out, I assumed we just pulled out and went our own way.  This scenario was known as Hard Brexit after the referendum, and became something the detractors told us they never meant.  I thought we’d just cancel the direct debit and unsubscribe from the newsletter.  In the coming months we could decide which EU laws to keep and which ones to dump.  Once we’d found our feet, we could maybe send out the Queen’s Navy to warn off Spanish trawlers, and any other Johnny European who wants to try it on.

In the days leading up to the triggering of Article 50, the Chancellor of the Exchequer reversed his budget plan to increase National Insurance contributions for the self-employed.  The original move gave the wrong signal.  At a time when Britain was preparing to go it alone, it would’ve been more positive to provide support to entrepreneurs and small business people.  Big business generally wanted us to stay in the EU.  Of course they did; they need cheap labour to exploit through the EU.  While they pay their staff peanuts on zero-hours contracts, or on sham self-employed arrangements, they can make deals with the taxman.  Their workers can then make deals with the Benefits Agency to top up their meagre earning with tax credits.  International big business is essential of course, but we also need to support grass roots growth.  We rely too much on foreign investment, and not enough in the skills and flair of our own people.

People say importing and exporting will cost us more.  I don’t see why:  if the EU imposes trade tariffs on us, we’ll do the same.  We’re importing too much anyway.  We should be buying domestically as much as possible.  With the big stuff, I find it shameful the police are driving around in foreign cars.  I’m not sure where the steel comes from to supply the huge Crossrail project, but I suspect much of it is foreign too.  This is where we need to start.  I’m not sure how British our cabs really are, but there’s not a lot we can do about that anyway.

On the everyday shopping list, if we insist on summer fruits in the winter, it’s right we pay through the nose to have produce in from sunnier climes.  Why not just go without strawberries until the British ones are available?  Switch to something else for a while.  Most of my beer is British, and I only buy foreign wine because the excellent wines that are produced in England aren’t available in my local shops.  In fairness, they’re a bit pricy too.  Maybe if more people demanded it, more would be produced, and prices would come down.  New Zealand isn’t in the EU, so I can live with that.

It’ll be several years before we know who was right or wrong on the EU debate.  There’s no point moaning about it, or casting blame.  We need to start looking forward.  There are sure to be new opportunities we haven’t yet thought of.  Who knows how we’ll stand with the USA or China in the future.  We should forge closer ties with the Commonwealth.

Let’s start now:  stop talking the country down, and think positive.  Let big business take care of itself, and support local our artisans – yes, like your local taxi drivers:  each one an individual British business person.  Eat and drink as British as possible – and preferably in British measures such as pints. Wetherspoons supported Brexit, and that’s where I’m going now.  Over a foaming tankard of British ale I’m proudly able to say that I drink for England.

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A Week in Politics

No wonder there’s such unemployment – George Osborne has taken all the jobs for himself!  He’s the new editor of the Evening Standard, while remaining the MP for Tatton. He has no experience of running a newspaper, and thinks he can fit it all into four mornings a week.  Being an MP clearly isn’t demanding enough. He also has his hands full with big business consultancy and trousering many thousands for after dinner speeches. As Chairman of the Northern Powerhouse, I wonder how that fits in with the Southern Powerhouse of the London Evening Standard?  If I were Mrs May, I’d tell him there was a conflict of interest and give him the boot.  He’s hardly going to be impartial as a Conservative MP on the Standard.  He probably drives for Uber in his spare time too. Anyway, thanks for your threat of financial Armageddon and an austerity budget.  That’s what made people like me vote Brexit.

Jimmy Krankie lookalike, Nicola Sturgeon, has demanded another referendum about Scotland leaving the union. It’s only 2 1/2 years since the last one.  It’s outrageous splitting the UK is discussed before formal discussions have even started on leaving the EU.  In the unlikely event that Scotland votes to leave, we can hardly negotiate two exits simultaneously.  Can’t you wait two or three years?  You’ll have a better idea how things are looking.  I think there could be a civil war in Scotland if they vote to leave.  Many Scots like being British and would like to stay in the UK.  It’s be no means certain the EU would have them either.  If they do leave and manage to join the EU, should their economy collapse, it’ll be the EU bailing them out, not us. Get real.

Donald Trump reckons British Intelligence spied on him for Obama.  Is this man high on spice?  Yes, and MI6 are still spying on him through his TV.  Every time he switches on repeats of Downton Abbey, Jim Carter is recording everything he says.

 

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Ain’t No Blue in the Union Jack

…ain’t no Union Flag soon?…

Like most of us south of the border, until recently I thought the Scottish referendum was a bit of a joke. Westminster didn’t take the possibility of independence seriously and we all thought, bagger orf then, take your deep fried Mars Bars and your Iron Bru with you. You never liked us anyway. Suddenly, it looks like it might really happen. Could we really have a smaller UK in a few weeks’ time? Will our flag change? Will there be a change of government in Westminster? The English/British economy already seems to be worsening (there are many more consequences that many of us haven’t even started to think about yet).

If Scotland becomes independent, it’ll stir up Wales. Then, God forbid, Northern Ireland. Imagine the chaos that could cause. It might give England more courage to leave the EU, so it might not all be bad.

The government who aided and abetted this whole sorry business are rattled and are showing desperation. I’ve got to say, I’m enjoying the whole spectacle: not least Dave, Clegg, and Dead Millipede’s woeful dash up to Scotland to belatedly put their case.

Until recently I think I would have voted against independence. Is Scotland big enough to survive alone? I’m now thinking that if I lived in Scotland I might vote Yes, and be part of something new and exciting. Not sure, is it reversable? I don’t think so, I don’t think it’s like taking a jumper back to Marks and Sparks.

Maybe they’ll need help when the Scottish Army are over-run by Islamic State storming their lax borders. If they go it alone, we’d have to build up Hadrian’s Wall again. Quality work for English builders?

My prediction is that Scotland will vote No. If it goes Yes will they regret their rash decision? Will Scotland get drunk and text England late on a Friday night asking if they remember the good times they shared and arrange a drink together for old times sake?

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