Boris writes to Tusk

man carrying child

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Whilst yesterday the Brexit Secretary already signed the order to scrap all EU related laws being valid in the UK from 31. October 2019, Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to his Excellency Mr Donald Tusk on the same date to ask for a renegotiation of the Back-Stop.

Looking that the EU consists of 28 member states and all members have to agree to any deal and that the last deal took 3 years to negotiate, it seems just a tactical letter rather than one that is seriously meant to be expected to achieve a result.

The main reason to ask for renegotiations is the desire to keep relations with everything Irish smooth.

Yesterday I watched the documentary about the Lord Mountbatton assassination and the Bloody Sunday history and out of that came the Good Friday agreement.

Of course the follow on peace is something we all appreciate. I used to work in Central London when the IRA set off a bomb on a bus in Aldwych on 18. February 1996.

But on the other hand, border negotiations worldwide are usually concentrated on the basis of country borders and political or economical agreements.

Boris Johnson really just wants the EU to help the UK to overcome previous grievances with Irish inividuals, so that they do not re-emerge because of a hard border.

And whilst the UK is terrified to loose more territory, because Northern Ireland could try to follow suit with the Scottish Independance desires, I think asking the EU to change a deal because of emotional and internal problems is a bit much to ask.

The UK should chin up and rather try to engage with Northern Ireland and Ireland on positive momentums to draw them closer to us rather than expect the EU to be sympathetic.

It’s either remain or take the deal but not whinging and crying like a baby. That is what Boris Johnson’s letter really is.

I think Boris Johnson is trying to sell us a polemic no-deal outcome on the Brexit talks. As the EU is really not that bad, it is a force for good in Europe. It amalgamates a lot of states who strive for peace – at least amongst each other -, which is positive.

Trying to make us look like we are dependant on the kind mercy of the EU to manage our own affairs, is really not improving Britain’s status in the world.

 

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Government investigates Tower Hamlets again

Apparently people like Sylvia Pankhurst and Danny Boyle are among a high-profile string of supporters of the Raine’s Foundation Trust and Steering Group and the many grateful parents and pupils who happily attend the school.

This new investigation is mainly concentrating around the illegal attempt by Tower Hamlets council, trying to close Raine’s Foundation, Church of England Secondary school and Sixth Form prior to a consultation.

Tower Hamlets Council made an application to the Government Schools Adjudicators in May for a zero published admission number (PAN), cutting the future pipeline of the school. A final decision on this application was due for February 2020. Yet the council already and illegally informed all new year 7 pupils, who had been given confirmed places for the year 2019/20 at Raine’s, that they had to leave Raine’s and be placed in other schools, mainly Oaklands.

Whilst the council told parents at meetings that there were only 29 viable applications for a year 7 place at Raine’s, for 2019/20, further evidence suggests that there were actually 70 – 100 pupils applying for places.

Incidentally all year 9s were also told by the council they could not progress to year 10 within the Raine’s Foundation school and should continue their education at Oaklands school.

Raines Foundation Interim Executive Board (IEB)

Whilst the previous board of governors were dismissed, acussed of being unable to run the school, an Interim Executive Board was put into place.

The school advertised a position of parent governor but we were told at the last meeting with the borough that no suitable person could be found to fill the post. I had applied for it. As a former LEA school governor, I should be more than qualified. But I suppose they didn’t want anybody on the board who would want to put a spanner in the works of their devious plans.

In the interests of ‘transparency and openness’it might be interesting to see what the Interim Executive Board (IEB) of Raines Foundation secondary school have been getting up to and you can download all ten documents here.

Raine’s Foundation hired Irwin Mitchell Solicitors who went to the High Court and obtained a judgement including directions to Tower Hamlets Council that they have to write to all parents and pupils who were originally told that they cannot continue their education at Raine’s that they now can continue their education there.

Yet, the council, to date, has not followed that order of the judge.

There are now new applications in preparation to again go to the court for further orders by the solicitors Irwin Mitchell.

It seems very strange that the council tries every trick in the book to dismantle the only traditional school with a 300 year history in the borough.

Please also see a good article from  Wapping Mole though I would not want to go so far as to call for a return of Lutfur Rahman.

It is just really sad that our current Labour council under John Biggs, makes such dreadful decisions. John Biggs. It was a seriously political and administrative mistake to illegale incite the closure of a traditional Church of England school in Tower Hamlets. It will cost the Labour Party a lot of votes.

Europe is going round and round – til the end of civilisation

As soon as Rory thinks he can get a majority in parliament for the deal that Theresa May has negotiated, the Labour Party seems to want to go for a second referendum in any case.

This means it is a no brainer that the Europe question cannot be resolved in the short term because if Labour doesn’t support the deal and wants a second referendum, then there will not be a majority for the existing deal.

Interestingly on the Victoria Derbyshire program the idea was mentioned that if Europe refuses a further extension, this would lead to parliament approving the deal but not if Europe keeps on giving extensions.

What really is important is that these questions affect different people in different ways.

There are

the farmers who say they cannot sell their products to Europe without a deal

the Irish who do not want a hard border

The manufacturers who move out of Britain because of disturbed trading with Europe

the self-employed businesses who have a large European customer base

the politicians who favour a strong monarchy rather than being ruled by a largely republican democracy

the Scots and Welsh who want to remain in Europe

the problem of not finding a solution is that on both sides, e.g. the Remainers and the leavers people vote for different motives.

Also, within the UK political parties want to get the majority in government so come up with political tactics that gets them the majority in parliament.

It seems to be a bit of a lock down.

Obviously the most agreed on part of politics is the Unity of Britain. Unfortunately, not even the so sensible Rory Stewart has mentioned the problems his deal causes for Wales or Scotland. That wasn’t discussed at all in the debate yesterday either.

I don’t think that Britain will leave Europe anytime soon, never mind what they all promise.

The unity of England, Scotland, Wales is the most important consideration that politicians will have and is most likely to down the Conservatives because they do not put the sentiments of the Scottish and Welsh or Irish voters first.

Scotland has already lined up a new independence referendum and has started their own negotiations with Europe on membership.

What I do not quite understand is why Labour keeps Jeremy Corbyn as their leader when he obviously quite strongly upsets the Conservative thinkers on all levels the latest has to do with his pro-Iranian views.

Obviously, Jeremy Corbyn is the one person that stops Labour from getting the middle ground to vote for the party. This of course has helped the Liberals to gain more support again. Greens also gained a lot on environmental issues.

Forget about political parties, vote for policies instead. Political parties ultimately hinder any kind of progress because as well as wanting to keep the absolute power, they do tactics that keep them in power and not policies which are necessarily best.

History has shown time and time again that the majority of people doesn’t always realise and or isn’t powerful enough to change a political course.

For example people should be allowed to vote on policies for instance

Vote for or against renewable energy

Vote for or against using plastics

Vote for or against having political relations with countries who are human rights abusers

rather than vote for a party that can have policies, which are unsustainable.

There are quite a few articles online, whereby scientists predict that civilisation will end in 30 years.

Weather will deteriorate, harvests will be disturbed, travel will be interrupted, communications may be bad.

I don’t think that our basic infrastructure will change much within areas that won’t be flooded but our government does very little to prepare for flood area predictions and keeps on planning like nothing is going to happen.

How are they planning to cope with those future earth warming immigrants, those who have to vacate their current land because it is flooded and seek safer shelter? Where will those move within Britain who will get flooded?

Europe is our nearest neighbour and transport to our nearest neighbour is always easiest. We do not know how viable the Euro tunnel will be in worsening weather conditions, but we need to ensure that we have reasonable relations with our nearest neighbours.

We cannot rely on the rich to help the masses because the rich can always go wherever they want; it’s us poor people who cannot escape we need to make the best of what we’ve got.

Peterborough for Labour

I must say I like it that Labour won Peterborough ahead of the Brexit Party. It is a clear indication that people voted against Brexit in an area that previously was predominantly pro-Brexit.

Now, that most of the lies and rumours about how glorious Brexit is, have been dispersed, people vote for remain.

I think Brexit was all along a red herring to keep people’s attention on a right-wing nationalist agenda for the purpose that the Conservative government could re-create Victorian values in Britain.

The Conservatives lost many councils in the recent council elections for the reason that people are fed up to the teeth with the cut-backs they have to suffer to do with care for the elderdy, children, schools, rubbish collections and so forth.

Councils are running out of money and its this Conservative goverment that is responsible for it.

Whilst the government keeps on saying people didn’t vote for the Conservatives because the Conservatives failed to deliver Brexit, the reality is that people didn’t vote for the Conservatives because of the severe cut-backs on local council spending and overall policies.

Policies, which saw the wider introduction of Benefit cut-backs for the disabled, the Universal Credit, that left people queueing for Food banks to be able to survive, Zero hours contracts and a reduction in overall wages value by 6%.

Obviously Nigel Farage was very deflated about the second place in Peterborough but I think it indicates the line of pro and against Brexit voters in favour of the against.

Yesterday’s D-Day 75. Anniversary, saw veterans in tears over Brexit planning because they fought for freedom in Europe and want to keep it that way.

This article is not meant to be a blank cheque of support for Labour, who have many faults but it just shows that on the political strategy people voted tactically for the party that could counter the Brexit party in that local by-election.

Added on 7/6/19, the newly elected MP Lisa Forbes was caught into questions over alleged anti-semitic behaviour.

 

 

Prime Minister’s Question Time 8/1/14

Was able to watch some of it and it  became quite clear yesterday that the Conservative Party simply is trained to turn any criticism into something positive.

Simple example. An MP asked Cameron that in his constituency police officers now have to transport arrested suspects on public transport, what he thinks about this. Cameron immediately replied that in that constituency crime is down by about 25%.

Later in points of order the same MP asked what he could do to stop the PM from misrepresenting facts. The point he made that crime in his constituency had in fact gone up by 25% and not down and that amazingly seconds after the PM’s answer the wrong answer was published on twitter.

The speaker did not have a conclusive solution to this problem and asked MPs to persevere.

I could not say that I have heard once that any Conservative has shown any compassion towards the suffering that was portrait in the House of Commons by opposition MPs.

The 2013 Honours List

I am just not getting excited about the Honours List any longer. It is the result of a boring and irrelevant process to give those that attract a lot of public attention a Queen’s Honour. People like the creator of Moshi Monsters or actresses.

Whilst there are fire crews and ambulances, together with volunteers battle to save and help flood victims here in the UK, the entertainment industry gets top honours. The Queen is a batty old lady, who is totally removed from reality.

What should be honoured are attempts to ease the suffering from freak weather conditions and to help the planet.

Yet a record number of women got honoured at a time when there is little compassion for the poor and needy. My theory is that single career women have little sympathy for those in need. Just at the moment little workers are the most repressed. Police workers are on strike so are other public service workers. It would have been good if at least one of those honoured would have refused the gong in favour of those who work hard and never get anything, but that didn’t happen this year.

But that just shows how corrupt current society is in Britain, those at the top are very much aligned with the government, that created 100 new peers, raised the Queen’s allowance, raised the MP allowances, whilst the rest is stuck on the minimum wage or gets below inflation rises.

28 Jan 2014, just to complement this story of Royal malaise, it has been reported that the Queen is unable to control her finances and down to 1 Million in reserves, holds lots of parties but cannot repair her estates and palaces.

The fastest growing economy?

I have taken it upon myself to listen and watch the weekly Prime Minister’s Question Time, both prior and after the David Cameron’s appearance in this show. It is quite easy to open the Parliament Channel window in the background, and listen to the proceedings whilst I do my job search.

I am quite relieved that I never gotten elected or chosen as parliamentary candidate when I once tried because that type of conversation is very refined and must be acquired and learned.  The speaker delivers superb compositions of tit for tat arguments, even personally tailored to the occasions when he delivers them.

It is just a little repetitive to hear always the same answers to often the same questions. It is said that Britain now has the fastest growing economy to shut up protestations about poverty and high costs of living.

But when I last visited the Imperial War Museum, in the history section about World War I and II there is a display that clearly shows that Germany prided itself to have the fastest growing economy in Europe prior to both world wars.

Now it is Britain that has the fastest growing economy in Europe. And the government laments any rise in taxes and will not provide any relief to those suffering from cut-backs. Quite obviously many do not even answer the lamentations of council tax rises in Labour boroughs as it is obvious that without taxes there will be no service and services is what people need.

The most popular answer though is that we have inherited this mess from Labour. That is said in response to almost 75% of complaints. A little bit stale and bitter, this answer has become.

I am about to go on holiday to Germany, in the hinterland, the rural area of Germany, where there is little public amenity in vast areas of land that used to be farmed by many small holders but is now farmed by larger farmers. There is little but houses and farm land, broken up by little bits of forest here and there. Perhaps that is what the UK government wants to achieve?  In the area of Germany where my relatives live, they own several houses and large swats of land, there is no council housing up for rent, all housing is privately owned, there is little public amenity and the biggest entertainment is the small shop per village and the village pub.

All the people work hard for a living, the land is worth nothing, the houses cost money to up-keep and nobody can afford to lose their low wage job as otherwise they would have to sell their house to be able to survive.

Most people are either self-employed or work in the public service like driving a bus or working at the local hospital, many still farm.There is a lot of care in the community as the elders are looked after in the family, and the elders in turn look after the children. All help each other. But still those houses there are big, they have plenty of bedrooms.

Cameron cannot reasonable try to copy this as city flats in London or elsewhere are very small, we have the spare bedroom tax with many families being already so splintered up that many have lost contact with their peers or elders.

Equality impossible

It is good to see that we are not the same after all, despite the government trying to force through the annihilation of the genders. Female RAF recruits won a substantive payout to compensate them for march damage.

Women had to carry the same weight as men and walk in the same leg stride of 30 inches, the same as 6 foot high men. Now female soldiers are no longer required to have leg strides longer than 27 inches. One female recruit then suffered 4 pelvic fractures and was medically discharged. Read the full story.

Go East

Not surprising for me, Michael Gove now urges us to adapt Eastern lifestyles to improve our Maths. It’s just as I wrote in my previous blog “Thatched Mary” that Britain is less British since Margaret Thatcher, changed us to have a shopkeepers mentality. Mr Gove wants longer school hours, ,shorter holidays.

The argument that the old  term rhythm is grouped around old rural lifestyles might be true but then proposals had already been accepted to shorten the summer holidays and stretch out terms equally around the year.

I do however smell a rat around the term argument because fees are often paid per term and if terms get shorter and more frequent, as suggested by some,then we can simply be asked to pay more money for education and more often. One school wants to have 7 terms per year. David Young Community Academy in Leeds which operates a seven-term year starting in June.

There is absolutely no proof that different terms or longer school hours improve the Maths of a pupil. My child is doing very well at Maths with the terms and school hours we have. There are a lot of factors involved like ability, which is something we constantly get ignored by modern education.

I do agree that academies like Harefield, that specialises in athletics, need much longer training hours because often sports require intense physical training on a daily basis.

I think it is a mistake to use a blanket approach and say now we have to copy Chinese lifestyles because they already manufacture our goods. That was not the idea to end Christianity and become Communists, though that is what many modern Conservatives think would be a good idea.

I could almost imagine how Mr Gove wants us to work longer hours for less pay, just to copy the Eastern lifestyles more authentically, in the hope that our children Maths would improve, NOT!!!

 

Who dares swims

Sat in a fascinating talk by Nick Gillingham*, British Breast swimming medal winner around the late 80s and mid 90s Olympics especially.

Swimming of course being one of the most versatile, relaxing, muscle building and fat reducing sports there are. People of all ages can engage in swimming.

What swimming needs though is pools and that is what Britain is short of.

Coming from the German town of Wuerzburg, my father used to help run a very large swimming club and I grew up with this. But when I say swimming club I mean swimming club. The facilities were absolutely spot on, fit for Olympic competition.

What I particularly refer to is a 50 meter pool. Nick Gillingham* explained why he loved the breaststroke so much, saying that Britain has a particularly good tradition with breaststroke achievements.

I think its due to the small pool sizes in Britain that only breaststroke can achieve any remarkable results. If you look at front crawl, butterfly and even backstroke; those strokes are all very powerful speed producing strokes, that get faster the longer one swims it, whilst breaststroke works better with small pools, that are usually 25 to 33 meters long.

It seems British swimmers and swimming trainers have lost the confidence that they can even compete in any of the fast paced styles because the pools in Britain are too short.

Of course in my home town of Wuerzburg the club had a 50 meter lido and now also a 50 meter indoor pool.

The only 2 50 meter pools I know of in London is the Hackney Lido and now also the Olympic swimming pooI.

My own child takes a particular liking to backstroke but our own club keeps on emphasizing breaststroke but please remember that trainers really should further all styles and not just breaststroke just because the pools are short. If you look at it, the only nations producing fast racing swimmers in the long body stretch disciplines like especially crawl and butterfly and also backstroke are those with lots of 50 meter pools. The government would be well advised to install more 50 meter venues around  the British isle to beef up the sport and help youngster of today reach their potential.

*sorry about earlier mistake

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