Today’s letters address two issues: one is the ongoing Brexit ‘saga’ and the way the Tory government is dealing – or not! – with it, the other is the ongoing ‘saga’ in UKIP on rebranding and all that entails. The first letter is by our correspondent Septimus Octavius, on Brexit:
While the cat’s away …
The Silly Season is upon us and the Chancellor is left in charge of the Ship of State, a man whose position has survived only by virtue of the 2017 General Election result. The phrase “rogue elephant” comes to mind. In fairness to him, however, he is only spouting his own version of the rubbish that 100% of the people heard on the media, politicians and journalists alike, utter on the issue of Brexit. Anomalously, and for a change, the only person making any sense at all is the Chief EU negotiator, Michel Barnier; he has read and clearly understands Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, and that is why he is a very worried man, despairing openly at the lack of progress in the negotiations, and watching haplessly as his UK counterparts bicker and squabble pointlessly.
The reason behind all this is, of course, the cold, binary and cataclysmic effect of Article 50, which results in one thing and one thing only – the Release of the UK from the Treaties of the European Union. This event can usefully be likened to a release from prison; conversely, it has nothing whatsoever in common with a “divorce”, a fiction that the EU has chosen to propagate for its own devious purposes. As Mr Barnier has said, he can hear a clock ticking. It is that clock which is distracting everyone who talks about it.
So obsessed are all the people who opine about this that some websites feature an actual digital clock counting down the seconds to midnight in Brussels on 28 March 2019 (“the cut off”). Universally and comprehensively in the UK, everyone is disregarding the “binary” bit. Article 50 dictates that there are only two ways that its effect can come about – Agreement before the cut off or No Agreement by that moment; whichever occurs first triggers the Release.
At this point it becomes helpful briefly to consider the “transitionary period” element of Mr Hammond’s version of the garbage. All of the Silly Season chatter about it is concerned exclusively with the issue of who within the UK needs to be in on this, something which Mr Barnier must be laughing his head off privately. In public, however, he says, entirely correctly, that any such transitionary period would have to be negotiated; in other words it would have to be part of an Agreement reached before the cut off.
What is really worrying Mr Barnier, though, is the very real possibility he sees of a “No Agreement” Release. In that event – although the UK will have been paying a net sum of £161 million to the EU every week – that all dries up immediately at the cut off, and the EU never gets a cent from the UK ever again; no “divorce bill”, no “payment for continued access”, zilch.
What the UK should be majoring on is Mr Barnier’s fear; why are our chaps not doing that?
Respectfully, Septimus Octavius
Today’s second letter comes from our contributor and correspondent Hugh Moelwyn Hughes, who is a founder member of UKIP. His arguments against changing the UKIP Logo are not just important but a dire warning to the re-branding enthusiasts:
About the UKIP logo:
Those wishing to replace the current party logo and colours should please consider the merits of what we already have!
The significance of the Pound sign is not only that we back our own independent currency – it is also a symbol of Sovereignty.
Sovereignty is an abstract concept which is very difficult to reduce to a simple sign which anyone can draw. Where is the alternative logo which fulfils the function of the present one with equal simplicity and felicity?
Several years ago Damian Hockney, who is a cousin of the famous artist, and who ran a design and print company producing regular magazines, was charged with changing our Party colours from Red, White and Blue, which were also used by the BNP and National Front. He was faced with the fact that most of the major colours Red, Blue, Green and Orange had been taken by other Parties from which we had to distinguish ourselves. So he chose Purple, and for maximum contrast its opposite on the colour spectrum, Yellow. They approximate to the Royal Colours of Purple and Gold.
The result has been an unqualified success. A survey of recognisability found that it was tenth! In the top ten, along with Rolls-Royce and MacDonalds! The logos of the Labour and Conservative parties came nowhere near – below 80th!
Then we read that it was worth £20 million. That of course was the cost of creating a logo of equal impact. It was not bankable. (Though there was a rumour that a monetarily challenged member was looking to spend it !)
And now we have party grumblers, who have never produced a widely recognised logo, complaining that it is “garish”. Well, in that case, so is a life jacket. Yellow is the most high visibility colour of all, which is why it is used for life jackets. You can see our logo shining across Tesco’s car park even on a rainy day. It is the Party’s greatest asset, and the grumblers want to throw it away.
If the Party is ever foolish enough to do that Conservative and Labour supporters will be delirious with joy. So we are tempted to ask: who are the grumblers working for?
Respectfully, Hugh Moelwyn Hughes