Brexit

The subject that grabs most Kippers is in today’s news with a message from our party leader reported in the Express.

MUCH faster progress on Brexit and an “intensification” of the debate on the UK’s overseas aid budget should be on the political agenda in 2017, Ukip leader Paul Nuttall said in his Christmas message.
Mr Nuttall said the referendum vote to leave the European Union was partly a reaction to the “unpalatable truth” that British values were not being respected by some communities in the UK.
The Ukip leader said his top priority would be progress on Brexit and in a message to anyone attempting to hold up the process he said: “Woe betide any politician who seeks to stand in the way.”
In his first Christmas message since taking over the Ukip leadership, he said: “This year the British people decided to change the course their country was set on. They chose a new path.

The Independent also runs Nuttall’s words.

“Woe betide” those who seek to stand in the way of Brexit, Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has warned.
In a Christmas message, Mr Nuttall said that in 2017, “MPs who seek to thwart Brexit will find their prospects for re-election greatly diminished”, and said his party would intensify the debate over the UK’s overseas aid budget.
In his first Christmas message since taking over the Ukip leadership, he said: “This year the British people decided to change the course their country was set on. They chose a new path.
“By a narrow but decisive majority, they opted to take back control of key decision-making. They decided that European political integration and indeed the whole era of globalisation had gone too far, hollowing-out their democracy and leaving most of them worse off both financially and in terms of the cohesion of their communities.
“As the leader of Ukip, my top priority will be to make sure that in the New Year much faster progress is made towards implementing that big democratic decision. And woe betide any politician who seeks to stand in the way of a decision that was explicitly handed to the British people by both Houses of Parliament when they approved the EU Referendum Bill.”

 NHS

In more serious news, the NHS is still in trouble, reports ITV News.

The number of urgent operations cancelled in hospitals in England has reached record levels, official figures show.
Data from NHS England reveal that 446 urgent operations were cancelled in November – the highest recorded since the information was first collected in August 2010.
The November figure compares with 357 for the previous month, and is almost 200 higher than in the same month in 2015.
Liberal Democrat former health minister Norman Lamb warned that the NHS was being “being stretched to breaking point” and called on Chancellor Philip Hammond to increase funding for the service.
“This is a damning indictment of this government’s failure to properly fund the NHS,” Mr Lamb said.
“Now patients are paying the price for the Government’s short-sightedness, with record levels of cancelled operations and hospitals being stretched to breaking point.”

Christmas shopping

The Telegraph claims many people have been hit by fraudsters as they bought their gifts.

Fraudsters are targetting thousands of Christmas shoppers, luring people in with next-day delivery, online-only deals and discount voucher codes.
Bargain-hunters have been hit by a fresh wave of cyber-crime in the run up to Christmas, with major online retailers issuing detailed guidance on how to guard against it.
Earlier this month, fake emails purporting to be from Amazon were sent to thousands of shoppers, in an attempt to steal bank details.
British shoppers are among the worst when it comes to falling for online scams, experts warn.
Nick Shaw, European head of Californian security firm Symantec’s Norton division, said: “At Christmas, the sheer volume of transactions and abnormal spending patterns can be hard to keep track of.
“With the surge in online transactions, cybercriminals are looking to cash in on the Christmas cheer.

The economy

BBC News has a story of good cheer for the UK.

The UK economy grew by 0.6% in the third quarter, according to official figures, faster than previous estimates.
Growth for the July-to-September period had originally been estimated at 0.5%.
New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested that the business and financial sector was more active than previously estimated.
The ONS also said that growth in the third quarter of the year was helped by “robust consumer demand”.
However, the ONS trimmed its estimates of growth in the first and second quarter of the year. It now says the economy grew by 0.3% in the first quarter, compared with an earlier figure of 0.4%, and cut its estimate for second-quarter growth to 0.6% from 0.7%.
Ruth Gregory, UK economist at Capital Economics, said the figures suggested that June’s Brexit vote had had little impact on the economy and that growth in the final quarter of the year would be positive.

Jesus

And in a seasonal story, the Star claims The Da Vinci Code is true!

CRAZY truth seekers claim they have proof Jesus was married and at least one of his children continued his bloodline.
The barmy theory alleges Jesus and Mary Magdalene married in 33 AD and had three children, a daughter and two sons.
But most modern scholars estimate Jesus’s died on the cross some time between 30 AD and 33 AD.
The theory was made popular by Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code – which was made into a film starring Tom Hanks – but the author has dismissed the shocking claims as “entirely fictional” and works of his “imagination”.
But conspiracists – including British theorist, Laurence Gardner – strongly believe Jesus’s bloodline could be around today.
Dan Sewell Ward, who founded the truth seeker website HAlexandria, added: “It should be noted that a major flaw in Brown’s treatment – other than the assumption of certain obviously fictional modern occurrences – is the assumption of a single supreme descendant, in this case, the character of Sophie Neveu.
“In reality, the descendants of Mary Magdalene and Jesus encompass a very wide net.”
Their proof? Hidden texts and a family tree they believe dates back to Jesus.
In 2012, a piece of papyrus dubbed the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife also created controversy after Harvard University professor Karen King translated its text to reveal the words “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…”.

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