Where would the EU be without him …
Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday, so before I delve into the amazingly scant bits of ‘Brexit News’ which came out of Brussels this week, I must report on the latest ‘advice’ from government because it angered me so much.
We recall that the covid government told us that only short, outdoor ’events’ are permitted to remember the fallen of the Wars, with social distancing and all the rest of the covid measures to be observed. They reiterated that ‘guidance’ with a choice expression that made my blood boil:
“The guidance said: “Members of the public are legally permitted to stop and watch the event as spectators, but event organisers should take reasonable steps to discourage the public from attending events, and be mindful of the risk that such events pose, especially to veterans who are often elderly.” (paywalled link)
How wonderful to be reminded by whoever penned that guidance that we are ‘legally permitted’ to stand and watch! Only if we’re ‘mindful’, of course! For once, at the very last minute, some ‘Church leaders’ have raised their heads above the parape, missing the point entirely:
“In an eleventh-hour plea for the Government to U-turn on its decision to allow World War Two veterans to gather inside for memorial services, Lord Carey, 84, warned that Sunday may be the last day for many to pay their respects to fallen comrades. […] Bishop Paul Mason, Catholic Bishop of the Forces, added: “Places of worship and public worship are Covid secure. Remembrance Sunday services could take place inside our churches and cathedrals.” (paywalled link)
This is sadly nothing more than a last-minute ‘reminder’ to us peasants out here. to ‘obey the law’. It’s not a proper protest, it’s not a call to resist. This quote of the Catholic Bishop of the Armed Forces makes this quite clear. He said:
“We petition the Government for an exemption to hold Remembrance Sunday services in our places of worship. If this exemption is not granted, we will of course follow the Government regulations.” (paywalled link)
They’re all good sheep, not shepherds, and will follow government rules. Even more saddening is what a spokesman of the Royal British Legion said:
“Whilst it is deeply disappointing that, this year, we can’t stand together at Remembrance services in the way that we usually would, we must appreciate the safety of veterans and members of the public is paramount. We can all still play a part in ensuring the unique contributions of our Armed Forces are not forgotten and The Royal British Legion is encouraging people to participate remotely, and visually show their support by placing a poppy in their window and standing on their doorstep for the two-minute silence.” (paywalled link)
Words fail me. It seems that, behind the shroud of ‘protecting our veterans’ and the general public, it’s fine to turn Remembrance Sunday into a brief, pale repeat of the ‘celebration’ of those ‘Heroes of the Sacred Cow’, with a poppy rather than a rainbow in the windows and standing outside for two minutes silence rather than a weekly clapathon. Has anyone even asked real-life veterans what they think? Has anyone in government asked why this country, full of covidians shivering in permanent fear, is even worthy of defending?
Is this a surreptitious way of getting popular acceptance for the cuts in the government budget for our Armed Forces? ‘Out of sight, even on Remembrance Sunday – out of mind – and government needs the money for covid? Now even the ‘leaders’ of the official two pillars of our state, Armed Forces and State Church, are bending their knees to the covid government edicts, blindly, after Parliament has already been emasculated. What recourse is there for us?
As for Brexit and those trade negotiations … well, Johnson has apparently made some ‘decisive’ remarks about all that. He’ll have a chat with Ms vdLeyen today, so he’s sounding upbeat:
“Boris Johnson has said he believes there is “a deal to be done” on post-Brexit trade with the EU. But while the UK prime minister “very much hopes” to come to an agreement, he said the country was “very well prepared” to move on without one.” (link)
Meanwhile, the National Audit Office ‘warns’ that it’ll all be too dreadful for words, deal or not, because so many Whitehall civil serpents had been reassigned to ‘deal with covid’ and couldn’t prepare for Brexit. That would be the widespread ‘WFH’ permit they were given rather than actual work on finalising preparations for the end of the Transition period on the 31st of December.
Some of those NAO wails are based on ‘reasonable worst-case scenarios’ – oh, where have we heard that one before? There’s one gem which proves that our suspicions, of a Remain Whitehall dragging its feet, have been correct:
“HMRC needed to make significant changes to its customs systems to handle the increase in declarations even though it had known this was likely to be necessary since planning for a no-deal Brexit began in 2017.” (link, paywalled)
Indeed – and the same applies to all the businesses who are still ‘not prepared’, according to the constant reports in our MSM. Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I can remember, there was no covid in 2017 – 2018 – 2019, was there … but then covid struck, just as the legislation for Brexit came into force – on the 31st of January this year, remember? So while the government spokesman is correct when he says that:
“With fewer than two months to go, it’s vital that businesses and citizens prepare too. That’s why we’re intensifying our engagement with businesses and running a [significant] public information campaign.” (link, paywalled)
It’s also correct to say that, given the incessant covid fear & hysteria campaign in our Covid MSM since March this year, the ‘information campaign’ by government has simply not been of any interest. Of interest for the Remain MSM was however anything which came from anonymous EU ‘sources’, always senior when not being “EU diplomats”. Cher Michel’s tweets were also reported as pearls of wisdom to which our government better had to bow.
And so to the current state of Brexit negotiations. There are still ‘wide divergences’ we were told on Wednesday. There’s a strange wrangle about that ‘deadline’ of November 16th, which is the last date by which the EU Parliament can reasonably vote on a trade deal, to be ready for Dec 31st:
“The EU has set Monday, November 16, as the deadline for a deal to allow the European parliament time to ratify an agreement before the end of the year. British negotiators are less convinced that the date is fixed in stone and see the date as an internal EU time pressure.” (link, paywalled)
I wonder what made those ‘British negotiators’ think the EU will shift that deadline … not that we’re told who actually said that. There’s no mention of ‘a senior source’ for that observation. Other Remain correspondents have been busy as well, reporting on this ‘deadline’ issue:
“Running down the clock would not force concessions from Brussels, they [‘EU diplomats’]said after it became clear there was no breakthrough on fishing, the “level playing field guarantees” and the deal’s enforcement.” (paywalled link)
However, even while ‘some progress’ has been made, according to cher Michel, it’s still not plain sailing:
“Despite EU efforts to find solutions, very serious divergences remain,” the EU’s chief negotiator tweeted after briefing the 27 senior diplomats and, separately, the European Parliament. “The EU is prepared for all scenarios,” he added in a reference to no deal, which would mean both sides trading on less lucrative WTO terms with tariffs and quotas.” (paywalled link)
So if the EU is prepared for everything, according to Barnier – why the fuss? Why not pack it in already? After all, the lovely EU, of course not ‘running down the clock’ by being their usual intransigent selves, must have some reason to keep talking:
“The failure to bridge long-standing divides led some EU diplomats to accuse the UK of trying to run down the clock on negotiations to extract last-minute concessions. “Putting time pressure on the EU is unlikely to work. There is not much time left for brinkmanship,” a senior diplomatic source said.” (paywalled link)
Indeed not – and why indeed does the EU not pack it in? The Remain correspondent mentions one of the EU complaints to show how horribly pig-headed Lord Frost’s negotiators are while hinting at a reason for the EU’s ongoing ‘willingness’ to talk:
“On the governance of the deal, British negotiators have refused to agree to a dispute resolution mechanism that cuts across sectors. Such a system would allow Brussels to suspend parts of the trade deal in case of disagreement in another part of the agreement.” (paywalled link)
Remain Central must have spoken to the same ‘EU diplomats’ – here’s their ‘take’ on those divergences:
“The EU fears Lord Frost is keeping the most politically sensitive “dossiers” of the talks “open” to create leverage. […] The EU is pressing for a “meaningful mechanism” to link the future development of regulations and legislation on both sides over time. The UK claims this would lock it into future EU rules.” (link, paywalled)
Ah! You’ll have noticed that, according to Remain, this is all our fault, that everything would be fine and dandy if only Lord Frost would have caved in to EU demands, permitting Brussels to rule over us by admitting them through the back door.
Our friends at facts4eu explain in their latest report why this is of huge importance, thanks to the unprecedented latest decisions in Brussels. Please do read the whole thing! Meanwhile, Frost and Barnier will have talks again tomorrow, with cher Michel hoping to rescue ‘his deal’. He couldn’t resist to blame us yet again:
“He said British tactics were a “cause of frustration”, and that the UK’s walkout from negotiations after Boris Johnson’s October 15 deadline for a deal was missed had cost valuable time.” (paywalled link)
Strangely enough, this reads to me as if Barnier is already preparing to justify his ‘failure’ to keep us as firmly under the Brussels boot as possible, to enforce a ‘BRINO’ on us. Can we still cling to the faint hope that in this particular case the PM will, for once, stand firm and ‘follow the advice’ by his chief negotiator, Lord Frost?
I’ve run out of crystal balls to predict the outcome. I’m determined though to be as pigheaded as Barnier and, until the bitter end, recommend that we