Lingua Franca

Juncker is a joke. He tries to have a go at the Brits by having a go at the English language. Playground stuff. Water off a duck’s back. There are circa a billion ducks who speak fluent Hollywood. He tells a room full of Italian Eurocrats, in English, that he’s going to address them in French, because English is going to lose it’s value in Europe from now on! Puppy shite. Tears will roll down English faces. They will be filled with remorse because of the decision they’ve made. They will deeply regret what they’ve done to the lovies in Europe. My arse. How childish? How feeble? But this is the quality of ‘negotiation’ that we can surely expect from an overblown ex-leader of Luxembourg. Actually, how parochial can you get?

Admittedly, May had gone OTT over alleged ‘details’ that were ‘leaked’ originating from a dinner she’d had with him and Brexit negotiator Barnier, as she accused Brussels of trying to interfere in the coming Brit election and etc., from the lectern in Downing St. She was obviously playing to UKIP voters and the right wing of her own party; while they were cat-calling and whistling at the girl.. from their local Euro scaffolding. Feeding her with “The Prime Minister will be barred from negotiating with her fellow leaders” and other friendly little barbs. Unreal regulations from the playground. Perhaps they don’t believe that she might just walk away. Unlikely, but after a couple of years of wolf whistling, who knows? Apparently Merkel stepped in yesterday (6/5/17?)to tell the old Plunger to cool off, and that ‘a friendly tone should be maintained’. (Der Spiegel reports the German Chancellor reacted angrily to the [Juncker’s] leak. Dei Welt said Ms Merkel believed the leak was unhelpful).

Juncker said that he was.. “Sad, very sad”, on the day that May sent the letter from Downing Street triggering Brexit. 29/3/17. So was I. A cloud descended over me because of the same old conflict. I know that I’m European, and I’m very sad to now be leaving the EU, personally. But the actual emotion soon turns to something akin to disdain. In so many ways I’m angry. Angry that they never took Cameron seriously, that he was too eager to please them. Sad that they seemed to be too arrogant to entertain him, or anything he was trying to say. What he was trying to say, and never quite got there with enough statesmanship to alert them, was that he had a cage of hyenas at home who weren’t going to react well to anything he brought back that didn’t at least make an effort to address their concerns. Dave was too kind of a man for the job. He wasn’t nasty enough. Verhofstadt’s Euro version of this is that apparently the Brit ‘remain’ side are to blame for not alerting their voters to what Europe was saying……. ! Mmm..

Dave also had an ineffective opposition who were visibly imploding, a sizeable minority of whom were Europhobic in any case, including their leader, Corbyn. And no one, but NO ONE in power had any clue that the greater half of the British population, and a bigger majority of the English, were totally fed up with Europe. To the back teeth, and had been for decades.

Every consideration was either over or under estimated. Would the vast majority vote to stay in? Of course they would. Would Cameron be able to put Farage in his place? Don’t be stupid.. Of course he would, etc., etc. But lots of people who’d seen Dave come back from Brussels virtually empty handed saw the same thing they’d always seen when it came to Europe. Immutability would aptly describe it. There was a detectable arrogance that naturally comes with power. They didn’t properly realise that the worst could actually happen. No one thought for a minute, not them, not us, that we would actually get up and leave. Had they properly considered that, they would have made a greater effort. If not for any other reason than that they too have a lot to ‘lose’, apparently.

But even though many of the EU magnates IQs are in the region of 200, they were too blinded by their own perceived strength to be able to use that so-called intelligence. What a shame. I feel it again today. I really feel it, although I know that it’s a passing feeling. I never liked the Brussels institution; I detested a lot of it, especially the attitude, but did I really want to leave it? Well, probably, but I had thought that negotiation was the best way forward. I was never sure about the ability Brussels had to listen though, or for that matter, to hear. For lots of reasons. I didn’t even try to vote. I was far too conflicted.. Then the referendum happened, and there were a lot of people who’d obviously felt a lot stronger about it than I did.

The reaction of the ‘remain’ contingent was predictable in the circumstances. After all, they’d seemingly been defeated by people who they’d always perceived to be less ‘intelligent’ than themselves. They came out of the woodwork everywhere assuming, just because you appeared to be on the same side as Farage, that you were thick. Or a tory right winger, or worse, a UKIP voter. Or worse still, a racist! And that you’d senselessly, unintelligently destroyed their lives… their world. And they cried ‘foul’ for what seemed like centuries on TV, and are still doing so.

Let me say this.. ONCE.. AND CLEARLY..

WAKE UP! All of you (who will never read any of this in any case). The people who are carrying Brexit to the only end it can now go to ARE ALL STILL ON BOARD. They’re cognisant, and they’re immovable. They will stay with it until it’s done. And I’m now one of them. We are LEAVING Europe. We are determined not to allow any fence-sitting nimbies, or derelict wishy-washers to set another course. BREXIT has absolutely NOTHING to do with party politics. It’s way above and beyond that. BREXIT is not Conservative, it’s not Labour, and it’s certainly not Lib-Dem. It stands for NOT Fannying around any more. It stands up for standing together against The Empire.

“But”, I hear you say, “This hands the conservatives a whacking majority in the new parliament that means that they can pass things like the ‘snoopers charter’.” Yes, but Manchester and Liverpool can begin the fightback at local level. It’s going to be a long hard fight to get Apple etc., and globalised industry to recognise what part they can play, HAVE TO PLAY, in securing actual social justice in a new Northern, Eastern, Western and even Southern construct of local government, everywhere. I’ve steered away from using the word ‘powerhouse’, but there are a couple of green shoots appearing after the local elections of May 2017, in spite of Corbynism.

The next National parliament is already sacrificed to the only majority who can handle Brexit. The fact that it’s Conservative by party is better than any other solution or combination at this moment. It would be diluted, weakened, misappropriated and rendered meaningless by any other combination of screaming genuflectors. When Brexit is done and dusted the Con government is going to have to live up to what it has to do as necessity to hang onto power in the election following this one. Otherwise, dependant on opposition leadership, it will quickly be removed. The coming ‘boundary changes’ might have little effect on a population that now knows how effective it can be when it comes to activating change. Party now means a lot less than it did even a year ago. Once you’ve flipped, it’s becomes much easier to do so again. At any given opportunity. If the electorate doesn’t want to see the NHS run into the ground, they are now much more empowered to vote against that. And a more inspiring leader than either Corbyn or May might prioritise that. More on that later, perhaps.

May has now taken over the centre ground. To hold on to it, she must espouse social and centrist causes. Her party must be in it FOR the people, NOT for the party, and least of all for themselves. If they stray from the wishes of the majority of the people, they will be removed. I believe that Theresa May knows this.

I admire Corbyn. I see him in the mirror every day. He’s a decent man with good values, but he’s not up to this job, he privately argues with his own best intentions, (and thinks ‘who doesn’t?’), and it’s time for him to retire. Farron has to LEAVE, no two ways about it. That contingent are misrepresented by him. Sturgeon has to get back into the water… (no, don’t go there roy). A united Ireland? Well, conceivable, but Ireland might be content with both worlds on the doorstep, who knows? Whatever, a genuine people’s party might eventually emerge from the ashes, but that seems like an antiquated idea now. Politics is surely all about single issues now. One party cannot hope to contain all the disparate messages being sent by the millions to the speakers chair. At PMQs, every week, we see just how diluted very needy causes can become. Ok, so parties mean potentially less anarchy, but the dilution of serious issues is plain for all to see. A parliament is a wonderful ambition, and we have one of the best, but it falls a long way short of representing ALL of the people for even some of the time. Meanwhile, Merkel probably has the right attitude to Brexit. At this moment, the rest is immaterial.

The French are voting tonight. I’ll be watching it. Most of the French people don’t want either candidate to win. They’re as split as the Brits, but they have a different problem. One of their two choices is unacceptable, while the other is part of The Empire. Hobson’s choice. A lot of ballot papers will either be ‘spoiled’ or just left ‘blanc’…. And there’ll be on-going turmoil. The French are still waiting for that defining vote. The vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ The Empire. The Empire is going to be unwilling to let them have that vote, so the French are going to have to work at getting through the maze. There’ll be millions of frustrated people in France tonight. There might not be a choice for them right now, but someday there will be. They just have to get the system changed. After that, when it becomes possible, it’s probable that Europe will reboot a more feasible trading federation. Give it about 30+ years and a couple of currency wobbles. Pipe dream #2. It shouldn’t be like this, but what should it be like. A lot of great minds have tried to answer that one. Off the cuff, I’d have to think.. the simpler the better.. Does that seem too glib? I’ll work on it then..

I should write a little about me and France perhaps… tbc

2 thoughts on “Lingua Franca

  1. Interesting thoughts but feel inclined to comment. I never thought I’d see the day when you defended David Cameron. I also must disagree with “It’s going to be a long hard fight to get Apple etc., and globalised industry to recognise what part they can play, have to play, in securing actual social justice in a new Northern, Eastern, Western and even Southern construct of local government, everywhere. I’ve steered away from using the word ‘powerhouse’, but there are a couple of green shoots appearing after the local elections of May 2017, in spite of Corbynism.” A globalised industry will NEVER do anything to secure social justice, anywhere, it is simply not in their interests. I would also suggest that any green shoots appearing are BECAUSE of Corbyn not despite Corbyn.

    No one ever claimed the EU was perfect but successive UK governments, of all colours, blamed the EEC/EU for anything unpopular they did and never gave the EEC/EU credit for anything. Improved health & safety legislation, maximum hours to be worked, parental leave, enhanced maternity leave, holiday entitlement, enhanced environmental protection, protection of fish stocks and wildlife are just some of the benefits that have come from the EEC/EU.

    Only a few believe the vote can be reversed but whatever happens there will no return to the days of the raj or British Empire or anything else those who voted to leave thought they were going to get.

    As for Theresa May occupying centre ground, really? I don’t know what it looks like from over there but it is truly shit here and in all sincerity she makes Thatcher look liberal!

  2. Sorry this is late. We had a whole day of woodcutting and shunting logs from the garden into the woodshed. The tidying up is going to take all of today and tomorrow, and the splitting of the logs is another day, but at least the winter wood is in and drying. It’s a big job. We shouldn’t be doing it in May. The wood’s full of sap and the birds are nesting. We made sure there were no nests. It ended up in some kind of party at the end of the day. We’re a little sore today. There’ll probably be pics at some stage.

    I will never defend Cameron. All I was saying was that I saw what happened to him when he visited Europe, went to various capitals, and then to Brussels. He was treated with disbelief. He was treated as a joke figure. They didn’t take ANYTHING he said seriously. I saw it on their faces. They were transparent, they treated him as comedy and packed him off home with his tail between his legs. I disliked them for that. Generally, it was a display of bad manners, mitigated now and then by genuine people like Merkel and Tusk. I don’t think that Cameron’s a bad guy. He’s an over-privileged member of a class that has nothing to do with you or I. However, the message he took to Brussels with him was IGNORED by Brussels and 90% of its inmates. You must know that. They were happy to see him discouraged.

    Yes, he is to blame for introducing a referendum into the equation, but as Dobbs said, no one thought that it had a cat in hell’s chance. NO ONE. That’s because no one had their finger on the pulse. Not you, not me.. no one. (Well, I did, but only when I’d thought about it on June 20th 2016, and wrote the letter to my friend, which started this round of blogging). This is because we’d all taken for granted the ‘good’ that Europe had provided for us, a lot of which you have listed, without really discovering that some of it had a devastating effect on some of our industries. Did you happen to see the documentary ‘Atlantic’, for instance?

    When I wrote “It’s going to be a long hard fight to get Apple etc., and globalised industry to recognise what part they can play, HAVE TO PLAY, in securing actual social justice in a new Northern, Eastern, Western and even Southern construct of local government, everywhere. I’ve steered away from using the word ‘powerhouse’, but there are a couple of green shoots appearing after the local elections of May 2017, in spite of Corbynism.”…. What I was saying was exactly what you wrote. ‘A globalised industry will NEVER do anything to secure social justice, anywhere, it is simply not in their interests’. I was being sardonic. I have now put HAVE TO PLAY in capitals to make sure that you and anyone else who might read the blog knows that HAVE TO PLAY is the kernel of what I’m saying. You’ve spelt it out, and I agree with that, they presently have no interest in social justice. But what I’m also saying in my blog is that if corporate industry doesn’t quickly develop an interest in social justice, the Cons will be ‘quickly removed’ by the people at the next election. That’s what I said, that’s what I mean, and that’s what we all should make happen. What I’m also saying is that I don’t think that people are necessarily going to vote ‘traditionally’ any longer, especially if they don’t see improvement to their own conditions.

    We are all aware of what globalised industry does, and that’s why we have to take them to task. What I was too politely suggesting is that they have to be fought. I have to learn not to be too arcane with my gentle sarcasm and ironic suggestions. In this climate, people’s sense of play has gone missing, and I need to stop the nuanced comment. I must learn to write in a different and more direct manner. Some good people obviously don’t really know the whole of what I’m saying. What I’m also suggesting is that Facebook, Twitter and co are good conduits for a certain type of social communication, but essentially they have become largely cesspit. They are the new Randolph Hearsts of this era. I don’t like the way in which everything has become throwaway, including the dictionary. Falstaff, Pistol and Bardolph have taken over the written word, but they’ve forgotten to bring much of their humour with them. Actually, I detest Facebook, but I have to live with it. It has it’s value, but it’s values do not espouse much by way of sincerity.

    The one thing we seem to disagree about is Corbyn. When he first arrived on the back benches, I supported him. I’d been where he was back in the day. I’d toyed with becoming communist, but ditched it because it’s message, although ideologically attractive, was already jaded by Burgess and Maclean, Mao and Kim Ill… and was no longer relevant what was taking place in any number of populations. I followed Labour policies with a certain amount of enthusiasm for years, but Blair destroyed me. So far off the mark, disingenuous, conceited. A fart in a thunderstorm who thought he knew it all, when it had in fact left him behind. Then he had a hand in killing hundreds of thousands.. and ended up where he truly deserves to be. The Labour Party sank into confused heaps without him. Largely because he’d created a new middle ground that was in fact foreign to half of the party, as we know. That vacuum still exists. Tragically, Robin Cook died in 2005.. otherwise.. maybe history.. anyway, Brown had his turn, but he was never suited to the job, as again, we know. Then by some Union quirk vote, the wrong Miliband got the job, and there was a silly coalition, then Cameron, and then the referendum. And here we are, in the same vacuum on the left.

    I’m a Ghandi fan. I first became aware of him when I was 7 and India was becoming independent. I felt sad because I was collecting George V1 Commonwealth stamps, and India was going to change. I remember thinking that he was a great man, but I can’t remember why I thought that. What I do know is that the Brits had form there, that everything was not strictly Kipling. I think that everybody knew that. What I’m really pleased about now however, is that their second language is English. The biggest ‘democracy’ in the world has English as it’s second language. What if the Chinese had got there before Clive. SE Asia would be a different place, and the lingua franca might even be Chinese, or Spanish, or French. We’d have to be declining verbs in Mandarin. And cricket wouldn’t be a world sport…

    I’ve been to India a few times. I love it. India is a brilliant place. The people make it. They’re amazing. I want to return perhaps, one last time. Kolaba.. the street, the food, the ruckuss, the music, the heat, the joy.. the young boys in the water at The India Gate.. swimming in detritus.. what am I doing sat writing rubbish in the depths of a North Atlantic spring?

    Nobody voted for a return to the ‘Raj’. Unless you’re as old as me, it’ll be nowhere in your consciousness. Very few people would have voted with that as a priority. Seriously, it would be under 1000, and as I’ve just illustrated, India is a very different place now. Vibrant and powerful. We need India. They don’t really need us, except to show up at Lords every now and then for a good thrashing. We’re very lucky that we have things in common. The British Empire died when I was a boy. I saw it on it’s deathbed. I was there. Bechuanaland is now Botswana. The Kenyans finally threw us out in 1960, after 8 years of war and torture. I was scared of the Mau Mau when I was 11. I have no desire to revisit that. Nor does anyone else I know. Gone. Forever..

    What those who voted for leave thought they would get, eventually, was a country they could relate to again. Boston, Lincs, would perhaps be a leading example of a town that’s been excoriated, but it’s not only mass immigration that’s altered landscapes, economies and character. Austerity is worse than that.. the stripping of cash from social care and the raid on pensions at the same time as the government are talking about a triple lock. What triple lock? There isn’t a single lock for me, and many many others. We’ll need immigration for as long as we want to economically compete with other nations. Immigration is as much the future as it is the past. If we don’t have immigration, we fall behind our competitors, and they ARE in competition with us. Of all the items on the list for improvement, I would put Education first. That’s the number 1, and education in England is certainly not as good as it is in Ireland, or for that matter, Scotland, or practically anywhere else you care to name. Unless more funds are put into education, Britain will fall behind.

    I’ve been with the EU since before EFTA. Actually, consciously, since 1962, but I have recurring memories of Charles De Gaulle. Nightmarish. I should write about that, perhaps. There’s no doubt we’ve inherited great things from Europe, but who says that’s all going to stop? Suddenly. Overnight.

    There’s talk this morning of some kind of ‘Progressive’ party that could be formed to thwart Corbyn’s Labour Party. I’d enjoy seeing that. I might even become enthusiastic about it, so long as it steers clear of Blair and Farron; but of course, it’s far too late. The election’s in a month. It needs a leader. It would take much longer than a month to persuade someone like David Miliband to give up a very good job in New York to join En Marche with a month to go before it’s done and gone. Good idea, but why now, because we’re on the brink? of what?

    Some time ago, Neil Kinnock made a speech to the PLP in which he said that Ed Miliband had failed the supermarket test, which basically is down to asking the average person in the supermarket who they would or wouldn’t vote for. During his speech, he said this.. “…Now then, we can take further instruction from modern history, the way in which, in the supermarket, people said: ‘I want to vote Labour, but I can’t vote for Ed Miliband’. I heard it, oh yes I heard it. Apply the supermarket test for Jeremy Corbyn and see what answer you get”.

    I haven’t addressed half of what I should have. But I have no more time right now. I have to help with the wood.. and I want to be outside because it’s a lovely spring day. My mind keeps dragging me outside, so I’m off. I also need to play the guitar on a daily basis again. I’ve just opened my books of song ideas, and it’s time to start again.

    Remember, I DIDN’T VOTE in the referendum. I am still conflicted. Europe and Britain need to make it up at some point. Both sides have to learn from this. It looks like they might, but what’s done should be properly finished. Only when the dust has settled can there be any attempt at rapprochement. Steps very definitely have to be taken forward before they can be taken back. Both ‘sides’ have to learn. That is.. BOTH.

    There is so much more to say, but I’m tired of this now. I’ve written it twice. I want to go outside. One last thing. Theresa May is now where Tony Blair would be if he was still leading. Slightly to the right of where he was, and almost occupying the the middle ground. It might take a while for people to realise this, but that’s what’s happening now. The middle ground represents the majority, and every Political party will try to do what she’s doing and what Blair did. It’s a no-brainer. That’s where the political gold is. It’s a balancing act. If she fails., the new OPPOSITION had better be ready. It’s a long shot, but it’s on. Sincerely, good luck. rh

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