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2019 Jul 20 - Brexit and the Grieve Amendment

20190720
We'll talk about some Brexit news in a moment but first I guess it's worth mentioning that it's 50 years this weekend since man walked on the moon and as Michael Collins remained alone flying overhead in the orbiter, we was one of the only the people in history to be both sad and both over the moon at the same time. Unfortunately though for the folks like you and me the prospect of commercial flights to the moon still remain as far in the future as the idea of a supposedly conservative government passing a budget surplus. To this very day the world still remains divided between countries that have sent a man to the moon, and countries that use the metric system.

Oh well, talking of space and the stars. The Bear, the Big Dipper, The Plough, are also all names of pubs in which you might find Nigel Farage and a number of senior Conservatives plotting, following this week's shenanigans in the House of Commons. For a quick summary, Boris Johnson has previously hinted at proroguing parliament to force a No Deal Brexit through. That would work by ending the parliamentary session early come September, causing a few weeks to be spent waiting for the Queen to officially open the new session and preventing any last minute attempt in October to prevent Britain leaving the EU on the 31st. At this stage it wouldn't surprise me if I saw Ken Clarke filling up the PMs car with diesel if it meant it could delay proceedings for an afternoon while he nips down the garage.

The Grieve amendment, passed this week, added a legal requirement for the parliament to sit for 5 days every 2 weeks on the alleged basis of discussing the northern Ireland assembly and budget. Theresa May expressed the sort of emotion you'd normally me to show if I heard that someone had bought some new socks while they were out. Fans of history will remember that King Charles I decided to mess around with closing parliament and it didn't end up well for him

The whole things leaves two possibilities: Option 1) Mrs Johnson (if he does become PM) continues to have parliament remain open and fights for a deal in such a confrontational manner that the EU tell Britain to make like a tree and leave. Option 2) Convince MPs to back an election and then get a pro-Brexit majority by relying on enough remain MPs, Labour and Conservative alike, losing their seats to Nigel Farage's Brexit party, possibly unchallenged by the Conservatives in some areas.

I suspect the first option is the more likely of the two, though like a man in an orthopaedic shoe, perhaps I'll stand corrected.
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2019 Jul 13 - Sir Kim Darroch Resignation

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Quite a few stories of note this week: Iran threatening to seize a British ship, the Tommy Robinson sentencing, Facebook being fined $5bn and Jeremy Corbyn's team denying accusations of antisemitism and saying the story is being concocted by a global jewish conspiracy. Plus looking at at the news there's also a new "weird health tip" that a mom in the midwest has supposedly discovered that doctors don't want you to know about. Wait no, the last of those is an advert.

Let's talk about the resign ......

2019 Jul 06 - 4th of July Parade

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While the UK awaits the election results in the Prime Ministerial ballot, the Democrat party in America is also in the process of choosing a leader and the US, as always, is very keen to show that it does things differently, just as it spells things differently, uses different plug sockets and turns up to world wars towards the end of them rather than at the beginning.

This week saw a bombastic 4th of July celebration in Washington DC with stealth bombers, fighter jets, fireworks and a series ......

2019 Jun 29 - European Heatwave

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This week in Southern Europe, the wave of political populism gave way to the wave of heat, a heat wave, as temperatures crept high enough that the trees are beckoning dogs over to them. Yes, the mercury in the thermometers would be rising to the top, if the EU hadn't banned the use of mercury thermometers years ago. Remember that supposedly silly scene in the 4th Indiana Jones movie where he climbs into a lead-lined fridge, well that seems like a sensible idea now, it's probably quite cold in th ......

2019 Jun 22 - Boris and Jeremy Hunt

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What’s been going on in the world this week? Well I could tell you all about my addiction to reading books. But that's another story. What has been going on is a round of votes to decide who will be the next leader of the Conservative Party and therefore the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The post is actually still held by Theresa May who is being about as pro-active in the legislative process as she’s been for the past 2 years: in the past week she managed to pass three times as ......

2019 Jun 15 - Iran Oil Tanker Attack

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Perhaps Iran should change its name to Irate because there's trouble afoot in the Strait of Hormuz after 2 oil tankers were attacked this week although I've been out that part of the world and frankly I don't see how a fire could have burned the boat worse than the regular day to day weather.

Anyway, the US has been quick to call out Iran as the mastermind behind it all, which seems a missed opportunity. Call me old fashioned but I would have liked to see the US organise a heads of state summit ......

2019 Jun 08 - D-Day Commemorations

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This week President Trump visited the UK and then headed over to France for the D-Day commemorations, personally I'd have done it the other way around: stock up with wine at the lower French prices before going to the Queen's party - are you expected to bring a bottle when you show up at the palace? Who knows, maybe he'd already bought a 40oz bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label at Duty Free when he was at the airport.

Back to the news, President Trump flew into London for the first part of his ......

2019 Jun 01 - Mexico Trade Tariffs

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The US trade war escalated this week as President Trump announced a new 5% trade tariff on Mexico. It's 5% on everything coming over the border and that rate is primed to go up faster than Boris Johnson's upcoming legal bill with analysts saying it could quickly ramp to 10%, 20%, 40% maybe. Very much like when I'm making margaritas.

The US-Mexico tariffs: ostensively it's to do with immigration and paying for a border wall, in reality it's likely got a lot to do with diverting the news from the ......

2019 May 25 - Theresa May Resigns

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Well the European election results aren't officially out yet but someone who is out is Theresa May, or last she will be soon because for the first time ever, May won't finish on the 31st but in fact June 7th. For the past couple of months she's been like a party guest who refuses to leave - you know the sort, you talk about ordering a taxi and they take it as a signal to start a discussion about much better Uber is and propose opening up another bottle of red.

As I said, at the time of recordin ......

2019 May 18 - Huawei

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This week I thought we'd take a break from Theresa May to discuss Huawei, the Chinese company with a name that people disagree on how to pronounce. A bit like when people disagree on whether it's "envelope" of 'on' velope or how about even something as simple as the letter H. If you want to reduce the cost of healthcare, I'd ban access to anyone who pronounces it the "en haich ess"

Anyway, Huawei, not to be mistaken for Hawaii. The company is supposedly independent of the Chinese government an ......

2019 May 12 - Chinese Tariffs

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Sometimes discussions about economics are nuanced and complex, just imagine the difficulty trying of trying to discuss the fishing industry’s net worth or the construction industry’s aggregate demand. Sometimes they say the point of studying PPE (politics philosophy and economics) is that at least when you’re unemployed you’ll be able to discuss in depth the reasons why.

Well the world of economics is back in the news now with President Trump proceeding with a wide range of import tarif ......

2019 May 04 - Local Election Results

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A wipeout for Theresa May this week in a set of local election results worse somehow than the quality of the services being provided by the councils in question. I think it was best summed up by two Conservative spokesmen, one of whom said the night had "gone downhill" and the other of whom described it as an "uphill battle". That wordplay is precisely the sort of disconnect you'd expect though, the Prime Minister believing that the public are annoyed her repeated failure to get a Brexit deal wh ......

2019 Apr 27 - Nigel is back for the European Elections

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If scientists ever develop a beer that comes in capsule form, then you could say that it was a "bitter pill to swallow" Apologies, that was dreadful, but something that is going to be a bitter pill to swallow for establishment politicians is that there's some elections coming down the line. In the past you'd normally get 2 parties, both of whom were variations on the same, like having to choose between water and molten ice. However, in both Europe and the US the last year or so has seen the emer ......

2019 Apr 20 - Notre Dame & London Protests

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This week started with the sad news that a fire had almost led to the destruction of Notre Dame, and certainly Quasimodo will have to spend the next couple of years living on the Phantom of the Opera's sofa. The atrocity drove to people around the world pledging hundreds of millions of Euros to rebuild and President Macron says it may be rebuilt in just a couple of years, presumably because there's an election in 2022 and he'd like to reopen the cathedral as a last act of office before he's kick ......

2019 Apr 13 - Julian Assange Arrested

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Just taking a look at the science news and apparently an Israeli space mission ended in failure when the rocket crashed into the moon, having presumably missed its original target of the Gaza Strip.

But the main news this week in my mind was the arrest of Julian Assange. After 7 years of living in the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition to the US, he's finally been shown the (Ecua)-door let's just hope that he didn't leave his car parked outside otherwise he'll have face far greater consequ ......

2019 Apr 06 - May Asks Corbyn for Help

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I was once told by a motivational speaker to stand up for what I believe in, and I wondered, "what if it's comfy chairs?" Well this week Theresa May continued to stand for nothing and show no shame as she decided to invite Jeremy Corbyn in for talks, in a similar but different manner to that in which the Ulster police used to regularly invite in Mr Corbyn's friends in for questioning. This has of course gotten nowhere because Jeremy Corbyn is ideologically opposed to both aspects of what she's a ......

2019 Mar 30 - Theresa May fails a 3rd time

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There's that expression "third time's a chart" but it's not always true, as Theresa May found out this week after her third attempt at passing her "deal" achieved about the same level of success as someone heading into a pub claiming they can only stay for one. The Prime Minister's actually discussed having a 4th go at it and it's almost become like watching someone repeatedly failing to give up smoking or learn a foreign language. I wonder whether Theresa has a copy of the novel Finnegans Wake ......

2019 Mar 23 - Mueller Report

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It’s been a busy week, asides from Brexit one of the big stories was the announcement that ISIS had finally been defeated, which is similar in concept to when their shoplifters were de-handed on many an occasion.

But the big story of the week was the completion of the Mueller Report which revealed that, drumroll please… Revealed that the past 2 years have been a complete waste of everyone’s time. It makes Theresa May’s 2 years in Brussels seem fairly productive in comparison; at least s ......

2019 Mar 17 - St Patrick's Day Brexit Update

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It's been an especially violent and confrontational week but luckily today is St Patricks day, when we can forget about everything as we sip on a pint of Guinness and contemplate Ireland's long and famously violence free history. Q: What do you call a bulletproof irishman? A: Rick O'Shea Anyway, for now I'll stop, or should I say "backstop" because I suppose I should get back to the Brexit news.

The week saw Theresa May return to Westminster to have a second go at passing her Brexit agreement ......

2019 Mar 09 - North Korea Again

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Earlier this week I was wondering if Elton John liked Lettuce, then I realised that he was more of a rocket man. Well someone else who likes rockets is Kim Jong Un after satellite images this week revealed that the oversized dictator decided to rebuild the rocket launch site that had previously been destroyed.

Talks between the US and North Korea broke down recently so the communists decided to mark the occasion by rebuilding some rockets which will also almost certainly break down and fall int ......
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