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Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance - Tomas Pueyo - Medium
This is absolutely superb, especially the charts regarding R and the social / economic costs each measure entails.
health  disease  article  science  society  uk  us  economics 
16 days ago by np
HSBC is killing my business, piece by piece — How to plan for your bank screwing up
"Hints and Tips for your bank screwing up

I figured that at the very least I would try and offer some words of advice based on the back of what’s happening right now:

Don’t bank with HSBC. If you’re about to start a small business, think twice. The banking service is perfectly fine, but when something out of the ordinary happens they move like dinosaurs.
Don’t keep all your business funds with the same bank. This one is a lot harder to arrange and can complicate your accounting, but I’d say it’s worth the hassle. Make sure you’ve enough funds set-aside in an entirely separate account, with an entirely different institution, to cover what you need for a month or more. I wish I had.
If you can pay for an internet service for a year, do so. Most services offer discounts if you pre-pay anyway, so it saves money, but it would also protect you against temporary payment problems in the future, unless of course you’re incredibly unlucky and they land at the same time your yearly payment is due. Our DropBox account was paid for the year thankfully, so our files remained intact.
If you don’t need a service, cancel it, or do it yourself. When everything started failing I was surprised to see a couple of subscriptions I had that weren’t even needed any longer. The payments were quite tiny but I didn’t need to be spending the money at all, so at least I got to cancel those. It’s also made me question the need for a couple of services I have that I could spend some time and do myself locally (git repo hosting for private projects for a single team is a good example of this)
Keep control of your DNS with a provider separate to your web host. Although it’s a horrendous situation to be in, should you be forced into it at least you can update your DNS to point to a new host. This isn’t always possible if they manage DNS for you as well, but if your business relies on your site for income it’s a safe thing to do.
Be able to redirect payments to another bank account. This was an absolute life saver for me. All of our shop sales are handled via Gumroad and we were able to change the account they pay in to each week away from the business one and into our personal one. It’s going to be a nightmare to unpick when this mess is over, but it was that or don’t buy any food. The groceries won. We also get money from advertising, affiliates and Patreon into our PayPal account. A massive shout-out to PayPal for being so excellent. They were able to issue us with a MasterCard (linked to our PayPal balance, not a credit card) and allow us to transfer money into our personal account, instead of the business one. This was quite literally the only way we managed to pay our mortgage this month. PayPal, thank you. Your support was fantastic. I only wish HSBC were more like you.
If you run a small business ask yourself this: What would happen if your account was frozen and you couldn’t access a single penny in it? How would you cope? It’s an unusual predicament, but clearly not a rare one."
banking  business  advice  post  UK 
5 weeks ago by np
Thread by @AdamRutherford: I can see this damn Andrew Sabisky situation is not going away. I have written two books about Eugenics and race, teach it, at the place whe…
"Sabisky and indeed Cummings look bewitched by science without doing the legwork"

Every single actual scientist who encounters Cummings' writing comes to the same conclusion.
science  racism  uk  government 
7 weeks ago by np
Inside the mind of Dominic Cummings | Politics | The Guardian
The problem with journalists reading Cummings is that they come to conclusions like,

"Cummings is undeniably clever"

- when he isn't. Cummings is a sort of genius in that he's focussed and successful. But he's a psychopath. He despises people who disagree with him to the point of utter immaturity. And - crucially - if he were smart he would hold the political views of other smart people up and realise, ah, All The Smart People Think Brexit is Calamitously Bad. Maybe I'm Wrong and Shouldn't Be Forcing Every Scientist in the Country, Who Disagrees With Me, to Swallow This Evil Catastrophuck of My Ambition Because I Read Some NASA Org-Chart Book That One Time.


"There are traces of that kind of absolute certainty that is more often shown by fellow-travellers of science rather than by first-rate scientists themselves."

Traces? The man is a sack of that shit.
brexit  uk  politics  people  morons  science 
8 weeks ago by np
Letter to OfCom
In which BBC News buries and forcibly ceases investigations into Russian inteference in British politics, and BBC Moscow is probably compromised and more sympathetic to the Kremlin than the UK-based BBC.
bbc  corruption  crime  uk  russia 
november 2019 by np
Claire Fox - Wikipedia
"In 2018, Fox refused to apologise for suggesting evidence of the [Bosnian] genocide was faked."

Once a Communist, now an extreme-right Brexit Party candidate.
wikipedia  brexit  UK  genocide 
november 2019 by np
The Brexit Blog: Brexit in limbo
"So, indeed, I think Johnson is making a blunder. But that is not surprising since he is presumably being guided by Dominic Cummings who, it is now abundantly clear, is not the master tactician and strategist that some – himself foremost amongst them – believe. As a result, ‘Classic Dom’ has now emerged as a term to denote a supposedly clever tactic backfiring spectacularly."
brexit  post  uk  politics 
october 2019 by np
mainly macro: Brexit is a denial of economics as knowledge
" Brexiters know this, which is why they came up with the idea of global Britain. It is a farce, which can be refuted in at least two ways. First, every analysis based on academic research I have seen suggests the gains from trade deals with other countries outside the EU come nowhere near the loss due to less trade with the EU. Nowhere near. Second, if you want good trade deals with other countries, the best way to achieve them is to get the EU to negotiate them on your behalf, because the EU is more experienced and has much more clout in any negotiations than the UK. That is why the EU has so many trade agreements with other countries.

All this knowledge about the impact of trade on productivity and incomes was dismissed by Brexiters with two words: Project Fear. All the knowledge that Keynesians have accumulated for 80 years was dismissed with a few more: the government has maxed out its credit card. Others have dismissed the knowledge of doctors and climate scientists with similar home-spun homilies.

Yet many, including many in the media, still refuse to think of economics as knowledge. People who wouldn’t think twice about saying a fall in the supply of coffee will raise its price say all economics is just dressed up political opinion. People who would not dream of ignoring doctors just because they cannot predict when you get a cold say all economics forecasts are worthless. Of course there are some things, like whether the Euro was a good idea in economic terms, where there are pros and cons and therefore economists’ views may differ or change. But the evidence that making trade substantially more difficult with our immediate neighbours will be harmful is so overwhelming that only 1 in 22 UK economists disagree. I have yet to meet an economist who specialises in trade who disagrees.

So when a woman on Question Time said we just do not know what will happen after Brexit, she was repeating an idea pushed repeatedly by the Brexit press and implicitly supported by most broadcasters. The BBC accepts that climate change is happening (most of the time) because that knowledge comes from ‘proper scientists’. The BBC does not accept that Brexit will make the UK worse off in economic terms because it is knowledge predicted by economists, and they think economics is not knowledge.

The right in the UK and US are now set on a course where they are prepared to defy science itself for their own interests. But this can only succeed when some of those who think of themselves as in the centre let them. In this case it has been allowed to happen in part because political journalists and those above them at the BBC decided economics where the overwhelming majority of economists agree was not knowledge but just another opinion. As I have spent my working life examining how economics can improve policy choices it is hardly surprising I find that simple ignorance outrageous. "
post  economics  brexit  uk  politics  bbc 
october 2019 by np
Brexit legislation: This is a mandate for another year of no-deal chaos
"Pursuing a genuinely close relationship is made legally impossible. The political declaration rules out membership of the single market or the customs union. This cannot be changed by parliament in the future. Section 13C of the legislation states that ministerial objectives for the future relationship "must be consistent with the political declaration"."

"According to paragraph 138 of the explanatory notes, the UK will "end the UK's participation in the free movement of people" at the end of the transition.

This is put in the harshest possible terms. "Once free movement has ended, beneficiaries of the citizens' rights part of the agreements who have not yet secured leave to enter or remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme would no longer have a lawful basis to reside in the UK unless further provision is made."

Many EU citizens will by this stage have secured settled status. But with any system that requires people to actively sign up, the hardest cases come right at the end. Middle-class, news-reading, socially engaged Europeans will have registered ages before. Those who haven't will include those who struggle with English, or do agricultural work, or live in remote locations, or are socially isolated, or have learning difficulties. In other words: the vulnerable. And they will, overnight, without knowing it, become undocumented.

If even one per cent of EU citizens haven't signed up by then, it'll still be tens of thousands of people. This system seems almost designed to create another Windrush scandal."
politics  analysis  uk  brexit 
october 2019 by np
Brexit: The uncomfortable truth about Boris Johnson's deal | Politics News | Sky News
"Alongside ennui, the Conservative eurosceptics' complete victory in the long Tory civil war, this explains why, suddenly, a deal which is not so different to that which came before, is so viable when the other was so limp.

Only Nixon could go to China, perhaps only Boris Johnson could go to Brussels."
borisjohnson  brexit  uk  politics  racism  xenophobia 
october 2019 by np
The Brexit Blog: If there's a pathway, it leads to a dead end
"Were a deal to be passed by parliament, it is all but impossible to actually be ready to leave on 31 October but a short technical extension, whilst an embarrassment to Johnson, would soon be forgotten. On the other hand, it would kill the remain cause stone cold dead. Thus if a deal is made with the EU, remainers’ hopes will hang on the intransigence of the DUP and of hardcore Brexiters to vote it down. Relying on such intransigence is not exactly unrealistic, but is ironic. Alternatively, remainer hopes might be kept alive were parliament to pass a deal on ‘Kyle-Wilson’ terms, that is, with the requirement of a confirmatory referendum attached."
brexit  post  uk 
october 2019 by np
Hopeful Noises About Brexit Deal - But is it a Trick? - YouTube
Essentially a hole in the Benn Act which still allows "No Deal", because there wouldn't be enough time to enact legislation, even if Parliament votes for it.

The motivation, or explanation, presumably, is Johnson's backers have required No Deal and don't care what happens after that.
video  uk  brexit  analysis 
october 2019 by np
Politicians slam 'xenophobic bile' about Angela Merkel from Leave EU Brexit group | Latest Brexit news and top stories | The New European
Heya @RichardTice. Does it bother you that the racist, fascist, anti-semetic organisation you founded, Leave.EU, is now overtly racist and fascist and anti-semetic? Or would you rather keep that quiet?
racism  brexit  uk 
october 2019 by np
Femi on Twitter: "It would be libel to say that Richard Tice, Brexit Party Chairman, founded an organisation (Leave EU) that now uses Germanophobic 1930s insults to demonise our allies for upholding OUR international responsibilities under the Good Friday
Richard Tice, Brexit Party Chairman, founded an organisation (Leave EU) that now uses Germanophobic 1930s insults to demonise our allies for upholding OUR international responsibilities under the Good Friday Agreement.
brexit  uk  politics  racism  nationalism 
october 2019 by np
How Number 10 view the state of the negotiations | Coffee House
"We will also make clear that this government will not negotiate further so any delay would be totally pointless. They think now that if there is another delay we will keep coming back with new proposals. This won’t happen. We’ll either leave with no deal on 31 October or there will be an election and then we will leave with no deal."
brexit  prediction  uk  politics 
october 2019 by np
Boris Johnson has surrendered to the Surrender Act – The Law and Policy Blog
"The publication today of the judgment in the Scottish case against prime minister Boris Johnson is significant.

On the face of it, the decision was a defeat for the petitioners.

Their attempt to get a formal court order against the government, so as to oblige the government to comply with the Benn Act (the so-called “Surrender Act”) in the event of a No Deal Brexit, did not succeed

It is that failure which has been in the headlines of the news reports.

But those headlines are misleading.


The government sought to defeat the petition by offering promises that it would comply with the Act.

This offer of surrender to the Surrender Act was made in court documents before the hearing.

Today that offer of surrender to the Surrender Act was accepted.

Now, as long as the other conditions for triggering the Benn Act are met, it is now impossible to see how the government can avoid compliance with the Act."
prediction  post  uk  politics  law  borisjohnson  brexit  brexitlies 
october 2019 by np
Does anyone in the country believe Boris Johnson isn’t a groper? | David Mitchell | Opinion | The Guardian
"Obviously it is possible, though I’d say unlikely, that this specific event did not occur. But, unless you happen to be Charlotte Edwardes or someone who’s close to her, that doesn’t massively matter. With so many of his actions, Johnson has for years been proclaiming himself the sort of man who probably gropes women, so, to my mind, the only real question is whether the name of one of the women he has groped is Charlotte Edwardes."
borisjohnson  uk  politics 
october 2019 by np
PM 'model of restraint' amid Parliament language row - BBC News
Are you saying sexual assaulter Boris Johnson was a "model of restraint" when he sexually assaulted Charlotte Edwardes by groping her thigh under a table, while he was her boss?
borisjohnson  uk  politics  crime 
september 2019 by np
Boris Johnson Denies Squeezing Female Journalist's Thigh | HuffPost UK
Why would this "Number 10 spokesman" also be lying about serial liar and sexual assaulter Boris Johnson's past sexual assaults?
borisjohnson  corruption  uk  politics 
september 2019 by np
Exclusive: Jennifer Arcuri won entrepreneur visa after being backed by Johnson | Politics | The Guardian
"Arcuri, whose flat Johnson reportedly frequented while he was London mayor, beat nearly 2,000 applicants to be among 200 winners of the Sirius scheme run by UK Trade and Investment (now the Department for International Trade).

The programme requires candidates or their business to have up to £200,000 available for investment, but Companies House records show Innotech has been consistently in the red since it was founded. Its first accounts in 2014 showed it had minus £41,540 in shareholders’ funds."


"Contacted by the Guardian, Arcuri broke her week-long silence to declare: “The stories you are writing are more and more false. These are fake news.”

But when a reporter pointed out that government documents publicly available on the internet prove she was accepted on to the entrepreneur scheme months after Johnson promoted her business, asking her to clarify which part was false, she replied: “No comment.”"


"She relocated back to the US last June but her latest company, Hacker House, won a £100,000 cyber skills grant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport earlier this year, which is now subject to an investigation by the department over whether the firm was eligible for the grant, which is only intended for UK-operating companies."

So, she fucked Johnson a few times and he paid her back with public money. Pretty clear what happened here.
corruption  uk  politics 
september 2019 by np
Where Boris Johnson went wrong – POLITICO
"Leaving on October 31, deal or no deal, is something we’ll never change our strategy on,” the official said."

"The logic of such a move would be to make way for a caretaker government that would request the Brexit delay and then call an election (Corbyn has stated his willingness to do exactly this.) Johnson, having maintained his Brexit purity, could then lead the Tories into that election having, to some extent, blunted the impact of the Brexit Party on the Conservative vote.

“The risk of that for Boris is a kind of Salvini situation,” Grant said, referring to the Italian League party leader who pulled the plug on his country’s coalition government last month in the hope of winning a majority in a subsequent election, but instead found himself frozen out of power.

“[Johnson could] resign thinking there will be an election in a few weeks’ time and you can get back in by winning the election,” he said. “But then maybe the caretaker government goes on being a caretaker government for a very long time and you’re excluded from power and there isn’t any election.”

If that scenario came to pass, it would represent the final ruin of the Downing Street strategy. For now, Johnson is still in the game — but he has learned that one simple miscalculation can bring you very close to check-mate."
uk  politics  brexit  prediction 
september 2019 by np
Exclusive: Boris Johnson overruled officials to take friend Jennifer Arcuri on jet set trade missions | News | The Sunday Times
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave £126,000 of public money to one of his sex-friends and took her on official trips abroad despite the fact that she didn't qualify.

"Evidence obtained by this newspaper shows that in 2013 Arcuri’s fledgling business received £10,000 in sponsorship cash from an organisation that Johnson was responsible for as London mayor. He attended numerous events she arranged that promoted her company.

Arcuri was also given preferential treatment when it came to joining overseas trade missions led by Johnson. Her business had not met the eligibility criteria for any of the three Johnson trade missions she attended in the space of just a year.

Initial decisions to turn her down for two of those trips were overturned after intervention by Johnson and his close team in the mayor’s office."

Johnson is the most corrupt PM of our time and here is the evidence.
corruption  uk  politics 
september 2019 by np
The Brexit Blog: Brexiters are now responsible for whatever happens
29th March 2017:

"We’ll never know now what would have happened if we had stayed in the EU. All we can know is what happens as a result of leaving. And all that will be the responsibility of the Brexiters. In the few hours since the Article 50 letter was delivered one of its key demands – that the exit negotiations run in parallel rather than precede negotiations on the future deal – has been rejected by Angela Merkel. That is not surprising – it was said throughout the referendum campaign that it would be so, but Brexiters dismissed it as part of ‘project Fear’. Now, it is a reality.

That is only the first reality check for Brexiters. In the years to come there will be many more. As they increase, it’s inevitable that Brexiters will try to depict the situation as being a national crisis, in the face of which all must unite. And they are right that it will be a national crisis, but it will be one that was self-inflicted on our country by Brexiters. The rest of us will have no responsibility for it, and no reason to unite. We are the victims, not you.

There will be many remainers today who are distraught, and many leavers who are overjoyed. But perhaps it should be the other way around. From today onwards every leaver is responsible for everything that now happens, and every remainer is entitled to hold them responsible. It has become a familiar trope that remainers must ‘move on’ and accept the result. But by the same token leavers must now move on, and accept the consequences of their victory. Every single leave voter is responsible for every single one of those consequences. Every single remain voter is absolved from responsibility and is entitled to criticise every single consequence of leaving."
brexit  uk  politics  post 
september 2019 by np
A drop of Satan’s blood « Wee Ginger Dug
"The base case of a no deal Brexit is a total galactofuck."
brexit  brexitlies  post  uk 
september 2019 by np
Opinion | The ‘Political Anarchist’ Behind Britain’s Chaos - The New York Times
"Whether Mr. Johnson is heading for either triumph or disaster isn’t up to Mr. Johnson. His course is being set by Dominic Cummings."
brexit  politics  uk  corruption  crime 
september 2019 by np
The real reason we should fear the work of Dominic Cummings | Politics | The Guardian
On Dominic Cummings and "“his deliberate, systematic conspiracy to commit electoral fraud and the fact that he has refused to come before parliament and answer questions about it”"

"What we need to be talking about, he says, is “his deliberate, systematic conspiracy to commit electoral fraud and the fact that he has refused to come before parliament and answer questions about it”.

The colourful tales about Cummings are all noise drowning the key fact about him, which should be front and centre in every report: that this is the man who – according to evidence published by the Electoral Commission – played a central role in a scheme that resulted in Vote Leave being judged to have broken the law. A scheme that constitutes the greatest electoral fraud perpetrated in Britain for more than a century – one that Cummings has refused to come before parliament to answer questions about.

So that is where we are now: where the man advising the prime minister in parliament was previously judged to have been in contempt of that same parliament."
uk  politics  corruption  crime  brexit  brexitlies  guardian  article 
september 2019 by np
The Brexit Blog: Brexit has failed, but the Brexiters have already won
"the Brexiter claim that suspending parliament will persuade the EU that MPs can’t stop no-deal Brexit is completely at odds with their claim that the suspension makes no difference to MPs’ ability to stop no-deal Brexit, and it’s just a ‘business and usual’ move"

"Whether as negotiation ploy or desired outcome, even the prospect of no deal reflects the failure of Brexit. It was, after all, sold to the public on the basis that a deal would be quick, easy, and advantageous. Every leading Brexiter claimed that in 2016. That claim has now been comprehensively discredited and that, in itself, means that no deal has no mandate whatsoever.

Beyond that headline failure, once Brexit got defined as hard Brexit, all the subsidiary lies about ongoing ‘full, free market access’ and about how the Irish border would be unaffected became exposed. May’s deal, which the Brexiters reviled, was the hard Brexit they said they wanted. But as soon as they saw what it meant in practical terms they disowned it. No-deal Brexit as a policy goal arises solely from the fact that there is no deal that could deliver the Brexit they claimed was possible – just as they were always told.

But rather than accept that they lie anew, claiming that no deal was always what they wanted (which may be true of some) and that it was voted for by 17.4 million people (which it certainly wasn’t). This is what a politics based on lies looks like, and with each turn of events those lies are exposed even more."
brexit  uk  politics  post  corruption 
september 2019 by np
Boris Johnson is a cunt - YouTube
Boris Johnson is a cunt, and everybody knows it.
borisjohnson  brexit  UK  politics  video  humour 
september 2019 by np
Dominic Cummings is no chicken - UnHerd
"My concern – one of my concerns – is that Cummings will come to be seen as representative of the Rationalists, because he quotes them and shares some of their concerns and interests. But at the risk of being uncharitable myself, I don’t think he really understands them. He thinks it’s all about seeing how everyone else is wrong, and applying game theory to politics, and all that. And those things are important.

But it’s also about looking at your own thinking, and seeing where you are going wrong, and taking steps to make sure that you’re not going to accidentally blow everything up with your brilliant ideas. I worry that Cummings isn’t playing some clever John von Neumannesque game, but driving his Fiat down the rails and expecting a train to swerve."
brexit  conservatism  politics  opinion  UK 
september 2019 by np
Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament is an affront to democracy | Financial Times
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Boris Johnson has detonated a bomb under the constitutional apparatus of the United Kingdom. The prime minister’s request to the Queen to suspend parliament for up to five weeks, ostensibly to prepare a new legislative programme, is without modern precedent. It is an intolerable attempt to silence parliament until it can no longer halt a disastrous crash-out by the UK from the EU on October 31. The seat of British democracy, long admired worldwide, is being denied a say on the most consequential decision facing the country in more than four decades. So, too, are the British people — in whose name Mr Johnson claims to be acting. It is time for parliamentarians to bring down his government in a no-confidence vote, paving the way for an election in which the people can express their will.

Britain’s representative government is an exercise in deliberative democracy which involves discussion, negotiation and inevitable compromises. It vests the power to take decisions on behalf of voters in MPs, and allows them to deliberate on matters of detail — and in the case of Brexit, the most complex demerger in postwar history, detail matters. As John Stuart Mill wrote of representative democracy: “Their part is to indicate wants, to be an organ for popular demands, and a place of adverse discussion for all opinions relating to public matters . . . and, to check by criticism, and eventually by withdrawing their support, those high public officers who really conduct the public business.”

History has shown that charlatans, demagogues and would-be dictators have little time for representative government. They seek ways around parliament before concluding it is an inconvenience. Mr Johnson may not be a tyrant, but he has set a dangerous precedent. He and the cabal around him who have chosen this revolutionary path should be careful what they wish for.

The prime minister’s protestations that he is doing nothing abnormal are as disingenuous as the claims plastered across the bus from which he fronted the Leave campaign in 2016. Proroguing parliament ahead of a Queen’s Speech is established procedure, but for one or two weeks, not five. A temporary recess during September’s party conferences is normal — though some parliamentary business continues even then. A brief prorogation could have been timed to coincide with conference season.

There is no legal or administrative justification for a complete five-week cessation of parliament’s activities ahead of a Queen’s Speech. Mr Johnson is using constitutional chicanery to thwart a parliament that he knows has a majority against his chosen policy. The prime minister will argue that the credibility of his threat to leave the EU without an accord unless Brussels agrees to rewrite Britain’s withdrawal deal is undermined if MPs are doing their best to stop him. Yet to muzzle parliament as part of a reckless negotiating ploy is an act of constitutional vandalism.

While this newspaper is no supporter of plebiscites, it has maintained the view that the outcome of the 2016 referendum should be implemented, but in a way that limits as far as possible the harm to the UK’s economy, security and national standing. The referendum delivered no mandate to ram through the most extreme form of Brexit. The Conservative party’s 2017 election manifesto, while repeating the misguided mantra that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, pledged to secure “the best possible deal for Britain . . . delivered by a smooth, orderly Brexit”. Mr Johnson became prime minister thanks only to the votes of 92,000 Tory party members. No premier who has assumed power outside a general election has ever deviated so radically from his party’s previous platform, nor sought to pursue a step with such grave implications.

If Mr Johnson’s prorogation ploy succeeds, Britain will forfeit any right to lecture other countries on their democratic shortcomings. The UK’s constitutional arrangements have long relied on conventions. The danger existed that an unscrupulous leader could trample on such conventions. That has not happened, in the modern era, until now.
borisjohnson  uk  corruption  brexit  opinion  politics 
august 2019 by np
The Brexit Blog: The August serious season before the September crisis
"But, actually, far more outrageous would be the scenario in which a minority government, having changed PM mid-term and lost a VONC, simply squats in power, delaying an election, to preside over a no-deal Brexit which is completely at odds with what voters were promised in the Referendum, has never been endorsed by any vote of any kind, and is against the wishes of the majority of MPs. And it’s no good Brexiters saying to that that the Referendum gave a mandate to leave on any terms. For, if it did, then it gave a mandate to leave on May’s terms – or, for that matter, on soft Brexit terms - both of which Brexiters repudiate."
brexit  opinion  uk  politics  post 
august 2019 by np
Smuggling claims cast shadow over Brexit’s £8m diamond geezer Arron Banks | News | The Sunday Times
"In April 2014, Banks appeared to be in a spot of bother. “Chris, can you bring over a certificate for the diamond I took back — have you got any blanks!!!,” said an email from his account to the business partner who ran his mining interests in South Africa. “Was looking at getting it cut but need the paperwork.”

The message was apparently sent some days after Banks had left South Africa on a flight to Hong Kong. He did not return for several months.

The email that suggests Banks may have removed an uncut diamond from South Africa without being in possession of the necessary paperwork is included in a cache of documents being pored over by the National Crime Agency in London. The NCA is examining claims that the man behind an £8m donation to the Leave.EU campaign is a diamond smuggler."
brexit  brexitlies  corruption  article  UK 
august 2019 by np
Brexit Party MEP worked for Cambridge Analytica – Channel 4 News
Alexandra Phillips, Brexit Party MEP, said it was libellous to report (truthfully) that she worked for Cambridge Analytica, the disgraced government manipulation company.

But she did.

It's almost as if every Brexiter is a pathalogical liar!
news  uk  brexitlies 
july 2019 by np
Carole Cadwalladr: Award-Winning Reporter to Counter-Sue Man Who Bankrolled Brexit for ‘Harassment’
"At an event called The Convention: Never Again held in June last year, she said: “We know that the Russian government offered money to Arron Banks.”

In both cases, Cadwalladr says she will use the defense that her statements were true. It has been reported that Banks was offered Russian mining contracts and Banks and his spokesman Andy Wigmore have repeatedly changed their stories on how many times they met with Russian officials in London.

“I think people can see exactly what’s going on here. It’s an attack on journalism by a man whose millions are now the subject of a criminal investigation. I can see why he’s touchy about me talking about his relationship with the Russian government, though. I would be too if I’d gone to the lengths he has to conceal it,” Cadwalladr said.

“What I really hope now is that members of Parliament will start asking hard and serious questions about why he twice visited the Russian embassy in the week he launched the Leave.EU campaign and why the Russian government might have wanted him to take one of the exciting gold and diamond deals it took great trouble to introduce him to.”"
politics  uk  brexit  brexitlies 
july 2019 by np
My guide to the tricks of Boris Johnson’s trade | Comment | The Times
"Brexit has become columnist-Johnson’s new and biggest idea: his easily grasped, all-singing, all-dancing and shrewdly voter-motivating grand project. Detail be damned: he will stick to it — until he doesn’t. He will pursue this pet project with all the clarity and force that a maestro of Fleet Street commentary can command. And if it falls, he will desert it with all the caprice that courses through a columnist’s veins. Boris never forgets that today’s column lines the bottom of tomorrow’s budgie cage."
opinion  journalism  borisjohnson  thetimes  uk  politics  brexit  prediction 
july 2019 by np
Trump leak scandal engulfs Brexit Party | News | The Sunday Times
"“The fear is that there has been a Kim Philby-like figure — for financial or ideological reasons — hoovering up leaks who is now ready to end the careers of officials not considered pro-Brexit.”"

Kim Philby:
brexit  uk  conspiracy  article 
july 2019 by np
Betcha we don’t leave the EU — on October 31 or ever | News Review | The Sunday Times
Bile, but bile filled with predictions.

"And yet all the way along it was not Brexit that was the problem but the government’s handling of Brexit."

Once the Leavers get what they want - a No Deal Brexit - I imagine this narrative will shift, again. I expect it will be the EU's fault.

"Only 52% voted leave — a proper vote would have insisted upon a 60–40 majority. Would it? Why would it?"

Because it's such a drastic change, you moronic racist.

"Brexit was defeated — in part by people who always wanted it defeated and did not really care a jot about the aspirations of those who voted leave. But partly also by sheer staggering ineptitude. Not only the ineptitude of the prime minister but also of those who genuinely believed in Brexit and wished — or seemed to wish — to make it happen."
thetimes  opinion  brexit  uk  politics  prediction 
july 2019 by np
Carole Cadwalladr to fight legal threat from Brexit campaign donor Banks
This is self-evidently a case of Arron Banks abusing his wealth to intimidate a journalist into silence. A transparent vendetta. The idea that he values his "reputation" is laughable - it's mud, and has been mud since his ego-driven donation to BNP-lite. He's an insurance salesman - whose businesses don't make any money - with some empty disused diamond mines he "probably" uses to launder money. It might very well be that it's American (Koch/Mercer) money rather than Russian, but whatever; he clearly has Russian connections and it's a matter of record that he lied about how many meetings he had with the Russian ambassador.
brexit  uk  brexitlies  corruption 
july 2019 by np
Ruining a country near you soon: the beta males who think they’re alphas | Marina Hyde | Opinion | The Guardian
"In many ways, there can be no greater therapist’s case study than Trump. If – like many of us at times in our lives – you are one of those people who thinks they’d feel better about themselves if they only got that promotion/ earned more money/ were more successful in whichever way, then will you just look at this guy. LOOK AT HIM. He’s the actual president of the actual United States of America, and he still spends half his time tweeting on the bog, horrifyingly weakly, about people who should be so far below his sight line as to not even remotely register. What a reminder that it’s really not about how you do externally. Unless you take care of your shit, it’s still there inside, gnawing you to bits, and it never goes away. For all his unrivalled power and immense wealth, Donald Trump is by far and away the most insecure person most of us have ever seen."
donaldtrump  us  uk  politics  humour  opinion  guardian  psychology 
july 2019 by np
Britain is heading for a general election reboot, but it’s not going to fix Brexit | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
"The fault does not lie exclusively in remainer recalcitrance. The Commons majority for initiating article 50 negotiations was 384. When the negotiations were complete, most pro-European Tories voted for Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. The orderly route out was obstructed by Brexiteers who could not cope when presented with a technical treaty describing as a dull grind something they had imagined as a romantic adventure."
brexit  guardian  opinion  UK 
july 2019 by np
Boris Johnson: odds of no-deal Brexit are 'a million-to-one against' | Politics | The Guardian
Boris Johnson: odds of no-deal Brexit are 'a million-to-one against'

Tory leadership frontrunner’s claim comes one day after he said UK will leave EU ‘come what may, do or die’"

"Boris Johnson has said the chances of a no-deal Brexit are a “million-to-one against”, despite promising to leave on 31 October whether or not he has managed to strike a new agreement with the European Union.

Johnson, the frontrunner to be prime minister, told a hustings that the chances of a no-deal Brexit were vanishingly small, as he believed there was a mood in the EU and among MPs to pass a new Brexit deal.

“It is absolutely vital that we prepare for a no-deal Brexit if we are going to get a deal,” he said. “But I don’t think that is where we are going to end up – I think it is a million-to-one against – but it is vital that we prepare.”"

I like these predictions which are easily testable.
borisjohnson  brexit  guardian  article  uk  prediction 
june 2019 by np
Boris Johnson, Eyes on Downing Street, Sets Political Fires - The New York Times
"“My strategy is to litter my career with so many decoy mistakes, nobody knows which one to attack,” Mr. Johnson declared. “In the last few minutes I’ve probably said something that the British media will say is absolutely outrageous, though I don’t know what it is.”"
nytimes  politics  uk  people 
june 2019 by np
Brexit: Union digs heels in against shift in Labour policy | The Independent
John Rentoul, The Independent: "By the time Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister, which I think is almost certain, Labour is equally certain to be backing a second referendum on Brexit."
prediction  brexit  labourparty  conservative  UK  politics  video 
june 2019 by np
I was Boris Johnson’s boss: he is utterly unfit to be prime minister | Max Hastings | Opinion | The Guardian
This takedown of Johnson, which is good - but not, in these times, unique, and which is nothing we haven't read before - contains this strikingly well-put observation about Churchill's often-cited racism:

"Churchill’s self-obsession was tempered by a huge compassion for humanity, or at least white humanity, which Johnson confines to himself."

"in my own files I have handwritten notes from our possible next prime minister, threatening dire consequences in print if I continued to criticise him."

"In a commonplace book the other day, I came across an observation made in 1750 by a contemporary savant, Bishop Berkeley: “It is impossible that a man who is false to his friends and neighbours should be true to the public.” Almost the only people who think Johnson a nice guy are those who do not know him."

"We can scarcely strip the emperor’s clothes from a man who has built a career, or at least a lurid love life, out of strutting without them."
guardian  politics  opinion  history  UK  people  borisjohnson 
june 2019 by np
Boris Johnson’s pitch is all about his character. That’s why the row in his flat matters | Matthew d’Ancona | Opinion | The Guardian
"Trump once said that he could “shoot somebody” in the “middle of Fifth Avenue” and not lose any votes on the road to the Republican presidential nomination. Johnson apparently enjoys his own version of this immunity within the Tory stockade.

Why do they cling to him so? Because he incarnates hard Brexit, which for the Conservative movement – once described, without irony, as the “natural party of government” – is now a religion rather than a hugely complex, commercial and institutional process. So sacred has this single objective become that – according to a YouGov poll last week – most Tory members would be willing for their party to be “destroyed” in order to accomplish the holy task of Brexit. Once the most electorally successful force in the free world, they have become a death cult. Johnson, the L Ron Hubbard of the Church of Brexitology, reassures them that leaving the EU is anything but complex. In fact, it could not be easier. It just requires confidence, brio, va-va-voom. In other words: him.

Which brings us back to Thursday night, a woman’s screams and a fracas that may have much to tell us about the man set to become prime minister in little more than a month. If it’s all about him, then we have a right to know everything about him. So many questions still to ask. All eyes on you, Mr Johnson."

Brexit is a death cult.
opinion  guardian  brexit  politics  UK  cult 
june 2019 by np
Boris Johnson: police called to loud altercation at potential PM's home | Politics | The Guardian
"A neighbour told the Guardian they heard a woman screaming followed by “slamming and banging”. At one point Symonds could be heard telling Johnson to “get off me” and “get out of my flat”.


The neighbour said they recorded the altercation from inside their flat out of concern for Symonds. On the recording, heard by the Guardian, Johnson can be heard refusing to leave the flat and telling Symonds to “get off my fucking laptop” before there is a loud crashing noise.

Symonds is heard saying Johnson had ruined a sofa with red wine: “You just don’t care for anything because you’re spoilt. You have no care for money or anything.”

The neighbour said: “There was a smashing sound of what sounded like plates. There was a couple of very loud screams that I’m certain were Carrie and she was shouting to ‘get out’ a lot. She was saying ‘get out of my flat’ and he was saying no. And then there was silence after the screaming. My partner, who was in bed half asleep, had heard a loud bang and the house shook.”"
guardian  politics  UK 
june 2019 by np
The UK campaign for think tank transparency | Who Funds You?
In which the IEA, or Institute for Economic Affairs, still haven't revealed who they're funded by or what their agenda is.

Because it's pure fucking evil.
reference  uk  democracy  politics  charity 
june 2019 by np
Why every possible Brexit outcome spells disaster for the Conservative Party | Prospect Magazine
"It no longer matters for the Tories if Brexit ends in a deal, no-deal, a general election, referendum or revocation: they all spell the demolition of the oldest and most successful political party in the world, and it has only itself to blame."

Nightmare scenario for posterity: new Con PM. New deal impossible, so referendum called. Revolt in Parliament resulting in GE. Cons get plurality of the vote but propped up by Brexit Party (unimaginably worse: BP win). Referendum is held (after delay); Remain wins; government ignores the result.
conservative  brexit  article  uk  politics 
june 2019 by np
Heavyweight Tory fantasists up the pace on the road to nowhere | Marina Hyde | Opinion | The Guardian
"Staying in the world of metaphor, I see Michael Gove is back on the analogies again. In the immediate wake of the EU referendum vote, when Michael felt forced to knife Boris Johnson and embark on his own leadership run, he justified it thus: “I compare it to a group of people standing outside a collapsing building, wondering who is going to rescue a child inside. I thought: well, I don’t think I’ve got either the strength or the speed for this, but as I looked around, I thought, God, I’m at least as strong and at least as fast as the others. I’ve got to try to save the child.” I will never get over this characterisation. IT WAS YOU WHO STARTED THE FIRE, YOU MAD BASTARD!"
guardian  humour  politics  uk  brexit 
june 2019 by np
Out of the LOOP | A guide to country walks by train from London
"Out of the LOOP is a slowly growing collection of walking routes easily accessible by train from London, mostly within an hour or thereabouts of the central termini. The walks link fantastic countryside, historic monuments and country villages; the geography of south-east England means that none are hugely strenuous."

Walks by county
East Sussex

Walks by Train Operator
Great Western
Greater Anglia
London Midland
South Western Railway
london  uk  walking  explore  recommendations  train 
march 2019 by np
Brexit: the week when it all fell apart | News | The Sunday Times
Brexiteers seem to think May has "betrayed Brexit".

"When I was told that we would have to come over and talk to you I began to cry. I said, ‘I don’t want to go over and talk to that woman any more. She’s betrayed Brexit, destroying our party. I want her gone."

Brexit giveth, and Brexit taketh away, I guess.

But this surely is an example of

See also: ,
brexit  conservatism  uk  politics 
march 2019 by np
Week in Review: Suddenly, we kind of know what's going on
"The timetable is now set. Unless something is done by April 12th, we fall out the EU with no-deal. This date cannot be moved. It is hard as a rock. There will be no more extensions.

We know something else too: the prime minister is a busted flush. There is no secret plan going on in her head. There are no hidden depths, no alternate strategies. She is completely absent.

This should've been obvious for ages, but her deadening manner has a weird effect on the brain. It somehow suggests there is a master plan behind the surface. She gives so little away, you presume there is something there to conceal. But there isn't. There's nothing. She is the packaging for product which does not exist.

Consider the last few weeks. She  pursued a work-down-the-clock strategy immediately followed by a humiliating request for more time. Just let that sink in for one moment. Her behaviour makes no sense on its own terms.

This week, she alienated the MPs she needs to pass her deal, in a bid to appeal to a public who she will not allow to vote on it. That is simply nuts. It makes no sense.

The same was true behind closed doors. Last night she gave EU leaders a 90-minute speech - those poor people - on her extension request. "It was 90 minutes of nothing," one EU source told the Guardian. "She didn’t even give clarity if she is organising a vote. Asked three times what she would do if she lost the vote, she couldn't say. It was fucking awful. Dreadful. Evasive even by her standards." Another said: "She was not convincing. It was not clear if she had a plan B; it was not clear if she had a plan at all.""
brexit  uk  article 
march 2019 by np
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