New Year’s Resolutions 2016: Half Year Update

LIFE PLANS & RESOLUTIONS

Six months of 2016 have gone. So it is time to review my goals for 2016. How much have I achieved? How much am I likely to achieve? Where am I going right? Where am I going awry? And where did I have my goals and priorities messed up? NOTE: This post is probably more for me than you guys!

GOALS FOR 2016

  1. Do something, at least half an hour, from each [CATEGORY] on this list, every day. MORE-OR-LESS
  2. [LANG] 30′ minimum every day each for Swedish and Spanish using Memrise and Duolingo. MORE-OR-LESS
  3. [LANG] Work towards B1 level in Spanish and aim to sign up for a course in the last quarter of 2016. MORE-OR-LESS
  4. [LANG] Do an A2 Swedex. MORE-OR-LESS
  5. [LANG] Complete Duff’s The Elements of New Testament Greek, and then Taylor GCSE 1, again. One chapter a fortnight. Upon completion, look into doing GCSEs in Ancient Greek again. NOT HAPPENING: other things are taking priority (see below).
  6. [ART] Continue updating The Doggerelizer weekly, Wrixlings monthly, start updating YouTube twice monthly. BLOGS YES, Y/T NOT HAPPENING
  7. [ART] Do one cartoon per six weeks; begin to upload them and/or other artwork online. NOT HAPPENING
  8. [ART] Get the first draft of Part II of a book I’m writing, code name 21CLF, finished in a “polished draft”. MORE-OR-LESS: I have switched to a new even shorter rewrite which I will release first, hopefully very soon, with the full Part II released by year’s end.
  9. [ART] Get the first draft of Part III of “21CLF” finished. NOT HAPPENING
  10. [ART] Get one feature length script up to 2nd/3rd draft stage. NOT HAPPENING: currently focusing on getting the even shorter rewrite and Part II of “21CLF” out; will refocus on screenplays when this happens.
  11. [ART] Send off the pilot of one of my sitcom series ideas to a producer. NOT HAPPENING: see point 10.
  12. [ART] Over the course of a year, do an average of one 30′ sitcom script per six weeks — total redrafts of scripts are counted towards this goal. NOT HAPPENING: see point 10.
  13. [LIFE] My weight has ballooned again: cut myself down to a healthy BMI & weight (around 13st; a pound loss a week for 52 weeks) and stay there through healthy changes of diet and exercise regime, specifically, a minimum of three days going to the gym, daily use of the work gym for 30′ intense sessions, and less snacks. NOT HAPPENING: see point 10.
  14. [LIFE] Pass my driving theory test and begin lessons. MORE-OR-LESS: I have been reading DVLA materials and studying for the theory.
  15. [LIFE] Get out and stay out of my overdraft. ACHIEVING.
  16. [WORK] Sit and pass the International Phonetics Association exam. NOT HAPPENING: They only run it twice a year, and then they often cancel. Last year there was no exam, for example. Therefore, I joined the International Phonetics Association and have applied for an MA (see point 17 below).
  17. [WORK] Research and apply to do an MA/MPhil in an area of Linguistics. MORE-OR-LESS: I have applied; I need to see if I have been accepted. And if I am, I need to actually do it!
  18. [WORK] Begin a DELTA to improve my ESOL career. NOT HAPPENING: I have indeed looked into this. However, I have put it on the backburner in order to focus on an MA which, at this present moment, seems more immediately fruitful.
  19. [WORK] Do the first two editing courses, set up as an official business, network and set up online media relating to the business. ACHIEVING: on course 1, hopefully successfully, with course 2 to come soon.
  20. [WORK] Get a better paid job. NOT HAPPENING: I am in the process of bettering myself and improving prospects through training.
  21. [GEN] Go to Thailand with the Missus. [during Thai dry season] NOT HAPPENING: seems unlikely, to be honest.
  22. [GEN] Finish reading the Koran. NOT HAPPENING.

All in all, things aren’t going 100% perfectly, but they are hardly off the rails as they arguably were this time last year. I’ll try to update again at the three-quarters mark.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Britain Will NOT Leave the EU @gideonrachman @Vote_Leave #TakeControl #VoteLeave #Brexit

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Two days ago I wrote how I can foresee a second EU referendum, however politically suicidal or disrespectful of the British people’s wishes that that would seem right now. I spoke of how often this has happened in the past when the people say “NO!” to the EU, and why it can and perhaps will happen again.

Now someone who knows more than me, Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times, has said the same thing in his article I do not believe that Brexit will happen (also available here). Unlike Mr Rachman, however, I would not view the onward trundle towards a European Super State or a second referendum to be a good thing. I say, let’s get out ASAP! I also think we cannot trust Boris Johnson on this. After all, he was until recently a lukewarm Bremainer, and famously said a few months ago that the best way to reform the EU, and stay inside this reformed entity, was to vote “NO” in a referendum.

As I said two days ago, we must watch our masters carefully. Any hint at a betrayal of the referendum results, especially Referendum: The Sequel, must be loudly opposed.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/8f2aca88-3c51-11e6-9f2c-36b487ebd80a.html

Normal Service to be Resumed Shortly!

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To all the people who read my blog for dieting stuff, for my posts about languages, or talk about religion or films, I apologise for the current over-saturation of EU Referendum stuff! I hope you understand that this vote is truly historic and therefore warrants a bit of air time! Normal service will resume soon!

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://walbrookdiscovery.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/channel-test-image.jpg

Indy Ref 2: Reasonable Timeline @Vote_Leave #TakeControl #VoteLeave #Brexit

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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland vote 51.9% to LEAVE the EU, and 48.1% to REMAIN. But as you’ll probably be aware, England and Wales voted to LEAVE with 53.4% and 52.5%, but Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to REMAIN with 55.8% and 62%. As far as England is concerned, eight of its nine regions* voted to LEAVE; London was the odd one out. (All details can be found here)

Nichola Sturgeon is now saying the Scottish Parliament will try to block Brexit. I do not believe that this is legally possible, but it would certainly be an outrageous and totally unacceptable proposition. Particularly given that Scotland voted only two years ago to remain in the UK even though everyone was perfectly well aware that the UK might vote to LEAVE the EU two years later.

However, there is a valid point here. Namely, that maybe Scotland and the rest of the UK are diverging politically, and that a second independence referendum for Scotland might need to happen.

But what would the timescale of that be?

The SNP would surely wish to strike while anger is high. However, that seems unreasonable. Indeed, a proposal for a second Indy Ref anytime soon is demonstrably wrong: immoral, yes, but also self-servingly opportunistic, demonstrative of not caring for the UK or even Scotland, but only for one’s own ideology.

Firstly, it isn’t proper to have Indy Ref 2 before we have left the EU. After all, the electorate would not be informed on what an independent UK would entail. That sets Indy Ref 2 back 2-3 years due to the two year negotiation period after Article 50 has been triggered — and it doesn’t have to be triggered immediately.

Secondly, that would take us to 2018/2019. Parliament runs till 2020. Surely it makes sense to allow Parliament to end.

Thirdly, indeed, surely it makes sense for the UK to elect its first post-EU, newly independent government. We must see how an independent UK is to be governed. That means we must allow for at least one full parliament as an independent nation. That takes us through to 2025.

Fourthly, it is probably wise to allow two or three parliaments to pass so that we can settle into a pattern. After all, the first parliament that we elect may well be reactionary. This takes us to 2030-2035.

In short, the earliest it seems reasonable to hold Indy Ref 2 is in about 15-20 years time. That’s not me, as a British Unionist, delaying. Let’s lance the boil! If we need to split, let’s split! But I just can’t see how it is reasonable, let alone constitutionally or politically sensible, to hold Indy Ref 2 anytime soon.

*The EU developed NUTS 1 statistical regions of England.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/indy-ref-2-poll-says-8289832#S5SLVrMPUvEYCsBI.97

EU Referendum: The Sequel @Vote_Leave #TakeControl #VoteLeave #Brexit

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The UK has voted. The decision: to leave the European Union. However, over three million people have already signed a petition calling for a second referendum. In fact, so many tried to sign it that the government petition website crashed!

Now, I don’t believe this petition will come to anything. For a start, it calls for another referendum if the turnout was less than 75%. The turnout was “only” 72%. Yet you can’t retroactively apply this and say we now need another referendum because of the lower turnout. Shifting the goalposts at this stage would just further divide the nation.

However, I always worried, as did many other Brexiteers, that should LEAVE win, a second referendum would be called. Perhaps after the exit negotiation had finished. Y’know, to see if people were still happy with the deal.

This isn’t just conspiracy theorist Brexiteers talking nonsense again (even though David Icke is genuinely on our LEAVE side). Every time a nation is given a vote and says “No” to the EU, there is invariably another vote.

  • Denmark 1992 NO to the Maastricht Treaty 50.7%. Denmark negotiated, got some concessions, staged a second referendum in 1993. The result: 56.8% YES.
  • Ireland 2001 NO to the Treaty of Nice 53.9%. An improved proposal was put to voters in a second referendum in 2002. The result: 62.9 YES.
  • France and Holland 2005 NO to a Treaty establishing a European Constitution 54.9% and 61.5%. The EU simply put almost all of the same provisions in another treaty, The Treaty of Lisbon, which France and Holland did not have a referendum on.
  • Ireland 2008 NO to Treaty of Lisbon 53.2%. Some reassurances were given by the EU, and a second referendum was held in 2009. The result: 67.1% YES.

Seeing a pattern here? Yet whenever a nation says YES the first time of asking, there is peculiarly no second vote(!) For example:

  • Croatia 2012 to join the EU.
  • Malta, Slovenia, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia 2003 to join the EU.
  • Ireland and Denmark 1998 Treaty of Amsterdam.
  • Austria, Finland, Sweden 1994 to join the EU.
  • Ireland and France 1992 Maastricht Treaty.
  • Denmark 1986 Single European Act.
  • Ireland 1987 Single European Act.
  • Ireland and Denmark 1972 to join the European Communities.
  • And of course all the aforesaid times where the nation voted YES on the second referendum, after saying NO in the first, a further third one was not held.

There’s a reason we always had the double jeopardy rule in English law. It simply isn’t fair to keep putting the same person on trial until you get the “right” result. This ancient protection against tyranny was effectively repealed on the reasonable-sounding grounds that should new evidence come to light, it is only just to try the person again. Likewise, it seems so reasonable to ask the people to vote again when new conditions come to light. And literally millions of people petitioning for a second vote, plus the upcoming withdrawal negotiation conditions, are indeed “new conditions”. Yet in reality, this would be nothing but a try at barracking and wearing people down emotionally and mentally to not vote NO again, to either abstain or switch to YES.

If we were always offered a second bite, or a best of three, then I wouldn’t be so vexed. But that isn’t how the EU works. When supporters of “The Project” can avoid it, they don’t ask the question. And when they do ask the question, only the “right” answer will do.

And that is why I am not dancing in the streets. And that is why I haven’t cried with joy yet. For I know all too well that this isn’t over till the fat lady sings. I will shed tears of joy when we have actually left the EU. Till then, us supporters of a free UK must stay wakeful and watchful of what our overlords do.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://petition.parliament.uk

 

Random Images 19: Plain Sight

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I Will Be Voting to LEAVE The EU Because… @Vote_Leave #TakeControl #VoteLeave #Brexit

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When you write a screenplay, it’s good to summarise it in a single line. Why? It’s called the “pitch”, and it’s used to grab the attention of potential producers and get your screenplay made.

Stephanie Palmer suggests the following format for a pitch:

“My story is a (genre) called (title) about (hero) who wants (goal) despite (obstacle).”

So how am I voting in the EU Referendum? And can I summarise this complicated issue in a line, a pitch? Sure, such a summary will miss the nuance and subtlety. But sometimes that is helpful; it lets us see the wood and not the trees. We don’t get lost in a sea of stats. We boil things down to what really matters.

That said…

Tomorrow, I will be voting for the UK to leave the EU because I believe in the right to self-determination for all nations, and I think that the people of this country should be the ones who decide what happens in this country on all policy fronts, rather than being 1/9* of a larger polity with a different political and economic culture and history and language, and that the buck should stop with British politicians in a British parliament.

In short: my decision comes down to sovereignty. For me, everything else is just a distraction and an elaboration.

* The UK is around 1/8 the population of the EU, and has around 1/10 of the seats in the European Parliament, so 1/9 seems a reasonable fraction.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887

EU Referendum: Wrong Vote @Vote_Leave #TakeControl #VoteLeave #Brexit

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I am firmly for the UK leaving the EU. Have been half my life (and I’m only 31!). But frustratingly, sadly, it is apparently necessary to keep saying the following so as to try to hose off the mud that Bremainers keep slinging:

I love Europe, I holiday there all the time; my wife is from the continent; I am obsessed with the languages, cultures, and films of Europe; European solidarity is necessary in order to promote and maintain the presence of liberal democratic ideology in the world and to counter-balance the growing threats that the world faces, be it Russia, China, or ISIS. I love Europe, I hate the EU.

The EU does not do justice to our great continent in any regard. The EU is a long-term death sentence for the continent, and thus the values which it promotes and stands for.

I think it’s hard to tell whether the UK will vote to Remain or to Leave. Although I have never underestimated the power of the fear factor to pursuade people to vote Remain. However, whichever way the vote goes, I would like it to go that way based on facts, not ill-founded fears. But I worry it won’t.

  • We are the EasyJet generation; if we leave the EU, we won’t be able to go to Europe anymore.
  • The average holiday will go up by £200.
  • Austerity will continue for two more years.
  • We will lose four million jobs if we leave the EU.
  • We will no longer be able to afford to pay for pensions, the NHS, the armed forces (and so on); all will have to be cut.

These are all lies that I have heard respectable people tell in recent weeks. Lies that may convince people.

Many of the statements made in this campaign are needfully tentative, predictions prefixed with “may”, “could”, and “perhaps”. And there have been many outright lies. But there are facts, too. Let’s vote based on those facts, not on lies and misrepresentations.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/love-europe-hate-the-eu/

Jeremy Corbyn’s Views on the EU @vote_leave #TakeControl #Brexit #EUReferendum

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The following article was so good and informative, I had to reproduce it all. All rights to ukbusinessinsider.com and Jeremy Wilson. It’s a couple of months old, but it’s points are so important that we need to dwell on them.

But in short: Jeremy Corbyn is the very definition of “Eurosceptic”. The man has strongly opposed the EU all of his political life. But now he is leader of the Labour party, he has done an unconvincing U-turn. People are complaining that he isn’t selling the case for Remain. But how can the guy? He has opposed it his whole career!

Sadly, Corbyn has let us all down. He has put the Labour Party above the national interest and above his life-long held views. The man has seriously tarnished himself in my estimation. It turns out this principled maverick is just like every other politician when it comes down to it; protecting his party and his position is his primary concern.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth http://uk.businessinsider.com/jeremy-corbyn-is-making-a-big-speech-saying-we-should-remain-in-the-eu-heres-all-the-times-he-said-the-eu-was-bad-2016-4

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Jeremy Corbyn wants Britain to remain in the EU — but here are all the times he said it was bad

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party, just gave his first speech urging people to vote for staying part of the European Union.

But he hasn’t always been supportive of being a member of the 28-nation bloc. In fact he even voted in favour of leaving the European Economic Community —the EU’s predecessor— in 1975.

Speaking on Thursday morning in Central London, Corbyn urged British voters to accept the EU “warts and all.”

He added, “there is a strong socialist case for staying in the European Union, just as there is also a powerful socialist case for reform and progressive change in Europe.”

Polls show that the “Remain” and “Leave” campaigns are neck-and-neck and Corbyn’s opinion could sway some votes.

A YouGov poll published in The Times on Thursday shows that when it comes to the EU, Corbyn — the leader of the opposition — is the most trusted British politician. Twenty-eight percent of people trust the statements and claims made by Corbyn on the EU, while only 21% trust the statements from Prime Minister David Cameron.

Despite Corbyn pushing for Britons to vote for staying within the EU, it looks like he has changed his stance over the bloc — big time.

Here’s a list of some of the things Corbyn has done and said in the past that would appear to show that he is very skeptical of the EU.

  • He voted in favour of leaving the European Economic Community in 1975.
  • He voted against the Maastricht Treaty that created the EU. Here’s what he had to say about it — “It takes us in the opposite direction of an unelected legislative body—the Commission—and, in the case of foreign policy, a policy Commission that will be, in effect, imposing foreign policy on nation states that have fought for their own democratic accountability.”
  • He voted against the Lisbon Treaty which is the current constitutional basis for the EU.
  • Writing about the Greek crisis last year Corbyn said — “There is no future for a Europe that turns its smaller nations into colonies of debt peonage.”
  • In an LBC interview, Corbyn implied that the EU was treating Greece “brutally.” — “If Europe becomes a totally brutal organisation that treats every one of its member states in the way that the people of Greece have been treated at the moment, then I think Europe will lose a lot of support from a lot of people.”
  • In an article on his website, Corbyn wrote that the EU was responsible for the gross abuse of human rights in  Western Sahara. However, the article was deleted.
  • In another deleted article on his website, Corbyn wrote this — “The project has always been to create a huge free-market Europe, with ever-limiting powers for national parliaments and an increasingly powerful common foreign and security policy.”
  • A spokesman for Corbyn said the articles were deleted because they are “converting it [the website] to reflect his work as leader and afterwards.”

And finally here’s a TV interview that was dug up by the pro-Brexit organisation Leave.EU. In it he says the European Union’s bureaucracy is unaccountable to anybody.

It appears Corbyn’s change of heart follows closely after his election as leader of the Labour party which is overwhelmingly pro-EU. Some 213  of Labour’s 231 MPs have signed up to Labour In For Britain — Labour’s Remain campaign group.

Corbyn preempted criticism over his change of mind, by admitting in his speech that he has a track record of being critical of the EU. He said he remains critical, but we need to work with it to change it. Here’s what he said, the added emphasis is ours.

Over the years I have continued to be critical of many decisions taken by the EU and I remain critical of its shortcomings, from its lack of democratic accountability to the institutional pressure to deregulate or privatise public services.

So Europe needs to change.

But that change can only come from working with our allies in the EU. It’s perfectly possible to be critical and still be convinced we need to remain a member.

EU Referendum: BeLEAVE in Britain (The Sun) #BeLEAVEinBritain @TheSun @vote_leave #TakeControl #Brexit #EUReferendum

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I’m not a massive fan of red top newspapers. But The Sun, whether it was the one “wot won it” or not, is massively influential, including (and especially?) amongst Labour voters. Labour voters are one of the key constituencies that will ultimately sway the EU Referendum.

Therefore, as someone who is strongly in favour of Vote Leave, aka Brexit, I am really happy that The Sun newspaper has decided to come out and back LEAVE (see yesterday’s front page above: click on it for a close up). I also think the front page strikes a good balance and fairly plainly puts forward a largely positive case. The headline says it all: Believe in Britain. Or as Bremainer President Barack Obama would have had it, YES WE CAN! We are a great country, with a great history and a great future. Brexit is not retreating into glorious isolation; this is our chance to break free and into the wide open world and fully unleash our potential.

BeLEAVE in Britain: a vote for LEAVE is a vote for a better Britain.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry