Brexit Voters Are ****ing Stupid! #Brexit

This post is inspired by a Tweet I saw and the countless times I’ve been slagged off by people who voted Remain in the EU Membership Referendum.

I have a Bachelor of Arts with Honours with an award of First Class, two Master of Arts, not to mention my professional qualifications, all from world leading institutions. IQ tests rank me as 98-99 percentile — that qualifies me for Mensa. Oh yeah, and my wife is foreign.

Yep, no doubt about it; I’m a typical stupid, ignorant, racist, thicky dum-dum Brexit voter. Cos only imbecilic racist scumbags voted Brexit, amirite?

© 2018 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Neologism: Parchment Contract

So, me and some workmates were talking about older work contracts today and how people on older contracts have much better terms and conditions than people on new contracts. It’s like, it gets progressively worse over the last thirty years. Seems to be common across organisations. Anyway, I said,  ‘Of course so-and-so was entitled to such-and-such a benefit; their contract is so old it’s written on parchment’. And then I was, okay, “parchment contracts”.

So there we are, I offer my nonce word up as a useful new word:

parchment contract n. phr. an older contract with preferential terms and conditions and pay, specifically used in bitter reference to how such contracts are now ancient, long-forgotten, history, and never likely to return.

© 2018 Bryan A. J. Parry

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London Terror Attack 22/03/2017 #WeAreNotAfraid

London has always been attacked by terrorists. We know that. But this never has, nor ever will, stop us leading our lives freely. I can say hand-on-heart: WE ARE NOT AFRAID.

© 2017 Bryan A. J. Parry

The SNP are Opportunistic Scum @theSNP @NicolaSturgeon #IndyRef2

… the SNP and Scotland are not the same thing …

I am a unionist … but I am a democrat above all else … if Scotland wanted to leave the UK, then it is undeniably right that they should leave … Yet now demonstrably is not the time for another referendum.

I’ve lost all respect for the Scottish National Party. They are acting like opportunistic, hateful scum. None-the-less, I still 100% respect the idea of Scottish Independence; let’s not conflate the SNP and Scotland, as if they were the same thing, even though Sturgeon and her motley crew keep trying to blur the distinction.

I want to be clear about something.

Yes, I am a unionist and believe that the four nations of the UK are better off together. However, I am a democrat above all else. And even though it would break my heart, if Scotland wanted to leave the UK, then it is undeniably right that they should leave, although I would bid them adieu with a tear and a friendly handshake. See my posts about the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum for more about my views.

But now demonstrably is not the time for another referendum. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon talks about the “democratic outrage” of not being allowed to hold another independence reference by 2018-2019. But I think the only outrage is her behaviour and that of other SNP top brass.

Let’s get real.

  1. The official logic of a 2018-2019 Scottish Referendum is that Scotland will remain in the EU if it leaves the UK before the UK leaves the EU. However, this “logic” is horseshit and has been repeatedly shot down by everyone in the EU. The United Kingdom has membership of the EU, and Scotland would not inherit the UK’s membership. Therefore, Scotland would have to reapply to join the EU even if it seceded from the UK but the rest of the UK remained in!
  2. Scotland knew that there would be an EU referendum and therefore knew that if it voted to remain in the UK, there would be the very real possibility that that would mean leaving the EU. Therefore, material circumstances haven’t changed in quite the way the SNP claim.
  3. It is plainly absurd for any Scottish Independence Referendum to be held before (1) we had left the EU, and (2) before the dust had settled. The SNP said this referendum was once in a lifetime; what, the lifetime of a gerbil? Wait for the UK to leave, and for the dust to settle, and then the Westminster government should be totally open to a new referendum.
  4. I wonder, though, if the SNP would be pressing for a second referendum in 2018-2019 if Scotland had voted to leave the UK… you know, just to make sure — after all, Brexit means circumstances have changed…
  5. The UK got opt-outs, and Sweden et al joined way back when. Any new member of the EU would have to adopt the Euro. Sorry, but that’s a fact. An “independent” Scotland in the EU would also be in the Euro.
  6. I still cannot grasp the fundamental logic of the SNP position, in any case: being 8% of the population of the UK, with 9% of the seats in the Commons, and one of four member states, is worse than what would be 1% of the population of the EU, with around 1.6% of the seats, and one of 28 member states…!!? This smacks of serious anti-English bias in the SNP leadership (not amongst members, though, who are mostly just patriotic Scots, not English-haters).

In short, the Scots are a nation and not a county of England — as Alex Salmond absurdly recently claimed is the opinion of those against doing IndyRef2 in the SNP’s timeframe of 2018-2019. And thus, they have absolutely the moral right to another referendum. Luckily, the UK government is more enlightened than, say, the Spanish government, and we’re happy to give a binding referendum to Scotland. But this timeframe of 2018-2019 is absurd. It is political opportunism. Let’s wait until the next parliament. If there is wide enough support for another referendum, then let’s crack on with Indy Ref 2!

© 2017 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Elected House of Lords? @electoralreform #electoralreform #lordsreform #sortition

The Electoral Reform Society and others claim that we need an elected upper house in order to be fully democratic. But I say that they have confused democracy with vote-ocracy.

Today’s papers are full of a periodic favourite: how the House of Lords needs to be reformed. Reports of one peer who left a taxi waiting whilst he went inside just to sign in for his £300 daily expenses only to then nip off again in his taxi (!) have (re)surfaced. The Electoral Reform Society, who I largely agree with and support, have called for an elected House of Lords.

But I disagree.

The House of Lords is a total mess. No doubt. Packed with cronies, those with conflicts of interest (taking EU pensions whilst voting on whether we should leave the EU!), and lazy sods who turn up for their dole. The place is an anachronism. And it’s a great pity that Labour could not finish the reform job they started in 1997; if they had prepared for government a bit more, maybe they would have.

But electing members of the Lords is not the solution. In fact, it would make things worse.

Why replicate the elected Commons? Why have yet more elected careerist politicians?

The Electoral Reform Society and others claim that we need an elected upper house in order to be fully democratic. But I say that they have confused democracy with vote-ocracy.

If not an elected Lords, then what?

The Lords is supposed to be a politically neutral, disinterested, body of wise counsellors, who have no vested interests, who are not career politicians, and who act as a sober check on any possible elected dictatorship of the Commons. But how to get such a House?

Clearly, elections corrupt the system and invariably lead to politicising. Not merely my words and thoughts, those of the founding fathers of the US. The ancient Athenians and Romans knew this, too, which is why leading figures were selected by sortition (out of a hat, as it were, like jurors are nowadays) and were limited to a single one-year term.

Thus, there are intricacies involved in reform, but I put forward the following as a sound basis.

  1. There should be far fewer Lords than there are MPs in the Commons. But currently there are 805 Lords and 650 MPs. I propose to cut the number of Lords to around half the number of MPs, let’s say around 300.
  2. Lords should not be elected (barring e.g. the Bishops), and should either serve life terms, very long one-off terms, or very short terms. Perhaps all three depending.
  3. Lords must forsake any political allegiance or conflicting interests as the Speaker of the Commons does.
  4. Around half or more (two-thirds? three-quarters?) of the Lords will be chosen by sortition (like jury duty) from a pool of eligible persons who have not opted out, representing equally the leading minds in all key disciplines such as science, technology, business, the arts, philanthropy, and so on. Such individuals should serve long single-terms/lifelong terms.
  5. Most of the left-over minority of the Lords should be chosen by nomination by the political parties in proportion to the seats they have in the Commons and for a single term, perhaps the length of the next parliament, no party in the Commons having fewer than one appointee in the Lord. For example, if 100 seats were to be made available this way, the Conservatives would nominate around 51 members, Labour around 36, the SNP around 8, the LibDems, UKIP, Greens and so on 1 each, all based on their current seats in the Commons.
  6. There should be an even smaller number (around half of the nominees) who are selected by sortition from the public at large, after having met various qualifications, and who should serve single one-year terms.
  7. The 26 Lords Spiritual should keep their seats.
  8. The 90 hereditary peers should keep their seats until they all die. Their seats will not be handed on. Eventually, there will be no hereditary peers left.

This sort of thing seems like a reasonable compromise which would achieve what we want of the Lords — and most importantly, doesn’t confuse vote-ocracy with democracy.

© 2017 Bryan A. J. Parry

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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

 

 

The EU Referendum and Scottish Independence @vote_leave #TakeControl #Brexit #EUReferendum #indyref2 #indyref

indyref2

There has been much talk in the EU referendum that a vote for leave would trigger a second Scottish independence referendum. Why? The logic is that support for the EU is highest in Scotland (leave is currently polling at a mere 17%). Indeed, the idea of a second Scottish independence referendum makes sense; if the majority of the UK, and a majority of the other constituent nations, voted for leave, but a clear majority in Scotland voted remain, this would indeed legitimately raise the question of whether the UK still worked for Scotland (if indeed it ever did). Certainly, Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP, is fond of raising this point.

As a unionist, yet someone who is strongly for leave, this worries me.

However, two points are worth making.

  1. The SNP’s position is incoherent. On one hand, they persist in calling for independence from the UK (actually, methinks, from England; I reckon the SNP would be happy for Scotland to carry on alongside the other Celtic nations). They say Westminster is too far away and removed from the affairs of Scots, and that being an independent nation would enable politicians in Scotland to much better represent the people of Scotland. Their logic: how could a population of a mere five million make its voice heard in a larger nation of some 65 million? Yet at the same time, the SNP equally firmly persists in the notion that being integrated within the EU, a far larger polity with some 508 million people!, would lead to better representation for the Scottish people. I simply cannot get my head round this, and I have never heard a truly convincing argument for how this makes any sense.
  2. What if a majority of England votes for leave, but the UK as a whole votes remain? Does England then get an independence referendum to leave the UK? I suspect, from anecdotal evidence, that the percentage of Englishmen wanting to leave the UK is higher than the number of Scots who do!

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/14/brexit-golden-opportunity-nicola-sturgeon-nightmare

EU Referendum and “Quitters” #ITVEURef @vote_leave #TakeControl #Brexit #EUReferendum

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David Cameron has said that people who will vote for the UK to leave the EU are “quitters” and “Little Englanders”. Wow, what a way to offend half the nation, Dave. I know a great deal of people born abroad who are in favour of Brexit. He went on to say that Britain is a nation of “fighters” who should take on the EU rather than vote to leave.

Only in the warped double-think logic of David Cameron could staying in the EU be defined as “fighting” the EU.

Even if I wasn’t in favour of Brexit initially, I might be now anyway after Dave’s offensive rhetoric.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www1.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/The+ITV+Referendum+Debate+JHiebvNq8qel.jpg

EU Referendum Registration Fiasco @vote_leave #TakeControl #Brexit #EUReferendum

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The government website where you register to vote crashed last night and was down for several hours. This was due to a surge of people trying to register online for the EU referendum — some 525,000 in total! Thousands of mostly young voters were consequently left unable to register. As usual with young people (trust me, I’m a teacher), despite having had literally months to register, they all decided to wait till the eleventh hour. Too many users online at once equals crashed website. But even though it was all their own fault, this has led to moronic comments like the following.

People cannot be denied the right to vote because computer says no.
Yvette Cooper

How about registering in the past few months, dickheads?

But these young’uns won’t be made to learn from their mistake, however.

To reward these cretins for not being bothered to register in good time, the government have extended the deadline. Not by a few hours that the site was down for, but by forty-eight! It’s not the government’s fault the site crashed! By extending the deadline by two whole days, the government is rewarding irresponsible behaviour, and thereby further enforcing the sense of entitlement of this generation.

Worse luck, though.

The government full well knows that most of these late-comers are young and are therefore statistically more likely to Vote Remain. I wonder: if the demographic who registered late were older, and therefore statistically more likely to Vote Leave, would the government have extended the deadline…? Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I somewhat doubt it. To put it another way: has the government just cunningly rigged another few hundred thousand votes for its own view? I think so. With 7.5 million eligible voters still not registered, this extension may just swing the vote. Of course, as a believer in democracy, I would want everyone to vote; however, democracy also requires the exercise of self-responsibility and being a grown-up. But about that conspiracy theory again: Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, summed it up nicely for me upon the website crashing:

This is a shambles the government has presided over and people must be given an extra day to exercise their democratic right. It is also a major blow to the in campaign and our prospects of staying in Europe.

Evidence shows younger people are overwhelmingly pro-European, and if they are disenfranchised it could cost us our place in Europe. It could also turn them off democracy for life. Voters must be given an extra day while this mess is sorted out urgently.
The Guardian, 7 June 2016

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

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