Tuesday, 20 June 2017

strong and streaming

Adding pictures to my blog entries may prove more difficult than usual whilst I am in a wooden shack in the forest. Of course, the view makes up for some inconvenience.

Although I’ve managed to find a weak digital signal, it is struggling to deliver updates from my phone camera to my blog.

The idea was always to spend a few walkaway days in the forest as part of the transitional phase into the next adventure.

It's several weeks since the crating up process and we’re managing to survive on limited materials whilst still providing the appearance of (mostly) business as usual. Minus the bikes, which are crated up somewhere.

At least we are keeping things going. More than can be said for the second titular head of the UK. We have a Monarch already, so I'm not quite sure what the current Prime Minister's role really entails. We haven't even managed to restart Parliament.

The trade talks for the EU exit have been pushed from number one to around number four on the negotiation stack. The recent horrors around London received somewhat robotic responses, until the recent appearance where the PM was obviously posed with a group of multicultural electorate. The straw-clutching DUP talks have drifted, which doesn't bode well for the altogether larger EU talks.

I've worked out that the PM doesn't want the job any longer. Just look at her face on any TV moment. I hesitate to use words like 'appearance' or 'interview' because she seems to be pushed out like some kind of toy on wheels. I understand that she can't resign because the mad box of frogs that would replace her would be even crazier. I think she knows that too, and now is probably in thrall to the Tory apparatus which erodes her preacher's daughter storyline. And maybe it is true that the electorate don't want yet another election, which would inevitably follow her removal.

Meanwhile the UK has been put onto a mad autopilot, like one of those spaceship movies where the computer takes over. I'll still blame Cameron and Osborne for setting the collision course, aided and abetted by Etonian chums. Britain had set the conditions by allowing the election of richly rewarded EU-haters to represent us in Brussels. Ironically, the EU-haters will get decent EU pensions from their part in the crash.

But the problem now includes the Brexit means Brexit statements, which are about as much use as saying grey = grey. David Davies now gets to operationalise the exit, but already on Day 1 had his issues reprioritised by Brussels. As EU negotiations minister Michel Barnier says, "I am not in a frame of mind to make concessions or ask for concessions … the UK has asked to leave the EU, not the other way round, so we each have to assume the consequences of our decisions and the consequences are substantial. Please do not underestimate those consequences."

I've already mentioned frogs in one context, I'm now wondering about that old apocryphal tale about slowly boiled frogs, in this case it being the British electorate being dropped into the pot.

Philip Hammond has just indicated that he will follow in Osborne's footsteps and attempt to balance the books (no longer by 2020, instead by 2025). Make no mistake, that means more austerity. And the word austerity becomes a code word. Despite Hammond himself saying [He] remains clear today, that when the British people voted last June, they did not vote to become poorer, or less secure...

That's where austerity belies his other statement. He has previously lined up another £9bn of welfare cuts, notwithstanding things like removal of triple lock pension protection and public sector cuts. How much of the previous statements drift into the Queens Speech could be an indicator of whether Hammond will be allowed to flex his position.

Hammond actually understands arithmetic and spreadsheets. He should use his newly gained positional strength to adjust things, instead of being forced to follow down the same ruinous rabbit hole dug by Osborne.

I've commented on the reality in prior posts back through 2015-2016 and it's not really changing. The Office for Budget Responsibility paints the picture.

It's easy to spot the lie. The public sector debt percentage of GDP is still increasing. Magically, the plus two years out point is once again where things are predicted to get better.

Strange that? It is outside of the operational horizon and akin to pushing the lump under the carpet further along.

I know that most people don't pay much attention to any of this stuff. Our elected politicians have been relying on a mix of confusing the electorate and three word soundbites.

That's how last year's referendum worked. Lies and confusion. Pernicious subversion of rational argument, as Sir David Omand might call it, based upon his War Studies propaganda classifications.

If so, then despite the electorate's vote, the referendum result should probably be classed as illegally obtained.

On the other hand, in my current planetgong state, a squirrel just bounced across the balcony of the shack.

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