About presager64

Male age 64. Following British politics since 1952. B.A (Hons) Politics and International Relations. Some teaching and radio work.

Best country to tackle the pandemic

And the winners are: the Swedes.

They didn’t do lockdown.

They just made sure their health service was prepared for any pandemic, with enough beds, PPE, ventilators and other necessary equipment.

When the virus hit, they simply told their people to wash their hands frequently, and try to keep a reasonable social distance in public places.

That’s all.

It worked.

They’ve gone past their peak infection and deaths point, and their ‘R’ (reinfection rate) is well below the crucial 1.

The gloomy Eeyore, professor Neil Ferguson, who pushes the medical model the British government is following, and who has more than two decades of flawed, consistently wrong, hysterically over-reacting forecasts behind him, predicted that Sweden would have an ‘R’ of 4 at least, and many more times the death rate than it actually has.

Studies are now showing that herd immunity is achieved when as little as 10-20% of the population has been infected, not the 60-80% minimum that Ferguson has touted. Once you’ve got that 10-20% you’re well past the peak of infections and deaths. The ‘R’ rate goes below 1. Our ‘R’ figure is below 1, at just over 0.8%, and we’ve almost certainly got that 10-20% rate.

As the pandemic unfurled, I had thought that the South Korean model was the best one. Swift lockdown, closed borders, quarantining, efficient testing and contact tracing.

But it turns out that the Swedes offered the best solution. Their secret? As a Swedish government spokesman said, it was ‘common sense.’ They’d seen the evidence. They knew that it did not show that lockdown had appreciably more effect than simple washing of hands and social distancing. Lockdown wasn’t worth the economic and social harm it entailed. The Swedish government refused to be panicked.

Meanwhile, the ill-prepared British government did panic. Driven by perceived public reaction and the apocalyptic nonsense spouting from Ferguson, Ministers have run around like headless chickens.

The very severe lockdown imposed on us will do huge economic and social damage, albeit we’ve found some personal and environmental mitigating factors.

But professor Neil Ferguson deserves the title of The Man Who Wrecked Britain.

Supreme Court rules current prorogation unlawful.

 

THE 1689 BILL OF RIGHTS ESTABLISHED THAT THE JUDICIARY CANNOT INTERFERE IN PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS. HENCE THE MOST IMPORTANT LAW IN OUR UNWRITTEN CONSTITUTION – PARLIAMENT IS SUPREME.

THIS WAS NEVER CHALLENGED IN ALL THE HUNDREDS OF YEARS SINCE – UNTIL THE SCOTTISH SESSION JUDGES DECLARED PROROGATION WAS UNLAWFUL.

NOW THE SUPREME COURT HAS ALSO DECLARED THIS PROROGATION UNLAWFUL.

THE POINT IS THIS: IT IS UP TO AN OPPOSITION, IF THEY DISAGREE WITH ANY POLICY OR PROCEDURE ENACTED BY PARLIAMENT, TO WIN AN ELECTION AND CHANGE THE LAW INVOLVING SAID POLICY OR PROCEDURE.

IT IS NOT FOR THE JUDICIARY TO INVOLVE THEMSELVES. OUR HIGHEST COURT HAS NOW DONE SO, AND THROWN ASIDE HISTORIC PRECEDENT WITHOUT EVEN A MENTION OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS.

IT SEEMS THIS MEANS THAT ANY TOM, DICK OR HARRIET CAN NOW CHALLENGE ANY BILL, ACT OR PROCEDURE OF PARLIAMENT ON THE SAME GROUNDS GIVEN BY THE SCOTTISH JUDGES AND THE SUPREME COURT: THAT THE MOTIVES BEHIND IT WERE UNLAWFUL.

THIS IS A RECIPE FOR CHAOS, AND IT SEEMS TO ME TO BE CLEAR THAT IT DISPLAYS THE EUROPHILE REMAIN ESTABLISHMENT BRAZENLY CROSSING ALL BOUNDS IN ITS DESPERATION. THE JUDICIARY’S EVER-INCREASING HUBRIS OVER THE LAST FEW DECADES, WHICH HAS SEEN IT INCREASINGLY LOOK TO THE EU, NOT THE UK PARLIAMENT, AS ITS MASTER, HAS NOW REACHED AN UNPRECEDENTED PEAK.

”Why don’t the chip van come no more?”

This profoundly unsettling question was posted on my local village residents’ Fbook page half an hour ago.
 It’s one of those posts which are put up in the a la mode style of being highlighted against a large square of lurid colour, in this case purple and mauve.
 Perhaps it’s that background which seems to give the words such mournful resonance.
 After some consideration, I feel that there’s no satisfactory answer to the profoundly unsettling question which has been put before us in such dramatic fashion. Were the chip van even to reappear, things will never be the same. Our existential angst can never disappear.
 There were some well-meaning attempts at reassurance by other residents, such as ”he’s been to cherry Waye” (sic). Though welcome, such attempts can never dispel my unease. It’s not as if I ever used the chip van – but the very thought of its presence in my neighbourhood, with those lovely deep-fat fried smells, and the cheerful customers getting their hallowed chip calories handed to them, all nicely wrapped up, through the van’s side aperture, was enough to make one feel that one was part of the community and – perhaps rather a quick jump here –  an ordered universe, in which one had one’s rightful place.
 Now I feel things will never be the same, having read ”why don’t the chip van come no more?”

Con leadership candidate Rory Stewart.

 

I’m an out-and-out Brexiteer. As such, the last thing I want is a Remainer as next Tory leader and PM. But I will say this about Rory Stewart: despite his Messiah complex, deplorably fascistic-liberal tendencies (exemplified by the notion that, if necessary, he’d hold an alternative ‘parliament’ in the form of a ‘People’s Assembly’ made up of suitable bien-pensants drawn up from a limited list – presumably of his choosing), yes, despite this he’s an intriguing candidate with an impressive background, as you can see from his Wikipedia page, which is well worth getting acquainted with. His star is undoubtedly on the rise, and his contribution to national life, one way and another, is likely to be considerable in the future, unless he throws a tantrum and chucks it all away.

That Wikipedia page:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rory_Stewart

That supposed remain ”majority.”

 

There is so much nonsense talked about the remain vote polling a higher percentage than the Brexit vote.

Our General Elections are fought on First Past The Post. We had a referendum in 2011 to change that for the Alternative Vote system. AV was decisively rejected – over 67% voted against the change. We’re not going to have another referendum on that subject anytime soon, and certainly not before the next GE.

When Maggie Thatcher won the 1987 election with a percentage victory of 10% over her nearest rival, Kinnock’s Labour, the percentage margin of just over 10% was almost exactly the same as the 11% victory of the Brexit party over second-placed Lib Dems last night.

The Tories won 376 seats in ’87, Labour 229. Tories’ thumping majority over Labour: 147 seats. Take away the 16 seats gained by other parties opposed to the Tories (Lib Dem/SDP Alliance, SDLP, SNP), and not counting the Ulster Unionist Tory allies, and you still have a thumping overall majority of 131. Which can carry just about any Act through the Commons.

Even then people were moaning that the Tory vote percentage was much less than that of parties opposed, who polled 10% more.

But that margin was much bigger than the supposed remain vote majority last night.

If last night’s results were that of a General Election, we’d see the Brexit party returned with an overall majority similar to that achieved by Thatcher in ’87.

The message is clear: if the Tories want to win the next General Election they must go absolutely flat-out to capture that huge Brexit bloc vote. If they don’t, they are toast. Equivocating with remainers, whether amongst their own MPs or the electorate, is not an option. Whoever wins the lion’s share of the Brexit vote is going to romp home. The remain vote is hopelessly split amongst at least 4 parties, and if Labour adopt remain as their official position they will be destroyed. At least 30% of their voters are Brexiteers.

Last night’s staggering Brexit party win.

 

What most struck me as the election results rolled in was the way that remainers blithely ignored the mass vote for Brexit, which ended up more than 10% clear of its nearest challenger, the Lib Dems. In a General Election this would give the Brexiteers a massive majority of over 200 seats.

No, people like greasy Chukka and sinister Alastair Campbell were saying that the vote showed the need for a second referendum – one of the key points that Brexiteers reject!

Campbell imagines that a remain Labour would win the next GE. That cannot happen. A large chunk of Labour voters, perhaps 30%, would desert Labour for the most pro-Brexit party available, as it did last night.

The only possible option for the Tories is to go flat out for an unambiguous Brexit, deal or no deal. Only a minority of Tory voters are remainers. If the Tories don’t get the message, they will be steamrollered once again, and this time finished for good.

The most important lesson to come out of last night is that Brexiteers form by far the largest single bloc of voters. Remainers are scattered across the other parties. He that fully harnesses the Brexit vote wins the next GE – massively.

On BBC4’s Brexit: Behind Closed Doors.

 

Interesting that most of the (EU negotiating team) Steering Group’s conversations were in English, with the occasional lapse into French, less occasional into German, and total absence of any other EU28 language, including Italian and Spanish.

I was surprised at how the EU team were unsophisticated, narrow, shallow, clichéd, self-satisfied and dominated by idées fixes. To the extent that we could ascertain the British position (seen almost exclusively from Brussels), I’d agree that it was shambolic and ill-prepared.

The most revelatory moment came when Verhofstadt mentioned, en passant, that Olly Robbins (Britain’s senior civil servant in charge of negotiations), asked him whether he thought he could acquire a Belgian passport ”when this is all over,” since he didn’t think he’d be able to go back, as he was too unpopular! To have such a dyed-in-the-wool Remainer in charge of our negotiations was evidently disastrous – no less so having a Remainer PM who had no belief in Brexit and did nothing but buckle under EU pressure.

The extension.

 

As I predicted, all that guff from Macron and others about ”no extension unless you have a clear, detailed plan” was just lies.

The EU would do anything to keep us shackled to its decaying corpse – bien sur. Now this long extension till October 31st will give Britain’s Remain establishment plenty of time to knead Parliamentary and public opinion like a child’s playdough, until it’s in the desired form – which is acceptance of staying in the EU. Then the EU will say ”oh…so you want back in? Fancy that. Yes, do return – but with a few conditions, eh? After all, we don’t want you to go through anything like that again, and we must protect our interests.” The shackles will be big and blatant.

Then expect to hear endless platitudes from MPs about how ”we tried, we really tried, to deliver Brexit, but it proved impossible, and the only practical solution is to Remain.” The only reason it was impossible was because Remain MPs, together with strategically suicidal Brexiteers, combined to thwart it.

The Tories will be wiped out at every forthcoming election, whether national, Euro or local, in this period, unless they elect a strongly, and sincerely, Brexit-minded leader of their party. Even then they will suffer electoral damage.

Labour will suffer some damage, but the cookie has crumbled nicely for Magic Grandpa. There’s a very good chance indeed, in fact I’d say a 70% chance, that he’ll be in Downing Street in the next few months.

They know.

They know that once we are out of the EU, even, in effect, a little bit out, we’ll never be back in again. The split will become ever bigger. They also know it’s actually the end of the EU itself. The EU cannot, medium or long term, survive Britain’s exit.

That’s why they will never let us leave.

Short letter to my MP.

Email I’ve just sent to my MP, Charlie Elphicke (I helped him out at the last G.E., doing a bit of leafleting and acting as a teller at a polling station):

”Dear Charlie,

I did feel that I should let you know my voting intentions, as it’s a time when MPs are paying particular attention to the views of their constituents.

I applaud the unceasing efforts you make for Dover and District. You really have achieved a lot, and you are by far the most energetic MP, with the greatest vision, eye for detail, and practical application, that I’ve ever seen in the constituency, and I can remember them all back to 1955, when I was 11.

However, sadly, there is no chance whatsoever of my voting Conservative at any level, including that of local elections, whilst Theresa May remains (an apt word in the current Brexit circumstances) leader of the Conservative party. Disillusionment with her is beyond total, if that’s possible. Disillusionment with the Tories’ utter inability to ditch her, which should have occurred immediately after the last General Election, closely follows.

In fact I have recently joined the newly revamped (and very pro-Brexit, pro-No Deal) SDP.

I wish you the best in the present difficult circumstances.

Regards,

……..” (name removed here for obvious reasons)