• What’s going on? You are not the only one asking that Mr President!

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    In 9 days time on the 11th April 1564, 454 years will have passed since the “Peace of Troyes” ended England’s rule of French territory. After this time the only part of what used to be France that is ruled today by England’s successor, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, are the Channel Islands.

    This event occurred during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First of England, Ireland and France. British monarchs did not formally give up their claim to France until the Act of Union, 1801.

    “Austerity” is a word that is oft used in the political parlance of today in the realm of Queen Elizabeth the Second. We do not know what term was used between 7th September 1533 and 24th March 1603, but whatever it was it would have had the same meaning! This is because the reign of the first Elizabeth was characterised by austerity. Her Grace – the term “Majesty” was first used by James I who copied the absolutist Henry IV of France and his successors – until they lost their heads! – ran a tight ship in terms of what centuries later is called “public expenditure”. Of course the Queen did not have to worry about wining elections every few years or so. Elizabethan England was a harsh corrupt state but the Queen managed something remarkable, something latter day despots such as the former despot of Zimbabwe Bob “the Butcher” Mugabe never managed: that was to combine a deeply corrupt public administration with an efficient government. Conventional wisdom, borne out of many practical “real world” examples demonstrates that corrupt states are inefficient states.

    Thus it was that throughout her reign Elizabeth the First kept a tight hold of the public purse. As a result her government – that was the Queen and her appointed ministers and courtiers – would travel around the kingdom visiting landed families who would play host. This, for these families was an invitation they could not refuse and often a burden they could not afford! This was because they were expected to (and did) finance the whole caravan! This saved the public purse vast amounts of money. The net result was that when King James VI of Scotland arrived in England in April 1603 to take up his new throne, the public finances were very healthy.

    Cynics would say that things have been getting worse ever since!

    One of the things the present collection of imbeciles that make up the coterie that pretend to govern us appear to have copied from the first Elizabethans is the practise of holding government (cabinet) meetings around the country. This however is not to save money! It is a case of gesture politics. Notwithstanding that, one wonders what is going on in the minds of these people when their constituents and the businesses that employ them are faced with the imponderable conundrums that appear to be on the horizon post Brexit et al “transition”….
    GOTO: http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86819
    British Gazette readers know that this organ has been trying repeatedly to divine some meaning and explanation to these surreal goings on! In doing so we try as far as possible to stick to the principle defined as “Ockham’s Razor” – make the fewest assumptions. As I was told long ago, Assume makes an ass of you and me!
    I was at school when a certain Swiss gentleman by the Germanic name, Erich von Däniken wrote a book, “Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past.”

    Herr von Däniken was of the opinion that the Nazca Lines – the geoglyphs in the Nazca Desert, in southern Peru were created to guide flying saucers from outer space to land safely on planet Earth. I remember when one boy purchased this book, read it and managed to convince his friends about the validity of Herr von Däniken’s theory. They were all convinced that it was true. I on the other hand thought Herr von Däniken was a twit and told them so. They in return sneer-fully commented upon my utter foolishness that was clearly – in their expert opinion – exacerbated by my obviously very low IQ. Rogers they deemed, had a brain that was simply unable to comprehend the magnitude of Herr von Däniken’s intellectual brilliance! Unlike theirs of course!

    Since that time I’ve always eschewed “conspiracy theories” and fantastical explanations and am constantly looking for the friar William of Ockham’s razor!

    The trouble is that in Brexit simple answers are hard to find!

    I find myself asking constantly the question President Trump is fond of asking: “What the hell is going on?”

    Does the Tory party have a political death wish?

    Are certain parties scheming to crash the economy with the intention of buying assets in a “fire sale” post a crash Brexit?

    Various scenarios and hypotheses have been put forward in the past. Here is yet another one:

    I think we can call it, The Great Realignment! or “Le grand réalignement!” if you prefer.

    A lot has been talked about a “Canada type” trade deal. Dimwit Davis has prattled on about “Canada plus, plus, plus!”


    OK then, let us speculate as to what Dimwit’s “Canada plus, plus, plus” could look like.

    His “plus, plus, plus” indicates a much broader and deeper FTA than what Canada has with the EU. For it to be effective – in preventing the medium term collapse of the British economy – this “Canada plus, plus, plus” FTA would have in effect to take the place of the EEA. Hence the great realignment – that the trade between the UK and the EU would have to be realigned in terms of both volume and value and industry sectors with another entity. Could that entity be something along the lines of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)?

    NAFTA is a tripartite FTA between Canada, Mexico and the United States. It was established on New Year’s Day, 1994. President Trump does not like NATFA and wants something better.

    Could it be that the Tory “Ultras” led by Jacob Rees-Mogg have something up their sleeve?

    How about a grand FTA between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States?

    For right wing Tories and such folk who frequent meetings of the London Swinton Circle they would seek the free market philosophical dynamo to try and push back on the public sector socialist inspired welfare state model exemplified in the EU.

    Well some industry sectors would be wiped out in large part by such a FTA. Brexiteers have long complained (rightly) about the decimation of the British fishing industry. Well an FTA in agricultural and horticultural produce would decimate the British farming industry. The recent tariffs imposed by China on US pork producers bring to the public’s attention that the USA possesses one of the largest and lowest coast pig herds on the planet. Whilst British farmers would complain about US food products flooding into the UK – for people on low incomes with children to feed, cheap US produce would enable them to improve their standard of living.

    Of course the problem for JRM and his acolytes is that replacing the lost EU-UK trade with NAFTA +++ – UK trade would not be easy or quick.

    However to those who regard cheap food as a side issue, I suggest you ponder this equation:

    7.83 x (48 x 52) = 19,543.68


    Well, £7.83 is the new national minimum wage for workers aged 25 and over. 48 hours is the maximum number of hours a person can normally work in a week and 52 is the number of weeks in a year. Thus a person working the maximum number of legally permitted hours on the minimum legally permitted wage earns (and they jolly well will have earned it!) £19,543.68 per annum!

    Out of this they have to pay the rent, the council tax, the utility bills and feed themselves and their children and keep growing children clothed. Maybe now some of you will realise now why charity shops are so popular with ordinary folk!

    • I think you forget council tax relief and benefits some people are on or families whose main breadwinners are only on the minimum wage.

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