• Brexit: You’ve ordered it! Now you’ll pay for it!


    Above, the Chancellor of the Exchequer at last night’s Mansion House “do” – NB: Senhor António Horta-Osório of Lloyds Bank seated at his right hand!

    Crematoriums, like airports are places which receive visitors from all over the world. It was a sunny winter’s morning off the eternally busy A14 in mid January earlier this year that I found myself walking around the graves and memorials of those who had “gone before us”. It was the Cambridge City Crematorium I was visiting, which is not in Cambridge itself but outside it and accessed only by an exit/entrance onto the northbound carriageway of the A14. Thus as the birds chirping away that sunny morn found themselves having to compete with the unending traffic to and from Felixstowe, I could not but help think of the cruel irony that could potentially take place in the event of a crash Brexit, for I was there to pay my respects to an old friend who had died quite unexpectedly over the Christmas season and to lend comfort and support to her bereaved husband, also an old friend.

    The irony which I refer to is that this lady and her husband lived alongside the A14 and their spacious detached house, that otherwise would have been unaffordable to them, was continually subject to the thunder of the constant traffic of the A14. From personal experience (having stayed overnight there on a few occasions) the roar of the lorries is constant throughout the night. Thus this lady was commemorated in death as she had lived her life; to the accompaniment of the A14’s roar. The irony being that should a “crash Brexit” take place, the A14 will fall silent! And my surviving friend will probably have difficulty sleeping for he has grown completely accustomed to the traffic roar! You see, both he and his late wife were long time opponents of the “European Project” and had campaigned against the UK joining what was then dishonestly described as “the Common Market” – a terms specifically and uniquely drawn up for use in Britain!

    It is the nature of such sad events that compel people to travel sometimes huge distances and as a result the staff at these places are quite familiar with answering questions from mourners from all over the world. I myself had travelled not across the world, but across England (Yes, readers who are members of Mebyon Kernow (The Party for Cornwall), Cornwall is an English county) from Penwith’s “Tin Coast” (where some of “Poldark” is filmed).

    I had arrived well before the time the funeral was to take place as I had travelled up the day before and had stayed overnight at a B&B nearby. The previous evening, I asked the proprietor of the B&B who had demanded payment by cash and was “over the moon” that I agreed to his request that no receipt was issued. As I walked around the graves, I reflected upon he fact that it was a nice sunny morning and I was feeling – physically – very well. This was something I had not expected for I had fully expected to be severely “under the weather”, a feeling that I had confidently expected to last until the time of the funeral. This is because of the breakfast I had eaten, or more accurately, not eaten before. You see, when I stay at a B&B where the breakfast is part of the room hire, or at a hotel where a bowl of cereal and a pot of tea costs the same as a “Full English”, I eat the full English. This is of course because whilst you can take the Lad out of the West Riding, you can’t take the West Riding out of the Lad! The consequence – for me – eating a “Full English” early in the morning is severe discomfort. I really do feel ill. This lasts for two hours or so. This condition can easily be avoided in two ways:
    #1: Do not eat a “Full English”.
    #2: Eat a “Full English” – but at lunchtime or later.

    That morning however – for the first time in thirty years – I had eaten a “Full English” without discomfort. This was because I had not actually eaten a “Full English” but what more accurately could be described as a “Quarter English”!

    This because the proprietor of the B&B served up, one small fried egg, one small rasher of bacon, one small fried sausage, one half of an uncooked tomato (one wonders what he did with the other half as I was the only guest) and three fried mushrooms. This was served on bread and butter plate, six inches across – giving a new meaning to the term “B&B accommodation! Consequentially. Having consumed such meagre rations, I experienced no discomfort subsequently and as a consequence was fully able to partake in the splendid buffet served to us after the funeral!

    Listening last night to “Spreadsheet Phil’” not “drop a hint” but issue an open declaration that the November Budget is going to raise taxes I recalled an experience the evening before the funeral.

    Having arriving at the B&B – which had so sign-age and had it not been for Google “Street View” and a telephone conversation with the proprietor beforehand – the B&B would have been very difficult, if not impossible to find (One wonders if the people from HM Revenue & Customs may one day experience the same difficulty? – Ed) – I freshened up and asked the proprietor if there was a good restaurant nearby. He replied that indeed there was and gave me directions to it. He described it as “a pub that does food.”

    The directions he gave were good. I found the eatery without difficulty. However as I parked my humble eleven year old Kia Magentis in the establishment’s car park, I knew that the term “pub that does food” was about as misleading as the term “Common Market”!

    To be fair to the proprietor of the B&B that is likely “Not Known” to HMRC, the establishment I had arrived at could be described as “pub that does food” in much the same way as a 2017 Rolls Royce extended wheelbase Phantom can be described as a saloon car. After all, it possesses the essential accoutrements of such; four doors, four wheels, an engine. I knew from the car I’ve just described that I had parked my four wheel saloon car next to that this “pub that does food”, whilst sharing some of these common accoutrements (wooden beams, an Olde English interior, a stone floor, a bar with draught beers) that this was not a “pub that does food” but a “gastro pub” catering to the wealthy clientèle in the area (that was in the countryside outside Cambridge) whose incomes were in the same order as those who listened to “Spreadsheet Phil’” last night!

    Notwithstanding my certain knowledge that I was not going to eat there that evening, I did go over to the bar and asked the bar person – I’m not being PC here, but I genuinely was unable to determine whether the person was male or female. I can confirm that they appeared to be, human, of European ethnicity and unlikely to be over thirty, but apart from that only they and the Almighty (who after all created them) knew – for the menu. They duly handed me one with a smile and on opening same it confirmed what I already knew. The cost of a three course meal in this “pub that does food” was well in excess of £100. And that was without wine!

    As a result I drove into Cambourne and had a modest meal at an actual “pub that did food”!

    Of course, the reason why I have at some length related my experiences – including those with our errant friend who thinks that HMRC have no right to the money he obtains from his B&B activities – is that the “Bill for Brexit” is likely to be handed to the long suffering and hard pressed British taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2019-2020 commencing Saturday 6th April 2019.

    You see, unlike your Editor who is not worried about making a scene or upsetting people, there are good folk who are gentle, self effacing and who at all costs do not want to appear in any way as rude, or unpleasant or anything but well behaved and polite, who live their lives to the Christian principle that they put the needs and wishes of others before their own, when faced with being in the middle of a rural area with a drive to the nearest town and a hunt for another more affordable eatery, will actually sit down in such establishments. In doing so they invariably set about an unfortunate train of events.

    You see, the staff of that Cambridgeshire “gastro pub” did not in my case (due to the fact that I was wearing a hand tailored suit together with a pair of expensive looking shoes and an upmarket watch, because of the funeral the next day), know as I crossed their threshold that I was unlikely to stay for a meal. However when such persons as I’ve referred to are not themselves attired to attend a funeral the next day, occasion unknowingly upon such establishments and take the decision to “not appear rude” and eat there they can be subject to what in effect is gross discrimination.

    That is because the staff at such establishments will be aware that these are not the people in the income bracket of their “regulars”. Sometimes, such couples are saved the expense of a meal there by the staff approaching the table at which they have decided to sit at or, if they are standing at a marked point, waiting to be shown a table, they are told – falsely – “I’m sorry. All our places are reserved. We can’t serve you.”

    Such establishments regularly turn such people away as they know that, #1: the people cannot afford to pay their prices; #2: as a result, they will order very little (and order no wine) and will not return; #3 they are taking up a table that can be used for customers who come in subsequently – and who will order wine.

    This inability to afford what is on offer is of course EXACTLY the position that “Spreadsheet Phil’” and his colleagues find themselves in with the EU!

    Namely, that the terms of Brexit are unaffordable!

    Like someone enduring “Groundhog Day” – the Unfortunate Hammond and his pals keep coming back to the question of the Irish Border and the “Immovable Object” – AKA Arlene Foster.

    You see, if you define Brexit as being outside the EU’s Customs Union and outside the EEA (Single Market) and you require the support of the “Immovable Object”, Brexit is impossible! Not only that, to make matters worse, A “Flexcit Brexit” (EFTA + EEA) is also impossible. This is because the “Immovable Object” will not countenance under any circumstances:
    #1: a border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland
    #2: a border between the island or Ireland and the island of Great Britain!

    You see, in order to have the ONLY practical and doable Brexit, a “Flexcit Brexit” (EFTA + EEA), there HAS to be a border between the Irish Republic and the United Kingdom. This is a FACT. There is however a choice or WHERE that border is! It can be either:
    #1: Between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland OR
    #2: Between the island or Ireland and the island of Great Britain!

    NB: BOTH are unacceptable to the “Immovable Object”!

    Thus the ONLY Brexit available to the Unfortunate Hammond and his fellow Tories is that which the British Gazette describes as “Purgatory”! That is to say, Brexit takes place at 11:00PM on Sunday 29th March 2019 and the UK continues as a member of the EEA (but NOT EFTA) and also a member of the EU’s Customs Union. This would mean that the UK could NOT negotiate any “Trade Deals” with other countries. It would NOT regain it’s seat on the WTO. It’s contributions to the EU’s budget would INCREASE and it’s voting rights will have been removed – by dint of it being outside the EU!

    This is what is known as “The WORST of All Worlds!”

    However, in making the speech he did last night, “Spreadsheet Phil’” is clearly “making plans”. These are not plans for a successful Brexit. No. In fact they are more like those plans those householders who are unfortunate enough to live in low lying areas (like Cambridgeshire) make to help defend their homes against rising flood waters!
    The metaphorical flood waters the Unfortunate Hammond is preparing for have been described in Wednesday’s article (http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2018/06/20/brexit-making-hay-while-the-sun-shines/).
    You see, the Unfortunate Hammond, like tidal waters, is governed by the calendar. Which is why Madame Mayhem had signalled that there would be tax rises and the Unfortunate Hammond signalled the same at the opportunity he was afforded last night. This is because the normal policy of leaking details just before the budget, which is due in November 2018 will be TOO LATE!

    This is because the dénouement of this political tragedy of Shakespearian proportions is set for Thursday 18th October 2018, which whilst just after the annual party conference season is a month before the budget. You see, the Unfortunate Hammond HAS to signal to the international markets – and the credit reference agencies in particular – that the UK will have a robust attitude towards its borrowing! You see, the Unfortunate Hammond is making it clear to the credit reference agencies that his November budget will be designed NOT to “Save the NHS” but the UK’s Credit Rating!

    Here is a FACT: Politicians ask the voters for their opinion in three circumstances:

    #1: When the have to – statute law dictates.
    #2: When they think they gain thereby.
    #3: When they want to be dug out of a hole of their own digging!

    It is #3 that will be commending itself to the beleaguered Madame Mayhem!

    She will be hoping that Parliament will force a second referendum. It might even be the case that Madame may acquiesce to allow a Bill to lower the voting age to 16 for the second referendum – and all subsequent elections.

    By now she will have figured out that it is only a second referendum that will enable her to put down the poison chalice that is Brexit!

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