Reality belies the lies !

“Public sector net borrowing (excluding public sector banks) decreased by £13.6 billion to £49.3 billion in the current financial year-to-date (April 2016 to January 2017), compared with the same period in the previous financial year; this is the lowest year-to-date borrowing since the financial year-to-date ending January 2008,” says  the latest report from the Office of National Statistics.

Good news. Hard news. News recording what has happened as opposed to what might happen.

As we all know, anything might happen. It’s what does happen that matters.

The truth – not spin from those who want to wish away the Brexit Referendum result last June.

UK government borrowing is down, and the best figures since the financial crisis of 2008.

Cause for celebration. Especially as most of the current financial year has passed since the June 23rd 2016 Referendum vote.

The economy has not collapsed. Leading companies have continued to invest in the UK. The £ went down for a bit, but against the Euro has been at around 1.17 again in recent days.



But a persistent and co-ordinated attempt to undermine the democratic vote of the people continues. And it has continued both sides of the Channel.

Last week we had the campaign launch by Blast-from-the-past Blair with  his I-know-better-than-the-poor-misguided-deluded-Leave voters [please don’t include me, Mr Blair – I knew precisely what I was voting for Constitutionally, politically, economically, legally, socially in fact every -ly].

I just didn’t have much opportunity to influence the agenda till last year.

Of course Blair’s campaign and Lord Mandy’s weekend comments were timed for the start of this week’s debate in the House of Lords.

At times one has wondered whether the BBC have got the message that the Referendum campaign is over.

But there are signs of sanity.

They called in Professor John Curtice last week, well known polling expert and President of the British Polling Council.  He was asked to comment on specific claims made by Tony Blair in his speech. On all 3 counts, he contradicted Blair’s assertions !

  1. Curtice said polling evidence suggested that while people did feel lacking in knowledge back in February 2016,  that had dramatically changed by eve of poll
  2. people did vote on the issue, as evidenced by the fact that so many voted contrary to the line espoused by the Party they normally supported
  3. people did know the effect of what they were voting on, and only 40% felt that the economy was the most important matter in the vote

He also pointed out that 90% of voters of both camps now felt that the UK would be better off with Brexit …

But the propaganda this side of the Channel knows no bounds. The Franco German Arte TV channel resembles a propaganda organ for the EU project. The EU is Europe and is such a given that to question that  is to question sanity itself – only the deluded or extremists do that !

However, the French equivalent of the UK’s ITN last night rivalled Arte  for sheer audacity in ensuring that no contrary reality would upset the French media portrayal of Brexit as a disaster primarily for Britain

[This is in a Euro currency country with record unemployment at over 3.4 million – population equivalent to UK; with uncontrolled public debt which one presidential candidate wants to rein in as a matter of national urgency; with massive crime and illegal immigration problems in the big city suburbs].

It is a given in the French media that Brexit is a disaster for the UK, and a disaster which the UK is wilfully inflicting on Europe and on French industry. I do not remember hearing  any French media reports on the benefits of Brexit.

It is a given that the British are perverse and deluded. I kid you not …

Last night’s report on the main 8pm evening news bulletin on TF1 was pure propaganda. I can only assume that the reporter saw what he expected or wanted to see because the entire piece presented the unwarranted fears of EU citizens in London, identifying Theresa May as the culprit !

No mention about the Government’s White paper on Brexit or Mrs May’s speech a week or two before that in both of which she made clear – yet again – the need to secure the position of expats – the 3.7 million EU in UK and the 1.2 million Brits in the EU. She had attempted to do that, but it was rejected by EU leaders !

No mention at all. Probably because the Brits are nasty whatever they do, and need to be nice to EU nationals;  while EU government heads are nice whatever they do, even if they fail to sort issues around the lives of nearly 5 million people living in another EU country.

The reporter interviewed a Polish lady resident in London for 11 years – yes that is eleven years – and reported her unallayed fears. All fear, no hope. She had even been reproached recently in the street for speaking Polish to her child.

She was offended to be told she should speak English. How dare any one say that to her – she feels like she is not wanted in the UK any more.

Well if a French person said that to me for the same reasons, I would agree with them ! Especially as I have lived here for a similar period of time as the Polish lady has lived in UK.

But what no-one in the report appeared to realize, and therefore to point out, is that the entire case of a lady 11 years resident in UK is beyond question. She cannot be turned out or deprived of residency rights.

Once a person is resident 5 years in another country, they automatically have the right to remain.

But that is only one reason why I and the Polish lady need not fear.

NO government subscribing to the values espoused by democracies and subscribing to the European Convention on Human Rights [the province incidentally of the 47 member Council of Europe of which all 28 EU countries are members] will disrupt or put at risk the lives of nearly 5 million Europeans.

It ain’t gonna happen

  • for legal reasons
  • for political reasons
  • for economic reasons
  • for social reasons
  • for moral reasons

But facts, evidence and reason are not strong points with propagandists. They would rather allow people to live in fear, doubt and worry than give the lie to the propaganda of their cause by reassuring people as to the facts.

Ray Catlin

useful links


and now to the Lords …

This week the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill passed through all the Commons stages by a final vote of 494 to 122.

It now goes to the Lords for consideration where there could be attempts to amend it.

However Theresa May is on track to maintain her timetable to have the Bill passed into law in time to meet her 31st March 2017 deadline to notify the EU formally of the UK’s intention to withdraw from membership. The famous triggering of Article 50 of the relevant Treaty.

The triggering of Article 50 is the critical event because the process of withdrawal becomes to all intents and purposes unstoppable. The now well known two year period provided in that article is in fact a final deadline.

Regardless of whether an agreement has been made or not, the UK will cease to have EU membership on the 31st March 2019. That is the technical position; it is also the declared stance of the Prime Minister, Theresa May, in her recent speech outlining her negotiating position, repeated in the White Paper.

The fact that the Commons has approved the Bill unamended makes it both morally and politically risky for the Lords to interfere. The Bill passed each of its main hurdles comfortably by votes of 498 to 114 on 2nd Reading, by 496 to 111 on coming out of Committee and by a final vote of 494 to 122 at 3rd Reading whence it goes to the Lords where the First Reading [a formality] has already been made.

It will pass through the same stages as in the Commons, namely First, 2nd, Committee, Report and Third Reading.

Several amendments were tabled during its passage through the Commons, but all were defeated by a majority for the government of between 45 and 50 votes. One particular amendment was defeated by a dramatic majority of 307.

It was the attempt by Tim Farron Liberal Democrat Leader to require a 2nd referendum on the result of the Government’s exit negotiations. The amendment was the most blatant attempt to frustrate the result of June 23rd 2016 to Leave the EU. Significantly 250 of those MPs habitually voting against the government during the course of the various amendment proposals abstained. The vote was 340 against Farron’s amendment with just 33 votes for.

This is the background of a Bill going from the elected House of Commons to the unelected House of Lords for further consideration. It is a two clause Bill simply confirming the power the government believed it already had and which former Prime Minister and Remain voter David Cameron had pledged to use immediately a Leave vote was known.

The House of Lords is in a weak position to meddle with the Bill. But there are 102 declared Liberal Democrat peers there and noises have been made about continuing to interfere with the Brexit process.

There are however 805 peers in all including 252 Conservatives, 203 Labour [both parties officially pledged to back the Bill] and 178 Cross Benchers [supposedly non aligned]. And in any case, the government can resort to the creation of peers if the need arise. That would have to be a position of constitutional crisis which the average Lord would not wish to see, especially in view of the popular vote of June 23rd.

So this may prove to be just as noisy as all the fuss about the Commons votes, with much media attention given to those who rebel against the Referendum result.

As was pointed out during the Commons debates on this Bill, there is to be another Bill – the Great Repeal Bill – coming forward this year.

That Bill will

  1. repeal the 1972 accession Act which took us in and made a conduit for EU law direct into our law;
  2. bring over into domestic law all existing EU law  so securing the various Rights which were the supposed basis of the High Court and Supreme Court hearings [this was known at the time the original case was brought !]; and
  3. enable ministers to make necessary house keeping arrangements to smooth the Brexit process.

There is therefore yet another opportunity for MPs and Lords to consider the implications and concerns around Brexit, and to propose amendments.

The Lords are scheduled to consider the present Bill on the 20th and 21st of February, the 27th of February and 1st of March in Committee and finally on the 7th March.

We should, then,  have a definitive answer by the 8th March as to the fate of this Bill and the Prime Minister’s declared timetable for notification by 31st March 2017.

Ray Catlin