A Burns Night whisky opening in Serbia.

Sixteen years after Peter Facey and Alex Runswick, of Unlock Democracy campaign group got me invited to a British Embassy Sofia, Burns Night party sponsored by Chivas Regal, I’ve finally been grown up enough to buy my own bottle. I’ve Two in fact, one on offer before New Year in Sainsbury’s in Liverpool and one on offer (good but not as good) in IDEA supermarket in Bujanovac, Serbia (geographically not that far from Sofia, mind the mountains). In fact the other Maxi supermarket had a better offer, but having finally spent my Nectar points on buying the bottle at home (Frances and I had a glass together over Zoom) I just managed to earn some supermarket loyalty card points here as well buy buying whisky. Leek & potato soup, brown bread and butter. Here’s to Rabbie Burns. I still probably prefer the Famous Grouse as a Scotch blend (I don’t have any decent Irish here) but Chivas Regal was very generous that night, and the Croat lads with us on the political workshop took care of the spare bottles. So I should contribute something back to sales.

The Burns Night traditions being promoted by UK Embassies around the World is one of the nice things that they do 🙂. Plus I have a book with great pictures and eccentric text on the North Coast of Scotland 500 route to read by an Englishman and a Welshman, Court & Jones. (Josh Court & Vernon W Jones, married to Macedonian wifes in nearby Skopje).

Lightly edited Facebook post from Bujanovac, south Serbia. 25 January. Additional explanation –

The reason a group of British Liberal Democrat and other political activists, and young(ish) political activists from across SE Europe were in Sofia was for a series of workshops on political policy making organised by Unlock Democracy and partners. The lavish Burns Night party was simply a coincidental highlight, the discussions on inclusive policy making was a great antitode to stereotypes meeting brilliant activists who wanted to make their countries better – from Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia. The British South East Europe forum was sponsored by the British Council.

I liked Sofia and courtesy of my University returned the next year to do some academic research, and then using the Macedonian contact travelled on to Skopje, my first visit to a country where I later worked as an election observer, and now could almost see from my balcony as I am working only thirty kilometres north of the North Macedonia border.

The Labour Party leader Keir Starmer.

The Liberal Democrats have just elected a new leader but before that here are my thoughts on the British Labour Party leader.

 

I’m a Liberal, and definitely anti-Socialist, but I do like Keir Starmer. I followed his career from when he was a young civil liberties barrister, as a Professor I worked with at Leeds spoke very highly of him. I think he can do well. My mentor in my first graduate job, at Leeds University, Professor Clive Walker, recommended Starmer as one of his brightest graduates. And I trusted Clive Walker’s judgment greatly. (From 1992 onwards). Clive thought Keir would go far.

The new Labour Leader Keir Starmer. I think he is very competent and can win – ironically he is a socialist from an ordinary background but because he is posh sounding and not far Left the Left are very hostile to him. Starmer. I always thought he was from the North East of Scottish background because he is named after the founding Labour MP Keir Hardie. In fact I was always wrong as Starmer was born in London. A leading civil liberties barrister of his generation I thought it was a brilliant move of the Labour Government in  2008 to appoint him Director of Public Prosecutions, head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as an expert civil liberties barrister would have a good idea what needed reforming or could be done better.

Based on social media posts, 7, 13 April 2020.

PS I’ve also spelt his first name wrong all these years, though hopefully not in my second major academic article, on breach of the peace and protest, with then Dr. Donald Nicolson, which analysed a case that Starmer and others took to the European Court of Human Rights and kindly sent me the papers in.

 

New job working in Serbia.

On 6 June as travel restrictions were at that time eased I travelled to Belgrade to start a new job in Serbia, working for the international organisation the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. This is what I am doing.

Municipal Co-ordinator at OSCE Mission to Serbia, covering the Municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja in south Serbia, working with a team of local OSCE staff from a permanent office in Bujanovac. An international civil servant managing OSCE work in the field and liaising between local authorities, national bodies and the international community supportive of work in the south of Serbia. I am the seventh post holder building on a long track record of working with a wide range of local people and organisations to fulfil the shared values of stability, peace and democracy through practical work that aims to make a lasting difference.

(Wording of last sentence taken in part from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe website).

See: https://www.osce.org/who-we-are
“The OSCE is a forum for political dialogue on a wide range of security issues and a platform for joint action to improve the lives of individuals and communities. The organization uses a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses the politico-military, economic and environmental, and human dimensions. Through this approach, and with its inclusive membership, the OSCE helps bridge differences and build trust between states by co-operating on conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation.”

The OSCE has 57 participating States in North America, Europe and Asia.

https://www.osce.org/mission-to-serbia

OSCE Mission to Serbia

“To help Serbia build strong, independent and effective democratic institutions, the Mission works with government institutions, civil society and the media.”
“The Mission to Serbia is an OSCE field operation based in the country’s capital Belgrade, with an office in Bujanovac in southern Serbia and a training centre in Novi Pazar in south-western Serbia. It is led by Ambassador Andrea Orizio of Italy and has a staff of 23 international and 104 local personnel.”

For completeness. Activity on social media, Facebook, Twitter, and my own website, is for personal or sometimes professional interest, including expressing my own personal political views, & does not imply a political statement on issues in Serbia or the Western Balkans on behalf of any organisation.

Capturing the Focke-Wulf factory.

Some Coronavirus time & VE Day 75 reading, shared previously with a few military history enthusiast friends. Originlly shared with Dr. Jon Clarkson and Bruce Hubbard, and radio producer friend Ashley Byrne.

Securing the Focke-Wulf factory.

Frances’s grandfather, Francis Carl Willmott, known as Billy, was always puzzled as to why he was mentioned in Dispatches for securing a telephone exchange near the end of the war, and promoted from Lieutentant to Captain Willmott.

Frances’ father wrote up his Dad’s wartime reminiscences in 2000. Recently he found that a German historian compiled more information about this action which sheds light on how it was a small strategic move. It’s quite a good story that you might like. I’ve attached a copy. 9 pages (6 text and 3 pictures). In a nutshell, Lt Willmott, his Sergeant, Cameron, driver / batman, Reed, and a Polish officer were attached from Signals to an RAF unit to secure the Focke-Wulf headquarters at Bad Eilsen which the RAF were to use as their HQ in Germany. Ahead of the British advance, but told the area was clear of German troops, it seems the small convoy went right in between two towns on the River Weser where the Americans were engaged in fierce fighting against stiff resistance. The plant they were to take control of was the Focke-Wulf design HQ, and the spurt caught the chief engineer, Kurt Tank, as well as securing the telephone exchange. The funny story about the Sgt and his Sten gun going off, is added to by a footnote in the pamphlet that is missed out in the attached extract and update. Footnote 34, added below.

Peter Tatchell’s campaigning anti-Nazi work gets a surprising mention at the end of the story.

The original 52 page pamphlet is here:
http://nicholaswillmott.tripod.com/id37_m.htm

Though not in booklet form that might be more accessible. It’s a lengthy webpage. There is a rugby connection. At Catterick, Willmott found that his bunkmate was the tamous Welsh international rugby player, Haydn Tanner. Tanner features several times in the anecdotes, including giving Francis his nickname Billie. (I thought it was Billy and after some noted footballer of the time).

Referring to p. 38 of the original pamphlet and bottom of page 2 of the attached.
34. The Small Arms Training Pamphlet No.22 (1942), devoted to the Sten Machine Carbine as it was officially known, includes the following advice:
“If the working parts are forward [i.e. the weapon is cocked, ready to fire] with a full or partially full magazine in the magazine housing, a smart jerk may cause a round to be fired.”

Peter Tatchell’s article about tracing evil Buchenwald Concentration camp doctor Carl Vaernet is here: https://www.petertatchell.net/lgbt_rights/usercybercity/~dko12530/hunt_for_danish_kz.htm.html
Wikipedia explains to me that KZ means Concentration camp: Das Konzentrationslager Buchenwald (KZ Buchenwald).

Capt FC Willmott Bad Eilsen 8.4.1945.docx (492 downloads)

75 years after World War Two ended and Britain lets its WW2 heritage fall into ruins.

Pill box by Garston Docks
Can you see it?
View of site of pillbox1
Can you see the pill box?
view of site of pillbox 2
Pill box by Garston Docks
A pill box at Allerton, south Liverpool.
Spring pill box. Not conserved it seems or explained but not derelict either.
A pill box at Allerton, south Liverpool. Google verson
Google improved this image and I quite like it.

VE Day is an appropriate day to come back to this. Last month I saw on Facebook pictures of a WW2 gun battery on the edge of Bristol I had never seen before. A spot I lived quite near, and have driven past many times but until the pictures of the derelict battery, next to the BT Tower, were posted by my friend, the former MP Stephen Williams, I’d never heard of it. I made my usual comment to a friend that in Britain our World War Two heritage is neglected but there is an appalling romanticism about World War 1.

I entirely agreed with a comment by a James Davies. These should be restored and used for education and to explain about history.

Our country had a whole appalling World War 1 nostalgia fest, much romanticising war, but our actual visible, existing World War 2 everyday heritage is almost totally ignored. I think this and am angry every time I see a pill box or gun emplacement (various posts on my website). They are very occasionally preserved, usually neglected, totally forgotten and often left decaying and crumbling. It is shocking that as the last men and women who remember the Second World War die that this built history will also be lost. It is lazy to always blame the authorities but in this case heritage and local authorities seem to not be bothered.

Here are a couple of photos of pill boxes local to me, in Allerton and along the River Mersey at Garston Docks by Cressington Park, to add to the others I’ve noted.

On a different note, I am not a Royalist, but am neither pro or anti the British Royal Family in Britain. The Queen is good for tourism and members of the family do much good public work. I like many of Charles’ political views and his campaigning on ecology. William and Kate are nice and I love cheeky Harry and have come to be a fan of Harry and Meghan. She’s pretty cool. I respect the Queen because of her experience and actions during the War, and I have to say I thought her Coranavirus crisis broadcast was almost spot on perfect. Just the right content, tone and mood for the nation. Her broadcast today, which I saw excerpts from on the BBC News, was again really good. I’ve never listened to a Queen’s speech but now twice in a few weeks I’ve been impressed and appreciated listening to Queen Elizabeth. (A good Irish name after all, the name of my Irish grandmother and my big sister).

Big money in US politics, Harry & Meghan, War footing to tackle Coronavirus, & a good musical.

Thoughts from early and mid-March 2020, written up later in the month. Posted 30 April 2020.

Including: The most controversial opinion of the Year – CATS is a Good movie and a decent musical.

A little more detail in the attached Word document.

 

Big money in US politics

The most educational thing about Michael Bloomberg quitting the race to be Democratic nominee for US President is the obscene amounts of money spent.
$500 million. Big money and guns are dual cancers in American politics. As I always say in Ukraine, imagine if those rich business people spent the money doing public works. Though it’s not like Russia using a whole state apparatus to do bad.

In solidarity with Harry & Meghan.

On January 9 I wrote: Watching ITV news at Ten, & reading the Daily Telegraph, the ‘Royal experts’ interviewed about Prince Harry & Meghan are a horrible nasty bunch of people, with maybe one exception. Only on a level with the Cabinet & current crop of Tory Farage MPs

 

Meghan & Harry I sympathise with though they’ve not been tactful with other members of the family. The establishment and right wing press has turned on them in nasty fashion, certainly the Daily Telegraph and the ‘Royal correspondents’ of TV and newspapers

 

Looking at the Daily Telegraph this morning what nasty horrible people attacking Harry. While on the ITV documentary last night, Sun photographer Arthur Edwards is such a nasty entitled embittered old man, & Sun editor Dan Wootton the smarmiest scumbag that you could invent.

 

13/01 I’ve been reading discussions about the controversial decision by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan to be less prominent members of the British Royal Family and spend more time in Canada. I am not pro or anti the monarchy, it is largely symbolic and good for tourism. I support Harry and Meghan in this because so much of our tabloid and right wing press that I hate are being nasty about them. [They also do much good campaigning and charity work.]

 

On the Sussexs. I find these titles hard to remember. Critics are sneering about the idea they will make money out of their title, I am sceptical but think it could be done well.

 

It will be good for the Commonwealth if Prince Harry and Meghan spend more time in Canada, while also returning to Britain and visiting other countries privately and in their public work. This will complement the great work that Prince William and Princess Kate, and Prince Charles do.

 

War footing to tackle Coronavirus.

20 March.  Finally the Government is moving on to a war footing, heard [Health Minister] Matt Hancock say something like that on radio just before. I’d come round to that just after the budget at the start of the week I think. That a total War footing like in World War 2 or World War 1 is needed to deal with the scale of this problem and the challenge to our society.

 

Doing things differently continuing afterwards. I agree with this point from my friend Johnny Santer:

I hope this wakes people up to the fact that the global system is broken beyond repair. The death-throes of late-stage capitalism. We need to regroup, rethink and put planet & people first. …

it highlights that IF we left everything to market forces etc the collapse of society would be a matter of weeks away. A major “reset” / rethink button has been pushed I hope and good things are to come as a result of introspection & global reflection.” 19 March 2020.

 

Another, a better, way of doing things is possible. The best of the response to this crisis has demonstrated that. Regardless of nationality, ideology, religion, race or age the virus targets everyone and we all need to work together.

 

 

10/01 Brexit is for me still a political, economic, philosophical and metaphysical disaster. What will happen no one knows.

 

People have this panic buying all wrong. It isn’t household goods & tins to buy. Is it only me? I’m obsessively buying Easter Eggs and beer on offer :-).

Half in jest only …

People have this panic buying all wrong. It isn’t household goods & tins to buy at the moment, it’s beer and chocolate. There are great offers on chocolate and beer. I can’t say I’m panic buying chocolate, but I am impulsively buying Easter Eggs on offer, & need to stay out of the Home Bargains, discount stores, garages etc. so as not to overdo chocolate and biscuits. Certainly before lock down there was no shortage of beer in the shops here and some great offers. Brewers & retailers need a boost with St Patrick’s party and many others cancelled. My plan later last week was then this week to see if can buy takeaway beer to help pubs and breweries, and food to help restaurants. I’m not sure how much that is still possible, some places still doing collection / delivery. I feel bad buying supermarket beer now. But I’ve been buying from supermarkets large & small, small shops, local shops, a brewery direct (Llangollen as we were there), the products of European, global, national traditional and some smaller producers, including stocks of alcohol free beer and wine. I even bought the on offer Corona in our local big ASDA. I thought the misunderstood Mexican brewery / giant conglomerates, could do with some support. Plus it was on offer, I don’t even particularly like Corona but will have some to celebrate in the garden when this is over :-).

 

[Mexican beer Brewed in the UK of course], like the Cobra – better for the environment perhaps and unlike most international brands of ‘Greek’ and ‘Ukrainian’ beer they don’t here claim they are British beers.

Points from: Campaign Against the Arms Trade email 24 March

Arms to ventilators?

Rolls Royce, which produces military aircraft engines, and aerospace companies like Airbus which profits from the sale of fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, have been called on by the UK government to help produce ventillators – showing change can come when the political will is there. The case for moving our engineering skills from industries that take lives to ones that save them has never been stronger.

 

Rethinking ‘security’

We can also see more than ever that our security is not advanced by wars, or by spending billions on nuclear weapons systems and aircraft carriers, but by building fairer societies that support the most vulnerable, and by investing in our public services.

 

The most controversial opinion of the Year – CATS is a Good movie and a decent musical.

Frances and I went to see the CATS screening at the Philharmonic Hall last night. Christmas present for me. It was great, very good. If some odd parts, very thin plot & patchy singing. Mostly very enjoyable. A great cast, though I only recognised five during the show. I recommend going to see it at the cinema if it is still on anywhere near you. Website-consolidated-posts-March-2020.doc (977 downloads)

Coronacisis delays obscene pay rise for YBS Directors.

As online voting for the Yorkshire Building Society AGM closes, it’s worth noting that the Board withdrew a proposal to double Directors’ potential bonuses due to the Coronacrisis. It is obscene that this proposal was put forward – & by a mutual society.

The tired old cosy club argument of company directors, Housing Association & local council Chief Execs, University Vice Chancellors, premier league footballers & top journalists is trotted out. They have to pay in line with market competition. A nonsense that the best people will only work for obscene amounts of money. & if true, if you pay execs half or a quarter will the people you get who want to do the job be half as good. I very much doubt it, but much better value for money. Those who support the values of a mutual, those who want do the public service role of Housing Association, local authority, University, those who want to play for a top Club because it is that Club, will do so.

For the banks & building societies and investment companies – cut the pay and give all savers an extra couple of quid. (In one line in a 2013 essay I called this pact between shareholders (controllers of votes of) and executives an unholy alliance. And wrote a latter critique (focused on BT in this case) here:
https://kironreid.co.uk/2019/01/02/how-to-end-the-obscenely-excessive-executive-pay-at-bt-and-other-top-firms/

Liberator 362 October 2013 can be downloaded here:
https://liberatormagazine.org.uk/en/document/liberator-issues-2013/liberator-362#document

Posted in abridged form on Twitter.

The Steel Balloon – a ’60s atomic thriller on political and science reporting.

The Steel Balloon Hugh McLeave, Pan edition, 1967.

Wise words from a 1960s thriller, on the quality of the press. Wise words for Brexit time, written by the novelist the Daily Mail science correspondent. A now very old fashioned seeming thriller set amid the early British atomic energy programme. The hero, naturally a Fleet Street science correspondent, has to stop every five minutes at a phone box to call his newsroom. A fairly straightforward plot compared with modern movies, mysterious death and disappearances, blackmail, spies, sabotage. And the obligatory road trip through Scotland (39 Steps, Enigma – or is it a train journey in Enigma?). (1st ed. Frederick Muller, 1964). Pre-motorway of course. And a nice little cameo for a George Smiley, presumably a comic tribute to the Smiley who John Le Carre had created three years earlier.

The quote about political reporting, p. 55 I thought at the time was a call for more in depth and better quality reporting on political matters. And a moral that the public get the press that they deserve, now I’m not sure about the former and this quote is not about the latter. I was struck by the relevance when I read the book last Summer but it equally applies now in the time of Coronacrisis. When the popular British press are being a bit more responsible (the quality British and US outlets and others doing great work) but many people, in sharing information, videos and pictures of unknown provenance and validity on social media, are helping spread confusion, ignorance or prejudice. Fortunately far more people are thinking carefully about what they are doing to help tackle the crisis. Of course the hero of ‘The Steel Balloon’, reporter David Lovatt, is regularly reminding us of the need for better public understanding of science. Page 56 is a reminder by a Jewish professor of the stupidity of prejudice based on religion or race. The Coronavirus is also showing us that.

The MPs who betrayed Britain & Europe.

These are the MPs who took us out of the European Union. They’ve taken away my rights & damaged the peace, prosperity & security of all of Europe. I hold each of them personally responsible and will not forgive them for this defeat they have inflicted on Britain.
European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill Division 14 9 January 2020
https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-01-09/division/481FA073-5C1F-4EE0-892E-983C695193FC/EuropeanUnion(WithdrawalAgreement)Bill?outputType=Names

AyesTellers
Adams, Nigel
Afolami, Bim
Afriyie, Adam
Ahmad Khan, Imran
Aiken, Nickie
Aldous, Peter
Allan, Lucy
Amess, Sir David
Anderson, Lee
Anderson, Stuart
Andrew, Stuart
Ansell, Caroline
Argar, Edward
Atherton, Sarah
Atkins, Victoria
Bacon, Mr Gareth
Bacon, Mr Richard
Badenoch, Kemi (Proxy vote cast y Leo Docherty)
Bailey, Shaun
Baillie, Siobhan
Baker, Duncan
Baker, Mr Steve
Baldwin, Harriett
Barclay, rh Steve
Baron, Mr John
Bell, Aaron
Benton, Scott
Beresford, Sir Paul
Bhatti, Saqib
Blackman, Bob
Blunt, Crispin
Bone, Mr Peter
Bottomley, Sir Peter
Bowie, Andrew
Bradley, Ben
Bradley, rh Karen
Brady, Sir Graham
Braverman, Suella
Brereton, Jack
Bridgen, Andrew
Brine, Steve
Bristow, Paul
Britcliffe, Sara
Brokenshire, rh James
Browne, Anthony
Bruce, Fiona
Buchan, Felicity
Buckland, rh Robert
Burghart, Alex
Butler, Rob
Carter, Andy
Cartlidge, James
Cash, Sir William
Cates, Miriam
Caulfield, Maria
Chalk, Alex
Chishti, Rehman
Chope, Sir Christopher
Churchill, Jo
Clark, rh Greg
Clarke, Mr Simon
Clarke, Theo
Clarke-Smith, Brendan
Clarkson, Chris
Cleverly, rh James
Clifton-Brown, Sir Geoffrey
Coffey, rh Dr Thérèse
Colburn, Elliot
Collins, Damian
Costa, Alberto
Courts, Robert
Coutinho, Claire
Cox, rh Mr Geoffrey
Crabb, rh Stephen
Crosbie, Virginia
Crouch, Tracey
Daly, James
Davies, David T. C.
Davies, Gareth
Davies, Dr James
Davies, Mims
Davies, Philip
Davis, rh Mr David
Davison, Dehenna
Dines, Miss Sarah
Djanogly, Mr Jonathan
Docherty, Leo
Dorries, Ms Nadine
Double, Steve
Dowden, rh Oliver
Doyle-Price, Jackie
Drax, Richard
Drummond, Mrs Flick
Duddridge, James
Duguid, David
Duncan Smith, rh Sir Iain
Dunne, rh Philip
Eastwood, Mark
Edwards, Ruth
Ellis, rh Michael
Ellwood, rh Mr Tobias
Elphicke, Mrs Natalie
Eustice, George
Evans, Dr Luke
Evennett, rh Sir David
Everitt, Ben
Fabricant, Michael
Farris, Laura
Fell, Simon
Fletcher, Katherine
Fletcher, Mark
Fletcher, Nick
Ford, Vicky
Foster, Kevin
Fox, rh Dr Liam
Francois, rh Mr Mark
Frazer, Lucy
Freeman, George
Freer, Mike
Fuller, Richard
Garnier, Mark
Ghani, Ms Nusrat
Gibb, rh Nick
Gibson, Peter
Gideon, Jo
Glen, John
Goodwill, rh Mr Robert
Gove, rh Michael
Graham, Richard
Grant, Mrs Helen
Gray, James
Grayling, rh Chris
Green, rh Damian
Griffith, Andrew
Griffiths, Kate
Grundy, James
Gullis, Jonathan
Halfon, rh Robert
Hall, Luke
Hammond, Stephen
Hancock, rh Matt
Hands, rh Greg
Harper, rh Mr Mark
Harris, Rebecca
Hart, Sally-Ann
Hart, rh Simon
Hayes, rh Sir John
Heald, rh Sir Oliver
Heaton-Harris, Chris
Henderson, Gordon
Henry, Darren
Higginbotham, Antony
Hinds, rh Damian
Hoare, Simon
Holden, Mr Richard
Hollinrake, Kevin
Hollobone, Mr Philip
Holloway, Adam
Holmes, Paul
Howell, John
Howell, Paul
Huddleston, Nigel
Hudson, Dr Neil
Hughes, Eddie
Hunt, Jane
Hunt, rh Jeremy
Hunt, Tom
Jack, rh Mr Alister
Javid, rh Sajid
Jenkin, Sir Bernard
Jenkinson, Mark
Jenkyns, Mrs Andrea
Jenrick, rh Robert
Johnson, rh Boris
Johnson, Dr Caroline
Johnson, Gareth
Johnston, David
Jones, Andrew
Jones, rh Mr David
Jones, Fay
Jones, Mr Marcus
Jupp, Simon
Kawczynski, Daniel
Kearns, Alicia
Keegan, Gillian
Knight, Julian
Kruger, Danny
Kwarteng, rh Kwasi
Largan, Robert
Latham, Mrs Pauline
Leadsom, rh Andrea
Leigh, rh Sir Edward
Levy, Ian
Lewer, Andrew
Lewis, rh Brandon
Lewis, rh Dr Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian
Loder, Chris
Logan, Mark
Longhi, Marco
Lopez, Julia (Proxy vote cast by Lee Rowley)
Lopresti, Jack
Lord, Mr Jonathan
Loughton, Tim
Mackinlay, Craig
Mackrory, Cherilyn
Maclean, Rachel
Mak, Alan
Malthouse, Kit
Mangnall, Anthony
Mann, Scott
Marson, Julie
May, rh Mrs Theresa
Mayhew, Jerome
Maynard, Paul
McCartney, Jason
McCartney, Karl
McPartland, Stephen
McVey, rh Esther
Menzies, Mark
Mercer, Johnny
Merriman, Huw
Metcalfe, Stephen
Millar, Robin
Miller, rh Mrs Maria
Milling, Amanda
Mills, Nigel
Mohindra, Gagan
Moore, Damien
Moore, Robbie
Mordaunt, rh Penny
Morris, Anne Marie
Morris, David
Morrissey, Joy
Morton, Wendy
Mullan, Dr Kieran
Mumby-Croft, Holly
Mundell, rh David
Murray, Mrs Sheryll
Murrison, rh Dr Andrew
Neill, Sir Robert
Nici, Lia
Nokes, rh Caroline
Norman, rh Jesse
O’Brien, Neil
Offord, Dr Matthew
Opperman, Guy
Parish, Neil
Paterson, rh Mr Owen
Pawsey, Mark
Penning, rh Sir Mike
Penrose, John
Percy, Andrew
Philp, Chris
Pincher, rh Christopher
Poulter, Dr Dan
Pow, Rebecca
Prentis, Victoria
Pritchard, Mark
Quin, Jeremy
Quince, Will
Randall, Tom
Redwood, rh John
Rees-Mogg, rh Mr Jacob
Richards, Nicola
Richardson, Angela
Roberts, Rob
Robertson, Mr Laurence
Robinson, Mary
Rosindell, Andrew
Rowley, Lee
Russell, Dean
Rutley, David
Sambrook, Gary
Saxby, Selaine
Scully, Paul
Seely, Bob
Selous, Andrew
Sharma, rh Alok
Shelbrooke, rh Alec
Skidmore, rh Chris
Smith, Chloe
Smith, Greg
Smith, Henry
Solloway, Amanda
Spencer, Dr Ben
Spencer, rh Mark
Stevenson, Jane
Stevenson, John
Stewart, Iain
Stride, rh Mel
Sturdy, Julian
Sunak, rh Rishi
Sunderland, James
Swayne, rh Sir Desmond
Syms, Sir Robert
Thomas, Derek
Throup, Maggie
Timpson, Edward
Tolhurst, Kelly
Tomlinson, Justin
Tomlinson, Michael
Tracey, Craig
Trevelyan, Anne-Marie
Trott, Laura
Truss, rh Elizabeth
Tugendhat, Tom
Vara, Mr Shailesh
Vickers, Martin
Vickers, Matt
Villiers, rh Theresa
Wakeford, Christian
Walker, Sir Charles
Walker, Mr Robin
Wallis, Dr Jamie
Warman, Matt
Watling, Giles
Webb, Suzanne
Whately, Helen
Whittaker, Craig
Whittingdale, rh Mr John
Wiggin, Bill
Wild, James
Williams, Craig
Williamson, rh Gavin
Wood, Mike
Wragg, Mr William
Wright, rh Jeremy
Young, Jacob
Zahawi, Nadhim

Division-14-European-Union-Withdrawal-Agreement-Bill-Hansard.pdf (661 downloads)

The least honest lowest quality Government Britain has ever had in democratic times.

The weakest, least principled, least honest, poorest quality crop of MPs & Cabinet that the UK has had since the start of the 20th Century. This Cabinet is the lowest calibre & weakest in my lifetime (I’m 48) but the 43% did vote for them. The Independent Group / Change UK / independent Conservatives / Lib Dem joiners failed but they demonstrated principles, leadership & political bravery in great abundance. Matching when Roy Jenkins famously lost Warrington for the SDP doing the right thing in trying to modernise British politics & challenge the extremes. Their vanquishers have sold out our country to the agenda of Putin & Trump, backed by 45.6% of the people who voted. But at least the Tory MPs can cut and paste tweets & maybe in this magical season there will be a miracle & Boris Johson will actually keep a promise he’s made

 

[This post was in response to seeing a flurry of inane copy paste tweets from new Tory MPs celebrating Britain leaving the European Union and claiming this bunch of unprincipled carpetbaggers were trying to bring people together.]

Did all Tory MPs get this tosh to parrot, the equivalent of New Labour paging soundbites. They started the populism but by God this Boris Johnson Farage-Brexit-UKIP Tory Party is putting the boot into Britain and Europe for the delight of Trump and Putin

It really is a carbon copy of New Labour pushing lines by pager but far worse. Populism yes like Labour but for these Johnson Farage-Brexit-UKIP Conservatives it is in the service of Putin, Trump & billionaire tax exiles who have thrice fooled most voters

Other tweets on the same theme:
Even in a small town in rural Uzbekistan an English teacher who loves Britain could not understand how Britain could do this to itself, the same sad, baffled, reaction from our friends abroad I’ve found everywhere in Europe.

 

Both men [talking about honours for Iain Duncan Smith and Zack Goldsmith] have though (backed by most voting public) inflicted the greatest national humiliation on Britain & damage to peace & prosperity in Europe since Munich. All of us suffer the consequences (& benefits if any happen & unicorns fly). [It is the worst British defeat since Dunkirk, and self-inflicted by a section of the British people].

 

And the peace and security, progress and increased living standards across Europe endangered by profiteers and populism. Labour lost when they accepted referendum ‘won’ by lies fraud & tax exile propaganda. Which did same against them this time

 

Tweets from December 20 – 31 2019.

Original tweet thread here: https://twitter.com/KironReid/status/1208118332316114944

Examples include: https://twitter.com/KironReid/status/1212068343034908672