UK Politics

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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:26 am

Sun Fin wrote:
Dong Zhou wrote:
-Tracey Crouch wants smart motorway roll out to be delayed due to safety concerns

Having worked in the breakdown industry this really needs to happen. The number of breakdown recovery driver's deaths has increased significantly due to their existence. The slight convenience gained is not worth the risk of death.

Ouch, fingers crossed they shelve it then
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:10 pm

-Brexit debate on 7th January, vote week after followed by Corbyn laying down motion of no confidence against May though technically government can refuse to give this one time to debate (would look bad).

May declaring this perhaps helped by Labour briefing Corbyn would lay down no confidence vote against May (rather then government) if May didn't set Brexit debate date, Labour celebrated victory to the extent McDonnell was telling press "we got what we wanted" so motion wasn't going ahead and Corbyn seemed content. So this is a tad confusing and botched. Seen as an attempt to look like bringing the no confidence motion people want but not actually doing so as people wanted one against government and May can shrug off such a motion as nothing more then a personal blow, won't force government to resign. DUP said they wouldn't vote for this

-Sturgeon feels a confidence vote would work and Labour doing it would clarify their position and SNP might do it themselves, wants Remain on any second referendum ballot and on issue of sovereignty "nobody argues that France or Germany or Ireland are not independent countries… Ireland in many ways is calling the shots’."

-Gwynne says NHS should have published 10 year plan by now if not for Brexit, will try to get Brexit vote this week

-Hinds says education budget will be protect whatever happens with Brexit vote, second referendum only extends current deadlock

-May urges MP's not to break faith with public by demanding second vote and it would cause irreparable damage to trust with politicians, divide the country further, parliament engaging in wishful thinking they can get anything other then May's deal, summit conclusions have legal force and go further on backstop then ever before. Has not been taking advice from Cameron and last time she spoke to him was when withdrawal deal was being finalised as a courtesy, (when asked about why she is advocating something that is worse then current deal) Remain is simply not an option after Brexit referendum

-Express furious that Brexit "might be stolen" (ie second referendum)

-Lidington denies he is seeking second referendum but is talking to Labour MP's in the usual way

-Geoffrey Cox denies he said May has to be removed after Brexit day

-Hunt admits no deal will lead to disruption and risks

-Government to announce workplace rights reforms which Greg Clark celebrates but Labour and unions feel they don't go far enough

-Real concerns about retail market after Asos has made clear November was a disaster and December only a marginal improvement

-NHS plans will be published in January despite being finished

-Buckland, Solicitor General, open to a free vote for an indicative vote on Brexit

-Cabinet members like Rudd, Hinds, Dr Fox, Buckland are floating that, if May's deal fails, a free indicative vote on all options happens in Commons, Downing Street soft on language rejecting "no plans" gives wiggle room

-Clark opposes referendum as divisive and sorts nothing

-ONS changes how student loans impact government so Hammond now has a £12 billion hole to fill

-Downing Street says no deal planning escalating with a further £2.4 billion announced, whatever happens we leave on Brexit day, talks ongoing with EU but warns Brexiters, EU has said they will not have a withdrawal agreement for no deal aka EU has ruled out "managed no deal"

-Blackford seeks emergency debate on EU summit

-EU says talks are off

-Corbyn says May has led country to national crises, points to May failing to even secure pre-agreed warm words, nothing will change so delay is pointless and questions if May has confidence of her cabinet

-Rees-Mogg now says he has his confidence, I think he has seen the reaction to his failure to accept May's win


-Reeves mocks outgoing Unilver head Polman for claiming they lead the way in corporate relations with shareholders

-Hoey accuses EU and Ireland of "conniving" over Irish backstop to use it to drive N.Ireland out of UK

-Boris warns second referendum would lead to "instant, deep and ineradicable feelings of betrayal", it is a sickening idea and cabinet out of their mind if they feel it is a good idea. Some moderation of language would be appreciated Mr Boris

-Gordon Brown and Mirror opposing scrapping free TV licenses for over 75's

-Ian Murray thinks if Labour backed second referendum, the idea would pass Commons

-Bob Seeley concerned that Isle of Wight ferries could be treated as a cashcow by whomever buys it

-Gymiah says Downing Street no longer defending deal but trying to distract people and discredit alternatives as they run down clock

-Osborne saying May's allies looking at second referendum

-Owen Smith questioned point of Corbyn's no confidence move


-Nesrine Malik questions why Tories are still seen as party of business

-Alan O'Kelly urges Tories to build relation with Irish community here

-Sean O'Grady says ex-PM's tend to cause trouble but May needs to relax about Blair

-Henry Newman feels indicative vote is a bad idea and Brexiteers coming around to May's deal

-Kuessenberg not impressed by cabinet members discussing indicative vote
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:08 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:-Boris warns second referendum would lead to "instant, deep and ineradicable feelings of betrayal", it is a sickening idea and cabinet out of their mind if they feel it is a good idea. Some moderation of language would be appreciated Mr Boris

What has always made Boris so dangerous is his ability to express the view of the common man. I've heard similar language from people who did vote for Brexit. I think too many of the 48% are so caught up in their echo chamber of everyone decrying Brexit that they don't realise the strength of emotion and anger that the 52% are feeling.
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:48 am

Sun Fin wrote:
Dong Zhou wrote:-Boris warns second referendum would lead to "instant, deep and ineradicable feelings of betrayal", it is a sickening idea and cabinet out of their mind if they feel it is a good idea. Some moderation of language would be appreciated Mr Boris

What has always made Boris so dangerous is his ability to express the view of the common man. I've heard similar language from people who did vote for Brexit. I think too many of the 48% are so caught up in their echo chamber of everyone decrying Brexit that they don't realise the strength of emotion and anger that the 52% are feeling.

I was more objecting to the bits after the quoted line, his warning is a legitimate one and yes he will use his great populist oratory to help fan it.

I think there are (for simplifications sake) two strands of the 52%: 1) the regretful. The ones who are quietly believing another vote or government will get them out of this mess though they will deny having voted for it or even that there was a vote. However the relief could turn into betrayal narrative, 2) those still angry, those that believe Brexit is the answer and where overturning will confirm everything they feel about the system. I'm not sure what the numbers are for that divide, I more sense the 1st (and consumer habits would seem to indicate it) but I may well be wrong.

I also think a Brexit gone bad will have a betrayal narrative but I do think a referendum will be toxic and Remainers have not adjusted their offer so if they did win, will be more the regretful sneaking over despite them. Remainers aren't listening, are being patronizing and walling themselves off, too many Remainers really do not get it and will make things worse in their handling of events.
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:08 pm

-Government refuses to grant no confidence debate as "a stunt" with Labour calling government cowards and Tories saying Labour don't have guts to do a proper no confidence debate and is challenging Corbyn to go for it, feels a PR mistake by May. She is likely to win it with DUP and ERG saying they will fully back May on this, where government may be concerned is other opposition are trying to amend it into no confidence proper.

I thought government would be getting flak for avoiding the vote but fire more turning on Labour, either why aren't they doing it properly, game playing or how did they make a shambles of this.

-Lord McNally has lost the Lords over his attack on Lord Lester's accusers motives

-David TC Davies kicked out of live interview by Sky's Kay Burley as he decided to stare at phone during debate with Anna Turley, he felt she kept interrupting him and didn't let him get word in.

I did feel Turley asked him question then didn't let him really respond, cutting him off after first sentence was unfair and Burley should have stepped in but Davies really shouldn't have gone to his phone in blatant contempt

-Local Government Committee orders Amazon to reveal it's business rate bill and corporation tax

-The regulator for auditing companies scrapped with government having to draw up new one

-Morduant says parliament can't do something else other then implement people's demand for Brexit as parliament promised, backs a "managed no deal"

-Clark says business expects MP's to take responsibility rather then complain

-Blackford remarks he thought we had reached rock bottom but May keeps digging, demands impact reports on no deal be published

-Coveney says if UK brings new Brexit plan, Brexit may have to be delayed

-Nicky Morgan welcomes ONS ruling on student loans being on government balance-sheet

-Government implementing returnable deposits on bottles, cans and the like, recycling labelling on packaging, no charge for disposing garden waste, green groups happier then business

-Sir Brady defends his handling of confidence vote, in another interview he remarked on the process followed being so quick “We followed the rules and it wasn’t a particularly difficult judgment to do so. One might also comment that those who were keen to hold a vote of confidence and to remove the leader of the party had been working on this for at least the last six weeks.”

-Hilary Benn calls for second referendum with parliament too divided

-Rees-Mogg says he will never vote out a Tory government and his voters would not expect him to, instead of ERG it is Tory Remainers more likely to vote against May, his comments in aftermath of May surviving no confidence vote was him trying for one last go and that failed so he supports her

Quite why Nick Boles decided to back up Rees-Mogg by saying he would resign whip support no confidence if it stopped no deal, I am not sure as this will be seized upon as the ERG tries to portray itself as loyal and friendly. Soubry says she feels the same as Boles

-Allies of Grayling briefing Hammond is holding back money needed to charter ferries for no deal

-Verhofstadt on Hunt's recent embrace of no deal "Those, like Jeremy Hunt, who glorify a no–deal Brexit are totally irresponsible. It is not the job of politicians to make the people they lead poorer, remove opportunities, rights & make lives more uncertain. There is no such thing as a "managed no deal""

-Cabinet meeting on no deal overuns considerably and judging by the massive leaking: apparently the indicative vote brigade got a hammering, Truss wants daily Corba planning meets for no deal, rumoured Gauke said "Managed no-deal is not a viable option. It’s not on offer from the EU and the responsibility of cabinet ministers is not to propagate unicorns but to slay them." (Hammond also compared it to unicorn), Rudd says no deal prep was “Just because you put a seatbelt on, doesn’t mean you crash the car”

-Government tells business to prepare for no deal and will be advertising campaign to get information out with 80,000 emails going to business to advise them on no deal prep

-Williamson says 3,500 members of armed forces ready to step in for no deal

-Sir Stramer says May will never agree to no deal as she knows it would be a catastrophe

-Scottish government adding EU migrant help to Citizen Advice network

-Abbott says she has received the most racism nowadays that any time in her 35 years of politics.

Can we pleased ban the words "we are a tolerant country", think events in recent weeks shows we are a country with real problems with racism


-Sir Cable jokes that cabinet is not disloyal but sees betting odds about Brexit and are better at maths then May, accuses government of using no deal as psychological warfare

-Sir Leigh says many deal sceptics could be persuaded if right changes to backstop

-Twigg concerned at cut of school crossing patrols

-Dent Coad fire services need more support

-Hoey opposes deal and referendum

-Greening says May has led UK into cul-de-sac and is seeking to shut down debate with her criticism of alternatives, is wrong to have a recess with Brexit unresolved

-IDS says EU is worried about UK being well prepared for no deal, Germans had dismissed chances of UK rejecting deal but now changing their minds

-Scottish Greens accuse Scottish Government of being vague on Brexit preparations


-Nicholas Watt Bercow could be key to way Brexit unfolds

-Kuessenberg parliamentary procedural shenanigans

-Professor Vernon Bogdanor May's opponents should be ashamed

-Tom Harris not a fan of way Corbyn handling Brexit debate

-Hinsliff on no deal

-Kim Sengupta EU attitudes
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:35 pm

- Fiona Onasanya found guilty of perverting the course of justice with no dissenting vote in jury, she has been struck off as a solicitor. Labour have suspended her and asked her to resign and likely be a by-election, I worry about her future as I don't think she will have the job fallbacks of the last MP involved in such a scandal

-Creagh vs Tollhurst on minimum wage not being paid is quite heated

-Hunt said to have warned EU attitudes are hardening due to talks of second referendum

-Papers on Jose, use of armed forces for Brexit, business alarmed by no deal prep

-Public Accounts Committee warns government has not done enough to secure the supply of medical equipment for no deal

-May challenges Sturgeon and Drakeford to back Brexit deal at summit, SNP accuse May of running down time and she should extend article 50

-Sturgeon tweets "Labour tabling a motion just in the PM rather than in the entire government begs the question, which Tory do they want to see as PM?"

-Hugh Pym writes about NHS having issues getting medicines

-Hammond opposed Tier 2 immigration applicants having a £30,000 salary threshold so being consulted on

-The migration target of 100,000 not in immigration white paper, Brokenshire says still target they are committed to but Javid says they have no specific target while denying it has been dropped (it has and he used the terms "I have been very clear" so you know he threw as much cloud as he could) with Javid widely believed to have floundered on Today program. Abbott agrees Labour's record on immigration was flawed and she voted against it at time, Javid trying to have it both ways on immigration, Sturgeon says it would destroy Scottish care industry and vandalize public services, they need working age population to come in. Unsurprisingly, business groups says immigration paper would make us poorer if implemented and CBI sharply points out government loves to listen when they warn against no deal then ignore them on immigration, Gardiner says NHS needs more migration but won't say what areas are in surplus where migration can be cut but admits Labour is willing for migration to go up if economy needs it, Cooper calls it late, lacking in detail and ignoring eviddence while whips may be concerned at Scottish Tory Krsitine Hair raising concerns at damage it does to Scottish business

-British Chambers of Commerce, the Confederation of British Industry, manufacturers' organisation the EEF, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors furious at seeing us heading towards no deal

-Opposition parties bar Labour have laid down a proper no confidence vote but May is under no obligation to face it

-Williamson says MOD will use AI more and has set up a £160 million fund to support this but doesn't say he will close the major funding gap while doing this

-European Commission says if no deal , would extend current situation for UK haulage for nine months while British airlines could fly into EU but not any further, won't need visa and such till 2021, derivatives clearing would get equivalences. UK has no say in this which may be a pointed shot at "managed no deal" and Brexiteers, I do feel the focus on Corbyn's words is naval gazing when this has come out

-Ofcom says 2% don't get bare acceptable minimum broadband while full fibre available to 6%

-Hinds says universities need to wake up to grade inflation

-Good natured teasing at Corbyn's end of year/Christmas greeting at start of PMQ's but after a heated PMQ's, Corbyn seems (even Gardner admitted he seemed like it) to mouth "stupid woman" when May finishes her final attack on him, Labour saying it was "stupid people" so he doesn't need to apologize(won't even if Bercow ruled against him) and those claiming he did need to account for themselves. Lipreaders are saying "clearly" then splitting on what he actually said. He is getting a fair few attacks for this with even some of his MP's feel it would be out of order and Gardiner saying any such comment would need an apology, Clarie Perry praises Corbyn's usual courtesy but says if he said it he should apologize and his inner circle do a lot worse but his fleeing the chamber was cowardly.

Leadsom uses Corbyn's alleged comment to say Bercow never apologized for calling her that (Bercow's saying they have had meetings since and she hasn't raised it is a shocker of an answer), Soubry says Corbyn's failure to intervene due to failure to have seen it wouldn't happen if a Tory did that to a Labour woman, Ford accuses Bercow of calling her a stupid woman which Bercow outright denies. This could be a problem for Bercow who has, under pressure, promised to watch video of incident and Labour figures accusing Tories of trying to orchestrate outrage to put Bercow in difficult position.Bercow looks at video and with help of lip-speakers (not lipreaders), says it seems like Corbyn said woman but as not recorded, he can't rule and asks Corbyn to make statement. Corbyn then says from dispatch box that he did not say stupid woman, I'm not sure it has helped any as people have drawn their own conclusions either way and those that feel he said woman feel he should have apologized

It is a small row for Corbyn that will only be damaging to Corbyn if it is the sort of small stone that breaks Corbyn the nice guy image.

-May seemed remarkably amused by Corbyn's attacks on her handling of Brexit and treatment of parliament during PMQ's

-Inflation at 20 month low of 2.3%, fuel and entertainment down. Clothing was the only thing to have fallen in price this year

-Rudd says she is keeping an open mind about pace of universal credit roll out, seen as a hint she may delay it

-Ireland ramping up no deal prep

-Gauke says many in cabinet find no deal unacceptable and can't be a deal without backstop+payments warning "Relying on some fantastical mythical creature of a deal that has all the aspects we would like and with none of the downsides that the EU will insist upon is not facing up to reality.”"

-Gove says no deal will cause food price rises due to border issues and tarrifs


-MacNeil wonders if they can table a no confidence motion against Corbyn

-Goodman customs union should be subject to indicative vote

-Raab suggests a £39 billion tax break to help business with Brexit. Hammond may be wondering where exactly the benefits Brexit was promised will be funded if that scale of tax breaks are required for helping

-Dr Woolostan says she would resign whip if policy became no deal

-Blunt says May got steamrollered by EU for Brexit deal

-James O'Brien remarked "Sajid Javid citing his parents as an example of immigration’s positives while introducing a policy that would prevent them from immigrating is quite a look. To go further, Javid’s political ambitions hinge on persuading fellow Tories that he wouldn’t let his own parents into the country while simultaneously citing them as evidence of his enlightened values."

-Jess Philips says May is playing Russian Roulette with livelihoods and she felt May was better then that, understands no confidence vote is touch call for Labour but time to be brave. On the Corbyn thing remarks "All of us say stupid s---. Can we go back to the fact we are as a country bulk buying fridges to store our stockpiled medicines"


-Politics Home on Brexit options

-Behr says 2018 been year of Brexit vs Westminster

-Neal Lawson citizen assembly route forward on Brexit and part of political reform

-Freedland on MP's duty to oppose national emergency of no deal Brexit

-D'Ancona concerned at troops being used for Brexit

-James Krikup not a fan of immigration white paper
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:47 pm

-Brexit debate starts 9th January though not quite clear when vote will actually be

-Lord Younge remarks Williamson could be eligible for Golden Bull awards

-Bercow seizes on Sir Swayne and Sheerman's objections to people complaining about the Corbyn "scandal" to appeal for calm and not to jump on any little comment

-Lots of Corbyn's alleged words (you can tell which is left-leaning and which is right by their coverage), Sun feels EU's no deal prep is trying to threaten UK

-Rudd says referendum is a plausible route forward if Parliament is deadlocked on Brexit but would try indicative votes first

-Ireland to purchase land at Dublin and Rosslare ports to deal with congestion, promises to ensure air travel with UK and security co-operation in N.Ireland, not worried about medical supplies

-EU to allow UK flights for 12 months and derivative trading only equivalent for two years

-Government looking to set up Office for Environmental Protection as environmental protection watchdog

-Hansard Society says if May deal fails, will be first time since 1864 that parliament has overthrown an international treaty

-Foreign Office disagrees with Trump that IS has been defeated in Syria

-Soubry heckled as a traitor outside Parliament, media and politicians should hang their hands in shame for helping create such atmosphere.

-Leadsom says second referendum would undermine the democratic first referendum, EU's no deal prep shows they are willing for some kind of managed no deal

-ONS says death of homelessness up 24% in five year

-Abbott accuses Today program of inviting her to discuss immigration, asking one question then spending most of segment on Corbyn comment and says Tories are being contrived and ridiculous on the matter

-Retails sales jump more then expected with online share hitting record 21%

-Interest rate held with Bank of England worried about Brexit uncertainty impact

-Government edit out word unlikely from all Brexit notices, had read "in the likely event of no deal Brexit"

-Putin says second referendum would be undemocratic


-Sir Cable no deal would be deliberate policy and why WTO terms is bad

-London to pay for it's EU staff settled status fee


-Holly Baxter on why stupid woman is a charged term

-Kettle thinks constitutional revolution may be happening

-Maya Goodfellow argues immoderation proposals show nothing has been learnt from Windrush

-Garvan Walshe government should condemn Orban

-Aditya Chakrabortty Brexit hides the real national emergency
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:19 pm

-May speaks in Polish to say she wants Polish immigrants to stay in UK

-Major cross party amendment to finance bill to try and block no deal Brexit

-Morudant has written to May demanding end of sexist treatment of spouses in honours system

-Ivan Lewis resigns from Labour, had been suspended since November due to sexual harassment allegations. This failure to have deal with his case with speed and with it being politically interfered with while also mentioning Corbyn's record on anti-Semitism (I'm not the only one with "he only just noticed?" reaction) and Israel is reasons given, Labour briefing the was hearing in New Year so was jumping first and his complaints about Israel are bizarre

-Government agrees deal with Efta countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) to ensure guarantees of rights for citizens

-Mike Russell says government handling of Brexit is amateurish and ignores reality of devolution

-Soubry asks for police to do more after protestors compare her to Hitler and threaten her

-Dawn Butler sings her request to Morduant

-Seems Tory inquiry has cleared Boris over his burka comments after six months

-I suspect calls for stricter regime on drone will be renewed after Gatwick chaos

-Our chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies calls for a sugar and salt tax to be used to fund making healthier options cheaper, ban on added sugar to baby food, this has not gone down well with some of usual press

-Gauke says he would find it hard to remain in cabinet if no deal became policy, is a risk of accidental no deal. Poses with toy unicorn he has been for Christmas

-Corbyn attacks media for being obsessed over stupid woman row rather then homelessness

-Drakeford skips one to one meeting with May as he had already agreed to attend an event for his supporters, he might have been better not to boast about it as it looks pathetic priorities rather then honourable when he does that.

-Abbott on poor quality of asylum housing

-Russia Today breached broadcasting codes seven tmes in aftermath of Salisbury attacks


-Victoria Atkins has best cat name "Gaston the Turbo Snail"

-Lord Shipley on housing

-Onasanya hints she won't resign, that she is on a new chapter like Jesus and compares her case to "Joseph, Moses, Daniel and his three Hebrew friends who were each found guilty by the courts of their day.’"

-Sarah Champion says extremists are exploiting child abuse

-Ellwood not happy seeing Mattis go


-Adler on EU leaders sick of Brexit and not in miid to compromise

-Hinsliff concerned at people dating based on political belief's

-Lara Smith says both parties handling of Brexit is discouraging youth from trusting them

-Grice feels no deal is nothing but project fear and will never ever happen (the human ability to stumble into such things that would never happen should never be underestimated)
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:02 pm

-Claims Department of Transport stopped work on drone legislation due to Brexit may not do well for Grayling

-Rudd says Junker's treatment of May has been grotesque and ghastly, we should have filed an official complaint , she hates Commissioners tendencies for bear hugs

-Telegraph accuses Tories of not being Tory enough and chasing Labour too much

-Williamson sends naval ship to Ukraine is to send signal to Russia about UK's solidarity with Ukraine

-Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride warns business that trade with EU have to take action now to prepare for no deal

-Chris Williamson apologies after demanding Islington Council unban a saxophonist, says he didn't realize about the anti-Semitism aspect. Jewish groups asking Williamson to be suspended, Labour don't seem inclined to do that

-Bercow publishes an update reminder of how to behave in Commons

-Kremlin saying BBC's coverage in Russia will now be investigated by media regulator (one assumes they aren't entirely pleased with Ofcom)


-Katy Balls feels second referendum plays into Brexit camp hands and will be more divisive

-Shappi Khorsandi homelessness

-Forysth (sun) might be hope to appease DUP but will be difficult, May's future, Bercow has lost authority
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:45 pm

-Lord Paddy Ashdown has died after short illness, a marine, intelligence officer and multilingual diplomat assigned to the UN, became a youth worker as he fought to become an MP before doing so as Liberal (then Lib Dem) MP for Yeovil from 83-2001 and a political giant. When Liberals and SDP merged in 88, they turned to Ashdown to lead them and he would do so till 99 making the longest serving leader, working closely with Labour even if he never quite got the pact he hoped for, his tactics of by-elections and building strong local bases, local campaigns made the party a genuine third force and has been the staple of Lib Dem rise to Coalition, though never a great speaker in chamber and one whose not suffering fools manner did not always make him popular within his own party but Ashdown got to go at a time of his own choosing which is rare for a political leader. Retired as an MP in 01, immediately made a peer and served as UN's head in troubled Bosnia which improved his standing at home. When he returned to UK, Lord Ashdown's experience as leader, a solider and in UN meant he had great clout, Gordon Brown offered him N.Ireland Sectary which he refused and he was often a figure Lib Dem sent to face media, chaired their 2015 election campaign.

-Today is the anniversary of last time foreign army successfully invaded Britain. Not 1066

-Security Minister Ben Wallace warns al-Qaeda is "resurgent"and looking to strike at airports and planes again

-I enjoyed the Mail's blunt headline about the drone people, I worry it might have been slightly irresponsible

-Accusations Grayling rejected expert and security services help with drone issue

-Work and Pensions Select Committee says Universal Credit requiring people to pay childcare and then claim it back means people either go into debt or have to reject job due to childcare costs

-Corbyn says that if Labour wins snap election next year, Labour would pursue Brexit deal and if referendum then party decides stance. This has gone down as well as you might imagine with Remain wing of party

-Osborne says Tories failing to adapt to modern world and until they do so (he wants them to be more social liberal and business friendly), will face an age in opposition with potential election or referendum this year, May should have adopted a more conciliatory tone with EU and sought associated membership.

-IDS we are doing fine and Hammond is leading Establishment conspiracy to thwart Brexit

-As always, I'm enjoying the festive period but the atmosphere in the town and elsewhere is...worrying. People aren't giving seasonal greetings even this close, there are lights out but fewer then before, what celebrating is going on feels subdued, it feels like people are hunkering down and barely going through the motions. Retail seems to be (as well as the usual "sneak in the price rises/shrinking the product while people aren't paying attention" which started about a week ago) responding, the Christmas adverts which have got better year on year have suddenly gone this year or being very restrained (Kevin the Carrot does have some funny spoofs and I like the BBC iplayer theme advert, that is about it), retail and consumer confidence figures are down, the kind of offers I'm seeing around here suggests even the usual bad times of overdoing the little treats isn't selling in way expected.

I do blame Brexit (of course I do, I know I know) for the wider public mood. The impact on the shops dealing with the issues won't help, while I doubt the public have any idea what is being said on the no deal notices or what the backstop is, they are feeling the drip drip effect. That something isn't quite right, the deal isn't done yet and time is running out, that their jobs might not be so secure, that their money isn't stretching as far and they aren't certain when things will get better and they aren't sure what is coming round the corner so everyone is hunkering down.

I'm also convinced that 2019 will see no deal, May's will be voted down and parliament will be in for a shock when an aghast EU says no, if I'm optimistic something emergency last deal patch will be added but it will be worse then May's deal. I don't think, bar day 1 celebrations on Brexit day, people are going to be feeling much better in year to come.


-BBC's Andrew Walker looks into if EU needs us more then we need them as some claim

-Rawnsley scathing about no deal

-Kenan Malik on immigration debate and economics of it
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