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British exit from the European Union

….utterances of which sends little Europeaners into paroxysms of rage.

To the Brimoaners and Bremainers just what is it about the referendum question we were all asked is so difficult to understand. Just to remind you

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

That’s it, plain and simple. No caveats, no qualifications.

The referendum result was to leave the European Union. In anyone else’s lexicon the word ‘leave’ is clear, unremarkable and whose meaning is self evident. Yet ever since June 23rd last year we’ve had a constant backlash from the left with all sorts of assertions that leave doesn’t also mean leave the single market or tariff free zone.

Well yes, actually it does. As has been succinctly remarked on many occasions, leave means leave – no ifs or buts.

I’m getting somewhat tired of the patronising self assured elite who think the rest of us were either misled or are stupid and don’t really understand what we’ve done.

Well get over it. We knew leave meant leave both the single market and tariff free zone. We knew that this would allow us to start from a blank slate and negotiate whatever deals and arrangements we wanted without all the baggage that would otherwise fetter us. All the talk at the time about negotiating a Norwegian or Swiss type arrangement was an irrelevant red herring, cynically brought up in an attempt to sow seeds of doubt.

With the High Court decision over who can trigger Article 50 now behind us the way forward is relatively straightforward. The government’s argument that no deal (on access to the single market) is better than a bad deal should be the watchword.

The one thing that has surprised me is the way the word has resonated around the world. It clearly seems to have echoes in other countries where people are starting to sit up and recognise something can actually be done to rein in the overbearing global elite who feel it’s their right to rule without actually noticing what their electorates want.

Shakespeare put it best – “The game’s afoot”

Vive le Brexit.

 

 

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So what happened to Blair’s promises back in 1997 about getting rid of sleaze and bringing in squeaky clean government?

Almost from day one with the Bernie Ecclestone affair we’ve seen just how much lip service was paid to that grand ideal. What we’re seeing and reading about in recent weeks though just about beggars belief. Maybe as all these MPs and government Ministers are telling us, they are all claiming expenses entirely within the rules. Well maybe they are, but that merely brings home the point that the rules need changing.

No, what is really wrong with all this is that they just don’t understand why the public are so incensed. The latest to trot out this claptrap is Geoff Hoon.

Yes Geoff, of course you  may be entitled to claim the sorts of expenses you are, but isn’t there just a tiny bit of your conscience which says, ‘hang on a bit, is it acceptable for me to be claiming expenses for a second constituency home, whilst renting out the home in London that I’ve registered with the authorities as my main home, and all the time living in a taxpayer funded grace and favour home in Admiralty House?

Doesn’t that strike you as just a little bit unreasonable and wrong?

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There has been much comment, most of it against the suggestion of the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, that fixing a minimum price for the sale of alcohol at 50 pence per unit, would be a significant help in cutting down on irresponsible drinking and the ‘binge drink culture’.

At first glance, and as a libertarian, perhaps I too should be against it. What right has the governnment after all to intervene in a straightforward commercial arrangement between citizens and publicans or shops. And yet I’m not – against it that is.

More often than not issues are rarely black and white and there is always a balance to be struck. This is no exception. For once the government has been given a lead and opportunity to do something which would benefit society in general, but as so often Gordon Brown seems to have a blind spot. Critics, and I even heard Ken Clark on the BBC Question Time program, describe the suggestion as a tax. It is nothing of the sort. No revenue would accrue to the government, it is simply a measure to impose a minimum selling price.

Critics also seem to miss the point that for the large majority of people it would have no impact. A normal strength pint of beer contains about two units of alcohol and would have to be sold for a minimum of £1. In a pub I guess the current average is probably £2.50. The measure is clearly aimed at the binge drinker and the supermarkets who are selling high strength lagers at loss leader prices.

If the anti-competitive nature of the supermarkets’ loss leaders were curtailed, it might also assist in slowing down or even hopefully stopping the trend of closures for the traditional British pub. A double bonus in my opinion.

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