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The UK is Again a Independent Nation, So Stay Out of Our Internal Politics!

by John Brian Shannon

It didn’t take even one full day(!) following the official Brexit date before EU politicians and former EC politicians began sticking their feet in their mouths by commenting on the internal politics of an independent nation called the United Kingdom — and this is in regards to the Scottish politician Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) who wants to separate Scotland from the UK (which, such referenda have never succeeded in the over 200-years that Scotland has been a member of the United Kingdom) and such referenda will never succeed it seems — if the people of Scotland continue to get their way on the matter.

Because every time there’s been a democratically held Scottish referendum it’s failed miserably thanks to Scot voters — and that, after much gamesmanship by those pushing their separatist garbage.

Yet, these are the same people who demand the utmost respect for the European Union project throughout the global body politic and among the world’s media.

Their gall is quite astonishing!

Imagine what the EU response would be if America, China, India or Japan began opining on some of the internal affairs of the European Union, let alone if a number of senior politicians in those countries were engaged in trying to break-up the European Union!


(EU) People Who Live in Glass Houses Shouldn’t be Throwing Stones

We have the situation in Catalonia where the leaders of that longstanding autonomous region who represent over half of the population there, were jailed or forced to flee to Germany after the Spanish government used police and security forces to brutally put down the peaceful and popular movement in Catalonia to become a fully autonomous state within Europe — a movement which was massively approved by Catalonian voters in a democratically held referendum overseen by official election monitors from around the world and the EU.

If heads of state of EU countries, former EC presidents, and presently serving MEP’s in the EU Parliament are going to comment on the internal affairs of the United Kingdom (which is now, again, an independent country) then, it seems fair game that the UK government and media, and indeed all governments and world media, should feel free to report on everything that’s occurred in Catalonia since 1962. And that’s a very big story which has yet to see the light of day.

But it would make a fascinating documentary series showing how continental Europe supports freedom and democracy and a people’s right to self-determination in every continent — except on the EU continent!

Ouch! It must hurt when people catch you out like that, doesn’t it? And there’s more…


Should the UK and Other Countries Accept Today’s Implied Invitation by (former EC president) Donald Tusk, (Irish Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar, (EU MEP) Guy Verhofstadt and other EU politicians, to Engage in Some Reciprocity by Fanning the Flames of Separatist Movements Within the EU?

For many decades, Basque separatists have been waging a campaign against both Spain and France as the Basque people apparently want their own country within Europe and (unfortunately and reportedly) may have resorted to terrorist actions (at least, that’s what the media has reported, but to travel there, you’d never know it as it’s a very restful and peaceful part of the world) and again, brutal police and paramilitary clampdowns became the norm in the Basque region going all the way back to WWII.

Similarly, in Greece, where several sides within Europe attempted to ‘own’ Greece via economic and other means over the past 25-years (by lending the Greek government far more money than they could ever repay, for one example) and only the united power of economist and former Greek Minister of Finance, Ioannis “Yanis” Varoufakis and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras were able to (mostly) counter the silent takeover of Greece by certain EU political parties, institutions, financiers, etc., — official and otherwise.

We could also discuss the situation in Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been waging a lonely battle against the EU autocracy since 2010 to maintain reasonable levels of immigration into his country and to retain Hungarian sovereignty vis-à-vis the overarching EU culture that wants to subsume the will of individual countries (especially small member countries) in favour of the EU’s better way — the “just eat it, it’s good for you!” mentality of dealing with member states.

And in France, millions of people have donned yellow vests (the so-called “yellow vest movement”) to protest high levels of taxation, which taxation is seen not only as punitive, but also (reportedly) targets groups, unions, certain segments of the French economy, and even individuals who aren’t toeing the government line.

There’s also the EU budget allotment procedure that rewards member governments that are compliant with EU diktats with generous funding and punishes those EU member nations that try to maintain control over key areas of their own economies as guaranteed by EU treaty.

It seems the EU people are the sweetest people in the world — but only when they’re getting their own way.

And that isn’t a way forward in the 21st-century, folks. That won’t fly. The entire world will join forces to stop you from again turning into the world’s bully (and that would be the 3rd-time we’d need to stop you from yourselves) within a 107-year timespan.

It’s time to grow-up kids and accept that life is a series of compromises and that you don’t always get your way.


It’s Astonishing that the Two Jurisdictions that Benefit the Most from the UK… Want to Sabotage that Relationship!

The Republic of Ireland economy would go into complete meltdown should the UK cease trading with it, as almost half its output is purchased by UK consumers. And it’s not like the EU is interested in buying Ireland’s goods, or they’d be buying it already! (Duh!)

Likewise with Scotland. Some 4/5ths of Scotland’s trade is courtesy of the UK, and English taxpayers have subsidized Scotland’s economy with many billions of pounds sterling (that’s English taxpayer money!) since 1800.


Are These People Monsters Or Do They Simply Not Get It?

What kind of people would kick English taxpayers in the teeth by trying to break-up the United Kingdom, just so they can score some cheap political points and not feel quite as embarrassed about the UK’s departure from the European Union?

Really, these people are a threat to their own economies specifically, and to stability in the Western Hemisphere, generally.

Maybe have a word with them at the next election (Irish and Scottish voters) because if you re-elect them you’re practically guaranteeing that trade with England will be cut off forever and your passports will never again be valid in God’s country — the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

But if that’s what you want… Good Riddance!

We’ll save the billions we spend to subsidize you and purchase from America and the Commonwealth, instead of from (the then) bankrupt Republic of Ireland, and instead of from (the then) bankrupt Scotland.

With ‘friends’ like you, who needs enemies?


EU politicians want to be respected, but don't respect the UK, which bodes poorly for trade between Ireland and the UK.

Scotland’s SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon must be the funniest person on Earth — because 4/5ths of Scotland’s trade comes courtesy of the United Kingdom — and British taxpayers subsidize the Scottish economy with billions of pounds sterling every year — and she wants to take Scotland out of the United Kingdom! Yet every time Scotland has a (supposedly, once-in-a-lifetime) referendum on Scottish independence from the UK, Scottish residents vote against her Monty Python-esque plan. Check yer meds, woman, or we’ll nominate you to lead The Ministry of Funny Talks! Image courtesy of BBC.com

This Week in Brexit: What Scotland Lost

by John Brian Shannon

Congratulations to Prime Minister Theresa May for working out a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to allow the present minority Tory government to continue in office.

Theresa May strikes ‘confidence and supply’ deal with DUP

And congratulations to DUP leader Arlene Foster for negotiating so well on behalf of her jurisdiction, thereby gaining £1.5 billion in additional infrastructure and other funding.

That’s a ‘Win-Win’ for the Tories and for the Democratic Unionist Party — and more importantly (sorry, Theresa and Arlene!) it’s a ‘Win-Win’ for residents of Northern Ireland.

Theresa May signs ‘£1.5 billion’ deal with the DUP

Infrastructure in Northern Ireland is in bad shape and the funding appears at an opportune moment, as there comes a point when it becomes cheaper to tear down a bridge (for example) than to pay ever-increasing maintenance costs.

The same is true for all infrastructure. Whether roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, airports, or the underground infrastructure that carries water to homes and businesses, all of it has a ‘best before’ date where leaving vital infrastructure spending for too long can cost more than the savings of not doing the work.

The Conservative/DUP deal: what it says and what it means

Of course, £1.5 billion isn’t going to fix it all. But I wouldn’t be surprised if two years of successful DUP ‘confidence and supply’ support gets the residents of Northern Ireland additional infrastructure spending allocations, courtesy of DUP leader Arlene Foster and Prime Minister Theresa May.

And why not? Arlene Foster prevented a divisive and perhaps extended Parliamentary crisis — one that would’ve prevented much good from being done in the United Kingdom.

Speaking of which; See how infrastructure spending is increasing in Northern Ireland, and how it isn’t in Scotland? Not only additional spending, but PM May and DUP leader Foster also negotiated more devolved powers for Northern Ireland.

NOTE to Nicola: It’s great to have a particular ideology, but when it costs your jurisdiction £1.5 billion in the form of missed infrastructure funding, it’s time to review what you think you’re accomplishing!

Loss of opportunity is also a metric by which UK leaders must be measured — it certainly is for heads of government everywhere else — and not as much as it should be, but it’s still an important marker of successful leadership.

Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland’s SNP missed the boat. Arlene Foster of Northern Ireland’s DUP didn’t. And UK Prime Minister Theresa May begins to look like a bit of a deal-maker, which can only be viewed as a good thing as we head into Brexit. Well done, Theresa!


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Theresa May’s Weird Winning Strategy

by John Brian Shannon

As of this writing (5:00am BST, June 9, 2017) election results for the UK General Election are beginning to trickle-in and pundits are lining up to lambaste Prime Minister Theresa May for calling a snap election while in majority government, and then losing the majority just as the UK is poised to head into Brexit negotiations.

‘Oh yes. She fumbled it. Absolutely.’ Said every headline.

And on the surface, that’s what it looks like.

Surely, any majority government that calls an election they don’t need, becoming a minority government in the process, are losers. What else could it be?


But what if Theresa May is smarter than pundits realize?

Short-term pain, for long-term gain?

Maybe. She’s a shrewd operator. Although she can seem cold, standoffish, and even awkward in certain situations, it also seems she’s a patriot who was willing to ‘take a hit for the team’ in order to realize her dream of ‘Building a Better Britain’.

What if everything she’s done has been done with great purpose and resolve, balancing huge risk to her standing as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and to her party fortunes in order to accomplish some great goal that will eventually result in a better Britain?

What if Theresa May has been playing chess whilst everyone else has been playing checkers?


Viewing the UK through a Prime Minister’s lens

Holding a snap election vs. not holding a snap election.

What would be the point of staging a successful getaway from the European Union, and then with the SNP still powerful because it was holding 56 seats, the SNP decided to take Scotland out of the United Kingdom via (post-Brexit) Indyref after Indyref?

Wouldn’t it follow that either Northern Ireland or Wales might then consider staging their own independence referendums and possibly leave the United Kingdom?

What if both devolved territories followed Scotland out of the United Kingdom?

Suddenly, there would be no more ‘United’ in the name United Kingdom, only England remaining.

At that point, the European Union would probably prevail upon the newly independent territories to join the EU — and if successful at that, the EU would become emboldened to invite London into the EU family by promoting London referendum after London referendum.

Had Theresa May not called a snap election, she might have left the SNP in a powerful position, with Scotland leaving the UK (post-Brexit) and the SNP inviting both Northern Ireland and Wales to leave the UK with Scotland.

Such are the matters that keep Prime Ministers awake at night.


Trading a majority, for a Kingdom that remains United

It appears that Theresa May knew what she was doing all along — she chanced losing a majority in the House of Commons for a chance to stick it to the SNP.

Yes, it cost her. But because of the 2017 election results the SNP is now a weaker force, with much less momentum than it had pre-election. Momentum that could have been used in the immediate post-Brexit timeframe to break up the United Kingdom.

Such is the nature of strategy; In order to safeguard the ‘United’ part of the name ‘United Kingdom’ Theresa May used her tactical assets to accomplish those goals.

And that’s the difference between strategists and tacticians. Master strategists like Winston Churchill won WWII, but were forced to expend many of their tactical assets to do so.

(Read about the Battle of Britain to fully understand how this played out in WWII. Many times it may have looked like Britain was losing the war, or at least taking a severe beating, when in fact Winston was setting the Nazis up for later defeat. And he did it in broad daylight, right under everyone’s noses, including his own staff)

Is Theresa May that good? In broad daylight, quite under everyone’s noses, did May just save us from a SNP-led break up of the United Kingdom in the post-Brexit period?


Let the facts speak for themselves

Prime Minister Theresa May spent some of her chips in order to take down the SNP — the same SNP that represented the number one threat to the UK remaining united in a post-Brexit Europe.

Now that the SNP has lost a significant number of seats to Labour and Conservatives alike, the SNP is no longer the threat to UK continuity, harmony, and stability it once was.

In baseball parlance, this is known as a ‘force play‘ when the base runner is in a position to score a point and is forced by the playmaker to run towards home plate knowing full well they’ll be ‘tagged out’ in the process.

If that’s what Theresa May is up to, she’s playing the game of politics at a level far above the understanding of her critics, and it also means she’s a true British patriot, a citizen par excellence, of a permanently United Kingdom.

Having weakened the greatest potential threat to UK unity in decades, the noble Theresa May can now proceed with a safe Brexit — a Brexit where the United Kingdom doesn’t risk losing Scotland, or Northern Ireland, or Wales, in the process.

Well done, Theresa! Right… under… their… noses!