Dear Nigel Huddleston MP we urgently need secular democracy

 

My letter sent to our local MP sent today

Dear Nigel Huddleston MP

I have written to you before about faith schools and their very existence which cause many obvious divisions in society.

Parliament still actively encourages this rapidly developing calamity by funding and encouraging ever more faith schools – but why?

Society has changed fundamentally in the last 60 years and I want my representative in parliament to come out in support of radical change. A secular education system is not only logical but now vital to ensure peace on our streets in the future.

Jerusalem? Berlin before 1987? Nope, Belfast today! Separating the Papists from the Provos.

If you don’t want to support the situation where children of ‘provos’ and ‘Catolics’ are told to avoid each other and where children of Muslim parents are told to shun the children of the kuffar (that’s you and me) then please take note of the following.

According to a major new study, 52% of people in Britain say they have ‘no religion’. The figure, which comes from the highly-respected British Social Attitudes survey, has risen from 48% since 2015 and 31% since 1983. The survey reveals that the British population is becoming increasingly irreligious and religiously diverse. These dramatic changes in Britain’s religion and belief landscape demand a policy response.

I am urging you to ensure that Britain’s constitutional settlement and public policies catch up with the opinions of its population. One of the most striking findings of the BSA survey is that just 1% of 18-24 year olds identify as Anglican.

This means church schools are unlikely to be an attractive, or even acceptable, option to tomorrow’s parents. This calls into question the appropriateness and sustainability of organised religion’s role in running our publicly funded schools.

Christianity is one major influence among many that has shaped our country. But the UK is now one of the most religiously diverse, and also non-religious, nations in the world.

Our political structures do not recognise this huge change. They need to evolve to make Britain a secular democracy where religion and the state are separate.

Pope Francis greeting Mugabe in Rome 7 years ago. Such a good Christian message don’t you think? What on earth is the Vatican all about?

To set out its vision for a secular Britain, the National Secular Society has published a comprehensive report, ‘Rethinking religion and belief in public life: a manifesto for change’: https://tinyurl.com/natsecsoc

This outlines constructive and specific proposals to reform the role of religion in public life.

I hope you can consider adopting these sensible and forward-thinking proposals.

The National Secular Society works towards a society in which all citizens, regardless of religious belief or lack of it, can live together fairly and cohesively. In its manifesto it considers how the state should respond to these fundamental demographic changes, particularly in our institutions and policy responses.

It sets out proposals for reforms in education, public services, institutions and public ceremonies needed to ensure fairness for all regardless of their religion or belief. It also evaluates the state of the law on human rights and freedom of expression where it concerns religion.

Please take the time to look at this report, consider its arguments, and work towards implementing these proposals for a fairer and safer society for the 21st century.

Yours sincerely

Derek Ruskin (derek@ruskinweb.co.uk)

PS: What do you get if you cross an atheist with a Jehova’s witness?

A – Someone who knocks on your door for no apparent reason.

Is democracy dead? Are you bothered? Am I?

 

There are a few simple truths at the heart of our disillusion with politics & politicians

  • No political party has dared to tell us that we can’t afford to pay for all our pensions, the NHS, social care and all those public services that we now demand “as of right”.
  • The welfare state has weakened the government’s ability to break even? It was never envisaged, back in 1947, that is was to become such a huge part of the economy. Discuss.
  • Our government has only broken even seven times in the last 110 years. (Ed: Not a lot a people know that.)
  • The depressing figures for the last 10 years are here on the government’s own statistics web site (ONS).
  • The party political system is flawed too, because it does not allow politicians to plan for long term solutions.
  • All political parties are demonstrably rubbish at financial planning.
  • It can also be argued that is our fault and that we are “in this mess” because so few of us vote.
    • (Ed: Except in the EU IN/OUT referendum!)  😉
  • The clincher for me is the simple fact that we were asked to decide the EU issue.
    • We were promised by our government that our answer would be honoured.
    • Our answer however was the wrong answer and David Cameraman ran off to hide in his posh new caravan.
    • Following on from the EU’s own answer to answers they don’t like, our politicians’ answer is to lie, ignore democracy, try to ask the same question again and talk bollocks for nigh on three years.

Are we bothered enough to do something about it?

We, the people, can’t be really be bothered to be bothered any more?

It seems we are not bothered enough because:-

  • Those who are well off want to keep the status quo.
  • Those who are “just about managing” haven’t got the time to shout about it.
  • Those who really are poor have no voice and no party to speak for them.

Great Britain, and most the the West, has developed a strange form of democracy wherein the views of the majority of people can now be completely and safely ignored.

Change UK (Ed: Who they?*1) has yet to realise that their name should actually be “No Change UK” or perhaps “Love EU“. I predict a huge election failure looming for these deluded, myopic, self interested twerps, because we will be bothered to vote in the next EU election and it will be for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party that we will vote.

Annunziate Rees-Mogg joins the Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party

Hurrah for Annunziata Rees Mogg & Ann Widdecombe and the new Brexit party.

Those who govern us don’t really need to be bothered to be competent either! Why not?

Over the last 25 years, government ministers have been quietly transferring their own valid responsibilities to Quangos (Quasi non-governmental organisations).

This avoids ministers having to give difficult answers to awkward questions when things go wrong. “It wazzn me guv, you need ask the regulator”.

Quite sickening, in my opinion, but quite accepted, normal and largely unchallenged. Because we can’t be bothered?

We the people have been frustrated, bored and ignored into submission …

… by those who love their government jobs and their desire for power more than anything else.

The reason for this is our flawed voting system and Tory & Labour parties fear of introducing proportional representation (PR).

For example, if we had PR, Nigel Farage’s UKIP would have had 46 seats in parliament in 2015!

This all started when we began to notice that whoever was in power couldn’t think in terms longer than 3 years and didn’t do much for our benefit.

So the upshot of all this is that most of us now feel that we have nobody worth voting for.

They simply refused to listen to us when we gave the wrong answer on the Brexit decision.

How did this all happen?

This  was not such an issue when there were two very distinct parties fighting for clearly different visions of government. That situation died in the 1980’s.

First we had Thatchers mad years of selling off anything the British people owned by right (our water supply, means of electricity distribution, etc. & etc.).

Her banking and financial deregulation policies lead to a debt driven growth causing the 2007 financial crisis from which we may never recover.

Those who bankrupted us were never called to account and we the people have been paying the bill ever since.

In the good old days, the Tories ruled for a few years until we spotted that they were nasty sex mad corrupt capitalists (John Major’s hypocritical years).

So we gave the Labour party a go until we spotted that they were driven by union bosses more interested in themselves than rights for the workers. (Callaghan’s useless government).

Then we had the Blair years where a religious despot so full of himself that he destroyed the Labour party by creating the second Tory party.

Then we had a few Brown years where he nailed New Labour’s coffin firmly shut.

Then we had a coalition which privatised the NHS, our forests and a few other things we didn’t notice.

Then Nick Clegg destroyed the Liberal Democrats by lying to two generations of students and by believing that the EU was better for the United Kingdom of Great Britain than was our own government.

Then for a few years more we still couldn’t bother to be bothered until we were asked, by David Cameron (Ed: Who he?), to vote either IN or OUT of the EU.

Then parliament decided that their voice should heard because they not like our answer to the question they asked us to rule on.

Well, what are you going to do about it?

Nigel Farage then came along and spoke in words that we understood and spoke about things that we actually cared about! We might not like him very much but his words connected!

It was he who forced David Cameron into giving us a referendum on membership of the EU.

We the people suddenly woke up and voted in numbers not seen for decades, but…

Then, for the last 3 years, we have been professionally ignored all over again and we have all lost the will to live.

Another truth is that most of the power now lies outside of the political process and is held by corporate entities who are bigger than most small to medium countries.

So, now it really does really matter that we can’t be bothered, because nobody we can vote for can do much about it. They aren’t really bothered either.

So there is nobody left for we the people to vote for.

Unless somebody else wakes up and err, does something about it.

Is that you?

Nah, you can’t be bothered and neither can I 😉

We get the leaders we deserve and since we can’t be bothered …

*1 Chukka Umuna, Anna Subrey & several other twerps.

EU & our MPs +1, We the people -17,400,000

 
  • Utter fiasco

    there-is-a-time-for-departure-even-when-theres-no-certain-place-to-go
  • Yet another humiliation for what was Great Britain
  • Unbelievable naivety from those who lead us
  • Pathetic capitulation
  • Financial incompetence from those who never had to actually make money
  • Supercilious disregard for 500 years of constitutional development
  • Betrayal of the people’s wishes

I think that’s about it

My last post on Brexit; even I can take no more

 

It is not about you MPs – it is about the 17.4 million of us!

The sight of those silly school girls & boys skipping down the road away from their political parties was just sickening.

The new excited but deluded Remainer party who have nowhere to go after 29th March . Brussels perhaps?

Who do those adolescent MPs, who have never created anything of worth, think they are? It is simply not about them or their failed political parties.

It is about us, the 17.4 million of “We the People” remember them / us / we?

Qualification for MPs?

Most of our MPs are obviously ignorant of business, economics, democracy and history, yet they are given all the air time, on the damned BBC, to spread their unfounded opinions. But it was nice to see them firmly criticised, by the audience, on last week’s Any Questions, ;-).

Most of our MPs are completely unrepresentative of the people’s referendum result of 2016 and are trying their deluded best to reverse that referendum result.

They are so upset that OUR decision to leave bypassed them; that is what this is all about. For the future we need MPs who have done real jobs before they are allowed to stand as an MP. (Ed: what a good idea!)

You haven’t read Maastricht yet? Gosh, here’s your chance 😉

Please read the first 9 of the 260 pages of the Maastricht Treaty – it will take you 3 minutes, after which you will understand what I have been banging on about for the last 7 years! Fine but meaningless words – the reality falls at every post.

Our Remainer government has wasted two years on purpose

Our Executive (our so-called government) have been talking about the wrong thing and to the wrong people, for over two years.

Anyone who has actually started and run a business for more, than ten years, would have told the EU politely but firmly where to go!

A withdrawal agreement (who owes what to who, security collaboration, joint funded projects etc.) should have taken our civil servants a maximum of six months to sort out, had they been so instructed.

Then our civil servants could have started working on our import / export arrangements and would have finished those a year ago, had they been so instructed.

Our businesses would then have had the clarity they desperately needed a year ago. They would have had the time to prepare properly.

But faced with our career party politicians, who have never had to smell business reality, the EU just stuck to their desperate guns, firing blanks.

No real shots were fired and yet our pathetic negotiators capitulated!

What utter crap! I can feel Churchill and Atlee (and yes, even Margaret Thatcher) rolling over in their graves.

This last year should have been about putting people and mechanisms in place to cope with the EU’s intransigence.

Perhaps a hearing aid might improve matters?

Instead, our loopy PM, Theresa May, rolled over and agreed to spend two years talking about an agreement that the EU told us we had to sign, or else. (Ed: Or else what, we wonder?). That agreement was never needed and means NOTHING!

The EU is bust

We do not want to be part of a federal Europe run by Germany, again. They tried twice last century using force and are trying again using political and economic bribery.

The simple fact is that the EU is bust. The level of debt in Greece, Italy, Germany, France Portugal and Spain is simply eye-watering.

The debt was created by the EU creating Euro cash and calling it loans, rather than the bailouts*1 as they most assuredly were. They did it several times, twice to Spain and three times to Ireland.

Those loans bailouts will never be repaid, a simple fact that will inevitably finish the EU project once and for all.

The EU Central bank (ECB) actually charges its customers to put their money in; unbelievable! They started negative interest rates in 2014 and they are still doing it now(currently -0.4%)!

The EU is a failed project that is fighting for its life using smoke and mirrors and your money.

We must leave on the 29th to save our own economy first, or else I will invade Brussels!

Acknowledgements: Peter Brookes for his ever spot-on cartoon commentary on British poli-bollocks.

*1 – Bailouts are specifically ruled out in the Maastricht Treaty, “but never mind – lets call them loans 😉 and nobody will notice“.

“‘No bail-out’ clause Article 125 of the Lisbon treaty makes it illegal for one member to assume the debts of another. It has led to fears that Germany’s constitutional court could strike down EU bail-outs.” My source is the Financial Times

 

Brexit, echoes of PeterLoo & referenda

 

MPs are now so disconnected from the public that the current situation echoes events just prior to PeterLoo* in 1819. I saw the film PeterLoo last Friday and the political & economic similarities are hard to miss. Parliament and the Prince Regent (the King was mentally ill and incapable at that time) sent cavalry into a crowded Manchester square.  Sixteen people were killed and seven hundred were seriously injured. The discontent of the people? Pah, send in the cavalry!

Two months is a long time in politics, memories fade with age and increasing confusion of age – see the wonderful front page of my copy of this month’s Private Eye below… 

Today, the Tory, Lib Dem & Labour parties are arguing amongst themselves and the 2016 referendum result has been twisted into polibollical claptrap.

MPs may not have sent in the cavalry but being ignored is worse!

Every facet of our so-called parliamentary democracy is at stake here; our self obsessed MPs will destroy it if they manage to remove No Deal as an option.

MPs should not be the issue here. That view is ignored by the, once upon a time impartial BBC and is bypassed by all those with a voice.

The voice of ‘We the people’ is being ignored by our deaf MPs, BBC journalists and the government.

Referenda & their purpose

The responsibility for the Brexit decision was passed from the government, by the government, via the 2016 referendum, to ‘We the people‘.

We the people’ then made that decision, not you.

The executive (i.e. the elected government, not you MPs)  promised to implement it.

I know that’s annoying for you, but you are, or should be, largely irrelevant to the process of Brexit.

But, that is exactly what the consequences of that referendum should have been.

Sadly, the 2016 EU referendum result was not legally binding on the government. David Cameron implied that it was binding and I’m sure most of us thought it was, back in 2016; most probably still do.

Interestingly, well OK not interesting at all really, the previous, and entirely stupid, referendum held in 2011 was binding.

Remember that one?

No, nor do most people, because it was an irrelevance to all but a few Lib Dems. They actually wanted a referendum on the introduction of PR(Proportional Representation). They had to accept the nonsensical compromise of AV (Alternative Vote) because that is what powerless politicians have to do.

My advice to parliament ( Yes, I know … 🙁 )

Dear MPs, take two months unpaid leave and give the government, what’s left of it anyway, some peace to sort out this incompetent and pathetic mess.

You might then begin to earn back some of the respect that the office of Member of Parliament once had.

Who let her out again?

The government could then use that two months of peace to sort Brexit, avoid our lights being turned off next year, cancel the ill conceived HS2 and use the money saved to nationalise the railways, the National Electricity grid and reclaim our water supply.

But it won’t. Grr.

THE END

* The Peterloo Massacre took place at St Peter’s Field, Manchester, England, on 16 August 1819, when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 who had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.

Growers of corn and wheat were being allowed to charge extortionate amounts for bread while imports of cheaper corn were banned by the protectionist landowners, many of whom were MPs. The people were quite rightly angry and, were we more like the French, would have made revolution, chopped off the heads of the Prince Regent and many of those landowners.

 

 

Project fear refuted …

 

There are many serious and rational voices in support of a No Deal, despite the BBC’s overwhelming Project Fear coverage, and, to my surprise, by Channel 4’s Jon Snow (more on this below).

Two stupid, dangerous, hypocritical, weird, and probably mentally ill men (see Dr David Owen’s book Hubris Syndrome) who made it to PM Time for a change methinks

The pity is that these views are hidden from our view, but they are there, if you look.

So then, who are these misguided, treacherous, thick, ill educated No Deal supporters?

I have collected a few of the best arguments supplied by these well hidden voices below.

  1. The Mayor of Calais, surprising a BBC Today program interviewer two days ago; please listen here
    • “we are ready and have been preparing for no deal for over 12 months, and there is no problem”
      • as are Rotterdam and several other European ports
  2. Lord Anthony Bamford (Chairman of JCB – One of our oldest and most successful multi-national exporters) “A No Deal Brexit would end business uncertainty” read in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph Page 4
  3. Leeds University students surprising Jon Snow in his Channel 4 televised debate – see here
    • Shock horror, not all young people have swallowed the Project Fear offensive
    • So you are all leavers?” I quote Jon Snow’s incredulity at being faced down by so many rational 20 year erudite students!
  4. Sir Rocco Forte (Forte Hotels) “What we are not being told by the harbingers of doom is that inward investment into the UK in the first half of 2018 was the second highest in the world after China, but ahead of the US and Germany. We are not told that 94 per cent of businesses in this country are not trading in Europe.”
  5. Margaret Thatcher. See her famous speech (now all but forgotten) in 1982 railing against the formation of the EU and saying why she thinks the EU is a pile of poo (Ok “poo” is my word, not hers) – watch here
  6. Tony Blair in his 1983 pre-election address, before he started being paid by Europe and being told that one day he would become President of the EU.
    • Now then, that’s what I call a proper U turn 😉
  7. …and finally me, or anyone who has taken the time to read the Maastricht Treaty or even a summary. Read a very good, balanced, summary here in the Independent which is a quite rational and readable examination of the failure of Maastricht.

No Deal is far far better than any deal with the EU. The so called negotiated “agreement” is, and always has been a criminal waste of time by the Mother of Parliaments ignoring the wish a democratic majority. Quite sickening in my view.

This is exactly what our pathetic government has been doing for the two wasted years!

May’s deal is just criminally stupid, argued by someone who has never made anything, of worth, happen.

The time to pull the plug was two years ago, our dear leaders never saw it & still do not. Think about this image for at least 30 seconds – it sums everything up perfectly

Question: Who would I put in Orwell’s room 101?

Answer: All career politicians.

Why?

Politics original definition from the OED* “of the people, for the people“) is far too important to leave it to those who are clueless about the real life most of us (“we the people”) live. They think it means “of the politicians, for the politicians”

My evidence?

The last two years of party political idiocy arguing with the “unarguable with” (the EU bureaucrats and each other)”, who live by a rule book that nobody in the EU ever followed, other than the United Kingdom of Great Britain, of course ;-(

One despairs…

 

 

 

 

 

 

*OED : Oxford English Dictionary definition

Today’s definitions:

  • Party politics discussed by journalists feeding their insane desire / need for endless short term media massage
  • Discussing, endlessly, what some politician said and whether or not this affects their credibility

Acknowledgements:

  • Peter Brookes – for 45 minutes cartoon.
  • Also the Trouble Shooter’s creator, but sadly could not find out who that was, but Thank you

 

The Brexit smokescreen unmasked & let’s see more of …

 
… the back of Theresa May

A short constitutional overview

A referendum is the most powerful democratic tool we have. It is, and was in 2016, a direct call to ” we the people ” to have our say.

But our confused party politicians hate that level of direct democracy because it sidesteps what they think is their job 😉

This explains why around 500 members of parliament are doing all they can to reverse the clear instruction given to them in 2016.

Our voice is now seldom heard because our weird, quasi democratic, party political system plus the BBC’s blatant preference in support of the EU. We could learn a lot from Switzerland on the use of referenda.

The smokescreen trying to confuse us all

The “Remain lobby” is winning the media presence battle and is relying on the ignorance of the majority of “we the people”. Most of us don’t have the time to read things like the Maastricht treaty and the Localism Bill.

I have read them both and  both stink to high heaven.

The summary of both, presented to us and the MPs, is and was a party political statement rather than an accurate summary of legal intent.

We are now being faced with a media smoke screen, mainly  provided by the BBC’s coverage and our MPs who are completely unrepresentative of their constituents.

Why the smokescreen?

Because we gave the wrong answer in their referendum and they dare not say out loud that the EU is a failed project, because they signed us up, in 1982 to the disastrous Maastricht Treaty. That utter twerp, John Major, signed the damn thing in direct opposition to Margaret Thatcher’s lucid understanding of what the EEC was about to become!

Probably one of the few things she ever got right! (Sorry Peter…(private long running joke))

Their smokescreen demystified

  • May repeating robotically that “there is no other or better deal
    • but there is, its called NO DEAL; just requires a PM with the balls to inform the EU
    • a monstrous change from her previous mantra of “No deal is better than a bad real” (Remember that one?)
  • Parliament asking for all the legal advice on May’s ridiculous deal, completely missing the point
    • lawyers will argue for ever and never see the wood for the trees – whoopeee, 5500 pages to read and advise upon, “Oh, that’ll be £100,000 please”.
  • Endless repetition of “a disastrous Cliff edge fall if we have no deal
    • nonsense, it doesn’t
  • Remainer MPs calling for us to remain in the EU rather than accept May’s pile of poo agreement
  • Remainer businesses calling for a second referendum; their campaign largely financed by George Soros (The only guy to make £1 billion out of the 2002 ERM crash, another pile of EU poo)
  • Remainer businesses demanding security (Mainly the huge global corporates run by bean counters).
    • How dare they demand security? Small growing businesses never have security; that’s just called taking risks!
Hmm – what to do? Lemme think ….

A few facts

I’m making these few simple points today because our media driven political class are making Brexit appear to be a disaster for Britain.

It is not.

The vast majority, 480 of 650 MPs, voted to remain in the EU.

My source is a Press Association survey.

More people voted in the 2016 referendum than in any general election since WW2.

The leave vote was 52% and those who wanted to remain made up 48%.

4% in a general election is enough to give the winning party a majority of 26 in parliament.

That is twice what she has while the DUP still support her.

We have been “handled” yet again.

My prediction

The EU & the Euro will disappear within 20 years. Just Google “how long will the EU survive” for a range of well argued reasons.

PS: Grr

PS2: By the way where are you Jacob?

Brexit solved at last; are you ready?

 

Whilst walking my dog this morning I had a chat with a fellow philosopher, much younger than I, so quite representative of our respective generations.

In five minutes we had solved many issues which had defied our best political brains for two years (Ed: Err, better get some new brains in quick then). We agreed that we are just about to lose our best ever chance of sorting out “the troubles”; the unification of Ireland and any remaining Brexit (*1 see an amusing spell-checker suggestion below) problems.

How?

It is so obvious …

By one simple manoeuvre. We give / merge Northern Ireland to the republic of Eire.

Result:-

  1. The problems of Ireland stay in Ireland
  2. The United Kingdom of Great Britain become just what it says on the tin
  3. Brexit is solved; today!
  4. The cock-up we made in 1922 is resolved and history will praise our bravery & common sense
  5. Arlene Foster can have our Plymouth Brethren , Mormons and the Rosicrucians too, so she has some people that agree with her.
  6. We get our £1.2 billion quid back
  7. Stormont becomes a sports centre and shopping mall
  8. What’s not to like for the rest of us?

By the way, did your you know that Eire (The Republic of Ireland) is number 10 in the worlds richest countries (ranked on GDP per capita) whilst the UK is number 37 – funny old world.

Kevein Meagher has written a book on the inevitable unification of Ireland. The discussion on his Twitter page is a good place to start.

Meanwhile, back to my normal drivel…

In the good old days, politics used to mean “of the people and for the people” but has now morphed into “of and for party politicians.

The headlines on the BBC news today are all about politicians groaning about what WE THE PEOPLE told them to do two years ago.

Once we realise that simple reality, what follows is this:-

They, our damn politicians, never wanted to leave the EU, but WE DID and WE TOLD THEM!

Infuriatingly, WE THE PEOPLE gave the wrong answer to”Call me “Dave’s” miscalculated referendum.

This threw our self serving, London-centric political class into a tizzy, and Cameron resigned before he was sacked.

They did not like the sudden emergence of real democracy (“of the people”) demonstrated in the referendum, and WE THE PEOPLE ARE WHO YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO SERVE!

The consequence is that they have done nothing about achieving a successful exit from the deeply flawed EU.

That is because, we were ignorant and did not realise the complexity of what we were asking you to do.

Instead they have invented a series of overly complex “fake” problems that they constantly discuss rather than obeying what WE THE PEOPLE said.

  1. We want to get out of the EU
  2. Go do your job and organise our departure in an administratively competent manner.

Instead smoke screens were created to avoid the real work they were supposed to be getting on viz.

  1. What about the customs union? (a minor irritant for business but soon solved)
  2. “soft or hard borders” (a minor irritant for business but soon solved)
  3. “hard” Brexit (very bad: the one we voted for) and soft options (the Brexit fudge that you lot want)
  4. cliff edge disaster (complete nonsense – see No.1)
  5. A “catastrophe”

NEVER do I hear those views in the street, in the pub or in the corner shop, those views are only heard on the BBC when a politician speaks.

OK, at the time of the referendum, most of us had never heard of the “customs union” or all the other daft phrases that the EU invent to make leaving tricky, but we didn’t need to know.

OK we had never heard of Article 50 and we did not care about that either! You lot created all that nonsense and that is the main issue; because sorting all the crap out was your job!

WE had realised that the EU was systemically un-democratic and we hated what the Euro had done to Greece, Portugal, Italy, Eire and Spain.

OK back to religion – I’m on safer ground 😉

*1 “Brexit” is replaced by most spell checkers with the word “brevity”, to which one can only add, in quiet desperation, “rofl”