Anglo-Asian-European. Optimistic Arsenal fan, Agatha Christie head & whisky drinker. Purveyor of general englishness from a time before world lost its marbles
33 added to My Authors
Apr 25 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
Once again some people are being very illogical about PR and the Labour party.
So ask yourself:
“what is the best way to get PR into the U.K. political system?”
The answer is of course….
The best (& only plausible) way is:
1. Labour/LibDem coalition 2. People who want PR joining the Labour Party
So if you are saying you won’t vote Labour until it’s guaranteed PR before the debate/coalition/election is sorted you’re sabotaging the only way this can be achieved.
Apr 16 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
My position on Trans?
In 10 years time people on both sides of the current “debate” are going to be very sheepish about how they turned a complex evolving subject into a nuance-fee bloodlust culture war.
Due to my family I spend 3 months of the year in an Asian country with a long history of trans people & culture.
The contrast between how this subject is treated there and in the UK is staggering.
Apr 15 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
My 2019 estimate for when UK could look to rejoin EU was..after 2035 - ie at least 3 parliament terms
The 🇷🇺 war has changed this
Not just as West now depends on European unity but also as more facts of 🇷🇺 meddling bound to come out now
If all goes well, 2030-35 *is* possible.
Obviously just a guesstimate but based on the following logic:
1. You can’t fight an election now on SM or rejoin referendum so the key is to (re)build relationship with EU & align during next parliament
2. A public debate on SM can thus only happen AFTER next election
Apr 14 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
There’s a subtext to this story that many won’t get.
Ostensibly it’s supposed to be about reducing & deterring the number of refuges in UK.
But beneath that the govt knows that a good 10% will experience a visceral thrill of refugees “being sent to Africa as punishment.”
It’s what is called “performative nastiness” - a concept dating from 1930s.
The point is not necessarily just a bad policy but to encourage the population to “enjoy” the performative element, to encourage complicity.
Whether the policy has any practical merit isn’t important.
Apr 2 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
Priti Patel has recieved £100,000 one of the largest single donations by an oil trader - Pierre Andurand - who is not made any donations to British political parties before nor to have shown any previous interest in UK politics.
Pierre Andurand made some of his biggest profits betting on the effects of Covid-19 pandemic and predicting a world oil price slump.
He then reversed this decision prior to the Russian invasion.
Andurand has close personal ties with Russia through both his former & ex wives.
Mar 31 • 12 tweets • 4 min read
Use of Lebedev family residences by Boris Johnson “much greater than previously known”.
Total time spent by the prime minister & former foreign secretary at these homes now thought to run “into months” not days.
All time spent there without security detail or sweeps.
The use of Lebedev’s multiple homes in Italy and UK supplied by the Putin-near former KGB officer Alexander Lebedev is now known to have been - contrary to earlier reports - regular events with Johnson taking the time to visit Italy alone on at least 5-10 occasions.
Mar 26 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
The Russian invasion doesn't mark "The end of Brexit"...
,..but it does mean is the end of "Brexit as a step towards weakening the EU".
The EU & NATO are now the 2 core indispensable pillars of the West. Anyone seeking to weaken these is clearly acting in Putin's interests now.
We're still at the "shock phase" of the war, so many UK politicians/media have either not digested this or have not publicly expressed it.
But its clear now.
Brexit's moment has gone.
The UK govt's role is now about convincing the Europeans & US that UK is a reliable partner.
Mar 26 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
Some of the reporting about the royal tour has been rather silly from people who should know better.
Fact is the host country decides most of the itinerary & practicalities.
Royal visits are, oft forgotten, like state visits as such this nearly always includes some military dress. I doubt William & Kate enjoy it that much but small countries with close military ties to UK usually expect it.
Idea this is part of some royal colonial cock-up is wrong.
Mar 25 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
Your reminder by the time the next parliamentary term ends in 2029…
…no one under 30 will have voted for Brexit.
Ukraine will be safe in EU.
& the EU will be Europe except Belarus & Britain.
Brexit will be like sending your kid to school in 70s nylon flares in the mid 1990s.
Not only that but the “established generation” - the 30-50s will by then be made up of a population that voted 70% to stay in Europe.
The only demographic that will have voted for Brexit will be pensioners.
Mar 20 • 8 tweets • 1 min read
Thousands of Ukrainians have been taken prisoner and forcibly imprisoned in “special camps” in Russia.
These special process camps are well away from Ukrainian border and access by Red Cross or other international bodies is barred.
Mar 18 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Multiple sources reporting that Ukraine authorities believe that recon & targeting logistical help on bombing targets in Ukraine was provided “on more than one occasion” from “inside” Russian orthodox monasteries in Ukraine.
By logistical target this included the use of identification and lasers to inform Russian forces of places to bomb.
Mar 17 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
The point of Brexit.
The literal point of Brexit was to slash EU protections of workers.
But the fools in charge of the @RMTunion bought the cheap nationalist jingoism and encouraged their members to vote for it.
Given the furore, there's a chance staff could get their jobs back due to popular pressure but legally P & O could well be within their rights.
Of course their French workers were fine.
As France & EU wouldn't accept this level of worker eploitation. bbc.co.uk/news/business-…
Mar 17 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
The House of Lords Appointments Committee refuses to release details of controversial appointment of Evgeny Lebedev as Lord Evgeny of Siberia by Boris Johnson.
The committee chairman cites “GDPR & data protection issues”.
Now as the intelligence services which advised against it..but are answerable to Boris Johnson..and of course Boris Johnson himself both refuse to answer any questions on this it looks like all the institutions are now blocking all information in this.
Mar 16 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
There’s a lot of confusion about (the emerging) EU defence pact & NATO
1. They are not competitors 2. If you think about it they are essentially the same thing (sort of)
Both NATO & EU defence pacts are member driven. Sure, central institutions are important but effectively its driven by members.
& while some of the biggest defence hitters in NATO aren’t in EU, the EU defence pact will increasingly look like “EU members who are in NATO”.
Mar 16 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
EU govts believe the Russian govt’s stance on 🇺🇦 has changed over the last 48 hours.
Possible route for 🇷🇺 to extract itself from the disaster to “claim a victory” if Ukraine gives NATO non-membership assurance & some face saving commitments on 🇷🇺 language issues.
I’m not (as I never do) going to comment much on the military situation (I’ve no knowledge here) but presumption is not just the difficulty of the invasion that’s dawned on 🇷🇺 but the impossibility of occupation coupled with death spiral of 🇷🇺 economy.
This week will be crucial.
Mar 15 • 9 tweets • 2 min read
UK govt was paralyzed on taking in 🇺🇦 refugees not thru prejudice.
It’s more that they were worried if Britons took in refugees in a “good spirit” this could open up possibility of voters questioning the carefully nurtured anti foreign anti asylum seeker politics of last decade.
The whole politics of last decade has been about explicitly nurturing a bitter resentment of “undeserving” foreigners who are a threat to Brits.
A narrative about the sheer joy of generously providing a safe haven for people in need is thus a genuine political risk for the govt.
Mar 12 • 13 tweets • 3 min read
The Telegraph Newspaper is estimated "to have recieved many millions" from the Russian State News Agency - RIA Novosti - to run Russia reports from 2007 onwards.
During this time Telegraph's reporting on Putin softened - while the paper became increasingly anti Europe.
Various media outlets such as the Guardian & Private Eye have reported on this.
However it is still unclear how much money was diverted to the Telegraph for this.
According to some reports the figure was over 500 000 yearly for a decade.
The final figure may exceed 5 million.
Mar 12 • 9 tweets • 3 min read
I'm going to assume this comment is in good faith and that @VictoriaCoren really doesn't, as she says, "know anything".
If people knew more about Tchaikovsky they’d know why delaying the concert makes sense.
The orchestra has at least one Ukrainian musician & Ukrainians tend to like Tchaikovsky - he was partially Ukrainian himself - so why delay a concert?
It’s just knee-jerk idiocy right?