The Shrink Age

Captain Qahn's picture

"...Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger said: "By a majority of eight to three, the Supreme Court today rules that the government cannot trigger Article 50 without an act of Parliament authorising it to do so."

He added: "Withdrawal effects a fundamental change by cutting off the source of EU law, as well as changing legal rights.

"The UK's constitutional arrangements require such changes to be clearly authorised by Parliament...." 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "Labour respects the result of the referendum and the will of the British people and will not frustrate the process for invoking Article 50."

But he added that his party would "seek to amend the Article 50 Bill to prevent the Conservatives using Brexit to turn Britain into a bargain basement tax haven off the coast of Europe".

However, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall warned MPs and peers not to hamper the passage of the legislation.

"The will of the people will be heard, and woe betide those politicians or parties that attempt to block, delay, or in any other way subvert that will," he said.

The Scottish National Party said it would put forward 50 "serious and substantive" amendments to the government's parliamentary bill for triggering Article 50.

Among them, it wants Mrs May to set out her negotiating aims in an official document known as a white paper and to consult the Scottish government and other devolved administrations through the UK-wide joint ministerial committee.

Several Conservative MPs, including former ministers Alistair Burt, Nicky Morgan and Anna Soubry, also want a white paper, but former party leader Iain Duncan Smith predicted any bill would be "very tight", offering little scope for amendments.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said his MPs and peers would vote against Article 50 unless there was guarantee of the public having a vote on the final deal reached between the UK and EU."

"...In every political generation there are decisions that history later reveals to be defining of an era. They are watersheds for individuals and governments, for the fortunes of political parties and entire parliaments. And the choices you make as a politician at these critical junctures are those that you have to live with throughout the rest of a political career, however long or short its course....

"I cannot vote to trigger article 50 on the wing and a prayer that Brexit will do as the prime minister says, and make Britain a fairer, more prosperous and equal society. Because I do not believe that is true.

Of course, I can’t know how Brexit is likely to play out, any more than Theresa May can. But my judgment tells me that the stirring and nostalgic vision she painted last week of a buccaneering Britain striking advantageous trade deals across the globe, while our longstanding competitiveness and productivity deficits are transformed at home, is a triumph of hope over experience, and party politics over the national interest....

"Too little effort was made to remind people of the role formal economic and social collaboration across Europe played in securing 70 years of peace on our continent. And too little thought was given to the catalytic effect Brexit might have on the forces of far-right nationalism that are resurgent once again in Europe, setting nation against nation.

Brexit Britain, like Trump’s America, is being held up by those far-right leaders as a beacon to light their countries’ way to the nativist (white), protectionist and illiberal future they have long aspired to. Differences in language and accent can’t obscure the common currents of xenophobia, bigotry and aggression that are evident across the west.

Faced with these dark trends, so reminiscent of our European past, the Labour party also has a collective choice to make. We can hedge and triangulate, appease and acquiesce, and hope to ameliorate the worst, in economic and political terms. Or we can take a stand for our values, for what we believe to be in the best interests of our people, our country and the wider world. It is a stand against the political lies that preceded the Brexit vote and the fantasy island economics that have followed it. A properly patriotic stand, which acknowledges the modern challenges of globalisation and migration, but warns against the age-old dangers of blaming the foreigner for all ills, and so rejects the shouty jingoism and deceitful promises of the Brexiteers..

"I believe that leadership from Labour has to begin in parliament in the coming weeks, when we see the legislation to trigger article 50. We all heard the threat from May that she would pursue “an alternative economic model” if Brexit turned bad, and we all know what that means: a low-tax, low-wage, low-security economy, as dreamed of by generations of hard-right politicians. If that is even a remote possibility, then Labour has a duty to try and prevent it, in the interests of the people we represent. And the most democratic means to achieve that is to trust the people once more – all of them, including the 16- and 17-year-olds denied a say on their future – in a second, confirmatory referendum, once the reality of Brexit is revealed.

If May refuses to accept amendments that would insert such a failsafe device then it will be obvious to all that she is recklessly pursuing a Brexit of any sort, and at any cost, for party political reasons and at the expense of the British people. In those circumstances, I do not feel I would have any choice but to vote against the government and, if needs be, the Labour whip...."

Ah, so ...  ;-0

Ahyhoos this 'Shrink Age'  it kinda got me thinking wheres the plug? 

Oi Noah ...

Oooh , Ah, Ouch Ouchie  Couche ;-))




Captain Qahn's picture

Brexit & The Lost

"... I am particularly struck by the comparison between our age and the 1930s. Then, following a recession and a failure in politics, there was a massive collapse in confidence in the political system and the establishment. Then too, people wondered whether democracy was failing and hungered for the government of strong men.

Then too, multilateralism gave way to unilateralism and, indeed, to a surge in nationalism. Then too, as we remember, free trade withered away and protectionism was on the rise. It was also an age when vulgarity always succeeded over decency and when the ugly voices were heard, listened to and followed far more than the quiet voice of reason. It was an age when many of us found it convenient to blame the ills that we were suffering from on the stranger in our midst or the foreigner over the border...."

"We start from a position of considerable strength. We are the fifth biggest economy in the world, despite having the 22nd highest population. We have achieved higher levels of employment than ever before – 2.7 million more than in 2010. We have businesses, research institutions and cultural achievements at the very forefront of global excellence. For all those reasons, we attract investment and talented individuals from around the world, but there are challenges.

The first is to build on those strengths and extend excellence into the future. British excellence in key technologies, professions, research disciplines and institutions provides us with crucial competitive advantages, but we cannot take them for granted. If other countries invest more in research and development, we cannot expect to keep, let alone extend, our technological lead in key sectors.

Our competitors are upgrading infrastructure networks and reforming systems of governance, and we, too, must strive for improvement. In industrial sectors, from automotive and aerospace to financial and professional services and the creative industries, the UK has a global reputation, but the competition for new investment is fierce and unending. The conditions that have allowed UK investment destinations to succeed include the availability of supportive research programmes, relevant skills in local labour markets and capable supply chains. If our success is to continue, those foundations must be maintained and strengthened..."

21st Century Romans!!

Oooh :

Ah, choo


Captain Qahn's picture

Brexit Broken Down

Yep, probably the best & yet most disturbing film ever made 'Dune' ... did anyone recall the ending? Nope, me neither... besides back in 1984 who could recall anything. Yawwwn.   Google was still a speck, no doubt in Gates et al  imagination.

Tis kinda like Brexit really. Having studied 'rigourously' on the classical, medieval, industrial & recent history of the  EU it still remains, say like the Monarchy,  a mystery built from clans & tribes.

Whilst 'modernity' and 'populism' thanks to technology, 'Google' and the goggle eyed, pop, it is ofter the little things that get overlooked, or indeed the blaring simply obvious.

Brexit was a two pillar (tower) , a Yes or No 'solution'.   Where was the middle ground? Where was the other option .... the Referendum was fatally flawed, in that it was designed  to divide and conquer.  There was no third option. For many no option to 'do' nothing.

The orchestrators of that Cameron & Osborne, but who were the Architects?    

Towers : Bridges. Walls. Fences.

OK, science-fiction , pandora, paradox, parallel ... a fantasy world that perhaps captures the boring (often) science world and brings it into an often 'imaginary'  harsh reality.   It 'sci-fi' really kicked off following WWI ... reason. 

All very glam, ab fab & famous. Troublesome & tribal.

Tribal matters, matter.  

Between the sheets of 'fantasy' perhaps politics has lost its grip on what really matters.   

Freedom of choice shows a respect for 'other' tribal groups. Chivalry or common courtesy and the ability to mind the gaps, accept our differences and retreat.

Britain is Broke. Is it strong enough to deal with the deeper problems of Europe?  Simplistically it is a North v South post modernity ongoing economic war, with many elections brewing in the near term, surely the EU's 'destiny' is of the EU's making, ergo why should the UK interfere?

Perhaps May is right, to reach out to new Global investment,  though what will become of the  Common Wealth? Is Brexit a pre-requisit of the breaking up of the Common Wealth... what does that mean and have the consequences been measured?      

Tim Farron too holds some valid and valiant points, should we just stand by and let 'by gones' be 'bye gones'.

Jeremy Corbyn on the other hand, seems to have waved the White Flag and surrendered.  There is some merit in that too but continues to whine on the sidelines 

Shall we discuss the Architects?  How 'Ironic'. 

Of course, there is always another option : Do nothing.

Feel free to create your own ;-/


Captain Qahn's picture

Trump At the Top

"Donald Trump has said a "big day" is planned on national security, including an announcement to build a wall on the border between the US and Mexico.

The new US president is expected to sign several executive orders regarding immigration and border security over the next few days.

They are likely to include the "extreme vetting" of people coming from seven predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa.

This would restrict refugee access.

Mr Trump tweeted: "Big day planned on national security tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!"

Is that to keep him in ?

tis a long way down ....

Captain Qahn's picture

The Badlands

"Are the recent actions taken by the Trump team on the issues of climate and energy the opening shots in a war on knowledge?

Or are they simply what you'd expect from a new administration of a different political hue?...

"The brief White House document now contains a further indication of the green priorities of the new administration. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), should focus on its "essential mission of protecting our air and water".

"Not according to White House spokesman Sean Spicer.

"I don't think it's any surprise that when there's an administration turnover, that we're going to review the policy," he said.

""We are beginning to see our fears realised less than a week after President Trump has taken office," said Bob Ward, from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

"I hope that the Prime Minister will challenge President Trump about this censorship and political interference in the process of gaining and sharing knowledge about climate change during their meeting on Friday."


Ah, so ... that Jacket!

Sock it to him May ...

Anyone got any popcorn?

Coach... couche ... ouch ...

is warming up to the Goggle box. is there any original thought out there?  Nope 


Captain Qahn's picture

Game Set n Match

"In a series of tweets posted over the course of this week he has praised Trump’s Secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson.

"This may sound surprising coming from me,” he wrote in a tweet. “But I agree with The Economist. Rex Tillerson has the potential to be an excellent Sec of State.”...

"Here’s where Mr Musk and Mr Trump will surely see eye-to-eye. Tesla is a company investing big in US manufacturing. The Gigafactory will eventually employ more than 6,000 people, Tesla has said. And that’s just the battery factory. The cars are being made in Fremont, California, where another 6,000 or so could soon work.

Mr Musk also presents President Trump with an irresistible feather in his Make America Great Again cap - the chance to re-ignite the space race.

SpaceX, Mr Musk’s space exploration company, has already taken up some contracts from Nasa, but there are presumably more tasks Mr Musk would like to get involved with. You get the feeling space travel might just appeal to Mr Trump’s sense of grandeur."

Fascinating ....

"The governor of Minas Gerais has declared a 180-day state of emergency.

There have also been three confirmed cases in Sao Paulo, Brazil's most populous state, and one each in Espiritu Santo and Bahia, which both neighbour Minas.

Around 5.5m vaccine doses have already been sent to five states that have confirmed cases or are at risk. The other 6 million ordered will arrive soon.

It is not clear what has caused the rise in cases."


Captain Black's picture

Whacky Races

Hats, Bats & Cats :-)

"Lord Ricketts, who was permanent secretary at the Foreign Office from 2006-10, said it was unprecedented for a US president to be invited for a state visit in their first year in the White House."

"The popular sci-fi series features a Time Lord known only as "The Doctor" who travels through time and space in a ship called the Tardis, which outwardly resembles a 1960s police telephone box.

The main character has the ability to regenerate, a quirk that has allowed a number of actors to have played the role over the years.

Dr Who was first broadcast in 1963 and underwent a relaunch in 2005, the 10th series of which will be Peter Capaldi's last."

"The 35,000 machines, usually offering roulette, have become the biggest source of money for the bookmaking industry and now provide more than half its profits.

The report cited figures showing that in 2015 £1.7bn was lost by gamblers on the terminals, each of which took £48,724 from punters that year."



Ah, so ... Spin

Thing is wiv HMRC there's room for all ;-)


Ah ... pass the pale

Captain Qahn's picture

Adept a 'Timelord' - Tarzan Sacked !!

"...  Lord Heseltine, one of 13 Tory peers to rebel, said he had been sacked as a government adviser on regional growth.

The previous defeat was on the issue of guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens.

Lord Heseltine, 83, who served as a minister in the Thatcher government, said he was informed by the Conservative chief whip in the Lords he was to be sacked "from the five jobs with which I have been helping the government".

"This is entirely the right of the prime minister and I'm sorry that the expertise which I have put at the government's disposal over the last six years has now come to an end," he said.

"However, in the last resort, I believe, as I said in the House of Lords, the future of this country is inextricably interwoven with our European friends.

"It's the duty of Parliament to assert its sovereignty in determining the legacy we leave to new generations of young people."

Lord Heseltine had been brought in by former Prime Minister David Cameron to advise the government on a range of projects, including schemes in east London and Swansea." 

Oh & Erm the Northern Powerhouse???

I can feel a shift in the time space conundrum ...



Forget the budget.


Captain Black's picture

Brexit Bill & Royal Assent

"Peers backed down over the issues of EU residency rights and a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal after their objections were overturned by MPs.

The bill is expected to receive Royal Assent and become law on Tuesday"

Behind every Cloud ...

"One is to sit in the back of the Tory Brexit bus, shut up, say nothing, and see the prime minister drive us off a Brexit cliff, or we have the opportunity of the people of Scotland having the power in their hands in a referendum about our country's future."

Captain Black's picture

Brexit & Henry VIII

"Two fundamental changes will be proposed. The first is repealing the European Communities Act 1972, the historic law that took Britain into the EU. 

The second is for thousands of European laws, dictats and directives to be turned into UK law before Brexit is completed in mid-2019. 

However, ministers are braced for “controversy” because they propose doing so though a little-known power that is 500-years old. 

So-called “Henry VIII clauses” give the Government powers to change old laws that have already been passed by Parliament. 

However critics say they avoid scrutiny and - crucially - circumvent the Lords because it means less parliamentary debate than usual. 

“The provision of Henry VIII clauses will be in there,” said one senior government source. “It will probably be one of the most controversial bits of the Bill.”

"The Government sometimes adds this provision to a Bill to enable the Government to repeal or amend it after it has become an Act of Parliament. The provision enables primary legislation to be amended or repealed by subordinate legislation with or without further parliamentary scrutiny.

Such provisions are known as Henry VIII clauses, so named from the Statute of Proclamations 1539 which gave King Henry VIII power to legislate by proclamation."

"As he reminded us, Henry VIII was a dangerous tyrant. In 1539 he persuaded a supine parliament to pass the Statute of Proclamations giving the king's decisions the same force as acts of the legislature.

The 1539 act was repealed immediately after the king's death in 1547. But similar powers to bypass parliament have resurfaced in modern legislation.

Romans ...


Captain Qahn's picture

The Three Junketeers

"International Development Secretary Liam Fox will travel from the US to meet Mexican counterparts to discuss trading relationships.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is on a two-day tour of Australia, saying post-Brexit trade is "top of the agenda".

And Brexit Secretary David Davis will hold private talks in Germany ahead of the next round of negotiations.

The globetrotting by the three ministers - dubbed the "three Brexiteers" for their role in backing a Leave vote - comes amid increased scrutiny of the opportunities and challenges facing Britain in terms of negotiating free trade agreements with other countries once it leaves the EU."

Captain Qahn's picture

EU - Alternative Brakes

"Sadiq Khan has set out the possibility of Britain remaining within the EU, arguing that Brexit could be legitimately stopped if the Labour party included the pledge in an election manifesto or committed to a second referendum.

In a considered and powerful intervention that could raise the hopes of remain supporters, the London mayor described himself as “an optimist” about the possibility of the UK staying part of the European Union...

"“You’d have to spell out, in black and white, what we’d do if we won the general election. What could trump the referendum result is us having a manifesto offer saying, we would not leave the EU, or we would have a second referendum.”

The comments are likely to fuel Labour’s divisions on Brexit, as the leadership is adamant that the party should respect the result of 28 June last year, but some MPs believe Labour should fight for a second referendum.

"Labour’s position has softened in recent days, with Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, and John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, making clear that staying in the single market and customs union should stay on the table, contradicting previous remarks by Jeremy Corbyn and Barry Gardiner, the shadow trade secretary.

"Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson, welcomed the mayor’s remarks. He said: “This is an important intervention. There is growing recognition in parliament and beyond that we need a vote on the final deal, as the Liberal Democrats have long argued. Nobody voted to be made poorer, but the extreme that Theresa May is choosing is making Britain poorer already, and that’s even before we leave the single market.

“Moderates such as the mayor now need to persuade Jeremy Corbyn because so far he has been Theresa May’s best friend on Brexit, ordering his MPs into the lobbies to vote for a Conservative-Ukip Brexit.”..."

Captain Qahn's picture

Citigen Smith

"There is no other combined heat and power plant of such scale in the centre of a UK city..."

"... worth roughly £3bn a year to farmers under the EU’s common agricultural policy. The government has committed to keeping these to 2022, but after that there is little indication of what will happen.

It is now clear that the impacts will be much wider, affecting the food we eat, the conditions in which animals are kept and fields are cropped, and the nature of the countryside."



Benefitz Betty's picture

Harvey Nickled

"The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, has activated about 700 members of the state National Guard and put military helicopters on standby in Austin and San Antonio in preparation for search and rescues and emergency evacuations.

Harvey, which is due to make landfall late on Friday, is set to become the first hurricane to hit the Texas coast since Hurricane Ike in 2008.

The head of the National Weather Service said the storm posed “a grave risk to the folks in Texas”.

Meanwhile :-?

"But he noted somewhat pointedly that Abbott’s behaviour was highly unusual. “I can’t remember anyone else missing a vote because they were too drunk to get into the chamber,” Turnbull said."

"The principle objection to these comedies is that people are laughing. Why is that? I think it’s because we’re British."



Ah, so ...

Benefitz Betty's picture

Lime Stones & L'ists

"More than 100 people have been treated in hospital after a chemical “haze” descended on beach goers on the East Sussex coastline.

Birling Gap, near the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs, was evacuated by emergency services after people complained of breathing difficulties and irritation to their eyes and throats at about 5pm on Sunday. A spokesman for Eastbourne district general hospital told the BBC that 133 people had received treatment on Sunday.

Police said an unknown “haze” coming from the sea had left people along the coast from Eastbourne to Birling Gap requiring assistance. They warned people in the area to keep doors and windows closed...."

Chalk eating alligators?

Hmmm ...   takes a peak ;-/

Brexit ...tis a mad world.

Awee .... Sprouts ;-)

"The hurricane will not affect weather in the UK." via the Comic.

Ooh thats gotta be a big whopper.

Seven squids it should.

Ah, so ...

"This year's annual bioblitz takes place today (Sunday 27 August), between 9.30am-4.30pm. Staff, volunteers and local experts will be out taking note of as much wildlife as possible, but they also need the help of any wannabe naturalists. 

All the data collected will be made available to organisations that put it to good use to assess how well different species are doing."

"Mammal trapping, bird ringing and moth trapping will all give greater insight into how conservation organisations monitor wildlife, as well as pond dipping. 

At the last bioblitz, 120 different species were spotted, including the Ichneumon wasp, an insect that lays its eggs inside other insects and when they hatch, eat their host alive..."

Erm, no thanks.

Have a dry day.

Captain Black's picture


Spose Whitby will want one

Oh, well :

Heads will roll ...


"Sherlock Holmes: I didn't really ask, Dr. Franklyn, but what exactly do you do here?
Dr. Franklyn: Oh, Mr. Holmes, I'd love to tell you. But then of course, I'd have to kill you.
Sherlock Holmes: That would be tremendously ambitious of you."

Three Blues & One Red.

Captain Qahn's picture

'Zero tariff, Zero quota'

"Why do people want to fly to Mars, I find myself wondering, when several metres under the sea, you can be in a totally alien environment? At that moment, a 3m-long grey shape rises behind the kelp stems and eases itself gently, but powerfully, in my direction."

"Last week’s talks on fishing access focused on quota-sharing arrangements and the list of stocks for which shares need to be agreed. Barnier claimed the UK was effectively excluding European fleets from key stocks of fish in a move that risked destroying the bloc’s fishing industry..."

"“We also need to stand up for international law,” he said. “And the international law of the sea provides for freedom of navigation which is absolutely critical to international trade.”"


“And don’t you think it’s about time you started taking me seriously when I tell you this all part of Bill Gates plan to implant nano-trackers in a mandatory vaccine!”