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Posts Tagged ‘Europe’


My e-mail of July 6 has yet to elicit a response. That is over 3 weeks ago, and our representatives should at the least acknowledge receipt of correspondence from their constituents within two weeks. Of course, it is quite possible that, as my representatives grapple with the complexities of their new hi-tech offices and systems, things are slipping through the net. So today I have resent the e-mail. With summer holidays on (though an MEP should maintain a skeleton staff at all times, since they have the taxpayer-funded budget for this), I would expect to receive a reply by the Bank Holiday.

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I have written the following to my Brexit Party Representatives in the European Parliament. At the heart of parliamentary democracy is the idea that our representatives do indeed represent the interests of their constituents, regardless of Party politics. Of course interests have to be balanced but when these are win-win, there can be no reason for not representing a particular interest. As the matter is not a personal one, then I have also put it on my blog, since there is no reason for secrecy.

I will, of course, post any further correspondence, unless it is confidential for some reason.

“Dear Ms Fox (& cc’ed to Mr Nielsen and Mr Bull)

I am writing to you as one of your constituents regarding an issue which affects me personally and the region. As a University Professor I have over the years been awarded research funds from various Framework Programmes. Most recently, I am part of the €4M FET-OPEN programme “ArrestAD”. This aims to test a new paradigm for Alzheimer’s Disease screening and lay the foundation for a new class of drugs that would arrest the disease.

FET-OPEN projects are very much blue skies and in our case we appear to have hit the jackpot. The trials of the diagnostic in Paris and Warsaw  are quite spectacular and our own work has shown that the targets which ArrestAD has proposed are eminently druggable.

ArrestAD is a 4 year programme. As in any blue skies research, towards the end of the penultimate year a decision is made by the research team whether we should apply for a new, larger project, under one of the translational programmes available under H2020, or to can the idea, in the event it isn’t going to deliver.

Since ArrestAD is delivering its promise, the team will be going forward and applying for a translational programme. This will involve further clinical centres and greater industry participation, since we need more patients and, for drug development, far greater resource.

Alzheimer’s being what it is, ArrestAD obviously impacts widely and not just on myself: there are substantial social and economic ramifications for our region, the UK, and beyond.

The problem we face is that with a so-called No Deal Brexit, the UK loses access to funding from H2020 and the future framework programme. There is no  legislation in the UK Parliament that would guarantee funding as a 3rdcountry. The upshot is that Brexit will prevent my continued contribution to this likely life-changing research programme. Importantly, it will prevent the UK from reaping economic benefit (clinical trials, pharmaceutical industry).

As my representative in the European Parliament, it is imperative that you work to find a solution, which ensures that the drug development arm of this project remains based in the UK, and that the UK is able to participate fully in the wider clinical trials of the diagnostic. I think you would agree that given the impact of this dreadful disease, this is in everyone’s interests.”

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We now have two UKIP parties, UKIP led by Batten, and The Brexit Party led by Farage. They and their MEPs rarely turn up for work yet collect a big fat salary.

There is ONLY ONE WAY to stop these freeloaders getting a fat salary for no work: vote for someone else.

How to get rid of these scum

  1. Register to vote and go and vote (MEP elections will follow the Council ones).
  2. Check that 10 of your mates are registered and that they go and vote on the day.
  3. Make sure each of your 10 mates gets 10 of their mates out.

That way we get a result.

Who to vote for? Anyone, but not UKIP or The Brexit Party.

Why will this work?

The elections to the European parliament are by proportional representation. That means each party is allocated seats according to the % of the vote they get.

This is completely different to how we elect Councillor sand MPs, where the candidate with the most votes in a ward/constituency gets elected, regardless of the % of the vote a party gets across all constituencies in the country.

Core  UKIP voters vote anyway. The reason UKIP gets MEPs is because the rest of us cannot be bothered to turn up and vote. So there are less votes in total and the UKIP % is inflated accordingly. The more of us vote, the lower their %, the fewer MEPs they get. It is that simple.

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An entirely predictable change


Past UK governments worked hard to bring the EBA and EMA to London, because of their knock on value to the wider economy, and two sectors in which the UK has some weight. The genius of Brexit has resulted today in the obvious: both are leaving London. The EMA goes to Amsterdam and the EBA to Paris.

I still wait for:

(1) A single piece of evidence that Brexit will provide the UK with opportunities.

(2) An admission of error from those who have publicly stated that the EMA and EBA would not be leaving London. Perhaps David Davis might step up first?

 

 

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Other than self-indulgent and stupid gits who go on about ‘getting back control’, I have yet to hear a single coherent argument in favour of Brexit.

If there is one, I would love to hear it.

Now that Theresa May has Triggered Article 50, with the acquiescence of Jeremy Corbyn, we can make predictions with a degree of certainty.

  1. Theresa May will go down as one of the three worst Prime Ministers in History. The arguments will be whether she is worse or better than Neville Chamberlain and David Cameron.
  2. Jeremy Corbyn will go down a the most inept leader of the opposition, for not fighting tooth and nail (regardless of Parliamentary majority) against the vision of one of the three worst British Prime Ministers.
  3. The economy will shrink. News comes in dribs and drabs and doesn’t make the front pages. Use your eyes and brain and you see the jobs getting ready to go. European Medicine Agency with 900 key jobs in London is planning its departure. It is important for the biotechnology and Pharma sectors. Over 5-10 years you can count the knock on effect in the 1000s, if not 10,000s of highly skilled, well paid jobs. Use the classic economics multiplier of 4-5 and just one sector leads you to economic depression.
  4. Financial sector and associated services are busy setting up offices elsewhere so as to retain passporting rights.
  5. The government has a series of documents that look at the effect of Brexit on diverse sectors. One has been leaked, indicating that around 40,000 nurses will leave by 2026.

So why the obsession with Brexit and the volte-face by a good many Remain supporters in the Conservative Party, including the Prime Minister? One reasonable explanation is that Brexit has all to do with the Conservative Party and power.

In this respect, job pretty much done.

The opposition is dead. Jeremy Corbyn cannot lead a Labour Party to anything other than ‘opposition’, due to his lack of opposition to Brexit itself. He has long been a Leaver, regardless of the importance of the EU and the ECJ in safeguarding the rights of workers, including equal pay, Health and Safety. Safe to say that despite the noise made by his supporters and Momentum, they are Socialist-free.

The UK has no full separation of powers. Unlike in the US, where the architects of the American Revolution continued the logic of Cromwell’s revolution by separating the executive, legislative and judiciary, in the UK, these are still very much intertwined. Brexit will lead to more executive power. So we effectively head for a one party state, with a tolerated, but weak opposition.

Might there be another reason too? If we consider the staunchest supporters of Brexit, before and after the referendum, they have one thing in common: they either don’t pay much tax or they are extremely sympathetic to those that do not pay their way. Aaron Banks, Lord Rothermere and so on. Boris Johnson, who was whingeing about having to pay US tax (he holds dual citizenship). This is entirely consistent with the concept of a low wage, tax haven economy. Also known as a corrupt shithole.

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On Brexit and Theresa May


At a primary school during break 28 children are playing a peaceful, if somewhat idiosyncratic ball game, with a ball bought by the 6 oldest kids.

Theresa has recently joined the school. She is not happy and and screams from the edge of the game “LISTEN”.

27 kids stop playing and look at Theresa.

Theresa “We will play My game NOT yours”

27 kids resume their peaceful game.

Theresa screams “I will take my ball away”.

But it isn’t her ball, so she goes off to sulk.

Next day she isn’t at the school. The 27 continue their game, developing it, as they mature.

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Back to the trees


The state of the Brexit debate reminded me of “The Evolution Man” (a very funny read by Roy Lewis, also entitled “The Evolution Man or why I ate my father”), which is centred on a protohomonim family that invents many new things, including fire and cooking. Uncle Vanya, whose teeth are not what they were, loves to come down from the trees and eat cooked meat, but he castigates all progress and his catchphrase is “Back to the trees”. (more…)

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