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Topics about the UK, EU and Europe.

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34 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  March 22, 2017

    Martin McGuinness died today, and as to be expected reaction here has been mixed.

    The media are doing the obligatory obituaries, and politicians (in general) have said all the right words with respect to his part in the Good Friday agreement, however not all reaction has been positive, diplomatic, or kind.

    Lord Tebbit today said the ‘world is a sweeter place’, calling McGuinness a multi-murderer coward who never atoned for his crimes and only turned to peace to save his own skin. Lord Tebbit’s wife was paralysed in the Brighton bomb. A woman who’s father was killed in the Brighton bomb does not agree with Tebbit, tweeting that she values McGuinness as inspiring example of peace and reconciliation.

    Corbyn tweeted that McGuinness was a great family man and his thoughts are with them.

    Much of the reaction on Twitter has been around his role in the IRA, and those that feel for his victims who never received justice – or peace. Many on Twitter have also criticised the coverage by the BBC of his death, with one or two suggesting that the ‘fawning’ by the BBC contrasts with the ‘celebration’ of Thatcher’s death.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/21/martin-mcguinness-former-ira-commander-deputy-first-minister/

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/21/martin-mcguinness-northern-ireland-former-deputy-first-minister-dies

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4334220/BBC-accused-fawning-coverage-McGuiness-s-death.html

    Reply
  2. Missy

     /  March 22, 2017

    On the BBC, it has faced a week of criticisms over a number of different matters, but over the weekend, and yesterday, it is over the coverage of Brexit.

    Over the weekend on a rural show, Countryfile, did a piece on seasonal migrant workers and what might happen to them – and those that employ them – in the wake of Brexit. Viewers slammed the piece as being leftie, pro-EU propaganda. The presenter doing that piece was criticised for being too pessimistic, and labelled a doom merchant. I did not see the programme in question, however, based on most of the reporting around migration and Brexit, I would guess that they presented a scenario where seasonal migrant workers would no longer be able to come in to Britain to work. The BBC has consistently pushed the view during and just after the referendum, that Brexit means a complete halt to any migrants coming into the country, and that it was a vote against immigration.

    A small, but vocal, group of viewers have threatened to boycott the programme in the wake of the programme.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/0/countryfile-viewers-threaten-boycott-show-anti-brexit-bias/

    If that wasn’t enough, a group of 70 MPs have written an open letter to the BBC accusing it of an anti-Brexit bias. Amongst the claims is that they have failed to report good economic news – or reported it a being ‘despite brexit’, remaining in their pre referendum pessimism, taking negative comments from the EU at face value with little or no scrutiny.

    The letter says that “BBC bias can have a substantial effect on national debate. We fear that, by misrepresenting our country either as xenophobic or regretful of the Leave vote, the BBC will undermine our efforts to carve out a new, global role for this country.”

    The BBC response to the criticism. “While we are always live to our critics and understand that passions are running high on all sides of the debate, it is the job of the BBC to scrutinise and analyse the issues on behalf of the public and to hold politicians to account across the political spectrum. That is what the BBC has been doing. It is what the BBC will continue to do. It is precisely because of this that the public trusts the BBC.”

    However, Conservative MP Julian Knight wrote on his blog in response that the organisation must be careful not to lose the trust of those who voted for Brexit “as well as those Remainers like myself who respect the will of the people”.

    Reply
  3. Missy

     /  March 22, 2017

    Yesterday it was reported that Jean-Claude Juncker gave an interview to German Newspaper Bild an Sonntag in which he appeared to have boasted that Britain will get such a bad deal that no other country will want to leave the EU. Juncker has been slammed for being delusional and spiteful in the UK, and some on social media have likened it to being in the Mafia. However Juncker may be described, he has shown yet again that he holds democracy in contempt, and has no respect for it.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/781008/EU-Jean-Claude-Juncker-mocks-Brexit-claims-no-other-countries-will-follow-Britain-May

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  March 22, 2017

      I can’t stand him. Horrible man.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  March 22, 2017

        He’ll have to go. Who else have they got. 😳

        Reply
        • Missy

           /  March 22, 2017

          No-one that I know of. My understanding is that the very nature of the EU and the way the Presidents are selected it is very hard to replace them mid-term.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  March 22, 2017

            Could someone encourage him to drink more often & in larger amounts?

            Reply
            • Missy

               /  March 22, 2017

              From the gossip I don’t think that it is possible for him to drink more often and in larger amounts.

      • Missy

         /  March 22, 2017

        Not many can stand him G.

        He is nicknamed Drunker by many in the UK. Something to do with his drinking habits I believe.

        Reply
  4. Missy

     /  March 22, 2017

    All is not well in Poland, and it seems Polish politics just got a bit more interesting.

    The Defence Minister has accused Donald Tusk – the President of the European Council – of working with Vladimir Putin to harm Polish interests after the 2010 plane crash that killed the then President. Tusk was the Polish PM at the time.

    The military department of the National Prosecutor’s Office was notified on Monday that the Defence Ministry suspected Tusk of an ‘abuse of trust in foreign relations’.

    This appears to be a continuation of some internal differences in Polish domestic politics, the current ruling party, PiS are opponents of Tusk.

    The President in 2010, who died in the plane crash, was Lech Kaczynski and was leader of the PiS party, which is now led by his twin brother.

    This looks very personal on first glance – I don’t really know enough about Polish politics to know how deep this runs.

    The notification effectively accuses Tusk of diplomatic Treason, and the National Prosecutor’s Office has 30 days to decide if they will investigate.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-poland-eu-tusk-treason-idUSKBN16S1DX

    Reply
  5. Missy

     /  March 22, 2017

    Leaked EU papers show that the EU plan to take the UK to court if they do not pay the money to leave the EU. The same document also suggests that the only way the UK will have access to the single market is if they allow Freedom of Movement.

    This came as a new poll in the UK that shows Remain voters are starting to warm to Brexit, with more than half of them wanting an end to freedom of movement.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/21/remain-voters-warming-idea-brexit-poll-shows/

    The poll indicates that there appears to be a slight attitudinal change with Remain voters. This could be down to a number of things, but based on some anecdotal evidence there is a possibility that of those that voted Remain, some were eurosceptics who either believed the spin from the Remain team – or were fearful of making such a big decision so plumped for the status Quo. There is also a possibility that the EU have not done the Remain cause much good over the last 9 months with their bluster and bullying, a further possibility is that some Remain voters have accepted the result so are looking for the best out of it.

    Reply
  6. Missy

     /  March 22, 2017

    This popped up in my twitter feed today, it is worth a watch all the way through for a good laugh.

    Reply
  7. Gezza

     /  March 23, 2017

    BREAKING ON ALJAZEERA Tv

    * Two people shot outside UK Parliament – building in lockdown.

    * At least a dozen injured on Westminster Bridge, loud bang reported, exclusion zone being put in place,

    * journalist there has just tweeted “just seen police shoot a man outside Parliament appears to be wielding a knife”.

    * Metropolitan police saying there has been “a firearms incident”.

    0358 hours

    Reply
  8. Gezza

     /  March 23, 2017

    Reports saying a car has mowed down several people on Westminster Bridge, others that a policeman has been stabbed & been shot by police … but currently much confusion about what has happened …

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  March 23, 2017

      Whoops … reports that the attacker has been shot by police, not the stabbing victim ….

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  March 23, 2017

      Aerial footage showing what appears to be two perhaps more people lying injured on Westminister Bridge & a vehicle crashed into fence around Westminster Palace, with more injured on footpath. Looks like two incidents: a stabbing attack & a separate ‘car ramming into people on footpath’ attack outside Westminster at moment.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  March 23, 2017

      Appears an attacker with a knife got inside Parliament grounds, stabbed a policeman & was shot by police, and, separately

      a car has driven across Westminster Bridge, knocking people down, before crashing into the railings of a fence outside the houses of parliament.

      Police are treating it as a terrorist attack until further notice. The whole are is in lockdown.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  March 23, 2017

        The incidences are linked G, the car crashed into Parliament railings and then the driver attacked the cops, that is from news media and witnesses.

        Reply
  9. Missy

     /  March 23, 2017

    I will do a more full report when I get home, but here it is (in addition to G’s reports above).

    It appears a man in a 4×4 mounted the footpath and ran down up to 12 pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, then crashed into the railings of Westminster, got out and stabbed a police officer. The driver of the vehicle was shot. Parliament has been suspended, and is now in lockdown with a number of other Government buildings.

    Armed police and bomb dogs are doing a sweep of the area, and staff from the nearby St Thomas’s hospital are attending to the injured on the bridge.

    Westminster Bridge is closed, Westminster tube station is closed, and the area surrounding Westminster is in lockdown. Police are telling people to avoid Westminster, Whitehall, Lambeth Bridge area. I will know if the Mall or Whitehall have been completely locked down on my way to the train station (I pass them).

    Unconfirmed witness reports suggest the man was an Asian (in the UK that is someone from the sub continent – so Pakistani or Indian).

    It appears some of the injuries are horrific, and there may be some fatalities.

    Scottish Parliament have suspended the debate on the Second Referendum.

    This is the first anniversary of the Brussels Airport attack.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  March 23, 2017

      People tweeting some gruesome images of those hit by car. Poliice asking them to stop.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  March 23, 2017

        Yep. Pretty bad. Apparently it is pretty horrific, I have seen some say they saw some of the people hit fully covered with blankets suggesting they had been killed.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  March 23, 2017

          Aljaz still showing live footage – they are starting to pick up reports as you have said that the driver of the car who came across the bridge mowing down people is the same person who then got out of the car and attacked a policeman at the gates of Westminster.

          Reply
  10. Missy

     /  March 23, 2017

    I am off home, so will do a more detailed report when I get home.

    For those wondering, I work near Trafalgar Square, so pretty close to the incident, 90 minutes or so later and I would have been down around Westminster.

    Reply
  11. Missy

     /  March 23, 2017

    Three main roads leading from Trafalgar Square to the River, Westminster, and Buckingham Palace are closed to vehicle traffic. Loads of police around Trafalgar Square, and the mounted Police are on Whitehall.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  March 23, 2017

      Met Police spokesperson just gave bland summary of known facts of attack & casualties as reported above, refused to speculate on motives or identity of attacker, asked people to be aware of heightened security & police on high alert, don’t regard this yet as over, asked for anyone with footage or images of event to forward them asap to Metropolitan Police.
      0550 hours

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  March 23, 2017

        Sounds about right. Armed police were in T Square, an am expecting to see more when I get home.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  March 23, 2017

          Thanks Missy. Will post anything more on PG’s Terrorist Attack thread.

          Reply

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