Greg's Occasional News & Views

31 March 2019

It’s been another pretty glorious week – bright sunshine and blue skies. The temperature could be a bit warmer for my liking but that’s just being greedy.

This week we’ve had yet more Brexit omnishambles from the government as the original date for the UK to leave the EU has come and gone. Nearly three years down the road and we still have no idea what sort of future relationship we will have with our European neighbours. Who on earth votes for jumping off a cliff without knowing anything about how high the cliff might be or what soft cushioning there may or may not be at the bottom to mitigate the damage?

As I wrote last time, Penelope and I trooped off to join more than a million other like-minded folk on a March for a People’s Vote in London last Saturday. It’s always refreshingly uplifting to be amongst similarly inclined people who recognise the stupidity of the government’s proposals. Not surprisingly, however, the government continues to voice the nonsense that allowing people to vote on the proposals would somehow undermine democracy.

There was, as always, an excellent collection of placards carried by demonstrators:

In addition to marching, I’ve had an interesting exchange of e-mails with our local MP, one of the more passionate and loonier Brexiteers. As well as being astonishingly patronising, she had the peculiar notion that, somehow, a referendum overrides the rule of Parliament and MPs have no option but to implement the result. Given that there is no basis for this supposition in law one has to wonder how people like this get to where they are. I did reply that since there was a referendum in 1975 on joining the Common Market, this subsequent referendum, by her logic, was null and void. No reply so far.

We had a pleasant surprise on Wednesday morning. Our builders are back! I wrote last time that the council had seemingly approved our bricks (without actually coming to visit and see them) but that some bigwig needed to sign the paperwork. We’ve now received official confirmation that they have, indeed, been signed off. So, in anticipation that the bricks will be available shortly, I guess, the builders have come back to finish off some of the ground work and to build the retaining wall for Penelope’s Patio. This is being faced with old bricks which have come from the old conservatory – Penny and I spent many a happy hour chipping away at the old mortar to render them useable again. Fortunately, there are just enough to do the job!

I am writing this a few days early this week as we are off at the weekend to visit with friends. I think this particular date was chosen so that we could commiserate with one another at having fallen off the Brexit cliff edge. But, that particular adventure has been put off for a few more days or weeks so I guess we’ll have to find something else to complain about.

One very, very good reason for staying in the European Union – the EU has just voted to stop implementing daylight savings time from 2021, a proposition with which I have long been in favour.

We change our clocks today (i.e., in the middle of last night). Not surprisingly, the UK Conservative MEPs voted against the proposal arguing that now the wicked EU was trying to control time itself! To paraphrase an (allegedly) old Lakota saying about Daylight Savings time,

Only a Tory would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of the same blanket and have a longer blanket.

Finally, I ran across the following cartoon in the Guardian. I am thinking I need to do something similar with Penny. She spends far, far, far too much time reading and watching the news, spiralling into despair at the absolute looniness of the whole Brexit shambles.

And finally, finally Happy Mothering Sunday to my magnificent mother, to the mother of my sons and to all the mothers amongst you.

Love to you all,




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