Dambuster’s 75th anniversary

We remember the extraordinary skill of pilots that flew Lancasters at low-level,  and the crews who delivered a new kind of mine to destroy dams that powered and supplied the Nazi war machine.
53 were killed; 40% of those who took part.

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The Square

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Many stories use slightly not credible events and twists to make an interesting story.  Some of the events in The Square are drawn from real events at a modern art gallery.
This movie was doing fine, if becoming unpleasant, until the main character pushes a kid down some stairs; the actions that result are completely not credible and attempts to draw big life lessons are a nonsense.
(r:6.3; e:2, s:3, p:4)

Pitiful

UK passports to be made in France.  And they made such a fuss about them being blue!

Despite the optimism I heard a Conservative MP say that the potential for a deal seems in place, a lot is still not agreed and some of the agreements embrace positions that Brexiteers thought they we getting away from.

Owen Smith MP says – “The UK will be paying billions over to the EU despite having no say in its decisions, free movement will continue, the European court of justice will be able to issue instructions to British courts for at least another decade, the common fisheries policy will still apply to Britain – the list goes on.”

The article has triggered a sacking, disappointing all around since my Corbynista General Secretary shared it with satisfaction, whilst many Remainers were hoping the focus could stay on the markets rather than another referendum.

Andrew Adonis says – “Why am I still a Jeremy Corbyn optimist on Brexit? Simple. When Mrs May presents her Withdrawal Treaty to Parliament at year end, Jeremy has to vote for it or against it. He can’t possibly vote for it & there is only one other credible option. So get ready for 2019 referendum!

Three types of Brexit

180203r QWCC single market montage Screenshot (833) ab0639h

It seems there’s 3 kinds of Brexit on offer (according to the “Buzzfeed leaks”) –
– Brexit, with no deal, settling for World Trade Organisation terms, with a loss of 8% of our growth over the next 15 years;
– Brexit, with a Canadian style agreement with the EU, with a loss of 3% of our growth over the next 15 years;
– Brexit, with staying in the Single Market, the Customs Union and the European Economic Area, with a loss of 2% of our growth over the next 15 years;
the loss all being measured against staying in the European Union.
“No Deal” costs Britain £45bn – equivalent to Britain’s spend on education services.

Since Parliament will have a vote on the final deal, then Lilian Greenwood MP, Heidi Alexander MP and Rory Palmer MEP are saying it’s time to campaign for staying in the Single Market etc., cos that’s what does most to protect jobs.

Broader aims are – 1. jobs; 2. tackle austerity; 3. defend employment rights and stop a “race to the bottom”.

As for a further referendum. whilst public opinion has moved a bit and is probably now for Remain, the move is not decisive and could change back again; and it’s harder to have a conversation about where next if the debate is about the rights and wrongs of the 2016 referendum campaign.

MEPs from outside of the UK are disappointed about the Brexit vote, but their focus remains on where next for the EU and their countries; a further special deal to keep us in is unlikely.

All this from a 2 hour Regional meeting in The Meadows that took some concentration.  Lots of discussion on tactics, and pleas just to campaign for another referendum.

Finally, might mention that as well as 3 flavours of Brexit, there are 2 flavours of Remain – as is; and join the Euro.

Single use plastic

Gedling Borough Council have passed a motion on plastic
“Declare Gedling Borough Council will become ‘single-use plastic free’ … Phase out, with a view to ending all sales of SUP bottles … Phase out the use of other SUP products … starting with (but not limited to) ‘disposable’ cups, cutlery and drinking straws … single-use ‘disposable’ plastic cups are replaced at all borough events … Launch an annual plastic free challenge month in July 2018 … to investigate and report back to Members on the impact on Gedling Borough Council of the Chinese Government’s ban on imports of millions of tonnes of plastic waste, particularly given the fact British companies have shipped more than 1.5m tonnes of plastic waste to China since 2012.

Challenging.  Prompted for its own sake, the planet’s sake and I think in part cos of a recent BBC documentaries showing the impacts on sea-life.

Recycling is challenging full stop, cos if material is to be re-used, it needs to sorted, cleaned before.
Nevertheless, I understand the landfill tax has done enough to justify recycling plastics.  Gedling is trying to reduce the amount that gets to that place at all.  And the 5p on plastic bags for groceries has also made progress.

In Nottingham’s case, most material not sufficiently sorted can at least be burnt and the energy and heat released used elsewhere. It’s understood that there’s a potential to burn more waste, but to explore what more sorting / filtering could be done.

Now I DON’T KNOW ENOUGH.
I think the current situation is –

  1. general waste processing: example – Sinfin, Derby – understood to be a failure;
  2. waste sifting: example – Sutton (London) – witnessed in 2004, but not heard much of it being copied;
  3. gasification: example – Black Country, supplied by Chinook but don’t know status; Bulwell Industrial Estate – got planning permission (twice) but no progress; one challenge is to find a site near potential customers of waste heat;
  4. anaerobic digestion: land intensive and issues regarding getting high quality methane; but extensively used by water companies;
  5. there are interesting projects – in or near York; a recycling project – using enzymes – that Ørsted (formerly DONG) are doing in Cheshire.

Also struck by ideas of densely blocked wood can be used instead of concrete and steel to build skyscrapers.

Will happily receive advice, corrections and news on this and now is a good time to look and learn.

Changes since the referendum

Screenshot (808) Brexit impact ab0689hI accept the result of the second referendum on membership of the European Union.

I wanted us to Remain.

I’ve seen one reference to 55% of the public now wanting to Remain and I hope it’s right but thinking it needs to be consistently higher for the calls for a third referendum to be justified.
However, I have been **mightily encouraged** by Farage saying another referendum now looks likely.
I’m advised he wants an earlier third referendum whilst people still haven’t taken in the problems that are arising.
I just think the Remainers will now know how to run a better campaign next time; not least being able to draw on Tony Blair’s report on what we know now that wasn’t appreciated then –
https://institute.global/news/brexit-what-we-now-know

Not least, the promised money for the NHS is not being made available, and we look now to face NHS staff shortages cos we’ve been so unfriendly to those who were filling the gaps.

My point always wasn’t that the UK couldn’t make it outside the EU, just that it would be harder to, less desirable and distract our focus and capacity from the challenges we really need to face.

Meanwhile, Theresa May claimed credit for charges on credit card transactions being cancelled from Saturday when this was an EU initiative.