D-Day 75th Anniversary

A bit disheartened by the pompous tv presentations of the events.
British servicemen were fighting to defeat the Nazis, and they’d resolved to have a new Britain, but instead it was repeatedly stated that it was “for freedom”.
I’d not seen the statues before, but the American one seems more human.
Nor had I seen the purple poppy – to remind us of the loss of animals.

A shame, given all the frictions there’s been with the U.S.S.R. and with Russia over the years since, that Russia couldn’t be at the events. The Steve Bell cartoon is controversial cos it talks about freedom for Europe, when of course, the Eastern bloc did not enjoy freedom post the German surrender, but D-Day can blind us to both the Russian effort and (infamously) the allied campaign through Italy.

Maybe I missed the representation or participation of Canada, the free Poles, and all the other countries especially from the Empire at the event.
I understand a commentator on BBC Radio 5 kept saying how the Canadians reached furthest into Normandy on D-Day; at some chagrin to those who know and celebrate the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry who were in fact went the deepest and captured the ridge overlooking Caen.

My own efforts to remember have instead been to watch more documentaries from the internet, and I was particularly struck by one that explored Monty more – concluding that he was a bit useless in communicating with peers and superiors, very good with his own officers and soldiers, and has perhaps been misjudged on Caen and on Operation Goodwood.
That his objective was for the Nazis to exhaust their armies and resources in the predictable and inevitable counter-attacks to any Allied successes, so when the break-through was to come, progress was much faster. (But how Caen suffered.)
I don’t know enough, but the “Patton” movie and other films suggests huge frustration at not taking Antwerp faster to relieve the burden of the long supply lines, and Operation Market Garden seems to be very much about wanting to gain territory quickly.

The UK is in a position of weakness

Trump came to the UK at May’s behest.
There were mass protests; and some crude smaller ones.
Trump out and out lied about being greeted by thousands in the streets when the streets along which he was driven were nearly empty of spectators.
And the BBC tv North American correspondent thought Trump had been quite clever and funny.

Key political conclusions are –
1. the UK is in a position of weakness with regards a trade deal with the USA;
2. Trump cares little for the UK’s love of the National Health Service, and at a later stage feigned even to know what was meant by the NHS.
Time will tell, but I also think the reputation of some senior Conservatives will be damaged by the visit.
Jezza too caught a crab, by making a big play of boycotting the state dinner with Trump (but not with China), but having also formally sought a meeting with Trump.

European Cup final 2019

Reminded of Tottenham Hotspur losing at Notts County in the League Cup badly in the Klinsmann / Sheringham era when their decisive cutting penetrating forward moves were rehearsed in the warm-up but in some kind of slow motion.
Ditto Liverpool last night.
Building repeatedly from 6 yards out, getting past 4 Liverpool players with passes to 30 yards out and then not finding each other in the next leap forward (typical culprits – Trippier, Alli, Son), or passing back to the keeper, cos it was till all too slow.
Just not sure what continental football made of this “all English” final, with most of the players getting ratings of 5 and 6, but it all seemed too ineffective; and lacking in glory.
The penalty award after 23 seconds was bizarre. I assumed VAR was going to overturn it – the ball hit the chest, leaving no time to react to a deflection, from a pass that had been going away from goal.
Tottenham had 62% of the possession, and many more shots on target, but the possession was never very penetrating and the efforts on target were soft.
Tottenham went into the final having lost 5 of their previous 8 games and 19 in the season throughout. They were nearly knocked out of the competition on 5 occasions. They were unlucky in some ways and cup football being what it is, they could have won.

Remain won the European Elections

The number of MEPs being return to the European Parliament who are Remain supporters has increased.

Graphics showing that Brexit came first and from nowhere overlook that they’ve replaced UKIP MEPs.
No Deal Brexit parties did increase their share of the vote compared to 2014, BUT, the “Out and Out Remain” parties – Lib Dems, Greens, Change UK, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Fein and others – gained more votes and have a higher share of the vote.

Mainstream media graphics often fail to show how An Independence from Europe, BNP and others no longer exist, but took votes in 2014.
So can we show whether Remain or Leave won in votes?
One analysis says –
“The European Parliament vote was a vote for Brexit – 6,382,024 voted for overtly Remain parties (LD, Green, SNP, PC, Sinn Fein and the Alliance Party) and 5,481,039 for clear leave parties (Brexit Party, UKIP, DU, and UU). Even when you add in the Tories as leavers and generously split Labour as 50/50, you get 7,555,651 Remain and 6,993,186 leave.”
Another analysis by Guardian journalists – “Sabbagh, later followed by fellow Guardian journalist Polly Toynbee, tackles how to account for Labour and Conservative votes by adding them in based on polling as to how their supporters split – assigning 80% of Conservatives voters to Leave and 60% of Labour voters to remain – to predict a 50% Remain to 47% Leave split in a second referendum.”
(I’d like to review these numbers myself.)
BTW, the on-line petition raised more support that the combined No Deal Brexit parties.
So what to say about the Brexit Party coming first?

The mainstream media were far too quick to say The Brexit Party had won without explaining they’d done it largely by taking UKIP and others’ votes.
They also accepted the party had only existed for 6 weeks – it was registered 16 weeks ago.
They were too slow to understand the remain side of the vote.

I trust the main casualty of these elections is Lexit.
The voters don’t want Lexit.
Labour voters don’t want Lexit.
Labour members don’t want Lexit.
So who does?

The next casualty is the prospect of a General Election this year.
The Conservatives had such a bad result that their MPs won’t want one.

So Article 50 has to be withdrawn, or we go to a referendum to seek a clear mandate on what people want – cos the public were led to believe in 2016 that Brexit would be done with a deal – even Farage said so.
Don’t know how it happens, and am clear the 2 clear options are No Deal Brexit – cos there is a huge vote for it, and Remain cos there is a bigger vote, and perhaps the EU deal, cos it’s what’s on offer. With a process to help the public discuss not in a way that builds up consensus, as happened in 2 Irish referendums, and as I proposed back in March.

Labour hold Nottingham in European Elections

Labour came first, despite stories from knocking up sessions on the day.
The No Deal Brexit parties’ share of the vote in Nottingham remained the same.
But we struggled to resist the protest vote about Labour not being clearer about wanting another referendum and about supporting Remain.

So support for Out and Out Remain grew the strongest.
I contend that in the main, this was an election whereby Labour supporters of Brexit were going to go Brexit etc., and in Nottingham’s case, I was explaining that Labour’s 1st and 2nd candidates were Remain. I leave it to others to work out what share of the Conservatives voters were Remain.
But this has the potential to show that support for Remain in Nottingham is higher than Leave.  

A Britain Elects summary tweet, by missing out the smaller parties, distorted the result.

Meanwhile, at 6%, this was the worst Conservative performance in Nottingham in their history.