Have the British changed on EU membership?

Observer front page melodramatically reports that an analysis of voters’ views on our future is now 53% Remain as opposed to 48% 2 weeks ago (Sky polling) and 48% at the referendum. The analysis suggests one-sixth of our constituencies would switch on what is the equivalent of a 2.5% swing (which is tad surprising).
(Note that it shows Rushcliffe swinging to Remain, but I wonder why?)
Seeking a further referendum poses all kind of questions. The answer to which might be that there should be a public view on the final deal.  The answer will more certainly be for another vote if people get that most of us have come to understand that we, as a people, have changed our mind.
I hope that happens, but I don’t think we’re there yet.
Observer articlePeter Kellner article.



20180526 Irish referendum result DeI69U7X0AExN9d aa0918h
Pleased at the result, for the women who have suffered and who might yet have suffered – women can now work out their way forward – and because it brings down another barrier between the republic and the mainland.
The scale of the decision is good too.
And yes, we should now bring Northern Ireland in line with the mainland.

29th May: as for how to run campaigns in a referedum, an interesting article published by the Guardian.

The Square

010 the square movie clip (2)040 the square movie clip (2)100 the square movie clip (2)200 the square movie clip (2)300 the square movie clip (2)400 the square movie clip (2)450 the square movie clip (2)500 the square movie clip (2)600 the square movie clip (2)700 the square movie clip (2)800 the square movie clip (2)900 the square movie clip (2)

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)


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.

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.