Monday 31 December 2018

Are some Brexiters applying for a Irish Passport?

I have often told of the time I spent living in London or rather Camden Town and spent my drinking time in an absolutely splendid Irish  Pub called the Stag's Head.
It attracted many Irish expats and a fair number of second and third generation , who considered themselves more Irish than English.
I remember a somewhat obnoxious person ,  whose claim to be Half-Irish was met by the Bar managers (Who possesed a sharp Dublin wit) retort

"Not the top half I assume"
The Guardian reports that 

The number of British citizens applying for Irish passports rose by 22% in 2018, Ireland’s foreign office said on Monday, more than doubling the total of annual applications since Britain voted to leave the European Union.
Almost 100,000 eligible Britons sought to hang onto their EU citizenship via a passport from their nearest neighbour this year, up from 81,000 last yearand 46,000 in 2015, the year before the Brexit vote led to a sharp rise in applications.Food prices to finance: what a no-deal Brexit could mean for Britain
Anybody born in the Irish Republic or Northern Ireland, or with an Irish parent or grandparent, is entitled to an Irish passport – a total of about 6 million British citizens. They are able to hold dual citizenship.
Registrations for Irish passports in Northern Ireland, whose citizens can hold both an Irish and British passport as the province is part of the United Kingdom, rose by 2% in the year to the end of December.
With three months left until the UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March, the draft divorce deal reached between both sides is floundering ahead of a planned vote in the British parliament next month, opening up a range of possibilities from a Brexit without a trade deal to calling it off entirely.

 I assume that many have always , considerd themselves Irish if not by blood but by inclination and as a Welshman who has many relatives  born and raised across the boarder, who will always claim to be Welsh first  and who would on Wales being independent seek a Welsh passport good luck to them.

I wonder however how many of the Irish applicants voted for Brexit,  and are the sought of people  who would approve of the The cricket test, also known as the Tebbit test,  a controversial phrase coined in April 1990 by the British Conservative politician Norman Tebbit in reference to the perceived lack of loyalty to the England cricket team among South Asian and Caribbean immigrants and their children. Tebbit suggested that those immigrants who support their native countries rather than England at the sport of cricket are not significantly integrated into the United Kingdom.[

I have always felt that the test for being Welsh has always been if you say you are , and you can also have a strong affinity for  a country of origin  no matter how far back that goes.

You can be Welsh (and Insert Nation here) and the same should apply to every country  including Ireland.

I just wonder how many of those receiving an Irish passport in 2019 , are doing so for convenience  and who deny  a UK Passport , whether Red or Blue) to many of those who  live or would seek to live in these Islands.

Sunday 30 December 2018

People should speak Welsh , When and Where they like.

As the year ends we get the old story of someone going into a pub in North Wales,  where they’re all there speaking English,but  soon as they come in and hear a English or even non-local accent, they start changing into Welsh, so we can’t understand them.
BBC Radio 2 host Jeremy Vine has been criticised after seeming to suggest that Welsh was on par with a foreign language in the UK, and that people should speak English instead.His official Twitter feed responded to an online message suggesting that Welsh people speaking Welsh in Wales was equivalent to French people speaking French in France by asking: “Is France in the UK?”The tweet has now been deleted.The discussion kicked off after a heated debate on Jeremy Vine’s BBC Radio 2 programme about the Welsh language.He was discussing Lloyd Bank’s initial refusal to accept a cheque written in Welsh by Cardigan Town Council.
He interviewed a man from Pontypridd who said that Welsh speakers “think they’re better than anybody else”.“I don’t want to speak it, it’s a horrible language,” he said. “If you go into any pub in west Wales, in north Wales, they’re all there speaking English, soon as they come in and hear my accent, they start changing into Wesh, so we can’t understand them.“I hate it, I just hate the language.”
Two other callers, one from Caernarfon and another from Cardiff, challenged his comments.A Twitter user, Blogdroed, responded by saying: 
“I can’t believe Jeremy Vine is giving airtime to the tired old trope about ‘walkig into a pub and people switching to English’… for crying out loud its 2018 and people are still trotting out this nonsense.”
Another user, William Jones, responded: 
“I walked into a pub in Paris the week before Christmas… Who would have thought, French-speaking French in France.”
To which Jeremy Vine replied by suggesting that weren’t comparable: “Is France in the UK?”
Vine has has since deleted his response claiming  that he has been misinterpreted .

My response was this

 12 hours ago

As a monoglot English speaker i have never met this "Modern Urban Myth", but even if I had I don't see why a room full of Welsh speakers should have to accommodate me by speaking in English.

Indeed I am beginning to wonder why defenders of the use of Cymraeg , should even defend themselves against such lies.

Maybe the response should be  "We will speak whatever language we bloody like, when we like , and where we like.

Its up to us monoglot speakers to accept this, and not expect others to accommodate  our own inadequacies

Saturday 29 December 2018

After March 29th your friends could become Aliens .

Consider your European  Neighbour or Friend (or both), who has been living in the UK for year, they  may well have  married a local and raised children, but never applied for UK citizenship , because there was no real need to do so and they still were proud to be French, Dutch , German  or whatever EU country of origin.
They now after March and Brexit  face being labeled Aliens.
Now the BBC reports that the Home Office has been criticised for posting a message on social media urging EU nationals to apply "if they want to stay in the UK" after Brexit.
They say,
The tweet, sent on Thursday, tells EU citizens that they will need to confirm their status to "continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020".It sets out how they can register for settled status and the cost involved.But critics said the timing of the campaign would go down badly while one MP said it was a "pay to stay" policy.Theresa May has said she wants all 3 million EU citizens currently living legally in the UK to stay after the UK leaves the EU, irrespective of whether the UK's withdrawal agreement is passed by Parliament.An online system for EU nationals to register their details will open fully on 30 March 2019, hours after Brexit is scheduled to take place.EU nationals will have until 30 June 2021 to confirm their status. It will cost £65 for those over 16 and £32.50 for those under 16, although there will be no charge for those who already have indefinite leave to remain in the UK or permanent residence.People will have to have been resident before 31 December 2020, when the proposed post-Brexit transition period ends, in order to apply.All those who have been living continuously in the UK for five years will be eligible for settled status, giving them broadly the same rights as they have now.
That's alright then  though of course an increasingly xenophobic iK could change things.
Anyone who has not be in the UK that long will be eligible for pre-settled status and be able to qualify for settled status once they have completed five years residence

What I wonder pf the Irish, who have traditionally had no problem working and settling in the UK even voting , will their status change, will they become aliens?

What of the status of Scottish people living in Wales and England after Independence, will a vindictive RUK decide that they are now European Aliens.

Whilst Scotland welcomes EU nationals and even tell English and Welsh people permanently living there they will have no problem getting a Scottish passport and Free movement in Europe?

The late Labour politician Tony Benn  spoke out against Scottish independence, saying splitting up Britain would divide him in half with a knife. In an interview with The Scotsman, the former Cabinet minister has spoken of his Scottish ancestry and his opposition to Alex Salmond’s plans. Mr Benn said the fact that his mother Margaret Eadie, a famous theologian, was from Glasgow had a great bearing on his view.
he told The Scotsman.

 “I have always been very strongly in favour of the Scottish Parliament and devolution, and I think it’s been a big success,” 
“If Scotland wants to be independent they have the absolute right to do so. But I think nationalism is a mistake. And I am half Scots and feel it would divide me in half with a knife. “The thought that my mother would suddenly be a foreigner would upset me very much.”
Tony Benn like Jeremy Corbyn  was an enthusiast for Brexit  but I wonder if he would have accepted the Tory Brexit in the same way theat Corbyn seems to have?

Oh and a message to Lexiters , this does not make me a Neo-Liberal and Blarite, just because I am apparently on the same side of Blair on this issue, anymore than I would accuse you of being a right win Tory for bring on the same side as Rees-Mogg and Johnson.

Of course there was Never any suggestion by Independistas  in Scotland that this would see the sought of move by our current Home Office to EU Nationals.

Imagine the outrage where British EX Pats living in the Costa Del Sol they will have to do the same by the Spanish Government?

Is this what people voted for in the Referendum? Was  it really about xenophobia rather than "Taking Control" , for those who still support Brexit maybe they should exam their reasons and come to an honest admission.

Friday 28 December 2018

John Redwood opposed Identity Cards , the reason will surprise you.

Welsh political news is rather thin on the ground over this festive period, but BBC Wales provides us with  the news that Ex-Welsh Secretary John Redwood opposed plans for compulsory national identity cards in the 1990s, as newly released documents reveal.

According to the Beeb.

In government papers from 1994, Mr Redwood said "any hint" of mandatory ID cards would cause "difficulties with nationalist and devolutionist groups".
He said the benefits were "not proven - even to the police and the courts", who were most likely to be "keen" on them.
The prime minister at the time, John Major, later shelved the proposals.
Conservative Mr Major had previously said the cards were key in the fight against crime

Before the Welsh assembly was created in 1999, powers over matters such as the NHS, education, housing and agriculture were generally the responsibility of the secretary of state for Wales - giving the holder of that office far more power than today.
In the newly released cabinet papers, Mr Redwood, who served as Welsh secretary from 1993 to 1995, wrote to Home Secretary Michael Howard saying he had "reservations" about compulsory cards.
He said: "At a time when constitutional questions affecting Wales and Scotland are again coming to the fore, discussion of a compulsory ID scheme would add unnecessarily to the existing debate about the future of the union."

A section of a letter John Redwood sent to John Major
Image copyright

In an earlier letter to the prime minister he said: "A compulsory scheme would be unacceptable to very many people, and I can see little merit in a voluntary scheme which would only attract partial compliance. The costs of either scheme are extremely high."
Mr Major had admitted there were "great practical difficulties" in introducing compulsory identity cards, but maintained they could be useful in the fight against crime.
However, in 1996, Mr Major's government shelved the plans after a consultation revealed the public were split three ways on the issue.
The issue of compulsory ID cards later re-surfaced under Tony Blair when he was prime minister.
His plans were approved, but later overturned by David Cameron when he became prime minister in 2010.

The Blair plans actually saw a unusual move from the Tory Shadow Home Secretary  David Davis  On 12 June 2008, Davis unexpectedly announced his intention to resign as an MP, and was immediately replaced as Shadow Home Secretary; this was in order to force a by-election in his seat for which he intended to seek re-election by mounting a specific campaign designed to provoke wider public debate about the erosion of civil liberties in the United Kingdom. Following his formal resignation as an MP he became the Conservative candidate in the resulting by-election, which he won a month later. In 2012,

So weirdly opposition to the idea of compulsory identity cards , seems to have come from the right libertarian wing  of the Tories, and I suspect in Redwood's case it was less due to "difficulties with nationalist and devolutionist groups" than his natural instinct of a "Freeborn Englishman. or some sort of rot.

I suspect the idea will reemerge however for those of us who do not drive or hold a driving licence it is increasingly difficult to prove your identity, and the  GOV.UK Verify  an identity assurance system developed by the UK Government Digital Service (GDS) actually makes things more difficult

 The system is intended to provide a single trusted login across all UK government digital services, verifying the user’s identity in 15 minutes. It allows users to choose one of several companies to verify their identity to a standard level of assurance before accessing 18 central government online services.

But unless things have changed If You do not possess a Passport  or Driving Licence then you can only Register via one company  Experian  and you must also have a mobile  phone so they can text you a password. Many of those without these two will be unemployed and will have to use this new service and will probably face delays .

Apparently  after e platform was originally due to launch in 2012, but did not do so until 2016.The success rate in verifying individuals is 47% as of October its not actually working fully .

We could solve the whole problem by using the DVLA to issue cards (maybe a different coloured one) to people who do not drive and have no intention to do so.

It would be handy if this non-compulsory card was made available to all citizens. Though it will mot solve the problem of we "Nationalists" in Wales,  Scotland  and Northern Ireland  who don't like carrying the Butchers Apron on a Card which signify our identity.

Thursday 27 December 2018

First 2019 prediction. Queen will announce her plan to abdicate.

On Tuesday, Mrs Windsor  delivered her annual Christmas Day speech from Buckingham Palace.
Or as Ireland's T.T.E put it.
Image may contain: text

Whatever your views on the monarchy  it has turned out to be a P.R. disaster

Sitting in front of a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, the Queen, 92, spoke of her gratitude for the armed services as well as her growing family while also
 stressing the importance of respecting others and celebrating differences.
While most applauded the holiday message, many were distracted by the Queen’s opulent gold piano.

Daily Mirror associate editor Kevin Maguire said the Queen had killed satire by “lecturing the nation to pull together” while sitting in front of a golden piano in a palace she was charging taxpayers to renovate.
Scottish National Party politician James Dornan also pilloried her message suggesting a singalong on the gold piano might cheer up those hungry and sleeping on the streets.

View image on Twitter
“So sad all those people going to foodbanks and sleeping on the streets. So to cheer them up I suggest we gather round my gold piano with a rendition of My Old Man’s a Dustman. That’ll take their mind off the cold and hunger for a while. Do you see how hard being Queen is now?”
2,790 people are talking about this

Multi-billionaire tells people to be nice to others at . A decade of austerity, massive homelessness and food bank usage, yet no irony in a room dripping in gold as the setting for 's speech. Is that piano made out of gold? How many homes could that have paid for?
See ☃️🎄Festive Kristian Harstad🎄☃️'s other Tweets

As one news outlet put it 
The way the Queen funds her activities, what she personally owns and what is owned by the public, is complex.
Taxpayers fund her activities including a planned renovation of Buckingham Palace (which is not her personal property) through the Sovereign Grant, which is funded from profits generated by the huge commercial property business owned by the reigning monarch but only while she is Queen.
In 2017/18, the Crown Estate generated a profit of £329.4 million ($A588 million) and this money was given to the UK Treasury, the BBC reported.
A portion of this money, about £47.4 million ($A84 million), was provided as a grant to the Queen to fund her duties and maintenance of the royal palaces.
The gold piano is part of the Royal Collection, an art collection made up of more than one million objects owned by the British royal family. The Queen owns some of the objects as a private individual but others are owned in the right of the Crown .
The gold piano is not actually made of gold but is mahogany, painted and gilt in gold. Queen Victoria commissioned the piano in 1856 and it was recently went through a 12-month restoration to clean it of surface dirt, which covered many parts of its decoration.
By the way right of the Crown actually means us.

I can't help wondering that maybe it's part of plan to "Unite the Nation" after Brexit with a abdication followed by a 2020 coronation.

it would see Mr Windsor give a farewell address next Christmas as  perpetration for Carlo's coronation begins in the following  summer expunging all memories of the 2018 disaster.

It could possibly then see British Nationalism and the Union being a non-stop media frenzy and forestalling a  Second Scottish Independence  Referendum being called.

2019 will undoubtedly see a the UK state after Brexit and the following economic disaster desperate for some kind of jamboree to divert our anger. What better they will think than a coronation.

The current incumbent 1953 was conducted whilst we still under some rationing, meat and all other food rationing ended in Britain a year later.

So my first prediction for 2019, will see a announcement that the Queen will announce her 
intention to abdicate.