So what does the name tee2i mean?
Well it's shorthand for the independence index. This blog takes independence seriously. There's no problem, in principle, with a country being part of a confederation or partnership, the UK is part of NATO. But the EU is a failing confederation and our independence is threatened by continued membership. But there's more to politics than the EU. Neither is politics all about leaning left or rightward on any issue, it's far more subtle than that. It's all down to the quality of life so let's aim high. It's our right to do so.
So Phil Shiner, though the preferred title was always Prof Phil Shiner has been struck off the register of solicitors. His fall from grace, the detail, is given in the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) account and no doubt legal journals will rake over the ashes as they please. Although the legal profession might not be the same as the legal journals the latter have taken a very long time to face up to the reality of the Shiner case. First, they said he was being hounded for what he did, he was a victim. Then later on when it was clear what he had done was wrong, there was the bluster. When the game was up and the truth coming out we had silence. Parts of the case are to be heard later this year so we still await the full condemnation. But we may assume eventually it will be clear that he lost! At first Shiner was a poster-boy for the legal profession and they loved him. But now the truth is out, and you would have though the truth was important in legal matters, but they back away only to hide behind a veil of conspiracy theories. For example the government wants to 'do away' with the type of work Shiner did and have concocted this case to discredit it.
During the Brexit referendum campaign many alliances were made and new friends found. No doubt for the Remainers this is awkward, it brings back the memories and the hurt, but for the Leavers it's different. We are getting back to normal catching up on jobs in the garden and around the house and planning a little 'thank you' party sometime soon. It's in this mood we say thank you to two characters who have in their own and very different ways made a huge contribution to the referendum result.
First Boris Johnson. One of the features of the result is that the political establishment went into this referendum secure in the knowledge they would win. How did they know this? Because they had asked people who they could trust to tell them what they wanted to hear. Then proving their stupidity they believed it. In other words having started out rather detached from political reality they enhanced their isolation. Now Johnson has never been detached from public life in the same way that other politicians are, it's as if he defies gravity and more besides. He does as he pleases and the public like him for this.
His contribution to the Leavers was immense. He raised spirits and gave hope in a way no other politician from either side of the debate did. His critics will say he peddled lies about the EU.
The idea of organic farming is sound and we support it both in principle and practise. Guy Watson owns farms in the UK and France and will be best known for his company, Riverford , who sell and deliver organic vegetables to your door. He wrote the following news letter while working in France and put it on the Riverford website and put a copy in each of the deliveries.
“I get asked about Brexit at every break from our field work. The sentiment is generally that we should stay; that the European project is precious but fragile, and that our exit may make it crumble. Everyone here acknowledges that the EU has problems and needs to become more democratic and responsive to concerns of Europeans rather than Eurocrats, but resentment at a potential exit is not far under the surface. With Holland and the Czech Republic threatening to follow, it is not in Europe’s interest to make exit look easy; indeed, EU politicians are likely to get voters’ approval for making our post-exit life hell. I have no appetite for “ever closer union” or an ever larger Europe; if this was a referendum on whether to join the EU, I would be for staying out, but that train has left and I will be voting to stay for three reasons:
Following the death of Günther Schabowski we were reminded that the Berlin Wall was brought down by accident. When reporting his death much of the press called him 'the blunderer', and 'former communist'. The Berlin Wall was started in 1961 and was by virtue of that mistake by Schabowski made redundant in 1989, that's 28 years. And then some 26 years later another German blunderer and also a former communist, Angela Merkel, makes a mistake on immigration policy and walls, of sorts, start to be built again by some EU countries. Beyond the notion of human frailty, stupidity and the like we don't really know why Schabowski made his mistake. Perhaps with Merkel it's different, but then perhaps not? She's not beyond frailty and stupidity herself; but it has been suggested she had her eye on what, following the example of Tony Blair, we might call her legacy. Perhaps the Nobel Peace prize beckons, time will tell? But for the moment she must make do with some minor reward from Time magazine, with gushing prose normally used to describe Hollywood stars they named her person of the year.
In some ways Blair and Merkel are two of a kind.
In May of this year Ed Miliband and the Labour Party lost the general election and Miliband resigned. It's not fair to pin all the blame on him but this has to be the starting point for looking at the win by Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour party leadership election. Miliband did however, and perhaps unintentionally, do both Corbyn and his party a favour by introducing the £3 membership idea.
Some estimates say membership is rising at a faster rate than at any time since the second world war when Clement Attlee came to power and now stands at 554,272 members and we know that 251,417 voted for Corbyn. Naturally the Corbynistas will say 'if only our man had been in charge in May'. But it's not that simple. Corbyn came in late to the contest with a bit of a fanfare from some in his party who wanted the election hustings to brighten up. They hoped he would swing the contest towards the other candidates but the opposite happened.
But the original idea at least showed a bit feeling for the public, if you look at the votes for the other three candidates they only total 171,247, without Corbyn the interest shown in the contest would have been reduced. Second placed Andy Burnham was simply revolting, being all that was wrong with not only Labour but also in UK politics generally.