Wednesday, 6 February 2019

And the hostilility goes on!

I just saw this in the Guardian online, reporting on what is going on with Brexit:-

“Tusk says those who prompted Brexit without proper plan deserve 'special place in hell' .

Tusk says he hopes Theresa May will come to Brussels with a “realistic suggestion” tomorrow.
He says the withdrawal agreement is not open to renegotiation.
He says the EU has been preparing for the “possible fiasco” that might happen if the UK leaves without a deal.
And he ends by saying those who promoted Brexit without a plan for leaving deserve “a special place in hell”.

 “By the way, I have been wondering what the special place in hell looks like for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan how to [deliver it] safely.” Donald Tusk.”

There you go.

It would seem that the whole Brexit business is just making a mess of everything for everyone!

In recent weeks, indeed months, it has felt as though Brexit was the only thing going on in the world, or in this country anyway. Was anything else working in government at all? Apparently so, for our our government has joined in with cries for another election in Venezuela. But it really has felt as though nothing else of any importance was being reported.

Meanwhile, on Women’s Hour last week they have been talking a lot about breastfeeding. The difficulties, the joys, the benefits, the help new mothers do or don’t receive, the way cuts have impinged on that support over the years. And, on cue, in the paper was a story about a Stansted activist and her fear of being sent to prison and being separated from the baby she is currently breastfeeding.

The Stansted 15 is the name/title of the group of peaceful protestors that halted a plane deporting immigrants from the UK. Today I read that they have been sentenced to 12 counts of community service and three given a delayed sentence in a landmark ruling. “The judge, Christopher Morgan, said that even in the cases of defendants Alistair Tamlit, Mel Strickland and Edward Thacker, who were previously handed suspended sentences for aggravated trespass for an environmental protest at Heathrow airport about a year before the Stansted action, their culpability was not high enough to warrant immediate custody.”

So Emma Hughes can heave a sigh of relief.

Hundreds of protestors were outside the court to proclaim the innocence of the Stansted 15 and the human rights organisation Liberty, alongside several key politicians including Caroline Lucas and Diane Abbott, had condemned legal action against the peaceful protestors as an infringement upon their right to protest.

A Liberty spokesperson said “Where protesters break the law, but do not commit violent acts, we suggest care should be taken in order to ensure that their rights at common law and under articles 10 and 11 or the European convention on human rights (ECHR) are not breached.”

But some were expecting to be imprisoned.

Ben Smoke, one member of the 15 and a freelance journalist, wrote in the Guardian about the moment it hit him that he’d possibly be spending time in prison. The trigger was his mum telling him she’d been preparing for him to go ‘inside’.

“I’ve thought about the things I’m going to say to my pals, the looks I’m going to share with my fellow defendants, the desperate hug I’ll share with my mum in the doorway to the court as we’re called in, both of us reassuring the other that it’s going to be OK, both of us knowing that the other may be lying. I think about all these things and more, and realise just how lucky I am,” he wrote. 

Surely there are enough people in prison without adding peaceful protestors.

 However, I have some reservations about how well the protest worked as I also read this today:-

“Most of those due to be flown on the Stansted flight have since been removed from the country, however 11 remain, with two granted leave to remain and one a resident’s card. Eight have ongoing cases with the Home Office, according to End Deportations, the activist group to which the Stansted 15 belong.”

And there are reports of continuing deportation.

I have had enough of this hostile atmosphere.

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