Who knew we would get here? And get here collectively together? It seems all nations, republics and rulers are disconnecting themselves from the world. Closing the schools, emptying the tourism industry and working from home.
So many countries are under lockdown, we are in our homes. Not walking out unless we need too. We are awaiting the next update, the next presser from local councils and the central governments. Schools, Universities, workplaces, churches and sporting events are all closed or suspended. We are supposed to be one meter away from each other. Wash our hands and be quarantined if we have a cough, fever or feeling ill. We are clearly making all metropolis across the world into ghost towns.
This is living in a science fiction novel. We are hiding from a deadly virus. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are able to break the neck of the airline industry. Make the hotels empty, make the offices in and around the central business district all closed. The banks needs revamped, so does so many other businesses. There is a social destruction, but also a bailout that the states trying to configure.
Laws are amended, the states are taking more power, as they need more modifications to able to close the space of civil society, take away powers from the citizens and also ability to fight this. They are even pursuing it for longer time than the possible crisis will last. From 6 months to two years depending on where.
The borders are shut, the warnings for travel abroad is everywhere. If you still travel from A to B. You will most likely be quarantined and not enjoy the place you travelled too. That is why the free movement of our globe is suspended. That is for a common good, but not something we could foresee for just a few months ago.
I don’t have the answers, because I myself is in a home-office, made a make shift office in the kitchen and not going to the office anymore. Which is weird. Staying home most of the time and worried about going out. While seeing pictures of empty streets and worry about the spread of the virus.
We just have to wait for the advice of the authorities and what they say to us. However, we shall not be muffled in a way that doesn’t make sense. Like if they try to misuse power or breach human rights, nor take away liberties and freedoms without giving it back to the citizens when its over. If not we, have to riot when this is over. Because, the state can do this now, but try to pull a wall over eyers is insane.
We have to show solidarity, we have to show restraint, but that doesn’t mean we cannot question when the measures are overstretched or taking ownership, which might imply that they want more power out of this. That is what people should think about, as quickly made laws and amendments are enacted, as some of this is done in the grandness of common good. Other things can be baked in to ensure more power, which the rulers and representatives doesn’t need, but grabs in the moment of fear and crisis.
Be woke, be aware, but still show solidarity. We are all in this lockdown, but still not fools. Peace.
““As you are aware on the 28th February 2020 this Ministry transferred USD 600,000 to the Uganda mission in Beijing to support the affected students,” Keith wrote in a letter dated March 10, 2020. “However upon receipt of the cabinet extract, we noted that there is discrepancy between the amounts therein and that stated in the letter from Ministry of Education and Sports.” The letter directs the accountant to return 538,200 USD (1.997 billion Shillings)” (Edge.ug – ‘Uganda erroneously sends Shs2bn to students in China’ 11.03.2020).
Someone has had a bad ending of February 2020, maybe the Ministry of Finance, Planning, Economic and Development (MoFPED) Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi suddenly seen the boo-boo done by someone. There was someone who didn’t due their due diligence, when the state signed off the amount of money sent from a government account over to the Chinese Embassy.
They clearly don’t have the protocol of two people checking the accounts, if they did then one brother would call out the other one. The second brother would say, “hey man, isn’t that more than what where supposed to go there and isn’t this wrong, sir?”. The Permanent Secretary Muhakanizi should clearly implement this. So, that two people have to sign-off transactions made on public accounts, because then they might save the humiliation of letter writing to a embassy asking for the return of the added US Dollars.
This is why you have check-points on spending and especially government spending. Since, this is money that supposed to be spent on the public and services made for the citizens. If this is for diplomatic work, help citizens and such. This is why, the transparency and the accountability is so important. That tenders, transactions and procurement done by the government and its organizations are done properly and through standards. However, we know that is not the case.
The person behind this transaction, surely has signed it off somewhere. They tend to be imprinted on the accounts, the rights to send or transfer funds and has put in the documentation to do so. That guy should answer for this. The Permanent Secretary looks like a dumb-dumb, but it might be either someone higher up the food-chain or a knuckle-head down in the Ministry who messed up. Nobody caught a whiff off it, until they saw their account had less shillings in it.
However, that is also a scary thing. Considering the 11 days it took to catch up on the movement of the unaccounted funds. The massive load of 2 billion shillings gone missing. It had a destination, but surely not intended there. MoFPED surely needs new guidelines and mechanisms to stop this. Unless, they are doing more of it and it doesn’t go public. Like a new type of Presidential Handshakes and kickbacks for public servants. This is why, the MoFPED doesn’t have the security checks before any transaction from the public accounts. Peace.
The Tories think they can easily access the European Common Market without being a member of the European Union. However, today’s revelation in the draft negotiations paper from Michael Barnier proves that hassle the Boris Johnson government have to deal with. The Brexiteers will struggle with it.
Just like one key sentiment, which the UK have to understand:
“reflect the United Kingdom’s status as a non-Schengen third country, and that a non-member of the Union, that is not subject to the same obligations as a member, cannot have the same rights and enjoy the same benefits as a member” (Barnier, 03.02.2020).
This here is very revealing and sets the tone. This puts the United Kingdom on the outside, as entity on its own, but still will not have the same rights the members of Union. Neither the same obligations and therefore, will be treated differently. That is key aspect, which the UK doesn’t seem to understand.
Boris Johnson statement in return:
“The Government wishes to see a future relationship based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals for the benefit of all our peoples. There is complete certainty that at the end of 2020 the process of transition to that relationship will be complete and that the UK will have recovered in full its economic and political independence. The Government remains committed in all circumstances to securing all those benefits for the whole of the UK and to strengthening our Union” (Boris Johnson, 03.02.2020).
This here negotiations will not be easy. The documents from Barnier in his drafts proves the technicalities, even as the British has appointed a Task Force instead of Department working inside the Office of the Prime Minister. Because, that will run so well. Not like all the Secretaries of the Exiting the EU did a good job, but they would have civil servants dwelling on and configuring the fine details. Which the answer of PM Johnson is a kids story compared to the paperwork of Barnier.
Like Barnier said:
“The envisaged partnership should establish open market access for bilateral road freight transport, including unladen journeys, made in conjunction with these operations:
by Union road haulage operators from the territory of the Union to the territory of the United Kingdom, and vice versa;
by United Kingdom road haulage operators to the territory of the Union, and vice versa.
As third country operators, United Kingdom road haulage operators should not be granted the same rights and benefits as those enjoyed by Union road haulage operators in respect of road freight transport operations from one Union Member State to another (“grand cabotage”) and road freight transport operations within the territory of one Union Member State (“cabotage”)” (Barnier, 03.02.2020)
Then Johnson said:
There should be reciprocal commitments to allow EU and UK road transport operators to provide services to, from and through each other’s territories, with associated rights, underpinned by relevant international agreements and commitments, and ensuring the necessary cooperation on monitoring and enforcement” (Boris Johnson, 03.02.2020).
Here is a typical statement towards each other. They have sort of the same pattern, but the leafy British statement, compared to the detailed EU ones. Show the work behind it and the details are expressing the needs of the EU to show difference between members and nots. The UK is a not and therefore, cannot do the same as they have done now. They got to follow more strict rules, even as they are allowed to cross the borders, but more rigorous than in the past.
These negotiations will be interesting to follow, as the UK and EU is in a stalemate, in a limbo, which is supposed to last a year. Before the final ending of the marriage is over. The Bride and Groom leaves each other and become Exes. Who knows how this will go, but the EU seems more prepared, than the UK is at the moment. Because, the statement from Boris wasn’t reassuring. When you looking into the work of EU at the moment. Peace.
Well, for the first time in the reign of Prime Minister Boris Johnson he got the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (Bill) through the second reading. However, later in the evening he lost on the program motion of the law. Meaning the government time-table to push the laws through the Commons, Lords and Royal Assent. Therefore, Boris lost again tonight after a minor victory.
The MPs, the acts of Parliament shows that they want proper scrutiny and assessment of the new Withdrawal Bill, which the government just released last night. Dozens of documents of amendments and costs of the bill. Which is all the job of the Parliament and their role as representatives. They are not there to sign-off to any idea the Cabinet nor the PM has. If it sounds bad, they can “naye” or amend it to make it righteous.
The PM lost the 31st October 2019. The Bill will not be pushed or finished by then. The HM Government have to hope for a helpful Brussels to buy more time. Because, the Tories, the PM has used his cards and empty gambles without winning. Tried to be a genius, but instead going bonkers.
This man has already shown disregard for the Commons and continues to do so. Because a law like this is about the watershed moment of withdrawing from the EU. Not just what sort of labels that should be on a pack of crisps. No, this is the legal binding changes, the trade-offs and further negotiations with the EU.
Therefore, the Tories should have given the Commons more time to digest the revised Withdrawal Agreement and the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. However, it gave it none and thought it would care to give way. The same house that has voted down the previous one THREE Times. It is like the PM cannot learn or know the hiccups of the past.
The arrogance of doing this today and thinking it would work. His dislodging the agreement and the bill at one point. Unless, his trying to configure it through the house, amendment by amendment, statute after statute. Will Boris do that or will he try to push it through another time before the 31st October?
Johnson is really showing his losing side. Boris should have thought this one out, but by proroguing the Parliament he lost valuable time for his due-date. However, that seems to forged and faked for his own image.
We know at one point this is supposed to end, but now its up to the mercy of Brussels. Something, that is funny considering how Brexiteers cannot stomach this and Remainers want a new referendum. Some speculate in a General Election, but who knows at this point. What we are seeing a government losing on their important votes.
Boris is not able to get a full house. His not able to succeed. Not that he wants to see that. That destroys his mind. It must be shattering for him. Not that I feel sorry for him, because he has made this bed and has to sleep in it.
Boris cannot fix Brexit, it will destroy him, just like it did Cameron and May. His next in line. He just don’t know it yet. Peace.
This was really inspired and not well thought out of, the Department of Exiting the European Union and the rest of the Tories. Really didn’t care much for the estimates of the costs, nor the consequences in concerns of their amended Bill to Parliament. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to just pursuit the ending without doing the proper work. This is shoddy, disrespectful work, which he wanted to be over within 3 days or so. Within the parameter of when he wanted to suspend the Parliament.
So, his acts and his vision is blurry, as the whole law and amendments of it. Is substantial and needs time to be addressed properly, that is if, the Brexit process and withdrawal of membership has consequences. Which it does, but apparently it is more important to leave, than to know why your leaving.
I have today looked through the Impact Assessment Report on the bill, which in itself is a sad report. A disgraceful attempt of justification and proving the possible outcomes of the withdrawal. Apparently, that didn’t matter, because my quotes are very striking. Take a look!
“There could be costs to business associated with the arrangements in the Northern Ireland/Ireland Protocol. But these are inherently uncertain in their nature and intensity, as such, these costs have not been quantified” (Impact Assessment, 2019).
“Businesses in Great Britain and Northern Ireland may face familiarisation costs in adapting to the new customs processes, such as the requirements for customs declarations, in particular if they have not undertaken such processes before” (Impact Assessment, 2019).
This isn’t rocket science and will cost both the state and the businesses. It will cost both time and money, to fill forms and secure the movement accordingly to the regulations on both sides of the customs.
“Northern Ireland will be required to align with certain EU VAT and excise rules. VAT collected in Northern Ireland will be retained by the UK. Specific practical arrangements will be the subject of discussions within the Joint Committee, and it is not therefore possible to assess costs or benefits at this stage” (Impact Assessment, 2019).
The taxation on goods will be an issue and how its issued. This will add prices possibly on the consumer and also on the businesses. But the HM Government don’t know to what extent and how to operate. That is clearly a smooth transition.
“No tariffs will be paid on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland unless they are deemed to be at risk of entering the EU. The appropriate UK tariff will be paid on goods moving from outside the UK or EU to Northern Ireland unless they are deemed to be at risk of entering the EU. The Joint Committee will agree the criteria to be used in determining whether goods are not considered to be at risk of entering the EU” (Impact Assessment, 2019).
So, there will certain cost of moving goods into the EU as per the tariffs stipulated by the Joint Committee. This means, the UK-EU on accord will find the fitted prices on movement of goods form the UK into EU. That means, the goods moving across the borders will cost more, than today, as there is no-tariff on lots of products crossing the borders at this very moment.
Agri-Foods from GB to NI:
“Agri-food goods moving from Great Britain into Northern Ireland would need to be notified to the relevant authorities before entering Northern Ireland and would be subject to checks including identity, documentary and physical checks by UK authorities as required by the relevant EU rules. These processes would introduce additional costs, both from one-offfamiliarisation and ongoing compliance, to businesses compared to current arrangements” (Impact Assessment, 2019).
This will surely cost and make it more time consuming. Not making it easy or smooth either. Surely, all of this is hardening the trade of this to NI.
Manufactured goods from GB to NI:
“To ensure regulatory compliance, businesses in Great Britain selling to Northern Ireland may incur additional costs from product testing and corresponding administrative processes. The nature of the costs will depend on the product-specific requirements in EU law and on a business’s current approach to meeting these requirements. These costs may be passed through to businesses in Northern Ireland” (Impact Assessment, 2019).
Here the costs will be put on the consumer in Northern Ireland for the goods coming from Great Britain. The manufactured goods will not be cheaper, but more time consuming to get and has to follow other protocols, than the ones coming from Ireland/EU. This means for the NI it will be more profitable to get EU goods, than GB goods, because of the cost. That is simple calculation.
We can all see, that the Withdrawal Agreement and new legal text makes business, movement of goods and borders to the Northern Ireland more harder. That without swimming into the legal text nor the statutes of the Withdrawal Agreement. Because, this is just the mere chip-shape of the impact assessment of it all.
The whole thing is lazy and that makes me grim. Because, this shows the people releasing it. Didn’t do their job and show the real estimates nor the possible costs of doing business. Only that it might cost more, which it most likely will do, because you have more things to do before doing business. Peace.
European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – Impact Assessment, 21.10.2019