Brexit: Prime Minister Boris Johnson letter to President Donald Tusk (28.10.2019)

Brexit delayed again: Groundhog Day number 3

Phil Connors: “It’s the same thing every day, Clean up your room, stand up straight, pick up your feet, take it like a man, be nice to your sister, don’t mix beer and wine ever, Oh yeah, don’t drive on the railroad tracks” (Groundhog Day, 1993).

Well, we are at it again. The United Kingdom revoked their membership on the 29th March 2017 and within a two year period plan to leave the European Union. However, the Brexit day of 29th March didn’t happen.

On March 20th 2019, the UK government asked for an extension. Since the Tories and Parliament couldn’t agree on the terms of the exit. Neither, the statutes configuring the border question in Northern Ireland. That’s why the EU accepted another extension until 30th June 2019.

Later in April, the EU and EU Council accepted that the extension could last until 31st October 2019. Which was the day set to start the transition period of leaving. But by the knowledge today. The change of Prime Minister and new government. They have been able to bottle another amended withdrawal agreement and lost more in Parliament than ever before.

Therefore, on the 28th October, the EU and the EU Council have accepted another extension to give the Tories and UK time to reconfigure things. They have now the date of 31st January 2020.

That means the UK have bottled and misused the time since 29th March 2017 and is close to three years in limbo. Where three Prime Ministers, David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson have all failed the task. They have all been shambolic, in ways unbelievable to think off before this. They have lost majority parliament, they have lost one general election and pushing the referendum still. Without considering another referendum.

It is okay to elect new parliament, new MPs and a new cabinet, but not fine and dandy to check if people really want to leave. Now that the public actually knows a bit of the cost, knows the trade-offs and the loss of relevance across the British Channel. The Irish is more powerful, than the Brits. That must hurt the pride of London and silence Merry Poppins.

This is all magical, the universe doesn’t seem in sync if it is not a few headlines on Brexit. We need some more time to crunch the inevitable end of it. The Tories seems boggled and lost. If and buts will be more off and certainly, Boris might be laying in a ditch, but prefer that’s his not dead. We don’t need more hurt than the process is already is.

The government, the parliament and the EU haven’t been capable to proceed to find the remedy. The cause of the leaving became much harder, than the Brexiteers ever thought. The remainers are seeing the pain, but don’t know how to end the suffering. The EU is just looking at the UK and how torn it is.

The hardliners, the ones whose govern lost another specific date. The Brexit Day of 31st October left the building, just like the 29th March 2019 did too. The 30th June went missing too and now the new final date 31st January 2020. It is a farce, a mockery and failure from the get-go.

There is no winners here, only loosers and the biggest loser is the ones in power, who cannot succeed. The loss is the citizens and the ones who has to pay for all of this. Because, the entitlement and extravagant show is a flair without any substance. The EU and UK could have known this would cost. The Tories should known before leaving, that it would loose a lot and also pay for leaving. But they didn’t want the truth, but instead swim in lies.

Now, we are back at another groundhog day. Theresa May went through this and now Boris Johnson does too. They are showing the same buyer’s remorse, but no one want to buy their knock-off product, which they are selling. Both their Withdrawal Agreements and Withdrawal Act’s sucks. Nobody wins, and everyone lose. Who wants to bet on that? No one wants too.

It is just like the Tories, Whitehall and Downing Street No. 10 doesn’t know. Peace.

Brexit: Written evidence Memorandum from the Home Office (PFB0018) – (24.10.2019)

Brexit: Lib-Dem leader Jo Swinson MP letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (24.10.2019)

Opinion: UK’s Environmental Audit Committee wants to introduce “Latte Levy” on the consumer, however, what if the government added policies and taxes that hit the companies instead?

Mary Creagh MP said:

A reusable cup is one of the easiest ways to reduce cup waste but the discounts offered by coffee companies are ineffective. The plastic bag charge is proof that charges are highly effective at reducing packaging waste. We urge the Government to introduce a 25p charge on disposable cups.” (Parliament.uk, 2018)

Since last year the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) have worked on finding ways to make the Coffee industry in the United Kingdom more environmental and more sustainable. Since the one-time use of Coffee-Cups from the big international chains is a disaster to recycle and creates new levels of garbage. It is natural that this is looked into as much as other beverage and use of plastic to contain the liquid in ordinary trade. The EAC should look into the beer and soda industry as well, since they use one-time bottles of plastic that also hurts the environment.

What was striking was the recommendation from the EAC:

The Committee has called on the Government to: Introduce a 25p “latte levy” on disposable coffee cups, and use the money raised to improve the UK’s recycling ‘binfrastructure’ and reprocessing facilities. Set a target that all disposable coffee cups should be recycled by 2023. If this target is not achieved, the Government should ban disposable coffee cups. Make producers pay more for packaging which is difficult to recycle. Improve labelling to educate consumers about how best to dispose of their cup” (Parliament.uk, 2018).

That the “Latte Levy” is coming up is a good idea, but also already could be enforced directly, as the chains to make it more costly for each cup of one-time usable cups. Since, that would make more people aware and also bring cups for the chains. Even sell more cheaply the reusable cups and make offers that are reasonable for the consumer of coffee. Instead of adding more tax on the ones buying coffee on the run to and from works at the coffee shops.

If the government wants the consumer to use reusable cups, they should put in conditions not only to hurt their pockets with a latte levy, but also make it profitable for Coffee shops and Coffee chains to earn more bucks on their sales of this. They are only in the market for the profits, not for saving planet earth. Than the government has to put forward demands and laws that put restraint on the sellers to provide with cups, which actually are recycled or reusable with a fair price.

That the government would put extra pay to extend and make sure the cups are recycled is a good enough idea. To recoup and make sure they can facilitate garbage disposal that fits the one-cup use of the modern day at the coffee shops. That the industry should reshape and change is natural. But they will only do so, if they earn money on it or have to comply with new regulations. That is if the Conservative Government wants to direct and change the policies affecting the industry and their behavior. The consumer will look at price and convenience, so they will use the best options concerning their needs and daily life.

What the “Latte Levy” does is only to make the coffee a bit more expensive, but doesn’t do enough to change behavior or either consumer nor companies. That is what the target should be. The Companies should be affected for their use of one-time use cups and the trash it creates. Peace.

Reference:

Parliament.uk – ‘MPs call for “latte levy” on coffee cups’ (05.01.2018) link: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environmental-audit-committee/news-parliament-2017/coffee-cups-report-publication-17-19/

USA: Durbin Calls On Illinois to Refuse Request to Release Illinois Voter Files To Trump Commisson on Voter Fraud (03.07.2017)

USA: Attorney General Frosh Statement on Request for Personal Information of Maryland Voters (03.07.2017)

Opinion: The rich are so poor nowadays!

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”Franklin D. Roosevelt

Well, this time in history will be remembered, in the times that the multi-national corporations have most of them fled their regional scenes and put their headquarters and main operations into tax havens. Therefore, with this in mind, the states and republics that actually is where they make the profits get less tax and get fewer monies to spend on public services. That does not make them poor, but smart someone might say. This is legal and the openness of the economies let them do it, but to be frank, we should question this big giant corporations for their fleeing fortunes abroad.

The corporations are not alone in all of this, the rich people themselves cannot sustained this, they cannot afford to pay reasonable taxes, and they need tax-relief so they can salvage their Monte Carlo and their Lamborghini’s. They have their massive mansions and stalls of cars, but cannot pay the percentages on the tax as ordinary working-class do. In addition, the working-class use decades on end to pay down the mortgage on the house and loan on their Ford Fiesta. If they can even afford a house and a car at his point.

The American enterprise and experience is really seeing it, as they plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, because the wealthy are too broke or to selfish to help the working-class who made them rich. That the working-class and industrial worker are falling behind as new schemes to outrun their possibilities. The corporations and the believers of free economies want more flexibility, but do not give equal wages or compensations. Therefore, the loser in the transactions are the workers and not the companies. Secondly, the states earn less without added productivity.

It is naive that the businesses care about other things than the bottom-line is vicious, like the wealthy have the capacity to share the spoils, which they have earned on the commoners and the citizens. Therefore, the spoils, which in some industries entails sweatshop workers and exports to the Western hemisphere with grand profits for the clothing and appeal giants. Something that the workers in Bangladesh or Pakistan doesn’t see anything delivered back, than a filthy industrial complex and possible health hazards for their hours work on end for a lousy T-shirts.

The others are the ones who are doing mining and extraction for the technology and IT businesses that has no issues with the illegal and militias taking controls over mining fields and black-market trading of rare earth minerals or cobalt for that matter. As long as the giant companies trading computers, smart-phones and whatnot get their profits. Certainly, the CEO and other leaders in the corporations should worry of the implications and the lives destroyed while their businesses are earning loads of monies. There should be some sort of certification of the weak trading points; if they knowingly paid, some of the monies on technology could fund militias and illegal armed conflicts.

This is real poverty, that we have systems, salary structures and imports that hurt local areas, while the businesses earn fortunes, that again is flying on the merry to a tax haven in the pacific through a shell-company set-up by lawyers in Panama. In addition, this is legal and just, by law and in society. That the same companies telling their workers that they cannot afford more wages, since they have to stack millions upon millions in the British Virgin Island. So that the shareholders and stakeholders can earn profits for the toils and sweat of fellow workers.

So when I hear that the workers cannot ask for bigger salaries, while the states and republics create tax-holidays and tax-breaks, incentives for “investments” while the big-men are doling away vast fortunes in the middle of the day. Like a legal heist, a theft of both tax and salary, the salaries that could be used more in the system to gain growth, and secondly the added tax that could build roads and infrastructure that the company could need. However, hey, we do not need proper roads and wages, as long as the rich can travel to Monaco and St. Tropez whenever they feel like it. We are foolish to think otherwise!

When you hear that the rich has to get tax-breaks and their taxes cut, know that they are poor in spirit and heart. They may have vast fortunes and riches, but their hearts are empty. They do not see the problems of the day-to-day basis of the ones creating their empires. They do not see the people who buys their labeled products and services. They only see the bottom-line, the empty shells companies’ accounts and the schemes to hide the monies. That is because these wealthy people are so poor; they cannot afford to be like the rest of us.

The wealthy are so poor, they are so poor that they have to avoid taxes or pay taxes, because if they were paying taxes they would be like us. They would have the same responsibilities and have the same understanding of welfare and public services. Therefore, since they do not need the public service, they can afford to travel abroad for health-care; they can afford to send their kids to private schools and can afford to import goods. Then they do not need the support and the base line of the republic or the state. Like you and I do. Therefore, with that in mind, which is why they are so poor. Their poverty is in the mind and in their spirit; they cannot be a part of us, because they want to shield themselves from us. Still, earning our monies and taking our cheap labor, no problem!

This poor people need help, they need guidance, their riches might fall out of their hands, might be lost in coup d’état or worse than they get bankrupt. Than they need the states to salvage their business or their bank, with our tax-monies, without any hesitation, but when it was booming. That was the time they had no need of paying taxes or paying amends to the state through the regulations. Like we do and pay for our right to live and use the needed services of the states.

In these interesting times of ours, we have the riches seeking to pay-less, while the working-class is footing the bills or trying too. While the republics and states make it harder for public service and make it more expensive to pay for the needed services. This are all made in the hands of the wealthy and the multi-national corporations, without considering the implications of the commoner, the working-class nor the middle-class that are all sinking on the behalf of the rich. Certainly, the belief that the trickle-down economy should be a project avoided, but to many still have faith in the paradigm. While very, few have any social mobility or have the capacity to go from one class to the next. Peace.

REDD+ Kasigau Corridor Project: Lacking results and with questionable affiliations!

There are a December 2016 report written by Jutta Kill and published in parts by the European Union. The name of the Report are: “The Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project in Kenya: A crash dive for Althelia Climate Fund”. This report tells a worrying story of how a project is a possible revenue source, instead of being there for climate change use or even local development. This sort of project and funding should be used for sort of projected land titles that saves the forests or create land that the owners can earn on instead of destroying the land. Something most of the REDD+ funds and projects is about, making sure the forest and the agricultural lands are kept and saved by the use of funding from donors and project builders.

One of the first hard-hitting quotes from the report are: “In addition, several reports document how land use restrictions imposed by the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ project hit pastoralists and ethnic Taita and Duruma communities particularly hard while these groups receive very few if any of the benefits the REDD+ project provides to local communities” (Jutta Kill, P: 4, 2016).

So if there are donors who seems to be positive to projects and development projects that isn’t being there for the locals, than why are they offering the monies and using the time to facilitate the project in Kenya?

The Taita Hills REDD+ Project in Kenya has been marketed by Althelia, the project developer Wildlife Works Carbon, institutional funders like the EIB and media supporting market-based environmentalism as the Fund’s signature investment. Wildlife Works Carbon has been operating the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ project in south-eastern Kenya since 2005” (Jutta Kill, P: 6, 2016). So with this in mind the Althelia has offered certain amount of money on the table, as this was the signature investment, even as it have no benefit for the local communities. The Althelia had done this: “For four of the projects, the Fund’s annual reports indicate that the investment is made in the form of loans whereas for the REDD+ project in Kenya, the 2015 audited financial report mentions an investment through an ‘Emission Reductions Purchase Agreement’ (ERPA). Four of the five projects are also covered by a US$133.8m loan guarantee that USAID has extended to the Althelia Climate Fund in 2014. As of 31 December 2015, investors had disbursed €18,36m of the €101m committed” (Jutta Kill, P: 5, 2016). So the development project are funded through loans that are guaranteed by the USAID, but extended into the Althelia Climate Fund, so the two are co-operating in the direct funding of the REDD+ Kenya. So they are rubber-stamping and giving faith to the projects.

The ‘Stand for Trees’ Initiative, a brainchild of Wildlife Works and supported by USAID, has become an important source of revenue – some say, a lifeline – for many private sector REDD+ projects” (Jutta Kill, P: 17, 2016). So that the Wildlife Works that works inside this REDD+ project, that are using the funds from USAID and EIB, are complicating it more as the other revelations that should worry the ones who cares about the environment and accountability of ones running it: “The Kasigau Corridor REDD+ project’s financial lifeline came from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, and BHP Billiton, the mining company with a record of severe environmental damage and forced displacement of communities that stretches back decades and continues to this day” (Jutta Kill, P: 18. 2016). So why would a mining company cares about an environmental project in Kenya, unless they we’re earning funds and getting profits on the project?

You can really understand the issues of the IFC and BHP Biliton involvement, when the local communities gets no benefit or contributing to the projects.

So when you have the Althelia Climate Fund, which is funded with loans from the World Bank private corporation branch IFC and the USAID loans, together in corporation of BHP Bilition, as the REDD+ Project in Kenya is in works with both Wildlife Works, as the ‘Save the Tree’ brainchild. As this was the Althelia signature project. That there are problematic forces in play when the EIB are supporting the REDD+ projects as well, either directly through loans like USAID or like IFC. Therefore, the many actors are surely paying and donating favorable loans so the owners of the fund and the ones living of it makes this the lifeline for the Wildlife Works, even as this one doesn’t have the impact on local communities.

Just as one key observation:

One of the most striking observations was how locally, people referred to Wildlife Works as “the company”. The reasons for this seemed twofold. For one part of “the community”, Wildlife Works is “the company” that instructs guards to confiscate cattle and goats; that prevents the poorest community members in the area from collecting even dry branches for firewood when “the company” itself runs a charcoal production business on the REDD+ project area; that puts up water tanks on residents’ land without even asking permission, let alone paying for the use of the land; that claims to dedicate initially 1/3 of carbon revenue sales to local community projects, but does so in a way that means benefits from these “community” projects are captured by local elites. For example, ranch shareholders who receive 1/3 of the revenue from the carbon credit sales might also sit on the “community development committees” that decide how the 50% of the profit from carbon credit sales” (Jutta Kill, P: 21, 2016).

Another insulting observation:

A carbon offset provider offering carbon credits from the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ project writes on its website that “committees determine what projects to undertake, prioritizing them by need and feasibility. ‘So many people have problems with water, so water projects—water tanks, water pipelines—always come first,’ said Pascal Kizaka, a local chief and committee board member” (…) “Exploring the location of one of the “water pipelines” advertised as an activity of the Wildlife Works Carbon REDD+ project revealed that far from what was suggested by the large placard outside the building (a One Vision Center), it seemed that the Wildlife Works contribution to the “water pipelines” project had been just the guttering along the side of the building’s roof and piping to connect the gutters with a water tank constructed by others. People also commented about bore holes put in by “the company” that had never provided any water” (Jutta Kill, P: 23, 2016).

So the Company, the Wildlife Works are supposed to provide water and pipelines. Still, there aren’t any who has been provided with the water, even as the REDD+ Committee Board Member Pascal Kizaka claims, as the locals and community says otherwise. This together with the lacking proof of the help with carbon credit sales and the control of land. This whole development project seems sketchy and a lifeline for Wildlife Works instead of being there for the local Kenyan Communities. Therefore, the use of IFC and Althelia Climate Fund, seems like way of misusing Carbon Tax and Carbon trading, instead of developing the Kasigau project for the Taita and Duruma communities. That deserves better and also deserves that when people and organizations comes in that they does not earn on their misfortune, but actually comes with projects serving them. If not this is just a way of fraudulent development industry, that no republic deserves. Peace.

Burundi: Rainbow Rare Earths Ltd (‘Rainbow’ or ‘the Company’) Admission to Trading on the London Stock Exchange (30.01.2017)

rainbow-burundi-30-01-2017

Shareholders in the Rainbow Company:

shareholders-rainbow-burundi