Ed Lines July 21, 2017

Ed Lines July 21, 2017

IT’S a bit early I know, but what would you like for Christmas? One of those flashy curved 4k 65-inch tellies? No? Something as modest as a Cadbury’s selection box and world peace?

Me? I’d really like a Ferrari complete with Daisy Duke in her skimpy cut-off denim hotpants to hand wash it three times a week (any more often than that and Mrs L might start getting suspicious).

As MPs head off on their summer holidays, big, dreamy wishes are high on lots of agendas, not least the would-be Prime Ministers queuing up behind the beleaguered Theresa May, stilettos in hand – and no, not the leopard print footwear she prefers. Daggers.

Mrs May and her husband Philip are going walking in Switzerland, apparently. I expect she’s been inundated by Conservative ‘well wishers’ reminding her that that nice Dignitas clinic is in the neighbourhood, if she’s feeling a bit off-colour.

It will be nice (hopefully) to have a respite from Westminster’s political backstabbing so that we can all concentrate on something far more important – the Brexit negotiations which started in earnest this week.

Which brings us nicely back to fantasy wish lists, starting with the EU’s demand for something in the region of £100 billion for the pleasure of us leaving their Christmas party early.

Not only can’t we take our unopened bottle of sherry home with us, the cheeky sods want us to pay for all of their champagne shindigs for the next 20 years.

Boris Johnson was roundly ridiculed by the lefties when he said the EU could “go whistle” over their eye-popping divorce bill, which does rather beg the question: “What would Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have said?”

With the money tree orchard that he and Jeremy Corbyn plan on cultivating in the Downing Street back garden, they may well have just signed the cheque – but I doubt it.

PM-hopeful Boris Johnson may have his critics but I’d let Boris Becker (declared bankrupt after blowing a £100m fortune) run the Government before those two old Marxist fools.

That’s the beauty of being in opposition – you can slag everyone and everything off without having to make good on a single promise.

There was then more opprobrium heaped upon Brexit Secretary David Davis’s shoulders when PR photos of the UK and EU negotiating teams in Brussels showed Michel Barnier and his staff with files and papers at the ready, while Davis and team had one small notepad between them.

Good grief. Davis didn’t need a dossier in order to be able to shake hands with Barnier and smile for the cameras before heading home and leaving the professionals to it. Will someone rein the dogs in, please?

I expect those piles of EU paper were details of the bribes and backhanders they expect the UK to keep funding once we’re gone, because that’s the big issue here.

Did you know that only Germany – and to a lesser extent Holland – are net contributors to the EU budget besides us?

Yes really. France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Portugal and the rest – all having it large on our hard-earned.

I wonder if the Remoaners understand that we fund corruption across the continent on a breath-taking scale? 

That’s besides the millions and billions that aren’t quite fraud, but which for example  ‘legitimately’ subsidise plush golf clubs to serve Brussels’ vast army of highly-paid bureaucrats and lawyers.

That’s nice if you’re a beneficiary, but not necessarily bent. But that is, at its root, what the EU project is about. 

And so, while people here bleat on about caps on public sector wages, here’s a quick reminder that a huge part of that £100bn divorce bill is to fund the sky-high pensions of Eurocrats. You Remoaners all happy with that too?

BUT back to Monsieur Barnier and his £100bn Christmas wish. 

What Boris Johnson did, and David Davis eventually will do, is inform this excitable child that while Santa might be able to run to a nice little bicycle complete with stabilisers, he will not be knocking a hole in the roof to get a souped-up Harley Davidson down the chimney.

The UK Brexit team will be doing exactly what Corbyn, McDonnell – and anyone else – would have to do in the self-same situation.

In a reasonable world the two sides would quickly agree mutual residency for UK/EU ex-pats, sign a tailored trade deal like Norway or Switzerland, and get on with it. And yes, there will be a bill of sorts to pay.

But Barnier’s current intransigence is nothing about a fair deal – it is entirely about trying to pressurise May’s weakened government and scupper Brexit. 

David Davis is a wily campaigner and the sooner he calls this show pony’s bluff the better, because I suspect it will need German, French, Spanish and Italian captains of industry to wake up to just how catastrophically worse off they will be with no trade deal and just World Trade Organisation tariffs in place.

Then their stroppy placemen like Barnier and Jean-Claude Juncker might finally be brought to heel. 

If they’re not, then expect Davis to talk away because no deal really, really is better than a bad deal.

THE Today programme on Radio 4 (7-9am) used to be the benchmark in broadcast journalism – informed, incisive, reasoned, educational. 

I have to dip in and out now, because if John Humphrys is on I find myself speeding on the way to work and screaming abuse at half-asleep drivers sitting in the outside lane of the A64 and M1.

Humphrys gets the thick end of £650,000 PA for hawking on at a variety of public figures like a fishwife with raging PMT, three days a week. He doesn’t do ‘journalism’, he’s a pantomime provocateur. 

But at least he’s not Chris Evans (£2.2m) who used to be chippily entertaining on telly, but has now disappeared so far up his own fundament that all the listeners get is the stink of the 

ginger-top’s last meal.

I have a choice. I don’t have to listen to them. But I have no choice other than to pay their outrageous wages.

I’m not sure when the BBC lost its way but now, a few excellent dramas and sports coverage apart, it is divided pretty equally into programming for sofa slobs, or hammering home its left-wing news agenda.

In defence of its lavish funding of its own social inner circle, the BBC says it is only paying the market value for the best talent.

Really? Who else would pay Humphrys a king’s ransom to harangue politicians? More importantly, it’s time we let them, and opened up the BBC to proper competition. 

The luvvies meanwhile are all beaten up over ‘the gender gap’. Really? I’d love to see what a talentless crone like Claudia ‘panda eyes’ Winkelman is worth on the open market.

What’s that – you don’t want adverts? Really? The BBC I watch and listen to is full of repetitive trails and promos for its own banal programming. 

I’d rather have proper adverts, thanks. And begone with this incestuous horde.

YOU have to smile – or scream – at stories of students who voted up to six times in an attempt to get Corbyn elected.

I suppose these are the same snowflakes who claimed we old fogeys were undemocratic in depriving them of their European identities.

I LOVE that Kirklees Council is so mindful of our every need that that it combines its green recycling credentials with a game of hide and seek – talk about something for everyone, folks! 

I happened upon these well disguised green and brown public recycling bins while strolling less than 30 yards from a main high street this week. Anyone know where they are? (because whisper it quietly, but I think the Council might have forgotten all about them!)

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