Today, it took just a minute for the 27 members of USE remaining to decide that three basic questions have to be decided before even making any progress on any other matters.
This will make for a very long 2 years before we have to walk away. The three initial items are:
The Irish border question must be solved.
The rights of existing USE citizens must be preserved.
All ‘debts’ must be settled
The prime minister has already stated that the first two are already agreed to, as the Irish border question has already been addressed by stating that no border controls are visualised as well as reciprocal arrangements are expected to be agreed for USE citizens.
However, the question of any debt payments should be interesting as the accounts of USE have yet to be agreed or signed off and as they have never been agreed, it could easily take all of the two years allowed for all negotiations to agree just the three ‘prerequisites’ without getting any further, so 2019 should be an interesting year.
Changing the subject slightly, the government has been convincing the general public that DAB radio is the answer to all broadcasting including coverage, clarity, high quality and as regular readers are aware, is actually nothing of the sort – outside London, I expect. The biggest problem is the low bit rate compared with overseas. As an example, we in sitting in a field just north of Birmingham and the FM signal is great. Even smooth radio is in stereo but the DAB signal bit rate if half that of mp3 (say 128bps) and less than Freeview (192 bps) at only 80 bps and in mono. Then it gets worse, gold is only on DAB or mw. We all know that DAB radio goes through batteries like they cost nothing, so the alternative is mw. Have you tried mw these days? Even in a field at least a mile from the nearest habitation, the interference makes it useless to listen to. I hope they have asked for their money back!
In our real world, we are competing at Catton Park (again) with the dogs, in the usual bank holiday chilly and damp weather – but we are in a caravan unlike some who are under canvas! This bank holiday competition is smaller than the Easter one (which was cold and wet) and the next one at the end of May. So only 2 holidays this month, I suppose if Mr Corbyn gets his way, we could have even more crammed into a short period – assuming the ‘May day’ one (introduced by a certain Mr Blair) remains. Of course, Bank holidays do not have to be on Mondays as that is only to help businesses in the days of six and a half day trading with a half day off during the week, whereas now, seven day trading is the norm!
By the time bank holiday Monday arrived, so had the wet rain and yet still some hardy fools were walking rings and getting ready to run their dogs even though there is no sign of the rain giving up. At least one competitor must have looked out and decided they had had enough and hitched up and drove off into the clouds – remember that many come quite a distance, so could easily have 3 or 4 hours towing in front of them.
Locally, don’t forget to vote for a Borough Councillor on Thursday as the Borough is important as it’s responsible for local services and planning (only applies for Birstall & Wanlip ward due to resignation of sitting Conservative – so you could have me instead!). The County Council is also up for grabs on the same day and they have a more overall view and responsibility such as highways, waste disposal, emergency services, social care and transport generally. In case you didn’t notice, Birstall Road speed bumps have been refurbished (blame the County for this one, so that’s another month gone!!