What would be the effects  of a radical reduction in immigration to the UK?

Robert Henderson

Ukip has embraced a nil  net  immigration policy based on a one in one out to leave the population unchanged by immigration. In the year ending Sept 2016   596,000 people came to the UK  and 323,000 left giving a  net migration figure of  273,000 more coming than going.  That is the number of  people  who were not  British citizens  would have been  refused residence under   the scheme proposed by Ukip.

The  internationalists   tell   us  that   the woes  of  the  world will   come upon  us  should we radically  curtail immigration,  although,  like  Lear threatening retribution, (“I will do such things–What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be the terrors of the earth.”)   they are unable  to  say  exactly what the woes  will be.  In fact, I cannot recall ever having seen an article in the British media which goes beyond lazy generalisation about “competing in a global market” or  “driving private enterprise abroad”.    The reality is rather different.

The effects on the British labour market of a radical reduction of immigrants

There would be greatly improved employment  opportunities for the British.  The  labour market would tighten and wages would rise. That would place extra costs on employers but they could be offset by a reduction in taxation due to millions of people being employed who are currently unemployed or underemployed and receiving in work benefits. Nor would  wages rise uniformly. Labour   would  move    into  those   occupations  which  are essential   and  which   cannot  be provided  at    a   distance,   for  example     healthcare     and  education.  We  would   discover    how  occupations   rank in terms of  utility.  Wages  would  rise  in  those occupations which had most utility to  attract  staff from elsewhere. This could have surprising results. We might find that vital jobs considered menial now would pay much more once cheap labour could no longer be brought in.   This would be justice for the many who have seen their jobs undervalued  because of the ability of employers to use cheap immigrant labour.

Employers  would  respond  to labour  tightening   by   using    labour  more  efficiently.   Automation  would increase  and  employers   would  change their attitude  to  the employment of the long-term unemployed,  older  people  and  the disabled. Both  employers and government would  take vocational   training   more seriously.   Government  would  provide  incentives   to  employers  to train  their staff and  increase  the  training  of    public   service   professionals such as doctors and  dentists.

Employers  who could not find the labour to run their business in  this country would have to accept they could not do so.   No one has a right to engage in an enterprise regardless of the effects on the welfare  of the community as a whole which is effectively the present position. Capital which cannot be used in this country can be invested  abroad and the profits from that brought to the UK.  The UK balance of payments would be improved by  a reduction in the  money being remitted abroad by immigrants.

The increase in employment of Britons would  be an immense social good beyond  reducing  the cost to the Exchequer  of  the  unemployed,  for people are generally happier and more  responsible  when employed .

The  pressure  on  public services,  transport   and housing would be lessened making  access  to them  easier  for Britons. An ending of mass immigration would also curtail  the substantial cost of providing  the benefits of the welfare state to immigrants as soon as they gain the right to legal long term residence in Britain.

Fewer legal  immigrants would allow much greater supervision of visitors to Britain – a significant minority of whom are health tourists  or who are here for criminal purposes – and a proper control and investigation of illegal immigrants. No more sending suspected illegals to the Croydon reception office under their own speed or leaving ports and airfields with an inadequate or completely absent Borders Agency  presence.  We could then not only refuse new immigrants but  start removing the  illegal immigrants who are already here.

Would there be an unmanageable  labour shortage?

The  idea  that  Britain  is  short of  labour  for  most  purposes  is   absurd.   The official figure  for those of working  age  ((16-64) who are economically inactive in the UK is  just under 9 million, or nearly a quarter of the age group.  Clearly not all of those would be able or willing to work,  but equally clearly  a large proportion would be able and willing to work  if  the conditions  were  right, for example,   wages  rose,   employers  became  more accommodating  and the benefits system was tightened as the  number  of opportunities for work rose.

The   claim  that  the   indigenous   population   will  not   do   the jobs  immigrants take  is  demonstrably false for in areas of the country with  few  immigrants  native  Britons  do  them  willingly.   In addition, vast swathes of work have been effectively denied to the native population  by collusion between employers and those who supply labour.  This happens both within the indigenous ethnic minorities who only employ from their own ethnic group and within immigrant labour which commonly works through gangmasters who are immigrants themselves. This does not just occur in areas such as fruit picking  and factory assembly work but in areas such as the NHS where we have the absurdity of doctors and nurses trained in Britain having to go abroad to find jobs because immigrants are employed here.

It is also important to understand  that the menial  jobs immigrants  take are worth far more to them than a native Briton because wages are so much higher in the UK than they are in the country from which the immigrant hails.  Take the example of an immigrant who earnings are taxed properly and   who earns the minimum UK wage.  Even if  they earn the UK minimum wage  of £7.20 ph for those over 24 years of age  that is an annual wage for a 40 hour week of £14,976.  The minimum wage in for example Poland is worth around £400 pm (£5,000 pa) , despite the fact that Poland is one of the larger and  better developed economies of the Eastern European countries which supply so many of the immigrants to the UK.  Immigrants coming from less developed countries will find  the differential between wages here and their country of origin much larger, for example,

Many  immigrants live  in  accommodation   either   supplied and subsidised   by  an  employer  or   in  crowded accommodation which works out at  very little per head  rent.   Substantial numbers   work in the black market and pay no income  tax or national insurance.  Quite a few  draw in work benefits such as Child Benefit even if their children are not in this country.  In these circumstances migrants  from the poorer  member states should be able  to save  a few thousand pounds a year from their wages .  If the money is remitted back to the immigrant’s home country or the immigrant returns home  a few thousand sterling will be worth in purchasing power in the home country  multiples of what it is worth in the UK.

As for skilled workers,  most jobs are as they have always been unskilled or low skilled. For those occupations which  are skilled but non-essential , the work can be done by people working abroad, for example, most IT work falls into that category. The skilled occupations with indispensable skills  which  could not be sourced from our own people if training was provided, for example, doctors and nurses.  There are presently  far more applicants for medical training places than are currently filled.

Do Britons want an end to mass immigration?

Concern about immigration has been at the top of issues concerning the British for years; this despite the fact that every mainstream British political party has with the willing collusion of the British media, doing   everything they can to suppress unfettered  public debate about the issue.

In 2014 The think-tank British Future  published  their  report How to talk about immigration based on research conducted by ICM, Ipsos MORI and YouGov.  One finding  is truly startling. Faced with the question  “The government should insist that all immigrants should return to the countries they came from, whether they’re here legally or illegally”  the result was Agree 25%, disagree 52% and neither 23%. (P17 of the report).  In addition, many of those who said no to forced repatriation were also firm supporters of strong border controls and restrictive  immigration policies.

The fact that 25% of the population have overcome their fear of  falling foul of the pc police and say that they do not merely want immigration stopped but sent into reverse is  stunning. Moreover, because political correctness has taken such an intimidating place in British society it is reasonable to assume that a substantial number of those who said they disagreed did so simply out of fear of being accused of racism.

The obverse of the immigration coin was shown by the question “In an increasingly borderless world, we should welcome anyone who wants to come to Britain and not deter them with border controls” (P16 of the report).  The results were 14% agree, 67% disagree and 19% don’t know.

Anyone who believes that the British people welcomed the post-war immigration and want more of it is self-deluding to the point of imbecility.

Posted in Immigration, Nationhood | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

The remainers throw away their best chance of sabotaging Brexit.

Robert Henderson

Astonishingly, the remainers have missed their best chance to hinder the Brexit  process by  failing to seriously oppose the motion  put down by Theresa May that a General Election be held on 8 June. The motion was passed on 19 April 201`7 by 522 votes to 13.

This is an extraordinary result on the face of it. What is even more astonishing is the fact that the remainers could have defeated the motion quite easily. All  they had to do was muster 217 votes or abstentions to overthrow the motion for an early election. Indeed, they could have done it simply by getting 217 MPs to abstain. The Labour Party, with 229 MPs, could have managed the matter on their own, as could a coalition of, say,  two thirds of Labour MPs, the Scots Nat MPs and the LibDem MPs voting against or abstaining.

Let me divert for a moment to explain the status of abstentions in this context. In this vote an abstention has the same value as a vote against. This is  because it is the total number of MPs who vote for the motion that matters, not the percentage of those who actually vote for or against a motion.

Under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act  two thirds of the 650 member House of Commons have to vote for a motion proposing  an early election.   Two thirds of 650 is 434. Hence one  vote against   or one abstention can make a difference. If 433 MPs vote for the motion with, say,  only 100 voting against but with 117 abstaining,  the motion fails because it is one short of 434.

Even without any party opposing the motion a substantial number of MPs did not vote for it.  Only 13 MPs may have voted against the motion but 115 abstained.  This figure of 115  is arrived at as follows:

522  voted  for  the motion

13  voted against the motion

Therefore 115 MPs are unaccounted for after deducting  those who voted.  Six of these are:

The Speaker (who doesn’t vote unless there is a tie), Eric Kaufman (deceased, and his constituency was  awaiting  a by election), and 4 Sinn Fein MPs  (who don’t take their seats and consequently don’t vote.)

That leaves 109 other wilful or accidental abstainers.

As 115 votes were either not used or used to vote against,  it would only have required another 102 to either abstain or vote against the motion to stop the attempt to have a general election on 8 June. Had the various remainer Party leaders in the Commons put their weight behind a vote against.  the motion it is probable that the motion would have been defeated.

Alternatively, if  remain MPs of all parties had come together they might well have defeated the motion.

The fact that the remainer MPs failed to defeat the motion when it was well within their grasp to do so,  or indeed to make any public noise about doing so, suggests that they were more afraid of losing their seats than they are motivated to carry on the battle against Brexit. Ironically,  I suspect that was a false fear for many remainer MPs because they represent constituencies which voted to remain.

As far as the party leaders are concerned, voting against the motion could have been represented as reasonable both because Theresa May had said she would not call an election as it would be  destabilising and on the grounds that this Parliament is only two years old and the clear intention of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act was  to stop PMs calling elections to suit themselves and their party rather than the national interest.

If the remainer MPs had gathered enough votes and abstentions to defeat the motion it would have placed   Theresa  May in a very awkward position personally and removed  from her the possibility of using a larger majority after an early  General Election  to drive through Brexit. It  is indicative of a  lack of commitment  by remainers to their  cause when it involves any danger or sacrifice. That is very useful to know.  If they have looked  gift horse in the mouth because they did not fancy the state of its teeth once they are very likely to do it again when the pressure is on.

As historians look back at the remainers ‘ failure to keep Theresa May locked in the position she was in before the motion was passed  – stuck with a small majority and  a General Election coming in 2019 just as the Brexit negotiations and the UK’s departure are due to come to a head – they will surely shake their heads in astonishment .  No wonder for it is truly bewildering  that there was no attempt by one or more of the Westminster parties which support the remainer cause  to defeat the motion for an early General Election, thereby potentially greatly strengthening Theresa May and her government’s  position.

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Theresa May decides to go to the country  – Start counting the spoons

Robert Henderson

Theresa May has announced that she wants an early General Election on 8 June. However, this is no longer a simple matter of the PM going to see the Queen and requesting that Parliament be dissolved and  an election called. Under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act  Mrs May will require a two thirds majority in the House of Commons to vote  to call an early election.

The odds are on May   getting  a two thirds majority because the leaders of the Labour and LibDem parties, Jeremy  Corbyn and Tim  Farron have both welcomed the idea of an early election . However, the position  is not quite as straightforward as it might seem. The two thirds majority in the Commons is not two thirds of those who vote,  but two thirds of the entire Commons personnel, that is,  434 of the 650 MPs. If there  is a heavy abstention – the  coward’s way out for an MP – May could  struggle to reach 434 voting in favour.

Suppose that 100 MPs abstain. That would mean May would have to gain 434  votes out of 550, a majority of those  voting of  79%. Only 116 votes against an early   general election would be needed.   If the SNP with 56 MPs voted en bloc against the attempt  to call an early General Election it would require only 60 other MPs to vote against the same way.  Are the SNP likely to vote en bloc? Well, there has been no definitive statement from the SNP leadership but their leader Nicola Sturgeon appears to be taking the proposed General Election as a fact rather than a possibility, viz  ‘[Nicola Sturgeon] said the election would “once again give people the opportunity to reject the Tories’ narrow, divisive agenda, as well as reinforcing the democratic mandate which already exists for giving the people of Scotland a choice on their future.”’

All that  seemingly makes a vote against an early election unlikely. However, that is what the party leaders are saying. There is an outside chance that a hardcore of remainer MPs might spoil the party and defeat the motion for an early election.  As the figures above show relatively few MPs would have to rebel either by voting against or simply abstaining. There are strong reasons for them to do so.  Apart from wanting to sabotage the Brexit vote for ideological reasons many remain  MPs also a  venal interest in not having an election now because they fear that they might lose their seats.

If May loses the vote

If May is unable to get a vote for an early election she will be in something of a pickle for her  authority will be diminished and she will then have to endure over three years of the dismal picture she painted in her speech announcing her intent to seek a dissolution of Parliament, viz:

“The country is coming together, but Westminster is not. In recent weeks Labour has threatened to vote against the deal we reach with the European Union.

 The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill.

The Scottish National Party say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain’s membership of the European Union.

And unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way. “

What would be May’s options if she cannot get the Commons to vote itself into a General Election? She  could attempt to repeal the fixed term Parliaments Act which could be done by a simple majority , but she would have to get that through the Lords which  would probably   prove impossible. In theory she could engineer  a vote of no confidence in her own government to bring about an election,  but that would be both absurd and uncertain of success. The reality is that if May  cannot get the motion passed permitting an election on 8 June that will be the end of any immediate prospect of a General Election.

If  a  General Election is called for 8 June

If a General Election is called it is important that  Brexiteers,  especially those who are supporters of the Tory Party, do not relax.   The polls show the Tory Party hugely in front of Labour with an average of five  polls in April having  the Tories at 43% and Labour at 25%.  That looks very solid,   but importantly the proposed  election will be held before boundary changes to constituencies are made.   These  are thought to be worth at least a   a couple of dozen seats to the Tories  and cost Labour a similar number,  so the increase in the Tory majority may not as large as anticipated. .  It is also true that most  Labour seats have sizeable majorities so that gaining large numbers of seats from them  is a big ask. .

A June  General Election now would  not be a normal one. Like the Peers v the People Election of 1910  it will be predominantly  about a single issue, namely, Brexit. Indeed, it  could reasonably be portrayed as a proxy for re-running the EU Referendum.

There is a considerable psychological difference between voting in a referendum with a clear cut yes or no decision for the voter to make and a General Election,  which  is about choosing a people to make decisions on a multiplicity of subjects for several years . Many of those who voted to Leave the EU are not natural Tory voters, especially those working-class  Labour voters who did much to win the referendum. Those voters  may not be anything like as willing to vote for a Tory government as they were to vote for Brexit.

Motivation to vote will also be important.  It is arguable that the remainers will tend to be  more strongly committed  to vote than Brexiteers simply because they  were the referendum  losers and consequently  will be without any feeling of complacency. They will see this as an occasion to vent their anger and frustration. Brexiteers may be more inclined to think that the Brexit   job is, if not done, is at least on a track from which it cannot be derailed and be less inclined to vote, especially if they are the  people who are not natural  Conservatives.

Remainer voters will also be  energised by the fact that May has said repeatedly that she would not attempt to call an early  General Election. Some leave voters may also  feel  uneasy about this and be persuaded not to vote on 8 June.

Finally, there is sheer  voter fatigue. British voters have had a General Election in 2015, the EU referendum in 2016 and face local elections . Scottish voters had  the independence referendum in 2014 and Northern Ireland had devolved elections in March 2017 .  Getting voters out for elections where voters are voting for parties have been in decline since the 1950s. It is probable that the turnout of a June General Election will be significantly below the turnout for the EU referendum which saw a turnout of 72%.  If the turnout was significantly below this the remainers will use it to cast aspersions on May’s claim that she had a mandate from the British people.

All of this adds up to a need for all those who want to see Brexit completed to be both committed to the coming election and to think forward  beyond it.  If, as seems most likely, Theresa May comes back from the election with a substantial  majority that does not mean Brexiteers can relax. A large majority might allow May to push Brexit through but it will also allow her to be dishonest. It should never  be forgotten that she is a remainer and most of her cabinet and Parliamentary Party are remainers.  They would in their heart of hearts like to have something far less than Brexit. Already there have been disturbing signs of May’s r intentions to sabotage the vote to leave. For example, in the prime areas for Brexit of   immigration and the Single Market,   Home Secretary Amber Rudd  says immigration may not drop significantly  after Brexit , while  the supposedly rock solid Brexiteer David Davis suggested in December  that the UK might  pay a fee to the EU to retain access to the Single Market.

The watchword for Brexiteers must be as ever eternal vigilance. Start counting the spoons.



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Funny Business at No 10

Posted on April 13, 2017 by Robert Henderson  

The No 10 petitions unit  rejects  a petition to get the UK out of the EU using the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
On 2nd  April 2017 I submitted a petition to the No 10 website  which hosts petitions created by  any British citizen. My petition, including the further explanatory details which are allowed on the No 10 site,  was this:
The EU can spend two years giving the UK the run around whilst pocketing two years of further UK contributions and obliging the UK to honour all EU laws and regulations including freedom of movement. At the end of the two years the UK is unlikely to have an agreement which will effect Brexit .
More details:
The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties gives the UK ample grounds for repudiating all EU Treaty obligations on the grounds of bad faith by the other treaty members and the failure to apply the rules of the EU, for example, the repeated failure to produce accounts which satisfy the auditors, the multiple breaches of Eurozone rules and the failure to enforce government aid rules against the likes of Germany, France and Italy – see https://englandcallingwordpress.com/
When I submitted the petition the No 10 website software brought up a message stating there was no similar petition already on the site.
The second  hurdle a petition has to clear is to get five sponsors for the petition. This I rapidly achieved, with a total of 19 sponsors.
When I sent the petition I received an acknowledgement  saying that a decision to allow or disallow a petition “ usually takes a week or less.”
It  took  11 days to reject mine.
The  rejection
My petition was eventually rejected on the single ground that a similar petition was already on the No 10  website.
This is the Petition:
End negotiations with the EU forthwith.
The PM has no mandate to negotiate with the EU. We voted for a hard Brexit and demand it. Time to tell the EU “no deal, end of negotiations, goodbye.”
The reason given for the rejection is literally absurd, for the two petitions do different things.  My petition gives a legal way to leave rapidly, the other petition  offers no legal route out of the EU. In fact it urges the Government to act illegally by breaching a treaty.
The difference between my petition and the  other one is so striking that it is not unreasonable to suspect that the refusal of my petition is for political reasons rather than the reason the No 10 Petitions Unit has given.
What might that reason be? Well, the Vienna  Convention on the Law of Treaties  allows the UK  to  get  out of  the  EU a good deal faster and  with a much cleaner exit. The delay in rejecting the petition is also suspicious as it suggests there was an extended  debate about it taking place.
The other suspicious thing is the fact that the petition which is supposedly similar to mine has only just be posted to the No 10 site. Each accepted petition expires after six months on the site. The expiry date  for this one is 11 October 2017. Hence, it must have been put up after I sent in my petition on 2nd April. The odds are that this petition is one concocted by those opposed to Brexit  after my  petition was submitted to provide an  excuse for rejecting mine.  It is worth  remembering that public servants are generally remainers. 
Whatever the reason is for refusing my petition, it indubitably qualifies to go  up on the N 10 website.  
Let us hope the civil servants responsible for the  petitions  see sense and change their mind. 

   I am waiting for a reply from the No 10 unit to this email

13 April 2017

  Dear Sirs, 

The reason for your rejection is literally  absurd. My petition gives a legal way to leave rapidly  the petition you cite offers no legal route out of the EU. In fact it  urges the Government to act illegally by breaching a treaty.  I would also point out that when I registered the petition with you your own software created a message saying  there was no  similar petition already in existence on the site. 
In the light of these facts I ask you to reconsider your rejection of  my  petition. 
I also ask  you to give me the name of the person heading  your unit  and a phone number on which I can contact him or her. 
Yours sincerely, 
Robert Henderson       
Posted in Nationhood, Politics | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

How foreign imports sabotaged English cricket

Robert Henderson

The  governing body of English cricket the ECB  is concerned about the number of foreign players playing in English cricket.  So is David Letherdale, the chief executive of the Professional Cricketers’ Association.

“It is hugely disappointing that some counties have felt the need to sign players as Kolpaks or on EU passports instead of developing and producing home-grown players themselves for the future benefit of English cricket. We are concerned that the number appears to have risen again in recent months. It is a situation that gives us cause for concern and one that we will continue to monitor.”

The deterioration in the  England cricket side can be dated  from 1969 when  the residential  qualification rule was dropped and foreigners came into county cricket in numbers.  Although it took a decade or so after 1969 for the full effects to be felt the 1980s saw the damage it had done  becoming apparent as the England team became more and more  restricted to a small pool of players . Eventually in the  1980s the selectors turned to  foreign imports who  had qualified as English after less than ten years residence in England.

After the freeing up of entry to the County Championship in 1969 there was no limit to the numbers of foreign players who could come.   Restrictions were eventually placed on the number of foreign players who could play but it still meant that every county bar Yorkshire had two foreign imports who normally  played regularly .  This meant that  34 or so places were barred to English players, There were also a few foreign players who came with  EU passports and more who arrived with British passports or the right to one because of one or more of their parents or grandparents was British.

The final nail in the coffin for English cricketers was the creation of  the Kolpak status in the 2000s. This allowed anyone who could claim a passport from an EU country or  from any country which had an associate relationship with the EU which included freedom  of movement to have the right to work in the UK. The countries with EU associate status include South Africa, Zimbabwe and several in the Caribbean.

The argument for foreigners

The argument for importing large numbers of foreigners into English cricket has rested on two claims both of which is false. When the residential  qualification rules were removed in  1969 it was argued that  high quality  foreign players would substantially  increase crowds particularly at  County Championship games. This never materialised as a sustained phenomenon. The arrival of a particular star such as Gary Sobers at Nottinghamshire or Barry Richards at Hampshire might result in a temporary boost in the  numbers of spectators  but it did not last.

The second claim  was that having high quality foreign players in County Cricket  would raise the standards of the English players. This argument was developed when the increase in crowds argument had become  a dead duck. It can  be comprehensively shown to be untrue.  Between the mid 1970s to the mid-1990s the general quality of foreign imports was at its highest and the imports were contracted for the whole cricket season. Many of these imports remained with the same County for years so English players had every chance to learn from them if learning was possible simply from  observing them.  Yet it was during  this time  – and particularly the 1980s and 1990s –  that  the England side was hideously  unsuccessful, indeed,  arguably the twenty years from 1980-2000 were the least successful overall for any extended period  in its history.  The truth was that  English  players learnt nothing of use from the foreign imports, either from playing with them or against them.

Since the invention of the Kolpak status  and the rise of T20 the quality of the  foreign imports has declined sharply and the  foreign players who do come often play only part of a season and rarely stay with the same clubs for years on end.

But it  was never simply  a question of  the quality of the foreigner brought into county cricket.  The problem was whether of Test quality or not the foreigners have displaced English  players in large numbers.

The problem with foreign players goes far beyond their numbers.   They tend to be  pace bowlers and upper order batsmen. These players  normally occupy the  best batting spots and their pace bowlers will generally get the new ball. Foreign bowlers of any type will also tend to get choice of ends and to be under bowled when a pitch is benign.  English players have  take the crumbs which are left after  the foreign players have been fed. It also means that there have been times in the past 50 years when the England selectors have had precious few upper order batsmen and opening bowlers to from which to choose, for example the lack of quality pace bowling in the  1980s and 1990s because so many of the foreign imports  were pace bowlers.

It is important to understand that the influx of  foreigners does not affect just the first class county first teams. Foreigners are increasingly flooding into the second elevens of  the first class counties, the minor counties and good quality club sides, in fact, any team which can pay them.

There are and have been  plenty of very promising young English cricketers over the years who have never been given an  early chance when their second team performances for first class counties  have justified it or even worse were never given an  extended run in the first team.  A, Gordon, PC McKeown, B Parker, G P Burnett, R J Bartlett,  JW Cook, A R Roberts,  JD Fitton, PJ Lewington, D M Cox. Any of those  names ring a bell? I doubt it but they were all very successful second eleven players who have played since the 1969 influx of foreigners  but who never got a sustained chance in their respective first teams. (Details taken from the First-Class Counties Second Eleven Annual)

No other Test playing country in the cricketing world opens its first class domestic competition to huge numbers of foreigners. Neither should we.

The extent of the current infestation of foreigners

The 2017 County Championship season has just begun. In the first round of matches begun on 7 April 2017 the foreign component was as follows:

There were  6 matches comprising 12 teams of 11 players   = 132 players in total

43 of these players were born outside  the British Isles

This means 33% of players in this round of county  matches were not born in the British Isles

The counties which did not play in this round of matches are Derbyshire, Durham, Middlesex, Somerset, Sussex, Worcestershire. If they have the same proportion  of  foreign born players on average as the 12 counties which played , that would mean  another 22 foreign players to add to the 43 making a total of 65  players out of possible 216  players (12 x11) from the 18 counties.

Analysis by County of the foreign born players in the six matches played commencing 7 April 2017

Essex:  RN ten Doeschate, SR Harmer, N Wagner (3)

Glamorgan:  B Cooke,  CAJ Meschede, M de Lange, JA Rudolph, N J Selman, CA Ingram (6)

Gloucs:  CT Bancroft,  GL van Buuren (2)

Hants:   RR Rossouw, SM Ervine, , KJ Abbott, GK Berg, BTJ Wheal, FH Edwards (6)

Kent:   AP Rouse,  ME Claydon (2)

Lancs:  S Chanderpaul, DJ Vilas, R McLaren, KM Jarvis (4)

Leics:  CJ McKay, PJ Horton, CN Ackermann, MJ Cosgrove (4)

Northants:  RE Levi, SP Crook,  RK Kleinveldt (3)

Notts: MJ Lumb,  MH Wessels, SR Patel,  JL Pattinson (4)

Surrey: KC Sangakkara,  SM Curran, TK Curran, JW Dernbach (4)

Warks: IJL Trott, SR Hain, TR Ambrose†,  JS Patel  (4)

Yorks:  PSP Handscomb, GS Ballance, Azeem Rafiq, (3)

It is also likely that there are foreign players missing from the early  Championship games as they complete other cricketing obligations in  foreign T20 tournaments or for their national sides.

Analysis of  the  role(s) these cricketers play

The groups is  very heavily slanted towards upper order batsmen and pace bowlers

Batsmen (18)

JA Rudolph, N J Selman, CA Ingram, CT Bancroft, RR Rossouw, S Chanderpaul, , PJ Horton, CN Ackermann, MJ Cosgrove, MJ Lumb, MH Wessels, RE Levi, KC Sangakkara, IJL Trott,   SR Hain, PSP Handscomb,  GS Ballance

Wicket keepers   (3)

B Cooke*, A P Rouse*, TR Ambrose*

Pace Bowlers (18)

RN ten Doeschate*  CAJ Meschede*, M de Lange,  N Wagner, SM Ervine*,  KJ Abbott,  GK Berg*, BTJ Wheal, FH Edwards, ME Claydon, R McLaren*, KM Jarvis, CJ McKay, SP Crook*,  RK Kleinveldt*, JL Pattinson,  TK Curran*,  JW Dernbach

 Spin Bowlers (4)

SR Harmer*,  GL van Buuren*, JS Patel*,  Azeem Rafiq*

* Denotes any player other than a specialist batsman is a competent batsman

Analysis of players by country of birth

Australia:  PJ Horton,  MJ Cosgrove,   SR Hain, PSP Handscomb,  CT Bancroft,  N J Selman , TR Ambrose, ME Claydon, CJ McKay, SP Crook*, JL Pattinson  (11)

New Zealand:  JS Patel*,

South Africa:  JA Rudolph,  CA Ingram,  RR Rossouw, , CN Ackermann,  MJ Lumb, MH Wessels, RE Levi, IJL Trott,  B Cooke*,  CAJ Meschede*, M de Lange,  N Wagner,   KJ Abbott,  GK Berg*, BTJ Wheal, R McLaren, RK Kleinveldt*, TK Curran*,  JW Dernbach, SR Harmer*,  GL van Buuren* (21)

West Indies: FH Edwards

India :  None

Pakistan:  Azeem Rafiq*

Sr Lanka KC: Sangakkara

Zimbabwe:  GS Balance, A P Rouse*, SM Ervine*, KM Jarvis (4)

Bangladesh: None

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Petition on Number 10 website : The UK to use the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties to leave the EU now

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The Vienna Convention on  the Law of Treaties gives  the UIK the right to leave the EU immediately

Robert Henderson

If the UK is trapped for two years within the EU ( or even longer if all parties agree to extend the negotiating period)  a great deal of damage can be inflicted upon the UK  by hostile EU member states egged on by  the British remainers who have not accepted the referendum result and will do anything to produce a  “Brexit” which is no Brexit in anything but name.  Consequently our best course of action is for the UK to leave now and trade under WTO rules, a course of  action embraced by  the  likes of Lord Lawson and  James Dyson .

Leaving the EU now and trading on WTO rules would have considerable benefits. These are:

  1. The payments the UK makes to the EU would cease immediately . The UK makes a payment each year to the EU. When the British rebate (won by  Thatcher)  is deducted,   the money left is divided into two parts. The first  is the money which is spent as the  EU  dictates.  The second is the money which  the EU simply takes and distributes to other EU members.  Exactly how much is taken away  is debatable because of complications such as the UK  Aid money the UK  gives to the EU. But even taking the lowest estimates of how much money the EU keeps for itself  this is in the region of £6-7 billion and another  £6 billion for money is  returned to fund  public and private bodies and programmes in the UK   but with EU instructions on how it is to be spent .

If   we continue with the two years after the activation of Article 50 that will mean  the UK will have paid 33 months worth of contributions  to the EU since the referendum.

  1. The UK immediately gains control of  our  borders. As things stand free movement is likely to continue until March 2019. The UK government wants to introduce a cut off date from which  the free movement and the state supplied benefits  which arise from it  will cease. Their  favoured date is the 29 March this year, the day Article 50 is triggered.  The EU insists  that free movement must remain until the UK has left the EU.  If this happen several s million could flood in before the UK leaves the EU.
  2. The UK can immediately start negotiating trade and other deals with any country outside the European Economic Area. If the UK goes through the two year period of negotiation no  such deals can be made or at least finalised.
  3. The UK can immediately start to regain control of its fisheries.
  4. The UK will immediately be free to remove or adapt any EU laws and regulations which already exist and will not be subject to any future law. If we spend two years or  more negotiating the UK cannot amend or repeal and existing EU laws and regulations and , most importantly, the UK will have to implement any new EU laws and regulations passed during the negotiating period. This would allow the rest of the EU to engage in a great deal of mischief with the intention of damaging the UK.
  5. Leaving now will remove the opportunity for the remainers with power and influence to sabotage Brexit . That is probably the greatest benefit of all because there are  cabinet ministers, shadow cabinet members, backbench MPs, peers , public servants or the wealthy who  are willing  to fund court cases who would be only too willing to overturn Brexit, either  overtly or covertly.

The Vienna Convention on the  Law of Treaties provides the legal basis for the UK walking away from the EU right now. The relevant passages are these: .



Article 26 “Pacta sunt servanda” Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith.


Article 31 General rule of interpretation 1. A treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty in their context and in the light of its object and purpose.

Article 32 Supplementary means of interpretation Recourse may be had to supplementary means of interpretation, including the preparatory work of the treaty and the circumstances of its conclusion, in order to confirm the meaning resulting from the application of article 31, or to determine the meaning when the interpretation according to article 31: (a) leaves the meaning ambiguous or obscure; or (b) leads to a result which is manifestly absurd or unreasonable.

SECTION 2. INVALIDITY OF TREATIES Article 46 Provisions of internal law regarding competence to conclude treaties

  1. A violation is manifest if it would be objectively evident to any State conducting itself in the matter in accordance with normal practice and in good faith.

  Article 60 Termination or suspension of the operation of a treaty as a consequence of its breach

  1. A material breach of a bilateral treaty by one of the parties entitles the other to invoke the breach as a ground for terminating the treaty or suspending its operation in whole or in part.
  2. A material breach of a multilateral treaty by one of the parties entitles: (a) the other parties by unanimous agreement to suspend the operation of the treaty in whole or in part or to terminate it either: 20 (i) in the relations between themselves and the defaulting State; or (ii) as between all the parties; (b) a party specially affected by the breach to invoke it as a ground for suspending the operation of the treaty in whole or in part in the relations between itself and the defaulting State;

 Article 62 Fundamental change of circumstances

  1. A fundamental change of circumstances which has occurred with regard to those existing at the time of the conclusion of a treaty, and which was not foreseen by the parties, may not be invoked as a ground for terminating or withdrawing from the treaty unless: (a) the existence of those circumstances constituted an essential basis of the consent of the parties to be bound by the treaty; and 21 (b) the effect of the change is radically to transform the extent of obligations still to be performed under the treaty

These provisions mean the UK could summarily leave by arguing (1) the EU are not acting  in good faith because of the many threats  to punish the UK for leaving the EU made by EU functionaries and politicians; (2)  that  the Treaty  leads to a result which is manifestly absurd or unreasonable or (3)  that the circumstances which now exist are radically different from what existed when the last EU treaty was signed by the UK (The Lisbon Treaty).

Statements by EU politicians and functionaries that Brexit will be deliberately punitive  for the UK to dissuade other members from leaving clearly go against the provisions of Article 50 – see examples at the bottom of this post.  Having a provision for leaving  in a treaty implies that states leaving  according to the provisions of the  treaty have a right to leave. Deliberately making leaving very  damaging for the leaving member of a treaty nullifies the right to leave. Ergo, that is  clear and emphatic  bad faith.  In this context it is important to understand  that the Vienna Convention does not require all parties to a treaty to act in bad faith to nullify a treaty – see section 2 of the Convention quoted above

But it is not only  direct threats of penal treatment of the UK which matter when it comes to bad faith.   Suppose   the EU  passed legislation during the negotiating period which  placed the UK  at a grave disadvantage  the UK would still have to implement the legislation regardless of its effects on the  UK during the period of negotiation. A good example, would be legislation   which would have severe  ill effects on the City of  London such as  a  transaction tax.

As for circumstances  being radically different take  the massive deterioration in economic performance by some Eurozone countries resulting from  the actions of the European Central Bank which are arguably directly at odds with the  rules of the ECB  for managing the Euro.  This mismanagement has created severe problems within the EU both in terms of economic instability and the increased tendency of migrants from the suffering countries to move to the richer EU countries  including the  UK.  The failure of the Eurozone to manage its affairs honestly must  count for a radical change of  circumstances.   (The vote by the  UK to leave does not  count as  a radical change of  circumstances because it is something engineered by  the UK and the Vienna Convention disqualifies such deliberate changes  as a cause to repudiate a treaty.)

Even though Article 50 has now been triggered that does not mean the UK could not leave under one or more of the Vienna Convention permitted reasons because any of those reasons and especially  that of bad faith could be invoked at any  point in the negotiation process.

Examples of EU functionaries and politicians threatening the UK with a damaging Brexit

Here  is just a minute sample of the many threats made to the UK about Brexit:

French President  Francois Hollande  “There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price, otherwise we will be in negotiations that will not end well and, inevitably, will have economic and human consequences,” the French president said.

Robert Fico, Slovakia’s prime minister, on Monday said that member states intend to make it “very difficult for the UK” and said Britain is “bluffing” when it says it can get a good Brexit deal.

The British people will be treated as “deserters” following a vote to leave the European Union, Jean-Claude Juncker has warned.

Spain will ‘take control of Gibraltar as soon as Britain leaves EU’ says Spanish Foreign Minister

Wolfgang Schäuble , the German finance minister also said the UK would be forced to pay EU budget bills for more than ten years, echoing proposals for the UK to pay an exit bill of up to £43billion.

Guy Verhofstadt has now said he expects Britain to cough up over £500bn to the European Union as it extricates itself from Brussels.

Former Belgian Prime Minister  Guy Verhofstadt claimed Britain will have to foot a €600billion bill before leaving the EU.

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