30 December 2017

Salve Tredecim!

"Twice upon a Time" was a highly enjoyable and emotional Christmas special for Doctor Who, a wonderful ending for the Twelfth Doctor. The 'old-fashioned attitudes' of the First Doctor were slightly over done, but this was a relatively minor issue.

Anyway, I want to talk about the new lady. While she only got two words, those were excellently picked ones, squaring the circle of the Doctor discovering that she has become female for the first time. Whittaker's got a wonderful smile and while the accent may take some getting used (especially for non-Brits), she has already won over a lot of people.

So, onwards to the era of Chris Chibnall, who I'd not actually seen a photograph of until today. Considering he can carry off a velvet jacket just fine, I think we're in good hands.

24 December 2017

Vale duodecim

Tomorrow at just before 6pm GMT, the Twelfth Doctor will regenerate, four years to the day after his 'birth' in "The Time of the Doctor".

While looking very much forward to the arrival of 13, who is of course a major change for the show, let us take a moment to give a huge round of applause to Peter Capaldi, who imbued the Doctor with such memorable spirit - and gruffness.

Those eyebrows will be missed.

23 December 2017

Christmas wishes

In a year with a lot of sound and fury with normal decorum becoming increasingly rare it seems, I have to draw comfort from something.

I draw comfort from God's son, who came down to Earth, became a manual labourer and then went around for three years preaching that there is a better way of doing things than acquiring wealth and power.

This Christmas, my call on people is to play the ball not the person. If you disagree with someone's argument, attack their reasoning and persuade them of their point of view. Don't call them stupid or traitors. Understand why they might think that way.

Otherwise words will soon turn to blows.

On that note, have a safe and non-argumentative Christmas.

10 December 2017

Brexit Phase 1 agreement

So I've had a look at the understanding reached on the 'divorce bill'. Here are my thoughts:
  • Protecting the rights of EU citizens already here is important, asking them to apply for permanent residency is an inconvenience, but a necessary one so we know who has a right to live here.
  • The Common Travel Area cannot be eliminated in the British Isles anyway, it's been there for too long. Customs checks are impractical - but perhaps there could be a 'clearing house' system allowing for bulk payments each quarter?
  • Any trade deal will likely involve us making some payments. There is no such thing as a free lunch in these matters.
  • The UK should adopt standards for goods equal to or better than the current EU ones. That is effective regulatory equivalence while not tying ourselves to the single market rules if we don't want that; some goods might have to be labelled differently when rules diverge.
  • This could still all go pear-shaped.

05 December 2017

Northern Ireland and Brexit

It seems that the main sticking point over moves to trade talks is what do about the Northern Irish/Irish border. A ‘hard border’ on the island of Ireland is going to be immensely disruptive. A border across the Irish Sea is also going to be rather disruptive for places like Holyhead (who will need a lot of building work done for customs facilities) and will put the whole of the UK under strain. No border at all i.e. staying in the Single Market and Customs Union is remaining in the EU in all but name and completely unacceptable to a lot of leaver supporters as it will mean accepting freedom of movement.


Theresa May is probably regretting having become PM now…