Archive for the ‘Britain’ Category

Brexit

You might not think it from reading my posts at Penigma, but Brexit is far more of an issue for me than Trump. That’s because my right of free movement and residency are going away soon. Maybe it won’t be too much of a problem since the UK is not a party to the Schengen Area.

Citizens the only people who have a right to come and go into a country under international law. Let’s toss in that the right of asylum is covered under international law to make this an aside. So, I find the whinging by “liberals” about immigrants into the US to be amusing, but that is probably due to American Exceptionalism combined with the myth that the US has “always been welcoming to immigrants”.

Not really.

But as I said, that was a bit of an aside, but related to where I am going here. Brexit is going to screw up the residency of quite a few people of both the UK and the EU member states (with the exception of Ireland, but that’s a sort of). People who have been resident under the terms of the European Union membership are going to find they have to apply for formal residency.

Somewhat of a headache due to paperwork. Toss in that some places (E.g., Belgium) can be a tax headache if you are “self-employed”. Being retired is less of a problem since most places welcome retired people if you “aren’t going to steal jobs”. In fact most places welcome people who are willing to contribute to society.

That means going through some hoops to get in. Although residency usually isn’t hard. Citizenship is another issue: especially if you don’t want to get to the border and find they won’t let you in. Or hit you with penalties as is the case in the Schengen Area. Unlike the US, some countries actually have criminal penalties for violating the immigration laws.

So, what is the Schengen Area?

It was created by treaty and includes most of Europe. It’s basically a zone that once you don’t need a passport have entered it to move around. If you are a citizen of the Schengen nations.

OTOH, Nationals from some countries need to obtain a Schengen visa in order to enter one of its member countries or travel within the area. It is a short-stay visa valid for 90 days. It also allows international transit at airports in Schengen countries.  The US and UK aren’t one of those countries, but Citizens of non-Schengen countries which are not required to have visas still have to respect the infamous 90/180 day rule.

Another point where most multiple-entry Schengen visa holders get confused, as well as the nationals of the countries that are permitted to enter Schengen visa-free. Most people think that the 180-day period starts on the day you visa becomes valid, which is not true.

Actually, the 180-day period keeps rolling. Therefore, anytime you wish to enter the Schengen, you just have to count backwards the last 180 days, and see if you have been present in the Schengen for more than 90 days throughout that period.

And you are subject to a €1200 fine if you overstay your 90 days: even if only by one day! Loads of tourists complain that they were hit with a fine for leaving a day late! There are ways to avoid be in Schengen for more than 90 days in the last 180 days by jumping between Schengen and non-Schengen countries. Thus, stay in Belgium for 90 days, then go to the UK for the 180 days.

Of course, residency makes a whole lot more sense. Toss in the Schengen rules are a headache.

But that is going to be a major fuck over caused by Brexit. One of many fuck overs caused by Brexit.

Britain’s tiny islands

In what has been described by Stephen Fry as a ‘project so pointless as to be vital to our national well-being’:  Dixe Wills, the author of bestselling book, Tiny Campsites, has surpassed his previous efforts with a new project entitled Tiny Islands.

More Bad Taste from Starbucks

I can’t think of a reason to want to buy Starbucks’ Coffee: They allow gun toting clients in the USA (“would you like hot lead with that?”).

Now, they have the bad taste to ask the Irish why they are proud to be British!

Inviting followers on Twitter to “show us what makes you proud to be British” as part of a diamond jubilee promotion must have seemed like a good idea at the time at Starbucks.

But after tweeting the invitation to nearly 2,000 Irish followers of its Twitter account on Tuesday, the coffee giant has been on the receiving end of a backlash over its seemingly shaky grasp of political geography.

If allowing gun toting customers isn’t bad enough, they have to show how DUMB they are by asking Hibernians (the Irish) if they are proud to be British--TWO DIFFERENT ISLANDS.

I should repost the C G P Grey video post about the difference between the United Kingdom and Great Britain

It never fails to amaze me how culturally ignorant the Yanks are with this  error coming months after another global brand, Nike, found itself on the back foot after falling foul of sensitivities over Irish history.

The sportswear giant said no offence was intended after issuing a St Patrick’s Day-themed shoe which raised memories of a British paramilitary unit which gained notoriety during the Irish war of independence.

IRELAND IS NOT BRITAIN, BUT NORTHERN IRELAND IS PART OF THE UNITED KINGDOM (FOR THE TIME BEING).

The Kink’s “Victoria”

OK, when I first heard this, I was living in Canada and it has always struck a chord with me since I consider myself British rather than English, Welsh, or Scottish (says the person who just celebrated St. Andrew’s Day), or even one of the “colonies” : United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and so on.

Being British is more than being in a place, it is a state of mind.  It is a celebration of our heritage and how that has played out throughout the world.  It is the mixing of cultures and celebration of those cultures.  Of course, this song celebrates being British in the mindset of the Victorians, but I felt that as I walked around wearing my Inverness Cape on St. Andrew’s day since Victoria had a fetish for things Scottish.

So, take it away!

Long ago life was clean
Sex was bad and obscene
And the rich were so mean
Stately homes for the Lords
Croquet lawns, village greens
Victoria was my queen
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria

I was born, lucky me
In a land that I love
Though I am poor, I am free
When I grow I shall fight
For this land I shall die
Let her sun never set
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, toria

Land of hope and gloria
Land of my Victoria
Land of hope and gloria
Land of my Victoria
Victoria, ‘toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria

Canada to India
Australia to Cornwall
Singapore to Hong Kong
From the West to the East
From the rich to the poor
Victoria loved them all
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria

The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained by C G P Grey

I first saw this on MikeB’s blog. Since then, I’ve wanted to post it since it is pretty accurate in my opinion.

OK, the British don’t really want to ignore the Northern Irish, it’s just that we aren’t sure what to do about them. For the folks who wander around with stickers that say “26 + 6 =32”, they need to get it straight that that is the case through the European Union. To some extent, that was true prior to 1992, but European Unification has turned that into a moot point. That’s why the hard liners on both sides disliked the European Union.