The ambassador's letter about Brexit
This letter is sent with the greatest respect to Simon Manley, both personally and to his position as our ambassador. It used to be said an ambassador was a man paid to lie for his country, and you only have to listen to the Russians to know how true that still is. In no way am I suggesting the ambassador is peddling porkies but his letter tells us absolutely nothing except "Hello, my name is Simon Manley and I am your ambassador".
The reason it tells us nothing about Brexit is because he knows nothing about how Brexit will pan out, just like you, me and my best friend’s dog. With all the political infighting occurring in Westminster, both within the parties and against each other it seems to have escaped notice in the mainstream media that whatever position the UK eventually decides on, this is a 28 horse race. 27 horses are racing for one owner and one horse is out on its own. For any betting people out there the odds on the UK winning are pretty slim.
Whatever we decide, they are going to tell us how it is going to be. Live with it or walk. If we live with it the Brexiteers will erupt, if we walk they will cheer and we will be staring chaos in the face - for at least long enough that some reading (and one writing) this may not be around to see the eventual outcome.
That referendum produced the worst of all results - a virtual 50/50 split in the country. How we are meant to go forward united is beyond me, and it is certainly beyond our politicians.
To finish on a happier note - welcome to the Red Arrows. I will be one of the thousands cheering them on; something we are still the best in the world at.
Regards and best wishes
In less time than it takes to read this letter, passengers should be now swiftly whizzing through passport control at Palma airport. Well, that’s the claim ("Fifteen seconds for Palma passport control").
The new bank of e-passport gates at Palma airport is a good idea in principle - but in practice the initiative is fraught with teething problems. Passengers seem flummoxed by the new technology - putting their passports in the scanner upside down or back to front ... even missing the scanner altogether in some cases I witnessed first-hand on Friday evening as they looked on blankly scratching their heads - while those behind them tutted and huffed and puffed.
There seems to be little in the way of instructions. While everyone gets used to the new style of border control, wouldn’t it be a good idea for airlines to explain to passengers as they taxi to the arrivals gate what they can expect - so they can at least prepare themselves for machine rather than a person? And prevent the type of queue developing that you’d normally only see at a UK self-checkout till at Christmas when the turkey fails to scan properly!