IRISH IMMIGRANT In London: “We’re Entitled To Stay In Britain After Brexit, But We Could Be Better Off At Home …”

The country so many Irish people came to looking work is on the cusp of rationing

‘It’s incredible to think that the country so many Irish people have come to looking for work now finds itself on the cusp of rationing food and medicine, while Ireland’s economy grows.’
‘It’s incredible to think that the country so many Irish people have come to looking for work now finds itself on the cusp of rationing food and medicine, while Ireland’s economy grows.’

|PETER FLANAGAN,THE IRISH TIMES|AIWA! NO!|I left university in 2011, part of the generation that had entered third level education at the height of the Celtic Tiger, only to graduate into economic purgatory. It was disorientating. A few friends and I soon found ourselves living in London. There was still plenty of work in the city, which made it easy to forget Britain was struggling too.

One night the English caretaker of our hostel confessed to me that he felt immigrants were to blame for the hardship. It took me a moment to tell if he was being serious – we were after all sitting in a hostel bar being served by a girl from Spain and surrounded by other international guests, while the owners of the premises – his employers – were Irish too. But he wasn’t joking.

“You realise I’m an immigrant, right?” I finally said. He considered this, and followed, “Ah, the Irish are alright”. It was a breath-taking double standard, and my first insight into the psychology that would sow the seeds of the Brexit referendum five years later. While in Ireland emigration was seen as the solution to the economic pain, in Britain, immigration was viewed by a significant proportion as the cause.

Seven years later, I’m back living in the UK again. Luckily my life has moved on since the backpacker existence that defined my first London experience, and Ireland’s economy is up from its knees. But as talk grows of food shortages in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it feels as though Britain is lurching even further backwards.

The economic crises in both the UK and Ireland were caused by the same thing – financial malpractice by people who should have known better. But while in Ireland the man on the street blamed “the Bankers”, in the UK, “mass immigration” has been the punching bag of choice. The great paradox is that by tackling the imagined cause of the initial hardship, Brexit will likely trigger a brand-new economic calamity.

Of course xenophobia was not the only reason people voted for Brexit, although I do believe that the result was carried by it. A spike in hate crimes in England and Wales followed the referendum, though barring the usual potato/Irishman jokes, I cannot say I’ve experienced any real hostility. Rather, what I’ve encountered more frequently is confusion as to whether I’m a foreigner at all.

After the England team’s victory over Sweden in the World Cup, a small group of England fans heard my accent in the supermarket and asked if I’d been supporting England that day. The group were young, giddy and boozed up, and it was clear that the wrong answer could provoke an ugly response. Channelling my inner Michael D., I told them I’d watched the game, and that England had played very well. Unfortunately, they picked up on my lack of enthusiasm and the tone of their questioning quickly turned.

“It’s all the British Isles mate. What’s your problem?” one of them said seriously, and I was reminded of the Irish government’s increasingly frustrating task of explaining to the Brexit negotiators that they have a border with Ireland to consider. “Well, you live here now. So you should be supporting England,” said another, effectively policing my nationalism and echoing the “Love it or leave it” sentiment often espoused by nationalists in the US.

I took this comment as my cue to leave; the mood was more terse than hostile, but was certainly one of the more uncomfortable conversations I’ve had while living here.

Perhaps a bigger concern for migrants of any nationality here, the Irish included, should be their prospects if they stay. It’s incredible to think that the country so many Irish people have come to looking for work now finds itself on the cusp of rationing food and medicine, while Ireland’s economy grows.

More remarkable still is the rate at which big business is fleeing to the continent. Thanks to Brexit, foreigners can now take British jobs from the comfort of their own home countries. While Irish citizens will be entitled to stay in the UK after it leaves the EU, we could be better off at home.

Peter Flanagan is writer and comedian based in London. He has performed across Ireland, the UK and Australia, and has appeared on Newstalk and BBC Radio

NHS Clinical Waste Including Human Body Parts Among Waste Piled Up By Disposal Firm

|AIWA! NO!|Clinical waste from the NHS including human body parts has been piled up by a waste disposal company.

Healthcare Environmental Services (HES) has said it is working to “reduce the volume” of waste after reports that a huge backlog of medical and other kinds of matter had been allowed to build up.

The Environment Agency has launched a criminal investigation, and confirmed the company breached its permits at five waste disposal sites in England.

A report by Health Service Journal (HSJ) said one HES site held excess waste five times its capacity, equalling 350 tonnes including infectious fluids, amputated limbs and substances from cancer treatments.

HSJ reported that a COBRA meeting was called over the stockpiling last month, and contingency plans are understood to have been put in place for NHS trusts and other public services.

In a statement, HES said it had highlighted a “reduction in the UK’s high-temperature incineration capacity” – a problem it blamed on ageing infrastructure, prolonged breakdowns and zero waste-to-landfill policies.

The reduced capacity had been “evident across all of the industry” during the last year, it said.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 22: A photocall attempting to highlight NHS stockpiling in the event of a 'no-deal Brexit, by youth campaign group 'Our Future, Our Choice', (OFOC), takes place outside the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on August 22, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
© Getty LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 22: A photocall attempting to highlight NHS stockpiling in the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit, by youth campaign group ‘Our Future, Our Choice’, (OFOC), takes place outside the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on August 22, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The company’s website says it provides services to more than 25,000 clients, which the HSJ article says includes up to 50 NHS trusts.

Health services are not believed to be experiencing disruption to waste collection, however.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) insisted that waste was being stored safely and said there was “absolutely” no danger to patients or the public.

“We are monitoring the situation closely and have made sure that public services – including NHS trusts – have contingency plans in place,” a government spokesperson said.

“Our priority is to prevent disruption to the NHS and other vital public services and work is underway to ensure organisations can continue to dispose of their waste safely and efficiently.”

The government has said it is reviewing how contracts for waste disposal will be awarded in the future.

Previous problems between HES and the government were revealed in a letter, seen by Sky News and sent last month to NHS trusts, that said the action against the company was a “witch hunt” based on “complete lies”.

The letter, signed by the company’s managing director Garry Pettigrew, claimed there had been problems with Britain’s high temperature incineration infrastructure for years and that the Environment Agency had failed to adequately respond.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks with members of staff during a visit to the Royal Hospital for Children, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the NHS, in Glasgow, Britain, July 5, 2018. Andy Buchanan/Pool via REUTERS
© Getty Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks with members of staff during a visit to the Royal Hospital for Children, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the NHS, in Glasgow, Britain, July 5, 2018. Andy Buchanan/Pool via REUTERS

A spokesman for the Environment Agency, however, rejected the accusations. It said there was broad agreement that incinerator capacity in the UK was sufficient.

“The Environment Agency has found Healthcare Environmental Services to be in breach of its environmental permits at five sites which deal with clinical waste,” a spokesperson said.

“We are taking enforcement action against the operator, which includes clearance of the excess waste, and have launched a criminal investigation.”

John Ashworth, shadow secretary for health and social care, said the revelations were “staggering”.

“We need a statement in the Commons next week from ministers detailing when the government was first informed of this stockpiling, what support is now available to trusts and what contingency plans are in place for the future,” he said.


India vs England Cricket Battle, 3rd Test in Nottingham, Day 1: Rahul, Dhawan begin cautiously

ENGLAND lead India 2-0 and viewers tuning to watch and stream the third Test could see the home side seal the series with two matches to spare.

England cricket star Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes will hope to be England’s talisman vs India in the third Test (Image: GETTY)

India will be hungry to keep themselves alive in the five-match Test series against hosts England when they square-off in the third Test at the Trent Bridge. After losing the first two matches, India face a must-win situation. India gave a very good fight before losing the first Test by 31 runs in Birmingham.

In the second Test, they were outplayed by an innings and 159 runs at Lord’s, succumbing within three days. The Indian team management’s major responsibility on Saturday would be to find a perfect team combination as players are going through fitness and out of form issues.

India vs England Live Score, 3rd Test, Day 1: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul Begin Cautiously Against England Seamers
India vs England Live: Rishabh Pant became the 291st player to represent India in Test cricket.© BCCI

India’s playing eleven is likely to witness few changes with Delhi wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant all set to make his Test debut replacing Dinesh Karthik, who has failed miserably so far in the tour, with scores of 0, 20, 1 and 0 in his four innings. Meanwhile, media reports suggest skipper Kohli has more or less recovered from his back problem and is expected to lead his side once again. Also, if opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan returns on Saturday, either Lokesh Rahul or Murali Vijay will be axed from the playing eleven.

Joe Root’s side won a close game at Edgbaston in the first Test with Sam Curran starring in only his second Test match with 4/74 with the ball in the first innings and a crucial 65-ball 63 with the bat in the second.

England triumphed by 31 runs courtesy of Ben Stokes taking 4/40 to bowl India out in the last innings but had to leave him out for the second Test as he attended the affray trial where he was found not guilty earlier this week.

The explosive all-rounder has been picked again at Trent Bridge and Curran is the unlucky man who misses out.

India captain Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli appears to have recovered from a back injury to play in the third Test (Image: REUTERS)

India meanwhile will be glad to have Virat Kohli fit after he recovered from a back injury that was aggravated during the innings defeat in the second Test at Lord’s.

Croatia came, fought and conquered while England trudged in lumber; very far, but not far enough

AIWA! We Press: It is painful for everyone. But it is a fact. Football is about winning and losing. And today England lost because of this simple fact.


On a night of almost unbearable tension, Mario Mandzukic’s well-taken goal in the second half of extra-time was enough to end all the unlikely English dreams and secure Croatia a World Cup final with France.

What do  we need to do to move forward, further than  where we have reached, where we are  here and beyond? Plan, invest, build and train: academies, coaches , managers and players.  And communities. England should not see themselves as a football team whose destination at competitive levels is always failure. Come on! Football was invented in England after all.

Gareth Southgate, the understated manager, has transformed the nation’s relationship with its football team.

He has managed to unify us where everyone else has failed; and he has gone beyond football at that. He made English football more personable to fans and the media. Commonality and a bit of national pride; one’s identity. england-squad-world-cup-2018full

And when the dust has finally settled Gareth Southgate’s The Three Lions Warriors were beaten by the better team – although there wasn’t much in it for anybody.

But England have exceeded all expectations, entered the semi-finals first time since 1966, restored some of their battered international pride and can return home with heads held high.


Crimson Tazvinzwa

Moped gangs pose as police to trick motorists into pulling over

Moped gangs are impersonating traffic police to pull over vehicles and threaten the occupants, in an escalation of the two-wheeled crimewave sweeping London.

Fighting crime: Met Police officers on anti-moped bikes ( Alex Lentati )

Police warned motorists to be aware of the latest ploy after they were called when a cab was boxed in on Chelsea Embankment by two riders pretending to be undercover officers.

Both had fitted their helmets with blue flashing lights, which they switched on as they pulled alongside the car taking American tourists back to their hotel in Battersea at about 1.40am last Friday.

The black-clad, masked bikers told the occupants, a 44-year-old woman and her friends, that the cab had run a red light, but the passengers became suspicious when the riders refused to identify themselves.

They called 999, and the bikers fled.

In an email to residents, a police officer wrote: “Worrying report today where a taxi was made to stop by suspects on a moped and motorcycle… Suspects stated that they were undercover police.

“Luckily the taxi and passengers were able to get away unscathed … however it’s an intimidating situation to be in. I would like to reassure all that police would not use mopeds to stop a moving vehicle.” The number of crimes using mopeds in London has soared from 827 in 2012 to more than 23,000 in 2017.

In an incident on June 21, four thugs attempted to rob a mother while she was with her child in Richmond.

The Met police are using new tactics to deal with moped crime, including decoy bikes, identifying sprays and remote-controlled puncture spikes.

Former Met detective David Videcette said: “Police are struggling to deal with moped-enabled crime and criminals are taking advantage of the difficulties police have legally, professionally and practically.”

England got the last gasp win they deserved?

England drained Tunisia out 2:1 in the end, but? England started off with composure, confidence and control of the game. By  Crimson Tazvinzwakane.jpgCaptain Harry Kane scored twice, including an injury-time winner, as England battled to victory over Tunisia in their opening game of the World Cup.

At second half England was thrown off course by Tunisia’s new 4-4-2 formation. With the ball in their possession most of the time; the team couldn’t create enough chances, even the ones created were used wastefully. England could have easily sailed into second half with a 5:0 lead.

The VAR Team and Match Officials almost sunk England. Questionable decisions were made. The penalty? And Harry Kane incident prior to that where he was wrestled to the ground?

The questions surrounding the use of the Video Assistant Referee reared their ugly heads once again during England’s World Cup 2018 opener with Tunisia in Volgograd on Monday night as captain Harry Kane was twice denied what looked like clear penalties.

Shortly after Tunisia were awarded a penalty for what looked like a soft collision between Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker and Fakhreddine Ben Yussef, a decision which was upheld by VAR, Kane crumbled under what can only be likened to something seen in WWE. England carried on and the ensuing goal-mouth scramble saw John Stones miskick the ball and the chance go begging.

Harry Kane appeared to be wrestled to the ground (BBC)

Then, shortly after half-time, an almost identical incident occurred, again on Kane, and again it was ignored be referee Wilmar Roldan to the bemusement of the incredulous England captain.

Ahead of the World Cup, the referees’ formal briefing to the media insisted they would take “grappling” in the box seriously and give penalties for it. A penalty for it has already been given for grappling in this tournament, with Croatia profiting from it against Nigeria on Saturday evening, beginning the question why it was missed on two occasions for England.

Domestic violence cases set to spike around England’s World Cup matches

As England are due to kick off for their first World Cup 2018 match, police have issued a stark warning to drink drivers and domestic abusers.

Both undercover and high visibility drink driving patrols will be put in place across Avon and Somerset during the tournament to catch people getting in the car after a heavy night.

Officers have also urged victims of domestic abuse to report the crime so it can be investigated.

Police are warning football fans about drink driving and domestic abuse (Image: PA)

Police and crime commissioner for Avon and Somerset, Sue Mountstevens, said: “Drink and drug driving can have devastating consequences. Many people will be having fun over the summer and enjoying the World Cup, hosting gatherings and socialising with family and friends. I fully support the police in their efforts to keep the roads across Avon and Somerset safe, not only this summer but all year round.”

Avon and Somerset Police is targeting drink drivers through its Operation Tonic campaign, and is warning drivers that they could still be over the limit the morning after a night of drinking heavily.

Domestic abuse is also high on the police’s list of priorities during the World Cup, with officers encouraging victims to come forward.

Chief inspector John Holt said: “If you are a victim of domestic abuse then please do report it, we will investigate and we can help you get the support and advice you need. We will also have extra specialist staff during and after matches to respond to calls.”

Research by a Lancaster University criminologist found that domestic abuse can rise by as much as 38% when England lose, but also 26% even when they win.

L-R Karl Eustace and Ste Gannon outside their homes in Upton Green Speke, Liverpool, which they decorated for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.. (Image: Liverpool Echo)

Speaking about drink-related crime, Chief Inspector Hold said: “The majority of offences that increase during the World Cup and drink-related, such as a disagreement between two pub-goers that escalates into a fight or criminal damage incidents on the way home.

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