Gtech eBike Sports – Product Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

ebike_sports_1Many readers in Britain will, by now, no doubt, have seen the TV advert for the Gtech eBike or the adverts for it in many of the national newspapers of the country. Well, now here is a review of the bike by someone who cycles (or walks) everywhere as he is a non-driver.

They do say that first impressions are important and count and the first impressions came already with the delivery, for sure, and they were very positive indeed.

The way the bike was delivered by Arrow XL with two friendly and helpful drivers, and with full tracking information and courtesy call from the drivers around 30 minutes prior to arrival was absolutely second to none. If only every delivery company could work that way that would be so nice.

The bike came in the box fully assembled, only the handle bars had to be straightened into the right direction, and the seat height adjusted. When doing that also use a 15mm spanner and check that the pedals are proper tight. That is something that I should have checked but did not do and one of them worked itself loose after only a few days. I shall let that serve me as a reminder to always check. Also it is, as with every new bicycle, to check that everything is tight still after a month or so and it is always good to check that all nuts and bolts are tight at a regular basis.

Also one specific heads up: when dismounting and pushing your bike for any distance other than a very short one do turn off the battery as a brush at the pedals and moving them just slightly can cause the bike to surge forward.

Taking it on its first outing to the local shops I was surprised at the – allow me to call it thus – take off speed that the bike has. So much in fact that I switched to low power for much of the time initially in order to get used to the way it works. I am very much impressed and I do not impress easily; it takes some doing.

When you have got used to pedaling a bicycle the normal way using a bike like the Gtech eBike feels very much like cheating, but a very positive cheating, I hasten to add.

All adjustments to the eBike can be done with one single tool, which comes supplied. Only when dealing with the back wheel, such as taking it off for a puncture repair in addition a spanner is required, and the same applies for the brakes. It just could not be simpler.

Here where I live, in a large Park, the terrain is a good testing ground for the Gtech eBike and one short though steep incline in particular. It is one where I would normally dismount and walk up with any bike. Not with this. The motor just gives you a lovely push – though I use the high power setting on inclines, hills and rough terrain – while going up with almost no effort whatsoever.

There is one particular area that I have to traverse at a daily basis to open up a small nature reserve within the park – generally with an ordinary bicycle – that is taxing on the legs to say the least, though it is but a short run of a hundred meters of so. The Gtech eBike makes easy work of this and is whizzing along like a dream with very little pedaling.

I allowed a friend of mine who used to commute from Cheam to Kew with an e-bike for about two years a go on the Gtech eBike and he very much prefers it to the one he used to ride. It was good to get input from someone who used to use an e-bike before as I had never had the chance to ride one previously. He was rather taken by the take off power and speed as well.

I have run the bike on one battery charge for almost a fortnight although using it for short distance of between half a mile to four miles and it held up well despite on and off and on and off, and changing between low (normal) and high power, though mostly run on low power. High power only for hills and rough terrain. Distance covered in this stop and start test around the 25 miles mark.

I also took the bike for a trial run on a very steep inline hill that is a difficult one even with a good geared bike and the Gtech eBike took it in its stride with just normal pedaling. I wish I had been able to take the bike for a real good long run in the Surrey countryside but, alas, that has not, as yet, been possible due to the fact that each and every time I would have had the time the weather had other ideas. The road up to box Hill would have been a great place to test the bike as regards to hills but so far the weather, as said, has not allowed to it.

At the heart of the Gtech eBike is our latest Lithium-ion battery, the same lightweight, high performance technology that is used to power electric cars – giving you a range of 30 miles. Plenty for a day's adventure or most trips to

work and back.

A built in computer continually measures your pedalling, smoothly adjusting the power delivered to the maintenance-free motor, giving you a boost when you need it. Everything is automatic; if you pedal, the bike will help you up to 15mph, but you can pedal harder if you like and go faster. You will feel its power most if you reach a hill and start to slow down.

Riding the Gtech eBike is very simple, you pedal to go faster and brake to slow down. There are no confusing gears and the oily chain has been replaced by a clean carbon belt drive as used on high-performance motor cycles.

The battery easily removes from the frame for charging. A mains charger is supplied, which will fully recharge the battery from flat in just 3 hours.

The eBike has an easy to read LED display, to tell you how much charge you've got remaining.

You can choose from two cruising speeds at the touch of a button, or turn the power off to ride it like an ordinary bike.

The frame of the Gtech eBike is made from the same material used in modern aircraft - light, strong and designed to last. The aluminium alloy is also rust resistant, capable of withstanding the elements whether you are using the bike on roads or country paths.

Thanks to its lightweight construction, the Gtech eBike weighs 16kg, so you can ride it easily with or without the power turned on.

From what I have seen and experienced so far I will have to give the Gtech eBike more than likely a 10 out of 5, even though the pedal did come off. Oh, now that number somehow does not compute. But, oh well, so be it. I think that the Gtech eBike will be the standard that others will have to come up to or beat if they want to have a chance, and not just with regards to the carbon belt drive it uses, but in all aspects.

To say that I like this bike would be the understatement of the year. I have proposed marriage to it if possible.

© 2016

United States introduces military draft for women

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

House panel votes to require women to register for the draft

military-draft1The House Armed Services Committee supported a measure that would require women to register for the draft at 18

The House Armed Services Committee narrowly passed a motion that takes women one step closer to being required to register for the draft.

A proposal by Calif. Rep. Duncan Hunter to merely generate debate on the issue ended up being approved by the panel in a 30-32 vote, in which Hunter himself voted against.

Hunter had originally written the amendment as a conversation starter after he felt the Pentagon's decision to lift the ban on military jobs previously closed to women left the possibility of a draft open without proper oversight.

“I think [Congress] should make this decision,” Hunter said. “It's the families that we represent who are affected by this.”

During his presentation, Hunter described the situation that usually follows a draft call, calling it a “call for bodies,” and would put women directly in harm's way.

“A draft is there to put bodies on the front lines to take the hill,” he said. “The draft is there to get more people to rip the enemies' throats out and kill them.”

Despite his graphic imagery descriptions, supporters held the majority opinion of the measure, with women panelists speaking highly of the idea of women registering for the draft.

Rep. Jackie Speier of Calif. said the change was an important part of gaining more equality for women.

“I actually think if we want equality in this country, if we want women to be treated precisely like men are treated and that they should not be discriminated against, we should be willing to support a universal conscription,” she said.

Retired Air Force fighter pilot, Rep. Martha McSally of Ariz., disputed the idea that draftees are only sent to the front lines, and said there are many other positions for them to fill.

The amendment will be added in to the defense policy bill that will be discussed and debated between Congress before being approved. The bill authorized the budget for the next fiscal year which begins Oct. 1.

Whatever Rep. Jackie Speier of Calif. Said it has nothing to do with equality for women but everything with being able to have a larger pool of bodies to use in the event of a war, a war on which they are very much working.

I think we seriously have to ask ourselves what the reasons are behind this. First of all the US Military presently is a professional army, navy and air force and the draft has not been used since the Vietnam War and while the register has still been in existence to now add women to this means, as far as I am concerned, that something is afoot that we better make sure is not going to happen.

If this would not directly come from the horse's mouth, so to speak, that is to say from sources directly under more or less, and is not the figment of the imagination some what some refer to as conspiracy theorist we really, I should think, have to keep a very close eye (or two) on this and see how it develops.

With all the saber rattling going on of NATO forces trying to bait the Russian bear this is a very worrying idea and move indeed.

© 2016

The second of May, a sad day in trade union history

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

1933-2014_webOn this day in the year 1933 the Nazis began their attack on the free trade unions in Germany which led to the total destruction of the free trade unions in that country, and to the incarceration and death of many trade unionist.

And, as if to make a point, exactly 81 years later, on the 2nd of May 2014 fascist thugs stormed the trade union house in Odessa, set fire to it and killed at least 48 people in the process.

Let us this day remember the martyrs of the trade union movement in Germany 83 years ago and those of Odessa 2 years ago. They all fell because they were trade unionists and because they stood for the working class and against the capitalist exploiters. And let their death not go unavenged.

Deutsche Version (German version)

Der 2te Mai, ein trauriger Tag in der Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung

Heute vor 83 Jahren, am 2. Mai 1933, begannen die Nazis mit ihrer Attacke gegen die freien Gewerkschaften Deutschlands was die totale Zerschalgung der freien Gewerkschaften in diesem Land, und die Einkerkerung und den Mord an vielen Genossen, zur Folge hatte.

Und, als wenn sie damit was sagen wollten, genau 81 Jahre nach dem Angriff der deutschen Nazis auf die Gewerkschaften griffen ukrainische Faschisten das Gewerkschaftshaus in Odessa, setzen es in Brand und ermordeten dabei mindestens 48 Menschen.

Lasst uns gedenken der Märtyrer der Gewerkschaftsbewegung in Deutschland vor 83 Jahren wie auch denen in Odessa vor 2 Jahren. Sie fielen weil sie Gewerkschaftler waren und weil sie für die Arbeiterklasse und gegen die Ausbeutung durch das Kapital standen. Lassen wir ihren Tot nicht ungerächt.

© 2016

Opinel pocketknives – Product Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Opinel1The pocketknives made by La Coutellerie OPINEL in France are a cut above the rest for less money than most. In other words, they are the very best clasp knives for use in the outdoors, and also for lot of other uses, including greenwood carving, that money can buy.

Better than knives many many times more expensive those little beauties from France are very high quality clasp knives ideally suited for many outdoor and other activities and you don't have to spend a fortune to own one, two or even more than that. My preference is and remains the carbon steel version over the stainless one any day.

I have found the the locks of the OPINEL, that patented locking ring, to be the safest lock of any pocketknife that I have so far encountered. It is a lock that is (almost) impossible to break. In fact, some years back I conducted the break test on them and all I succeeded in doing was to break the handle off just behind the lock; this was with the blade in a vice (shame on me, I know) and a long steel tube put over the end of the handle for leverage. The lock remained intact.

The OPINEL clasp knives have been manufactured for over 100 years by now in the French Savoy region by the Opinel family. Even though over the years the manufacturing process has been modernized and today is computerized to a great extend the design of the knife itself has changed little, if at all, over all those years with one exception, and that is the introduction in 1955 of the patented Virobloc rotating safety locking ring for the №’s 6 and upwards.

This is the locking mechanism which I have mentioned earlier and which is the safest lock of any pocketknife which I have so far encountered. It is extremely doubtful – Impossible even – to find a folding lock knife with a lock of the same superior quality for the same low price anywhere in the world.

In 1890 Joseph Opinel, a humble edged-tool maker from the Savoie region, created the OPINEL knife which, over time, has now become a knife against which others are judged throughout the world. This author certainly has been judging other knives against the OPINEL’s perfect lines and design for a great number of years already and has found most, if not indeed all others, wanting in one way or another.

Opinel2Today the OPINEL folding knife is classed among the world’s 100 most beautiful objects and is displayed in both the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The OPINEL folding knife is a most uncomplicated object and ideally suited for outdoor pursuits. It was originally made for the Savoy mountaineers and that most probably accounts for this.

I have been using Opinel № 6 and № 8 pocketknives ever since I was a child, and later in the military even, and also in my spoon and other treen carving activities and they have never let me down.

© 2016

Quinoa, the superfood that is impoverishing Peruvian peasants

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Quiona_LambsQuarters1Quinoa has become a sought after superfood for almost everyone desiring a healthier lifestyle and especially vegetarians and vegans. At the same time the western hunger for this “superfood” is impoverishing Peruvian peasants, leaving not enough for their own needs.

Oh, yes, they do get paid by the buyers for the grain that they sell them but they can't eat money and quinoa is their staple and thus there is not enough for their own needs.

If this plant would be growing here in the developed world most gardeners and farmers would pull it out as a weed because it is a goosefoot after all, the same genus and basically the same plant as the native goosefoot, aka Fat Hen or Lamb's Quarters. In other words, we have a cousin of this superfood growing wild in our fields and gardens in our own countries though the common goosefoot is not as productive and prolific with its seeds (grains).

This common goosefoot, a relation to the amaranth, was – please note the word was – a staple also of the diet in the Punjab until the arrival of hybridized wheat – the short-stemmed stuff – and Roundup. However, it was the greens of this plant that the people in the Punjab were using and not so much the seeds. The fact that the plant got killed off by the herbicides needed to enable the wheat to grow well the local population also developed serious problems with malnutrition.

But we have many what could be called superfoods growing in our own gardens, in the countryside and even on some many sites in towns and cities. However, we tend to call them weeds and the gardeners pull them out or hit them with one or the other herbicide, often the dreaded Roundup. We should be cultivating and eating them instead. Also instead of importing superfoods and so-called superfoods from other countries and continents.

The French are well ahead of us in this, and have been for centuries. They don't pull up dandelion, for instance. Instead they eat it. And the same goes for many of those so-called weeds in other countries. Chenopodium album (Lamb's Quarters, aka Fat Hen or White Goosefoot) is – or was before the advent of the new kind of wheat and Roundup – by the people of the Punjab and in other countries and regions other weeds are on the menu too.

The Greeks have a dish (or side dish) called Horta which is nothing more than nettles, dandelion and some other edible wild greens cooked like spinach. Chickweed too is a pot herd and also goes well with egg and cress where it is used as a substitute for the salad cress. Many of those weeds have been shown to be (almost) superfoods and thus we should not waste them by pulling them up and disposing of them. We should use them to nourish us instead.

© 2016

Over 50s in UK politically right-wing

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The over 50s, who form half of the adult population, were voting in their thousands on the night of March 2nd 2015 on which political party leader ‘best performed’ on the only seven-party political debate that night., who hosted the poll, has revealed that Prime Minister David Cameron performed best with 27% of the vote and his current Deputy, Nick Clegg getting a disastrous 3% - a mighty change for the Liberal Democrat leader from five years ago.

The results themselves came out about as follws:

  • David Cameron leads as best performer with 27% of the votes

  • SNP’s leader Nicola Sturgeon was very close behind with 26%

  • Nigel Farage beat off Ed Miliband with 24% with just 14% for the Labour leader

  • Nick Clegg turned out to be a disaster in this poll with just 3% of the vote

The poll which saw over 1,100 over 50s vote also revealed and quite surprisingly that Nicola Sturgeon was a close 2nd getting 26% of the vote. Despite her continued pledge to separate Scotland one day from the United Kingdom, many of the over 50s were commenting that maybe a Conservative-SNP coalition might be a good thing!

The voting did not go in the favor of Ed Miliband, at all, which saw him fall far behind UKIP leader Nigel Farage who got 24% of the votes.

When we see how the older working class, for instance, run, literally, over to UKIP and even other right-wing parties and groups the radio call from a certain Apollo spacecraft “Houston, we seem to have a problem,” rings in one's ears, only that the call is not being made to Houston but to all of those that look for a better alternative to Toryism and Capitalism. Another five years of the Tories in Britain and the poor and working class in this country will have nothing left.

While it may be true that the 50s were not mentioned once in the two hour debate, particularly as they are now nearly half the adult UK population. The aging population was mentioned in relation to the NHS but there was no debate on how the UK will manage a society that is increasingly living longer with many over 50s having a vast untapped experience that could be used to help the youth of today learn “new” skills.

But, then again, none of the politicians in that debate seem to have mentioned the over 50s who are making choices that they may come to regret when they no longer have the social services and the NHS to rely on free at the point of delivery when they need them, if they give the Tories another five years to destroy the country and especially the welfare state.

On the other hand the over 50s indeed have often untapped skills and experience that could be used to help the youth of today to learn “new” skills; new meaning here skills that will be important in a new society to be built on the ruins of the old, the latter which is about to fall apart around our ears.

Capitalism cannot be reformed, and neither can the Labour Party. What this country, and indeed the world, the Planet, needs is a new movement, a new society, a new system, that takes account of both man and Planet, and where the economy is based on the resources and not on ever more and more growth.

To achieve that, however, we must get the over 50s away from the fascist ideas that they, currently, are appear to be following, from the ideas of the Tories, of UKIP, the EDL and others.

It was frightening to see how many of that age group seem to be in the marches of PEGIDA, which joined with the EDL, in London, for instance, on Saturday, April 3, 2015. And it is also those of the fifty and over age bracket that appear to be the majority of the members of the AfD and PEGIDA in Germany. Although, it has to be said, that also many young, especially unemployed and working class men and women, are being caught up in this.

© 2016

When robots steal our jobs

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

This is not a farfetched science fiction idea and notion but is on the way to becoming reality; the robots that is, and with it fact that they will cause us to lose our jobs.

More and more jobs can now be carried out by “robots”, even the mowing of lawns, even though those robotic mowers still need to be “told” precisely, often via wires surrounding an area, where too cut and all that but they do exist and are being refined more and more.

Many manufacturing jobs already are being carried out, and on some levels for some time already, such as in the automotive industry, by robotic systems. Yes, this mechanization of production processes has done away with the drudgery of the repetitive work at the production lines, but it has also done away with the need for workers and more and more jobs are under threat through the introduction and the development of robots to replace humans.

As if outsourcing of jobs to countries such as China, Vietnam and India, etc., have not caused enough problems already we are now headed towards the total elimination of some jobs altogether. Now we have come even thus far that there is software available that automatically generated newspaper articles and this may soon make the journalist redundant (or so it has been suggested).

So, what is the answer to this dilemma that many people could, in the not so distant future, lose their jobs and any chance of another one?

Some have suggested a universal (basic) income for all but I cannot see that happening unless all means of production would be in the hands of the workers (no, not the robots that do the work) and that I cannot see happening in the near future either, at least not in the UK and the US.

We have seen, in history, those things happening time and again, whether it was with the weavers at the advent of the mechanized weaving loom, or others. But now things are looking much different to then, for everything, almost, could become mechanized by way of robots and what trades can the workers replaced by those machines enter in today's world? Very few, I should think.

Yes, there will be some jobs and trades that cannot be replaced by robots but attempts will be made, of that we can all be certain, to replace as many humans as possible with machines in order to “save money”.

One has to wonder though as to whether those wishing to save money in production processes by replacing humans with robots have actually pondered who is going to buy their products if they put people out of employment and cheat them out of an income?

If you make something that no one can afford to buy because they do not have the money to do so because your actions have caused them the lack of money you soon are going to run out of customers.

That equation, however, does not seem to enter the minds of those whose only motivation is profit by reduction of costs and one of the greatest costs in any industry is that of labor and it is that one that they want to reduce at all costs.

Can anyone in their right mind really believe that those selfsame capitalists are going to be so nice to give every worker that the robots make redundant (and everyone else) a nice basic income of a couple of thousand Dollars equivalent a month and let everyone do as they wish by way of being creative, for instance, such as writing, woodcarving, painting, gardening, and all that, or even volunteering?

It is not going to happen unless we change the system and not just tinker around with the old one. Capitalism cannot be reformed. It was designed not to favor the proletarian, the worker, but only the owner of production, and no capitalist government is going to give a universal basic income to the people whether or not they are the victims of job losses due to mechanization and robots.

Robots will soon be stealing the jobs of most of us and unless we are going to do something about it, and do something about it now, we all, and our children and children's children after us, will be on the scrap heap.

© 2016

And they wonder why our High Streets are dying

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The Worthing Herald, Worthing, West Sussex, as well as the Portsmouth News, and others have reported on the closure of a profitable gift shop for men in the town or Worthing. And this is but one of many stores that are forced to close its doors because they cannot afford the rent hikes and/or the over the top business rates.

Profitable gift shop closes due to high business rates (Portsmouth News)

The Mens Gift Shop, in Montague Street, Worthing, a profitable gift shop, would not be closing if “antiquated” business rates were halved to help small retailers, its owner, Michael Smith, has said. The shop has been trading profitably for the past 13 years but have closed by the end of February 2015.

Mr. Smith has launched a stinging attack on the business rates system, which he views as out of date and favoring larger firms.

He said: “The biggest problem for us is the antiquated system of business rates, which is just not fit for purpose. If rates were halved, then we would not be shutting”, and he believes larger retailers and online firms such as Amazon have the advantage on smaller traders due to complex business rates calculations, which have not been updated for years.

He said: “Once a shop hits 1,850 square meters, it becomes a large shop and rates are capped at £70 per square meter. We pay £350 per square meter.

“A company like Amazon would pay £35 per square meter. They pay 10 per cent of what we do because it is classed as a warehouse. Amazon isn't a warehouse, it's a retailer.”

It would also appear, it has to be said, that in many towns and cities of the UK, priority seems to be given to large chains and and supermarkets rather than to individual retailers and craftspeople as far as stores go and the reason for that I may leave the reader to think about. We may all be wrong as to what our thoughts on that are but, then again, we may all be correct.

If we, and that is all of us, want a thriving high street and towns centers then we must demand from the councils that a different approach is being taken and that independent shops are given the priority over those from the large chains, whether those be Teso, Sainsbury's. Morrisons, Asda, Pound Shop, or Amazon, Argos and the like.

Independent retailers and craftspeople make a town center something that you want to go to and, yes, grocers, butchers and greengrocers too are needed. In fact everything from the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, and everything in between.

© 2016

Hedge management boosts rare butterfly

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

ButterflyImproving hedges by proper hedgerow management helps to conserve the rare Brown Hairstreak butterfly and also aids other wildlife. Often, in the same way as coppicing, laying hedges and managing them, besides trimming them, is seen by certain self-proclaimed ecologists and environmental experts as bad for wildlife but neither the proper management of hedges nor coppice management of woodlands is. It is actually of great benefit to wildlife and trees, and in the case of coppice woodlands also to the people and local economy.

The Brown Hairstreak butterfly was thought to be extinct in the West Midlands until its rediscovery in 1970 in an orchard. Since then, local landowners have helped the colony to expand.

According to Jane Ellis of Butterfly Conservation, the Brown Hairstreak

requires blackthorn hedgerows on which to lay its eggs. It responds positively to "sensitive" hedgerow management.

The biggest problem that we have today, however, as regards to farm and roadside hedges is that they are no longer being properly and sensitively managed but get hacked with a flail without ever being laid properly.

In addition to that there are too many hedges that are planted today with other shrubs than those that are beneficial for the likes of the Brown Hairstreak and others and the hedges are, if planted, are all too often planted without real thought and method.

This is the same with woodlands that are allowed to fall into disrepair short of destruction for lack of vision and resultant from that lack of proper management. Private woodlands, as well as and especially council owned woodlands are so affected, and while there is little that can be done as regards to those in private hands but, maybe, applying to the owners if they want them managed, those that are publicly owned by councils, whether county councils or municipal or parish councils should be handed over, for management, to cooperatives, or other interested parties.

© 2016

For more on coppicing and why, etc. see “Managing our Woods”, a small book that explains the whys and wherefores of managing our woods in this way and calls for us to return to that way.

President Obama's blackmail threat over EU Referendum

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Obama said that Brexit would put UK at ‘back of the queue’ for trade deal in huge EU Referendum intervention

POTUSHowever, someone on social media mentioned that the Americans do not, per se, use the term queue and thus it would appear that the text was written by the UK government and given to the US President to use. Though I am well aware that in some instances the word queue is also used in America and thus it could also have come from the POTUS himself.

Speaking at a press conference in London alongside David Cameron, Obama said: “First of all, let me repeat, this is a decision for the people of the United Kingdom to make. I not coming here to fix any votes. I’m not casting a vote myself. I’m offering my opinion. And, in democracies, everybody should want more information and not less. And you shouldn’t be afraid to hear an argument being made. That’s not a threat. That should enhance the debate.

Particularly because my understanding is that some of the folks on the other side have been ascribing to the United States certain actions we’ll take if the UK does leave the EU. So they say, for example, that ‘well, we’ll just cut our own trade deals with the United States’. So they’re voicing an opinion about what the United States is going to do and I figured you might want to hear from the President of the United States what I think the United States is going to do.

And on that matter, for example, I think it’s fair to say that maybe some point down the line there might be a UK-US trade agreement, but it’s not going to happen any time soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc—the European Union—to get a trade agreement done.

And the UK is going to be at the back of the queue. Not because we don’t have a special relationship but because, given the heavy lift on any trade agreement, us having access to a big market with a lot of countries, rather than trying to do piecemeal trade agreements, is hugely inefficient.”

Either way it is blackmail and should be seen as a threat and should be rejected as such. The US President has no right to interfere in the affairs of this country unless Britain is not a sovereign nation but just a US colony. I will leave the reader to make up his or her own mind about this latter issue.

Fact is that President Obama wasn’t just talking about his views but issuing a direct threat about the consequences of the referendum. What we are seeing here is more textbook Project Fear than platitudes about what is in the American and British interest.

It fits in perfectly with the tone of the Remain campaign, sowing doubt in voters’ minds about what will happen to the British economy if the country votes to leave. But it will also agitate those Eurosceptic Tories who are already furious about the way the US President has been harnessed by the In campaign.

In some speeches and references to the British EU referendum a couple of weeks back the current POTUS also implied that it would hurt the “special relationship” if the British people should vote to leave the EU.

What is this “special relationship” actually, we should ask here, and how did it come about and who actually benefits from it. The greatest benefactor from it is and has always been the US, whether it is with regards to extraditions of people the US views as criminals or other issues.

To understand how this “special relationship” came about and how it is that the US has such an influence over the UK we have to go back some 70 years or so to the time of the Second World War and the agreement between Churchill and the United States as to American help in this war against German fascism. It was there that Churchill had to grant the US certain rights and privileges over British sovereignty and had also to sign away the colonies to enable to US to become a “world power”, which before that it definitely was not. And in this light this blackmail threat has to be seen also and especially.

© 2016