The Toblerone Republic, the one a certain Prime Minister of a Banana constitutional Royalist Monarchy island state likes to go to for the odd summer walk, held several referenda yesterday. They have a system described as "direct democracy in parallel with representative democracy". They are always holding referenda. Silly people allowing the people to have a say.
A proper Banana Constitution i.e. a written one that is unwritten, dates back over 800 years and allows the peasants to be lorded over by 810 unelected but titled tiddly-wink champions and the like, working together with 650 elected but widely accepted as bribable apes, who enjoy their daily free bananas and will do anything to protect their fellow apes on any cliff, of any outcrop, under any circumstances, anywhere on the planet.
Yesterday's referenda included one which was started by a far right wing lot, to change the constitution which would have put national Swiss courts and rights above international rights such as those of the UN or The European Court of Human Rights. It was rejected - Brexiteers please note.
The second one was on the right of the social insurance agencies to employ "social" detectives to snoop on people suspected of cheating the social security of benefits, notably from Accident and Invadility insurance. The parliament had already voted for the law and the referendum supported them with around 67%. Will be interesting to see how the "snoop vs privacy" debate develops.
The third and most important was a referendum brought by a mountain dairy farmer who wanted the constitution to be changed so that the farmers who did not burn out the horns of their calves would receive extra government subsidies. It has been clearly shown that dehorning is, leaving aside the pain, totally against the way a cow "works", it is in effect part of their digestive system as well as crucial in inter-cow communication - a bit like humans with no arms to gesticulate. 90% of Swiss cows are hornless, some genetically so, but the majority have their horns removed, the main reason being the farmers can hold more cows per square metre stable space. It was a pretty close run matter but 54.7% voted against it.
I suspect the Swiss, always very aware of how to make the odd Swiss Franc, had heard of the Brexit news earlier on Sunday morning and spotted the chance to get back in the Toblerone Duty-Free Market. Can't get enough milk now and want more cows/sqm.
I know Lord Sterling of Plaistow, Lifetime President of P&O Cruises and no doubt still with a finger in his, quite proudly held baby's, P&O Ferries pie, is a big Brexit supporter in the House of Lords. Wonder if he is happy about the WA delaying getting the Toblerone displays back on the ships. Could just be other reasons too and I will admit he is a strong supporter of many good things about Britain and the British. I suspect "No deal" and no support for the government from him.
I popped by my GP this morning to get my blood tested. Not my blood pressure which has decreased wonderfully since I deactivated my Facebook account last night. Expect I will find out tomorrow that I need some iron and Vitamin B jabs. That should build up strength until after the House of Commons Meaningless Vote in two weeks.
After the GP popped into the appropriately named "Penny Market" supermarket to buy some sliced toast bread, the only good concept exported from the UK or was it the USA? As always impossible to find anything from the British Isles that doesn't originate from the Republic of Ireland. One very strange sounding brand "Castello" Cheddar with the words "sensual, tingly Cheddar, original British". Turns out it's a Swedish/Danish/German Farmer's Co-Op, one of the world's largest milk companies. The address on the package was in Denmark. I do know they sell in the UK, have some farmers on contract but can't quite work out if they have any production of anything there. Alongside it, more Irish Cheddar this time Penny Market's own brand Irish Cheddar and a bit further over, the large display of Kerrygold Cheddar and other cheeses and not far from the cases of Kerrygold Irish butter.
I went for the Penny Vintage Irish Cheddar. Was not buying meat but just happened to see in the shelves, Irish and American Steak on offer, alongside German. Checked out the Irish package - born, raised, slaughtered and partly butchered in Ireland and finally portioned in Germany. Useful some of the consumer laws passed by the EU to protect and inform their citizens.
The old Swiss mountain farmer when interviewed following the "defeat", smiled and declared it to be great news - the publicity alone had brought the issue to the forefront and just as a number of reports in the last few years on Bavarian TV on the cow horn debate, more and more farmers are changing their ideas and, admittedly small, dairies are only taking milk from dairy cows with horns and fed only grass/hay.
I'm rather enjoying life without my daily Facebook Brexit
serial cereal and without the butchery going on in "that place". I would recommend a certain lady try taking a very late autumn trip to Switzerland and asking the world leaders how to conduct a referendum.
And as a note, the BBC reported on the Swiss referenda or rather "-um" only on the sovereignty issue before the event but clearly in the hope that it was another slap in the face of the EU who have some international treaties with Switzerland. Since the result, the BBC doesn't seem interested and don't mention it. Good news is no news. However, the article does have a few interesting points on the referendum system and some of the results including one on EU Free Movement which was voted on a few years ago.