Pyramid Comment

This journal takes an alternative view on current affairs and other subjects. The approach is likely to be contentious and is arguably speculative. The content of any article is also a reminder of the status of those affairs at that date. All comments have been disabled. Any and all unsolicited or unauthorised links are absolutely disavowed.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021


 IsleWriters and Broadstairs Writers' Group

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Minster Road (traffic lights)

4th Saturday of month
10.00am - 12.30pm  free

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All writers welcome

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Peaky Blinders

This series has never before been seen but out of curiosity it was sampled over a Bank Holiday weekend. A horse execution by handgun-shot was shown - in slow motion to savour the scene - and was very real. It appeared to be a genuine killing. This was unexpected, unnecessary and very upsetting. In all its reality.

Perhaps the scene was cleverly staged. If a horse is seriously injured in the disgraceful Grand National, basic decency is for a curtain to be placed around the execution preventing the crowd witnessing proceedings. Odd really because enjoyment for that crowd is offered by having the race in the first place. To trick a horse into jumping over a hedge that has the deep drop on the other side not in view. Jump... too late. Dreadful. Rather like battle tunics being red so royalty is not offended by the sight of blood.

The language was excessively poor with the use of expletives for several minutes from more than one character. To place in character, profanity can be acceptable if kept to a minimum. Beyond this it becomes gratuitous (f***, f***ing). It defines poor writing as there appears no other creative way to show anger/rage. No character is worthy of empathy or any emotion. What happens to a character? Couldn't care. No interest in any of them. The writing has failed.

A complaint was sent to the BBC. This program was broadcast at peak viewing time on a Sunday evening over a Bank Holiday weekend.

A reply was received but was formulaic and extremely patronising. It would appear that complaining is very odd behaviour. To be outraged by something the BBC deems acceptable is actually unusual. The program was shown after the 'watershed' and viewers were warned that it contained upsetting scenes and offensive language. Clearly the BBC understands where the line is drawn though makes no attempt to stop at it. But to jump over it.

Probably, if it was 'legal', hard-porn would be introduced as long as the viewer is warned beforehand.

The fact that the template answer was issued (earlier series, BAFTA awards and carefully considered content) implies other complaints had been received.

The question was raised about a real scene or just cleverly executed (the unnecessary horse death in slow motion). An answer was completely missing. Ignored. The conclusion here is that it was real since no written denial was forthcoming.

The BBC must be condemned for this broadcast and the entire series. Box sets are probably available to see it all over again. This suggests an indictment against viewers who relish this sort of program. Impressionable young minds can be corrupted. Those watching after the 'watershed' - a cynical device to allow such productions to be screened.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Stealing a Reserved Disabled Parking Space

No Blue Badge - No Parking


This should be simple enough for most to understand. It happens all too often, though, that some are either illiterate or just plain selfish morons who couldn't care less. The type who would probably mistreat animals or other humans. A bully. Or a lazy "mother" with young children. The child's "safety" is clearly more important than the difficulties of the disabled. When challenged? Total blank. Nothing to say? Imagine the values introduced to these young people from an imbecile like this.

Signage makes it very clear that
the designated space is
for Blue Badge holders only.

Exclusive use

   A lengthy hiatus has existed since my last excursion into this attitude. Things have changed... unfortunately, for the worse.
   Taking a parking space reserved for the disabled is bad enough, but then to blatantly lie when challenged...  Probably assumed that the disabled individual is a bit dim. Easy enough to uncover the lie though. Just examine the vehicle. Difficult one that.

You have my parking space
do you want my disability?

   Reserved parking bays are provided for a reason. The driver or passenger is disabled. Not maybe. Definitely. Stealing one and then lying about possessing a Blue Badge is about as low as you can get. This notice will almost certainly 'anger' the irresponsible individual, but caution: if you start digging a hole, the hole can only get deeper. Anger is one thing, but rage is a different beast.

The man who opts

for revenge

should dig two graves

   Convenience parking demonstrates a very unpleasant attitude. An arrogance:

My right to park where I want without entitlement supercedes any rights you may have. You are disabled so are obviously unworthy of the parking space I want.

It's raining? I won't get wet then.

You? Tough.

Blue Badges can be difficult to acquire (hoops to jump through), so when some ignorant thief steals a reserved parking space (for their own selfish 'requirement'), the rage is absolute. Problems are bad enough without this type of obnoxious waste of space. Some contribute to society, but some just take (the parasite) and destroy it. Most likely they will be the first to complain when they feel life is unfair. They don't solve problems:

Just create them

   An irony? At a sports facility where people try to get fit, the parasite just can't be bothered to walk a few extra metres. Must be too tiring or something. Pathetic isn't it?

To make an explicit note:

Vehicles have no human rights
or civil liberties

   So far, this doesn't identify anyone or anything...

Note added - 10.03.2020

A car was reversed into a disabled parking bay without any blue badge to authorise parking. An attempt to cover this selfish attitude - the windscreen turned away from the pavement. Incredibly cynical. What type of low-life can do this? How can they live with themself?

Horrible 'people'.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

London Attack

The Perception of Conspiracy Theory - "Fake News?"

None of the following excuses the events,
but challenges parts of the whole

As reported, the entire London affair is terrible. There can be no doubt about that. What is disturbing is the swiftness to "state" this was a terror attack on absolutely no evidence. The allegation was immediate and this instills fear in the public mind. That in itself is worrying. And already to associate it with the attacks in France (UK).
   Initial reports mentioned "gunshots" and "four dead". The reasonable assumption was a terrorist group had been behind this, but it later transpires that the gunshots were those of plain-clothed security personnel.
   The attack began by mowing down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before crashing into the fence surrounding the Palace of Westminster (Parliament, UK). A knife attack resulted in the death of a police officer. Others (4) also died, but not through knife-attack, one a woman who fell (knocked? - DA) into the Thames.

Gunshots (security forces) and a

single attacker

armed with a knife

instantly translates into a terrorist attack

   This may well turn out to be the case, but by proper investigation after the fact and not an assumption before the facts have been determined. The media have been recruited to provide free coverage and convince the general public of a conclusion based on just about nothing. The aftermath is clear and should be reported, but to declare a cause immediately is totally wrong. A dead assailant can tell no lies though can neither tell any truth. What is "known" so far is not very much (essentially nothing that is not obvious - DA).

Watch for the introduction

of' 'beefed-up'

government powers

look rather tame

   Apparently, the attacker was a sometimes pleasant and sometimes violent man (historically - 2003 and before). This much is verifiable and known to MI5 ["a middle-aged Asian man" - Khalid Masood (52)], who has now been tracked to have connections with Islamic State, ISIS (allegedly - DA). No criminal convictions for terrorism have ever been applied (charges tried in court? - DA).

The Westminster attacker was


known to the police and

intelligence services

UK prime minister reveals

   Theresa May (Prime Minister) told MPs that while Masood had been "once investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism" he was a "peripheral figure" and "not part of the current intelligence picture" (form good reasons for being "under the radar" - DA).
   The issue here is the almost indecent haste with which so much has so quickly been "discovered". A potential issue is that ISIS has simply claimed responsibility and taken advantage of the events. This alleged organisation may have had nothing to do with this and who would believe what they claim anyway (just about everyone, it seems - DA)?
   The BBC understands that Masood had worked in Saudi Arabia for several years at the General Authority of Civil Aviation in the port city of Jeddah, teaching English as a second language.
   It may be recalled that London was also the place of execution of Jean Charles de Menezes and the rise of Cressida Dick to ultimately Commissioner. There must be many who feel ill because of this (I do - DA).

FEAR rules

   Similar actions have been made in the past by none other than Hitler (Chancellor of Germany - 1933) and George "Dubya" Bush. Events were used to justify the imposition of legislation to combat "terror". In Hitler's case (The Reichstag Fire - The Rise of Adolf Hitler), the attack was instigated by Hitler and this helped to establish a Nazi Germany.
   Bush  very swiftly introduced the Patriot Act (signed into law by 26th October 2001) after the attack on the Twin Towers (11th September, 2001).

Electronic Devices on Aircraft

A ban is to be imposed by BA and Easyjet on laptops and tablets within the cabin space on aircraft. Any device that could cause an issue must be prevented from being placed anywhere on board. A potential bomb in the hold can still be a major threat.

No airline is likely to do this

as it may harm business


   An exlosive decompression could cause a crash.

   Well, they'll probably take their chances. After all, it's only the lives of a few employees and some passengers that are at risk.

Trump - enough

Donald Trump, President USA, "tweets" without (so it would seem - DA) any pre-discussion with his advisors. At this level of power and influence, this can only be a dangerous action. Inadvertently making an unguarded and potentially a provocative statement can have far-reaching consequences.
   Trump insists on digging his hole, making it deeper and deeper. He must do this alone, but ALL Americans (and the rest of the world - DA) could end up paying an awful price for such a "tweet".

   Any earlier "support" suggested here for Trump has ended

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Sainsbury: Parking Control Flawed

Only a partial solution

means this article stands

Sainsbury's Trading: Westgate-on-Sea
Planning Application - 26.04.2012
Sainsbury's sued (£1.8m) - disability discrimination
Customer rating: ***** (2 of 5) [scroll down]
Unsatisfied - And more. And...
Supermarket Parking Tickets

Time-limited parking in principle is justified to prevent abuse by non-Sainsbury's 'visitors', but the failure to extend a general policy to ALL blue badge holders by default means the ethos of this article must stand. Registration with a particular store demands that any other store is excluded unless registration happens here as well. The burden of proof is placed on the customer. It's the simplest (wrong) way of policing. Not the fairest and right way, though requiring some effort from Sainsbury's.

08.05.2017 - update

Registration system seems to work, but only for the individual making the registration onto the Sainsbury system. No PCN received after a 3.5hr visit (not too often, I trust - DA). Registration has been declared to be continuous, so any further extended visit should NOT attract a PCN. However, it is restricted to the particular site, although this has not been tested (don't push your luck, Louis - DA). Still no changes have been made to the Sainsbury website regarding any type of parking, so the ethos behind the failure to make the limitation very apparent appears to clarify the entire issue (decide for yourself - DA). Signage is present (in small print), but not in the line of sight.

25.04.2017 - update

There is still no information in the Help Centre about specifically disabled parking or even any restrictions/limits on parking in general. With the amount of adverse commentary to date, this is inexcusable. No effort has been made to counter the alleged charge that profit is all that matters - not customer satisfaction. Signage is posted around the car park, but boards have small writing and the message is very low-key. Looking for parking places means the signage is not (ensures? - DA) "in your face" noted. Unless restrictions are expected. it is unlikely that a customer would search out this information - after having found a parking space. This defines an arrogant assumption that customers will/should know that such restrictions apply.

Parking Charge Notification

via Horizon Parking Ltd.

Are the disabled (blue badge) subject
to the 3hr parking time limit?

YES they are

   More than 3hr (excess) use of the site for a disabled blue badge holder (entry-to-exit) attracts the PCN even if just 1 minute over. Apparently, there is patrolling of the car parks. The procedure after crossing the entry boundary is one of simply photo in/out (number plate recognition). Any change is for the Sainsbury's directors to wrestle with and not customer services.

Management and board

The Board is chaired by David Tyler and its key focus in helping to create long-term sustainable value for shareholders, is on strategic leadership, performance management, investor relations, risk management and governance succession planning.
   Day-to-day management of the Group is delegated to the Operating Board, which is chaired by Mike Coupe, the Chief Executive. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of the company, and executing the strategy, once agreed by the Board. He creates a framework of strategy, values, organisation and objectives to ensure the successful achievement of results, and allocates decision-making and responsibilities accordingly.
Not much here to suggest customers (those that still use
Sainsbury's - DAand employees*  ALL play their part

Company values
Stress free shopping
FAQ's (but the wrong ones - DA)

   A solution for ALL customers and not just the individual who can prosecute their OWN case could involve a database of 'white-listed' blue badge holders - a register. Interrogation by Horizon Parking Ltd could then cancel a PCN before it's issue. It would be easy enough to introduce and could potentially be operated nation-wide. This would also get around a potential problem of registration at a store (blue badge presentation for examination) and obviously not being able to display any documentation on the vehicle while this is being done. The updated database would have the details.
   An even easier solution is that advice (about registration) is displayed within the store. Even check-out staff could inform the obviously disabled customer. (This is not your problem, Louis DA. Yes it is - LB).

   Make note that Horizon Parking Ltd 
not only collects the penalty
(£40 or £70), but also imposes a
3.75% transaction fee even if
settled by using a debit card 
(not a credit card).

   There is no information on the Sainsbury's website regarding (any) parking, though there is signage when driving around the site. The serious flaw is that vision is horizontal (straight ahead) when looking for a place to park. And other moving vehicles coming out (forwards/reversing) from spaces. The signs are upward and not in the line of sight (not very thoughtful - DA).

To 'fail' to notice the rules is not
surprising. It is no defense to argue
that because signage is displayed,
the customer is clearly at fault.

There is no signage at the
disabled parking area

   Why is there no information about parking policy - is it because it is legally unenforceable (but it's on private land - DA)? Or simply an attempt to trap consumers? Sainsbury's possibly collects a %age of the PCNs (do you really think so, Louis?DA). This would boost profits and it is speculation whether

approached Sainsbury's to engage in a contract to control parking or the other way around.

   There are many examples [this is March/April 2013 (4 years ago!!!) - DA] that demonstrate another side to the caring company values claimed by Sainsbury's. Parking for the able-bodied at supermarkets has its own issues (makes very interesting reading - DA). Designated blue badge parking spaces seem to be unpatrolled (even if this is not true) and certainly devoid of duration signage. These areas are located near the main store entrance: 'mobility/access' requirement.
   Disgruntled customers walk away and shop elsewhere - the competition (haven't the shareholders realised this yet? - DA).

It doesn't make

good business sense

  The real risk losing a"loyal" customer forever - for just

£40 (+ 3.75%)

   Registered (blue badge) disabled will not be issued with a PCN (Parking Charge Notification) for 'violating' the parking rules:

If aware of the
registration procedure

   They are otherwise manoeuvred to somewhere between a rock and a hard place by suggesting that an appeal should effectively suspend action until a resolution. What if the appeal fails - £40 or £70 (more than the 14 days)?

Not explicitly clarified

  • 'when all the required information is received the PCN will be placed on hold until we have replied to your appeal (what if it is not technically an appeal, just a challenge? - DA ). If you need to resubmit an appeal because you have failed to quote your 6-digit number... Get the choice of word: it's crude psychology

Why not simply 'not quoted' DA

  • ...we will aim to respond to your communication within 14 days, but certainly no more than 35 days. Please wait to hear from us during this period.
   This implies there is a possible risk of the escalation to the 'non-discounted' £70 if more than 14 days after the PCN issue (up until the 35 days from issue). It is left unclear (deliberate? -  DA).

Would you take that risk?

I wouldn't - DA

Horizon Parking Ltd takes the flack (isn't that fair? - DA) for something which is a Sainsbury's responsibility - policy (isn't this simply blame-shifting? - DA). So, the time given is 14 days from the date of issue of the PCN or risk the 'discounted' amount (£40) being raised to £70. It isn't until the photographic 'evidence' is issued that it can be appreciated exactly how parking is policed - from an office and not 'on the ground'.

Make note of the attempted

phsycological bullying

£40 - pay up quickly 

£70 - if you don't

Use a Sainsbury's site at your peril. It would seem that your shopping experience at the store could

become a disaster

Don't overlook:

   The provision of disabled facilities is possibly because of building and subsequent operating regulations only - presumably the minimum legal requirement. This all adds up to a more sinister beast lurking beneath the caring face of Sainsbury's: a hard-nosed and ruthless business.

One interpretation is of blatant


Certainly against the disabled. Anyone else?

   It takes time to visit/leave Sainsbury's at Ramsgate:

Initial parking, transfer/entry up and into the store,
negotiating aisles for shopping, top shelf requires
waiting for assistance,
paying (queue length dependent - DA),
use of the cafeteria, toilet facilities (more than once?),
exit from the upstairs store, transfer of purchases
to vehicle and then a secure departure
(properly seat-belted).

   These actions take more time than for the able-bodied - 3hrs is clearly not enough for some customers. Use of one of the disability scooters could compromise any possible rehabilitation (if self-propulsion is critical - personal effort).
   A Sainsbury's wheelchair is a non-starter: how would you get one unless it was brought down by a carer/partner/wife/husband? Their own shopping has to done, too. And the wheelchair returned (or abandoned - DA) after use. It would require collection by Sainsbury's or risk being stolen as wheelchairs are quite valuable and who would get the blame for any theft? (The last user - DA). And wouldn't the disabled and vulnerable individual be left alone if the chair is returned? Upstairs. Dangerous DA).

   Anyway, the provision of these could simply be because:

'it's what the competition does'

   Plan ahead to shorten visit-time?

Not an option Sainsbury's

must not be allowed to interfere

with any possible recovery

    Sainsbury's and Horizon Parking Ltd (the agency handling parking control) can together make a difficult existence much more difficult and Sainsbury's would be better fixed to more professionally police the abuse of parking (and so they should - DA). A car (black KA) was seen to be left in front of the post/sign that declared a disabled bay. No blue badge was on display.

   Can Tesco behave more responsibly?

Such fun

No badge

no parking

If someone does not have a blue badge
for a disabled person, the GP
should be approached
and then KCC (£10)

   All disabled car users who use such parking spaces (anywhere) and street parking on double-yellow lines (without causing an obstruction) must display such documentation to avoid prosecution. There is a 3hr maximum on the time-card (documentation). And it's:

Clearly printed

   Two women were seen to leave a car in a Mother and Toddler space and proceed directly to the Westwood X site.

An access path is even provided.
A fence would be more appropriate.

There were many free places in the parking areas. Also, a lone woman was observed to park in a Mother and Toddler space and take a child vehicle from the rear of the car. No child was placed in the hooded 'pram. This all happened within 10mins. There may be a good reason for this apparent poor behaviour, though it suggests different rules may apply to different groups, unlike normal parking (3hr limit).

Why else would they do this?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Trump - Misunderstood?

Democracy is a concept the British are used to. When a Government is in power it represents the entire nation (in principle - DA), but those that didn't vote for that political party feel unsupported.
   In the so-called Brexit referendum the issue of regaining 'control of our borders' was promulgated by UKIP. In America, Trump wants to do the same thing. It seems OK for the UK to do this, but not the USA. Is this not an example of Hypocrisy?
   Trump alleges to have many Muslim friends many of whom support his stance on immigration control. It is an obligation of anyone with the responsibility of maintaining security to keep the country and its citizens safe. PM Teresa May is charged with doing this in the UK.

What's the problem?

Unless, of course, there is a campaign to undermine the administration of the USA (the British media appear suspect - DA).

23.03.2017 - update

I have reversed my opinion of Trump (Trump - enough) as time has shown him to be a real (global) problem (...dangerous "tweets"). It would seem that he is trying to run the USA as a personal company. Any board of directors is possibly just told what to do. No discussion - just an instruction.
   Surrounding yourself with "yes-men" is never a good idea - in any situation. It becomes a dictatorship. If you disagree - you are removed.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Trump - Truth Will Out

President Trump's 'requests' for photographic evidence of the potential deliberate misreporting of his inauguration and his stance on climate change are two examples of 'waking up' the people. At least to begin questioning the 'accepted' story.

Who benefits and who pays?

These are fundamental questions that need answering. It's usually BIG BUSINESS that is the major beneficiary and often a BIG BUSINESS that started out as a small business and has grown only after being funded by the taxpayer.

It's a global problem

Create the problem

Provide the solution

  To claim that climate change is a 'hoax' is NOT to deny climate change. That it is ONLY human behaviour regarded as being to blame that is wrong. What is challenged?

The specious


   The present world is driven by consumerism. Money. To enjoy wealth is regarded as being a winner. A population is allowed (encouraged - DA) to grow, but this has had terrible consequences. Countries unable to compete in this consumer world starve. The aged get older and by living longer become ill more often. 'Care' becomes impossible to manage. Hospitals cannot cope. More automation handled by computers that never tire and do not need rest means that people of working age are becoming redundant. More people (each is a consumer and represents money to someone) are unemployed and do not provide taxes to sustain the expanding population, but rather a drain on resources. The population increases. Wars are allowed to continue in the attempt to reduce the population indirectly by the children dying (starved to death if not murdered). Simply (!) 'killed' off before any opportunity to procreate. And it all seems so acceptable in 'war'.
   A population needs feeding so more and more livestock is farmed just to be slaughtered and then to feed this population and capitalists. While alive, the doomed (from birth - DA) animals produce copious volumes of methane which contributes to the problem.

Nitrous Oxide

   A downside is that the stranglehold of the oil corporations is protected - it's not carbon dioxide that is the problem - it is the greenhouse gas:

   Time will tell if the oil industry protection is deliberate or unintentional. Nevertheless, it is very encouraging that the populous is being forced to pay attention. And those potentially accused needing to finally defend themselves.
   The fighting will now get dirty: it works both ways and ruffling feathers does create exciting times.

23.03.2017 - update

I have reversed my opinion of Trump (Trump - enough) as time has proven a real danger. It would seem that he is trying to run the USA as a personal company. Any board of directors is possibly just told what to do. No discussion - just an instruction.   Surrounding yourself with "yes-men" is never a good idea - in any situation. It becomes a dictatorship. If you disagree - you are removed.

Trump - President USA

Much has been reported in the British press and talked about on TV. Comments are made about Trump and statements he is alleged to have made. They are often incomplete.
   Similar to arguments in a court of law. 'Fact' can easily be distorted, depending on the question.
  A more accurate Trump comment can paint a different picture to the one printed/broadcast.The reasons are not known though the result clearly distorts what has actually been said.
   Anyone can articulate any 'favorable' statement, but it is what is actually done that becomes the measure of Truth.

The Trial

   What is worrying is that Trump (allegedly - DA) 'tweets' on Twitter (shouldn't that be Witter? - DA). Decisions at presidential level must be agreed with senior decision-makers before they are announced. Trump circumvents this discussion process by 'tweeting' a personal view. This is not a good idea.
   As the CEO of a company owned outright by an individual, this may be acceptable. After all what the boss says will be policy, goes (if you don't like it, tough: go - DA).

You can't run a country

like it's your own

personal business

But you can impeach a president

for a misdemeanour - DA.

   Trump doesn't seem to grasp that democracy counts for something. Trump may be or not be right in what he personally believes, but such views can be damaging. But then, Trump is supposed to be a Republican (well he certainly is not a Democrat! - DA). He was elected instead of registered Democrat Hilary Clinton.
   If he doesn't curtail this 'tweeting' he will fast become (or even faster - DAa real danger internationally. Worse perhaps than the:

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Women's Shoes and Health & Safety

Forcing women to wear high-heeled shoes at work is considered only under discrimination arguments. Nothing has been discussed from a health and safety point of view.
   Shoes can be dangerous (especially women's high heels). There can be no argument that some designs are a disaster.

It must be illegal to demand that
an individual must cause potential
self-harm or face dismissal

   Common decency and fairness should be enough to see that such a demand is wrong. Why men are not forced to wear high heels is a reasonable rhetorical question even in just a tongue-in-cheek manner.
   It is quite clear that such an attitude has no place in society (never did - DA) and the attempt to coerce someone to perform an act of grievous bodily harm to themselves is a nonsense. Actually, it is also nauseating and nasty.
   Sexist? Definitely.
   To have a dress-code (Vogue) is reasonable to ensure the individual represents the employer in a favorable light. Smart clothes do not require dangerous footwear.
   Bodyweight forces the foot into the shoe. Bunions and hammer toes can result. Sprained ankles are also to be expected.

No surprises

   A risk assessment of the 'request' needs to be done to show there is a work requirement for such an order and this can be used in any future legal action that results. Not simply because "it looks good".
   To attempt to defend this position in court (where it will inevitably find itself DA) is very short-sighted. And ridiculous (laughably so - DA).
   Sensible flattish footwear can look very smart, not smutty like telling a woman to unbutton her blouse or wear a shorter skirt. Even British Airways (BA) has come under heavy criticism.
    A woman can appear and feel rather different to that which is anticipated by an employer.

The whole affair is destined to backfire

   Watch this space

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Referedum Contagion

French, Italian and Dutch voters want their own votes on European Union membership. And the euro. The continent faces a “contagion” of referendums (referenda?DA). EU leaders fear a string of copycat polls could tear the organisation apart, as leaders come under pressure to emulate David Cameron and hold votes.
   The LEAVE campaign gave a considerable boost to German business leaders by saying it would be “very, very foolish” to deny the UK a free trade deal after Brexit. Head of the BDI (Markus Kerber), which represents German industry, said that 1970s-style trade barriers would result in job losses in Germany.

“Imposing trade barriers, imposing protectionist measures between our two countries – or between the two political centres, the European Union on the one hand and the UK on the other – would be a very, very foolish thing in the 21st century.”

In Italy, the anti-establishment Five Star movement on Tuesday declared it would demand a referendum on the euro. The party wants the euro to be split – one for the rich north and one for the (poor? - DA) south. The party’s leader (Beppe Grillo) has called for a full referendum on EU membership. He said:

“The mere fact that a country like Great Britain is holding a referendum on whether to leave the EU signals the failure of the European Union.”

Five Star won 19 out of 20 mayoral elections on Sunday, including in Rome and Turin, in a major blow to Matteo Renzi, the Prime Minister. In France, Marine Le Pen, the Front National leader, last night called for France to have its own referendum on the “decaying” EU.

“I would vote for Brexit, even if I think that France has a thousand more reasons to leave than the UK.”

In the Netherlands, polls show a majority of voters want a referendum on membership, and voters are evenly split over whether to stay or go.