Warnings of post-Brexit holiday disruption, political reaction to the Salisbury spy poisonings, and George Monbiot’s piece on feeling happy despite his prostrate cancer diagnosis have dominated discussion among our readers today.
To join in the conversation you can click on the links in the comments below to expand and add your thoughts. We’ll continue to highlight more comments worth reading as the day goes on.
UK holiday firms urged to warn about risk of post-Brexit disruption
Readers are discussing warnings by consumer group Which? that holidaymakers are not being adequately informed of the risks that Brexit could pose to their plans when booking.
‘That’s why airlines are relocating to the EU’
This has nothing to do with whether we negotiate any Brexit deal or not. We’ll no longer be in the EU after 29 March 2019. All EU negotiated international agreements will no longer apply to the UK from that point, as the UK will then be a non-EU state. So even if we agree a deal to fly into the EU27 (which will almost certainly be worse than the deal we have now), we still won’t have any international treaties.
That’s why airlines are relocating to the EU.
The UK tried to renegotiate Open Skies with the USA, but they offered us a worse deal, so we walked away from the talks in January.
Just one of many, many issues that Brexit will deliver to the UK.
‘Brexiteers on here bleating but offering no solutions’
Once again I see Brexiteers in the comments bleating but offering no solutions. Fine, in order, can you come up with solutions to:
– the NI problem
– flights between the EU and UK and UK and USA.
– regulation of EU data in a non-EU environment
Remember, these are three of thousands of issues. But I know you have your “best people” on it.
UK expels 23 Russian diplomats over spy poisoning
Some reaction to our rolling coverage of political developments, including Theresa May’s Commons statement announcing retaliation against Russia after the Russian spy attack:
‘May’s ultimatum may well have been impossible for them to answer’
Theresa May is correct that it seems ‘highly likely’ that the Russian state is behind this nerve agent attack, but ‘highly likely’ is not evidential proof, and it is reasonable for the Russian government to want to see the evidence and for this evidence to be independently verified.
This nerve agent is said to have been developed many decades ago. During the 1990s the Russian state descended into dysfunctional, crime ridden anarchy. It is quite possible that some of this nerve agent ‘went missing’ during this period, which would have been facilitated by its binary nature of existing in the form of two harmless separate powders that only become deadly when mixed together. Should this have happened during that chaotic period when many major crimes were being committed in Russia that remain unresolved, it is quite possible that the current government and its leaders do not know what happened to all of its nerve agent stocks.
This being the case May’s ultimatum may well have been impossible for them to answer. To issue threats in such circumstances is provocative and unreasonable.
‘May was put in a difficult situation’
If her action was dramatic, such as expelling the ambassador or a broad seizure of assets, commenters and pundits would be screaming that she’s overreacting. May was put in a difficult situation.
As it is, she went for a more moderate approach and the accusations are that she’s too “soft” and beholden to Russian donors (putting aside the fact that many of those Russians in the UK who donate to the Conservative Party are themselves not loved by Putin). In both cases Russia and the NRA have him by the balls.
I have prostate cancer. But I am happy
“The principles that define a good life protect me from despair”, writes George Monbiot, despite his diagnosis and the grisly operation he now faces.
‘I remember only feeling completely confident that I was getting excellent care’
Best wishes for the difficult time ahead George. I had the operation 6 years ago and felt only some discomfort, no pain. I was only in hospital overnight and recovered quickly. My PSA levels indicate no spread of the cancer. Looking back I remember only feeling completely confident that I was getting excellent care, before, during and since the operation at St. James’s hospital, Leeds.
So best of luck George and don’t worry, our NHS is brilliant.
‘The sun came up this morning, and I expect it to do the same tomorrow, so all is not lost.’
Four months ago I found that I had prostate cancer after the same series of tests as George had, and I had the same Gleason score, 7. I decided that I would have a prostatectomy, rather than radiotherapy, for much the same reasons as George, only less well expressed.
I had my prostate removed a week ago in a robotic-assisted laparoscopic operation. I have now recovered fully from the operation, even though there was a small bit of post-operative bleeding. I have the catheter inserted during the operation removed today.
Throughout the whole process I have had the most amazing support from my wife, my family, friends, doctors, and people I never met before, with help and advice on some of the most intimate issues. I am sure that the support will continue as the weeks and months pass by and things return to something approaching normal; I have accepted that they will never be the same again, but the sun came up this morning, and I expect it to do the same tomorrow, so all is not lost.
‘It’d be interesting to determine if the high prostate cancer numbers have been stable throughout antiquity’
As a point of interest, a study published in European Urology found that ejaculating 21 times or more per month significantly reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Something to think about, fellas.
It’d be interesting to determine if the high prostate cancer numbers have been stable throughout antiquity, or have risen in the past century or so from some as yet undetermined environmental factor such as heavy metals. We know that male sperm counts in the testes have been falling dramatically from another as yet undetermined causative factor.
I wish George well with his treatment, I’ve always enjoyed his writing.
Comments have been edited for length. This article will be updated throughout the day with some of the most interesting ways readers have been participating across the site.