Brexit – the Turkey option

Turkey article

A customs Union with the EU is an attractive option for many Brexit proponents. The only major one concluded is with Turkey. Here’s what it involves…..the following is a description of the deal from it’s Wikepedia page. How do you like this particular bargain, Leavers?

  • Turkey, by accepting the customs union protocol, was giving the EU the power to manipulate the foreign relations of Turkey. Turkey was accepting all the treaties between EU and any non EU country (i.e. all the other countries in the world) by precondition. (16th and 55th articles[4] )
  • Turkey, by entering to the customs union, was accepting not to do any treaties with any non-EU country without the knowledge of EU. Otherwise, EU had the right to intervene and annul that treaty. (56th article[4])
  • Turkey, by entering to the customs union, was unconditionally accepting to make laws which are parallel to the newer laws made for the customs union by EU. (8th article[4])
  • Turkey, by entering to the customs union, was accepting to obey the all laws and decisions of European Court of Justice, where there is no single Turkish judge. (64th article[4])
  • Turkey, by entering to the customs union, was opening its own market to European goods. The domestic goods of Turkey were in a great difficulty to compete against these due to a difference in quality. The European goods would flow into Turkey without any customs fee.

It may of course be that there is some deal that is not Norwegian one, and not the Turkish one, and not the Swiss one.  It’s completely unclear to me how then the EU would explain the crap deal these other states got.  In fact, the EU has made clear the terms of the UK deal again and again.  It’s Free Trade and EU rules, like free movement, and payment into the EU, or it’s the right to control our borders and WTO (World Trade Organisation) trade rules. All the evidence shows there is no magic place for the UK.  There certainly isn’t one for the US……


Malasana portraits

I am slowly grinding through my backlog of photographs for processing. I have now reached May 2015, and it is becoming clear to me that I need to return to the photo essay format.. Here is the first of these, this time from a series of street shots in the Malasana region of Madrid taken in the early summer of 2015. I love Madrid, mostly because it is an authentic town. The people on the street are generally Madrilenos, unlike London or Paris, where they are either tourists or office workers. Madrid isn’t my town sadly, but neither these days is London. Click this link for the full-screen Flickr slideshow.

Malasana portraits - the madonna

Malasana portraits - husband and wife

Malasana portraits - true romance

Malasana portraits - the teacher

Malasana portraits - old friends

Malasana portraits - Nooo - really?

Malasana portraits - The lady of a certain stripe

Malasana portraits - I sit in the square

Malasana portraits - Juan the lad

Technical notes: The photos were all taken with my Olympus EM5ii with the Oly 42.5mm lens –  85mm in full frame equivalent.  It’s a useful combination – superfast focus, plus enough depth of field to isolate the subject.  Post was done in LIghtroom and OnOne Photo10.


Hoods with style – the gorgeous automobiles of Dick’s classic garage

Another photo essay, from a recent visit to the USA.  I’ve just got back from a 2,000 mile road trip from Austin to New Orleans and back, with my old friend *ndy and his delightful DLW, D*.  We were hitting multiple music festivals on our route (of which more photo series to come), and as the first of these was in Dripping Springs, Texas, we took the opportunity to drop into Dick’s Classic Garage, in San Marcos.  Dick Burdick, the owner has assembled there some of the most gorgeous cars ever made in the USA, mostly from the ’30s to the ’60s.  This was an era when US auto engineering and styling led the world, and cars like the Deusenburg, Cord and Auburn set standards of beauty that have not since been equaled (IMHO).

In this series I have focused mostly on the wonderful hood mascots that stood on the radiators, and routinely I imagine, impaled hapless pedestrians. Reasonably I suppose none of these would be allowed today, and there are few cars in any event that could act as a foil to the superb jet plane mascots of the ’41 and ’48 Packards. There is a tech note below the photos on the camera used and so on and so forth.

Click this link to get to the Flickr album, and then click the arrow at the right to page through them. Once the slide show below reaches the end by the way, it will move into the next album.  Just refresh the page to start again.


















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To take these shots I used a Nikon 1 V3, with a 32mm f1.2 (85mm equivalent) lens using it’s very narrow depth of focus to emphasise the bonnet mascots and the flowing coachwork lines of these marvelous vehicles.  I bought the lens for this trip, and I have to say I was impressed. I also really liked the Nikon V3, which I was about to sell, but took with me to the USA because I wanted a lightweight system for walking around at the festivals.  This is a tiny camera with a 2.7 crop factor (i.e the sensor has about 1/3rd the linear dimensions of full-frame).  Most of the shots at Dick’s were taken between ISO 800 and 1600, and they came up with rich colours and very manageable noise.