Northern Ireland – between a rock and a hard place

The war of words over the unresolved Northern Ireland trade screw up post-Brexit is escalating with David Frost, negotiator on the UK side, threatening the nuclear option of suspending the protocol about the land border between north and south if the EU doesn’t budge by the end of the month – which would breach international law. The EU in return say they are at the end of their tether with the perfidious Brits. Pro-Brexiteers say the EU is being mulish. Others say Frost’s fight with the EU is “political thuggery.” Matthew Parris remarks that Frost and Boris are “like two delinquents on a spree with spray-paint guns, they’re careless of consequence.”

 There’s also a fishing and immigrant dispute with France just to keep tempers flaring.

   While it is true the EU has a history of cobbling together last-minute compromises, it hardly seems the time to be rubbing them the wrong way with empty supermarket shelves and lorry driver shortages worse in the UK than elsewhere.

The Protocol is the compromise struck as part of Brexit talks – and agreed to by Johnson and Frost –  which kept Northern Ireland aligned to key bits of EU law but the two sides disagree on its implementation. The EU now accepts the U.K. is likely to unilaterally suspend parts of the protocol before Christmas.

  David Frost’s Term 1 March 2021, as UK negotiator with the EU has Mars in late Taurus in the 7th house of close relationships conjunct Algol which will be triggered by the last November Lunar Eclipse. This suggests a major collision of sorts and considerable aggravation.  Through this month and next there is a dashed-hopes Mars/Neptune midpoint being squared by tr Pluto which usually means plans don’t work out.

  His personal chart, 21 February 1965, is stonewalled now till mid November and on a sharp downhill slide of failure in 2022 and 2023 with tr Neptune opposition his Mars.  

  He does have Boris’s bovver-boy tendencies (as Parris puts it) with his Mars conjunction Pluto Uranus in Virgo, which is a bullying combination, not dissimilar to Boris’s Mars Pluto Saturn Uranus T Square; plus Boris’s poor-judgement, overly-hopeful Jupiter opposition Neptune.

  His relationship with the EU negotiator Maroš Šefčovič will be under a dark and angry cloud next February and exploding from May 2022 onwards. His relationship with Boris is ramped up in emotional excitement now till late November but again is deflating into glooms from next February and seriously trapped, frustrated and enraged, either together or descending into animosity from mid next March onwards, on and off till late 2023.

  The EU/UK relationship is riddled in suspicion and doubt through December, followed by evasions and muddles and then eruptions of strong feeling from May. Plus ca change.  Ditto the UK with the French, except even more rancorous through early spring 2022 and onwards. 2023 doesn’t look too settled either.

  Boris and the EU show no signs of reaching a friendly accommodation over the next two years plus either.

  The UK is being held hostage to the whims of a teenage tearaway, much as was the USA with Trump.   

See previous posts: June 8 2021 and February 2 2021

Newcastle United – pawns in a geo-political game + Amanda Staveley

The strange tale of Newcastle United, a lacklustre English football club that hasn’t won a major domestic title since 1955, being bought after a determined hassle by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund raises many questions. It is no simple commercial deal with political pressure being brought to bear on Boris Johnson to persuade the football league to drop its objections; a rapprochement with Qatar after Trump’s exit, whose football TV rights were being undercut by a pirate Saudi broadcasting station.

  Activists criticise the strategy as “sportswashing”, using the world’s favourite sport to distract from poor human rights records with the United Arab Emirates (Manchester United) and Qatar (Paris St Germain) leading the way.

  The Saudi Public Investment Fund has embarked on a multibillion-dollar spending spree to develop the kingdom’s sports and entertainment sector and promote a new image for the conservative nation. According to communications first reported by the Daily Mail, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) sent text messages to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in June 2020 arguing Anglo-Saudi relations would be damaged unless the Newcastle deal was approved and that “we expect the English Premier League to reconsider and correct its wrong conclusion”. Expect??  There’s an autocracy for you.

 Newcastle fans are utterly delighted at the prospect of money being poured in but as Rod Liddle points out in today’s Sunday Times the football league has been riddled with hair-raisingly appalling owners over the years, many with outright criminal associations. In a delightfully scurrilous piece which lists many of them he remarks, “Newcastle fans couldn’t care less. They’d have been cheering Pol Pot if he had a few bob to spend.”

 Newcastle United was founded 9 December 1892 with a Sun in Sagittarius opposition Neptune Pluto in Gemini and square Mars in Pisces and trine Jupiter in Aries – a lucky though scattered chart, having difficulty in finding a clear focus. There is certainly a jolt showing up this year with the Solar Arc Uranus conjunct Mars but nothing much ahead indicating instant success.

  The relationship between MBS of Saudi Arabia, keen to cosmeticize his image after the Khashoggi killing, and Newcastle United hints at financial disappointment in 2023 and a cooling of good feelings with considerable turbulence into 2024.

  His personal chart is also rock n’ rolling at that point with tr Uranus opposing his Saturn and square his Mars; with 2023/24 being exceedingly testing times for him. Newcastle United will be the least of his concerns. And his relationship with Saudi Arabia will also be aggravated and stormy with the tr Uranus square tr Saturn hitting on the composite Sun Mars square Pluto picking up in 2022 and running on into 2024.

Amanda Staveley, the Brit businesswoman, who punted and negotiated the deal is notable for her connections with Middle Eastern investors. In 2008 she played a prominent role in the investment of £7.3 billion in Barclays by the ruling families of Abu Dhabi and Qatar and was involved in the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi’s purchase of Manchester City Football Club in 2008.

  Born 11 April 1973, she is married to a British-Iranian financier and lives in Dubai and Park Lane, London. She’s a charming and go-ahead Sun Venus in Aries opposition Uranus, so marked out for an unconventional lifestyle. She also has a confident and successful Pluto trine Jupiter and an enthsuiastic risk-taking Jupiter Mars conjunction in Aquarius.  Plus she has an Air Grand Trine of Mars trine Saturn in Gemini trine Uranus – a communicator, hard-edged and used to associating with demanding clients.  Her enthusiastic Mars Jupiter is being squashed by tr Saturn conjunct now till the turn of the year so she may be weighed down by work or facing problems elsewhere. She will face muddles and miscommunications now till early 2023 with tr Neptune conjunct her Mercury in Pisces.

  Her relationship with Mohammed bin Salman is financially ambitious and superficially friendly, but is really a tinderbox with a composite Mars Uranus conjunction which is being rattled around in 2022 by the tr Saturn square tr Uranus. Not everything in that rose garden will stay pretty especially towards mid 2024 when tr Neptune is in a disappointing opposition to the composite Sun.

Sebastian Kurz – Austrian high-flier benched

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz has resigned after he was named as a suspect in a corruption investigation into a conspiracy that illicitly channelled taxpayers’ money from the ministry of finance in 2016 and 2017, when Kurz was still foreign minister, towards friendly media organisations in order to buy positive coverage, and help lever him into the chancellorship. All of which he strenuously denies.

  He has handed over his role to a close ally in his own party and intends to lead the party’s parliamentary faction. A commentator remarked: “Kurz is not really stepping down, he is stepping back. Make no mistake, he remains in charge of the party. He will be thinking about a comeback.”

 Kurz is a polished presenter and was once a poster boy for the resurgence of European conservative politics. His first 2017 government collapsed over a scandal by his coalition partners to solicit Russian influence in the Austrian media. Despite these allegations, Kurz has been one of Austria’s most popular chancellors in decades and recent polling suggests he is, by far, most Austrians’ preferred choice as premier. Though his political support is falling away.

  Born 27 August 1986 maybe circa 4.30 am Wien, Austria – he said in an interview he was Virgo with Leo rising but that might need taken with a pinch of political salt.

 His Virgo Sun is square Saturn in Sagittarius opposition a Gemini or late Taurus Moon – so hard-working, practical and a curious mix of low self-esteem and ego-centric. His Sun is also trine Neptune sextile Pluto ramping up his ambition. Three planets in Fire plus an Aries North Node will give him inspiration and self-belief; and a risk-taking and lucky Jupiter square Uranus won’t be a drawback either.

   Without an accurate birth time there’s not much showing except on his midpoints which indicate setbacks now, high anxiety till the end of the year and career losses and calamities throughout 2022 with tr Pluto conjunct his Jupiter/Saturn midpoint and tr Neptune square his Mars/Saturn.  

  He will have moments of luck in June, November 2022 and early 2023 but it won’t be his shining hour.

Adele – moving on, moving up

Adele is making her musical comeback after a turbulent six years of divorce, dramatic weight loss and her estranged father’s death, with new single Easy On Me out and later an album. It was, she said, recorded in part to tell her eight-year-old son Angelo about her split from Simon Konecki, his father.

  She’s certainly moving into an ambitious phase of considerable change in the next few years. Tr Saturn is moving upwards in her chart above her Descendant on her career cycle, which is always more visible and hard-working and reaches a peak from 2023 for ten years thereafter. She won’t be disappearing into obscurity.  At 33 she is already the richest female British musician, worth an estimated £130 million and on the cover of UK and US Vogue this month. She has tended to leave long gaps between albums and still earns an estimated £73,000 a day from royalties. Her album 21 is the bestselling of the century, having shifted more than 31 million copies. She is rumoured to be signing up for a residency in Las Vegas next year.

 Tr Jupiter moving through her 10th from this New Year for sixteen months will bring success and appreciation her way.

  But she will also have the tr Uranus square tr Saturn hard aspects to her Fixed T Square of Pluto opposition Sun Jupiter square Mars in Aquarius at the moment and throughout 2022 into early 2023 which looks fairly disruptive with great highs and good luck alongside a few insecure jolts and setbacks. Plus tr Pluto is moving into her 8th house from this year for many years ahead which won’t all be a picnic financially or emotionally. Plus tr Neptune squares her Venus in Gemini and Sagittarius Moon in 2022 to 2024 which may undermine certain relationships and cause confusion at home, with perhaps knock on effects to her energy levels and health since her Moon is 6th house.

  Her new beau sports agent Rich Paul, 16 December 1981, is a Sun Neptune in Sagittarius with a tough Saturn Pluto in Libra and Venus in Aquarius. He’s not quite such a tricky match as her former husband, Simon Konecki, 17 April 1974, who had his Mars Saturn conjunction sitting on her Venus and opposition her Moon. Though the Adele/Rich Paul relationship chart does have a volatile, no-compromise Mars Uranus conjunction which will erupt into arguments at times.  

  She hasn’t the easiest of charts or temperaments when it comes to relationships with the triple conjunction of Neptune, Uranus, Saturn sitting on her Descendant; and that enduring and stubborn to the nth degree Fixed T Square of hers.

See previous posts: May 12 2021 and January 8 2020.

Richard Dreyfuss – coping with conflict

The navel-gazing luvvy world of showbusiness is about to raise a West End curtain on a play about the famously troubled production of the 1975 movie Jaws and the strained relationship of the two stars Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss which would later become known as one of Hollywood’s greatest feuds. The Shark is Broken.

  Dreyfuss has had a career of sparkling highs, becoming the youngest Oscar winner at 29, sailing through the standout movies of the 70s/80s/90s – American Graffiti, Jaws, The Competition, Stand by Me, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, The Goodbye Girl, Tin Men, Stakeout, Another Stakeout, Always, What About Bob?

  Though he went seriously off the rails, into a haze of cocaine, hard-drinking and hell-raising until a near fatal car crash pulled him up short in 1982 He’s always had a reputation for being tricky to get along with.

  He was born 29 October 1947 6.07pm New York and grew up with a war-veteran and injured father from whom he was estranged when he died. He was diagnosed as bipolar when he was 11.

    His chart is more than unusually difficult especially in relationship to his father and childhood home – with Pluto Mars and Saturn conjunct in Leo which is hair-raising. So no surprises he would have difficulties in relations to his father and following that to certain other men. He also has three planets in intense Scorpio in his hard-working 6th – Sun Mercury Venus. His Sun is opposition a Taurus Moon and square Mars Pluto and his Venus Mercury squares Saturn and Mars Pluto – and that is a tough furrow to plough. 

  He said of Robert Shaw “”In private, he was the kindest, gentlest, funniest guy you ever met. Then we’d walk to the set, and on our way to the set he was possessed by some evil troll, who would then make me his victim.”

 Robert Shaw, the veteran English actor, twenty years his senior, was born 9 August 1927, and had his Leo Sun conjunct Dreyfuss’ Mars Pluto which would stir up all of his early father issues; and Shaw’s Neptune was conjunct Dreyfuss’ Saturn for suspicion and doubt.   More pointedly Shaw’s Saturn in Sagittarius was conjunct Dreyfuss’s Jupiter on his Descendant, so he would be critical and squash his exuberance. Their relationship chart isn’t too tricky apart from a game-laying, tussle for the upper hand composite Jupiter opposition Pluto; and maybe a scratchy Moon opposition Mars.

  Given the hand of cards Dreyfuss was deal he has done not badly to stay afloat and succeed up to the levels he has. There was recently an allegation of historical sexual harassment which he contests furiously.

Stephanie Grisham – disloyalty too little too late

Stephanie Grisham, formerly embedded with Trump and Melania in the White House, joins the long list of escapees dishing the dirt. But more than most she’s being accused of hypocrisy in staying put, backing the lies in public and only belatedly deciding to spill the beans.

  As Press aide and chief of staff to the First Lady she spent more time working in a powerful position in close contact than any of the other tale-telling memoirists but she also bears more culpability. The general view is that indulging in public smearing of this sort won’t do her any favours.

  Born 23 July 1976, she’s had a chequered past being fired for cheating over expenses and subsequently for plagiarism (according to wiki). She is a Sun Leo, conjunct Saturn and widely conjunct Mercury and Venus with most trine Neptune and sextile Pluto – mega-ambitious, attention seeking. Her Leo planets also square Uranus, so she can be autocratic, not practising what she preaches. She has a Gemini Moon and Jupiter in indulgent, acquisitive Taurus.

  Her Jupiter is conjunct Melania’s Venus so good for fashion interests and public schmoozing. But her Mars is conjunct Melania’s South Node which is not helpful; and her Saturn squares Melania’s Taurus Sun Saturn, which is OK for business but cool.

  That is mirrored on their relationship chart with a composite Sun Saturn conjunction, which is being undermined at the moment into 2023 by tr Neptune square the composite Saturn. There is also a volatile Mars square Uranus which was under pressure long before the January 6th Capitol Hill attack which was her exit point.

  Her relationship chart with Trump has a hostile and dominating composite Mars Pluto, so she’d be OK as long as she toed his line. Nothing new there. All covered over by Jupiter Venus icing sugar.  Her Leo planets sit on his 12th house Pluto so he really would pull her strings. And her Jupiter is conjunct his Midheaven so she’d boost his ambitions and gain kudos and rewards for herself in the process.

  She will see hopes dashed this December and will have an emotionally rattled few weeks after the New Year and slipping and sliding through 2022.  She will get some morale boosts from tr Pluto trine her Jupiter but will have as many if not more minuses as pluses. Tr Pluto into Aquarius from 2023 will change her life irrevocably as it grinds her down for several years in opposition her Sun, square Uranus, then opposition her Saturn and the rest.

  It’s difficult to feel the remotest sympathy and while what she says is damaging the public has become desensitized to Trump stories.

Eric Zemmour – loose cannon or a Trump trickster

Eric Zemmour, the far-right pundit, political journalist and writer is proving to be a surprise hit before he has even decided whether to run in next year’s French elections. His recent appearance in Paris was a sell-out and he has shot from nowhere to 15% in the polls. It’s not enough for a win but will dent Le Pen’s chances as he denounces the decadence of western civilisation, the threat of Islam and the risk of a civil war in a French society split along religious lines.

  Even the recent paparazzi coverage of him frolicking with a young assistant is being deemed an attempt to sparkle up his image though he has made a song and dance about being offended.

  He was born 31 August 1958 6.45am Montreuil, France, and has a 12th house Sun Pluto in Virgo  sextile Jupiter Neptune – communicative, intense, controlling and ambitious. He has an opinionated 9th house Mars in Taurus – again only three degrees away from Algol. And a knowledgeable and can-be-self-righteous Saturn in Sagittarius.

  He seems too much of an outside shot to be worth considering – except so was Trump. And Zemmour does have the successful and ambitious tr Pluto square his Jupiter from mid March till late June next year, repeating on and off till late 2023. The election will be held on April 10th with a second round on the 24th if there is no clear winner. Admittedly tr Pluto will be square his tough-slog Sun/Saturn midpoint at the same time. But one way or another he’ll be boosted in confidence. This December and through January will also see him riding high.

  He’s certainly assured himself of a solid footing in the political landscape whatever happens.

Roger Hallam – eco-jihadists causing havoc

The environmental zealots have surpassed themselves by blocking an ambulance taking a sick elderly woman to hospital after weeks of the police being seemingly incapable of clearing them off main roads.

  Roger Hallam, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion which is the umbrella organisation for the Insulate Britain road-blockers, said in an interview he would support stopping even dying patients in ambulances for his cause. Born 4 May 1966, he was formerly an organic farmer and has been studying for a PhD, researching how to achieve social change through civil disobedience and radical movements.

  An assertive and immensely stubborn Sun Mars in Taurus opposition Neptune in Scorpio and possibly Moon in Scorpio – with his North Node closely conjunct Algol (which seems to be a constant presence at the moment.) His Sun Mars are also trine Uranus Pluto in Virgo giving him an inclination to rock boats and set up revolutions. He’s also got a chilly Venus Saturn in Pisces in a see-saw square to Jupiter in Gemini.

  Nothing much is going right for him now and for the foreseeable future with Uranian upheavals and disruptions into 2023 as well as Eclipse challenges and Neptunian droop thereafter till after mid decade.

  Extinction Rebellion, 31 October 2018, will hiccup along until 2023 when it will, force majeure, have to rethink its future with tr Pluto square its Uranus. Its opportunistic, none-too-sensible Mars square Jupiter will be rattled up by the upcoming late 2021/2022 Eclipses.

There is an oddity about these fanatical groups – a bit like the animal liberation front – some justification for their grievances but wildly way over the top in their ways of making their point.

Facebook – not just acid rain but hailstones as well

The fates have conspired to give Facebook the week from hell with a prolonged outage yesterday, wiping billions off share prices as well as a whistleblower accusing the company of placing “profit over safety” on primetime TV in advance of a hearing before US senators today. The six hour break in service was deemed to be an internal configuration fault which shut down not just the internet feed but also entry into the building for engineers trying to fix it.

     Francis Haugen, a former product manager, hired to help protect against election interference, who leaked a trove of internal company documents to the Wall Street Journal which have created its deepest crisis since the Cambridge Analytica scandal – has now stepped into the open. She said FB had lied to the public, exaggerating the progress it had made tackling hate, violence, and misinformation on its platform.

“There were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook. Over and over again, [it] chose to optimise for its own interests, like making more money.” FB’s shares have dipped 13 per cent since the WSJ began publishing its series in mid-September.

  Mark Zuckerburg, 14 May 1984 2.39pm White Plains New York, whose Taurus Sun is conjunct Algol, with Venus close by, opposing Mars Moon Saturn in Scorpio isn’t one to panic or over-react to pressure. But he’s in a long run of tr Uranus hard aspects to his Scorpio/Taurus planets, jangling him this year, more so in 2022/23/24. The Eclipses from this November’s Taurus Lunar Eclipse and on through 2022 into 2023 will also rattle up a good going series of crises, so he’ll have to change whether he likes it or not. His Progressed Mars will conjunct his 2nd house Saturn in 2022 which could see a major financial setback.

  What is odd about the Facebook IPO chart, 18 May 2012 11.31am is the Jupiter in Taurus which tr Pluto is trine at the moment and should be instilling confidence not the reverse. Though admittedly tr Saturn square the Midheaven won’t help and there will be disappointments with tr Neptune hitting the financial Venus and Mars/Uranus midpoint earlier this year and throughout 2022.

  There’s also a further calamity from 2nd to 10th December this year which shows up on Zuckerburg and the IPO chart.

 The original FB chart, 4 February 2004, is jolted, jangled and nerve-stretched this year and next with the disruptive and uncertain tr Saturn square tr Uranus hitting on the Neptune Sun in Aquarius; with financial woes in 2022/23 from tr Neptune conjunct the Venus; and worse problems in 2023/24 as the dead-halt tr Pluto squares the Mars in Taurus.