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Do we leave or join Europe
Poll ended at Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:08 pm
Leave Europe, what have they done for us ? 63%  63%  [ 12 ]
Join Europe, its good for us. 32%  32%  [ 6 ]
Who cares , not me 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 19
 
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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:27 pm 
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370steve wrote:
Yep, NO ONE (MSM) seems to be talking about it, i wonder why??? is it because our MP's have been garanteed jobs in the new EU "STATE"


Or maybe because it was just fake news.. :angel

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1087 ... 54784.html


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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:02 pm 
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Dated 2014, pre referendum.

Very last paragraph is interesting.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10935617/After-2020-all-EU-members-will-have-to-adopt-the-euro.html

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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:10 pm 
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Yeh, I also read that but it just talks about the the Euro, none of the other stuff.


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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:40 pm 
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The illusion is democracy.







We were never going to leave.


"You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave" - Hotel California The Eagles.

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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:09 pm 
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....and sovereignty.


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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:46 pm 
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For democracy to succeed we need credible parties to vote for.

I've been a Tory boy most of my life, except for one occasion when Margaret Thatcher was PM, but it is very unlikely that they will get my vote next time, definitely not if Brexit doesn't happen in the way I voted for.

But who the heck do I vote for instead ? Abstaining is not an option, given the sacrifices made in the past to give us the vote. I'm thinking that if Farage and co could get their act together I'd vote for them. Otherwise, it's on with the yellow jacket and start a riot ...

I skim read that last article about the illusion of sovereignty. Apart from the obvious pro EU bias, the interesting fact that I gleaned from that is that our elected representatives effectively sold us out, went along with the EU line at pretty well every opportunity.

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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:34 pm 
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As will be obvious to most people who have been paying attention there are very powerful forces in politics, the deep state, industry and the media which share a class interest in maintaining the current status quo - if something comes along like Brexit or Corbyn* which presents a challenge to that status quo they will combine together and mount a very powerful and multi-pronged attack to destroy the threat and defend their economic and social position.

Exactly the same situation pertains in France and the French people are completely and utterly aware of it - hence the Gilets Jaunes riots in Paris and elsewhere.

*Let's not get bogged down in a debate on the pros and cons of Corbyn here - it just seems pretty obvious that the entire media and political establishment (including a significant chunk of his own party) wants to destroy him.


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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:46 pm 
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:clap :clap :clap

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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:18 pm 
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Corbyn ??

Him, and his ex, Diane Abbott :puke , are the only reason the Tories are still clinging on to government now, and the reason that they will win the next general election, despite having 'sold the country down the river', to use the favourite cliché of the trades union movement. If they ( Labour ) had a credible leader, which Tony Blair was, for all his subsequent faults, things would be much different now.

The current resurgent neo socialist rabble have about as much chance of forming a government as Wolfie ( Citizen ) Smith would ..

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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:50 pm 
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The current resurgent neo socialist rabble have about as much chance of forming a government as Wolfie ( Citizen ) Smith would .


If Corbyn never forms a Government it will be for the same reason you never got the Brexit you voted for - because a relatively small and powerful group of London based politicians and media people who all attend each others dinner parties and send their kids to the same schools* decided in advance that they know what is best for you.

If he was such a joke they would never have put the kind of effort they have put into destroying him and would have simply relied on the good judgement of the British public at the ballot box - instead they have conducted an organised character assassination campaign against him.

Tony Blair was only regarded as a credible Labour leader by the powers that decide these things because he was recognised as a chip off the old establishment block.

As for Corbyn - he's not actually that radical - he aspires to a more Scandinavian type of social and economic model** and not 1950's Cuban communism.

* I've observed this world at close quarters on two separate episodes in my life and was shocked at how small and incestuous it was.

**The kind of economic and social policies that resulted in the Norway sovereign Wealth Fund - where surplus oil revenues were invested for the benefit of the Norwegian people rather than disappearing into the back pockets of the kind of large trans-national corporations that traditionally make big donations to the Conservative party.


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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:18 am 
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If he was such a joke they would never have put the kind of effort they have put into destroying him and would have simply relied on the good judgement of the British public at the ballot box - instead they have conducted an organised character assassination campaign against him.


I simply don't agree with that statement. Yes, the media do take every opportunity to point out his many failings, but it is in the interest of the 'powerful groups' you refer to that he remains leader of the Labour party, and thus ensures that they will not be elected to govern, even set against the current bunch of self serving idiots in the Conservative party.


A quick google reveals Corbyns top ten policies:


Quote:
Following his second landslide election as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn says he wants to put a year of internal strife behind him and take the party in a new direction. The policies the re-elected Leader of the Opposition hopes to highlight in coming months include:

Investment A Labour government would create one million high-quality jobs by pumping £500bn into manufacturing and infrastructure, backed up by a National Investment Bank. Mr Corbyn describes it as an investment that will help pay for itself by stimulating the economy and raising tax revenue.

Tax Cuts to corporation tax, which is due to be reduced from 20 per cent to 17 per cent by 2020, could be more than reversed by a Corbyn-led government. He said he wanted the rate to be in the “20 per cent area” or “not much higher”. The money raised would be put towards scrapping university tuition fees. The Labour leader says he supports “a progressive tax system so that wealth and the highest-earners are fairly taxed”.

Housing Mr Corbyn is committed to building one million houses, including 500,000 council properties, over five years. Increasing the stock of affordable homes would help slash the £9.5bn annual bill for housing benefit, he argued. He said: “We would have that money to invest in building houses which in turn creates jobs all down the supply chain.”

Schools Theresa May’s move to increase numbers of grammar places is opposed by all shades of opinion within the Labour Party. Perhaps with that in mind, Mr Corbyn has urged activists to join a day of action on Saturday against the expansion of selective education in the state sector.

Hospitals Mr Corbyn promises to end “health service privatisation”, hinting he wants to end all private sector involvement in the NHS. He said: “I think the NHS is better served if it does the services itself, in-house.”

Brexit The Labour leader fiercely opposes a “hard Brexit”, arguing the leaving the European Union without a trade deal would mean manufacturing suffering a “huge hit”. He says fears over continuing with freedom of movement after Britain has left the EU could be tackled by a fund to support areas under pressure and action to combat the undercutting of local wages. He believes that MPs should be kept involved in the Brexit process.

Defence Mr Corbyn opposes the renewal of the Trident nuclear missile system and further increases in defence spending. He wants to “end support for aggressive wars of intervention” and would appoint a minister for peace and disarmament if he became Prime Minister.

Workers’ rights Workers’ wage bargaining rights would be boosted by Mr Corbyn, while he would end “exploitative” zero hours contracts. Staff would get employment rights from day one of a job rather than having to wait for them to kick in.

Nationalisation Mr Corbyn has said railways and the Royal Mail should be returned to public hands. In the past he has suggested that Labour could bring back Clause IV, its traditional commitment to public ownership, which was ditched by Tony Blair.

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/jerem ... -policies/


Apart from removing PFI deals from the NHS, I don't support or agree with a single one of those proposals above.

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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:44 am 
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Bercow - Hero or Villan ?

Until last night, I always thought that he was a prat. However, to me, stopping a vote for the THIRD time on exactly the SAME issue was exactly right. How they could have got TWO stabs at the same thing was bad enough, same argument given for not having a second referendum.

Surely this now paves the way for a No Deal exit at the end of March, rather than the 'Hotel California' alternatives ?

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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:53 am 
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Pfff..... who knows with this bunch of prats..

At just about every stage of Brexit, something that I'd initially thought was a positive seems to get changed into a negative.

Right now I'd say Hero.
Mays deal is tantamount to treason. To get out of the back stop we'd have had to give away fishing rights, agree joint sovereignty of Gibraltar, and probably hand over the Falklands too. :angel
Our negotiating position would be so weak as to be none existent, she must know that would be the case yet she still presses on, is she really that stupid?

I would rather cancel Brexit and just stay in than have Mays deal go through. If Article 50 was withdrawn we could at least start again in the future.
Maybe actually put a true Leave party in power instead of the Conservatives pretending to be Leave, lets face it... they've done little else in this term other than Brexit so there seems to have been no obvious gain to having the Cons in over UKIP.

The other option now could be for a long delay, a fixed termination date where both side can seriously focus on no deal planning whilst also working on a future trade deal, but with no intention of that coming into effect before we leave.
The withdrawal agreement is dead, the 39 billion off the table, it's time the EU came to terms with that new reality and started to think about how limit the damage to their member states, and in doing so limit the mutual damage.
If something similar to this can't happen then I'm all for just leave on 29th without a deal... well not that there was a "deal" anyway, just a transition period, and a very costly one at that, and one with no end state agreed so how can you transition towards nothing... :notme


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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:59 am 
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Quote:
Bercow - Hero or Villan ?


He's obviously got his flaws - but he also has a lot of strength of character and some balls and doesn't take any sh*t from anyone - which is what you want in a Speaker.

Quote:
stopping a vote for the THIRD time on exactly the SAME issue was exactly right. How they could have got TWO stabs at the same thing was bad enough, same argument given for not having a second referendum.


Exactly right - bringing back the same bill after two consecutive defeats is ludicrous - he had to intervene to stop the madness - and he has historical Parliamentary precedent and procedure on his side.

Quote:
Surely this now paves the way for a No Deal exit at the end of March, rather than the 'Hotel California' alternatives ?


It would do if the Brexit camp was stronger in Parliament - but those opposed to No Deal have the greater numbers and won't let that happen - Brexit will be postponed and we will be in limbo while they try and work out what the f*ck they are going to do next.


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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:16 pm 
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Quote:
Maybe actually put a true Leave party in power instead of the Conservatives pretending to be Leave, lets face it... they've done little else in this term other than Brexit so there seems to have been no obvious gain to having the Cons in over UKIP.


Yeah, this is the key - UKIP had to physically capture Parliament via the ballot box to get it's agenda through - nothing less than this would suffice.

For various reasons, including the first past the post electoral system UKIP were never able to turn popular support into Parliamentary seats.


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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:29 pm 
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One thing I will say in Corbyns favour - he is most probably an atheist ( although he won't stand up and say it outright, for fear of loosing the traditionalists vote ), whereas T Mays regular Sunday photo opportunity nauseates me. How any sane person could believe that medieval nonsense is beyond me, puts her other views and policies into question.

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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:45 pm 
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richard pitman wrote:
How any sane person could believe that medieval nonsense is beyond me, puts her other views and policies into question.


:clap :clap :clap

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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:15 pm 
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Image

:angel


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 Post Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:17 am 
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T Mays regular Sunday photo opportunity nauseates me. How any sane person could believe that medieval nonsense is beyond me, puts her other views and policies into question.


Yes, totally agree - I also think her religious faith has had a detrimental impact on the way she has handled Brexit - and has influenced her psychological approach both at the start of the Brexit process - and subsequently when everything began to go wrong.


I think she started out with delusions of grandeur - that she was Saint Theresa who had somehow been specially 'chosen' by the guy upstairs to deliver Brexit and that only saint Theresa could perform the task - and then when things started to go tits up she sought refuge in a kind of 'martyr complex' - this time Saint Theresa is in suffering mode - because the guy upstairs thinks she is so special he obviously has to test her out like he does with all the other saints doesn't he? (as opposed to the rational explanation that she simply isn't up to the job).

I checked out the martyr complex on wikipedia to see if the theory checks out:

In psychology a person who has a martyr complex, sometimes associated with the term victim complex, desires the feeling of being a martyr for their own sake, seeking out suffering or persecution because it feeds a psychological need

In some cases, this results from the belief that the martyr has been singled out for persecution because of exceptional ability or integrity

The desire for martyrdom is sometimes considered a form of masochism and has been described as one of several patterns of "pain/suffering seeking behavior".


The martyr complex is a noted mental health issue among clergy and other religious people - It's not hard to see how the daughter of a vicar who goes to church every Sunday might manifest these kind of psychological characteristics under severe stress.


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 Post Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:53 pm 
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Check out Paul Mason on the Bercow decision - the guy is a very astute commentator.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEQw7U77wkc


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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:19 pm 
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Johnnie Pie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IL2XwSkFJQ


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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:00 am 
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Sorry for the late reply on the Corbyn question Richard - this is my take on the subject;

Quote:
Yes, the media do take every opportunity to point out his many failings


I would agree with that statement if we had a media that was dedicated to a rational analysis of UK politics. Instead we historically have a press that uses scapegoating, character assassination, smears, law breaking (remember the phone hacking scandal) and outright lies to attack those it sees as a threat to the economic and political order. While Corbyn is flawed as a politician and deserves criticism he has also been subjected to most of these tactics at a pretty extreme and patently undemocratic level. As a Brexit supporter you know how this stuff works as you will have been on the end of it yourself.

Quote:
but it is in the interest of the 'powerful groups' you refer to that he remains leader of the Labour party, and thus ensures that they will not be elected to govern, even set against the current bunch of self serving idiots in the Conservative party.


The idea that Corbyn is Michael Foot MKII and a gift to the Tories and will be automatically rejected by a naturally conservative British public doesn't apply in the current and future political era; not only because of the collapse of the political centre and the Tories utterly disastrous handling of Brexit but because we live in a fundamentally different media/information era than existed in the 1980s and 90s.

In the age of internet media the right wing Murdoch press and broadcasting arm does not have the power to formulate public opinion that it used to enjoy in the 80s and 90s, the public have access to a much broader scope of opinion and reporting via independent media than they had in the past and this is reflected in a much more fragmented and unpredictable political landscape.

Regarding the manifesto; although these manifesto policies don't appeal to you as a traditional Tory voter this doesn't mean that they don't have support among significant sections of the UK electorate. There is also nothing extreme or hard left in any of these manifesto positions, in fact these political and economic positions would be classed as centrist in most Scandinavian countries.

Quote:
Investment A Labour government would create one million high-quality jobs by pumping £500bn into manufacturing and infrastructure, backed up by a National Investment Bank. Mr Corbyn describes it as an investment that will help pay for itself by stimulating the economy and raising tax revenue.


What's wrong with Investment in UK industry? The Germans have adopted this kind of approach to their industrial infrastructure since the war and it seems to have turned out pretty well for them. In contrast Conservative Governments in the UK spent the post war period selling off key parts of the UK industrial sector to (among others) foreign investors and asset strippers, which is not the kind of policy usually associated with patriots.

A national investment bank will simply be a UK equivalent of Norway's Sovereign Wealth Fund' which invests on the behalf of the Norwegian people.

Quote:
Tax Cuts to corporation tax, which is due to be reduced from 20 per cent to 17 per cent by 2020, could be more than reversed by a Corbyn-led government. He said he wanted the rate to be in the “20 per cent area” or “not much higher”. The money raised would be put towards scrapping university tuition fees. The Labour leader says he supports “a progressive tax system so that wealth and the highest-earners are fairly taxed”.


Not that radical; 20% is a comparable level of taxation with other North European countries. In Scandinavian countries many citizens are willing to pay higher levels of tax in return for excellent state/public infrastructure and social welfare which research shows result in happier, more cohesive and more stable societies than those (like the United States) that follow a more Darwinian approach to social and economic policy.

Quote:
Housing; Mr Corbyn is committed to building one million houses, including 500,000 council properties, over five years. Increasing the stock of affordable homes would help slash the £9.5bn annual bill for housing benefit, he argued. He said: “We would have that money to invest in building houses which in turn creates jobs all down the supply chain.”


What's wrong with state intervention in house building when we have a housing crisis caused by property price inflation (caused by irresponsible bank lending and a lack of strategic planning) and a lack of social housing (caused by selling off public housing stock)?

The private house building sector has failed to step up to the plate and provide a Tory style market solution to the problem and has instead preferred to land bank rather than develop their assets as this strategy is better for the company share price than actually building homes.

What's even worse is that the crisis means that 9.5 billion of rent is being directly handed over from the taxpayer in the form of housing benefit straight into the pockets of private landlords. Next time you see a private landlord whizz by in their 4x4 BMW you can rest assured that your tax money helped to pay for it.

A massive programme of house building would lower rents leaving people with more money to save up for deposits to buy their own affordable homes which will lower the housing benefit bill twice over. Replenishing the social housing stock also means that rent would go straight back to the exchequer rather than into the hands of private landlords (there is nothing wrong with private equity - but in the case of landlords you have to distinguish this relatively economically unproductive 'rentier' sector with productive private equity such as manufacturing which adds genuine value to the economy rather than representing a drain on it.

Young Britons can also be trained up to build the houses needed which will set them up in careers for life as skilled tradesmen – rather than the unskilled and unsatisfactory jobs currently on offer.

Quote:
Brexit;


Corbyn is up Brexit creek without a paddle along with the rest of British politics - nothing specifically Corbynite in this failure.

Quote:
Defence Mr Corbyn opposes the renewal of the Trident nuclear missile system and further increases in defence spending. He wants to “end support for aggressive wars of intervention” and would appoint a minister for peace and disarmament if he became Prime Minister.


I don't see anything particularly Corbyn specific regarding opposition to aggressive wars of intervention. This has been the official public and legal position adhered to by British Governments of both right and left since 1945 (even if historical reality tells us that the official Government position is bullsh*t).

Trident - Although Corbyn is personally against Trident he has backed down and agreed to it's renewal to avoid a Labour party split on the issue. His political and media opponents will still conflate his personal position with official Labour party policy in an attempt to mislead the public into believing that Corbyn is not going to renew the UK's nuclear weapons system.

(As an aside - support for Trident is more about maintaining a UK seat on the UN security council with Russia, France, China and the US as one of the 'big five nuclear powers' than it's role as a nuclear deterrent. Plenty of developed countries get along fine without these weapons. It seems to be an enormous and unnecessary bill for an already cash strapped public to have to fork out for just to sit at the table of a glorified talking shop like the UN Security Council).

Quote:
Workers’ rights Workers’ wage bargaining rights would be boosted by Mr Corbyn, while he would end “exploitative” zero hours contracts. Staff would get employment rights from day one of a job rather than having to wait for them to kick in.


What is wrong with workers rights? British people have spent the last 150 years fighting for workers rights after seeing their kids stuffed up chimneys and working 14 hour days in mills or down mine shafts. Workers rights are a great British political and social achievement. Selling out on British workers rights to satisfy the demands of trans-national global corporations as the Tories have done or attempted to do is about as unpatriotic as it gets.

Quote:
Nationalisation Mr Corbyn has said railways and the Royal Mail should be returned to public hands. In the past he has suggested that Labour could bring back Clause IV, its traditional commitment to public ownership, which was ditched by Tony Blair.


Corbyn simply wants to return to a sensible private/public sector mixed economy after decades of relentless Tory privatisation of key infrastructure.

Moreover people in 2019 are less comfortable with the idea of faceless global finance having stakes in and profiting from national infrastructure than they were in the Thatcher/Major/Blair 90's when there was more support for these policies.

I'm also willing to bet that old school 'One Nation' Tories like Harold Macmillan would approve of Corbyn's desire for a return to a more balanced mixed economy as Macmillan was vocal in his opposition to Thatcher's privatisation policies which he referred to as 'selling off the family silver'.

I'm not a Corbyn fanboy, he has a lot of flaws as a political leader, but he does not deserve the demonisation and misrepresentation he has been subjected to by large sections of the media and political class.

Many of Corbyn's political and moral positions are rooted in classic British and English moral, social and political thought and traditions such as Quakerism (his opposition to Nuclear weapons and aggressive war) and his commitment to economic justice and workers rights can be traced back to the Diggers, Tom Paine, the Chartists etc.

Patriotism and Britishness/Englishness is not the sole preserve of the right, the true (and not fake) left embodies some of the finest political, moral and social traditions these Islands has ever produced regardless of what market globalist billionaires like Rupert Murdoch would like us to believe.


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 Post Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:51 pm 
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I just think that Labour are relying on 'jam tomorrow'' regarding the injection of £500 billion into British industry. The last Labour government bankrupted the country, if a future Labour administration follow the same policies we'd end up the same, or worse off. Name one successful socialist experiment? Human nature being what it is, practice never lives up to the theory, as George Orwell recognised many years ago.

Agreed, capitalism could be more benign than current practice, more support for those genuinely in need of help. I don't include overseas aid in that statement, that should stop straight away, which leads into my second point.

Housing crisis ? As with global warming, pollution, territorial disputes etc etc, It's actually a population crisis, too many people on this little island / planet. Do we continue until all the green spaces are built over, in the pursuit of the mythical 'affordable housing' ? Immigration or over breeding, whatever. The benefits system should reward those who limit their family to one or two offspring in total, regardless of how many subsequent 'partnerships' they find themselves in. Certainly shouldn't encourage the breeders. Roll on Captain Trips, I say.

More social housing ? Maybe a few tower blocks for the desperate, but certainly not 5 bedded detached houses like the one Abu Hamza got to house his brood in. As a kid, I lived in a rural village, which had a row of council houses. My folks owned their own place. It was noticeable that the newest cars and biggest TV sets were found up at the council street, more disposable income up there.

I do agree that buy to let is immoral, a crazy situation when the rent payer is effectively paying the mortgage on someone elses appreciating asset. OK short term, when a person is between houses or having renovations done, house let fills a need. I have to confess to being a hypocrite at this point, as we have taken to having our holidays in rented properties in tourist areas, which deny those properties to local folks at affordable prices.

Schools. What's wrong with grammar schools ? I certainly don't agree with fee playing schools for the elite, like the one Diane Abbotts kids go to, but schools that kids attend based on merit are no different to the selection for best university places. I passed my 11 plus and went to local grammar school, and was doing OK until the sixth form, when some idealogue decided that we should go Comprehensive, and merged us with the local Secondary Modern, competely messed up my A level studies. My own fault that I only passed one, but the reorganisation and dilution of academia didn't help.

Brexit. In his heart of hearts, is JC a leaver or remainer ? Just seems to me that he is playing both sides just to win political advantage.

Nuclear deterrence. As with conventional forces, most the countries in Europe rely on an umbrella provided principally by America. Given that situation, it makes perfect sense to me that we do retain some sort of independence in our national defence, both conventional and nuclear. A much dafter waste of money is the two new aircraft carriers. As the Russians have already observed, just two nice big targets, that would last 2 minutes in a shooting war. All they are good for is showing the flag, and 'humanitarian' projects. No catapults or arrestor wires to operate conventional fighter aircraft. We'd be better off with more hunter killer submarines and a flotilla of small cheap frigates.

Probably more media lies, but I seem to remember Corbyn claiming that he would not fire back, in the event of a pre emptive nuclear strike on the UK ? Makes a nonsense of the principle of MAD, bit like T May taking the No Deal option off the table.

A 'Minister for Peace and Disarmament' ? Really ?

Workers rights ? Some would argue that this has already gone too far, hits small businesses in particular. You could also argue that the influx of cheap migrant labour has fuelled the zero hours system. With them out of the way, employers might be forced to offer more attractive terms in order to get folks to work for them. As an aside, my last couple of years of work was spent on a zero hours type contract at a local private hospital. If there was no work for me to do, I didn't go in, and I didn't get paid. My choice, no one forced me to do it, and I quite enjoyed the freedom, because zero hours works both ways.

Nationalisation. In my view, only the NHS, police, prison, fire and ambulance services should be public sector. ( Did I just mention private hospitals ? Reserved as a choice for those who choose to pay private fees, as well as their taxes ? Provided, and this is a big if, there is no conflict with, or at the expense of, local free NHS service, I have no problem with this ) RNLI and Air Ambulances should either be fully funded, or perhaps better, run by the military, who seem to have plenty of time to fly around in helicopters or play with small boats, good practice for them.

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 Post Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:25 pm 
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Hi Richard, sorry for the lag in the reply - but your post deserves a decent response and not some flippant comeback. :D

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I just think that Labour are relying on 'jam tomorrow'' regarding the injection of £500 billion into British industry.


I think jam tommorrow is just sensible investment. For example, historically the Germans and Japanese put tremendous emphasis on strategic planning and investment after the war and have a much stronger industrial sector than the UK as a result. The shame is that the UK could be level pegging with these countries in manufacturing and tech if we had adopted a similar approach.

As an aside state investment in British industry and workers is more patriotic and public spirited than the Tories policy of selling off national assets and infrastructure to global investment funds operating out of off-shore tax havens.

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The last Labour government bankrupted the country.


This is a lot of BS put out by the neo-liberal capitalist camp and their Murdoch media arm in order to dodge their rightful blame for the financial crisis of 2008 and pin it instead on Labour and public spending. The real cause of the financial meltdown originated in the heavily de-regulated financial sector.

The financial crash of 2008 was triggered by the US sub-prime mortgage market and was under-pinned by grossly irresponsible lending and sharp practice by global finance and the big banks, the idea that a global economic crisis was caused by a socialist Labour government is at odds with the facts:

Although the subject is complex it is a fact that UK public spending was at a historical low in the years preceding the financial crash at 36% of GDP, which was well within sensible spending limits based on the UK's economic performance in these years.

Public spending has actually gone up under the Tories, partly as a result of mopping up the social and economic damage caused by counter-productive austerity policies which have throttled the economy rather than stimulated it.

Secondly the Blair Brown Labour government wasn't socialist but was perfectly aligned with Thatcherite market economics and privatisation policy – so no blame can be laid at the door of socialism here either. If there is one thing that the Labour Blair/Brown Government can be blamed for it is not for being socialist in the first place and encouraging the financial sector to do what it liked and then bailing them out with public money and QE (which was ironically socialism for the rich) when it all went tits up.

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Name one successful socialist experiment?


The most obvious thing that comes to mind is the NHS.

The NHS has a lot of financial, structural problems etc, but it's positive impact on UK society since the late 1940s both practically and morally has been immense and incalculable. It's easily one of the finest things this country has ever produced.

I would also argue that victory over Nazi Germany and fascism was a socialist victory in terms of the political and economic principles which operated in the UK between 1939 and 1945, most crucially that the means of production, distribution, and exchange were run in the interests of the nation as a whole and not for the benefit and advantage of narrow class and capital interests as they had been previously.

Secondly the UK was able to defeat the fascist axis forces in Europe and Asia on a platform of international solidarity and co-operation (which are classic socialist ideals) and not on the basis of a set of narrow national interests usually associated with right wing ideology.

And if I really wanted to get the Daily Mail readers to choke on their cornflakes :angel I could frame WW2 as an example of a multi-cultural and multi-racial force defeating the mono-cultural and racist forces of the fascist axis powers. Just check out the composition of the divisions that pushed back the racist Japanese in the jungles of the far east – tens of thousands of Indian, Nepalese and African service men (muslims among them) fighting alongside British and Australian troops for the crown (although funnily enough none of these African and Indian guys appeared in the war films I watched as a kid).

The most convincing support for the argument that it was a socialist Britian which won WW2 is that the British public – having had a taste of genuine socialist solidarity during the war wanted to continue with these values and carry them over into post-war British society – hence the rejection of the Tory aristocrat Winston Churchill at the ballot box in 1946 (which was a counter-intuitive result when you think about Churchill's heroic status) and the election of the socialist Labour Government under Clement Atlee which introduced the NHS.

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Agreed, capitalism could be more benign than current practice, more support for those genuinely in need of help. I don't include overseas aid in that statement, that should stop straight away, which leads into my second point.


Overseas aid is not about kindness and altruism, it is about maintaing and shoring up UK global influence and access to resources which were gained during the period of empire. The UK has traditionally gained a net economic benefit from overseas aid – in the form of maintaining the UK's influence in and access to global economic markets.

A good way to understand and observe this process is to look at China and it's growing influence and activity in a resource rich continent like Africa that was previously dominated by the British and French imperium. The Chinese are spending enormous sums building all kinds of infrastructure in Africa – from modern road and rail systems and transport hubs to hospitals and educational institutes – and mostly 'for free' – not because they are simply jolly nice chaps but because they want the economic and political keys to this resource rich continent as the British and French did before them – but instead of taking what they want at the point of a bayonet they are doing it under the cover of altruism.

Overseas aid is classic 21st century 'soft power' as opposed to 19th century 'gunboat power'. Cutting overseas aid and withdrawing from these countries is probably not a great move for an economy which is in the process of cutting ties with it's closest economic neighbours in Europe and hoping to replace them with stronger economic and political links outside of the home continent.

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Housing crisis ? As with global warming, pollution, territorial disputes etc etc, It's actually a population crisis, too many people on this little island / planet. Do we continue until all the green spaces are built over, in the pursuit of the mythical 'affordable housing' ? Immigration or over breeding, whatever. The benefits system should reward those who limit their family to one or two offspring in total, regardless of how many subsequent 'partnerships' they find themselves in. Certainly shouldn't encourage the breeders. Roll on Captain Trips, I say.


Yeah I agree. In spite of what I have outlined above I'm not particularly idealistic or optimistic about the human condition, I'm also (I like to think) not some rose tinted snowflake either, I only argue the points above precisely because I've had enough experience of life to be aware of how nasty things will get if we abandon some of our higher ideals and surrender ourselves entirely to crude self interest.

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More social housing ? Maybe a few tower blocks for the desperate, but certainly not 5 bedded detached houses like the one Abu Hamza got to house his brood in. As a kid, I lived in a rural village, which had a row of council houses. My folks owned their own place. It was noticeable that the newest cars and biggest TV sets were found up at the council street, more disposable income up there.


Inter-twined financial/political interests and their mouth-pieces in the press latch onto and magnify extreme cases like Abu Hamza to demonise the enactment of progressive social and economic policies designed to spread prosperity more fairly and improve the lives of ordinary decent people who are clearly suffering the consequences of a rigged financial system. Scapegoating and turning people against each other is just classic 'divide and rule' strategy, it worked for the empire and it works at home too.

p.s. I'll reply top the other sections after I've either decided that I agree with them or when I can formulate some decent counter arguments. :angel

I think the truth is we are not that different in our political views, it's just our analysis that differs - But don't worry Richard – your side of the argument has the money and (judging by the news this week) also the guns on it's side so I doubt I will be living in my snowflake, socialist paradise anytime soon. :angel


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 Post Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:36 pm 
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Hopefully this will be the last political diatribe from me as I have got to get my Hornet project finished! :angel

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I do agree that buy to let is immoral, a crazy situation when the rent payer is effectively paying the mortgage on someone elses appreciating asset. OK short term, when a person is between houses or having renovations done, house let fills a need. I have to confess to being a hypocrite at this point, as we have taken to having our holidays in rented properties in tourist areas, which deny those properties to local folks at affordable prices.


Yeah totally agree – I'm also a hypocrite on loads of stuff – like being worried about the environment and simultaneously being a massive petrol head etc.

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Schools. What's wrong with grammar schools ? I certainly don't agree with fee playing schools for the elite, like the one Diane Abbotts kids go to, but schools that kids attend based on merit are no different to the selection for best university places. I passed my 11 plus and went to local grammar school, and was doing OK until the sixth form, when some idealogue decided that we should go Comprehensive, and merged us with the local Secondary Modern, competely messed up my A level studies. My own fault that I only passed one, but the reorganisation and dilution of academia didn't help.


Yeah agree – no argument from me on this one.

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Brexit. In his heart of hearts, is JC a leaver or remainer ? Just seems to me that he is playing both sides just to win political advantage.


Yeah I agree. At heart Corbyn is a leaver because as a socialist he sees the EU as corporatist stitch up that works for the interests of the elite but p_sses all over the interests of the working class (a position I have a lot of sympathy with) – but as leader of the Labour party he knows that adopting a hardcore Brexit position will blow the Labour party apart and lose him a ton of votes – which will negate his political mission – so he has had to make a calculated compromise on Brexit.

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Nuclear deterrence. As with conventional forces, most the countries in Europe rely on an umbrella provided principally by America. Given that situation, it makes perfect sense to me that we do retain some sort of independence in our national defence, both conventional and nuclear. A much dafter waste of money is the two new aircraft carriers. As the Russians have already observed, just two nice big targets, that would last 2 minutes in a shooting war. All they are good for is showing the flag, and 'humanitarian' projects. No catapults or arrestor wires to operate conventional fighter aircraft. We'd be better off with more hunter killer submarines and a flotilla of small cheap frigates.


I expect the aircraft carriers (when they become operational) are more about keeping the Iranians from taking over the Gulf and guaranteeing Tory ministers seats on the boards of arms manufacturers than confronting the Russians. but yeah - they seem anachronistic and out of step with the political, strategic and technological threats facing the UK in the 21st century, although the current MOD minister is probably deluded enough to think he can scare the Chinese with them.

Yeah, the nuclear issue is a difficult one, on the one hand the idea that a bunch of chimpanzees wearing shoes (the human race) is in control of domesday weapons should fill anyone with working brain cells with horror – because sooner or later this astonishing planet and everything on it is going to be reduced to a black, smoking lump of radioactive carbon.

On the other hand pacifism (in my opinion) is hopelessly naïve – if you can't defend yourself properly then you will be served up for breakfast, lunch and dinner guaranteed. But we do need to keep talking about these things and discussing the idea of getting rid of them with opponent powers like the Russians – in this sense anti-nuclear and pacifist voices are welcome in that they provide balance and moral perspective in what is an extremely dangerous situation.

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Probably more media lies, but I seem to remember Corbyn claiming that he would not fire back, in the event of a pre emptive nuclear strike on the UK ? Makes a nonsense of the principle of MAD, bit like T May taking the No Deal option off the table. A 'Minister for Peace and Disarmament' ? Really ?


Corbyn is simply saying that he refuses to commit genocide and massacre millions of innocent men, women and children which is a position I fully support. I understand the point you are making about MAD and as I have said, I am not a pacifist, but having a deep objection and refusal to take part in genocide is supposed to underpin the values of this civilisation isn't it? Otherwise what were the Nuremberg trials and fighting Isis all about? No amount of ivory tower philosophisng can get Nuclear weapons and the MAD strategy off of this particular hook. Like I said – it's an incredibly difficult subject which is tied up in all sorts of knots and I respect and support the morality of Corbyn's position on this - and yes I do get the practical contradictions.

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Workers rights ? Some would argue that this has already gone too far, hits small businesses in particular. You could also argue that the influx of cheap migrant labour has fuelled the zero hours system. With them out of the way, employers might be forced to offer more attractive terms in order to get folks to work for them. As an aside, my last couple of years of work was spent on a zero hours type contract at a local private hospital. If there was no work for me to do, I didn't go in, and I didn't get paid. My choice, no one forced me to do it, and I quite enjoyed the freedom, because zero hours works both ways.


The whole issue of work and how it impacts upon people is going to be increasingly difficult to discuss in a coherent way as we are currently entering a massive and unprecedented transition into an AI economy where technology does everything from drawing up legal contracts to driving trucks – there might be so little actual work around in the future that the whole concept of workers rights becomes irrelevant in developed countries as machines will be doing so much of it.

I agree that EU expansion and freedom of movement represented a negative for many workers in the UK – it's obvious that an over-supply of labour is against the interest of workers – which is why it was the CBI which lobbied successive Tory and Labour governments to ease the laws on migration – because surplus labour supply served corporate interests (the idea that it was a leftist plot to encourage high levels of immigration is a lie – this stuff was always successfully lobbied for by capitalist big business, the left simply does not have and has never had the will or the power to do something like this).

Quote:
As an aside, my last couple of years of work was spent on a zero hours type contract If there was no work for me to do, I didn't go in, and I didn't get paid. My choice, no one forced me to do it, and I quite enjoyed the freedom, because zero hours works both ways.


Same here, the vast majority of my working life has been lived on this basis, I have no pension, holiday or sick pay (which was interesting after I was hospitalised after a motorcycle accident and couldn't work for two months – but I got through it) and it suits me and the way I like to live my life too – but there are situations where workers are taken advantage of and in these situations they should have recourse to protection under the law – it's simply a question of the legislation being clever and sophisticated enough to protect people from exploitation while at the same time not impeding business activity and enterprise and individual freedom of choice.

Quote:
Nationalisation. In my view, only the NHS, police, prison, fire and ambulance services should be public sector. ( Did I just mention private hospitals ? Reserved as a choice for those who choose to pay private fees, as well as their taxes ? Provided, and this is a big if, there is no conflict with, or at the expense of, local free NHS service, I have no problem with this ) RNLI and Air Ambulances should either be fully funded, or perhaps better, run by the military, who seem to have plenty of time to fly around in helicopters or play with small boats, good practice for them.


Yeah I agree – I think we are on the same page here – we both realise the value of a mixed economy where the state controls key services and infrastructure and market capital delivers goods and services – extremes of nationalisation/privatisation are equally damaging and unhealthy.

Similarly if someone wants to set up a private hospital and someone else is happy to pay to be treated in that hospital I fully support those choices – so long as they do not negatively affect or encroach upon healthcare provided to citizens by the NHS.


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 Post Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:25 pm 
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Thanks for that, Hoon, some thought provoking stuff there.

Looks like events have overtaken us, T May getting into bed with JC, words fail me.

Speaking of the press, I was once accused of being a Daily Mail reader, bizarrely enough in an argument with another dog walker about issues entirely unconnected with politics, I can only think that it was my age and appearance that lead him to that conclusion.

As it happens, I'm a life long Daily Telegraph reader, which has undoubtedly influenced my point of view. At the moment, the letters page of that journal is compulsive reading, long time Tory voters in turmoil, tearing up membership cards and vowing never to vote Tory again, largely supported by the editorial.


So maybe thoughts of a future Labour government aren't as impossible as I thought … :(


PS I did enjoy the video of those squaddies doing target practice. :lol

EDIT. May have mentioned this before, but I worked in the NHS for 36 years until I took early retirement, then did a few years locum work. A flawed institution management wise, but not one that would be improved by privatisation. Only time I voted Labour in a general election was when Margaret Thatcher threatened NHS privatisation. Self interest on my part, rather than ideological. Which is why I tend to vote for the Labour candidate in local elections, self interest again. Good Tory principle. :D

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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:34 am 
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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:57 pm 
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Quote:
Thanks for that, Hoon, some thought provoking stuff there.


Cheers Richard, thanks for your thoughts and opinions also, it's good for me to step out of my own biases and ideas and hear other people's point of view and experiences too.

Quote:
Looks like events have overtaken us, T May getting into bed with JC, words fail me.


Yes, George Galloway (who is a Brexit supporter) sums up the weirdness of the situation best for me with the following quote "We've got a Brexiteer (Corbyn) acting like a Remainer and a Remainer (May) acting like a Brexiteer", you couldn't make this sh*t up if you tried.

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Speaking of the press, I was once accused of being a Daily Mail reader, bizarrely enough in an argument with another dog walker about issues entirely unconnected with politics, I can only think that it was my age and appearance that lead him to that conclusion.


Yeah, never assume anything about anyone based on appearance, I sometimes get negative vibes off people because I have a grade 1 skinhead and wear a leather bike jacket – but if these people just took the time to get to know me they would find out that I'm actually even more unpleasant than I look. :angel

Regarding the DM - when your brand has become so toxic it becomes a popular term of abuse you know you are in trouble – which I think is why Dacre was put out to grass last year and replaced with a new Editor in Chief.

Quote:
As it happens, I'm a life long Daily Telegraph reader, which has undoubtedly influenced my point of view. At the moment, the letters page of that journal is compulsive reading, long time Tory voters in turmoil, tearing up membership cards and vowing never to vote Tory again, largely supported by the editorial.


Yes, the EU question was always seen as a problem for the Tory party in terms of internal divisions and losing a chunk of votes to UKIP, so Cameron's attempt to settle the question for a generation with an IN/OUT referendum had a certain logic to it – apart from the fact that he didn't factor in the possibility he might lose the vote coupled with his utter failure to contemplate the (potentially) terminal damage a badly handled Brexit is going to wreak on the Tory party and it's reputation.

Quote:
So maybe thoughts of a future Labour government aren't as impossible as I thought …


Even if Labour win I can't see them getting a decent workable majority what with their own splits and divisions, although with UK politics in the state it is currently in it's foolish making any kind of predictions.

Quote:
PS I did enjoy the video of those squaddies doing target practice.


I thought it was somewhat ironic watching soldiers who are purportedly on a mission to support the establishment of democracy in a foreign country carrying out a 'mock execution' of one of their own democratically elected politicians.

Quote:
EDIT. May have mentioned this before, but I worked in the NHS for 36 years until I took early retirement, then did a few years locum work. A flawed institution management wise, but not one that would be improved by privatisation. Only time I voted Labour in a general election was when Margaret Thatcher threatened NHS privatisation. Self interest on my part, rather than ideological. Which is why I tend to vote for the Labour candidate in local elections, self interest again. Good Tory principle.


Agreed, I think important decisions should always be made on a rational, pragmatic basis rather than out of ideological habit or tribal loyalty.


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 Post Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:06 pm 
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So if the backstop was not a trick/trap, why wouldn't the EU agree to drop it from the withdrawal agreement?

This has bothered me for a while now..

The choice would be to allow a no deal to happen and then the NI boarder is Ireland and the EU's problem, as the UK stated it will not impose a boarder.
The option would be to remove the Backstop from the Withdrawal Agreement and at the very least the EU gains a 2 year delay before having to deal with the boarder issue (or simply extend the transition) and they get £39 billion.

Yet they wouldn't do it... to me that says the Backstop was always more about control of the UK throughout the negotiations than it was to protect the GF Agreement.

Or am I missing something?


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 Post Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:54 pm 
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:clap :clap :clap

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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:03 pm 
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Quote:
Yet they wouldn't do it... to me that says the Backstop was always more about control of the UK throughout the negotiations than it was to protect the GF Agreement.


I think backstop represents a genuine political conundrum:

The UK wants to maintain a frictionless border in NI as per GF agreement AND leave the EU customs union.

The EU also wants to maintain a frictionless border in NI as per GF agreement BUT insists this can only happen if the UK stays in the customs union which the UK says crosses one of it's red lines - but if the UK is out of the customs union but is still enjoying a frictionless border with the EU then that is clearly inconsistent with the concept of a customs union and undermines the credibility of that customs union - e.g. if the UK can have frictionless trade with the EU then other countries outside the EU will be lobbying for similar status and the customs union will unravel.

That's not to say that the EU is not cynically using the backstop issue as a pressure point in it's negotiations with the UK - of course it is - that's how negotiations between states and political/economic unions work - each side uses whatever leverage it has available to it to get the most advantageous deal possible - but that does not alter the fact that there are genuine, serious political issues pertaining to the GF agreement behind the backstop issue - which is logical bacause if the NI border was not a serious issue then it would not provide the EU with serious leverage in negotiations with the UK in the first place - so it's basically a fait accompli.

This is just my take on it - I'm very happy and willing to have my view modified with better information/argument.


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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:20 pm 
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p.s. - obvious counter argument regarding backstop is to refer to a Norway type deal for the UK - however:

Norway is part of the single market through its membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) but it's not in the customs union.

Being in the single market means Norway respects the EU's four freedoms - the freedom of movement of goods, services, capital and people. But that doesn't get rid of the need for customs checks.


So if we had a Norway style agreement we would still have to respect the four freedoms outlined above and contribute money as Norway does to the EU and we would still have customs checks at the NI border - which surely undermines the whole point of Brexit and still does not address the issue of a frictionless NI border?


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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:00 pm 
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So, some froggy cowboy builder burned their church down.

Possibly the wrong attitude, but am I bothered ? Not much.

Just hope the UK doesn't end up making donations to the repair fund, money could be better spent closer to home.

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 Post Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 11:22 am 
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Unsurprised at the result of the Euro MP elections.

So, Emily Thornberry is now backing calls for a second referendum, now that all us thick Brexiteers have been properly informed and seen the error of our ways. :Bang

And what would be the three choices on her referendum ballot paper be ?

1. Remain
2. Leave without a deal
3. Leave with a deal

Which would split the Leave vote between options 2 and 3, and Remain wins.

Or am I still being thick ??

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 Post Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 11:41 am 
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richard pitman wrote:
And what would be the three choices on her referendum ballot paper be ?

1. Remain
2. Leave without a deal
3. Leave with a deal

Which would split the Leave vote between options 2 and 3, and Remain wins.



I said they would do that all along if they have another vote!!

Any form of "stay" option shouldnt make the ballot, as we have already voted to leave, option 2 and 3 should be the only ones

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:46 pm 
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370steve wrote:
richard pitman wrote:
And what would be the three choices on her referendum ballot paper be ?

1. Remain
2. Leave without a deal
3. Leave with a deal

Which would split the Leave vote between options 2 and 3, and Remain wins.



I said they would do that all along if they have another vote!!

Any form of "stay" option shouldnt make the ballot, as we have already voted to leave, option 2 and 3 should be the only ones


:clap :clap

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