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British politics

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Mar 13, 2009
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Brullnux said:
"Britain’s negotiating position in Europe has been misrepresented in the continental press."

The most important quote from May's 'declaration of war' with the EU. Is it the continental press who have misrepresented our negotiating position, or you yourself? I'd love to know from a continental persepective, what people think of May and her posturing, and in general if they think the UK has any actual standing in these negotiations. My perspective is not completely one-sided, as I was not born in Britain so feel less of the inherent jingoism that others may feel (the 'they need us more than we need them' idea) so like to think I can look at it from a fairly objective position (not the EU, but how the negotiations will go). I also keep an eye on some European newspapers to gather their point of view.

In my opinion, May has negligible power in the talks. We have seen many people try to negotiate with the EU and Brussels and fail, on topics which the EU had more of a reason to be respecting of. Varoufakis and Greece, most notably. The idea of the mandate is negated by the 27 other mandates which she will be negotiating with. Which brings me onto another point: just sheer size. The EU is far bigger than the UK and has a much bigger GDP. Trade wise, they export less %-wise than we do: 42-44% vs 16%. If that cuts by half, the UK loses over a fifth of their exports. The EU loses a twelth.

Then comes the more political side. The EU, politically, cannot give the UK a good deal. They definitely will not allow one which is mor favourable than a current inside-the-EU agreement. Therefore, I think Juncker and Merkel had a hierarchy of deals. Plan A: a Norway style agreement. Trade is still there and so is freedom of movement; the cost is less but the UK has no say in the laws they are forced to abide by and there is no possibility of 3rd party deals. The EU economy is still as strong, and the UK gains very little and loses a bit. Plan B: Harsh, harsh deal which hurts the UK. This may hurt the EU, but it will (probably) put off some other countries from leaving the EU. It will also anger some people in europe, but I think the EU thinks it a net-positive arrangement. Since May has ruled out plan a, it is looking very much like plan b. Especially with the antagonisation that has gone on recently, I do not think May will have much say on what the final trade deal is. Juncker and co will give her one, and she will either accept it, and face humiliation (although the servile and sycophantic media will see it as a victory), or leave without a deal and stick to her promise. Mind you, there is more chance of the talks falling through than anything else. Then comes the issue of the bill etc. May is criminally underestimating how hard this will be.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/03/yanis-varoufakis-greece-greatest-political-memoir
 
Apr 21, 2017
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I'm not sure there is an equivalence between Brexit UK and Bankrupt Greece.

With regards to jingoistic viewpoints amongst the British, I would suspect that depends very much on which side of the Brexit debate one lies. The right wing press has been drip feeding lies about the EU for decades, the biggest ones being about EU law. EU laws have, largely, been extremely advantageous for the UK..no surprise given that the British were very central to their creation!

Its no wonder the Brexit voters hold the opinions they do, given the poison that has been dripped into their ears. It feeds right into the national psyche of victimhood, and support for the underdog (in this case,us). If they truly believe that the damned foreigners are cheating us, then a desire for Brexit is a logical position.

That the entire debate was able to he framed in these terms demonstrates the lack of sophistication of the British electorate, or at least 52% of them.
 
Re:

Brullnux said:
"Britain’s negotiating position in Europe has been misrepresented in the continental press."

The most important quote from May's 'declaration of war' with the EU. Is it the continental press who have misrepresented our negotiating position, or you yourself? I'd love to know from a continental persepective, what people think of May and her posturing, and in general if they think the UK has any actual standing in these negotiations. My perspective is not completely one-sided, as I was not born in Britain so feel less of the inherent jingoism that others may feel (the 'they need us more than we need them' idea) so like to think I can look at it from a fairly objective position (not the EU, but how the negotiations will go). I also keep an eye on some European newspapers to gather their point of view.

In my opinion, May has negligible power in the talks. We have seen many people try to negotiate with the EU and Brussels and fail, on topics which the EU had more of a reason to be respecting of. Varoufakis and Greece, most notably. The idea of the mandate is negated by the 27 other mandates which she will be negotiating with. Which brings me onto another point: just sheer size. The EU is far bigger than the UK and has a much bigger GDP. Trade wise, they export less %-wise than we do: 42-44% vs 16%. If that cuts by half, the UK loses over a fifth of their exports. The EU loses a twelth.

Then comes the more political side. The EU, politically, cannot give the UK a good deal. They definitely will not allow one which is mor favourable than a current inside-the-EU agreement. Therefore, I think Juncker and Merkel had a hierarchy of deals. Plan A: a Norway style agreement. Trade is still there and so is freedom of movement; the cost is less but the UK has no say in the laws they are forced to abide by and there is no possibility of 3rd party deals. The EU economy is still as strong, and the UK gains very little and loses a bit. Plan B: Harsh, harsh deal which hurts the UK. This may hurt the EU, but it will (probably) put off some other countries from leaving the EU. It will also anger some people in europe, but I think the EU thinks it a net-positive arrangement. Since May has ruled out plan a, it is looking very much like plan b. Especially with the antagonisation that has gone on recently, I do not think May will have much say on what the final trade deal is. Juncker and co will give her one, and she will either accept it, and face humiliation (although the servile and sycophantic media will see it as a victory), or leave without a deal and stick to her promise. Mind you, there is more chance of the talks falling through than anything else. Then comes the issue of the bill etc. May is criminally underestimating how hard this will be.
Speaking from continental Europe, I think it is the general opinion that Britain indeed cannot get a better deal out than in. All 27 countries will make sure of that. Furthermore, there seem to be two races going on at the same time in Britain: the internal one (elections) and the external one (Brexit negotiations). Seems like May is aiming for winning the internal one but very likely at the cost of the Brexit deals (see her latest comments). On the Brexit front, she seems to be overplaying her hand. If I'm slightly malign, I would say this is still the 'old' Britain thinking it's still an empire.
 
Apr 21, 2017
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Its not really as simple as that. Its internal problems centred around declining living standards (most especially for the working class) coupled with an ideological drive to reduce the state at all costs (again, hitting the lowest classes hardest) being attributed to too many swarthy looking people out on the streets. I don't think there are any illusions of empire, other than in the minds of foreigners reliant on clichés.

It is in some ways not dissimilar to the drivers behind Trumps election, and the possible election if Le Pen in France.
 
Apr 21, 2017
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Jagartrott said:
Agree, its good.

To be honest, British politics are not at all about what they purport to be about at the moment.

Cameron kicked it off by allowing a referendum on the EU in order to consolidate his power within his own party.

May is now using the EU issue to try and consolidate her power within her party and Parliament.
 
"We are a party that is centrist"-Stephen Kinnock

That isn't factual. Labour has been centrist, but it has also been left-wing. Corbyn at heart is a socialist, but his policies are still not fantastically radical, and wouldn't have seemed too out of place on an Ed Miliband manifesto. The epithet of 'hard left' for most of his policies is wrong. Just because Corbyn is useless and has shown support for Hezbollah and the IRA doesn't mean that his policies are crypto-Marxist. I suppose this is Kinnock Jr.'s leadership pitch for September.
 
Apr 21, 2017
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The wrong Milliband.

Things might have been different if the right one had won the leadership.
 
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mcduff said:
The wrong Milliband.

Things might have been different if the right one had won the leadership.
Ed is a much better person than David, less arrogant and less careerist. David may have been the better politician but he would have been Blair 2.0. As soon as he lost the leadership election he upped sticks, deserted his constituents and flew off to NYC where he is now rolling in it working for IRS. Ed lost the general, and stayed in parliament. To me this shows Ed is a politician because he truly wants to make a difference, while David was there for the fame and power. In fact, I'd say with complete confidence that Ed would've been better for the UK than David.

David is more charismatic and a much smoother operator and yes, would have won the 2015 general, but only because he wouldn't have been pilloried by the Sun and Daily Mail. Take them out of the equation, and Ed would have won.
 
Dec 30, 2009
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Brullnux said:
Tories gain, Labour lose, UKIP demolished. Lib Dems struggle, despite this being a local election in which they normally do excellently.
In England and Wales...in Scotland SNP win and are now the largest party in our 4 major cities, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee. Tories gain over Labour.
 
Re: Re:

ferryman said:
Brullnux said:
Tories gain, Labour lose, UKIP demolished. Lib Dems struggle, despite this being a local election in which they normally do excellently.
In England and Wales...in Scotland SNP win and are now the largest party in our 4 major cities, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee. Tories gain over Labour.
The Scots hadn't started counting yet when I posted that. Probably a bit disappointing for SNP considering their 2015 general performance, but I think part of their support is flooding to bloody Davidson. Or at least all the unionists are, but the SNP seem to be losing a bit of ground since 2015 too. We'll see for sure in June.

Disaster for Labour in the midlands and heartlands like Tees Valley and Cumbria. Shored up well enough in Wales, especially as the 2013 elections were a miracle there. The victories in cities perhaps more resounding than expected, and West of England probably a pleasant surprise. The lib dems did ok. Failed a bit in Somerset and other places in the South but seems as if the vote share is good (18%), while councillors not so much. However, they tend to be a bit more politically active than labour voters and tories (you don't often hear people say I'm voting because my family has always voted Lib Dem), so I expect the vote share in June to be about 3 points lower.
 
Dec 30, 2009
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Brullnux said:
ferryman said:
Brullnux said:
Tories gain, Labour lose, UKIP demolished. Lib Dems struggle, despite this being a local election in which they normally do excellently.
In England and Wales...in Scotland SNP win and are now the largest party in our 4 major cities, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee. Tories gain over Labour.
The Scots hadn't started counting yet when I posted that. Probably a bit disappointing for SNP considering their 2015 general performance, but I think part of their support is flooding to bloody Davidson. Or at least all the unionists are, but the SNP seem to be losing a bit of ground since 2015 too. We'll see for sure in June.

Disaster for Labour in the midlands and heartlands like Tees Valley and Cumbria. Shored up well enough in Wales, especially as the 2013 elections were a miracle there. The victories in cities perhaps more resounding than expected, and West of England probably a pleasant surprise. The lib dems did ok. Failed a bit in Somerset and other places in the South but seems as if the vote share is good (18%), while councillors not so much. However, they tend to be a bit more politically active than labour voters and tories (you don't often hear people say I'm voting because my family has always voted Lib Dem), so I expect the vote share in June to be about 3 points lower.
Good analysis. Not that disappointed with the results in Scotland (well not quite true, as a Labour man at heart it breaks the same to see so many now voting for the Tories:() I think the SNP are still pretty much on track to secure 50+ of the seats in the GE but the Tories will probably gain the rest, bar Orkney/Shetland probably. I NEVER EVER could imagine Scotland being without one Labour MP but it is really looking like that.
 
Apr 21, 2017
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I'm expecting Scotland will break away within the decade. It'll be interesting to see how that affects Scottish politics in terms of representation and political parties in an independent Scotland.
 
Dec 30, 2009
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mcduff said:
I'm expecting Scotland will break away within the decade. It'll be interesting to see how that affects Scottish politics in terms of representation and political parties in an independent Scotland.
It will happen in the next 2/3 years or not, literally for a generation this time. The GE results will give an indication. As an SNP activist and realist, I'm afraid to say it will not happen. That being the case, I really really just want to see Labour get their act together in England which will have a knock on effect in Scotland and Wales. We can all dream I guess:(
 
Apr 21, 2017
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It certainly seems that the head of steam that the SNP were building up in the wake of the EU vote has somewhat dissipated, and after a May landslide next month the political situation in Parliament won't lend itself to another referendum being willingly offered. But, I really do believe that Brexit will do for the country as a whole, culturally and economically, and I think in those circumstances an angry Scottish independence movement will be hard to resist. I'm not Scottish, and my position on Scottish independence is that Im not sure its much of my business. The only resentment I have towards it is the potential impact it would have on me...perpetual Tory rule. I'm am I interested in the possible future of an independent Scotland and deep down I'd like to see it go its own way and form a successful semi-socialist state.
 
Dec 30, 2009
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mcduff said:
It certainly seems that the head of steam that the SNP were building up in the wake of the EU vote has somewhat dissipated, and after a May landslide next month the political situation in Parliament won't lend itself to another referendum being willingly offered. But, I really do believe that Brexit will do for the country as a whole, culturally and economically, and I think in those circumstances an angry Scottish independence movement will be hard to resist. I'm not Scottish, and my position on Scottish independence is that Im not sure its much of my business. The only resentment I have towards it is the potential impact it would have on me...perpetual Tory rule. I'm am I interested in the possible future of an independent Scotland and deep down I'd like to see it go its own way and form a successful semi-socialist state.
More good analysis, which I can't disagree with. But the Scottish Govnt have voted in favour of Section 30 of the Scotland Act, so May can't really deny it, apart from the timing. It's a bit of a game of poker at the moment but as you rightly say, let's wait until we see the results of the GE North and South of the border. A successful semi-socialist country, yes please:)

ps the Scottish vote, even when it was predominantly Labour rarely influenced the UK overall result (if ever).
 
Theresa May:
"Yesterday a new French president was elected. He was elected with a strong mandate which he can take as a strong position in the negotiations. In the UK we need to ensure we’ve got an equally strong mandate and an equally strong negotiating position. And every vote for me and my team will strengthen my hand in those Brexit negotiations."
She is really clutching at straws here


Michael Gove :
"One of the reasons that Theresa May has done so well politically, is that she articulates a sense that for those people who have felt overlooked because they don’t have the connections or the capital to influence what happens in Westminster, she is their champion. In that sense the Brexit vote and the support for the Conservatives since then has been a very mild and gentle counter-revolution. And it is a counter-revolution that has put Theresa at its head."
Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner! It is not Macron or Trump who is the most succesful in improbably branding themselves as 'anti-establishment': it is Theresa May. The woman who went to Oxford, worked at the BofE, had two failed attempts at entering politics, was a shadow frontbench politician for twelve years, was (a failure of a) Home Secretary for six, and has been expressing leadership ideas since 2010. She is so immersed in the establishment that she thinks she isn't part of it anymore. And the main reason Gove gives for this idiocy? She is dull. Ridiculously dull and depressingly uncharismatic. She has no way with words, is an awful orator and hates being asked questions about her career or policies. This somehow makes her 'anti-establishment'. If the British electorate actually believe this (I have more than enough respect for them that I do not think this is the case), I will have lost all hope in Brits and British democracy, as it is clearly completely hijacked by the interests of dastardly foreign outside meddlers like Murdoch and Lord Rothermere.


Still Gove:
"One of the reason why my words had a resonance ... is that they spoke to a feeling that voters appeared to feel that they had been patronised and elites in some cases felt that their leadership was not respected in the way that it had been perhaps a generation ago."
This argument makes very little sense and he is starting to realise it.

Say you have a problem with plumbing in your house. You call a plumber. The plumber either advises you to do something or does it themselves. Now, here you have two options: either listen to them as they are an expert in their field, or drive them out of the house immediately and ignore what he said completely.

I know it is not completely the same, as in any good democracy there should be a difference of opinion between important experts and institution. You could say: I have taken on board what this expert has said, but I have chosen to follow this one. Fine, because there is bound to be another expert with an oppostie viewpoint. But to just ignore what all experts have to say is plain stupid. Once again, it is either an insult to the people of britain to say this, or a testament to their stupidity. I like to think the latter. Once again, it proves though how much of an influence tabloids have. If you constantly smear and distort various economists and their words or just experts in general, then people will obviously start to feel patronised by them. And there are people who are very patronising, but its wrong to paint all of them with the same brush.


One last thing, Labour have announced a new plan to abolish parking charges at hospitals, and have costed it quite easily. Therefore, the Tories and Liberals took it upon them to attack them without saying anything substantial other than "idea is bad because labour".

Here are their full quotes:

"This promise isn’t worth the paper it’s written on because Jeremy Corbyn simply wouldn’t be able to deliver it. With Corbyn in charge of our Brexit negotiations, the economy and our NHS would be at grave risk. There would be less money to spend in hospitals, not more."- the strong and stable robots

"Labour have failed as an opposition and voted with the Conservatives for a Hard Brexit that will mean less money for the NHS."-the endangered and unimportant ones
 
Dec 30, 2009
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King Boonen said:
Only semi-socialist?!?!? Lets seize the means of production comrades!!
The semi was a concession KB. If you had lived in Scotland during the Thatcher years it would be 1000%, but times have'd moved on so, yes, semi is just about right for most Scots.
 
Re: Re:

ferryman said:
King Boonen said:
Only semi-socialist?!?!? Lets seize the means of production comrades!!
The semi was a concession KB. If you had lived in Scotland during the Thatcher years it would be 1000%, but times have'd moved on so, yes, semi is just about right for most Scots.
I come from a Yorkshire mining family, easy to see where my political views were founded :)
 
Dec 30, 2009
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King Boonen said:
ferryman said:
King Boonen said:
Only semi-socialist?!?!? Lets seize the means of production comrades!!
The semi was a concession KB. If you had lived in Scotland during the Thatcher years it would be 1000%, but times have'd moved on so, yes, semi is just about right for most Scots.
I come from a Yorkshire mining family, easy to see where my political views were founded :)
Ditto, except Edinburgh mining family. Grandad was killed in Gilmerton pit in an accident at a ridiculously young age and unfortunately before I was born, so never got to know him:(
 
Labour manifesto leaked, albeit without costings. Disappointed they didn't have the balls to drop Trident (which would by itself pay for most of their pledges). In fact, the more I think about the more I realise Trident is an enormous waste of money. The main argument for it is "we'll get attacked if we don't have it", which perfectly explains why Germany has been the subject of multiple nuclear attacks over the past decade. Anyway, it isn't overly radical but is still the most leftwing one since 1983, but it's more what Ed Miliband wanted to write rather than straight from the Foot 'suicide note'. Even Polly Toynbee, Corbyn critic and SDP supporter, likes it. It's probably the most transformational and forward thinking one since Thatcher 1979 too (forward thinking as in looking at how to shape the long term future), or even Attlee '45.

My main worry is costings, though. Increasing corporation tax on multinationals will raise a lot of money, but compounded with Brexit might make a couple of companies leave. However, that's only the case if we also leave the single market, which Labour have expressed interest in staying in. The income tax increases will raise next to nothing in all probability if they are as moderate as McDonnell was trying to convince people they were. So yeah, a decent enough manifesto which is very comprehensive as well. I'll be surprised if the Tories don't release 70 pages of waffle as their's.

Other people's thoughts?
 
Dec 7, 2010
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Re: Re:

King Boonen said:
ferryman said:
King Boonen said:
Only semi-socialist?!?!? Lets seize the means of production comrades!!
The semi was a concession KB. If you had lived in Scotland during the Thatcher years it would be 1000%, but times have'd moved on so, yes, semi is just about right for most Scots.
I come from a Yorkshire mining family, easy to see where my political views were founded :)
Wow Yorkshire the home of the Major Tour.
 

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