British politics

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Apr 3, 2016
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Hmmm....

I'm afraid I've got a pretty UK centric view of the issues. Over here, the disquiet centres mostly about free-flowing of people.....or to put it bluntly the appearance of large numbers of Eastern Europeans willing to move to the UK to work hard ;) The epicentres of the anti-European vote are also the places with the fewest immigrants. Work that one out.

The secondary issue is of 'unelected foreign politicians' making decisions that affect the UK. Curiously, however, nobody ever seems to give examples of these decisions and how they affect the UK in a negative way.

There is sometimes a furore whipped up about the UK having to conform to EU Human rights legislation.....as if this is a bad thing! Again, nobody ever seems to expand on why it is a bad thing, other than totally insignificant cases of difficulty in exporting foreign undesirables. Apparently, it's just the 'undemocratic' nature of parts of the EU that gets some British people frothing.

Curiously, they seem unaware or unconcerned that the UK has an unelected second chamber (some of whom are there as hereditary peers or religious appointments) nor that they have a Head of State (and military) that is unelected and hereditary.

So, as you correctly point out, it is a matter of perception.
 
Mar 14, 2016
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kwikki said:
There is sometimes a furore whipped up about the UK having to conform to EU Human rights legislation.....
Which was driven to a large extent by British politicians and civil servants.
 
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kwikki said:
Hmmm....

I'm afraid I've got a pretty UK centric view of the issues. Over here, the disquiet centres mostly about free-flowing of people.....or to put it bluntly the appearance of large numbers of Eastern Europeans willing to move to the UK to work hard ;) The epicentres of the anti-European vote are also the places with the fewest immigrants. Work that one out.

The secondary issue is of 'unelected foreign politicians' making decisions that affect the UK. Curiously, however, nobody ever seems to give examples of these decisions and how they affect the UK in a negative way.

There is sometimes a furore whipped up about the UK having to conform to EU Human rights legislation.....as if this is a bad thing! Again, nobody ever seems to expand on why it is a bad thing, other than totally insignificant cases of difficulty in exporting foreign undesirables. Apparently, it's just the 'undemocratic' nature of parts of the EU that gets some British people frothing.

Curiously, they seem unaware or unconcerned that the UK has an unelected second chamber (some of whom are there as hereditary peers or religious appointments) nor that they have a Head of State (and military) that is unelected and hereditary.

So, as you correctly point out, it is a matter of perception.
Naturally I was coming from the perspective of Italy, among the infamous PIGS. The immigration issue is another big part of why working class Europeans feel increasingly marginalized. Under the impetus of financialization and a capitalism of delocalization, many view the arrival of cheap labor as threatening to their jobs. In Italy's case the EU bureaucracy, with Germany pushing hard, wants to declasify much of its agro-doc products so that any country can brand their own "parmesean" cheese and produce "mozzarella," as if it were all coming out of Emilia and Campania...Naturally this will hurt the increasingly struggling Italian production, which is essential to GNP growth that, in turn, is critical to paying down its dept. This becomes further indicitive, along with austerity measures, of why the EU looks threatening to the unprotected sectors and weak states, in which wealth and authority gets de facto redirected to protected sectors and strong states.

While this persists (and the negative perceptions that come with it), nationalism has cause to rear its ugly head. There seems to be, for the moment at least, enough antibodies in the EU organism to protect it from the terminal disease. However, with the Brexit referendum drawing near, the continued imigration crisis, decreasing prosperity, grim prospect for the emerging educated class and political instability; the EU would do well to remember that any politcal establishment that doesn't work toward creating more generalized wellbeing is doomed to an expiration date.
 
Mar 14, 2016
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Brullnux said:
CheckMyPecs said:
kwikki said:
There is sometimes a furore whipped up about the UK having to conform to EU Human rights legislation.....
Which was driven to a large extent by British politicians and civil servants.
Not to a large extent, that was actually pretty much wholly created by British politicians and civil servants
So there you go. When the Tories talk about replacing EU human rights legislation with a "British bill of rights", they're ignoring the fact that it is already very much a British bill of rights.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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..among the nonsensical statements by a politician, this one stands out:

EU's Tusk says Brexit could threaten western political civilization

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-tusk-idUSKCN0YZ0Q9?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Reuters%2FworldNews+%28Reuters+World+News%29

if i were tusk, i'd ask myself, 'perhaps such a weak entity as the entire western civilization was never meant existing if only one member's exit will cause its collapse ?

this pole calling himself a historian is a bigger idiot than barosso...
 
Mar 14, 2016
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python said:
..among the nonsensical statements by a politician, this one stands out:

EU's Tusk says Brexit could threaten western political civilization

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-tusk-idUSKCN0YZ0Q9?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Reuters%2FworldNews+%28Reuters+World+News%29

if i were tusk, i'd ask myself, 'perhaps such a weak entity as the entire western civilization was never meant existing if only one member's exit will cause its collapse ?

this pole calling himself a historian is a bigger idiot than barosso...
Few Brits will go to the polling stations thinking of whatever Tusk said. They'll vote with their wallets in mind.
 
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CheckMyPecs said:
Actually the most powerful EU organ is the Council of the EU, made up of the member states' heads of government. This benefits the UK because it's a country with a lot of diplomatic clout.
It's definitely the Commission. The Council is no legislative institution. The Commission has a say on all three powers.

No member state has any power. Neither Germany nor Malta. That's why chairmen of the Bundesbank chain-resigned by the early 2010's. The EU is a self-blocking system. You need unanimity to change the treaties. This Europe cannot be any different than what it is. Unanimity is impossible with 28 members. That's why the Commission has so much power and the driving force behind it is what General De Gaulle called the "federator of Europe" which is not European but which has a policy. Even though he did not name it, we understand it is the United States of America.

The so-called "populist" parties are sure capitalizing on the epic EU fail but fact is NONE of them have ever officially expressed their will to unilaterally exit the EU but UKIP (but is it a "populist" party?). Neither Geert Wilders, nor Marine Le Pen nor Beppe Grillo, none of them.

UKIP in the UK, UPR in France, EPAM in Greece are not wish-wash about exiting the EU but those so-called "populist" parties are. A few weeks ago, I defied anyone to show me an official "profession de foi" by Marine Le Pen (that is what the French call the official document that candidates for an official election need to send to all electors and the national archive) and the only answer that I had (by a French poster) was just a silly little interview, so nothing official. In official documents Marine Le Pen does not even talk about the Euro, so obviously does not talk about leaving the Eurozone and least of all leaving the EU...

Some people here are doing a great job at demonizing avocates of the Brexit. The "Far-Right" advocates for "Remain".
 
Mar 14, 2016
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Echoes said:
CheckMyPecs said:
Actually the most powerful EU organ is the Council of the EU, made up of the member states' heads of government. This benefits the UK because it's a country with a lot of diplomatic clout.
It's definitely the Commission. The Council is no legislative institution. The Commission has a say on all three powers.
The Commission may have a say, but the Council has a veto.
 
Mar 14, 2016
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Echoes said:
Have they ever vetoed a Commission policy?
Just recently, the Council vetoed the Commission's refugee relocation policy on the initiative of Hungary, Poland and other East European countries.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Can anybody with a good view on British politics tell me what the sentiment/mood is wrt Brexit?
I mean, is this going to be a 50/50 race, or is the balance clearly shifting in a specific direction?
 
Mar 14, 2016
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sniper said:
Can anybody with a good view on British politics tell me what the sentiment/mood is wrt Brexit?
I mean, is this going to be a 50/50 race, or is the balance clearly shifting in a specific direction?
Polls are on the edge of a knife.
Bookies show a 63% chance of Remain.
Leave has some momentum but Brexit-related financial turmoil is driving undecided folk to Remain.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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CheckMyPecs said:
Echoes said:
Have they ever vetoed a Commission policy?
Just recently, the Council vetoed the Commission's refugee relocation policy on the initiative of Hungary, Poland and other East European countries.
The Commission IMPLEMENTS COUNCIL POLICY. That is its point. It has strictly limited power (except in very technical aspects).

CheckMyPecs said:
sniper said:
Can anybody with a good view on British politics tell me what the sentiment/mood is wrt Brexit?
I mean, is this going to be a 50/50 race, or is the balance clearly shifting in a specific direction?
Polls are on the edge of a knife.
Bookies show a 63% chance of Remain.
Leave has some momentum but Brexit-related financial turmoil is driving undecided folk to Remain.
I'm here and I'm following it closely. And I'm worried. YouGov (respected pollster) shows Leave leading by 7 points, while the Guardian/ICM has them up by 6. News cycle today was dominated by Osborne saying that a vote to leave would require an immediate budget bringing in cuts to public services and tax raises, which the Leave campaign has spun very effectively as a desperate attempt to intimidate voters. Potential Tory revolt now taking over coverage.
More broadly, the common theme of the polling clusterfucks we've seen over the past few years has been the enthusiasm gap. As society gets ever more fragmented, the concept of 'civic duties' is even more discredited, and apathy is increasingly setting in, pollsters are having real difficulty accounting for the fact that it's proving harder and harder to predict turnout. In Scotland in 2014, pro-independence campaigners were more enthusiastic and had something to fight for, so they came very close to winning. We can see the same pattern with Sanders' shock in Michigan. You may be for the Union/Clinton/Remain, and you might say so in public conversation, but you don't care enough to go out and vote; who fights for the status quo? The Brexiteers have done a pretty good job of firing up their supporters (mostly thanks to deceptions, outright lies, and stoking up racial tensions), who feel more personally invested in the result - they know in their hearts why the EU is bad, while Remainers often struggle to articulate the benefits (the EU is terrible at selling itself). Every leave person I've spoken to has been passionate and involved, and the amount of 'Vote Leave' signs you can see out and about are truly worrying.

(SPOILER: I'm for Remain.)
 
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CheckMyPecs said:
sniper said:
Can anybody with a good view on British politics tell me what the sentiment/mood is wrt Brexit?
I mean, is this going to be a 50/50 race, or is the balance clearly shifting in a specific direction?
Polls are on the edge of a knife.
Bookies show a 63% chance of Remain.
Leave has some momentum but Brexit-related financial turmoil is driving undecided folk to Remain.
I wouldn't be so sure of the last bit. The scaremongering Remain campaign on the economy and the threats may have turned some undecided away to leave, especially because the campaign with more attention is Leave. Of course, the financial problems may turn people to Remain like in Scotland 2014, but it is really on a knife edge. I'd say Leave has the lead right now, but just.
 
Mar 14, 2016
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Brullnux said:
I wouldn't be so sure of the last bit. The scaremongering Remain campaign on the economy and the threats may have turned some undecided away to leave, especially because the campaign with more attention is Leave. Of course, the financial problems may turn people to Remain like in Scotland 2014, but it is really on a knife edge. I'd say Leave has the lead right now, but just.
The word "scaremongering" gets thrown around a lot these days.
 
Sniper, re the EU Referendum, the polls are getting closer and closer. But the remain vote is just about holding up over the UK but looking like it may be closer than I thought it would be. Still expect a remain vote but I'm not English (who will decide the vote) so can't really comment on the feeling 'on the ground' as it were. I can say, here in Scotland, the remain vote is solid, both in polls and 'on the ground' although slightly reducing. Should be something like 55/35 I would guess if not more.

Interestingly, only 48% of those in the last poll would be in favour of a new Scottish independence campaign if Scotland voted to stay in but England voted to leave (Wales and NI will also vote remain).
 
Jan 24, 2012
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ferryman said:
Sniper, re the EU Referendum, the polls are getting closer and closer. But the remain vote is just about holding up over the UK but looking like it may be closer than I thought it would be. Still expect a remain vote but I'm not English (who will decide the vote) so can't really comment on the feeling 'on the ground' as it were. I can say, here in Scotland, the remain vote is solid, both in polls and 'on the ground' although slightly reducing. Should be something like 55/35 I would guess if not more.

Interestingly, only 48% of those in the last poll would be in favour of a new Scottish independence campaign if Scotland voted to stay in but England voted to leave (Wales and NI will also vote remain).
Since you are a local and posted a lot in the Scottish Referendum thread, I am curious if Scotland gained any more autonomy since? Or if there's some movement to?
 
Aug 31, 2012
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Brullnux said:
CheckMyPecs said:
sniper said:
Can anybody with a good view on British politics tell me what the sentiment/mood is wrt Brexit?
I mean, is this going to be a 50/50 race, or is the balance clearly shifting in a specific direction?
Polls are on the edge of a knife.
Bookies show a 63% chance of Remain.
Leave has some momentum but Brexit-related financial turmoil is driving undecided folk to Remain.
I wouldn't be so sure of the last bit. The scaremongering Remain campaign on the economy and the threats may have turned some undecided away to leave, especially because the campaign with more attention is Leave. Of course, the financial problems may turn people to Remain like in Scotland 2014, but it is really on a knife edge. I'd say Leave has the lead right now, but just.
The problem with running an effective Remain campaign is that the best case for remaining in the EU focuses on the negative implications of the Brexit. There is no other case to be made when arguing for the status quo. Unfortunately, much anti EU sentiment isn't based on economics, it's a rejection of immigration and seemingly undirected anger that doesn't rest on any particular issue (indeed, knowledge of how the actually EU works is extremely poor as you'd expect). Likely brought about in no small part by decades long scapegoating of the EU by the tabloids.

Still, you'd expect people to listen and possibly change their minds because the negative consequences of leaving, unemployment and reduced real wage growth, would affect a sizeable cross section of society. But then there is this curious anti-intellectualism, the ease with which Brexiters dismiss any and all evidence leaving the EU will hurt the economy. As Behr from the Guardian puts it:
That reflects a deliberate tactic of the leave campaign. Their plan to abandon the single market and sabotage international alliances with glib disregard for the consequences lies far beyond what most economic and diplomatic wisdom would counsel. So discrediting expertise itself is part of the game. The governor of the Bank of England, the Treasury, every living former prime minister, trade unions, scientists, thinktanks, international organisations, the heads of other EU member states and the US president must all, in the Brexiter imagination, be captive to the same malign Brussels influence. There is a nihilistic streak to a campaign that throws flames at the very idea of institutional independence and professional judgment because mistrust of an inchoate “establishment” spreads faster across scorched earth.

The problem remain advocates have is that expertise is a cousin to nuance. They hang out in the balance of probabilities, relaxed in the company of rival viewpoints, cohabiting with uncertainty. Their family motto is “It’s complicated” – which, as the energy secretary, Amber Rudd, discovered when repeating those very words in a televised EU debate, is not a crowd-pleasing slogan.
The referendum was a grave mistake. Letting the electorate directly vote on a set of very complex, long-term irreversible policies with far reaching welfare implications they are incapable of assessing is...not very clever.

There's now a 1/3 chance that Brexit becomes a reality. Thanks Dave.
 
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Sciocco said:
ferryman said:
Sniper, re the EU Referendum, the polls are getting closer and closer. But the remain vote is just about holding up over the UK but looking like it may be closer than I thought it would be. Still expect a remain vote but I'm not English (who will decide the vote) so can't really comment on the feeling 'on the ground' as it were. I can say, here in Scotland, the remain vote is solid, both in polls and 'on the ground' although slightly reducing. Should be something like 55/35 I would guess if not more.

Interestingly, only 48% of those in the last poll would be in favour of a new Scottish independence campaign if Scotland voted to stay in but England voted to leave (Wales and NI will also vote remain).
Since you are a local and posted a lot in the Scottish Referendum thread, I am curious if Scotland gained any more autonomy since? Or if there's some movement to?
Well.....there was a lot promised in the lead up to the Referendum, not all delivered but no surprise there..I don't see a lot of movement for independence but the SNP vote at the Scottish May elections have them back in power, with a pretty strong vote just missing out on autocracy, which is a good thing in my mind. Scottish Labour, which is my party of choice if all things were equal are just about wiped oot and have so much work to do...
 
Mar 14, 2016
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From doctors and teachers to economists and scientists, anti-EU campaigners are lashing out at everyone who points out the UK is better off in the EU.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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thanks ferryman.

The fact that politicians in the European Parliament receive not only a restitution of travel expenses (which is fair enough) but also quite significant salary bonuses makes me puke so hard that I'll happily pop a bottle for BREXIT, even though I can see the benefits of REMAIN for the economy at large.
 
Mar 14, 2016
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sniper said:
thanks ferryman.

The fact that politicians in the European Parliament receive not only a restitution of travel expenses (which is fair enough) but also quite significant salary bonuses makes me puke so hard that I'll happily pop a bottle for BREXIT, even though I can see the benefits of REMAIN for the economy at large.
Vote according to your family's interests —whether MEPs get bonuses or not should be a secondary concern.
 
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