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Mentat

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Everything posted by Mentat

  1. Mentat

    What should be done... about climate change

    I think you might be right, but it seems extremely risky. Frightened people are not good decision makers, and counter-productive decisions seem just as likely as productive ones, if not even more so. While that's fair enough, I think since we mostly agree on what is needed (massively reducing carbon emissions) questions of implementation (how exactly should we go about it) and political viability (how to push the needed reforms through the current political system) are the more productive and interesting discussion. I understand you advocate that part of pushing the needed reforms through the current political system is introducing changes in the system itself, and I don't really disagree with you, even though I might disagree with some of your specific proposals. It's not without it's problems (said quota could easily become a commodity, and it would encourage a black market), but it's an interesting proposal. Choice is definitely a good sell. Maybe if I install solar panels on my roof I can take two flight a year instead of just the one or if I change my SUV for a Prius I can have a steak once a week. I think your argument would benefit from some concreteness. How does the current socio-economic system prevent the resolution of the climate emergency and what can be done about it? See, intuitively I'd say it's very hard to have one without the other. Start sharing ideas and the rest will follow naturally. I could be wrong, though, as this isn't something I know much about or have given much thought to. I'm really not interested in convincing anyone else of anything, or "winning" an argument... well, okay, I guess I enjoy a rhetorical scuffle as much as the next guy... but I enjoy it just as much when I myself I'm convinced of things I previously ignored or misunderstood. I'm not always easy to convince, though. I can be biased and stubborn just like anyone else.
  2. Mentat

    What should be done... about climate change

    I was going to say you might want to give yourself a bit of wiggle room for compromise in case your campaign doesn't work as well as you want it to... but no, you're right. Diluting the message would be a mistake. Accommodate political reality as far into the process as you can afford to.
  3. Mentat

    What should be done... about climate change

    I agree with everything you've said. Political viability is a hurdle that must be overcome, but it's not impossible to do so. Educating people in the reality of the climate emergency and the necessity of adopting environmental policies is the best way to do it. A canny politician will take into account what is currently politically viable as a starting point, though, and then plan from there how to better win over hearts and minds so that the policy has the best possible chance when it hits the floor. A very radical proposition will be a tougher sell, so it might require a more intensive propaganda campaign, gradual or progressive implementation or some other way to sugar-coat it. As I think I said in a previous post, how to better raise awareness of the issue so that the inevitably harsh measures that will be needed to address the climate emergency are more politically palatable is one of the most interesting aspects of the "how to deal with climate change" challenge.
  4. Mentat

    What should be done... about climate change

    No it isn't. There's no argument in your statement that would allow you to make this leap of logic. Since people have access to "the relevant information" (hasn't the scientific information about the climate emergency been around for ages?) they will consider (and more than consider, right? You mean support politically and implement, not simply wonder about them in their head) radical solutions. They might and they might not. This was an example of what I was saying. You use expressions like "it's quite clear" and "it's quite obvious" as rhetorical devices and then follow them with statements of opinion which you expect people to take for granted despite the fact they're neither clear nor obvious. As the climate emergency gets worse and is felt more, people are bound to be open to progressively radical solution to address it, but whether they will be radical enough or timely enough is anyone's guess. Political viability will always be a consideration. There will always be politicians who are irrationally optimistic, willing to sell snake-oil solutions based on unreasonable estimates or simply willing to bury their head in the sand, and there will be people who will follow these politicians because all these things are very human. Again, you misread me. I'm not saying the discussion about the climate emergency or the measures which will be needed to address it is not needed. I never have. I am saying that any solution will have to be politically viable, and that, although I agree the growing pressure of the climate emergency will eventually make politically viable what might have otherwise seemed extreme, it is not clear it will do so fast enough for our response to be effective. I'm also saying that many solutions will be proposed from many different viewpoints, and that anyone who thinks that the climate emergency will grant them a mandate for any specific policy, socio-economic structure or world-view is very deluded. No, I'm not demonstrating anything and neither are you. Consider the following counter-argument (which may or may not be me playing devil's advocate): "The current global economic system has nothing to do with the climate emergency. The climate emergency has two obvious causes: industrialization and over-population. This is clear and obvious. If I was to magically cull most of humanity to a reasonable number or magically make all post-industrial revolution machinery disappear, then that would solve the climate emergency immediately, would it not? If you, on the other hand, could magically swap our global economic system for a different one, would that solve the climate emergency? It's anyone's guess! Nations with very low industrial development have very low carbon emissions, regardless of who owns what or how they trade. A steam-punk feudal society where knights and lords joust atop humongous machines and millions of serfs slave away in their lord's factories rather than in their fields, would be just as polluting as our modern capitalist society. Moreover, the climate emergency is not only due to industrialization, but to very specific technological developments and alternatives, like the use of fossil fuels to produce energy. If, a 100 years ago, a genius scientist had discovered a clean energy source running on water that could power anything from a small motorcycle to a large factory, I can say with no uncertainty that the climate emergency would not exist. Can you say that the great grandchildren of this scientist wouldn't be mega-rich CEOs of WaterEnergy Inc., earning exponentially more money than their companies employees and selling motors and generators based on their great grand-father's patents all over the world? No, you can't. Q.E.D." From globalism to isolationism in the blink of an eye So Trump is rich, and Trump is bad, hence rich people are bad? Sorry, still not buying it. We can agree that those who possess more means have a greater responsibility to contribute towards a solution. I think I have argued extensively why I think this isn't the case. All policies are eventually (meaning in cases of reiterative violation) imposed by force, even if the government enforcing them was democratically elected, but people will be more willing to comply with policies coming from governments they view as legitimate. As I said before, I don't believe a military junta will be any more effective at tackling the climate emergency than a democratic government.
  5. Mentat

    What should be done... about climate change

    The current socio-economic structure may suck balls, that is not contentious and has never been my point, but it has a massive advantage over the future hypothetical socio-economic structure: it exists, it is currently in place and those within it have the power to effect actual changes if they want to (even if their record sucks so far). Future hypothetical socio-economic structure may be a thousand times better than current socio-economic structure at tackling climate change... or maybe it won't. It's currently a nebulous pipe-dream that is no way near to happening. Regardless of its potential, this is enough of a drawback that, given the urgency of the climate emergency, I think we will be better off operating within the current frame of reference. Proposals that are beyond the political pale may be fun to consider (Lets make Greta Thunberg the dictator of Earth!) but they belong in fantasy. Though as things get worse people will become more aware and more desperate and might be willing to consider more radical solutions, at that point it will probably be too late. As much as it might suck, we need to act within the current socio-political structure because we don't have any other and we wont in the foreseeable future. Also, Musk and Thunberg were named by me as examples of private actors within the current structure that were trying to tackle the climate emergency (together with national governments and NGOs). I do not believe in messiah. None taken. My thoughts and opinions are indeed cheap, but on one hand I'm not charging you a penny and on the other I'm under no delusions that my thoughts or opinions are inherently superior to anyone else's. I'm happy to defer to hard facts and experts, and have more than once changed my mind when faced with arguments that I find more coherent than my own. Currently there are quite a few leaders of democratic countries that suck badly and that are detrimental to what efforts are being made tackle the climate emergency. Again, no discussion there. Public opinion must be swayed and politicians must be judged on their environmental policies as the priority it really is. This is definitely something that needs to happen, and how it can better be done in the current climate of scepticism towards the media and science is, I think, a very interesting discussion. Regarding optimism, I've never been specially optimistic. I don't argue the severity of the climate emergency or the very real possibility that we will prove unable to solve it. Eh. I'm not going to pretend outsourcing or planned obsolescence aren't a thing, but I don't think you're disproving my point. A cooperative may not want to move to China, but if it can't compete with China it will be put out of business. It will still need to make a profit, so planned obsolescence might come up if its products are too durable (otherwise they will need to expand their market and export their products further away). The fact of the matter is, their factory will have a chimney with smoke coming out of it. Again, I don't believe in your dichotomy where the powerful and wealthy are evil villains doing everything they can to stop us (us here would be The People, I'm guessing...) in our relentless fight to save the world. The privileged certainly desire to retain their privilege, but no one can want the climate hell that can potentially happen (the rich have children, and often entertain the notion of their legacy). Many people aren't doing enough or don't care enough, but it's not a matter of wealth. I'd say this is a serious problem, and one I don't have a good answer to. Yes, the West must lead. Those with more resources bear more of a responsibility. I think this burden of proof thing is a bit cheeky. You make lot of unsupported statements (some of them pretty controversial) and treat them as fact. That said, and for the purpose of constructive discussion: Eco-taxes have been ineffective in the past by design. They targeted goods with an extremely rigid demand curve (mainly fuel and electricity), and though the environment was the excuse, the goal was always to produce a revenue (which then wasn't returned to environmental policies). That said, studies on their results are mixed. While some say that they have been largely ineffective (at reducing emissions, not at their target goal of producing public revenue), there are studies (such as this one) that argue that high fuel taxes have made people more conscious about economizing their use of fuel, and the European Environmental Agency considers Eco-taxes as effective instruments of environmental policy. I'll give two specific examples of policies that have worked: One of them is a minimum fee on plastic bags in stores. Though not an actual tax, this has managed to reduce the usage of disposable plastic bags by forcing people to pay for them. The other is a tax imposed in Catalonia on sugared drinks. Though not specifically an Eco-tax, this works on the same principle (dissuading the use of a particular product because of its negative externalities) and, according to reports from the Catalan fiscal agency, has managed to reduce consumption of sugared drinks by 25%. Anyway, it is my, cheap, opinion that Eco-taxes can work if done properly. Feel free to disagree. Again, while I don't disagree with any of this, the politicians at the head of these political parties whose heart is in the right place must consider the political viability of the measures they propose. Otherwise they will not get into office. Banning things tends to be unpopular. If we're talking about a ban that people will resent, then I'd expect a canny politician to consider all the possible alternatives. Can we dissuade people from doing this without an outright ban? What alternatives can we offer? How can we educate people about the negative externalities of this product or service? Can it be done progressively? Etc. Harmless is not a dirty word (it is better than its opposite, harmful), I believe Thunberg to be more than a cute schoolgirl and a voice which people will heed can be a very powerful weapon indeed.
  6. Mentat

    What should be done... about climate change

    Yes, we don't agree on this. While I respect where you're coming from I think you're making an extremely complex issue to solve even harder by compounding it with another, different, extremely complex issue. I think that's excessively simplistic. A factory will contaminate just as much regardless of who owns the means of production. What brought us into this mess is a complex combination of hubris, ignorance, carelessness, selfishness, arrogance, etc. As I pointed out, 'The Handmaid's Tale' paints a society with a good deal of inequality and injustice, but very environmentally conscious and where nature is recovering from the ravages of the past. I'm not saying it's easy to convince people to make sacrifices for the environment... but this will be needed. The wealthy and powerful must be made to foot their part of the bill, and it will obviously be a larger part than those less well off, but if you intend to make them the scapegoats of the climate emergency then you will face their full opposition on any policy you attempt to implement, and the wealthy and powerful can currently flex quite a bit of muscle. Finally, though the wealthy and powerful may have benefited disproportionately from the system, Western lifestyle has benefited everyone who enjoys things like the Internet, mobile phones, hospitals, running water, eating out or the Avengers movies. That's a lot of people. I'm not a market apologist. Eco-taxes have had varying measures of success for lots of different reasons. Some were poorly designed, some were purposefully designed with loopholes, etc. Give me a reason why they shouldn't work if properly designed and you'll have my ear. As to what "cool" high tech solution we will sell to the masses, I'm not a high tech guy, but when it comes to, say, transportation, anything from shoes to bicycles to public transport to more efficient cars to electric and hybrid ones... If a better technological solution can't be found and an activity will necessarily cause a lot of environmental harm then we will have to consider banning it, taxing it out of the market (yes, some super rich may still be able to afford it, but there aren't many of those, and we can publicly shame them a la fur coats) or imposing so many regulations and red tape on its production that producers quit out of exhaustion. Why does producing clean electricity, recycling and using sustainable packaging, buying local, etc, somehow require taking away the sources of wealth and power from the people currently profiting from the current socio-economic organization? I think it doesn't. I completely agree with this. I'm not a neo-liberal, I'm pretty left-wing. I'm not a fan of either Trump or Macron and I don't support cutting taxes (specially taxes directed at the wealthy), but I remain unconvinced. The super-rich have many advantages, and it must be relatively easy for them to have a class consciousness as they're a pretty homogeneous group (unlike the working class, which is increasingly heterogeneous). That said, looking to protect your own interests seems pretty normal. I do it all the time, and I find it hard to believe anyone whom fortune had placed in their (privileged) situation would do differently. The working class would do well to take a page from their book. Ascribing moral qualities to having money is as much a logical fallacy as ascribing moral failings. I think more than dogma, what we need is simply awareness, but otherwise I agree with most of this.
  7. Mentat

    UK Politics: It's Life Pfeffel but not as we know it

    So, if I understand you correctly, what you're saying is the EU wont accept revocation from anyone else than the Government, but that according to UK legal process the government would need previous authorization from the HoC (but that whether they have it or not the EU might well consider as an internal UK matter and not their problem)?
  8. Mentat

    UK Politics: It's Life Pfeffel but not as we know it

    I'm not saying you're wrong, as I may be slightly out of my depth here, but are you sure? Didn't Parliament have to vote to apply A50 and initiate the whole Brexit process? Wouldn't the same principle apply to a revocation?
  9. Mentat

    What should be done... about climate change

    The climate emergency is definitely finding its way into most political agendas, but this falls far short from globalism or universalism or what have you. Giving a new impulse to things like the Paris Treaty would be a start, but we need both a democrat in the White House and an increased sense of urgency on politicians world-wide for that. I don't know if you've seen "The Handmaid's Tale" on TV, but it depicts a fascist religious society that also happens to be very environmentally conscious. It's fiction, of course, but I find it plausible. I believe that, though we may currently associate green policies with left wing parties, there's nothing that truly keeps right-wing and nationalist parties from appropriating them. I think right-wing nationalist parties that want a better environment for their nationals while at the same time refusing to assume any kind of responsibility for the climate emergency or its effects on the well-being of people outside of their borders will be a thing in the near future. While representative democracy has problems that need addressing, that's a different can of worms. I also think you exaggerate. Corporations are merely legal constructs (most of which are small or medium sized) and the rich are merely human beings that have a lot of money. The narrative that the rich are hard-working, talented and zealous while the poor are lazy, dim-witted scroungers is false, but the narrative that the rich are conniving, manipulative villains while the working class (or "The People") are salt-of-the-earth, hard-working and honest is just as false. We're all just human beings and much of a muchness. Come the time to foot the bill for the climate emergency, those who have more should certainly bear more of a responsibility, but I drive a diesel car, get amazon deliveries, eat burgers at pubs, take flights to visit my English family and girlfriend and look things up on Google on my Huawei mobile phone. I may not have won the lottery, but like most people I bought a ticket. I feel like I'm no less to blame. Well, I can see nothing wrong with building fairer societies, but that might be putting the cart ahead of the horse. We've had a lot of time to build fair societies. That we haven't come further is tragic. That said, the climate emergency is an emergency. If it isn't dealt with urgently we might never get the chance to build fairer societies. I agree eco-taxes should start with those who have more, but they can't end there, and individualism can't be an excuse not to implement them.
  10. Mentat

    UK Politics: It's Life Pfeffel but not as we know it

    It's the Government who has to request en extension, while also explaining to the EU why they need the extra time. The Government is also the interlocutor between the EU and the UK, and the one in charge of negotiating trade deals, withdrawal agreements, future relationship agreements, etc. Parliament could conceivably vote to reject No-Deal Brexit and order government to request an extension if no deal has been reached by a certain date, but said move is not likely to be effective. Parliament can't negotiate a deal and Boris Johnson is not willing to, so said extension would be pointless, and the EU would likely reject it. Parliament could also hold a vote of no confidence (VONC) on Boris Johnson's government. If it passes, Boris Johnson would have to hold a General Election. Under said circumstances, the EU might feel more inclined to approve an extension and see what way the election goes. The result of said election would likely be inconclusive, though. If it really doesn't want a No-Deal Brexit, the UK Parliament should either revoke Article 50 or pass May's Deal.
  11. Mentat

    What should be done... about climate change

    You may well be right, but complacency was not the point I was trying to make. The kind of political upheaval you're thinking of simply won't happen. You're thinking of some kind of UN level agency which all nation states cede vast amounts of sovereignty and resources to in order for it to "save the planet" (while at the same time protecting the rights of all human beings affected y climate change)? How likely do you honestly think it is regardless of what the alternative might seem? I'm not arguing for inequality, trusting the market or neoliberal policies, but if something is bad for the environment then making it unaffordable to the masses seems environmentally sound to me. The fact that a few very rich people might still be able to afford it (much in the same way they can afford expensive sports cars or luxury holiday resorts right now) seems like the kind of thing that should be solved through redistributive or socialist policies (tax wealth, tax inheritance, etc.), but it doesn't seem directly germane to the climate emergency. Is there something I'm missing? I understand your point, but I don't agree. I don't think a totalitarian state would be any better at protecting the environment than a democracy. It's kind of like the Roman idea of choosing a strongman to save the Republic from a crisis. I don't believe democracy is in any way weaker or more ineffective than a dictatorship, and thus I don't believe a dictatorship would succeed where a democracy failed. Again, I disagree. If things get very bad (and that's not something I'm arguing against) they will get very bad everywhere. Migrations from parts of the Earth that seem more affected to parts of the Earth that seem like a better place to live in will likely increase dramatically, but two countries waging a modern war for arable land and clean water supplies seems unrealistic and stupid. It certainly wouldn't help and it would only bring the kind of satisfaction a psycopath feels when he guns down a bunch of people before putting a bullet in his head. I don't think the climate emergency will bring about a scarcity of oil. Smart money's on the mushroom cloud, then. I hope a better solution exists and somebody finds it.
  12. Mentat

    What should be done... about climate change

    They could attempt buying food off of countries that still have some. How on earth would nuclear war improve their situation? Do you think they'd simply launch a nuclear attack out of spite because some countries have it better? Totalitarian states for a "good cause" have happened before. It has never worked. I have a very hard time seeing fascism as the solution to the climate emergency. The Western lifestyle isn't going anywhere. If that's your best shot at solving the problem then you have already failed. Solutions (like electric cars, veganism, cycling to work, etc.) may be incorporated into the Western lifestyle, though. You can't go backwards in history to a simpler, safer time or a simpler, safer lifestyle. You'll as soon get rid of Western lifestyle as conservatives will get rid of feminism or identity politics. A universalist solution would require a universal consensus or an empowered global actor, none of which really exist right now. This is as unrealistic as Kalbear's religious solution. If lots of small-ish initiatives from a diverse bunch of actors ranging from national governments to NGOs to Elon Musk to Greta Thunberg can't do the trick... then the trick will not be done.
  13. Mentat

    UK Politics: It's Life Pfeffel but not as we know it

    I'm wondering how likely this is, even under the assumption that the EU believe Boris is happy leaving with no deal. My guess is not at all. The EU would lose a ton of face. The general perception would be that Boris Johnson has beaten the EU by being tough (and he would most likely then win a general election by a landslide). Parliament might rebel and try to force Boris to request a further extension, but, even if it can pull it off, I personally can't see the EU granting it (unless they do so tactically to finalise some last minute No Deal preparations of their own). What would be the purpose of said extension if the PM of the UK is not willing to negotiate any further? A VONC on Boris Johnson's government and a GE might do the trick, but then it might not, as it seems unlikely it would lead to a situation different from the current one which could break the impasse. I think when Theresa May said the only three options were her deal, no deal or no Brexit she was right. Some people have made their peace with one of these options (either by supporting May's deal or embracing no deal), but a lot of MPs, including most of the opposition, hasn't, and I don't think the general public has either.
  14. Mentat

    What should be done... about climate change

    Banning meat seems like a politically complicated proposition, but we could levy a tax on products according to their carbon footprint and pass harsher animal welfare regulations. This would make meat more expensive and presumably consumption would drop (as well as having other positive externalities like a more humane treatment of animals and revenue which can be used to plant trees, research green tech or what-have-you).
  15. Mentat

    UK Politics: The End of May

    Why not simply skip the middle-man and become the 51st State of the USA? No more problems with trade deals! A currency everyone can trust! The EU would have a fit! Immigrants not welcome! What's not to like? At this point, is there any other realistic choice? May's deal is tainted to the point nobody will touch it with a 10 foot pole. It's not coming back. Negotiating a different deal would require a long (2 years?) extension post-October and an amount of political good-will that I can't conceivably imagine May's successor will elicit from the EU (or from the Commons or the British people, for that matter). Revoking Article 50 and disregarding the referendum seems like a political impossibility at this point. You could have a second referendum to kill the first one, but I just can't see that happening with the current Commons unless Corbyn has a Damascene conversion and a good part of the Conservatives revolt (again). It also comes with problems of its own (a very big chunk of disenfranchised and polarised voters who will fall right into Farage's lap). A General election before Brexit is likely to result in a mishmash of parties with no one anywhere near a clear majority and at least half a dozen very different ideas of what Brexit should be (or if it should be in the first place). Neither the Conservatives nor Labour will find this idea appealing. They have much to lose. Is there anything I'm missing?
  16. Mentat

    UK Politics: Awaiting MV3

    I agree. The increasingly mainstream rhetoric of hate and intolerance against those who think, vote, pray or look different to us is a big problem. According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, promoting inclusion, diversity and pluralism is the answer. Seems legit. Again, I agree. Her 'new' deal is extremely unlikely to pass. Odds of MV4 failing by a wider margin than MV3 are actually pretty good. Once that happens, Theresa May will probably finally die her political death (her carcass is already being fought over...) and resign or attempt to hold general elections (or just shake her fist and vow her deal will get us next time, it's hard to know with May). If her resignation simply leads to a Tory leadership bid (which Boris Johnson seems likely to win), I think a No Deal Brexit is almost certain. A general election opens up more possibilities, but the Conservatives will probably do anything in their power to avoid a general election prior to Brexit actually happening (except voting for May's deal, I guess).
  17. Mentat

    UK Politics: Awaiting MV3

    Surely we can agree with the sentiment that Nigel Farage is a tool that deserves to be pelted with milkshakes (and/or rancid vegetables) while also agreeing that, since we live in a democracy, people who pelt others with milkshakes (however deserving) should probably face some sort of legal consequences proportionate to the offence if said others decide to press charges (I think a fine and the cost of dry-cleaning his suit sounds perfectly fair, but whatever).
  18. Mentat

    UK Politics: Awaiting MV3

    But not by Nigel Farage? Meanwhile, Brexit talks between Labour and Conservatives have broken down. Theresa May might try to hold indicative votes (again) or try to get her deal through the Commons (yet again). Neither option seems to have a high chance of success. No Deal and No Brexit seem to be the least unlikely options, despite both being extremely problematic.
  19. Mentat

    UK Politics: The Edge of Destruction

    The D'Hondt system aims to assign each seat to the largest number of votes. For simplicity's sake, lets assume the East Midlands region has 1.000.000 votes. In the example quoted Brexit Party has 300.000 votes, Labour has 200.000, Conservatives 160.000 and Lib-Dems 90.000 (we'll ignore the rest for now). So the first of the 5 seats should obviously go to the Brexit Party. This seat would represent 300.000 votes. Second goes to Labour, and represents 200.000 votes, and third to the Tories, representing 160.000 votes. Now we could give the fourth seat to the Lib-Dems, but it would only represent 90.000 votes. If we give it to the Brexit Party instead, though, it would represent 150.000 votes (half of the votes the Brexit Party got). Similarly with the fifth and final seat, if we give it to Labour it will represent 100.000 seats, which is more than the Lib-Dems got, so to Labour it goes. Some people criticize the D'Hondt system for under-representing minority parties (which it does), but it has a solid rationale behind it.
  20. Mentat

    UK Politics: The Edge of Destruction

    He's certainly been handed a poisoned gift in May's offer to hold talks to try and find a compromise (which he was happy to accept). If he has any sense, he'll insist on a confirmatory vote rather than changes on the Political Declaration which will be ultimately non-binding and worthless.
  21. Mentat

    UK Politics: What Goes DUP Must Come Down

    A lot, actually. A customs union basically means no tariffs on goods between the EU and the UK. It doesn't mean regulatory alignment, or free movement of services or people. The EU, for one, won't be too happy about having a customs union with a country that doesn't align with EU regulations (in fact you can pretty much forget about it in areas that are heavily regulated, like food or medication). This is why, if a trade deal involving a customs union is negotiated with the EU, the EU is likely to insist the UK aligns its regulations with theirs on products of certain types produced in the UK or imported into the UK from a third country. People who want the UK to freely negotiate trade deals with third countries, or to be free from EU regulations altogether, might not be happy about this (these people might want to be careful what they wish for, though, as certain third countries would like nothing better than to flood the UK with cheap and under-regulated products which could threaten both UK agriculture and industry as well as the quality of products available to UK consumers). Of course, if you don't have a customs union you will necessarily have to have customs checks. This pretty much means you'll be kicking NI to the curb and throwing the Good Friday agreement out of the window. Some people in Ireland probably won't be happy with that either. All in all, whoever is in charge is likely going to end up with a fair number of unhappy people as a direct result of their decisions. They might have to consider which of all the options available to them is the lesser evil, rather than which option will have them hailed in history books as the second Churchill.
  22. Mentat

    UK Politics: What Goes DUP Must Come Down

    She may not be in the same club as whomever, but she's the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, elected through True Democracy (Trade Mark pending).
  23. Mentat

    UK Politics: What Goes DUP Must Come Down

    Fixed that for you
  24. Mentat

    UK Politics: What Goes DUP Must Come Down

    It's circular because the benefit provided is set by your initial premise: leaving is beneficial to you because you want to leave. As I said, whether the EU has done well or poorly in its trade deals is a matter of opinion, and whether the UK will do better or worse is a matter of speculation. It doesn't make for a compelling argument. A sovereign nation can make its own decisions on trade and immigration... until it signs an international treaty about trade or immigration with a different sovereign nation, at which point it will be bound by international law and whatever the provisions are of the treaty it signed. Your control of your own immigration will mean your citizens will be subject to immigration controls by the rest of EU states. Whatever way you look at it, this is a huge disadvantage, which will not be offset by being able to tell Eastern Europeans to turn back (and a very good case can be made that these Eastern Europeans were actually a valuable asset that you're sacrificing in the altar of prejudice). Most of these answers are very similar to the answers you'd get if you were talking about a national parliament. If I'm a constituent of Aberconwy, I'll get to vote for my representative in the HoC (MP) every four years. Said MP will then get a vote (alongside every other MP) for who gets to be PM. The PM will then get to freely form their Cabinet. How is the PM's Cabinet so different from the EU Commission? Also, all the minutes of EC sessions are publicly available on the EU webpage, if you really want to read them. Maybe you could balk at it once it actually happens, though? The UK isn't currently part of the Euro and, under current European legislation can't be forced to become part of the Euro if it doesn't want to. A closer union might be based on other things than currency. I sympathise with this sentiment.
  25. Mentat

    UK Politics: What Goes DUP Must Come Down

    Acting according to your preferences and values makes perfect logical sense, but it's not a tangible benefit. Independence and accountability are intangible, and a good case can be made that being outside the EU doesn't actually provide independence or accountability (as you'll be forced to adhere to EU regulations if you want to trade with it, but will no longer have a say in said regulations as you're now "independent"). Yes, they can. Arguments can be made for or against pretty much anything. You have to make them before someone can appreciate how good or bad these arguments are (for instance, the UK was not currently under any pressure to join the Euro, so I think your example is not a very good argument). Uncontrollable immigrations isn't really a thing, though. The controls at UK borders are currently UK controls, manned by UK staff. I agree that the EU has failed to sufficiently educate its citizens in its inner workings and all the benefits it provides (though the EU can't teach you about itself in the way Morpheus teaches Neo Kung-Fu, so ultimately if you can't be arsed... you can't be arsed). It may seem like I'm disparaging your objections. I see where you're coming from, but I just think that your objections are based on fears of the future, and that said fears aren't sufficiently based on the facts of the present for them to be reasonable.
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