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UK Politics: Austerity has ended - More cuts to come.

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9 hours ago, mormont said:

The issue is a bit more complex than that, though. It's not like the superinjunction situation, where the legal restriction is specifically aimed at the media to prevent reporting. NDAs in these situations are designed to protect the company, and its office holders, sure: but they also include protections for the employee. For example, it's common for them to include a reference from the employer agreed with the employee, meaning the employer can't (in theory) blackball or badmouth the employee as a troublemaker or even mention the dispute to a future employer.

That can be valuable to an employee, which is presumably one reason why two of the employees didn't want the Telegraph story published. Their interests need to be balanced against the public interest in the story. That is a job for the courts. Not a random, unelected parliamentarian.

Saying that NDAs in these situations also include protections for the employee is basically saying that the employee is frightened that their powerful employer might vengefully blight the rest of their careers. And indeed they might, but given the typical power imbalance, and a veil of secrecy, how much protection is a piece of paper really going to give them against an off the record whisper? For example, did all the people who signed NDAs over Weinstein's behaviour escape him negatively influencing their future careers?

Personally, I would think that it is possible that the two NDA signers who came out as wanting them to remain secret are still frightened of what Green might yet do to them, NDA or no, and are hoping that supporting him over this will cause him to think of them kindly.

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7 minutes ago, A wilding said:

Saying that NDAs in these situations also include protections for the employee is basically saying that the employee is frightened that their powerful employer might vengefully blight the rest of their careers. And indeed they might, but given the typical power imbalance, and a veil of secrecy, how much protection is a piece of paper really going to give them against an off the record whisper? For example, did all the people who signed NDAs over Weinstein's behaviour escape him negatively influencing their future careers?

Personally, I would think that it is possible that the two NDA signers who came out as wanting them to remain secret are still frightened of what Green might yet do to them, NDA or no, and are hoping that supporting him over this will cause him to think of them kindly.

I'm reminded of the 'zero hours contract' problem. Because a thing is abused, it is assumed that it is inherently bad. So instead of addressing the abuse, which is complicated, people rail against the thing itself.

None of which alters the one fact under discussion, though, which is this:

Hain was wrong. Utterly and completely. And he has abused Parliamentary privilege out of what appears, frankly, to be a rush to grab a headline.

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7 hours ago, mormont said:

I'm reminded of the 'zero hours contract' problem. Because a thing is abused, it is assumed that it is inherently bad. So instead of addressing the abuse, which is complicated, people rail against the thing itself.

What do you mean by "abused"? Seems to me both NDA and zero hours contracts serve the purpose for which they have been created, and both parties sign the agreement. Are you talking of the power imbalance between corporations and workers that the government not only fails to correct but accentuates in its mad worship of "growth", maybe?

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1 hour ago, Errant Bard said:

What do you mean by "abused"? Seems to me both NDA and zero hours contracts serve the purpose for which they have been created, and both parties sign the agreement. Are you talking of the power imbalance between corporations and workers that the government not only fails to correct but accentuates in its mad worship of "growth", maybe?

I mean that these things both cover a wide range of arrangements and situations, some of which are approriate and some of which are not. It is not appropriate, for example, to use a zero-hours contract in a job which has de facto regular hours, but some employers do it.

It's also true that the term 'NDAs' covers a huge range of legal agreements in different situations. If you leave your job and sign a compromise agreement, it'll usually include a confidentiality clause, for example, making that compromise agreement technically an NDA. It sounds as if that was what happened here. They're often used in business for commercial purposes too: you might want people with whom you're negotiating a deal to sign one, in case the deal doesn't work out, or you might want a legal adviser to sign one. But there are also NDAs like the one Trump signed with Stormy Daniels, or the ones Weinstein used, which are purely about personal matters.

So there are appropriate situations for an NDA and inappropriate ones. Using one in an inappropriate situation is abuse.

ETA - seems Green has, unwisely, decided to comment on what these NDAs were about:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46006840

Quote

"There has obviously from time to time been some banter, but as far as I'm concerned that's never been offensive."

'As far as I'm concerned' might as well be an admission that it really was very offensive.

Edited by mormont

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4 hours ago, mormont said:

I mean that these things both cover a wide range of arrangements and situations, some of which are approriate and some of which are not. It is not appropriate, for example, to use a zero-hours contract in a job which has de facto regular hours, but some employers do it.

It's also true that the term 'NDAs' covers a huge range of legal agreements in different situations. If you leave your job and sign a compromise agreement, it'll usually include a confidentiality clause, for example, making that compromise agreement technically an NDA. It sounds as if that was what happened here. They're often used in business for commercial purposes too: you might want people with whom you're negotiating a deal to sign one, in case the deal doesn't work out, or you might want a legal adviser to sign one. But there are also NDAs like the one Trump signed with Stormy Daniels, or the ones Weinstein used, which are purely about personal matters.

So there are appropriate situations for an NDA and inappropriate ones. Using one in an inappropriate situation is abuse.

Forgive me, I still don't get it, it seems to me all you did here was to say "it's abused when used in an inappropriate way", without really defining what inappropriate means, and how what you think is appropriate is in any way relevant  to reality if it's not in the law and cannot be enforced, even if it was defined.

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1 hour ago, Errant Bard said:

Forgive me, I still don't get it, it seems to me all you did here was to say "it's abused when used in an inappropriate way", without really defining what inappropriate means, and how what you think is appropriate is in any way relevant  to reality if it's not in the law and cannot be enforced, even if it was defined.

I'm unsure of why you want me to get into definitions. In fact I explicitly pointed out that trying to define 'abuse' in these cases is complicated, which is why people take aim at the broad category instead.

I'm making the point that often an entire class of legal agreements are criticised because of certain uses that people consider inappropriate. Why might people consider them inappropriate? Various reasons. Personally, I'd consider most uses of NDAs for personal matters inappropriate, as in the Trump/Daniels instance,  for example. Why? Because I think NDAs should be about business matters (including employment terminations). But that's not me proposing a law. It's just my feeling.

It kind of feels like you're trying to catch me out somehow here.

Edited by mormont
grammar

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23 hours ago, mormont said:

I'm unsure of why you want me to get into definitions. In fact I explicitly pointed out that trying to define 'abuse' in these cases is complicated, which is why people take aim at the broad category instead.

I'm making the point that often an entire class of legal agreements are criticised because of certain uses that people consider inappropriate. Why might people consider them inappropriate? Various reasons. Personally, I'd consider most uses of NDAs for personal matters inappropriate, as in the Trump/Daniels instance,  for example. Why? Because I think NDAs should be about business matters (including employment terminations). But that's not me proposing a law. It's just my feeling.

It kind of feels like you're trying to catch me out somehow here.

No, no, I just wanted to understand the reasoning that led to no want to condemn a device created to allow what you consider abuse and how you thought this could be regulated in a concrete way.

 

Anyway, budget time. Is austerity over? Is it ok to open the spending tap even though brexit is coming? https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7604610/hammond-austerity-spending-budget/

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7 hours ago, Errant Bard said:

Anywa, budget time. Is austerity over? Is it ok to open the spending tap even though brexit is coming? https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7604610/hammond-austerity-spending-budget/

Call me a cynic, but I think it might be in expectation of Brexit => Leadership challenge => General election

Or possibly just Brexit => General election

Either way, this budget is a bribe to help the Tories in that election

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In expected but still infuriating and depressing news: we're now told that employers will have to do 'rigorous checks' on EU employees if there is a no-deal Brexit.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46035919

What will these checks consist of? No idea. So can I, as an employer who knows for a fact that he will be employing EU citizens who do not have settled status, plan for this? No, I can't.

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The bit there about the police and the access to EU systems was one I hadn't heard of before.  Pity that didn't get discussion in the original debates, arguing that it would reduce safety and help criminals might have influenced more people to vote remain. 

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16 hours ago, mormont said:

In expected but still infuriating and depressing news: we're now told that employers will have to do 'rigorous checks' on EU employees if there is a no-deal Brexit.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46035919

What will these checks consist of? No idea. So can I, as an employer who knows for a fact that he will be employing EU citizens who do not have settled status, plan for this? No, I can't.

Stop talking the country down. Everything will be fine. :leaving:

Otherwise, I think I'd check the the preparedness notes the EU published a whil ago, those probably contain more answers than anything the UK goverment has published.

3 hours ago, ants said:

The bit there about the police and the access to EU systems was one I hadn't heard of before.  Pity that didn't get discussion in the original debates, arguing that it would reduce safety and help criminals might have influenced more people to vote remain. 

That was/is all part of project fear.

Otherwise, checking Article 50 in its entirety should've been considered as due warning. Maybe not for the British electorate as a whole, but for all the politcians involved.

Quote

Article 50

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1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.
 

Paragraph 3 to be more precise.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

That includes pretty much everything. From EU trade agreements with third states, to those bits about participation in EU institutions and programs. Including Police cooperation, to Aviation, to mutual recognition for products (rules of origin etc.). Not sure how many treaties in all shall cease to apply actually means, but I think 250-300 is a good guess. I really think in all honesty from all the stuff that needs to be working, the police related issues are really way down the list. Once you solved likesay 100 (at least) more urgent issues.

I think making sure the ability to withdraw cash with a British debit card from an ATM in Europe (or keeping finance transactions between British and EU banks working in general) and vie versa, is way higher on the priority list. Then there's the issue for haulers to operate in both jurisdictions, not to mention custom checks etc. which could take some real urgency as in food and medicine probably needs to get shipped into the UK.  But again, this of course just project fear.

Either way, I am pretty sure, that British civil servants are properly prepared for the task at hand, and are by no means terrified of a cliff edge Brexit, and there's no reason for PM May to give in to the EU's backstop.

 

Edited by A Horse Named Stranger

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In a busy day or two for police and politics, wealthy scumbag Arron Banks will be investigated by the National Crime Agency it appears his loans to Leave.EU may have come from 'impermissible sources' *cough Russia cough*.

His defence is apparently that his tax arrangements are so complex and involve so many shell companies loaning each other money that the Electoral Commission are incapable of understanding them. Which is a real boon for democratic accountability, isn't it?

And the Met are looking into possible hate crimes by Labour members revealed by the party's own anti-Semitism probe.

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If Theresa May really did block and investigation into Arron Banks then I'm sorry but this woman should not be in power.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6344611/Theresa-stepped-stop-security-services-probing-Arron-Banks-run-Brexit-referendum.html?fbclid=IwAR1-YCG-1OIy84KRWPgzawTt6QLVzAfvCL8Mkfxygp9qCYHkbMC0KeW9IjM
 
Also Cameron's BS today, honestly go and rot in hell Cameron you awful toad who threw the country on the fire and ran away. 

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The Daily Mail cannot, of course, be relied on a a news source.

But the interesting thing is that, after its recent change of Editor, it seems to have moved from the Brexit camp to the Remain one. Probably it is just thinking about being able to churn out years of easy headlines about how disastrous Brexit turned out to be, now that it will no longer be able to blame the EU for everything ...

 

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Watching Yvette Cooper grill the borders agency on the non-existent preparations for Brexit (deal or no deal) was uncomfortable. To be fair, though, if you're a government department and you've been given no information, no directives, no extra money, no staff and no capacity to do anything, it's perhaps unsurprising that nothing gets done.

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On 11/2/2018 at 2:31 AM, A Horse Named Stranger said:

I think making sure the ability to withdraw cash with a British debit card from an ATM in Europe (or keeping finance transactions between British and EU banks working in general) and vie versa, is way higher on the priority list. Then there's the issue for haulers to operate in both jurisdictions, not to mention custom checks etc. which could take some real urgency as in food and medicine probably needs to get shipped into the UK.  But again, this of course just project fear.

Either way, I am pretty sure, that British civil servants are properly prepared for the task at hand, and are by no means terrified of a cliff edge Brexit, and there's no reason for PM May to give in to the EU's backstop.

 

I don’t think ATMs are going to be a problem, that system is global, if the card and the machine are in the global networks (plus, cirrus etc) and almost all of them are then the card will work anywhere (I’ve used ATMs all over the world), however after Brexit fees may be higher on both ends and potentially exchange rates worse. I think the bigger issues will be with things like customs.

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1 hour ago, dornishpen said:

I don’t think ATMs are going to be a problem, that system is global, if the card and the machine are in the global networks (plus, cirrus etc) and almost all of them are then the card will work anywhere (I’ve used ATMs all over the world), however after Brexit fees may be higher on both ends and potentially exchange rates worse. I think the bigger issues will be with things like customs. 

Fun experiment (credit where credit is due, this is from of the three blokes in a pub eps): If you are British, write to your bank, or go there yourself, and ask them if they can guarantee that your debit card will be working in the EU the day after Brexit (the UK has actually left that is), no matter what.

The working all over the world bit, is due to treaties, and again: the treaties shall cease to apply.

Your card may work, but that is by no means a given at this point.

Edited by A Horse Named Stranger

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On 11/2/2018 at 9:16 AM, mormont said:

In a busy day or two for police and politics, wealthy scumbag Arron Banks will be investigated by the National Crime Agency it appears his loans to Leave.EU may have come from 'impermissible sources' *cough Russia cough*.

His defence is apparently that his tax arrangements are so complex and involve so many shell companies loaning each other money that the Electoral Commission are incapable of understanding them. Which is a real boon for democratic accountability, isn't it?

Banks was on the Marr show this morning, despite his companies and his political campaign being the subject of a police investigation. Although not strictly illegal, quite a few people noted the prejudicial dangers of allowing Banks to go on national television to launch such a defence.

Not that his defence was very helpful: "IT'S ALL SO COMPLICATED YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND IT I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON."

The bit where he said he'd now vote Remain seemed to get lost in everything else. That was a really random non-sequitur moment.

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I saw that Banks was going to be on, and lodged a complaint, along with thousands of others. The BBC response was not remotely adequate.

Quote

There is strong public interest in an interview with Arron Banks about allegations of funding irregularities in relation to Leave.Eu and the 2016 EU Referendum. The Electoral Commission has laid out concerns about this in public and it is legitimate and editorially justified for Andrew Marr to question Mr Banks robustly about them, which he will do on Sunday morning.

Basically, no attempt to justify the decision, merely an assertion that it was justified. Not helpful.

 

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Banks used his BBC platform to attack The Guardian, who have very inconveniently been following the story and exposing all the BS he's been trying to use to hide the financial trail. The two journalists who've been covering the story are now considering whether to sue him, citing the BBC giving him that platform (and Sky, but Sky also gave them the right to reply which the BBC has so far denied them). Whether the BBC would also be liable in that case is interesting. Even if not, a clear sign that a public broadcaster interfering in an ongoing criminal investigation is a really, really bad idea.

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