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Spockydog

UK Politics: What Goes DUP Must Come Down

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10 hours ago, Rippounet said:

To be fair, the smugness of many present-day politicians -which every once in a while evolves into open contempt for the average joe- and some elements of the media *is* infuriating. Combine that with some misperceptions about the EU and it's easy for people to fall into unreasonable hatred. Not to mention the fact that the interests of a large portion of the population *are* in fact ignored election after election and that demagoguery is so common that many have lost trust in our institutions (European or national).
The EU isn't responsible for as many evils as many might think, but politicians have done a pretty good job of blaming it whenever it was convenient.
Of course, most people on this forum are aware that emotional reactions end up hurting those who give in to them and that it's better to keep analysing things in a level-headed manner... But it *can* be difficult. Brexit or Trumpism are symptoms of deeper problems that are not addressed because it would imply calling into question the way our representative democracies function - if not their underlying socio-economic structure. If you're only directly asking for people's opinions once per decade on a specific issue (via referendum) you can't be surprised that many will use that opportunity to reject whatever the establishment seems to be defending.
It is ironic that something like Brexit may illustrate the fact that many people actually want more democracy, i.e. to have a genuine chance of having a say in political decisions that affect their lives -rather than electing decision-takers every five years or so. Ironic, because of course Brexit will be used by the cynics against direct democracy... Ironic because with few means of affecting the political and economic process, many will conclude that the few means they have are worthless. It's a vicious circle that is dangerous to say the least. Thing is, most politicians seem unaware or unconcerned of such dangers, with some even trying to use them for their own self-interest. I'm afraid that as bad as Brexit is there can still be much worse to come.

It's a good thing that by and large, people are still participating in democracy, rather than resorting to violence to overturn the system.

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1 minute ago, SeanF said:

Being outside ever closer union is a plus if you value independence and accountable government, but a minus if you want to project more power than any individual nation can (other than superpowers).

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").

3 minutes ago, Mosi Mynn said:

I think arguments could be made against joining an ever-closer union.  For example, I would not want the UK to be part of the Euro, which I assume is what an ever-closer union will eventually mean.

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).

6 minutes ago, Mosi Mynn said:

It might be about "foreigners" for some people, but I think for a lot of other people it's about uncontrollable immigration.  Some people are not OK with not having UK controls at UK borders.

Uncontrollable immigrations isn't really a thing, though. The controls at UK borders are currently UK controls, manned by UK staff.

10 minutes ago, Mosi Mynn said:

I think the EU was set up to one of the most democratic organisations on the planet.  That's not a problem.  The problem is your last point: it takes time to learn how all the parts fit together and how they work.  There has been a long anti-EU campaign in the UK, and a lot of us don't know how it works and can't be arsed to find out,

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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44 minutes ago, Mentat said:

This is pretty much the definition of a circular argument. Being out of the EU is a benefit of being out of the EU. Of course, if you don't want to remain in an organization you might find some solace in leaving, but this isn't really a "benefit".

How is it circular? If you don't wish your country to be eventually subsumed into a larger federation, thereby maintaining your sovereignty, culture and self governance, then leaving the EU is a benefit. 

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Citation needed! I personally think the EU has been fairly successful with its trade negotiations,

The EU has managed to conclude trade deals mainly with smaller nations. It has struggled to conclude trade deals with anyone of any value, only recently managing to get one with Japan, and the Canada one almost fell apart due to flemish farmers. Most are still in process of being negotiated.. almost indefinitely. 
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Yes. Being outside of the EU will indeed mean if you want to stop foreigners from coming to your country you will be able to.

The rights and wrongs of immigration are not the point, the point is whether a sovereign country should be able to decide on its own immigration policy. When you talk about democracy this is just another element that is removed by too many steps from the average voter. 

 

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All of Tony Benns questions have answers regarding the EU. You just have to know how it works.

The questions might be answered but they aren't very good answers. If voters want to create new laws, they can do it through the European Citizens initiative, but that so far has yet to create any new laws. The Parliament cannot propose new laws, it can only vote on ones proposed by the EU commission, a body that doesn't really get elected in any real sense .

Most EC meetings are held in private and records are rarely made public, we dont know who said what or voted on what.

Overall the EU is still far too opaque and complex and makes individual voters opinion hard to enact. Of course a solution to this issue is 'ever closer union' and turning the EU into a country of its own, and I'm sure this is realised by many within the EU. 

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1 minute ago, Mentat said:

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).

There has been pressure to join the Euro in the past.  And there might be in the future depending on its stability.  But that wasn't really my point.  I'm curious as to how an ever-closer EU will work, I would like the UK to be part of it.  A closer union suggests a shared currency at some point, and that would be the thing I would personally balk at.  Other people have their own concerns about a closer union.

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Uncontrollable immigrations isn't really a thing, though. The controls at UK borders are currently UK controls, manned by UK staff.

Isn't it the case that Europeans can travel freely between member states?  One of the issues in the UK is the number of Eastern Europeans that have come over since the mid 2000s.  I know this is in part the government at the time's fault for not imposing EU-sanctioned restrictions.  

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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.

 

These objections aren't really my objections, in all honesty.  The Euro is the only reservation I really have.  But the concerns I have mentioned have come up in forums and polls and discussions.  I think they are relevant because they affect how people see the EU and our relationship with it.

I voted Remain, but I'm actually a bit of a hypocrite for doing so.  What I didn't like was the status quo: the UK sitting on the edge of Europe, not fully committing to the EU, opting out of more things than anyone else, and basically in it to see what we could get out of it.  I wish we would either commit to it or get out - although lately I'm leaning more to commit!  I voted Remain because all the grandstanding nutjobs seemed to be on the Leave side.

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5 hours ago, karaddin said:

So I know the EU is granting an extension until the 12th April even in the case of no deal, but does that need to be officially implemented by Parliament actually passing a motion? In other words, is the date formally moved to the 12th April or are we actually under 48 hours from a no deal crash out if nothing is passed?

Questionable whether they actually needed to do it. My understanding is, international treaty usually tops domestic policy. But they adopted the short extension anyway.

 

27 minutes ago, Mosi Mynn said:

I think the EU was set up to one of the most democratic organisations on the planet.  That's not a problem.  The problem is your last point: it takes time to learn how all the parts fit together and how they work.  There has been a long anti-EU campaign in the UK, and a lot of us don't know how it works and can't be arsed to find out,

I am not sure what your point is there. Lazyness is hardly ever a good excuse in decission making, particularly when it's quite an important one.

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10 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

How is it circular? If you don't wish your country to be eventually subsumed into a larger federation, thereby maintaining your sovereignty, culture and self governance, then leaving the EU is a benefit. 

And there it is. 

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1 minute ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

I am not sure what your point is there. Lazyness is hardly ever a good excuse in decission making, particularly when it's quite an important one.

I guess my point is that many in the UK believe what our politicians and press have said about the EU over the years instead of finding out for themselves what the EU was about.  

Laziness is no excuse, but that's probably what has happened.  

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4 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

The EU has managed to conclude trade deals mainly with smaller nations. It has struggled to conclude trade deals with anyone of any value, only recently managing to get one with Japan, and the Canada one almost fell apart due to flemish farmers. Most are still in process of being negotiated.. almost indefinitely. 

That dead horse again.

Trade deals take time to negotiate. Plain and simple. 7-8 Years is not particularly long for that sort of thing, anybody who claims otherwise is a complete moron. Of course you can always negotiate lopsided deals which are not in your favour quicker. So how many trade deals has Fox negotiated that are ready to be signed? I think thus far the UK goverment has tried to (and mostly failed) to get other countries to roll over existing EU FTA. With regards to Flemish farmers, I thought the member states are totally powerless and just run by unelected officials, so how did they get to object to a trade deal? Oh yes, they also got some more concessions out of the Canadians.

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47 minutes ago, Mosi Mynn said:

I think the EU was set up to one of the most democratic organisations on the planet.

You gotta be kidding. The current EU has absolutely nothing to do with democracy. It is a mendacious lobbyist-bureaucrat regime where really the worst of the current crop rise to the top with thick but useless veneer of pseudodemocracy. And almost no regard for "local" preferences (ask the Greeks or the Catalans).

I don't favor Brexit (tbh I don't really care either way and I somewhat welcome the blatant demonstration of the complete uselessness of these politicians) but it shows clearly what a catastrophe the current EU is.

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1 minute ago, Jo498 said:

You gotta be kidding. The current EU has absolutely nothing to do with democracy. It is a mendacious lobbyist-bureaucrat regime where really the worst of the current crop rise to the top with thick but useless veneer of pseudodemocracy. And almost no regard for "local" preferences (ask the Greeks or the Catalans).

I don't favor Brexit (tbh I don't really care either way and I somewhat welcome the blatant demonstration of the complete uselessness of these politicians) but it shows clearly what a catastrophe the current EU is.

Oh yes - it has its issues.  I don't think it's a catastrophe.  

But it was set up to be democratic.  Which is quite an ambitious feat for an organisation with numerous countries in it.

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9 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

How is it circular? If you don't wish your country to be eventually subsumed into a larger federation, thereby maintaining your sovereignty, culture and self governance, then leaving the EU is a benefit.

It's circular because the benefit provided is set by your initial premise: leaving is beneficial to you because you want to leave.

20 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

The EU has managed to conclude trade deals mainly with smaller nations. It has struggled to conclude trade deals with anyone of any value, only recently managing to get one with Japan, and the Canada one almost fell apart due to flemish farmers. Most are still in process of being negotiated.. almost indefinitely.

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.

21 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

The rights and wrongs of immigration are not the point, the point is whether a sovereign country should be able to decide on its own immigration policy. When you talk about democracy this is just another element that is removed by too many steps from the average voter.

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).

36 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

The questions might be answered but they aren't very good answers. If voters want to create new laws, they can do it through the European Citizens initiative, but that so far has yet to create any new laws. The Parliament cannot propose new laws, it can only vote on ones proposed by the EU commission, a body that doesn't really get elected in any real sense .

Most EC meetings are held in private and records are rarely made public, we dont know who said what or voted on what.


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.

9 minutes ago, Mosi Mynn said:

A closer union suggests a shared currency at some point, and that would be the thing I would personally balk at.

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.

13 minutes ago, Mosi Mynn said:

I voted Remain, but I'm actually a bit of a hypocrite for doing so.  What I didn't like was the status quo: the UK sitting on the edge of Europe, not fully committing to the EU, opting out of more things than anyone else, and basically in it to see what we could get out of it.  I wish we would either commit to it or get out - although lately I'm leaning more to commit!  I voted Remain because all the grandstanding nutjobs seemed to be on the Leave side.

I sympathise with this sentiment.

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1 minute ago, Mentat said:

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 hope so.  That would be the way I personally would want it to go.  

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I sympathise with this sentiment.

:thumbsup:

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59 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

And there it is. 

There what is?

53 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

That dead horse again.

Trade deals take time to negotiate. Plain and simple. 7-8 Years is not particularly long for that sort of thing, anybody who claims otherwise is a complete moron.

EU trade deals take longer because they are mulitilateral (and far more complicated) this much is obvious, even to a moron. The US has an average trade deal time of 3 years and 9 months for example, Australia is 5 years, India 6 years. The difference here is also that the majority of EU trade negotiations are ongoing, not agreed. 

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Your control of your own immigration will mean your citizens will be subject to immigration controls by the rest of EU states. 

Its a disadvantage if we are prevented from moving and living around the EU, which might happen, but might not. It will be slightly more complicated than before to be sure. However, the issue is that immigration has been mostly one way direction, with people moving from poorer countries to richer ones, it certainly wasn't happening the other way around. That is an issue that the EU doesn't seem to be able to handle. 

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Also, all the minutes of EC sessions are publicly available on the EU webpage, if you really want to read them.

The same cannot be said for the European council or the council of ministers.

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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.

We probably won't ever join the Euro, in fact the Euro might collapse. But its effects are felt outside of the Eurozone. In order to have a singular currency the Eurozone is discovering that it needs to centralise more to make it work effectively, this will have knock on effects for other EU members whether they want it or not.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

There what is?

Well, in my experience, when people start talking about maintaining British culture, what they are actually interested in maintaining is British whiteness.

Also, where the fuck do you think the vast majority of our culture comes from?

Edited by Spockydog

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2 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

Well, in my experience, when racists people start talking about maintaining British culture, what they are actually interested in maintaining is British whiteness.

Also, where the fuck do you think the vast majority of our culture comes from?

 

I may be misunderstanding your post, but are you saying that if anyone talks about maintaining British culture or defending British culture they are racist?

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Just now, Mosi Mynn said:

I may be misunderstanding your post, but are you saying that if anyone talks about maintaining British culture or defending British culture they are racist?

No. That's why I edited my post. But I would imagine that most of them are. Racist, that is.

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1 minute ago, Spockydog said:

No. That's why I edited my post. But I would imagine that most of them are. Racist, that is.

Apologies I replied before you edited.

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1 minute ago, Mosi Mynn said:

Apologies I replied before you edited.

No worries.

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36 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

Well, in my experience, when people start talking about maintaining British culture, what they are actually interested in maintaining is British whiteness.

Also, where the fuck do you think the vast majority of our culture comes from?

Some might, I'm sure, I'm not however. But that is a different conversation.

However there is such a thing as national identity, we shouldn't pretend that it either doesn't exist, or is in some way inherently evil ( an argument often thrown out at anyone discussing immigration) 

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6 hours ago, Mosi Mynn said:

And the problem with Brexit is that there were little to no facts to base an opinion on from either side so it was all emotion.

For what it's worth I'm with Heartofice on the Grand Wizard thing.  I have only heard the term in documentaries.  It's likely the politicians knew the KKK reference but didn't think the term belonged exclusively to that group and aren't using it to associate themselves with anything to do with them.

It was stupid of them to use the term. So they are either stupid or stupid AND racist. I suppose being the former is better.

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