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Chaircat Meow

UK Politics: The Edge of Destruction

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32 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

Cooper Bill passes third reading. Shit just got real.

It passed by a single vote 313 to 312, which is ridiculously close (although still not the closest vote today). 14 Tories voted for it while 12 Labour (or ex-Labour) MPs voted against.

Meanwhile the Government's attempt at amending it got defeated  400-220 which is apparently the second-biggest Government defeat in the history of Parliament, behind only Meaningful Vote #1.

6 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

The word from Westminster is that it's likely to sail through the Lords.

I think any anti-Brexit bill is going to be looked on favourably by the Lords.

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So according to this article, this bill doesn't really achieve anything.  That it has simply eaten up time and is silent on too many issues that will realistically arise to give any kind of meaningful help to move the process along. 

cooper-letwin-brexit-no-deal-distraction

Is that correct? 

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10 hours ago, Zorral said:

For those of us who remain bewildered about where all this came from, Josh Marshall (who originally trained as an historian before turning to journalism) gives us a readable summation on his Talking Points Memo site:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/in-which-josh-seeks-to-explain-brexit

Somewhere else today I saw the BREXIT catastrophe described as "you can't fix stupid."

Its not bad, with one or two very good quotes, but it doesn't really inform someone of how much Brexit is about Tory party stability, which has driven both Cameron and May's decisions.  It doesn't even mention the general election.  I also don't think it mentions that with Article 50 invoked, the default is actually a hard Brexit.  

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10 hours ago, Which Tyler said:

Oh absolutely, and that remains the default. Though I believe today's morons are an attempt to finish that one off.

A Freudian slip or completely deliberate! :dunno:

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7 minutes ago, ants said:

Its not bad, with one or two very good quotes, but it doesn't really inform someone of how much Brexit is about Tory party stability, which has driven both Cameron and May's decisions.  It doesn't even mention the general election.  I also don't think it mentions that with Article 50 invoked, the default is actually a hard Brexit.  

Surely this is all so.  Again, though, from over here, that doesn't illuminate much, because your system isn't the same as here.  And, like here, even in mine own nation, none of this really makes any sense, why we are in this insanity.  

They Say, of course, that the Russian trolls did a lot of it, in your country and mine own.  I'm sure this is true. The pixils were already ferlaytilized though, with bigotry? something else? that none of us wanted to believe was in play?  Horrible to contemplate, but let us resist!

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Um, I'm Australian.  :P

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3 hours ago, ants said:

A Freudian slip or completely deliberate! :dunno:

Autocorrect.

I saw it later, and decided to let it stand

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Zorral said:

For those of us who remain bewildered about where all this came from, Josh Marshall (who originally trained as an historian before turning to journalism) gives us a readable summation on his Talking Points Memo site:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/in-which-josh-seeks-to-explain-brexit

Somewhere else today I saw the BREXIT catastrophe described as "you can't fix stupid."

Yeah like a lot of talk from across the pond on this topic it tends to skim over many elements of the story or not mention them.

For instance the background to the referendum also happened after the Greek crisis, which made the EU and Germany appear like bullies looking after their own interests. What about the migration crisis that had just happened. The background of Islamic terrorism. It skimmed over the expansion of the EU east to include much less wealthy countries, leading to rapid large scale population movements, much of which was to the UK. That helps to explain the atmosphere when the referendum took place, as well as 30 years of general euro scepticism, fuelled by the press

I’m not sure I’d frame it as an English revolution , though I’m sure that reads well over there and it does seem like an interesting take. But I think like a lot of populist movements it has a lot to do with different sets of values clashing and fast progress being pushed back against,  by communities who value a sense of place and tradition over more modern global values.

 

Anyway, this in the Guardian today is something I wasn’t expecting to see there:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/04/customs-union-soft-brexit-trade-goods

Quote

Given that the customs union mostly affects physical trade goods, it might be thought that goods exports to the EU would be the best-performing category of the four. In fact, it is comfortably the worst, not just in recent years but over the past two decades, during which time exports have grown by just 0.2% on average.

And

Quote

Those who argue that Britain would be better off negotiating its own trade deals have a point, because the EU is not especially interested in liberalising where it is weak but the UK is strong – services. 

 

Edited by Heartofice

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How many damn "extensions" and stupid votes does parliament need?  This is getting US level stupid - and that's saying something.  Usually the only time that happens in Britain is with the royal family.

The people there that wanna do it are represented by people that want to delay doing it as much as possible.  Either find different people to lead you or admit you're in the minority.  The UK actually has mechanisms for this whereas the US sadly doesn't.  At least our stupidity is constitutional.

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31 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

For instance the background to the referendum also happened after the Greek crisis, which made the EU and Germany appear like bullies looking after their own interests. What about the migration crisis that had just happened. The background of Islamic terrorism. It skimmed over the expansion of the EU east to include much less wealthy countries, leading to rapid large scale population movements, much of which was to the UK. That helps to explain the atmosphere when the referendum took place, as well as 30 years of general euro scepticism, fuelled by the press

You are right that those were things that fueled the euroskeptics in Britain, but in the same breath it should be noted that it was the UK government that opened its borders to cheap Eastern European labour when nobody in the EU obliged them to.

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10 minutes ago, Toth said:

You are right that those were things that fueled the euroskeptics in Britain, but in the same breath it should be noted that it was the UK government that opened its borders to cheap Eastern European labour when nobody in the EU obliged them to.

Yes it’s a well worn point, but true. However my point was that if you are going to read a potted history of Brexit you also need to be conscious of the bits of the story that have been left out.

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, DMC said:

How many damn "extensions" and stupid votes does parliament need?  This is getting US level stupid - and that's saying something.  Usually the only time that happens in Britain is with the royal family.

The people there that wanna do it are represented by people that want to delay doing it as much as possible.  Either find different people to lead you or admit you're in the minority.  The UK actually has mechanisms for this whereas the US sadly doesn't.  At least our stupidity is constitutional.

What we're also in the process of importing from American politics (thanks Mr Banon!) is organised efforts threatening MPs with deselection; not to mention increased partisanship and seeing people who disagree with you as "the enemy" or "traitors"

Edited by Which Tyler

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53 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

For instance the background to the referendum also happened after the Greek crisis, which made the EU and Germany appear like bullies looking after their own interests. What about the migration crisis that had just happened. The background of Islamic terrorism. It skimmed over the expansion of the EU east to include much less wealthy countries, leading to rapid large scale population movements, much of which was to the UK. That helps to explain the atmosphere when the referendum took place, as well as 30 years of general euro scepticism, fuelled by the press.

Unfortunately this could all be easily spun into an anti-EU frenzy.  It did not need to be:

  • The Greek crisis was of Greece's own making, and the EU worked really hard to save it, and Greece at no point wanted to leave the EU because of this; indeed, Tsipras is still the Greek Prime Minister, despite this chaos. 
  • The refugee crisis was an interesting one for the EU because it amounted to an East v West clash, or more accurately an East v Germany clash.  But the UK was never going to be impacted by that, really, because we're not part of Schengen. 
  • The migration from Eastern European countries to the UK was entirely of the UK's making.  As mentioned above, the UK could have placed a cap on migration.  They didn't.

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17 minutes ago, Which Tyler said:

What we're also in the process of importing from American politics (thanks Mr Banon!) is organised efforts threatening MPs with deselection; not to mention increased partisanship and seeing people who disagree with you as "the enemy" or "traitors"

Thanks Obama.

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33 minutes ago, Mosi Mynn said:

The Greek crisis was of Greece's own making, and the EU worked really hard to save it, and Greece at no point wanted to leave the EU because of this; indeed, Tsipras is still the Greek Prime Minister, despite this chaos. 

It was partly Greeces making, although you could argue that they should never have been allowed into the Euro in the first place, and it was ideology that pushed that through. Being in the Euro meant that Greece couldn't deal with its fiscal crisis and the measures forced on them by the Troika in fact made matters far worse for them. Either way, whatever the rights and wrongs of the issue, it led to Germany looking like bullies in the eyes of many and highlighted many of the issues of the EU and the Eurozone. 

Quote

The refugee crisis was an interesting one for the EU because it amounted to an East v West clash, or more accurately an East v Germany clash.  But the UK was never going to be impacted by that, really, because we're not part of Schengen. 

Again, whether we could have been impacted or not isn't really the point. Up against the background of millions of migrants entering Europe, and a climate where seemingly anyone from Europe can move to the UK, its understandable that it increased the fear of future migration. 

Quote
  • The migration from Eastern European countries to the UK was entirely of the UK's making.  As mentioned above, the UK could have placed a cap on migration.  They didn't.

The Blair government definitely caused the issue by fast tracking that migration, but who's to say that the same issue wouldn't have happened later on. We could never put a cap on the migration though, we could deal with people who claim benefits, but the most EE migrants come here with jobs anyway so it wouldn't have made much difference. 

The point I'm making is that these events all help to explain the mood of the country at the time of the referendum. Trying to explain it as a general English revolution or whatever that article is getting at tends to miss the point. 


 

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14 minutes ago, Heartofice said:


The point I'm making is that these events all help to explain the mood of the country at the time of the referendum. Trying to explain it as a general English revolution or whatever that article is getting at tends to miss the point. 


 

Don't you mean the mood of 37% of the electorate?
Not 'the country'

And that was 3 years ago. Moods change. I'm a woman. That I understand completely ;-)

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Quote

 

The background of Islamic terrorism.

 

What does this have to do with Brexit?

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2 hours ago, Mosi Mynn said:

Unfortunately this could all be easily spun into an anti-EU frenzy.  It did not need to be:

  • The Greek crisis was of Greece's own making, and the EU worked really hard to save it, and Greece at no point wanted to leave the EU because of this; indeed, Tsipras is still the Greek Prime Minister, despite this chaos. 
  • The refugee crisis was an interesting one for the EU because it amounted to an East v West clash, or more accurately an East v Germany clash.  But the UK was never going to be impacted by that, really, because we're not part of Schengen. 
  • The migration from Eastern European countries to the UK was entirely of the UK's making.  As mentioned above, the UK could have placed a cap on migration.  They didn't.

Granted, Greek governments were rotten and corrupt in the Noughties, that Greece should never have been admitted into the Eurozone, that Goldman Sachs fiddled the Greek debt figures, but Merkel really did grind the Greeks into the dust in 2015.  They will never be able to repay what they owe, and a sensible process of bankruptcy ought needs to impose a haircut on reckless lenders as well as the reckless debtor.

As an aside, it is blackly funny that the casting vote last night belonged to an MP wearing an electronic tag for perverting the course of justice.

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15 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Granted, Greek governments were rotten and corrupt in the Noughties, that Greece should never have been admitted into the Eurozone, that Goldman Sachs fiddled the Greek debt figures, but Merkel really did grind the Greeks into the dust in 2015.  They will never be able to repay what they owe, and a sensible process of bankruptcy ought needs to impose a haircut on reckless lenders as well as the reckless debtor.

Germany funded a lot of the loans that  were used to bail Greece out - so of course she was incredibly tough on them.

It was mooted by the German Finance Minister that Greece temporarily leave the Euro to sort themselves out, but nobody really wanted that, including Greece.  

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Worth noting that at one point in the 2015 crisis (when Greece's problems had been isolated and it could not longer bring down the Euro as a whole), France and Germany both agreed that they were going to kick Greece out of the single currency and possibly the EU, and it was only down to a significant intervention by Tusk and the Italians that talked them in off the ledge. That was after five or six years of Greece trying to get its house in order and just failing to do so, though.

The Italians didn't want Greece to be kicked out because of the precedent it would set for other countries that also had economic problems they were apparently unwilling to tackle, for some reason (cough).

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