Brexit - The UK and the EU

doghouse

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No, mostly the French. They've only fought the Germans twice, they kept out of the Franco-Prussian war. Most people will probably say they hope the British fuck-off, that doesn't surprise me and I don't really blame them, but the power brokers don't, they're shitting themselves...if a major European walks from an already weak EU then the fallout will only make things more problematic. I agree with doggie on that but think his concern about the potential for a European war misguided.

There are only 3 powers that really matter in the EU, Britain, France and Germany even though Britain has been on the sidelines for quite some time due to Cameron's party induced paralysis.

Cameron is a shocking Prime Minister...short termist, terrified of his party and no fucking strategy whatsoever. He could have got everything he wanted if he hadn't been so weak. The other EU leaders know he doesn't want to leave.

I agree with all that.
 

John Lee Pettimore III

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Just who the hell are the young men who would fight in these coming European wars? The dwindling and mostly liberal ethnic euro population or the isolated Muslim immigrants?
 

doghouse

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Just who the hell are the young men who would fight in these coming European wars? The dwindling and mostly liberal ethnic euro population or the isolated Muslim immigrants?

To be clear as it currently stands I think there is about 0% chance of war. What the EEC/EU has done is nothing short of unprecedented in terms of keeping Europe at peace.

But your question is nonsensical. Europe as a whole isn't mostly liberal for starters, with very right wing governments in several members and big blocs in others, and the migrants are fleeing conflict and would certainly move on again. The point is if Britain leaves, the EU has maybe a 50% chance of survival. If it crumbles, then the chances of conflict skyrocket. If you walk through the Balkans today you can still see fresh pockets marks from bullet holes. This isn't some ancient history, it was a little over 15 years ago.
 

Fwiffo

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I didn't know this item spurred so much fervour. I was about to say something yesterday afternoon but lost my text through an inadvertent refresh of my browser. Britain goes through periods of involvement with the Continent and then retreats back to their island. It was called Splendid Isolation if I'm not mistaken. But like one of the main families of The Godfather mafia, they get dragged back in anyway.

I can see the narrative to leave enticing for some bloke in the Midlands hammering away at a widget. What's Europe to that man anyway?

The most depressing thing, however, is the start of many referendums since Cameron has shown he is willing to negotiate. After all, he first negotiated with the Lib Dems to be in 10 Downing anyway. No matter the outcome - stay or leave, British politics will be dominated by domestic protest parties with the likes of Farage, Sturgeon and others shaking down the government for more.

As a Canadian who lived through 20 years of this in parliament, that's my morbid fascination.

Boris Johnson, minister of nothing, has enough spare time working the part time gig known as London mayor to campaign for leaving.
 

doghouse

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Move to Switzerland if you can.

This was my response on FB last night to one of my dipshit friends that thinks Trump is a good idea.

Switz.jpg
 

doghouse

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I didn't know this item spurred so much fervour.


I don't have much fervour for this in particular, more a morbid fascination as you put it. I find it monumentally stupid though. I have much more fervour for how the whole world has collectively lost it's mind.
 

doghouse

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I did just look at the GBP/USD rate though, and man this is saving me a ton of money on my tailoring.
 

Scherensammler

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Any government will have a referendum only when they are sure it will turn out in their favour.
When the Scottish independence was up to be decided the polls indicated a clear victory for the NO! campaign.
When it got very close to the end of the campaign the government (and the Labour party) panicked and along with the conservative media they did everything to stop the Yes! voters to succeed. Scotland was to stay in the EU, but the EU wasn't very clear about that being possible. It came down to the usual scaremongering, which worked.
And those tactics will work again in June, I'm sure.

A lot of the UK economy/ industry is run by foreign companies. Car manufacturing, steel industry, power plants are not under the control of the UK government.
Local councils have sold off their assets to make ends meet short term, now there is a shortage of affordable homes for low income families and the councils don't have the money to build new ones.
Scotland and Wales are farming areas which rely heavily on money from the EU, and local businesses rely on the farmers.
 

doghouse

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Only makes sense if you are already rich or have qualifications that will ensure you a well paid job.
Switzerland is one of the most expensive places in Europe.
Because everyone worth a shit wants to go there to get away from the idiocy.
 

formby

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America would never join anything like the EU. Yet they urge us to stay.

So the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, thinks his country has a ‘profound interest… in a very strong United Kingdom staying in a strong EU’, and President Obama is planning to join in campaigning for the Remainders too. They say this not because they think it is good for us, but because it is in their interests that we influence Europe in a free-trading, Atlanticist direction.

Well, two can play at that game. How would Americans like it if we argued that it is in our interests that the United States should forthwith be united with all the countries in their continent north of the Panama Canal — Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and Panama — into a vast customs union governed by a trans-national, unelected civil service. Let’s call it the American Union, or AU.

Imagine that Britain’s Foreign Secretary has just made a speech in Toronto saying he thinks America should join the AU in order to influence Mexico in the direction of free trade. The great and the good in America agree, because they think being part of the ten-country AU will prevent war, boost trade, help smaller nations compete with the behemoths of Europe and China, enable free movement of people, stand up to Russia, encourage scientific co-operation and ensure environmental protection.

Above all, we argue, it would show the world that America is not small-minded, xenophobic, protectionist and isolationist. To this end we think the AU should — er — agree a common tariff against imports from the poorer countries of South America and have free movement of peoples within but not from outside the union. We also think the United States should give up the dollar and use a common currency issued in central America, called the auro, sometimes known as the oreo, or if it is not ready to do that, should encourage others to use the auro, even though there is limited fiscal harmonisation, which bodes ill for the single currency. Oh, and the flag of the AU, consisting of ten radial yellow stripes on a blue background, should be prominently displayed alongside the Stars and Stripes.

Unfortunately, in the current political climate, it turns out that these manifest advantages, deliciously attractive though they might be to the American elite, because they offer an escape from having to think about people in places like Iowa and New Hampshire, apparently do not have quite the same appeal to the American electorate. People are worried about Mexicans taking their jobs, using their health care and drawing upon their welfare if they join the AU. And about Panamanians running up deficits, Guatemalans passing laws that affect Americans and Nicaraguans sharing a common foreign policy.

The average Trump voter might not like Congress much, but he likes the idea of an expensive international parliament that shuttles between Mexico City and Vancouver even less, and of an international executive whose directives pass automatically into law still less, let alone one whose corridors of power are positively seething with lobbyists from big business and big pressure groups (funded by the AU to lobby it). As for the idea that the US Supreme Court could be overruled by judges sitting in Toronto or Managua…

Yes, yes, but not to worry. Mr Kerry and Mr Obama agree the AU is not perfect and should be reformed before America joins. Indeed, let’s suppose they have spent the past few months shuttling between the capitals of North and Central America to achieve this. The results have been disappointing and tend to show just how hard it is to get agreement to change anything as unwieldy as the AU, but no matter, we would advise the Americans to go ahead and join anyway. It’s in our interest that they do so.

Perhaps you think my analogy unfair? We are already in the EU, whereas I am suggesting that America joins the — currently fictional — AU. So what? Surely the decision is identical. If the AU/EU is worth joining, then it’s not worth leaving, and vice versa. Perhaps you feel the cultural and economic differences between Seattle and Tegucigalpa are greater than between Manchester and Athens. I don’t agree. Perhaps you think it unrealistic to expect such a big country as America to subsume itself into such an arrangement. Well, Britain is vastly bigger than many very successful, independent countries and has the fifth largest economy in the world. America could expect to boss the AU far more than we get our way in the EU.

Perhaps you think America should be more concerned with building free trade and good relations with people on other continents, rather than the countries that happen to be next door: that is, with China, Russia, Brazil, Europe. In which case, don’t you think the same is true for Britain? Silicon Valley has benefited from a flow of talent from the Indian subcontinent — precisely what we have denied our creative industries here as we struggle to control immigration overall but are not allowed to restrict numbers from one particular landmass.

There is a serious point here. Most Americans I know think Britain would be mad to leave the EU, but that’s because they think the EU is like Nato or Nafta or the Organisation of American States — a club of nations bound by a treaty. They think it is a trading bloc. They do not appreciate that it is a common government, run by a common bureaucracy and answerable to a common court system. Once you explain this, by using the analogy I just used, they get it immediately. They would never join the AU in a million years.

And then pause to consider the irony of America, a country born in rebellion against being governed by others through a democratic deficit, lecturing the British on how we should stay inside the EU. The chairman of Conservatives for Britain, Steve Baker MP had this to say about John Kerry’s remarks: ‘I refer Mr Kerry to the US Declaration of Independence. We will do peacefully at the ballot box that for which his nation fought a war of bloody insurrection. If the USA must express a view on the UK’s right to the separate and equal status among the nations of the world to which many of us feel entitled, perhaps they might consider whether they wish to discuss their back taxes.’

Put your money where your mouth is, Mr Kerry. Unite your own continent into a superstate first before you tell us to do the same.

Emphasis mine.

Source: The Spectator | Politics, culture, current affairs and opinion
 

Grand Potentate

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I have much more fervour for how the whole world has collectively lost it's mind.
can you really blame it? neoliberalism has left a huge swath of the populace in a holding pattern of shitty jobs for low wages and little benefits.
 

doghouse

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can you really blame it? neoliberalism has left a huge swath of the populace in a holding pattern of shitty jobs for low wages and little benefits.

Yes, I can totally blame it. This is the single most fortunate group of people ever to exist on the face of the earth. Fuck every last one of y'all. Dead serious. The ingratitude I see in the world today is so stunning I can't even really come to grips with how it makes me feel. If holding jobs you don't want for less money than you think you deserve makes you lose your mind and blow it all up then I hope for nothing but failure for you. This is what happens when people don't worry about survival anymore, they invent other demons to slay. If anyone popped up and said "hey, lets try and do a better job at this" , then I'm in complete accordance. To speak in cataclysmic terms though, fuck off. You live in your parents basement? Tell me again how terrible that comfortable slice of suburbia is so I can relay it to some kids in a corrugated metal lean-to in the favela. Heath care costs a lot? I'll let the Syrian 8 year old who is missing legs because they just got bombed out know, I'm sure the kid will sympathize.

Politics has been nothing but one big ass pander to the middle class for a century. Democracy and republicanism was beget by whiny bourgeoisie. And now the middle class hasn't even gotten hurt, just minorly inconvenienced, people excuse themselves for being down right base? Hell no. There are soo many people on this planet with real problems, who are so marginalized that they have never had a voice, and sure as shit don't have one now, who are just completely ignored as usual. The guy living in a cardboard box, the kid who's parents live on the street as drug addicts, these are the people worth fighting for, and if anyone gave a flying shit about being angry for them, I'm all in with you. But they aren't, nothing in this election has anything to do with that. It's Joe Shit the Rag Man bitching because he isn't a fucking millionaire yet, and has a bunch of debt because he thinks himself entitled to be a homeowner and drive an Audi and have health coverage just for the simple fact he was born. It's bullshit.

My next door neighbor is voting Trump. He is a non college degree holder, who works on ship engines ( No small thinks to those evil trade deals), has a wonderful family, and manages (without a college degree) to be the owner of a half fucking million dollar house. Yeah, he has the right to be angry...

I have another longtime friend. Says Trump gonna make us win again. Because America is losing so much. Those Chinese with their $7,000 median income while getting cancer from the air they breath are really showing us. And those Arabs, we gotta get tough with them, because bombing the entire region into glass bits the past half century way too weak. They are sure winning a lot... And stop them Mexicans from leaving the country by building a wall, because obviously everyone knows there is a net out flow of Mexicans right now, right? This friend also happens to run a successful business and own several houses. Also can't give single example of a Trump policy proposal to accomplish this winning. But he knows we are losing so he is gonna get behind a candidate who's main philosophy is "get darkie".

If you are middle class in a western democracy, you are an incredibly fortunate person. Bad things happen to anyone, cancer, accident, etc. You take out these things and you have a happy healthy family, a roof over your head and food in your belly, there is no excuse not to wake up everyday in amazement at how lucky you are. Anyone that doesn't, I have no respect for.
 

formby

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Yes, I can totally blame it. This is the single most fortunate group of people ever to exist on the face of the earth. Fuck every last one of y'all. Dead serious. The ingratitude I see in the world today is so stunning I can't even really come to grips with how it makes me feel. If holding jobs you don't want for less money than you think you deserve makes you lose your mind and blow it all up then I hope for nothing but failure for you. This is what happens when people don't worry about survival anymore, they invent other demons to slay. If anyone popped up and said "hey, lets try and do a better job at this" , then I'm in complete accordance. To speak in cataclysmic terms though, fuck off. You live in your parents basement? Tell me again how terrible that comfortable slice of suburbia is so I can relay it to some kids in a corrugated metal lean-to in the favela. Heath care costs a lot? I'll let the Syrian 8 year old who is missing legs because they just got bombed out know, I'm sure the kid will sympathize.

Politics has been nothing but one big ass pander to the middle class for a century. Democracy and republicanism was beget by whiny bourgeoisie. And now the middle class hasn't even gotten hurt, just minorly inconvenienced, people excuse themselves for being down right base? Hell no. There are soo many people on this planet with real problems, who are so marginalized that they have never had a voice, and sure as shit don't have one now, who are just completely ignored as usual. The guy living in a cardboard box, the kid who's parents live on the street as drug addicts, these are the people worth fighting for, and if anyone gave a flying shit about being angry for them, I'm all in with you. But they aren't, nothing in this election has anything to do with that. It's Joe Shit the Rag Man bitching because he isn't a fucking millionaire yet, and has a bunch of debt because he thinks himself entitled to be a homeowner and drive an Audi and have health coverage just for the simple fact he was born. It's bullshit.

My next door neighbor is voting Trump. He is a non college degree holder, who works on ship engines ( No small thinks to those evil trade deals), has a wonderful family, and manages (without a college degree) to be the owner of a half fucking million dollar house. Yeah, he has the right to be angry...

I have another longtime friend. Says Trump gonna make us win again. Because America is losing so much. Those Chinese with their $7,000 median income while getting cancer from the air they breath are really showing us. And those Arabs, we gotta get tough with them, because bombing the entire region into glass bits the past half century way too weak. They are sure winning a lot... And stop them Mexicans from leaving the country by building a wall, because obviously everyone knows there is a net out flow of Mexicans right now, right? This friend also happens to run a successful business and own several houses. Also can't give single example of a Trump policy proposal to accomplish this winning. But he knows we are losing so he is gonna get behind a candidate who's main philosophy is "get darkie".

If you are middle class in a western democracy, you are an incredibly fortunate person. Bad things happen to anyone, cancer, accident, etc. You take out these things and you have a happy healthy family, a roof over your head and food in your belly, there is no excuse not to wake up everyday in amazement at how lucky you are. Anyone that doesn't, I have no respect for.

Whilst I agree with you that the quality of life for most westerners is better than it has ever been, you should compare yourself with the best, not the worst. This is how we progress.
 

doghouse

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Whilst I agree with you that the quality of life for most westerners is better than it has ever been, you should compare yourself with the best, not the worst. This is how we progress.

And to that end, do you make progress by improving on what we have or going back to barbarism?

And more to the point, do you pragmatically look at what the best steps for improvement are, or do you gnash teeth and wail and say you are "betrayed" and "angry" and "don't care what the rational thing to do is"?
 

formby

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And to that end, do you make progress by improving on what we have or going back to barbarism?

You improve on what we have. The problem with saying that we should stop moaning because we are so much better off than some poor soul in Africa is that it can lead to a kind of smug complacency. We should always be striving to make things better, not resting on our laurels. Poorer states will benefit too, even though the left will try and say they don't, being the zero-sum merchants that they all to often are...
 

formby

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An alternative strategic view:

By Julian Lindley-French.

Britain lost an Empire, but never found a Union

“Great Britain has lost an Empire and has not yet found a role”

Former US Secretary of State Dean G. Acheson,

West Point, 5 December 1962


Dean Acheson’s famous quote about a Britain strategically adrift seems particularly apposite on this wet, grey Dutch February morning. With the weekend decisions of the heavy-hitting Justice Secretary Michael Gove and London Mayor Boris Johnson to join the swelling ranks of the Brexiteers there is now a very real chance that David Cameron’s EU gamble will fail spectacularly on 23 June. If Britain does vote to leave the EU it will not simply be withdrawal from an institution to which it acceded in 1973. It will be the first time Britain has ever withdrawn from an international institution, and the first time its political and bureaucratic elite have had to THINK for Britain as a strategically-independent power since 1815.

Hold on a minute, professor, I hear you say. 1815? Really? Yes, really. My point is this; for much of the nineteenth century Britain was simply too powerful to have to think strategically. It kept an eye on matters European, and after the 1815 Congress of Vienna occasionally got ‘involved’ to maintain the power balance in Europe. Most notably, and not without irony, during the 1853-1856 Crimean War when Russia was (again) being uppity. However, for the most part Britain withdrew into splendid isolation and got on with ‘managing’ its enormous empire.

Furthermore, with the principle of effective self-government established by the Australian colonies in the mid-1850s the later British Empire gradually began to take on the appearance of an international institution. Imperial Conferences were held regularly at which the Mother Country consulted the Dominions, and indeed some of the larger colonies on matters of ‘strategic’ import. That is why when the British Empire effectively ended from India’s seizure of independence in 1947 thereafter, much of the Empire morphed with relative ease into the Commonwealth of today.

Thinking strategically is the preserve of the relatively weak. As the balance of power shifted in the late nineteenth century with the 1871 emergence of a unified Germany and the later appearance of Teddy Roosevelt’s America as world powers, Britain’s elite had to begin to think about relative decline and the crafting of strategy. It never came easily to them.

The solution the British sought was to return to the principles of coalition or grand alliance which London had so successfully used against the French in the eighteenth century, and thereafter to extend the concept of imperial conferences to all states. The anti-German Dual and Triple Ententes would have been approved of by both Pitt the Elder and Pitt the Younger as coalition mechanisms for the balancing of power in Europe. The League of Nations and its successor United Nations would have been recognised by the likes of Gladstone and Disraeli as extensions of the concept of imperial conference.

The problem with the early European institutions for the British elite was that by the very principle of their founding they were neither an imperial conference nor a coalition. In particular, the very idea of ‘ever closer union’ ran counter to the idea of a British-controlled or inspired assembly. Worse, they were not invented by the British. The British can very reasonably claim that the League of Nations, the United Nations, and even NATO were all British ideas. The European institutions were patently not.

Therefore, from the very outset the EU, and its now many forebears, presented a dilemma, and indeed represented a contradiction, for the British. On the one hand, a ‘not invented here’ institution had been created on the Continent that by the very nature of its Franco-German leadership side-lined the British. Indeed, the early EU (ECSC and then EEC) did unto Britain what Britain had done to continental powers since 1815. On the other hand, the European institutions were institutions. By the 1950s whilst Britain maintained totems of great power Britain's foreign policy Establishment only really ‘did’ institutions, which became ends in and of themselves for British foreign policy.

Peer beyond the typically-astrategic Cameronian smokescreen of last week’s failed ‘renegotiation’, most of the tenets of which will be swept away by the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice, and two abiding British problems become clear. First, the EU has never been a British institution, and as such far from magnifying Britain’s power and influence it has diminished it by subordinating London to Berlin and Paris. Second, as an institution the EU does not really work.

Indeed, it is now clear that the process of partial-supranationalism that began with the 1991 Treaty of Maastricht and reached its zenith/nadir with the 1997 Treaty of Lisbon has failed. Moreover, the very process of big-Brussels building has at one and the same time eroded democracy in Europe, and by preventing the creation of flexible coalitions of any strength, also destroyed effective crisis management.

Equally, if Britain gives up on the EU now that too will have profound consequences. Indeed, if Britain leaves the EU in 2016 it will be the first time since, say, 1588, that England/Britain has withdrawn from the shaping of strategic political events at the heart of Europe at a critical moment. Indeed, the very real prospect now beckons that by sending troops to defend the Baltic States, and ships and aircraft into the Mediterranean to attack Islamic State and people smugglers under a NATO banner, Britain will be instrumental in creating a ‘safe’ space for others to decide the future of Europe, and thus Britain.

2016 Europe stands at the most strategic of strategic crossroads – more elitist European institutionalism or more national coalitions of the willing and able? Come 2023 and a new Treaty of European Union will need to be ratified which will address such issues. That is after all what Jean-Claude Juncker himself has said. If the draft treaty proposes ever more power to Brussels Britain’s ‘constitutional lock’, which is now enshrined in law, would automatically trigger another referendum. Therefore, if Britain is indeed to leave the EU surely it would make more sense when the future strategic direction of travel of the EU has been established, and the scale of the threat posed by the likes of Russia and IS is clearer? After all, good strategy is not just about good thinking, it is also about good timing.


In other words, were the British thinking strategically they would realise what an opportunity is now afforded them for influencing the profound re-adjustment the EU and its member-states must make in the midst of the Eurozone, Russia, migration, and terrorism crises. Britain’s EU moment is thus NOW as Britain’s concerns are now shared by a majority of people on this side of the Channel. However, Britain can and will only influence Europe’s coming re-adjustment if it engages in the institutional process and injects strategic thinking.

So, why does Britain NOT think strategically? Institutionalism and short-termism. In my 2015 book Little Britain (www.amazon.com) I emphasise the extraordinarily lamentable quality of what passes for strategic thought at the heart of government in London. One reason is that the Establishment is so enmeshed in the incrementalism of institutions that they have lost the ability to think big and think strategically which on paper should come naturally to the leaders of a top five world economic and military power. Another reason is that 'strategy' has been remorselessly reduced to what is politically feasible on any given day. The fact that the British Establishment produces strategically-lightweight political spin gurus such as David Cameron as 'PMs' is testament to these problems. Indeed, perhaps the biggest danger Britain faces comes not from Brussels at all, but rather the poor quality of its political leadership. Indeed, would the British Establishment be up to the challenge of leading a strategically-independent Britain?

Like all decent strategic analysts I have shifted my position on Brexit in light of events. To that end, Dean Acheson said one other thing about the British that is worth recalling. “The qualities which produce the dogged, unbeatable courage of the British, personified…by Winston Churchill, can appear on other occasions as stubbornness bordering on stupidity”. I am no fan of the EU and I share many of the concerns of reasoned Brexiteers. Indeed, the time may well come when the EU is so inimical to Britain’s interests, so costly, and so crisis incompetent that Britain will be forced leave for the sake of all. 2016 is, I fear, not that moment.
 

doghouse

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I read your initial response but was answering your question. You give me two options, I picked one.
Well then I obviously said in the initial one I support methodical progress, so your response was redundant at best. We have talked enough of this sort of thing between here and FNB that I think you know I am generally a pragmatic progressive in most respects, and that I think most people who try and use the progressive monitor are actually regressive.

Though I'm sure Bop would be happy to brand both of us highly regressive ultra righties. :dolan:
 

doghouse

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In other words, were the British thinking strategically they would realise what an opportunity is now afforded them for influencing the profound re-adjustment the EU and its member-states must make in the midst of the Eurozone, Russia, migration, and terrorism crises. Britain’s EU moment is thus NOW as Britain’s concerns are now shared by a majority of people on this side of the Channel. However, Britain can and will only influence Europe’s coming re-adjustment if it engages in the institutional process and injects strategic thinking.

This was the most stunning thing from this whole "negotiation". Cameron left everything on the table. It's as if he went to the Obama school of negotiation. The EU, and Germany particularly, never would have let them leave.
 

Grand Potentate

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And to that end, do you make progress by improving on what we have or going back to barbarism?
Are these the only two options? What happens when there is no change to the status quo possible? I'm not sure if you see this, but people want Sanders and Trump and Corbyn because the status quo is so inexorably fucked that the idea of blowing it up to attempt to try something else is literally seen as a good option.
 

doghouse

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because the status quo is so inexorably fucked


This is the single most fortunate group of people ever to exist on the face of the earth. ... The ingratitude I see in the world today is so stunning I can't even really come to grips with how it makes me feel. If holding jobs you don't want for less money than you think you deserve makes you lose your mind and blow it all up then I hope for nothing but failure for you. ... To speak in cataclysmic terms though, fuck off. You live in your parents basement? Tell me again how terrible that comfortable slice of suburbia is so I can relay it to some kids in a corrugated metal lean-to in the favela. Heath care costs a lot? I'll let the Syrian 8 year old who is missing legs because they just got bombed out know, I'm sure the kid will sympathize.

... It's Joe Shit the Rag Man bitching because he isn't a fucking millionaire yet, and has a bunch of debt because he thinks himself entitled to be a homeowner and drive an Audi and have health coverage just for the simple fact he was born. It's bullshit.

...

If you are middle class in a western democracy, you are an incredibly fortunate person. Bad things happen to anyone, cancer, accident, etc. You take out these things and you have a happy healthy family, a roof over your head and food in your belly, there is no excuse not to wake up everyday in amazement at how lucky you are. Anyone that doesn't, I have no respect for.

Whilst I agree with you that the quality of life for most westerners is better than it has ever been
 

formby

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This was the most stunning thing from this whole "negotiation". Cameron left everything on the table. It's as if he went to the Obama school of negotiation. The EU, and Germany particularly, never would have let them leave.

As I've said before Cameron is a PR man, not a statesman, he only thinks about the next election, whereas a statesman thinks about the next generation.

Cameron's, only job outside politics was as a PR man for Carlton, the trashhist of British TV companies. One of the programs he promoted was: The Married Woman's Guide to Adultery.

This is the kind of character we now have leading our great nation, we really have sank that low it seems...
 

Grand Potentate

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So basically your entire position comes down to "you don't live in a favela and other people do, so be thankful for that and shut the fuck up"?
 

doghouse

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If anyone popped up and said "hey, lets try and do a better job at this" , then I'm in complete accordance.

...

The guy living in a cardboard box, the kid who's parents live on the street as drug addicts, these are the people worth fighting for, and if anyone gave a flying shit about being angry for them, I'm all in with you.

So basically your entire position comes down to "you don't live in a favela and other people do, so be thankful for that and shut the fuck up"?
 

Grand Potentate

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Come on. People have been trying to do a better job of it for the past 20 years and they've fucked everything up even worse, so I don't understand this line in the sand. "Well this time its sure to work!"
 

Grand Potentate

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So that's just it then? Everyone should suck it up because we're not in Africa? Good talk Dogfish. Maybe next time you can just link your old discussions on FNB for those of us who aren't formby formby .
 

doghouse

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So that's just it then? Everyone should suck it up because we're not in Africa? Good talk Dogfish. Maybe next time you can just link your old discussions on FNB for those of us who aren't formby formby .

I'm only going to point you back so many times. You can waffle between we should do nothing or it's so bad everyone should just off themselves as much as you want, but I've clearly been somewhere in the middle of that the entire time, you are just refusing to engage in the messy, nuanced and complex center, and just prefer to stick to histrionics (<---credit Sarto).
 

Grand Potentate

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I'm only going to point you back so many times. You can waffle between we should do nothing or it's so bad everyone should just off themselves as much as you want, but I've clearly been somewhere in the middle of that the entire time, you are just refusing to engage in the messy, nuanced and complex center, and just prefer to stick to histrionics (<---credit Sarto).
I understand where you stand, clearly, but don't know what you plan on doing about our current issues and why your shit is any better than the so-called revolutionaries shit.
 

Scherensammler

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People have been trying to do a better job of it for the past 20 years and they've fucked everything up even worse

If by "people" you mean politicians and political leaders that shouldn't come as a surprise.
Besides Cameron, look what kind of "leaders" Europe had during the past decades.
The likes of Berlusconi, who abused his powers and money (and TV and radio stations) to avoid conviction for several crimes and stay in power.
France had a line up of egomaniacs, Mitterand, Sarkozy and now Hollande.
Germany had Helmut Kohl (one of the main figures who supported Maggie Thatcher's "I want my money back" claims) and handed out billions to Russia (for resetteling it's troops) and foreign corporations to make them invest in the "new" East Germany. He returned the favours when his supporters donated large sums to his party.
Last, but not least, Angela Merkel, a woman who opened the gates to uncontrolled immigrations, breaking EU laws, and who still insists that her actions were the right thing to do, despite having daily proof that it's not the case.

And let's not forget who runs the EU council and who's elected into the EU parliament.
Most are hand picked by interest groups and under constant influence of lobbyists.
The EU spends billions on subventions to (mostly big scale) farmers and should reduce it to create a fairer competition, but farmers have a strong lobby, so that's not going to happen.
Germany supports it's car manufacturers, which prevents stronger environmental regulations.
Everything the EU does is not sanctioned by a vote of the EU population, which is why shit like the latest trade agreements will come into existence despite massive objections from the people.

With a stagnating economy in the Euro zone for years, high unemployment in many of it's countries (including Germany, BTW) and now the orchestrated wave of migration, the EU is sadly not in a position the say "Fuck off!" when the US demand sanctions against Russia, one of the biggest EU trade partners (gas, oil, hot chicks) for years.
I don't think the EU sanctions hit Russia as hard as the low oil price does.

However frustrating it might be (and no matter how much people want a real change), the powers that be will prevent Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders to gain power.
In the case of Corbyn they have already tried, big time.
 

doghouse

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I understand where you stand, clearly, but don't know what you plan on doing about our current issues and why your shit is any better than the so-called revolutionaries shit.

Because I'm not ruled by my emotions and don't want to harm a lot of people by burning it down sincec I'm endlessly grateful for my lot in life???? Duh? It's pretty simple really. My shit is better, I'm not an ingrate and I'm a fully formed human that's moved beyond base impulse response behavior.
 

Grand Potentate

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Because I'm not ruled by my emotions and don't want to harm a lot of people by burning it down sincec I'm endlessly grateful for my lot in life???? Duh? It's pretty simple really. My shit is better, I'm not an ingrate and I'm a fully formed human that's moved beyond base impulse response behavior.
So the people who have less than you and want to change things are just mongoloids? Those who aren't grateful for their lot don't deserve to seek change?

Let me change track here - what is is that you want to do to change things so that the mongoloids on the lower decks don't have to try and fuckup your shit?
 

doghouse

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So the people who have less than you and want to change things are just mongoloids? Those who aren't grateful for their lot don't deserve to seek change?

Let me change track here - what is is that you want to do to change things so that the mongoloids on the lower decks don't have to try and fuckup your shit?

One, who says anyone has less than me? I say most have the same, health, family, friends. Those who aren't grateful for that absolutey don't deserve any say. And I've already said we need to do a better job with the genuine needy.

For those people, the answers are something we all know. We need to strip out the counterproductive and bloated Byzantine structures to a fairer, simpler system that has a basic progressive tax without loopholes and redirect the middle class buyoffs to the genuine poor. No one argues differently, but everyone knows the politics are extremely difficult and it's only gonna happen very incrementally.
 

Grand Potentate

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No one argues differently, but everyone knows the politics are extremely difficult and it's only gonna happen very incrementally.
This is the problem with your "side" (for lack of a better term). The majority of people with problems have been suffering through their prime productivity years and seen their lives go absolutely nowhere, or head on a negative trajectory. They're sick and tired of waiting for "incremental" changes and are chasing some kind of changes now. What the fuck difference would a 1-3% change make in their lives?
 

doghouse

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This is the problem with your "side" (for lack of a better term). The majority of people with problems have been suffering through their prime productivity years and seen their lives go absolutely nowhere, or head on a negative trajectory. They're sick and tired of waiting for "incremental" changes and are chasing some kind of changes now. What the fuck difference would a 1-3% change make in their lives?
I have no side first of all, and secondly the people who feel they are wasting their lives going nowhere while having an existence that 99.9999999999999999% of humans to ever live would kill for are exactly the people who I hope die in a fire.
 

Fwiffo

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This is the kind of character we now have leading our great nation, we really have sank that low it seems...

But he's from Eton and Oxford as many toffs are, and only toffs run the country.

I have no side first of all, and secondly the people who feel they are wasting their lives going nowhere while having an existence that 99.9999999999999999% of humans to ever live would kill for are exactly the people who I hope die in a fire.

If it helps your argument, my mother never volunteers or does organised charity in North America. She says there can't be any one truly poor in this society.
 

doghouse

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If it helps your argument, my mother never volunteers or does organised charity in North America. She says there can't be any one truly poor in this society.

Eh, I understand the sentiment, but there are some truly marginalised people here.

We have an adopted sister from Kenya, and she rages on the sloth here too. She worked liked 8 jobs like the Jamaicans in Living Color sketches. Has no tolerance for any sort of entitlement mentality.
 
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