POLITICS CORNER

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Bruff » 19 Jun 2018, 14:54

Assuming that, as is the norm these days, Parliament abdicates itself of all responsibility and does not support the call for a ‘meaningful vote’ one outcome will be this. The UK Parliament will be the only Parliament in the whole of the EU that will not get a vote on the final Brexit deal. The Italian Parliament will. As will the Maltese, And the Estonian. Plus the European Parliament. Hilarious. Still, your typical Brexiter has just as little clue of how our ‘democracy’ works as they have the EU’s and wear their slack-jawed, banjo-strumming ignorance with unyielding pride. So the hilarity must be tempered with tragedy. And my tragedy is I care. I care that when I try and explain all this to folk, they simply do not get it and refuse even to engage. I care when I see and hear on Question Time utter, utter ignorance. Not ignorance in the sense of stupidity. Ignorance as in having no knowledge of the matter to hand yet making confident proclamations. How have we sunk to this? Why do we let people say things that are wrong? Not stupid – I say stupid things all the time. Things that are wrong. A view is not valid just because it has been said. If it stems from ignorance it needs to be called out as ignorance. Des from Watchet’s utterly ignorant utterings on a radio station’s ‘Speak Your Brain’ session is not a valid contribution because invariably not only isn’t it right, arguably he’s so far off with the basics it can’t even be declared wrong!

M Barnier discusses security matters in a speech today. Cue whining from Brexiters as they are reminded they will get what they voted for – the rights of any other third country. We are a laughing stock. Fast becoming a (relative) failed state. Who on earth, anywhere, can take us seriously? We’re no recognised ..’ocracy’ at all, save perhaps a nascent idiocracy.

Thing about Chope is he’s all for Parliament until it impacts his beloved Brexit. It’s a measure of his contempt for us that he says he acts as Parliament’s standard bearer with a straight face. The man is beyond all hope but then, blame his constituents. How can anyone so limited ever be elected?

Richard Broughton

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by chinatyke » 19 Jun 2018, 15:22

:good: Brilliant. Thanks.

"The man is beyond all hope but then, blame his constituents. How can anyone so limited ever be elected?"

Errr, democratically? Is that what is wrong with democracy: the voters are mainly clueless?

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 19 Jun 2018, 15:48

Bruff wrote:
19 Jun 2018, 14:54
Still, your typical Brexiter has just as little clue of how our ‘democracy’ works as they have the EU’s and wear their slack-jawed, banjo-strumming ignorance with unyielding pride.
Wow - I hadn't realised just how ignorant I was - I love banjo music, and quite like the harmonica or 'gob iron' as Calluna used to call it. . Does that make it worse, and me more ignorant? How's the move to Portugal going? :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 19 Jun 2018, 16:03

...Or was it Malta...or Italy...or Estonia? :smile:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 19 Jun 2018, 16:17

Fairly sure it was Portugal. I remember discussing these custard cakes, which I now know to be called pastelde nata. :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Wendyf » 19 Jun 2018, 17:41

That's me! Slack jawed, banjo strumming ignorance....you have described our household perfectly! It's a wonder they allow us to vote.
(I normally steer clear of this topic but just had a little peep this evening. Already regretting it.)

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 19 Jun 2018, 21:46

Don't worry Wendy I suspect Tripps was just being a bit mischievous. Anyone who can morph the Brexit theme from the current head banging nonsense into banjos to custard pies isn't stupid. Stick with us you may develop a taste for it. That is if you can bare the thought of eating custard cream pies.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 20 Jun 2018, 03:37

Wonderful posts! Richard as usual is quite brilliant and is evidently almost as puzzled as I am. Wendy, stick with us, I know this could be hubris but I believe we represent a more coherent and valid view than the present incompetent buffoons who are driving us into the ground like a tent peg. It was the sight of May insulting the intelligence of the NHS staff that triggered me yesterday. As for the Lords needing reform, I agree they could be improved a bit but give them their due, they are doing what they were intended to do. As one Peer said yesterday they are the equivalent of the Supreme Court in politics and God knows we need someone!
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Wendyf » 20 Jun 2018, 06:23

plaques wrote:
19 Jun 2018, 21:46
Don't worry Wendy I suspect Tripps was just being a bit mischievous. Anyone who can morph the Brexit theme from the current head banging nonsense into banjos to custard pies isn't stupid. Stick with us you may develop a taste for it. That is if you can bare the thought of eating custard cream pies.

Tripps was quoting Richard.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 20 Jun 2018, 06:57

She's a smart cookie P!
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 20 Jun 2018, 07:27

I think the cream custards were Tripps's diversion.

Exciting day in the Commons. EU withdrawal bill comes back for debate. The Express has headlines :-Tory rebellion CRUSHED: May poised for victory in Commons Brexit showdown. But in the write up it reads. One Cabinet minister said: "It has been tight but we are on course to win." Link.
Then a possible change of direction by Mrs May.:- Theresa May ready to ditch tax pledges to pay for NHS funding plans. Link. It didn't take long before reality set in did it. But promises are promises unless they are made by Downing St. then we drop into Alice in Wonderland. "“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’"

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Bruff » 20 Jun 2018, 13:05

‘’Is that what is wrong with democracy: the voters are mainly clueless?’’

Course they are on most things (but not everything). I am. I’m not on how the EU works, but I am on a host of other matters. Most matters in fact. I have not got the first clue on for example the vagaries of police pensions policy or the trans-frontier shipment of waste and goodness knows how many other things you’d care to think of. The difference is I don’t tend to proudly exhibit my ignorance or refuse to engage when the ignorance is pointed out.

That few of us know much about most things, or can be reasonably be expected to do so, is one reason why we have representative democracy. We elect hopefully capable people who we reward well and resource handsomely to consider all these matters, exercising their judgement to make the decisions on our behalf in the best interests of the country and recognising the interests of the minority so far possible. So clueless voters doesn’t mean democracy is wrong per se; it rather depends I would have thought on what form of democracy you have. And so I would have thought it not the wisest decision to exercise direct democracy (referendum), and accept unquestioningly the answer, on an enormously complicated question with huge societal, geo-political, economic ramifications lasting years if not decades when ex post we know huge numbers had really little to no idea on what they were voting on or the consequences of the vote they cast. We really should have been sure beforehand. If they did, we would have no whining about a border in Ireland; no whining about security cooperation; no whining about Galileo and Horizon 2020 funding; no whining about EU ‘punishment’. Because the full consequences of the decision would be known and understood. But instead the whining is deafening.

We’ll certainly be up and off out of this country as that was always our intention. We always intended for our retirement to consist of hopping from one country to another spending 6months here, 6months living in Berlin, 6 in Bordeaux, 6 in Trieste or wherever and so on. It’ll just take more planning and assets than we thought a few years back and given that my EU citizenship is that which I hold most dear we need to consider whether and how to regain it.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 20 Jun 2018, 13:21

A nomadic existence for your retirement is bound to cost a considerable bob or two. Unless of course you intend to hoof it around and live under canvass and even that would not be all that cheap over 20 years or so. I see your dilemma and wish you well with whatever you decide Richard.

Our original site Admin Doc, is living the dream on the high seas, he sold up for the seafaring life, and is currently at the other side of the pond in the Caribbean, ever thought of that as an option?

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by chinatyke » 20 Jun 2018, 13:35

Thanks Richard. I always value and appreciate your explanations.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 20 Jun 2018, 14:01

‘’Is that what is wrong with democracy: the voters are mainly clueless?’’
I agree with Richard and for the same reasons. That's why I resort to comparisons with history, I find them as good a guide as any when trying to assess policies. Either that or I employ broad principles as in ' The ideas that led to the inception of the Welfare State and the NHS were the most enlightened political aims of the 20th century' How can anyone argue against that? Experience is a great teacher also, the War Coalition of 1940 was a brilliant political mechanism and served us well, that's why I advocated the same thing to deal with the concept of having a referendum on leaving the EU. Richard has been my guide on the minutia of Brexit, he alerted me to so many contingent matters of which I knew nothing.
Compare and contrast with T May's comparison of herself with Winston Churchill, she has evidently no knowledge of his belief that stability in Europe was best served by what he saw at the time as a United States of Europe admittedly with the UK having the major voice. Did that useless git Cameron thoroughly understand what he was doing when he came up with the Cunning Wheeze of placating his dinosaur back-benchers by giving the Little Englanders their vote on leaving the EU because Brussels wanted straight bananas? Did he heckers!
So, what the EU described quite accurately as a 'cat fight' amongst the Tories gave us the mess we face now. This leaves aside all post 2010 economic policy which has led us to the verge of recession again. I heard I think it was Jeremy Hunt saying that our economy is strong enough to withstand any temporary shocks.... Really?? Has he had a look at it recently?
As for Richard's retirement plans, they are his own business and like Ian I wish him well. If I was forty years younger I would be off like a shot! Two of my daughters did it and prospered in Australia. As Ian says, the last thing bothering Dave O'Connor (Doc) at the moment is Brexit! Good luck to the migrants.

But I am afraid we have to think about it. By far the biggest political decision of my long life is being 'masterminded' and controlled by a political party when it should obviously have been a cross party matter, above politics and bringing in the best brains and advice we could muster. Not only that but by a party which is demonstrably incompetent. We haven't even achieved an agreed negotiating position let alone presented it to the EU. The clock is still ticking, all I can see is a train wreck in slow motion......
PS I second China's post which crossed mine.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 21 Jun 2018, 05:13

I note that after a concentrated schmooze attack on the rebels, relentless whipping and no doubt fear of losing jobs the Brexit Bill was passed last night and the Lords have indicated that they are content to let it go, they have made their point. The only concession is that in the event of no deal the Speaker 'could' be asked to consider allowing a vote in the House..... So that's all right then.....
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 21 Jun 2018, 08:36

Richard, thanks for your two latest posts and for reminding us that we live in a representative democracy, not a populist democracy - a fact that our political leaders seem to have forgotten (or never learned) - and for explaining why the former is better than the latter. And also for stressing the distinction between ignorant/stupid and ignorant/uninformed. That reminds me of when I attended a journalism course at Reed International in the early 1990s. One of the first things we were taught was: `Never underestimate the intelligence of your readers, but never overestimate their knowledge'.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Important news in the USA is that Trump's favourite lawyer, Michael Cohen, has resigned from his role on the Republican National Committee and is appalled by the way Trump has treated the immigrant children. Some are saying that he might now turn on Trump and release new information about the President. A CNBC page says:
`Embattled Trump lawyer Michael Cohen criticizes family separation policy as he resigns RNC fundraising post: Report'
Michael Cohen, the longtime former lawyer and fixer for President Donald Trump, has resigned as national deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee, ABC News reported.
Cohen's resignation letter also criticized the Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant children from their parents if the families are caught illegally crossing the border with Mexico.
He quit the RNC because of the distractions from a pending criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in New York, and another probe by special counsel Robert Mueller, a report said.
More here: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/20/trump-l ... -post.html

Wikipedia says of Cohen:
Michael Dean Cohen (born August 25, 1966) is an American attorney who worked as a lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump.[1][2] Prior to that, he was a vice-president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Trump.[3] Cohen also previously served as co-president of Trump Entertainment and a board member of the Eric Trump Foundation, a children's health charity. He joined the Trump Organization after having been a partner at Phillips Nizer.[4] As of April 2018, he is under investigation by federal prosecutors on multiple matters, including bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, related in part to payments made in the Stormy Daniels–Donald Trump scandal. More here: Michael Cohen

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Bruff » 21 Jun 2018, 11:15

Ian – the plan was not to sell the house but to rent it out say for 12months/2 years perhaps registering it with the Local Universities/big companies for any visiting staff and family on sabbatical or short-term transfer. We’d use the rent to rent a place in Europe, time here time there. Pop back here for 6months say and then toddle off again. At today’s rents here for our place we would get very nice places in may towns and cities over there given it is much cheaper often and also often, renting is the norm. We’d then live as we do here, rather than in holiday mode, but experiencing a different culture, approach, way of life, learning the odd word, helping out as needs. Slotting in really, anywhere in the EU27 and EFTA, because well, we just could.

Anyway, it’s not as easy now (it’s the health care that’ll be the worry) and who knows whether there will be the sabbaticals either.

Had we our time again we would have been long gone. I was actually offered a 3-year Japanese Government Research Fellowship when I was 24. I flipping turned it down. I might not have met my wife, but I would have been out of all this nonsense. On balance, I’d rather have the wife…..

Now this representative democracy. One does wonder why at the next election we should elect an MP or at least pay the beggars given they are acting as delegates now. Aside from 60 or so Tories and handful of labour and the DUP the remaining over 500 MPs are nodding through a process they know will make this country poorer and absolutely not in its long-term interest. I am not sure this has ever been the case before here – voting to make the country poorer – or whether any democracy anywhere has passed measures they know will be harmful. I guess in wartime one might pass measures like rationing but this is hardly the same (notwithstanding the PM occasionally mentioning daft things like war-footing).

MPs are there to tell a majority that they can on occasions be wrong or what they want is the wrong thing to do. It’s a bit like the fallacy of the majority – 8 out of 10 housewives can’t be wrong. Oh yes they can. This was explained to me when I was 13 by one of my teachers Colin Williamson, a propos of nothing, during a class at school. The notice of his death was in Craven Herald last week. He said 8 out of 10 people could be wrong as it rather depends on the question asked and so on. He also noted that it collapsed under its own contradiction anyway as the existence of the dissenting two people causes the proposition – that it must be right - to fall in any case. He also a propos of nothing in the same class, went on about inflation and employment and the relation between the two. I’ve never forgotten either and oh for teachers like that!

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Bruff » 21 Jun 2018, 11:33

Thinking about that post of mine immediately above, I think I might have argued that 500+ MPs can't be wrong!! :smile: :confused: :surprised: :laugh5:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 21 Jun 2018, 11:55

Perhaps its a case of the 500 who are Right being wrong and the remainder who are Left are right.

Not a fan of Trump but he appears to be prepared to talk to Putin, albeit on the telephone, whereas our Mrs May is totally set against any form of communication with Putin. Will she give him the hard word and tell him not to be so stupid or will she realize that talking is the only real solution to our problems.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Bruff » 21 Jun 2018, 13:39

Yesterday’s vote kicked the can down the road again. The problem the PM and the Government have, indeed the problem Parliament has, is that the day will come when they are going to have accept that there are only two Brexit options. A bad option and a worse option. These were only ever the two options. There never was a cake-and-eat-it option. The EU legal order cannot permit it. And this will not be changed because the UK, as is its absolute sovereign right, decided to trigger Art50. The EU quite correctly assumes the UK is fully aware of the consequences of its actions and so will offer, can only offer, a bad or a worse deal (this is what Mr Varoufakis was getting at when he warned the UK Government prior to the vote that the EU doesn’t negotiate, and why he would vote to Remain).

Since there can never be a good deal under the EU’s legal base, then the PM, the Government and Parliament are simply kicking the can further down the road, putting off the reckoning. Because the day will come when there has to be that reckoning. And then the Brexiters will go mad. The Rees-Mogg hardliners will explode, if these hardliners have been delivered the ‘bad’ option – Brexit in name only. The wilfully ignorant Brexiters will explode if they are delivered the ‘worse’ option – the no deal, ‘WTO-only’ dream of the likes of Mogg – which will lead to economic collapse.

There’s a frisson as I image the fun on that day but to be honest I am more than a little nervous as a Remainer. I will absolutely be in the firing line for blame and quite frankly have some fear for my safety if I say the wrong thing, or act the wrong way. After all, it is not a stable country when the press plaster pictures of individuals on its front page and scream ‘Traitors!’

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 21 Jun 2018, 18:17

I see your plan now Richard. Very similar to my brother in some ways nearly 20 years ago when he decamped to rural France (just N of Limoges). He had a four bedroom detached house with double garage in Hemel Hempstead. He bought that when it was a new build in the early 80's. 1999, he used it to fund their purchase and refurbishment of the four storey mill and adjacent farmhouse with four barns, site complete with lake and mill race and a big chunk of land. When he bought the pile, you could stand in the cellar of the mill, look up and see the stars through half of the roof that was also missing. He went over with his caravan and rented his old house out for £1200 per week, he had to come back when it initially went on the rental market with an agent as he had over 20 people wanting to rent it. He lived on the lane in the caravan while they did the farmhouse up, moved in there and then started on the mill. Took about 8 years to do it all, using local tradesmen for any jobs he could not do himself. Sold the UK house when he was sure they were going to stay, (about 5 years into the project), got a lot of money for it which they are still living on, plus their pensions.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 22 Jun 2018, 03:19

Always a pleasure to read your posts Richard..... There never was a cake-and-eat-it option. is a good example why. You have a knack of putting your finger directly on the spot!
I hear what you are saying about the dangers of self-identification as being in favour of staying in the EU but as Martin Luther said, "Here I stand. I can do no other." The whole project was always so obviously wrong on so many levels.
I understand and accept your distinction between stupid and ill-informed. I class myself as the latter. 43 years of legislation is beyond my capacity as is also the case I suspect with all MPs. There are degrees of understanding and luckily for us yours is above average and you share with us.
Then there is the complication of the political process itself, how it actually works. I remember what a revelation it was when I read Richard Crossman's Back Bencher diaries!
So, as I said yesterday I accept my ignorance but go back to first principles. I always remember my conversations with the largely ex Wehrmacht men who were the border guards when I was in Berlin. I realised that whilst there was undoubtedly evil in the Nazi regime and its leaders, there was none in these men, they were just like us! That was before I started reading history and of course this fundamental belief has been reinforced over the years and is what underpins my deep belief that we must cooperate with Europe and the wider world and talk to them if we are to move society forwards. I have never heard this supremely important aspect of EU membership discussed and that alone makes me suspicious of the 'project'.
I don't know where this flawed process is going to end, all I am sure about is that you are right in expecting some sort of explosion of rage eventually because none of the factions is going to be satisfied. That, plus what I fear is going to be an economic melt-down (it's started happening already) is going to trigger rage and revenge and my guess is that the only factions that will profit from that will be extremists of every colour.
Hmmm , perhaps you are right and there is danger......
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 22 Jun 2018, 06:06

Later..... I know many of you think I have an unreasonable downer on Chris Grayling but have a read of THIS BBC report of the latest verdict on the privatised Probation System which was 'masterminded' by Mr Grayling when he was Justice Secretary and has been under criticism ever since. Will something be done to put this man's mistakes right now?
See THIS BBC report on the latest warning from Airbus about the effects of a hard Brexit on their operations. This is the message they have been giving consistently, they do not see how they can carry on in the UK if we leave the Customs Union and lose the advantages of the common market. This is not political, it's a simple statement of fact. This company is worth £8billion a year to the UK economy on some informed estimates and supports 14,000 jobs on its own payroll plus of course their sub-contractors. Go figure!
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 23 Jun 2018, 03:08

What struck me yesterday was the government response to dire warnings from Airbus and BMW about their problems with Brexit. "We are confident we will get a good deal". It hasn't dawned on them yet that these two employers of over 20,000 people can't work on pious hopes. They have to assume worst case and start taking action now, like shifting production out of the UK. Problem is of course that once it has gone that's it, it will not come back. Every business in the UK with international links is facing the same problem of uncertainty and they have to make decisions now. This could be the big story over the next six months.
Politics can indulge in brinkmanship but industry can't, perhaps the Law of Unintended Consequences is at work now as our leaders dither. Events Dear Boy.......
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