POLITICS CORNER

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 02 May 2018, 08:01

From what attracted your attention today...."Not a lot actually apart from the fact that real, important and believable news is so thin on the ground. I get the feeling there is a form of censorship at work. Have Brexit negotiations ended?"
Everything kicked into the long grass. Difficult to make something out of nothing. Brexit negotiation moved back so not to cause any ripples. Skripal poisoning, no suspects, not even the door knob on Ebay, Syria chemical bombing gone all quiet now that the inspectors are there. North Korea is not likely to bomb the USA afterall. In fact to quote the Ramsbottom's "nothing to laugh at all".

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 02 May 2018, 08:34

Stanley wrote:
02 May 2018, 05:43
The Brexiteers are raising the stakes. In effect they are telling T May that if she doesn't stick to a hard Brexit they will withdraw support which makes her position impossible.
She's being attacked by 60 Moggles! :smile:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Bruff » 02 May 2018, 10:47

Here we go again….

So, as the EU have explained time and time again, unless they change their Treaty base one is either in ‘the’ Customs Union, in ‘a’ Customs Union, or a third country. The EU’s Treaty base (so it’s legal base) permits nothing else. To permit something else, the EU would have to change its Treaty base that is, negotiate among its members a new treaty, have it agreed (by referendums in some countries) unanimously, and implement it. No appetite for that and why should there be? So the EU operates and negotiates in accordance with law as any decent outfit would.

So what’s all this utter drivel about a customs partnership being spouted by the know-nothings who pass for our Government today (and let’s be fair – the opposition are no better)? There will be no option other than those three and the red lines the PM idiotically imposed at Lancaster House means its third country status. And that drives a coach and horse through the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). Because International Trade Law requires there be a hard border. And a hard border breaches the GFA, an International Treaty between two sovereign states, lodged at the UN. Now I know that English exceptionalism runs deep but it is a delusion that will never override International law. And so we are being shown up, in full view of a laughing world, for the fools we are. It must have been excruciating to sit in front of the EU negotiators the other week and have them subject our proposals on the Irish border to quote ‘a serious and forensic annihilation’. Annihilation. Not assessment or rebuttal. An annihilation. We were that deluded.

So let’s get a bit technical. The Government’s desired ‘customs partnership’, which is about collecting the EU’s duties on goods entering the UK from outside the EU. Here’s why the EU will see this as bonkers. Charging tariffs on entry is simple and cheap but tracking the end destination of any product is not. And what about arbitrage (the simultaneous buying and selling of things in differing markets to take advantage of different prices for the same asset)? Say the UK charges a 5% tariff on widget A, and the EU charges 10% on the same widget, but a future UK/EU free trade agreement allows tariff free trade of the widget. What is to stop an unscrupulous UK trader importing widget A to the UK, close the declaration and then export to the EU, pocketing a cut of the 5% saving? If the answer is ‘rules of origin’ then you've just got an administrative hard border (bye bye Good Friday) and this extremely expensive solution does nothing except deal with the small issue of tariffs (which are easy - non-tariff barriers are the hard bit and vital for a service based economy like the UK and why Mrs Thatcher pushed for the single market and was instrumental in its creation. But I digress). If your answer is to track every end-sale of every good, then the cost and bureaucracy is astronomical. And since the EU's economy is 5 times bigger, they'll have 5 times the cost just to facilitate 7% of their trades (i.e. the bit they do with us). So it was annihilated.

The issue is this. The Customs Union and the Single Market aren't some concoction of an EU super state. The Customs Union was the building block of the then EEC (or ‘Common Market’ – amazing how may English folk still refer to the Common Market when talking about the EU). This common market was simply a trading community and the Single Market was developed (largely at the instigation of the UK) because a simple Customs Union led to friction in this market which always inhibits growth and trade. The political structure(s) of the European Union grew around the Single Market because if you have harmonised Regulations you can either do it in shady backrooms or you can do it via democratically accountable, shared structures. Most free trade agreements are done in shady backroom deals, which we clearly prefer because the EU is undemocratic innit.

Still, we all knew this before we voted and the folk who had banged on about the EU for 40 years most certainly did. Didn’t they?

Richard Broughton

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by chinatyke » 02 May 2018, 13:20

:good:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 02 May 2018, 16:01

Thank you, Richard. I'd love to see the Brexiteers and Moggles made to sit down and listen to a lecture from you. But it could be a waste of your time, they probably wouldn't understand it. :smile:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 03 May 2018, 03:24

My heart always lifts when I see Richard has posted because I know I am going to get a clear and incisive view of matters which I afraid to say have been successfully clouded in my mind by the mind-numbing untruths and platitudes churned out by the Tories to give the impression they are on top of the situation. His post re-confirms me in my opinion that we are ruled by incompetent and venal politicians more interested in clinging on to power and wrapping their failing Party in sticking plaster while dealing with a political catastrophe which is entirely of their making than doing what is best for the country.
I do not forget that Richard raised the question of Ireland (How that phrase echoes down the years!) as soon as Brexit was mooted. He saw this coming and I suspect so did many of the Tory's civil servants and 'advisers' but they were evidently ignored. I also remember the 'bloody difficult woman' quote.
The best measure I have of how bad things are is the fact that even if there was a miracle and we changed our minds about Brexit it would be too late. The damage to our economy and reputation has been done. Can you imagine how severe the terms would be if we went cap in hand to Brussels and asked to be let back in?
In his magisterial book 'Vanished Kingdoms' Norman Davies concluded that the common factor he observed in the decline of all the states he looked at was the 'hollowing out' of the governing body. For almost thirty years, successive governments have retreated from direct responsibility for the commanding heights of the economy, society and integration with the wider world. The consequences of this are bearing down on us now and Brexit is only one symptom of that malaise. We are already seeing a breakdown in society as services struggle under austerity and income gaps widen. Think of the general erosion of standards in business and public life and the 'unexplained' failure of growth in productivity.
It would not surprise me if further consequences include the reunification of Ireland and the collapse of the Union. Perhaps only then will the 'Little Englanders' be satisfied as they sit in their gated communities with unrest swirling round them held back by private security forces. Their incomes will stem mainly from an unregulated banking system playing the markets with phantom money which in itself guarantees their eventual demise. Then the meek shall inherit the wreckage and they will have to start all over again where they left off in the 19th century.
An old man's fantasy? I'll leave the verdict on that to times winged chariot.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 03 May 2018, 05:21

Later..... In another part of the forest..... see THIS Guardian report about the latest revelations that Stormy Daniels was paid out by Trump personally. On another topic it turns out that Trump dictated the report on his health. Think about these things and relate them to what I said above about the dire state of politics particularly in terms of honesty and public accountability.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by chinatyke » 03 May 2018, 06:22

Stanley wrote:
03 May 2018, 03:24
For almost thirty years, successive governments have retreated from direct responsibility for the commanding heights of the economy, society and integration with the wider world. The consequences of this are bearing down on us now...
I see, you mean in Mrs T's days? My heroine :good:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Bruff » 03 May 2018, 08:32

It’s astonishing isn’t it that nearly 24 months after the referendum; 9 months after triggering Article 50 and 6 months before some deal needs agreeing to ensure the EU can consult, the Government is still arguing over which customs option the EU have already rejected to put to the EU. Read that again. The argument these past two days was over which rejected option to put to the EU.

A blogger put it best. It’s like the couple who have been told by the bank they can only ever afford a Fiesta. They then proceed to have an argument with themselves over whether they should get a Porsche or a Ferrari.

Nobody at all thought any of this through. No one at all. Worst are the Tory Europhobes who banged on and on and on and on and on and on….for years about the EU without having any idea at all - at all - how the EU worked or a plan for what came next above some blithe assumption that as we’re British (English) we shall jolly well get what we want. That paragraph I noted above on customs and checks and the like is not just some obtuse technicality. It’s utterly vital to for example our continuing importation of the 45% or so of our food we can’ grow ourselves. If this is not sorted, stuff sits in lorries and ships and rots. It doesn’t come in as it can’t, in law. If I were in the civil contingencies part of Government I would have food shortages right at the top of my list of risks, just below terrorism. It’s well known we only have enough food on the supermarket/grocery shelves at any one time for 3 meals that is, if nothing moves the shelves are cleared in a day or so. So when available food halves what happens? I’d be unwrapping the ration books. Seriously. In addition what about the veterinary, microbiological, all other sanitary checks needed on food (as I say, tariffs are easy)? Where’s the facility we’re building for these checks? Where are the vets? Where are the customs facilities in Kent? The lorry parks? The holding stations? On the EU/Turkey border (and remember Turkey is in a customs arrangement with the EU), average delays are 10hrs with up to 30 km tailbacks and it tends to be a standing item on Bulgarian TV, border delays. What will it be in Kent given UK/EU trade is orders greater?

What are we doing? Nothing, that’s what.

On the immediate post above. Mrs Thatcher’s crowning achievement for me was the driving force for the single market and ultimately then the EU, plus as a natural consequence the groundwork for the expansion eastwards of the European project to create the richest trading block ever known. I might not hold much brief for a lot of what she did but it is possible to think someone wrong on some things but right on others. If not you just engage in whataboutery. Thanks to the transfer of funds eastwards in Europe, in about a decade or so the Polish and Bulgarian economies will be typical of the European norm and so such transfers naturally reduce. Monies will find their way to the likes of Albania and Moldova and all others wishing to join so that in time they will be as rich as the norm. By then we’ll be making our own bootlaces to flog to Surinam in exchange for pineapples.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by chinatyke » 03 May 2018, 13:19

Bruff wrote:
03 May 2018, 08:32
Where’s the facility we’re building for these checks? Where are the vets? Where are the customs facilities in Kent? The lorry parks? The holding stations? On the EU/Turkey border (and remember Turkey is in a customs arrangement with the EU), average delays are 10hrs with up to 30 km tailbacks and it tends to be a standing item on Bulgarian TV, border delays. What will it be in Kent given UK/EU trade is orders greater?

What are we doing? Nothing, that’s what.

Richard Broughton
A serious question: what did we do before we joined? Surely we imported just as much food then, or did we?

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 03 May 2018, 19:13

chinatyke wrote:
03 May 2018, 13:19
Surely we imported just as much food then
I know where there's one less mouth to feed! But joking apart this is not just about importing food. This is about everything that is imported or exported and as Bruff pointed out very clearly when you have differing tariffs circulating within the system then the point of origin needs to be defined. We already have the mafia gangs importing stuff from warehouses in the UK and claiming VAT back on bills that have never been paid in the first place. Of course we could always rely on computer programmes like the banks have or the DHSS tried to have or many of the other failed systems. Perhaps we should get Trump's advice on how to build a wall.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by chinatyke » 04 May 2018, 01:20

plaques wrote:
03 May 2018, 19:13
chinatyke wrote:
03 May 2018, 13:19
Surely we imported just as much food then
I know where there's one less mouth to feed!
I'm glad I'm out of Little Britain and living in a great country with a completely different political system. :good:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 04 May 2018, 02:21

China I'm glad you're glad. My political hero is Nye Bevan. He would have approved of your choice of domicile I think but note that he stayed here.....
Richard, lovely, you put it all so well and clear the murk away. Thanks.
Now for the election results. I have little faith in the rationality of the voting public. What's obvious to me is not necessarily what will guide others. That's democracy for you......
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by chinatyke » 04 May 2018, 04:05

Stanley wrote:
04 May 2018, 02:21
Now for the election results. I have little faith in the rationality of the voting public. What's obvious to me is not necessarily what will guide others. That's democracy for you......
That is what is wrong with democracy! I would suggest that the majority of voters are generally not well informed about politics and I know I am in that category. Nevertheless I can cast my vote based on sentiment and it carries just as much weight as anyone else. :sad: Regardless of however people vote, the candidates themselves should be people who understand politics and major issues and I'm guessing the selection procedures ensure this. They, the elected Government - the informed professionals, should then decide major issues and not the results of a referendum of poorly informed, even misinformed, people. Isn't that why they were elected?

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 04 May 2018, 07:29

I know one thing, apathy is alive and well in Barlick if the polls are anything to go by. I reckon turnout, certainly in Coates was quite dire. At 10am yesterday morning. three hours after polls were opened you could have been forgiven for thinking that they had bolted the doors! Despite a perfectly acceptable day weather wise I reckon the percentage may be quite a bit less than 30%.

Jury is still out on the Pendle Wards, counting commences this morning at 9.30am at Colne Sports Centre. I will be scrutineering the count for our candidate in Coates. Reinforces my view that we should have compulsory voting and let those that can't be bothered pay for those that can.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Big Kev » 04 May 2018, 07:56

We went to the Rainhall Centre at 7pm expecting it to be busy, it wasn't...
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Bruff » 04 May 2018, 08:32

Of course we imported food and compared to the arrangements for doing so now as members of the EU it was a pain in the neck. We have decided to go back to making it a pain in the neck. Indeed it will be more of a pain in the neck as the supply chains have been set up in the assumption that we would never decide to make it a pain in the neck.

Timely post of mine to be honest; this in The Guardian a few hours later https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... ght-bosses


‘’…..the elected Government - the informed professionals, should then decide major issues and not the results of a referendum of poorly informed, even misinformed, people..’’

Couldn’t agree more. More or less all mature democracies have representative democracy as they realised long ago that the ‘dictatorship of the majority’ – which is what referendums are – do nothing to protect the interest of the minority. Referendums are the dictator’s friend giving them the comfort blanket of popular support for their measures. There is a reason they are banned in many European countries, save for deciding such matters as a new flag or a new national anthem or more locally, whether to have two swings in the park or a swing and a slide.

Where referendums are used routinely, say Switzerland, they are always advisory (as the EU referendum here was), for major constitutional change require a super-majority (so minimum turnout plus say at least a 60/40 vote) or indeed are not used for any major constitutional change. Thus you might say that at the very least the referendum here should have had a 70% turn out, which it did, and at least be carried 60/40, which it was nowhere near. In addition, as we are apparently a Union of equals then this majority should have been carried in all four constituents of the Kingdom, which it most certainly was not. The situation with Scotland and Northern Ireland can no more clearly show the dictatorship of the majority. An exercise in democracy? The referendum was a joke.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 04 May 2018, 09:05

I agree too with that comment from Chinatyke, and Bruff has said all and more than I can say about it. I keep banging on about how we are supposed to have a representative democracy, not a populist democracy. With a referendum you'd probably get Boaty McBoatface running the country. (At least when the populist vote to name the new, state-of-the-art British Antarctic Survey ship came up with Boaty McBoatface the Minister for Universities and Science had the courage instead to name it `Sir David Attenborough'.)

Re council election turnout....I heard that the Matt cartoon in the Telegraph had a councillor standing at the podium giving his election victory speech and saying something like: "..and I promise to do my utmost best to serve all of you and not just the 12 people who turned out to vote".

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 04 May 2018, 11:53

Having been voted in the winner can now safely ignore public opinion and carry on as usual. How many people remember the manifesto promises or the leaflet aspirations? The only time we hear about democracy is if the winners managed to hoodwink the voters (£350M per week) then use it as though it was one of the ten commandments.
PS, I believe for the next general election there will only one polling booth situated at the top of Letcliffe Park. Access will be by taxi only to preempt any Russian interference.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 05 May 2018, 04:04

Like Tiz, I have nothing to add to these splendid posts. I agree totally with all of you. I have never been a fan of compulsory voting but have to admit that I am changing my view. We should adopt the Australian system instead of instituting measures like ID designed to stop the 'wrong' sort of voters having their say.......
I've had a look and am dismayed to see the Tories have gained control of Pendle Council. Will they be fighting budget cuts?
The only bright spot for me is that Barlick seems to have kept its head, David and Tom Whipp both elected in Craven and Coates. Before anyone complains about me supporting LibDems, I don't vote on party lines in local elections but go for the best servants of the town.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 05 May 2018, 10:35

On a historical note..... There has been a lot of discussion and even derision directed at the UKIP spokesman who compared the party to the Black Death in terms of the consequences. I was quite impressed actually because he was quite right. The Black Death killed between 30 and 50% of the population of Europe and caused a labour shortage which meant that the landed magnates had to revise their treatment of the peasantry who until then had been serfs under the old feudal system. They had to start paying wages, give secure tenancies of land-holdings and compete with each other to retain their workers. It is regarded by many as the first step along the road for the independent yeoman farmer and home based industries like weaving. In addition, the sight of the clergy and wealthy people dying from a pestilence which was regarded as a punishment from God for sins. Either the clergy and wealthy were sinners or there was something wrong with the version of religion the Roman Church had forced on them. These people were smart and soon worked out a way of constructing their own religious philosophy which soon mutated into Non-Conformism.
There is an argument for saying that UKIP caused a similar upheaval in that it forced everyone to revise attitudes to the EU and immigration. This isn't to say that I agree with the results but they were certainly a factor.
So the comparison with the Black Death isn't as outlandish as it seems and the people who derided the man should go into Stanley's View and read my articles on the Black Death. He was a better historian than they are.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 05 May 2018, 15:58

Stanley wrote:
05 May 2018, 04:04
I've had a look and am dismayed to see the Tories have gained control of Pendle Council.
Indeed but only by re-admitting Rosemary Carroll who was suspended by the central party for outwardly racial comments.

Sky News - Tories control council by re-instating 'racist' candidate

Shows what lengths the Tories will take to grab control, it's disgusting. Now of course they control , Borough, County and the Government so can hardly blame anyone else. There is no hiding place.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 06 May 2018, 03:25

"Indeed but only by re-admitting Rosemary Carroll who was suspended by the central party for outwardly racial comments." Yes, David Whipp pointed that out to me when I congratulated him on his re-election.
The Tories were so relieved after escaping being wiled out that they have been spurred into some quite ridiculous hyperbole. How they can be happy about running a minority government and losing 33 seats beats me. Theresa May says it's a success, bit like her 'successful' general election......
Now it's back to the day job, there's the small matter of Brexit to deal with.......
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 06 May 2018, 09:17

This Tory government is so bad that Labour should have been able to make a good show in the council election. Let's be honest, we've got a useless Tory government and a useless Labour opposition. Something drastic is going to have to take place to get us out of this mess or we'll slide into an ultra-right Tory government run by Moggles. Unless Labour sorts out its own problems I can't see any other future. Screaming Lord Such, we need you now! :smile:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 06 May 2018, 11:51

Its ideology V apathy. The Tories see themselves as the bourgeoisie who deserve their position in society and see the Tory Party as the vehicle that will retain the status quo. An extract from Wikipedia :- "In Marxist philosophy the bourgeoisie is the social class that came to own the means of production during modern industrialization and whose societal concerns are the value of property and the preservation of capital, to ensure the perpetuation of their economic supremacy in society". Gradually as the 1% grabs more of the 'capital' the middle classes are losing ground but still cling to the status that they think they deserve. A glance round the Pendle area will see it totally neglected by central government and left to die on its feet. In spite of all this people are still proud of the area but see the problem of the lower orders not working hard enough, like they do, and trying to take 'their' share which they have worked so hard to accumulate. With two more years of austerity to go and a hard Brexit which looks like it will devastate what remains of manufacturing perhaps some of the bourgeoisie will realize that they are betting on the wrong horse.

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