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59 minutes ago, WhatAboutTheFinish said:

And there we have it, who gets the monopoly on what principles are worth paying for?

No one should have any sort of monopoly.

In order to have an input? People who can distinguish between an overwhelming moral case for something and a misguided political obsession? ;)

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7 minutes ago, PompeyVillan said:

Slavery is abhorrent. 

I’m glad you understand that. I hope that you also understand that no matter how many economic arguments that I can put forward for the benefits of slavery you will still hold, that very correct, understanding right? For me to even try it, would be ridiculous.

And with those who are opposed to a system of government that has been introduced by stealth and continues a power creep that is systematically removing the significance of individuals under its new quasi-democracy, if you just shout gdp numbers at them...it’s not going to make a difference.

Personally I’m all for a second referendum, although it should be based around, here are two proposed systems of government, one as part of EU, one not. What the areas of governmental responsibility are and where ultimate responsibility and control of those areas lie. Take your pick. I could get behind that but I find it much harder to take the economic forearm across your throat method of persusion.

 

Oh, and just in case it wasn’t obvious I’m coming out as a loud and proud swivel eyed loon! :D

 

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9 hours ago, Awol said:

our politics is corrupt, shallow & venal. Media is the same deal, in bed with the former. The EU was (is) the apogee of thee convergence between big business and political sleeze, lobbyists and consultants greasing the wheels with no accountability as decisions are stitched up behind closed doors. 

Imho we need a radical decentralization of power combined with root and branch reform of politics and our institutions. It’s going to be ugly, messy and prolonged. The political parties or coalitions of different groups to push it don’t exist yet, but that’s a process and it’s coming, the political market place demands it. We all know the current system is broken beyond repair.

Phase one is leaving the EU which will shatter our corrupt and closed party system as we know it. Phase two is having our internal scraps and figuring out a new way forward.

Well, yes, I share the view that the UK political system, and the West generally has a broken model. Our system in the UK isn't fit for purpose. It gives complete control to a single party where the majority votes against that party. Where the SNP can get 50 seats with fewer votes than the UKIPs who get no seats, where smaller parties (in vote share) are under represented and larger ones over represented. SO the issues that UKIPs or Green or whatever voters want addressed get swamped under the juggernaut of Tory or Labour interests and the tribal Red v Blue above country nature of it.

Leaving the EU affects that not one jot, sadly. In fact I'd go so far as to say sorting out our own house and then with a better system in place, having a period of proper scrutiny and debate of EU membership (not a bus, based lie v fear war to try and shut down internal tory party squabbles) would be be much better.

Further, as a ornry citizen, whether laws are drafted by an EU commissioner(s) or a UK civil servant is of no consequence at all. Whether the arcane house of lords or Commons, the European Parliament, the WTO, NATO, the G7, the ICAO or any one of a gazzilion other bodies decides upon the path to take, or what is or isn't legal or acceptable - well I don't vote for any of them, apart from theoretically my MP or MEP. The world is well past sovereignty residing solely within a nation's borders.

The notion that "burn it all down" is a viable solution to the UK's or the World's problems is deluded, unless you have a clear idea of what you replace it with. You (someone) can of course promise "it'll be fine, hopey-changey, new dawn type stuff" but not having the vaguest grip on reality (I'm looking at Mogg, Johnson, Davis, Fox etc here)  before promising the moon on a stick might be a clue that these hopey-changey types are snake oil salesmen at best, looking to make a buck out of a fake cure.

And as Scott has said, there's much where the EU has really been of benefit to the UK. Real examples of where the UK in isolation has been persuaded or even forced to do things to benefit us ornry folk. To stop poisoning us, to make travel easier, to bring down prices etc.

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3 minutes ago, blandy said:

having a period of proper scrutiny and debate of EU membership (not a bus, based lie v fear war to try and shut down internal tory party squabbles) would be be much better.

Yes.  That should include how the EU has changed since we joined, the ways in which the deal is now different than it was, what is intended by "ever closer union" and so on.  We went in on the basis of it being a trading bloc that would confer economic advantages.  Many people are concerned by the drift towards some kind of superstate with limited accountability - things like being told there was no intent to have an EU army then finding out that such plans are being drawn up, and seeing Greece crucified to protect French and German banks from their own incompetence, or elected national politicians removed from office in their own countries by the EU, for example.  These things are some way distant from what many people want, and what was on offer when we went in.

3 minutes ago, blandy said:

there's much where the EU has really been of benefit to the UK. Real examples of where the UK in isolation has been persuaded or even forced to do things to benefit us ornry folk. To stop poisoning us, to make travel easier, to bring down prices etc.

As you said earlier, many people voted on the basis of emotion.  The EU mostly arouses weakly or moderately positive emotions from supporters, and stronger emotions from opponents.  A discussion about how to secure the positive benefits while avoiding a slide towards the more negative aspects of the centralising ambitions of many EU leaders would be a useful way to have the scrutiny and debate you call for, and might shift the ground more towards reason and away from emotion, but I don't see much of that happening.

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9 minutes ago, peterms said:

but I don't see much of that happening

No, you're right. And it's because as @Awol said "our politics is corrupt, shallow & venal. Media is the same deal".

Cause and effect. Shallow venal headline grabbing, play to the gallery politics and media coverage leads to ill informed debate leading to poor judgement and bad outcome. Then repeat ad infinitum.

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41 minutes ago, WhatAboutTheFinish said:

I’m glad you understand that. I hope that you also understand that no matter how many economic arguments that I can put forward for the benefits of slavery you will still hold, that very correct, understanding right? For me to even try it, would be ridiculous.

And with those who are opposed to a system of government that has been introduced by stealth and continues a power creep that is systematically removing the significance of individuals under its new quasi-democracy, if you just shout gdp numbers at them...it’s not going to make a difference.

So, in the argument you have been pursing in response to Stefan's post, you maintain that Brexiteers (who reject economic arguments against it) must view leaving the EU and the abolition of slavery as sufficiently close substitutes (in terms of righteous pursuits)?

As @chrisp65said, it's novel.

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26 minutes ago, blandy said:

Well, yes, I share the view that the UK political system, and the West generally has a broken model. Our system in the UK isn't fit for purpose. It gives complete control to a single party where the majority votes against that party. Where the SNP can get 50 seats with fewer votes than the UKIPs who get no seats, where smaller parties (in vote share) are under represented and larger ones over represented. SO the issues that UKIPs or Green or whatever voters want addressed get swamped under the juggernaut of Tory or Labour interests and the tribal Red v Blue above country nature of it.

Leaving the EU affects that not one jot, sadly. In fact I'd go so far as to say sorting out our own house and then with a better system in place, having a period of proper scrutiny and debate of EU membership (not a bus, based lie v fear war to try and shut down internal tory party squabbles) would be be much better.

Further, as a ornry citizen, whether laws are drafted by an EU commissioner(s) or a UK civil servant is of no consequence at all. Whether the arcane house of lords or Commons, the European Parliament, the WTO, NATO, the G7, the ICAO or any one of a gazzilion other bodies decides upon the path to take, or what is or isn't legal or acceptable - well I don't vote for any of them, apart from theoretically my MP or MEP. The world is well past sovereignty residing solely within a nation's borders.

The notion that "burn it all down" is a viable solution to the UK's or the World's problems is deluded, unless you have a clear idea of what you replace it with. You (someone) can of course promise "it'll be fine, hopey-changey, new dawn type stuff" but not having the vaguest grip on reality (I'm looking at Mogg, Johnson, Davis, Fox etc here)  before promising the moon on a stick might be a clue that these hopey-changey types are snake oil salesmen at best, looking to make a buck out of a fake cure.

And as Scott has said, there's much where the EU has really been of benefit to the UK. Real examples of where the UK in isolation has been persuaded or even forced to do things to benefit us ornry folk. To stop poisoning us, to make travel easier, to bring down prices etc.

Probably slightly of topic but I’m a big advocate of eradicating the idea of voting and just have our MP’s elected at random from the general population. This should see an end to party politics, encourage individual thought and see a government that is truly representative of all sections of society whilst being very hard to corrupt.

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1 minute ago, snowychap said:

So, in the argument you have been pursing in response to Stefan's post, you maintain that Brexiteers (who reject economic arguments against it) must view leaving the EU and the abolition of slavery as sufficiently close substitutes (in terms of righteous pursuits)?

As @chrisp65said, it's novel.

No. And you know that.

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33 minutes ago, peterms said:

We went in on the basis of it being a trading bloc that would confer economic advantages.

You are, of course, a shade older than me so you might have first hand memories of the early/mid 70s (I can remember being in a school playground at the age of 3/4 some time in 1976 but that's a bit sketchy) so what is the response to the kind of stuff that this thread contains?

Edit: I meant to go on to say that I've always largely taken it as read that what you've said above was the case and because I wasn't sufficiently aware of political goings on in the seventies and (early) eigthies, I'm not in a position to comment about whether this notion was true or is what has been accepted as true on the back of euroscepticism.

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21 minutes ago, snowychap said:

You are, of course, a shade older than me so you might have first hand memories of the early/mid 70s (I can remember being in a school playground at the age of 3/4 some time in 1976 but that's a bit sketchy) so what is the response to the kind of stuff that this thread contains?

Edit: I meant to go on to say that I've always largely taken it as read that what you've said above was the case and because I wasn't sufficiently aware of political goings on in the seventies and (early) eigthies, I'm not in a position to comment about whether this notion was true or is what has been accepted as true on the back of euroscepticism.

There's an excellent podcast series that the BBC are running at the moment called "Brexit: A Love Story?" which is well worth a listen. 

Goes from the 60s onwards, with around half an hour of interviews from all sides of the argument for the various main events over the decades.

It's not finished yet, but they're ten episodes in, and up to the Eastern expansion. It's very enlightening.

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2 hours ago, WhatAboutTheFinish said:

And there we have it, who gets the monopoly on what principles are worth paying for? I think my initial post was a response to how ‘ideology’ is somehow now a bad thing if it’s an economic detriment.

*The VT thread on the abolition of slavery*

W1lbur: I think we should get rid of this slavery thing.

VTM@b: What?! You swivel eyed loon! Haven’t you read the economic reports on what that would do to the economy. Entire industries are going to be decimated. Cotton, rubber, tea, sugar...prices are going to rocket. Farmers are going to go out of business, not to mention all those shipping companies, this is going to cost people jobs! The cotton shortage is going to mean hospitals can’t get enough clean sheets. Is that what you want, people dying in dirty bedsheets? And what about if this leads to the end of the empire, what are we going to do then? It’s a sorry day that my children might not know the pleasure of being able to travel, live and work in two thirds of the globe without having to apply for a visa. And a hard border between India and Pakistan, how are you going to prevent that happening with your gammon faced abolition and freedom?

W1lbur: I just think that all we shouldn’t perpetuate a system that removes all power from individuals.

VTM@b: Oh, so it’s ideology at any cost then.

Possibly a strange satirical example to pick, but your point is completely right.. On reflection, I'd probably use something like fossil fuels instead, but anyway...

The notion that economic harm or benefit is the only measure of whether something is right or wrong is clearly both ridiculous and sadly too prevalent in both government and politics.

Using only economic data and forecasts to argue for or against EU membership is a massive mistake, and as @Awol said earlier, not learning that lesson has also been a mistake by remain campaigners. As big a mistake has been the same old people always being to go to people to put arguments for and against., because it elicits a "oh look it the same politicians we always see arguing with each other in the same way we always see" it just washes past most people, if they can bear to even watch listen or read.

These papers that they released and the approach of the Gov't is an improvement in terms of "mood" - both because there's a bit more detail of how people might be impacted by a no deal version, but also because very belkatedly the tome of the Gov't has been much more gentle and benign in terms of things like "yeah, the EU folk can stay", "yeah, we'll carry on doing things like the EU does, same standards...etc"

It's just a tiny, late, chink of light within an otherwise dark and incompetent  negotiating and preparing effort by the tories. 

 

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56 minutes ago, blandy said:

Well, yes, I share the view that the UK political system, and the West generally has a broken model. Our system in the UK isn't fit for purpose. It gives complete control to a single party where the majority votes against that party. Where the SNP can get 50 seats with fewer votes than the UKIPs who get no seats, where smaller parties (in vote share) are under represented and larger ones over represented. SO the issues that UKIPs or Green or whatever voters want addressed get swamped under the juggernaut of Tory or Labour interests and the tribal Red v Blue above country nature of it.

Leaving the EU affects that not one jot, sadly. In fact I'd go so far as to say sorting out our own house and then with a better system in place, having a period of proper scrutiny and debate of EU membership (not a bus, based lie v fear war to try and shut down internal tory party squabbles) would be be much better.

Further, as a ornry citizen, whether laws are drafted by an EU commissioner(s) or a UK civil servant is of no consequence at all. Whether the arcane house of lords or Commons, the European Parliament, the WTO, NATO, the G7, the ICAO or any one of a gazzilion other bodies decides upon the path to take, or what is or isn't legal or acceptable - well I don't vote for any of them, apart from theoretically my MP or MEP. The world is well past sovereignty residing solely within a nation's borders.

The notion that "burn it all down" is a viable solution to the UK's or the World's problems is deluded, unless you have a clear idea of what you replace it with. You (someone) can of course promise "it'll be fine, hopey-changey, new dawn type stuff" but not having the vaguest grip on reality (I'm looking at Mogg, Johnson, Davis, Fox etc here)  before promising the moon on a stick might be a clue that these hopey-changey types are snake oil salesmen at best, looking to make a buck out of a fake cure.

And as Scott has said, there's much where the EU has really been of benefit to the UK. Real examples of where the UK in isolation has been persuaded or even forced to do things to benefit us ornry folk. To stop poisoning us, to make travel easier, to bring down prices etc.

Bold: Disagree. Any systemic change is major by definition, and in any system there are powerful vested interests that will resist change with everything they’ve got to maintain their relative advantage. That’s normal - and broadly what I took from the posts about slavery up-thread. 

We’re there right now with our political class and the establishment, the majority of whom resolutely do not want Brexit to go forward. When the machinery responsible for planning a change is actually opposing it you end up in a mess by design, as yet another tactic in frustrating the change and maintaining the vested interests. 

Annecdote alert: shortly before Boris jumped I was in a meeting at the FCO and got chatting to a fairly senior CS bod afterwards, about the opportunity post-Brexit to synthesise the efforts of FCO, DfID, MOD, Treasury and HMRC to produce a joined up 21stCentury framework for HMG to engage with the world. He looked at me like I’d shot his dog. “Why did I assume it (Brexit) was going to happen?” Beyond the day to day work that was required no future thinking was being done because it wasn’t a timeline under consideration. 

It’s only my word so you can take that however you like, but if the people responsible for change are refusing to engage with it seriously then moving seamlessly from one flow chart to the next isn’t an option. 

I also couldn’t disagree more about the importance of who is proposing legislation, but at its root I’m all for transnational cooperation and dead against transnational governance. Democracy needs to be as local as possible or pretty soon it will cease being democracy. You might say that’s esoteric, polemical or whatever, but I think it’s a fundamental principle. When we get the basics wrong we can’t expect to get anything else right. 

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I’d be genuinely interested to know what rights and freedoms I will regain or retain by leaving the EU.
Not a trap, I’m all for greater freedom, so an example would be great.

It should be fairly easy to win me over on this one, as I do truly dislike the ‘borg’ mentality of Brussels that pays lip service to the individual and diversity, but then gives the finger to any hint the Scots or Catalan people would like their independence.

In fact, perhaps I’m going to answer my own question here and show something in common with awol. Perhaps, as a long game, letting Westminster be in charge again will actually cause other parts of Britain to wake up to self determination? Perhaps the promise of £350 million being replaced by a Westminster power grab and the news deprived areas will have to think of their own new novel ways of getting on their feet, perhaps that will lead to the break up of the UK? If the UK is actually going to comprise of London paying off Ulster unionists at the expense of half of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales then perhaps some long term good will actually come of this? 

Perhaps we’ll at least be able to charge a fee for having 300,000 tonnes of Hinckley’s excavated mud being sea dumped a mile off the Penarth coast against the will of the local population?  Actual representation or compensation. That would be novel.

Perhaps rail electrification would happen?

Perhaps the tidal lagoon would happen?

Perhaps we wouldn't have an unelected westminster official naming every bridge after prince charles?

Perhaps the 'northern powerhouse' project to spend billions reducing the commute to London by 7 minutes would actually come westward? I can't help feeling the economic power of Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool already slightly outweighs the economic vibrancy of Port Talbot.

I’m just interested what freedoms people think we are about to get?
 

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14 minutes ago, blandy said:

The notion that economic harm or benefit is the only measure of whether something is right or wrong is clearly both ridiculous and sadly too prevalent in both government and politics.

Is there anything where economic harm or benefit is the only measure of whether something is right or wrong?

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3 minutes ago, Awol said:

Any systemic change is major by definition, and in any system there are powerful vested interests that will resist change with everything they’ve got to maintain their relative advantage. That’s normal - and broadly what I took from the posts about slavery up-thread. 

We’re there right now with our political class and the establishment, the majority of whom resolutely do not want Brexit to go forward.

There are also powerful vested interests (in any area) that want "change" and want to shape "change" to their benefit. So as an argument that "vested interests" are the problem that always prevents or fights against change, and somehow this is against the little people like us is not a valid one in many cases. All the time businesses etc. are lobbying to weaken regulation on harmful activities and products and practices, or to allow new bad things to be done and regulators acting on our behalf protect us.

It's simplistic in the extreme to pitch the Brexit thing as virtue against vested remain interests.

You're right, though about ingrained complacency and disconnection from reality, typified by the likes of Cameron and Osborne and some civil servants etc. and partsd of the EU establishment - it's the universal nature of all establishments everywhere.

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49 minutes ago, snowychap said:

You are, of course, a shade older than me so you might have first hand memories of the early/mid 70s (I can remember being in a school playground at the age of 3/4 some time in 1976 but that's a bit sketchy) so what is the response to the kind of stuff that this thread contains?

Edit: I meant to go on to say that I've always largely taken it as read that what you've said above was the case and because I wasn't sufficiently aware of political goings on in the seventies and (early) eigthies, I'm not in a position to comment about whether this notion was true or is what has been accepted as true on the back of euroscepticism.

Steve Analyst was on Cakewatch the other week and spoke about the long standing 'we joined a market but a political union' thing. Apparently he enjoys digging up more evidence that it's bunk whenever it comes up.

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1 minute ago, snowychap said:

Is there anything where economic harm or benefit is the only measure of whether something is right or wrong?

Yes. But the point is that (as I guess you would say, and I'd agree) for most things it isn't, so using it as the single, or prevalent "gauge" of right or wrong is utterly foolhardy - and that's what happened too much with the Brexit campaign "£350 million for the NHS" "£4000 worse off a year" and all the other arguments that were both lies and also used at the expense of other more appropriate gauges.

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33 minutes ago, snowychap said:

You are, of course, a shade older than me so you might have first hand memories of the early 70s (I can remember being in a school playground at the age of 3/4 some time in 1976 but that's a bit sketchy) so what is the response to the kind of stuff that this thread contains?

 

Some interesting clippings there.  My recollection is of discussions that were very much about economic benefits and costs, including things like whether our trade relations with Commonwealth countries would be damaged.

It's clear that Heath and others had an aim of further and deeper integration, though what that might mean in practice is not something I recall being spelled out and discussed - unsurprisingly, as I imagine there would be very many interpretations of what closer integration might mean.

This from someone who was part of the negotiations suggests the lack of clarity about the future:

Quote

...From the beginning we knew we were joining more than just a free trade area. We realised that if the French wanted us in to counterbalance the Germans and the Germans wanted us in to counterbalance the French, it was important that we should play a strong political role. There was a general feeling that we were signing up to a European union and would have to contribute to it, which is in some respects what we failed to do afterwards.

Heath knew the EU would evolve towards a political union, and wanted to make certain the UK contributed to the way it was shaped. There was a realisation by the negotiators that we were setting out a direction of travel, and making certain that we had the right stops on the journey – but we didn’t have great arguments about the ultimate destination.

We weren’t talking about the united states of Europe, or suggesting that Europe should become something similar to the United States or the then Soviet Union. Instead, we sought to set in train the development of something that needed to evolve inch by inch as we went ahead. It was always going to be up to later governments to establish how the union could be developed, and what the limits should be. The challenge was to get people seeing the world through a European lens...

I take the tone of "Steve Analyst"'s tweets in that clip to be "We knew what we were signing up for, and it was always political and economic integration", which I would see as an overstatement.  There was certainly discussion about whether we wanted to be closer to Europe in ways going beyond trading, and again that included whether that meant turning our backs on old trading partners (I think "kith and kin" was a phrase used at the time, referring to places like Oz and NZ).  There wasn't, as I recall, a clear vision of a distant destination that would be reached.  There was certainly a feeling of entering a new relationship, the "community" Heath refers to, but discussions and in my view votes, were based on more transactional and less visionary concerns.

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