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Author Topic: EU Referendum / BREXIT  (Read 9340 times)

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Online ReijiTabibito

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #225 on: June 29, 2016, 04:50:50 PM »
This goes right back to his election as party leader almost a year ago. 80% of the MP's are Blairite New labour, Corbyn is Old labour and a socialist. They hated him from day one, but could not split off to form their own party because all the grassroots support and unions and their cash were with Corbyn. They simply saw the BREXIT result as the ideal moment to strike. Corbyn was always a Eurosceptic, most analysis I read was of the opinion that they basically blackmailed him into the REMAIN camp with threats of splitting if he did not.

Over here, there's at least a similar feeling with regards to Donald Trump and the Republicans - to explain.  The GOP isn't stupid, they know that they're losing ground against the rising tide of progressive thought that comes in from the left, even though Congress itself is moving to the right and has been for some time.  The main thing they lose out on are social issues, like abortion, gay marriage, and the transgendered, because of socially conservative policies.  The die-hard conservatives - most of whom now sit within the Tea Party caucus - have stuck to their guns and gotten hammered hard for it.  There's been absolutely nothing keeping the GOP from ditching its social conservatism except for - similar to Corbyn - the massive number of voters and money that comes from such sources (Evangelical block, the South, etc).  I forget who it was, but someone was saying that a Trump triumph is all the push the Republicans need to abandon conservatism once and for all as a failed experiment, at which the question becomes (or rather, they acknowledge that the question has been since the 60s) not whether or not government should be big or small, but where it should be.

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #226 on: June 30, 2016, 02:28:57 AM »
And if he's allowed in the election for leader, I doubt they could unseat him.  However, as I understand it its not clear he would be.  The issue is that potential candidates require 50-51 MPs supporting them to even be a candidate.  Corbyn doesn't have that.  Apparently, though, there's an argument to be made that the sitting leader can automatically be a candidate.  I haven't terribly followed the complexities of it, lawyers are involved.
The rules are fairly simple, but silent in an important point: Any nominee neds the backing of at least 20% of the Parliamentary Labor Party (PLP). By the current definition the PLP is made up of the 231 MPs plus the 20 MEPs. (Until a few years ago, can't remember when exactly the change was made, the PLP was defined as MPs only, but recently MEPs have been included too.)

The main problem is that the party rules only talk about "nominees", but are silent on the question if an incumbent counts as a nominee or not. That's why no one is really certain if Corbyn could enter the race by virtue of his current office alone, or if he would need the backing of 51 members of the PLP.

Offline Remiel


Offline Beorning

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #228 on: July 06, 2016, 03:46:01 PM »
Wow. The situation in the UK really seems to be an utter mess...  :o

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #229 on: July 06, 2016, 04:02:57 PM »

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #230 on: July 06, 2016, 04:20:26 PM »
Wow. The situation in the UK really seems to be an utter mess...  :o

Yeah, we fucked it up good and proper. 

The UK government has only limited powers to call a general election so the chances of the new PM calling one are slim.  He can't call one just because he feels like it, recent legislation means there is a process to go through.  I go to and fro over whether there should be another plebiscite of some description - there are sane arguments in both directions.  However, I don't think there'll be a general election before 2020 which is the next "scheduled" one. 

Quite honestly, I don't think we will actually leave, though how much of that is wishful thinking I don't know.  Even if we do I'm pretty confident Scotland will stay with us and I'm absolutely cast-iron certain Northern Ireland will.

Offline Polymorph

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #231 on: July 07, 2016, 12:32:27 PM »


This actually aired almost thirty years ago and seems bizarrely prophetic.

Italy's banks have crashed and it's government seems ready to contravene EU rules on state subsidies and bail them out. 5star, a Eurosceptic party just won 18 out of 20 mayoral elections held in Italian cities, including winning Rome.

France's politician with the highest approval rating is the far right Marine Le Pen and on course to win next years first round of the presidential election.

Norbert Hofer, a far right candidate for Austria's president failed by 30,000 votes to win and the Austrian supreme court just overturned the result due to voting irregularities and ordered the vote to be rerun.

Hungary is holding a referendum on whether to accept the EU ruling that it must accept a quota of refugees and will almost certainly vote against accepting them. Poland, the Czech republic and Slovakia are very likely to follow Hungary's example.

Greece, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus are still more or less bankrupt states with each around 25% unemployment and having to implement austerity measures dictated by the ECB in return for bailout money to keep the countries afloat.

Jean Claude Juncker, president of the EU commission and the man expected to head negotiations on Brexit has been shoved to one side and told to shut up by Angela Merkel and the negotiations will now be carried out by the European council instead.

France and Spain, who have independence issues with Corsica and Catalonia have vetoed any talks with Scotland independently of the UK and would likely veto any attempt by Scotland to join the EU without Britain to try to head off independence bids in their own countries.

Offline Renegade Vile

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #232 on: July 08, 2016, 03:14:13 AM »


This actually aired almost thirty years ago and seems bizarrely prophetic.

This entire show was prophetic and also a history lesson since this same stuff has happened countless times in the past. Awesome show.

Italy's banks have crashed and it's government seems ready to contravene EU rules on state subsidies and bail them out. 5star, a Eurosceptic party just won 18 out of 20 mayoral elections held in Italian cities, including winning Rome.

France's politician with the highest approval rating is the far right Marine Le Pen and on course to win next years first round of the presidential election.

Norbert Hofer, a far right candidate for Austria's president failed by 30,000 votes to win and the Austrian supreme court just overturned the result due to voting irregularities and ordered the vote to be rerun.

Hungary is holding a referendum on whether to accept the EU ruling that it must accept a quota of refugees and will almost certainly vote against accepting them. Poland, the Czech republic and Slovakia are very likely to follow Hungary's example.

Greece, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus are still more or less bankrupt states with each around 25% unemployment and having to implement austerity measures dictated by the ECB in return for bailout money to keep the countries afloat.

Jean Claude Juncker, president of the EU commission and the man expected to head negotiations on Brexit has been shoved to one side and told to shut up by Angela Merkel and the negotiations will now be carried out by the European council instead.

France and Spain, who have independence issues with Corsica and Catalonia have vetoed any talks with Scotland independently of the UK and would likely veto any attempt by Scotland to join the EU without Britain to try to head off independence bids in their own countries.

As easy as it would be to blame the EU for many of these economical problems, it actually has less to do with it than you might think. Like in most places in the West, many of the nations you mention suffer from utterly corrupt and inept morons at the top who display short-term thinking and have no concept of long-term investment. I see it here in Belgium all the time. The economies of these countries have been driven into the ground almost primarily by the inability of its politicians to counter setbacks on a global scale such as the bank crisis from some years back. The EU doesn't help, but the UK's economy has been ripped to shreds by its own idiot leaders who devised self-destructing schemes such as how student loans are handled and basically cause countless millions of pounds of debt to be written off and become money the government never sees back.

As I've said from the get-go, if the UK wanted to leave the EU, it should have done so either a decade ago, or it should have waited to weather the storm. Leaving now would leave the nation economically isolated for longer than it can handle. Poverty in the north of England for example, is bad enough with the lies that BREXIT will magically cure these issues.

I'm all for leaving the EU, since it's a shell of what it was originally intended to be, but I hope Flanders holds off on doing so for the time being, and we're one of the few with a healthy economy left so that's saying something...

Offline Polymorph

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #233 on: July 08, 2016, 02:49:18 PM »
Yes, I can certainly agree with the vast majority of that.

In the case of Greece and Italy in particular. After Greece's crash for example the EU investigation came to the conclusion that Greece in effect had no working system of taxation worth the name. Italy only qualified for entry into the Eurozone at all by an extremely dodgy deal on the derivatives market that lowered it's national deficit in 1997, but would cost it 8billion Euros the following year after it had joined.

The thing is that these chronic problems were widely known in financial circles at the time. The decision to allow them entry to the zone appears to have been pushed by the federalist politicians on idealogical grounds against all sound economics. In this respect the EU by ignoring it's own carefully laid out criteria for Eurozone entry set in motion a car crash that was almost inevitable.

Britain's failings? You barely touched upon the series of series of insane decisions that were made. Selling gold reserves when gold was at an all time low, massively undervaluing the sell off of state owned assets and selling off it's part ownership of oil companies for a short term profit at the expense of long term returns are amongst other inept decisions.

Leave a decade ago, if only we could of. Better still not to have signed Maastricht in the first place Unfortunately the opportunity for the referendum only came to us now and that by accident. Yes, the timing was bad, but we waited 23 years for the opportunity and if we had voted to remain there is no certainty that a second opportunity would ever have presented itself.

Offline Renegade Vile

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #234 on: July 08, 2016, 03:41:09 PM »
Leave a decade ago, if only we could of. Better still not to have signed Maastricht in the first place Unfortunately the opportunity for the referendum only came to us now and that by accident. Yes, the timing was bad, but we waited 23 years for the opportunity and if we had voted to remain there is no certainty that a second opportunity would ever have presented itself.

I know the feeling, here in Flanders we get referenda for things such as the European constitution. We voted in large majority against it and the politicians were forced to heed it. Our prime minister did make an underhanded comment about the general populace being too stupid to understand the situation. But oh, we understood all too well. It's easy to recognize a wallet-filling scheme for the select upper class. Needless to say, they tried again with an altered constitution, and it failed again. I believe third time was a charm because they cheated their way out of even asking us.

Offline EuphoricDysphoria

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #235 on: July 23, 2016, 04:47:18 PM »
Quote from: polymorph
This goes right back to his election as party leader almost a year ago. 80% of the MP's are Blairite New labour, Corbyn is Old labour and a socialist. They hated him from day one, but could not split off to form their own party because all the grassroots support and unions and their cash were with Corbyn. They simply saw the BREXIT result as the ideal moment to strike. Corbyn was always a Eurosceptic, most analysis I read was of the opinion that they basically blackmailed him into the REMAIN camp with threats of splitting if he did not.

Personally, I don't think that was his only motivation. I think he took a good look at the Johnson/Gove/Farage alliance and decided that these were the absolutely worst circumstances under which we could leave the EU. The choice was not just 'in' or 'out' but between an increasingly far right government completely unchecked, or one that had to respect basic EU directives such as Human Rights, Employment Rights and so on. If Boris Johnson had drawn up a new bill of British rights, the working people of Britain would have an even worse deal than those in the US.

Corbyn has used this coup arguably to his advantage by replacing the MPs who resigned with actual socialists instead of blue Tories.  The Blairite middle-of-the-road pale blue narrative is (despite the mainstream media's best efforts) finally dying a death in the wake of the Chilcot report. The Tories' rabidly right wing, pro 1% government needs combatting with a stronger narrative than the neo-liberalist pap spouted by the likes of Owen Smith. To my mind the only real answer to the utterly unprincipled shysters in the 'Nasty Party' is a politician with actual principles, an actual social conscience and an actual interest in the plight of the working class.

Corbyn is a Euroskeptic but I do think he's realised the benefit of being on the inside pissing out, than on the outside pissing in, however much it costs us financially. The EU may have its drawbacks but there has been no major conflict in Europe since its inception, so in those terms it has been a success. Communication over conflict SHOULD always be a no brainer.

For the bemused Americans perusing this thread, the following hyperlink will take you to a layman's explanation by Whinnie The Pooh (totally SFW, some expletives): https://metrouk2.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/pooh.png

Offline Oniya

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #236 on: July 23, 2016, 05:01:52 PM »
For the bemused Americans perusing this thread, the following hyperlink will take you to a layman's explanation by Whinnie The Pooh (totally SFW, some expletives): https://metrouk2.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/pooh.png

If you haven't read it, the link that Remiel posted is pretty good, too.

By this point, actual British political news was basically indistinguishable from a random word generator

Brexit explained for Americans.

If you can manage to read it in a John Cleese or Anna Russell voice, it's even better.

Offline EuphoricDysphoria

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #237 on: July 23, 2016, 05:26:18 PM »
That's very good.

Sadly I have to get my working class nose back to the grindstone.  :'(


Offline Polymorph

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #238 on: July 24, 2016, 01:52:59 AM »


Corbyn is a Euroskeptic but I do think he's realised the benefit of being on the inside pissing out, than on the outside pissing in, however much it costs us financially. The EU may have its drawbacks but there has been no major conflict in Europe since its inception, so in those terms it has been a success. Communication over conflict SHOULD always be a no brainer.



Possibly, the split on in or out broke through most political boundaries. Other dyed in the wool sociolists such as Denis Skinner and George Galloway who were under no such constraints certainly came out firmly in favour of LEAVE and for years the late Tony Benn was fervently in favour of leaving even when it was a fringe viewpoint.

The absence of a major war in the EU area, whilst a great blessing is no proof that the existence of the EU prevented it. There has also been no major volcanic eruptions in the EU area since it was formed, so should we attribute that to the EU too? NATO, the UN, mutually assured destruction, and plain common sense are just as likely factors.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2016, 01:56:18 AM by Polymorph »

Offline EuphoricDysphoria

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #239 on: July 24, 2016, 04:20:51 AM »
Whatever their views beforehand, I think the fact we're freefalling into another economic crisis and haven't even left yet should be enough to give the sceptics pause. Cutting the nation's nose off to spite its face is (or should be) political and economic suicide. Regardless of the pros and cons or whether or not we should have joined in retrospect, the fact is we've been a member for a very long time now. The days are past where we could just pull out without dire consequences and pretend we were never involved. We've never been in with both feet and accepte the Euro, for example but I think that's given people an entirely false sense of security about how enmeshed we are with the EU trade block.

Plus, Brexit (if it actually goes through) will put us in a very weak position for trade deals. We also won't have the international clout to fight off TTIP, a trade deal that frankly terrifies me, given the consequences there have been elsewhere. We might be an affluent country but we don't actually manufacture anything, industry has nosedived u Nader the Tory government of spice who scorn actual industry in favour of city trading. When the bankers have sold us down the river though, we should have actual industry to fall back on. We're a colonial nation in name only these days and it disturbs me greatly to hear people talk about the British Empire or the crusades like they wer glory days. They weren't. We were Isis back then - conquering places and forcing Christianity on them - and many countries are still paying the price.

Anyway, before I go off on a tangent I'd better get back to work!

Offline Khoraz

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #240 on: July 24, 2016, 05:11:22 AM »
Just to jump on the trade deals angle, there are 11 countries lined up to make fresh agreements with us (UK) in the wake of Brexit.

US, Iceland, China, India... Full list here .

Also while its true that the pound has been dropping, it's been stabilising off and on since the decision, and the fact that the euro now goes a bit further here had made spending more popular with people overseas. Because I can't remember which official spending name it is, I'm struggling to find a source - but it is true.

Plus China is still happy to buy the struggling steelworks that was going to go under.

A d the stockmarkets have relaxed a little but after the initial panic, see?

I don't think anyone campaigning for Brexit thought that the ride would be smooth - it's changing something that the world has taken for granted for decades. But sometimes you have to take a chance in order to make things better. The EU has become something that I,  and the majority of other Brits, don't want to be a part of. It's looking more and more like a world government every day. That isn't the noble intention that it started off with.

Offline Polymorph

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #241 on: July 24, 2016, 06:23:44 AM »
The fall in the pound was forecast long before the referendum by the IMF and other financial bodies whether we remained or left, a fact that the doom merchants either ignore or are ignorant of. This article dates back to December 2015, before the date of the referendum was even set. Other similar reports can easily be found from 2014.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/currency/12065157/Pound-is-most-overvalued-currency-in-the-world-analysts-claim.html

Of course now both sides will seize on any ensuing good news or bad and claim it backs up their viewpoint and ignore any other possible explanation. Events with considerable impact on European economy such as the Italian bank crisis, the failed Turkish coup and Erdogan's response and the ever present security problem will be disregarded.

While quick to point out the downgrading of the UK's economic growth forecast, the doom-mongers fail to mention that it is still higher than Germany or France's forecast.


Offline EuphoricDysphoria

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #242 on: July 25, 2016, 02:31:50 AM »
I agree that we will navigate our way out of the EU and that neither side should be able to claim everything supports their view. I also agree that the EU is far from perfect. I'm just a lot more scared of having my rights and freedoms decided by Theresa May. I'm petrified of what the government is doing to the NHS. By the end of this term there won't be an NHS, it's already being dismantled and sold off piecemeal. With the Tories running about completely unchecked, we'll head into a new Victorian age. That's what they want; land owners and serfs, fatcat bosses and workers with the fewest rights and lay they can get away with. That's why they don't care that my generation will never own a home. They don't want us to. It's nothing less than feudalism by the back door. That's why I'm in the remain camp and i like to think it's a significant reason why Corbyn is too.

Offline Polymorph

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #243 on: July 29, 2016, 03:40:34 PM »
An internal report from the IMF paints a damning picture of incompetence, corruption and downright stupid decisions made on political grounds rather than economic good sense made by pro EU elements within the organisation. The full article is here...

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/markets/imf-admits-disastrous-love-affair-with-the-euro-apologises-for-the-immolation-of-greece/ar-BBv0jOf?li=AA54rU&ocid=spartandhp

Here are some of the highlights of the report...

The report by the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) goes above the head of the managing director, Christine Lagarde. It answers solely to the board of executive directors, and those from Asia and Latin America are clearly incensed at the way EU insiders used the Fund to rescue their own rich currency union and banking system.

In an astonishing admission, the report said its own investigators were unable to obtain key records or penetrate the activities of secretive "ad-hoc task forces". Mrs Lagarde herself is not accused of obstruction.

“Many documents were prepared outside the regular established channels; written documentation on some sensitive matters could not be located. The IEO in some instances has not been able to determine who made certain decisions or what information was available, nor has it been able to assess the relative roles of management and staff," it said.

The report said the whole approach to the eurozone was characterised by “groupthink” and intellectual capture. They had no fall-back plans on how to tackle a systemic crisis in the eurozone – or how to deal with the politics of a multinational currency union – because they had ruled out any possibility that it could happen.

“Before the launch of the euro, the IMF’s public statements tended to emphasize the advantages of the common currency, “ it said. Some staff members warned that the design of the euro was fundamentally flawed but they were overruled.

“After a heated internal debate, the view supportive of what was perceived to be Europe’s political project ultimately prevailed,” it said.

At root was a failure to grasp the elemental point that currency unions with no treasury or political union to back them up are inherently vulnerable to debt crises. States facing a shock no longer have sovereign tools to defend themselves. Devaluation risk is switched into bankruptcy risk.

“In a monetary union, the basics of debt dynamics change as countries forgo monetary policy and exchange rate adjustment tools,” said the report. This would be amplified by a “vicious feedback between banks and sovereigns”, each taking the other down. That the IMF failed to anticipate any of this was a serious scientific and professional failure.

In Greece, the IMF violated its own cardinal rule by signing off on a bail-out in 2010 even though it could offer no assurance that the package would bring the country’s debts under control or clear the way for recovery, and many suspected from the start that it was doomed.

The strategy relied on forlorn hopes that the "confidence fairy" would lift Greece out of this policy-induced nose-dive. “Highly optimistic” plans to raise $50bn from privatisation sales came to little. Some assets did not even have clear legal ownership. The chronic “lack of realism” lasted until late 2011. By then the damage was done.

The injustice is that the cost of the bail-outs was switched to ordinary Greek citizens  – the least able to support the burden  – and it was never acknowledged that the true motive of EU-IMF Troika policy was to protect monetary union. Indeed, the Greeks were repeatedly blamed for failures that stemmed from the policy itself. This unfairness – the root of so much bitterness in Greece – is finally recognised in the report.



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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #244 on: July 29, 2016, 05:13:07 PM »
*nods at Polymorph* Yeah, it's a string of sad examples of how political and economic motives got mixed up right from the start. It's been obvious for a long time that the IMF and the EU were kicking the can down the road with respect to Greece (and well, Spain and Portugal too) and the constant saga of near-defaults and bailouts. And it started well before 2010, of course. The euro currency was based on political motives, not economic good sense, and it was well-known to many people both in Brussels and all around Europe that Greece was a financially weak country and most likely cooking the books when they were urged to stretch up a bit to show that they could fit into the supposedly solid euro zone. Putting Greece outside of the shared currency was unthinkable for reasons of political prestige - it would have been a humiliation both to the EU bigwigs and to the Greek cabinets at the time -  and treating the euro as a voluntary step, not a formal obligation for any state that "fit the bill" was out of the question too (the UK and Denmark have formal exemptions, Sweden has an unofficial de facto exemption from joining but everyone else is suppposed to join once their economies are strong enough).

Lots of ordinary people have been clear about these weaknesses and this double-thinking, but many governments and major political parties are still in denial about it and unable to admit it clearly, a big portion of the media too. Picking a fight with the ECB, the banks and the top tiers of the EU, even a verbal fight, is simply seen as too costly and too contrarian.  ::)

If the EU wants to survive as more than a free-trade and communications block, I don't see how they can do it in the long run without admitting some kind of "two-speed integration", because there's been very little broad support from ordinary people (citizens, you know) for the idea of a super-EU (a US of Europe) or a rigid system with the top priority of keeping the euro in good shape all over the continent - but admitting anything like that (selective integration and a better stake in the whole project for normal citizens and local communities) has been a red flag for many of the eurocrats for a long time. Ironically, two-speed integration was precisely what Cameron was asking for from his EU brothers, and the reason he called the referendum, but the response from the continent was displeased to say the least.   :-X
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 05:48:33 PM by gaggedLouise »