In or out?

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks

Should the UK remain in the European Union?

Yes we should stay in
57
86%
No we should leave
5
8%
Abstain
4
6%
 
Total votes: 66

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Geezee
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Re: In or out?

Postby Geezee » 18 Jan 2017, 12:51

I agree in broad strokes with what you are saying, although I don't agree with some of your examples or language...clearly there is nothing about "bankruptcy" here - unless you are talking about a moral one - and it is very unhelpful to use that kind of terminology even in the context of a post-factual environment. To me it is also clear that the EU has benefited far more countries than just Germany, but primarily indeed Germany, France and the UK, who have all funded extensive social security systems while benefiting from EU subsidies and investment - but never once sought to balance their budgets according to the rules that they themselves set (ie. the stability pact).

There seem to be a couple of curious expectations of the EU in your assessment - no organisation can be a "guarantee" of growth or economic security, any more than any national government, left or right on the political spectrum, can guarantee this. It's always hard of course to paint an alternate scenario over how individual countries would have fared if they had not joined the EU, but in general the legislation that has been put in place by the EU has been very positive and forward thinking compared to what national governments have achieved. Either way, I would never advocate for or against the EU based on whether it guarantees growth or not - in my mind an organisation like this both increases and decreases the risks at the same time (interconnectdness increases the complexity of the economic spillover effects, which means that economies at once become more vulnerable to risks that they would not have done outside the EU, but also spreads out the risks across larger economies).

For me, there are three key failures of the EU that make me question Sweden's membership in the union (but not the UK's) - firstly, the situation outlined above where the big 3 set different standards that they themselves fail to abide by, and countries like Sweden religiously adhere to at a very significant cost; secondly, the democratic deficit, whereby the parliament's role continues to be undermined, and election turnouts continue to be far too low; and thirdly, the astonishingly paralysed reaction to the refugee crisis, where countries like Sweden paid a huge price because other members like the UK and France failed to take their own responsibilities. These are major issues, and ones that I am deeply disappointed by - but the fact that the UK (which is to a large extent responsible for at least 2 out of the 3 above) has the gall to question the value of a membership that it has been abusing and milking for years is laughable at best.
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Re: In or out?

Postby yomptepi » 18 Jan 2017, 13:27

I don't think the UK has abused its membership nearly as much as France, Spain or Portugal. At least the UK economy works and is proven to be robust and stable. France has always used the EU to prop up its antiquated farming methods, and subsidise its social security regimes. Spain , Portugal and Greece, (and Southern Ireland if we are being brutally honest ) simply pissed away all the money they were given for industrial development . The Irish simply disappeared it with no attempt at an explanation. Parts of Britain desperately needed a boost, and a lot of money was spent in Wales and Northern Ireland on projects which were completely without merit. Building industrial parks in the middle of nowhere, and expecting industry to rush in was never going to work.

The Eu has never full addressed how it was going to close the gap between counties which are poor, under developed and have few natural resources. Allowing these economies to enter the Euro has all but destroyed any slim hope it ever had of being a successful currency. Giving countries like Greece and Portugal huge amounts of money, and then forcing them to spend that money with big German companies was at best corrupt, at worst, criminal. How can a country which has a gross product per person of say $10 share the same currency as a country which has a GPPP of $100. It makes no sense.

And even though I do not disagree with your basic argument in your third paragraph, there is a feeling in the UK, and there has been for many years , that we do not get a fair deal from Europe. How is that we have to accept all this migration without question, yet countries like Poland can refuse every single person. How is it that we have to deal with all this human rights law, whilst the eastern block members simply disregard it, reject it and ignore it. There is no level playing field, and even if it is misguided of them, the British believe passionately in fair play. You say Sweden has been hit hard taking up the slack during the refugee crisis. Great Britain has has over 7 million migrants in the last ten years. Hardly shirking our responsibilities. We now have a housing crisis, a crisis in our health care systems, and a crisis in our welfare systems which were simply not budgeted for thirty years ago. I would have thought that we needed to a part of Europe now more than ever, in order to share the costs of all the infra structure need to accommodate all these people.

The last thing we should have done is cast ourselves adrift.
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Re: In or out?

Postby Goat Boy » 18 Jan 2017, 13:37

Just think, we are gonna end up with what Farage wanted all along.


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Re: In or out?

Postby Geezee » 18 Jan 2017, 13:50

yomptepi wrote:I don't think the UK has abused its membership nearly as much as France, Spain or Portugal. At least the UK economy works and is proven to be robust and stable. France has always used the EU to prop up its antiquated farming methods, and subsidise its social security regimes. Spain , Portugal and Greece, (and Southern Ireland if we are being brutally honest ) simply pissed away all the money they were given for industrial development . The Irish simply disappeared it with no attempt at an explanation. Parts of Britain desperately needed a boost, and a lot of money was spent in Wales and Northern Ireland on projects which were completely without merit. Building industrial parks in the middle of nowhere, and expecting industry to rush in was never going to work.

The Eu has never full addressed how it was going to close the gap between counties which are poor, under developed and have few natural resources. Allowing these economies to enter the Euro has all but destroyed any slim hope it ever had of being a successful currency. Giving countries like Greece and Portugal huge amounts of money, and then forcing them to spend that money with big German companies was at best corrupt, at worst, criminal. How can a country which has a gross product per person of say $10 share the same currency as a country which has a GPPP of $100. It makes no sense.

And even though I do not disagree with your basic argument in your third paragraph, there is a feeling in the UK, and there has been for many years , that we do not get a fair deal from Europe. How is that we have to accept all this migration without question, yet countries like Poland can refuse every single person. How is it that we have to deal with all this human rights law, whilst the eastern block members simply disregard it, reject it and ignore it. There is no level playing field, and even if it is misguided of them, the British believe passionately in fair play. You say Sweden has been hit hard taking up the slack during the refugee crisis. Great Britain has has over 7 million migrants in the last ten years. Hardly shirking our responsibilities. We now have a housing crisis, a crisis in our health care systems, and a crisis in our welfare systems which were simply not budgeted for thirty years ago. I would have thought that we needed to a part of Europe now more than ever, in order to share the costs of all the infra structure need to accommodate all these people.

The last thing we should have done is cast ourselves adrift.


I don't know where the 7m figure comes from but net migration last year was 300,000 which is very normal (and the majority of immigration came from non-EU). Secondly, migrants are a very different thing than refugees - Sweden took 200,000 in one year. What did the UK take, did it reach 10,000? The Calais refugee camp is a disgrace, but has somehow been portrayed as a French problem, not a UK one. And you'll be happy to now that the UK took almost exactly as many refugees as Poland - and considering how many of these refugees are a direct result of UK (not European) foreign policy, it is astonishing relinquishing of its responsibilities.

Again, UK's economy works and is stable because it allows itself to contravene the rules it sets for itself and expects all other countries to abide by - the stability pact. If the UK actually abided by the pact, there would be chaos as it wouldn't be able to fund it's own tax cuts for the rich/financial markets (which of course would be maintained, so the cuts would happen in the NHS instead).

Regarding the EU's inability to bridge the gap between the rich and poor across different countries - I agree completely, although I'd also say the same for the UK government (and most governments) over the North-South, Urban/Rural, London vs. Rest of UK etc divides and where the investment generally occurs, quality of health services etc.
Last edited by Geezee on 18 Jan 2017, 13:52, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: In or out?

Postby yomptepi » 18 Jan 2017, 13:51

Goat Boy wrote:Just think, we are gonna end up with what Farage wanted all along.


I’m passed anger now. I just feel hopeless and removed from it all.


The kicker is that the messier it gets, and the more difficult the exit, the more the country is going to get behind it.

The whole thing is like a bad dream.
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Re: In or out?

Postby Diamond Dog » 18 Jan 2017, 13:52

yomptepi wrote:I don't think the UK has abused its membership nearly as much as France, Spain or Portugal. At least the UK economy works and is proven to be robust and stable. France has always used the EU to prop up its antiquated farming methods, and subsidise its social security regimes. Spain , Portugal and Greece, (and Southern Ireland if we are being brutally honest ) simply pissed away all the money they were given for industrial development . The Irish simply disappeared it with no attempt at an explanation. Parts of Britain desperately needed a boost, and a lot of money was spent in Wales and Northern Ireland on projects which were completely without merit. Building industrial parks in the middle of nowhere, and expecting industry to rush in was never going to work.

The Eu has never full addressed how it was going to close the gap between counties which are poor, under developed and have few natural resources. Allowing these economies to enter the Euro has all but destroyed any slim hope it ever had of being a successful currency. Giving countries like Greece and Portugal huge amounts of money, and then forcing them to spend that money with big German companies was at best corrupt, at worst, criminal. How can a country which has a gross product per person of say $10 share the same currency as a country which has a GPPP of $100. It makes no sense.

And even though I do not disagree with your basic argument in your third paragraph, there is a feeling in the UK, and there has been for many years , that we do not get a fair deal from Europe. How is that we have to accept all this migration without question, yet countries like Poland can refuse every single person. How is it that we have to deal with all this human rights law, whilst the eastern block members simply disregard it, reject it and ignore it. There is no level playing field, and even if it is misguided of them, the British believe passionately in fair play. You say Sweden has been hit hard taking up the slack during the refugee crisis. Great Britain has has over 7 million migrants in the last ten years. Hardly shirking our responsibilities. We now have a housing crisis, a crisis in our health care systems, and a crisis in our welfare systems which were simply not budgeted for thirty years ago. I would have thought that we needed to a part of Europe now more than ever, in order to share the costs of all the infra structure need to accommodate all these people.

The last thing we should have done is cast ourselves adrift.


Did you have to print every single word of Farage's Brexit campaign leaflet?
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Re: In or out?

Postby yomptepi » 18 Jan 2017, 13:54

Geezee wrote:I don't know where the 7m figure comes from



http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics ... statistics
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Re: In or out?

Postby Goat Boy » 18 Jan 2017, 13:55

yomptepi wrote:
Goat Boy wrote:Just think, we are gonna end up with what Farage wanted all along.


I’m passed anger now. I just feel hopeless and removed from it all.


The kicker is that the messier it gets, and the more difficult the exit, the more the country is going to get behind it.

The whole thing is like a bad dream.


We have to make this work! Do you want us to fail! Are you one of them?!

This could get very ugly
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Re: In or out?

Postby yomptepi » 18 Jan 2017, 14:00

Diamond Dog wrote:
Did you have to print every single word of Farage's Brexit campaign leaflet?


I was happy with the status quo, and was vehemently remain Pete. If you want to get involved in a debate, you will have to do better than throw rotten fruit. The situation is what it is. We are leaving, and unfortunately that was the democratic will of the people. Trying to understand why this happened and what the reasons were for falling out of love with Europe is a valid response. There are failings in the EU, and I always thought they could be resolved from within. Those failings have not disappeared because we are leaving, and are a good subject for discussion without ill considered trolling from the sidelines , thank you.
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Re: In or out?

Postby northernsky » 18 Jan 2017, 14:07

yomptepi wrote:stayed as a trading block, rather than trying to become a super state


I agree, with reservations.

yomptepi wrote:But it has become too large. It should have been capped at eight or maybe ten members


I completely disagree. And more to the point, citizens of the acceding countries in the 1980s and again in 2004 also disagreed. Not least because this:

yomptepi wrote: [the EU has] not made anyone better off (except the Germans of course) .... [has] ruined many of the countries who should never have been allowed to join in the first place


is a load of old wrinkly bollocks. Portugal and Spain from the 1980s intake are better off; the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, etc, etc, from later intakes are better off. Perhaps you meant the euro, whose adoption I voted against.

http://voxeu.org/article/how-poorer-nations-benefit-eu-membership

More fundamentally, however unwieldy and remote the EU superstructure may be, the fact that it is a club of states insisting on certain minimum standards of democracy and probity remains a mechanism helping to transform a succession of European populations crushed by several generations' worth of suffering in the absence of either. I could wish that those in more fortunate countries asked themselves more often, "what's in it for us" instead of "what's in it for me". Without such generosity of spirit on all sides then, yes, the project probably is doomed. The UK's referendum vote is the biggest hole torn in the fabric, and it came from a country doing comparatively nicely.

I do warmly recommend Postwar, by the late lamented Tony Judt, which has a sadly rare breadth of perspective on the modern history of Europe.

yomptepi wrote:You say Sweden has been hit hard taking up the slack during the refugee crisis. Great Britain has has over 7 million migrants in the last ten years. Hardly shirking our responsibilities.


Great Britain has not taken 7 million refugees over the last ten years. But, conflate away.

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Re: In or out?

Postby The Prof » 18 Jan 2017, 14:12

yomptepi wrote:We are leaving, and unfortunately that was the democratic will of the people


The problem is that "the people" weren't clamouring for a referendum.

Hardly anybody was interested a few short months ago apart from Farage and his cronies and the right of the Tory Party.

So "the people" were forced to make a decision based on lies & misinformation. The vote result showed an underlying mistrust of government and a hint of racism but most people didn't have a clue what they were actually voting for.

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Re: In or out?

Postby Diamond Dog » 18 Jan 2017, 14:20

The Prof wrote:
yomptepi wrote:We are leaving, and unfortunately that was the democratic will of the people


The problem is that "the people" weren't clamouring for a referendum.

Hardly anybody was interested a few short months ago apart from Farage and his cronies and the right of the Tory Party.

So "the people" were forced to make a decision based on lies & misinformation. The vote result showed an underlying mistrust of government and a hint of racism but most people didn't have a clue what they were actually voting for.


I think that's right besides the last sentence.

I think the majority of those that voted Remain were reasonably well informed of both sides of the debate and what either option meant, post vote - and also voted for the best option in their view.

I believe the majority of those that voted Leave weren't nearly as well in formed, didn't consider all options and actually voted against an option, rather than vote with conviction for their preference.
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Re: In or out?

Postby The Prof » 18 Jan 2017, 14:21

That's what I meant!

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Re: In or out?

Postby Geezee » 18 Jan 2017, 14:22

yomptepi wrote:
Geezee wrote:I don't know where the 7m figure comes from



http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics ... statistics


And I still don't see a 7m figure?
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Re: In or out?

Postby yomptepi » 18 Jan 2017, 15:15

northernsky wrote:
Great Britain has not taken 7 million refugees over the last ten years. But, conflate away.



Where did I say it had?

Conflate away.
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Re: In or out?

Postby Diamond Dog » 18 Jan 2017, 15:16

yomptepi wrote:
northernsky wrote:
Great Britain has not taken 7 million refugees over the last ten years. But, conflate away.



Where did I say it had?

Conflate away.



I think you did.

Geezee wrote:I don't know where the 7m figure comes from




:?:
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Re: In or out?

Postby yomptepi » 18 Jan 2017, 15:27

Diamond Dog wrote:
yomptepi wrote:
northernsky wrote:
Great Britain has not taken 7 million refugees over the last ten years. But, conflate away.



Where did I say it had?

Conflate away.



I think you did.

Geezee wrote:I don't know where the 7m figure comes from




:?:


I did not .
yomptepi wrote:You say Sweden has been hit hard taking up the slack during the refugee crisis. Great Britain has has over 7 million migrants in the last ten years. Hardly shirking our responsibilities.
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Re: In or out?

Postby Diamond Dog » 18 Jan 2017, 15:30

Refugees/migrants - see it now. Apologies.
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Re: In or out?

Postby northernsky » 18 Jan 2017, 15:39

yomptepi wrote:
northernsky wrote:
Great Britain has not taken 7 million refugees over the last ten years. But, conflate away.


Where did I say it had?


Where did I say that you had? I was, however, drawing the distinction.
Because in the bit that I did quote, you are merrily eliding G-Zs specific point with regard to refugees into your own worries about migration in general. Much like UKIP's "breaking point" poster.

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Re: In or out?

Postby yomptepi » 18 Jan 2017, 16:01

northernsky wrote:
yomptepi wrote:
northernsky wrote:
Great Britain has not taken 7 million refugees over the last ten years. But, conflate away.


Where did I say it had?


Where did I say that you had? I was, however, drawing the distinction.
Because in the bit that I did quote, you are merrily eliding G-Zs specific point with regard to refugees into your own worries about migration in general. Much like UKIP's "breaking point" poster.


I don't have any worries about migration. I have worries about housing, services and welfare. I worry about the numbers of people, not where they come from.

But conflate away.
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