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Subject: The joys of English politics rss

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Luke Morris
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Likelihood is that the party she was working for at the time (it was aired on a documentary, they realised it, fired her) will probably get into power in that seat, 30 minutes down the road from me.



I'm going to have a vent here in RSP. I accept people coming back at me on this, please do. I've been drinking wine (albeit bloody cheap stuff cos I is po') and watching a programme aired recently called "Meet the UKIPpers" - about everyone's new "favourite" political party in the UK - UKIP. Our glorious right wing racists who have finally, FINALLY understood the dangers of "Schrodinger's Immigrant":

http://newsthump.com/2014/11/28/ukip-warns-of-schrodingers-i...



My worried, 34 year old, comments are these:

I've always been political. I remember Thatcher, Major coming into power and then Blair piggybacking in on the back of Britpop, Euro '96 and Cool Britannia ('cos Conservativism is never "cool"). As soon as I was old enough to vote I voted every chance I could - national, local, European elections.

I've researched each time and depending on what it's for, policies and who's standing I've voted for parties as varied as the Conservatives, the Socialist Party and the Green Party.

I was born pretty much as working class as they come (dad worked in a paper mill, my mum got pretty much no qualifications from school). I was the first person in my family to go to university. Class is weirdly important in the UK still...I guess after so many hundreds of years it's hard to shake. I'm probably "upper working class" now, whatever the hell that means. I ain't "underclass" and I'm thankful every day I'm not having to put 12 hour shifts in at a factory or something.



At the last European election I did my research as always and I voted Green. You know why? They're a wacky band of weirdos but they're in it to actually TRY to make things better. Their MEP contingency is always present, deals with savoury types from other European countries (mostly Scandinavia it seems) and they at least TRY. True they're always free by the fact that they're not taken THAT seriously so they can promise anything in the knowledge they'll never need to deliver, but still.

UKIP on the other hand rarely turned up to European parliamentary meetings. They took the money and didn't bother. They sided with some seriously dangerous right wing parties. Also, ALL THEIR ELECTION STUFF IS BASED ON FEAR! Fear this, fear that, fear, fear, fear. It's FOX News through my letterbox.

They sell Nigel Farage - a public school educated city trader and broker who their party try to sell as a "man of the people" 'cos he gets photo opportunities in pubs.

It's WORKING though. Their opinion polls are rising - mostly, it seems, with the comfortably retired and the angry, resentful working classes - i.e. the rich and the very poor.

Their policies are horrible. Their beliefs scare me. They won't WIN the elections, but with such a wonderful spread in the UK right now (five parties frequently poll 8% and over), there's no way there WON'T be another coalition this time around. Labour wouldn't side with UKIP, but would the Conservatives use them if their % of the vote was high enough?!



I'm scared that they're going to get some power and say, albeit through a coalition. I'm, excuse the language, fucking terrified. My wife and I were thinking of moving overseas again (probably to Sweden) and I think it'd hasten our departure. I know I'm become a weird, hairy leftie as I get older, but surely love for fellow man/woman isn't a bad thing?

Most of all I'm scared of my fellow Britons. I know things are bloody tough and have been, for different parts of the country, for decades. Thatcher and the unions, then Labour's overspend, then the banks (who of course get bailouts and support) and then the Conservative led coalition who urge us to tighten our belts (and to be fair kinda drag us up...albeit while shovelling our money back to the banks again).

Things suck. Things are horrible. My wife and I don't earn LITTLE enough to get benefits or housing support at all but don't earn enough to be able to afford a mortgage on a house down here. We're caught in the middle. Things are far worse for others around here too....and I know mankind always sways to the right when things are hard. Blame the foreigners, blame the party in power, blame Europe....It's worked for other right wing parties in the past.

But surely it's never the answer. Nothing is ever so bad to go that way.


Again, sorry, but sometimes I get emotional about such things.
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C Bazler
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Best part of the video:

"I will say something. There is absolutely no way I'm a racist because..."
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cbazler wrote:
Best part of the video:

"I will say something. There is absolutely no way I'm a racist because..."


I personally LOL'd when she started talking about what she meant by Negro. Facepalm!
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Andy Leighton
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HamsterOfFury wrote:

It's WORKING though. Their opinion polls are rising - mostly, it seems, with the comfortably retired and the angry, resentful working classes - i.e. the rich and the very poor.


First of all don't panic. There is evidence that they are probably topping out at about 13% in opinion polls, and some show a modest reduction. This means that they will probably win less than 5 seats which I don't think will be enough to be influential ('cos most everyone else hates their guts). I think the LibDems will win more seats with a lower percentage of the vote - I am hoping for a LibLab coalition.

Quote:

Their policies are horrible. Their beliefs scare me.


Mostly they are the politics of division. All issues are external, usually Europe and immigrants, although the LGBT portion of the populous also gets it in the neck from them.

Yep horrible people. They draw their support from the little Englanders who want to turn back the clock to a 1950s that never was, plain bigots (it is no surprise where the BNP vote has disappeared to), the old, and by preying on poorly informed (partly through their own disinterest) disaffected poor people.

Quote:
I'm scared that they're going to get some power and say, albeit through a coalition. I'm, excuse the language, fucking terrified. My wife and I were thinking of moving overseas again (probably to Sweden) and I think it'd hasten our departure.


If it ever happened I think Scotland would go independent within a year. Especially if there was a UK referendum to exit the EU which got more than 50% of the vote overall, but majorities to stay in the EU outside England.

Quote:

Most of all I'm scared of my fellow Britons. I know things are bloody tough and have been, for different parts of the country, for decades. Thatcher and the unions, then Labour's overspend,


Actually that kind of obscures the reality. Labour's spending for a decade was very restrained. They ran a surplus for a few years, and then when they did spend more they kept the budget deficit to about 2-3% of GDP which is historically very low. It was only when the credit crunch came along and the banks blew up that the budget deficit shot up as a percentage of GDP. That was mainly because the GDP fell fairly dramatically.

BTW I'm not a Labour supporter but these are supportable facts. It is perfectly reasonable to say they should have recognised the bubble nature of the economy at that time, and that the economic expansion was concentrated mainly in the financial and housing sector. They also should have put in more regulation of the City but in reality very few people were calling for that at the time.

Quote:

Things suck. Things are horrible. My wife and I don't earn LITTLE enough to get benefits or housing support at all but don't earn enough to be able to afford a mortgage on a house down here. We're caught in the middle.


Yep, a lot of people stuck in that position. One of the problems is the obscene cost of housing in some parts of the country. The Thatcherite policies of the early 80s were a major contributory fact to that.
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Boaty McBoatface
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The problem is they are the only party that really does want a referendum on withdrawal from the EU, and I suspect many voters consider that a bigger issue then allowing people into the country.

It's a shame because they are just the right wing of the Torry party.
 
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Policies of fear? Top lol. I bet you think the policies are to round up every non white and throw them out then ban all immigrants and install king Farage as dictator?

It's the other parties that use fear. Fear of some straw Nazism that must b kept out at all costs.

Do I hate people of other countries? Nope, so what then is my gripe? My gripe is that we were never asked, we were told again and again how we are to be and how it is to be. Do you know who I blame? It's not the poor immigrants just looking for a better life. I blame the class that has always set itself apart, who has always taken what they wanted for themselves. Do I think ukip are any different? Do I fuck, they are full of the same corruption as the others but I hope for a earthquake to shake up politics. So that we might see some policies that actually benefit me and not either the lowest or the very top. Labour benefits big business as much as the conservatives.
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scott3387 wrote:
Policies of fear? Top lol. I bet you think the policies are to round up every non white and throw them out then ban all immigrants and install king Farage as dictator?

It's the other parties that use fear. Fear of some straw Nazism that must b kept out at all costs.

Do I hate people of other countries? Nope, so what then is my gripe? My gripe is that we were never asked, we were told again and again how we are to be and how it is to be. Do you know who I blame? It's not the poor immigrants just looking for a better life. I blame the class that has always set itself apart, who has always taken what they wanted for themselves. Do I think ukip are any different? Do I fuck, they are full of the same corruption as the others but I hope for a earthquake to shake up politics. So that we might see some policies that actually benefit me and not either the lowest or the very top. Labour benefits big business as much as the conservatives.


Where do you see yourself, then, on the socio-economic scale, and why do you consequently think a convulsion in politics would result in some benefit to you, as opposed to a worsening of your situation? What would be your personal ideal for the political situation in the UK? What group or set of people or best fit to run it, or at least, better fit than the political parties we presently have...?
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slatersteven wrote:
The problem is they are the only party that really does want a referendum on withdrawal from the EU


Not true. The Greens want a referendum on withdrawal, but they would be campaigning to stay in.

If you are saying that UKIP are the only major party in favour of withdrawing, who would organise an early referendum and who would vigorously campaign for exit - then you are probably right.
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scott3387 wrote:
Nope, so what then is my gripe? My gripe is that we were never asked


Well apart from the 1975 referendum you mean? Or do you want a referendum on every possible change and regulation being passed by our elected representatives (and that applies to Westminster as well as the European Parliament)?
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andyl wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
The problem is they are the only party that really does want a referendum on withdrawal from the EU


Not true. The Greens want a referendum on withdrawal, but they would be campaigning to stay in.

If you are saying that UKIP are the only major party in favour of withdrawing, who would organise an early referendum and who would vigorously campaign for exit - then you are probably right.
In essence that is what I am saying, UKIP are the only parry people trust on this issue.
 
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andyl wrote:
scott3387 wrote:
Nope, so what then is my gripe? My gripe is that we were never asked


Well apart from the 1975 referendum you mean? Or do you want a referendum on every possible change and regulation being passed by our elected representatives (and that applies to Westminster as well as the European Parliament)?
But what we were asked in 1975 was not what we haven now. Indeed talking to people who voted they were told what they were voting for was not this, and that fears of a more federal Europe were just fear mongering.
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andyl wrote:
scott3387 wrote:
Nope, so what then is my gripe? My gripe is that we were never asked


Well apart from the 1975 referendum you mean? Or do you want a referendum on every possible change and regulation being passed by our elected representatives (and that applies to Westminster as well as the European Parliament)?


Are you seriously trying to suggest that where we are today was what people thought they were voting on in 1975?
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mutton_chops wrote:
Where do you see yourself, then, on the socio-economic scale, and why do you consequently think a convulsion in politics would result in some benefit to you, as opposed to a worsening of your situation? What would be your personal ideal for the political situation in the UK? What group or set of people or best fit to run it, or at least, better fit than the political parties we presently have...?


Lower middle. First of my family to go to university and average wage earner. I'm not sure it would help me, merely that I'm prepared to take the risk things get worse for me. I'm not sure how they would get much worse though because we aren't voting in a stalist totalitarian regime here.

My personal ideal is not tenable without revolution or a length longer than my life so do you want that or elements I would like to see in a political party?
 
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slatersteven wrote:
andyl wrote:
scott3387 wrote:
Nope, so what then is my gripe? My gripe is that we were never asked


Well apart from the 1975 referendum you mean? Or do you want a referendum on every possible change and regulation being passed by our elected representatives (and that applies to Westminster as well as the European Parliament)?
But what we were asked in 1975 was not what we haven now. Indeed talking to people who voted they were told what they were voting for was not this, and that fears of a more federal Europe were just fear mongering.


Free movement, which is probably one of the main things that people who support UKIP moan about, was there from the very beginning (it is in the Treaty of Rome).

The real issue is that in the modern world Britain needs to be part of an economic supranational grouping. It cannot go it alone and maintain its economic and political clout in the world. The only one that makes sense is the EU.

As I said before I don't think the UK will continue to exist for long if there is a vote to leave. That Scotland, at the very least, would go for independence.

Talk of a federal Europe and barmy Brussels is mainly an issue brought about by a deliberately misleading press.

Quite obviously some things are better sorted out on a supranational basis. It should be no surprise that these are tackled at the EU level.

Of course people knew in 1975 that there would be changes as we went on, there always are. Nothing is set in aspic. We knew we were joining an organisation which would grow, and that new rules would be voted on (with our representatives, including our government via the Council of Ministers, having an equal say and a veto in most cases).

Having said that there are very few changes to the EU treaties and directives since '75 which affect me adversely on a day to day basis. Maybe you could enumerate some of these changes which people are reacting against.
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scott3387 wrote:
mutton_chops wrote:
Where do you see yourself, then, on the socio-economic scale, and why do you consequently think a convulsion in politics would result in some benefit to you, as opposed to a worsening of your situation? What would be your personal ideal for the political situation in the UK? What group or set of people or best fit to run it, or at least, better fit than the political parties we presently have...?


Lower middle. First of my family to go to university and average wage earner. I'm not sure it would help me, merely that I'm prepared to take the risk things get worse for me. I'm not sure how they would get much worse though because we aren't voting in a stalist totalitarian regime here.


Very well then, since you're prepared to take a risk I assume you've thought through the possible consequences, so what, in your estimation, would be the likely response of both the global financial markets, and the European trading exchanges, in the event that an anti-European Union government were to be elected? What would happen to the UK as a global trading centre, do you think, and what might be the implication for the revenue from the associated service industries?

scott3387 wrote:
My personal ideal is not tenable without revolution or a length longer than my life so do you want that or elements I would like to see in a political party?


Your personal ideal would be preferred!
 
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mutton_chops wrote:
scott3387 wrote:
mutton_chops wrote:
Where do you see yourself, then, on the socio-economic scale, and why do you consequently think a convulsion in politics would result in some benefit to you, as opposed to a worsening of your situation? What would be your personal ideal for the political situation in the UK? What group or set of people or best fit to run it, or at least, better fit than the political parties we presently have...?


Lower middle. First of my family to go to university and average wage earner. I'm not sure it would help me, merely that I'm prepared to take the risk things get worse for me. I'm not sure how they would get much worse though because we aren't voting in a stalist totalitarian regime here.


Very well then, since you're prepared to take a risk I assume you've thought through the possible consequences, so what, in your estimation, would be the likely response of both the global financial markets, and the European trading exchanges, in the event that an anti-European Union government were to be elected? What would happen to the UK as a global trading centre, do you think, and what might be the implication for the revenue from the associated service industries?

scott3387 wrote:
My personal ideal is not tenable without revolution or a length longer than my life so do you want that or elements I would like to see in a political party?


Your personal ideal would be preferred!


The global financial markets are affected much more when a massive entity fails (cougheurocough) and one 'poor weak country' (as most europhiles like to see us). We would be offering great corporation tax rates and generally still be a very attractive place to do business. Speaking of businesses, few if any are going to stop trading with us on political grounds. We would move into becoming another Switzerland and yes take some initial hits as people panic at the perception of the party.

Immigration outside the EU would rise and we would treat immigrants like Australia across the board only accepting those who fill positions we need or are intelligent minds. Reduction in population due to low birth rates would ease pressure on the NHS, housing, schools etc. Yes there would also be a loss in immigrant nurses/teachers etc but there is a large unemployment of british born graduates who cannot get started because these immigrants come with a better starting position. Like football teams we take the foreign talent instead of training our own. I've seen it in my own hospital where they take scientists from Africa instead of graduates without experience. If supply does not increase for some unforeseen reason then lack of supply will force wages up as demand from businesses cannot be filled by just hiring from abroad. Pensions would struggle and the pension age would have to rise again but it's due anyway.

As for what my dream would be just see classical liberalism to be honest. Too late for that now though.
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andyl wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
andyl wrote:
scott3387 wrote:
Nope, so what then is my gripe? My gripe is that we were never asked


Well apart from the 1975 referendum you mean? Or do you want a referendum on every possible change and regulation being passed by our elected representatives (and that applies to Westminster as well as the European Parliament)?
But what we were asked in 1975 was not what we haven now. Indeed talking to people who voted they were told what they were voting for was not this, and that fears of a more federal Europe were just fear mongering.


Free movement, which is probably one of the main things that people who support UKIP moan about, was there from the very beginning (it is in the Treaty of Rome).

The real issue is that in the modern world Britain needs to be part of an economic supranational grouping. It cannot go it alone and maintain its economic and political clout in the world. The only one that makes sense is the EU.

As I said before I don't think the UK will continue to exist for long if there is a vote to leave. That Scotland, at the very least, would go for independence.

Talk of a federal Europe and barmy Brussels is mainly an issue brought about by a deliberately misleading press.

Quite obviously some things are better sorted out on a supranational basis. It should be no surprise that these are tackled at the EU level.

Of course people knew in 1975 that there would be changes as we went on, there always are. Nothing is set in aspic. We knew we were joining an organisation which would grow, and that new rules would be voted on (with our representatives, including our government via the Council of Ministers, having an equal say and a veto in most cases).

Having said that there are very few changes to the EU treaties and directives since '75 which affect me adversely on a day to day basis. Maybe you could enumerate some of these changes which people are reacting against.
ECHR, the Maastricht Treaty, massive expansion of the EU, The Single European Act.

Basically they were asked to vote on a single market, not the creation of a federal state.
 
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slatersteven wrote:
andyl wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
andyl wrote:
scott3387 wrote:
Nope, so what then is my gripe? My gripe is that we were never asked


Well apart from the 1975 referendum you mean? Or do you want a referendum on every possible change and regulation being passed by our elected representatives (and that applies to Westminster as well as the European Parliament)?
But what we were asked in 1975 was not what we haven now. Indeed talking to people who voted they were told what they were voting for was not this, and that fears of a more federal Europe were just fear mongering.


Free movement, which is probably one of the main things that people who support UKIP moan about, was there from the very beginning (it is in the Treaty of Rome).

The real issue is that in the modern world Britain needs to be part of an economic supranational grouping. It cannot go it alone and maintain its economic and political clout in the world. The only one that makes sense is the EU.

As I said before I don't think the UK will continue to exist for long if there is a vote to leave. That Scotland, at the very least, would go for independence.

Talk of a federal Europe and barmy Brussels is mainly an issue brought about by a deliberately misleading press.

Quite obviously some things are better sorted out on a supranational basis. It should be no surprise that these are tackled at the EU level.

Of course people knew in 1975 that there would be changes as we went on, there always are. Nothing is set in aspic. We knew we were joining an organisation which would grow, and that new rules would be voted on (with our representatives, including our government via the Council of Ministers, having an equal say and a veto in most cases).

Having said that there are very few changes to the EU treaties and directives since '75 which affect me adversely on a day to day basis. Maybe you could enumerate some of these changes which people are reacting against.
ECHR, the Maastricht Treaty, massive expansion of the EU, The Single European Act.

Basically they were asked to vote on a single market, not the creation of a federal state.


We were one of the original signatories to the ECHR in 1953 way before the EU/EEC vote. The ECHR has nothing to do with the EU anyway.

The expansion of the EU was always going to happen (even in the early 70s and the UK joining was part of that continuing process) and was mainly driven forwards by the UK.

The Maastricht Treaty and the SEA? How do they affect you on a day to day basis? Its all very well saying the Maastricht Treaty as if it is some kind of boogey man but unless you tell me how it affects you I can't really have a dialogue with you can I?



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andyl wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
andyl wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
andyl wrote:
scott3387 wrote:
Nope, so what then is my gripe? My gripe is that we were never asked


Well apart from the 1975 referendum you mean? Or do you want a referendum on every possible change and regulation being passed by our elected representatives (and that applies to Westminster as well as the European Parliament)?
But what we were asked in 1975 was not what we haven now. Indeed talking to people who voted they were told what they were voting for was not this, and that fears of a more federal Europe were just fear mongering.


Free movement, which is probably one of the main things that people who support UKIP moan about, was there from the very beginning (it is in the Treaty of Rome).

The real issue is that in the modern world Britain needs to be part of an economic supranational grouping. It cannot go it alone and maintain its economic and political clout in the world. The only one that makes sense is the EU.

As I said before I don't think the UK will continue to exist for long if there is a vote to leave. That Scotland, at the very least, would go for independence.

Talk of a federal Europe and barmy Brussels is mainly an issue brought about by a deliberately misleading press.

Quite obviously some things are better sorted out on a supranational basis. It should be no surprise that these are tackled at the EU level.

Of course people knew in 1975 that there would be changes as we went on, there always are. Nothing is set in aspic. We knew we were joining an organisation which would grow, and that new rules would be voted on (with our representatives, including our government via the Council of Ministers, having an equal say and a veto in most cases).

Having said that there are very few changes to the EU treaties and directives since '75 which affect me adversely on a day to day basis. Maybe you could enumerate some of these changes which people are reacting against.
ECHR, the Maastricht Treaty, massive expansion of the EU, The Single European Act.

Basically they were asked to vote on a single market, not the creation of a federal state.


We were one of the original signatories to the ECHR in 1953 way before the EU/EEC vote. The ECHR has nothing to do with the EU anyway.

The expansion of the EU was always going to happen (even in the early 70s and the UK joining was part of that continuing process) and was mainly driven forwards by the UK.

The Maastricht Treaty and the SEA? How do they affect you on a day to day basis? Its all very well saying the Maastricht Treaty as if it is some kind of boogey man but unless you tell me how it affects you I can't really have a dialogue with you can I?



It does not matter how if affects me, if I am asked to vote on X, X is what I vote on. In 1975 it was promised that there would be no more then a common market, a trading block. The EU is not what we voted on.

It's about democracy, it's about being given a chance to decide if we are happy with what we spend (in exchange for what we get).

As to how the EU affects us, the parliament gets to decide on iuess that that directly affect our jobs, our family lives, the health care we get, rules about recycling and energy.

If you are a smoker the EU has had an affect on your life. If you eat chocolate the EU has had an impact on your life. Want to know why opening a bank account is harder, the EU. It fact it may be fair to say none of us really knows how much our lives are affected by the EU, being it higher taxes to pay for membership or regulations that require you to grow your bananas straighter (now repealed).
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slatersteven wrote:
It does not matter how if affects me,


Well it is if you are saying that there have been changes which makes being a member different now. The way people react there must be a discernable personal effect as well as a general abstract effect on a more high level.

Quote:
In 1975 it was promised that there would be no more then a common market, a trading block. The EU is not what we voted on.


Are you sure? The actual question was "Do you think the United Kingdom should stay in the European Community (the Common Market)". The Common Market was always an unofficial name, in reality it was always the European Community. I cannot remember the details of 1975 very well but I am sure that was a load of misinformation including keeping quiet on some things (on both sides) as there always is in these things.

Quote:

If you are a smoker the EU has had an affect on your life. If you eat chocolate the EU has had an impact on your life. Want to know why opening a bank account is harder, the EU. It fact it may be fair to say none of us really knows how much our lives are affected by the EU, being it higher taxes to pay for membership or regulations that require you to grow your bananas straighter (now repealed).


Well some of those are well known euromyths. The bananas one for example is bananas. The EU never required people to have straight bananas, there was never a ban. It was all about classification into extra, class I and class II bananas. Standardisation of fruit and veg (and other products) was already taking place before we joined the EU, and the EU was basically acting to come up with common standards across all of the EU (thus trying to provide better access to all markets in the EU - which is something we signed up for). Not that there are many people growing bananas in the UK.

Also the chocolate thing never affected what could be sold in the UK. It was all to do with us (and the Irish and Danes) selling our chocolate to some of the other European countries. It was also an issue right from when we joined, not something that had changed. It was also an issue where the EU, eventually, found in favour of the UK.

I am pretty sure that stuff like increased identification for opening bank accounts is something that would have happened regardless of whether we were in or not.

As for higher taxes, well you have me there. The extra cost per capita (ignoring any indirect benefits we get by being members such as inward investment and enhanced trade within the EU) is around £140 a year.
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Boaty McBoatface
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andyl wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
It does not matter how if affects me,


Well it is if you are saying that there have been changes which makes being a member different now. The way people react there must be a discernable personal effect as well as a general abstract effect on a more high level.

Quote:
In 1975 it was promised that there would be no more then a common market, a trading block. The EU is not what we voted on.


Are you sure? The actual question was "Do you think the United Kingdom should stay in the European Community (the Common Market)". The Common Market was always an unofficial name, in reality it was always the European Community. I cannot remember the details of 1975 very well but I am sure that was a load of misinformation including keeping quiet on some things (on both sides) as there always is in these things.

Quote:

If you are a smoker the EU has had an affect on your life. If you eat chocolate the EU has had an impact on your life. Want to know why opening a bank account is harder, the EU. It fact it may be fair to say none of us really knows how much our lives are affected by the EU, being it higher taxes to pay for membership or regulations that require you to grow your bananas straighter (now repealed).


Well some of those are well known euromyths. The bananas one for example is bananas. The EU never required people to have straight bananas, there was never a ban. It was all about classification into extra, class I and class II bananas. Standardisation of fruit and veg (and other products) was already taking place before we joined the EU, and the EU was basically acting to come up with common standards across all of the EU (thus trying to provide better access to all markets in the EU - which is something we signed up for). Not that there are many people growing bananas in the UK.

Also the chocolate thing never affected what could be sold in the UK. It was all to do with us (and the Irish and Danes) selling our chocolate to some of the other European countries. It was also an issue right from when we joined, not something that had changed. It was also an issue where the EU, eventually, found in favour of the UK.

I am pretty sure that stuff like increased identification for opening bank accounts is something that would have happened regardless of whether we were in or not.

As for higher taxes, well you have me there. The extra cost per capita (ignoring any indirect benefits we get by being members such as inward investment and enhanced trade within the EU) is around £140 a year.
Actually the chocolate thing does, there is a size limit.

EU law (not being enforced, so a good example of the silliness and waster) bans diabetics from driving.
 
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Luke Morris
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There was an interesting program on Radio 4 recently, part of a series called "The Long View". Until about 1905, immigration into the UK was open and seen as a good thing that strengthens the country. When immigration officers were hired, immigrants needed to prove they had £5 to enter. Cue money lenders, cons and shenanigans.
Basically UKIP want to be Japan with regards to immigration and health care policy. I spent 5 years working in Japan and being a foreigner sucked big time when it came to rights.
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Meaningless means there's a strong limit to how much I can mess up!
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slatersteven wrote:
EU law (not being enforced, so a good example of the silliness and waster) bans diabetics from driving.


The law doesn't ban diabetics from driving. It does set a bunch of standards (which already exist in most countries) about when diabetics can drive. For example, if you are at serious risk of collapsing while driving, you can't drive.

This kind of thing seems to me to be exactly the kind of thing the EU should be doing.

First, it's a decisions that would hope is 99% in the hands of technical diabetics experts. With decisions like this, I think it's important that there is some overall democratic oversight, so the law should ultimately be in the hands of some elected officials, but the non-expect officials should also be little more than double checkers for technical, apolitical laws like this. I would hope, if everything is working right, that the law should be more or less the same in any country with decent medical experts.

Secondly, if I were working for or owned a delivery or similar company that crossed European borders, I would definitely want this kind of thing to be as standardised as possible. I certainly wouldn't want to have to drive 4 hours longer just to avoid a short-cut through, say, France, because of ever-so-slightly different technical limitations on driving, or have to deal with different paperwork in every different country I drove through. Both of these things would be a huge waste of time and money.
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Bojan Ramadanovic
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I am on a balance a fan of EU.

Freedom of movement is excellent idea - pushing up competitiveness in all countries affected (and benefiting UK tremendously by preventing the sort of stale, cartelized labour market you had in the 70ies.

Free trade is pretty good - though in a sense limiting in that you are expected not to sign separate trade deals out of EU. Still probably leads to more free trade rather then less.

What is obnoxious about EU is its over-reaching court (UK never gave as much power to its own judges as is claimed by the ECJ), its politically driven economic restrictions (GMO, Hydraulic Fracking) its ridiculous farm policy and some members that should have never been admitted on the account of failing to meet basic standards of running a relatively corruption-free liberal democracy (Greece - which got in solely based on the ruins they got, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Croatia and possibly a few more).

Despite downsides I would probably still vote for "in" on the in/out referendum were I a UK citizen.

That said, I do not think that "out" would be nearly as much of a catastrophe as some people seem to say.
It is said that UK would lose some diplomatic clout outside EU but it may be an illusory loss considering that UK diplomatic position *within* EU is always somewhat tentative.
UK diplomatic clout derives from the fact that it is world's 5th largest economy, has strong conventional army bolstered by nuclear weapons and is a permanent, veto-wielding member of security council.
None of those things would change with leaving EU.

Neither would, status of London as a financial center. If membership of EU mattered to financial industry - they would have decamped for Frankfurt when it became clear that UK is never joining Eurozone. If anything, without threat of EU regulation, pressure of the City (and its relative importance to the UK economy) would force government to make UK even more friendly to financial industry. Short of major self-harm I do not see any disruption caused by leaving EU as being in any way permanent.

Free trade wise, it is again something that UK government would have quite a bit of control over. In the best possible world, they would return to the old British policy of unilateral trade liberalization and let the floating currency sort stuff out. In the more realistic world they would achieve some sort of modus-operandi with EU and would probably get closer to North America trade wise - maybe even join NAFTA, It is arguable that, distance notwithstanding, NAFTA would be more beneficial to British economy (considering what British economy consists of) then EU single market is.

It is possible that leaving EU would push Scotland into another referendum on independence - but that is fair. Scottish position in the UK is pretty tentative at this point as it is. Other then emotional reasons there is no substantial loss for the rest of the country if Scots decided to leave UK and stay in EU. Considering the importance of English trade for Scotland - it would be perhaps even be good to have Scotland in EU pushing for a nice trade-treaty with England (as long as partition is not hostile of course).

Canada and Australia, as well as Korea, Japan and on a smaller scale Singapore prove that it is perfectly viable to be a mid-size country outside continent-sized political union as long as one has solid internal economy, firm rule of law and solid military alliances.

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Andy Leighton
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bramadan wrote:

Canada and Australia, as well as Korea, Japan and on a smaller scale Singapore prove that it is perfectly viable to be a mid-size country outside continent-sized political union as long as one has solid internal economy, firm rule of law and solid military alliances.


I think there would be a lot of people who would be disappointed, or even horrified, if we were reduced to the level of a Canada or Australia (or Korea or Japan) in world importance.

My point isn't that we would have a viable country - we would, just that the resulting country wouldn't mesh very well with how a lot of Brits see the country.
 
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