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3 hours ago, Tim Sewell said:

The UK Civil Service - analogous to the Commission - has the ability to propose legislation and there is no way to vote them out.

This demonstrates the problem - right from the outset - of Brexit discourse. Most of it is rooted in ignorance of how the EU actually works.

I presume the proposed legislation would still have to be debated and passed through the UK parliament. So, our directly elected MPs would still have political authority to scrutinise and amend the legislation.

But I do think the civil service and its powers to prepare legislation should receive more coverage on TV and in the press. Their role is far more important than is generally assumed.

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Australia is a continent, with huge natural resources, thousands of miles from anywhere else. Canada is half a continent, next door to the biggest market in the world, and if you think that neighbour

Yeah so did I, there was a lot of ideology and feelings wasn't there in the run up to the referendum and very little fact. You had to brush it off and do a character judgement on those advocating for

A lot of assumptions about me in this I don't like. But let's focus on the facts. If we rewind to 2005, you are probably not with a strong opinion on the EU. Probably getting on with your life ju

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32 minutes ago, good_1da said:

I presume the proposed legislation would still have to be debated and passed through the UK parliament. So, our directly elected MPs would still have political authority to scrutinise and amend the legislation.

Yes. Exactly as EU legislation has to be debated and passed by directly elected MEPs. The Commission can't just dictate legislation and see it passed into law. The overall direction is set by the Council (made up of elected national ministers), the Commission basically works out how to achieve what it's asked for and the resulting proposed legislation is debated and passed (or not) by the parliament. If the legislation requires treaty changes then it has to also be approved by national parliaments, which makes the whole thing somewhat more democratic than what goes on in Westminster. In other cases, legislation proposed independently by the Commission has to be approved by the Council as well as the Parliament.

By the way, you've made quite a lot of very definitive statements judging the democratic nature or otherwise of EU structures, I'm surprised that rather than categorically knowing how the UK's structures (that you posit are superior) you are having to fall back on 'presuming'.

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3 hours ago, Tim Sewell said:

Yes. Exactly as EU legislation has to be debated and passed by directly elected MEPs. The Commission can't just dictate legislation and see it passed into law. The overall direction is set by the Council (made up of elected national ministers), the Commission basically works out how to achieve what it's asked for and the resulting proposed legislation is debated and passed (or not) by the parliament. If the legislation requires treaty changes then it has to also be approved by national parliaments, which makes the whole thing somewhat more democratic than what goes on in Westminster. In other cases, legislation proposed independently by the Commission has to be approved by the Council as well as the Parliament.

By the way, you've made quite a lot of very definitive statements judging the democratic nature or otherwise of EU structures, I'm surprised that rather than categorically knowing how the UK's structures (that you posit are superior) you are having to fall back on 'presuming'.

I used the word 'presume' rather than another because I was just trying to soften the language and dial down the rhetoric a bit.

I didn't want everyone getting annoyed at each other. I appreciate your considered responses to the thread.

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7 hours ago, good_1da said:

I presume the proposed legislation would still have to be debated and passed through the UK parliament. So, our directly elected MPs would still have political authority to scrutinise and amend the legislation.

But I do think the civil service and its powers to prepare legislation should receive more coverage on TV and in the press. Their role is far more important than is generally assumed.

The Tories did their best to undermine scrutiny in the UK parliament and even the courts. Indeed the exact terms of the Brexit we got on 1st Jan were finally negotiated so late, that it was a week before the 1st Jan and during Christmas that it got dumped before the UK parliament. Our democratically elected representatives had no choice but to pass it as-is, with no amendments, because it was a choice between that or a hard Brexit on WTO terms. So having backed Labour and the Scottish into a corner, Boris finally got his wish for the deal to be passed without any real scrutiny what-so-ever.

Which is probably why it throws so many people under the bus, like musicians for instance to whom the EU offered a touring visa, but the Tories rejected. Then again, since when have the Tories been anything other than complete philistines when it comes to the arts?

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On 1/11/2021 at 7:03 PM, good_1da said:

The UK rejected a form of governance I profoundly dislike. That is the fundamental benefit for me. I just believe that government at all levels should be as directly elected as possible. Maintaining the important connection between the people and those who represent them. And, that we must have a chance to unelect our representatives when they don't meet our expectations.

This is exactly the way the EU works. If we don't like our MEPs, we un-elect them.

I am no fan of overreach when it comes to centralised governments. No fan of that at all. I do agree the government should be directly representative of the people. That's why a coalition is a better representation of a nation. They work together, bridge divides, compromise. This is also why the EU was set up. It was not built to revive the monopolies of Germany, France, etc. and crush British industry. It was set up to prevent war in Europe and further cross border collaboration. There are hundreds of examples of this collaboration in the UK. Big state-funded EU projects and infrastructure we take for granted. Scientific communities and joint projects, the free flow of EU talent into the country's creative sector, in filmmaking, music, video game development, plus a hell of a lot more. Who would want to come to us now? All those easy to use privileges have been taken away and replaced with an inflexible Tory points based immigration system. It is now more bureaucratic, more uncertain, and more red tape for businesses too.

On 1/11/2021 at 7:03 PM, good_1da said:

IMHO the EU does not meet these criteria. Most obvious example, the EU Commission President and the Commissioners are not directly elected even though they have powers to propose legislation that can be binding in every country.

If you directly elect every leader and every official you leave your democracy wide open to popularism and knee jerk reactions by the general public, based on misinformation and social media bullshit. There has to be some stability and some form of steady government. As far as I know the President is a revolving role switching between countries. What in particular did the previous EU commission president do to so hinder the UK anyway? Specifically?

On 1/11/2021 at 7:03 PM, good_1da said:

And, there is no direct way to vote them out.

Especially not now we have left.

Voluntarily given up our voice in Europe which could be have been used to positively reform it and increase our share of the pie.

On 1/11/2021 at 7:03 PM, good_1da said:

In the UK, we already have many types of democratic and directly elected government...

  1. UK Parliament (House of Commons, House of Lords)
  2. Scottish Parliament
  3. National Assembly for Wales
  4. Northern Ireland Assembly 
  5. Combined Authority Majors/Metro Majors
  6. Executive Mayors 
  7. Councillors on Local Councils
  8. Police and Crime Commissioners 

That is a hell of a lot of layers. With endless debating and investigative work of committees to scrutinise decisions. It’s not perfect, but it is about as transparent and representative as it gets. IMO it is quite enough government for any nation. 

And that UK democracy with 8 layers stays the same regardless of whether we are in the EU or not. Dominic Cummings basically wanted to rip it all up and basically have a dictatorship at the top with no checks and balance. He wanted to abolish most of the civil service for starters.

On 1/11/2021 at 7:03 PM, good_1da said:

I am not trying to convince Andrew or anyone else of the merits of Leaving the EU or the strategic reasons why people voted Tory in 2019.

Wish you would though. I am still waiting for all the specific advantages for me to be communicated by somebody on the Leave side but as usual it's just a load of hot air about taking back control!

On 1/11/2021 at 7:03 PM, good_1da said:

I am simply pointing out that the negative framing of leavers (e.g led by crooks, or racists harking back to empire) is typical of a long-standing class condescension by the liberal intelligentsia. 

It is also a convenient way for these liberal elites to avoid addressing real world challenges and the role their interests play in them. e.g UK population growth (expected to reach 71+ million by 2030). 

I am no fan of so-called liberal elites either but if it is unaccountable, unelected elitism that's the enemy, voting Tory is about the maximum you can do to further it and that kind of cronyism. Recently the Tories got battered over the free school meals bullshit and their response has been to get a crony company to distribute free meals to parents, claim they're worth £30 when actually they receive about £5 worth of shit food to last them nearly a full week of schooling. Whilst the company involved creams off the profit.

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13 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

And the answer is to vote Tory?!

That's the thing that would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic. The anti-elitists' answer to their woes was to elect a 'billionaire' to the US Presidency (who filled his cabinet with other billionaires, who promptly gave themselves a massive tax cut at the expense of programmes designed to help those at the bottom and in the middle), while in the UK they elected the most old-Etonian-heavy cabinet in living memory (while also ditching our most important and valuable international alliance at the behest of a bunch of public schoolboys).

Yet apparently it's bad form to characterise Leavers and Tory voters as numbskulls and racists.

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22 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Wish you would though. I am still waiting for all the specific advantages for me to be communicated by somebody on the Leave side but as usual it's just a load of hot air about taking back control!

This. 

It is important a country is in control of itself, certainly. But I’ve yet to hear any real, tangible day to day benefit of leaving. What will I benefit from by walking out the door, and going about my day? Can someone tell us please, without going on about the political funfair and it’s system?
 

Where’s that £350mil a week for the NHS for instance? Every visit I’ve made to the hospital, for whichever reason, is unbelievably long. Can’t we fund it properly so we can cut down waiting times, more people get seen and have a higher chance of survival? It’s those things that matter. The day to day bread and butter. 

Let’s remove all this political structuring and ideological flag of glory, and see what the actual real life benefits are yes? 

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On 1/13/2021 at 8:29 AM, Tim Sewell said:

(And the answer is to vote Tory?!) That's the thing that would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic. The anti-elitists' answer to their woes was to elect a 'billionaire' to the US Presidency (who filled his cabinet with other billionaires...

I often hear people making this kind of linkage...that somehow Brexit and Trump is all part of some shared ideology...it is a complete falsehood.

Opinion poll after opinion poll has shown the vast majority of leavers do not have the time for an anti-democrat like Donald Trump and would never have voted for him had they had the chance.

A recent poll taken during the Biden-Trump election showed not a single UK constituency would vote for Donald Trump. Trump is seen by the vast majority of the British public for what he is, a crazy guy completely unfit for high office.

https://www.politico.eu/article/not-a-single-uk-constituency-would-vote-for-donald-trump-poll/

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To say that both phenomena stem from similar origins is not to say that British leavers would necessarily have voted for Trump - that would be simplistic. Besides, he's a particular kind of American figure of a type that most British people find intrinsically unappealing. I think it's safe to say, however, that many British Leavers - were they Americans who had grown up in America and were in similar socio-economic situations in the USA as they are here - would be in the category of voters who could be expected to be Trump voters.

British Leave voters were more likely to be older, white, less educated, hold more reactionary views and be less economically active than Remain voters. A similar profile to Trump voters in the USA.

Anyway, whether or not that's the case - in both countries, people who felt their worries weren't being listened to voted for things that will inevitably make their lives even worse after believing the lies of extremely rich and well-connected politicians who actually couldn't give a flying fuck about them.

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1 hour ago, good_1da said:

A recent poll taken during the Biden-Trump election showed not a single UK constituency would vote for Donald Trump.

This poll was, of course, taken, after watching his performance in office for four years so not indicative of any correlation between Brexit voters feelings about him in 2016 when obviously he wasn't actually in office yet.

In any case, neither UKIP nor the Brexit party won a single constituency in the UK general elections either, so using UK constituency voting intention is not really even a useful indicator of a link between Brexit and, well, Brexit.

Particularly when you consider that Nigel Farage, the undisputed high priest of Brexit, has never been able to win a parliamentary seat in his whole career despite seven attempts over a period of two decades.

Where you will find a link between Brexit and UK voting is, of course, is when you look at the election record of UKIP etc in the European Elections where due to those utilising proportional representation rather than first past the post, the number of votes cast as a whole is reflected in the number of seats awarded.

So UKIP/Brexit Party etc can get fairer representation in the parliament that they were demonising than they can in their own parliament.

Which is all a bit awkward really isn't it ?

It also blows a big hole in the lack of "sovereignty" as well as surely the EU would have insisted on the UK adopting proportional representation too ?

So, of course, the UK has always had sufficient "sovereignty" to determine its own election processes irrespective of being in the EU or not and could also have chosen to establish this fairer method of distribution of seats in it own parliament.

This would have afforded the supporters of the UKIP/Brexit Party etc a genuine stake in shaping domestic issues.

But of course, the reason that proportional representation will always be voted down in the UK can be found in the result of the 2019 general election.

The Conservatives got 43.6% of the votes cast in the country and were rewarded with 364 seats (56% of the total seats).

Whereas between them, the Labour & LibDems got 43.7% and received only 214 seats (32.92% of the total seats).

It was framed as a Brexit election but with the way the constituency boundaries have been re-drawn over the years it delivered an 80 seat majority that means the Conservative party can now basically rule by decree.

Under proportional representation, they wouldn't have had a working majority even with the support of parties allied to Brexit such as UKIP etc.

So the bigger and actually more damaging impact of Brexit isn't just Brexit itself, as damaging as it is to wilfully impose economic sanctions on yourself, but that it has now delivered at least five years of unopposed space in which the Conservative government can impose policies that will be no friend to the working class.

There were many legitimate grievances from working class people that voted to Leave in 2016.

Unfortunately, they were aimed at the wrong parliament.

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The bottom line is that if someone voted to leave in 2016 and then voted Conservative in 2019 to "get Brexit done" then that person now better hope and pray that their domestic policy requirements align precisely with those of the Conservative party.

Because from here until 2024, that person is going to get exactly what the Conservative party determine that they are going to get and no more.

And with the 80 seat majority that they helped deliver for them, they have ensured that it will be unopposed.

If anyone is in any doubt about how that might work out, then a quick glimpse of their voting records should prove enlightening.

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2 hours ago, Tim Sewell said:

They're going to get what they voted for. Good and hard!

Sadly, we are all going to get what they voted for too.

If there was ever any doubt about the contempt and disregard for the consequences of their actions that this Conservative government has then Jacob Rees Mogg's response to being scrutinised about the piles of rotting fish that are being amassed on quaysides as supply routes to the EU collapse should close the book on those doubts once and for all.

How any working class person could ever have looked at him and thought "Yep, he's my guy, he has my interests at heart, there's no way he is pursuing Brexit for his own ends" is absolutely unbelievable.

Particularly when his Dad literally wrote the book on the opportunities that chaos can create.

moggs.jpg.4bccf781f9b5b60f141b74face3f5e20.jpg

His own self serving hypocrisy should've been a big warning sign as well 

moggh.png.41925a2abf25aa50bb89614a8cb3c2f4.png

 

 

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3 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

The bottom line is that if someone voted to leave in 2016 and then voted Conservative in 2019 to "get Brexit done" then that person now better hope and pray that their domestic policy requirements align precisely with those of the Conservative party.

I realize there is plenty of scorn and derision around.

The reason I am more optimistic than some, is the opportunity English devolution represents for an area like the North-East. The region now has directly elected Mayors with devolved powers and a budget for Transport, Infrastructure, Skills and Jobs. This has helped to address the demographic deficit that was long felt in the North after Scottish devolution in the 90s.

My area elected a Mayor who campaigned to buy back the local airport which was about to be lost for housing

We now have an investment plan for the area...

  • Buy back the local airport.....completed (now 75% owned by the combined authority)
  • Upgrade of airport............on going
  • Modernise the railway station to include first link to London in decades.......on going
  • The compulsory purchase of the defunct steel works site from Thai banks........completed
  • Investment to clean up the site after 100+ years of steel making.......on going
  • Investment in transport infrastructure around the site.......on going
  • A Freeport........to be decided.

The result will be a very large plot of land for new businesses and new jobs in green energy, renewables, offshore wind-farm production, etc.  As well as upgrades to key transport links. 

I think this approach represents a better way forward. To move away from centralised Westminster decision making and the two party system that form of governance has tended to favour.

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1 hour ago, good_1da said:

I realize there is plenty of scorn and derision around.

What ?

Thats not scorn and derision, its the absolute reality of the situation when this party has an 80 seat majority.

Lets not forget that in September 2020, they used that majority to pass a bill that would allow them to break international law.

And then used that majority to vote down an amendment to the bill that would have required "ministers to respect the rule of law and uphold the independence of the courts".

 

1 hour ago, good_1da said:

We now have an investment plan for the area...

  • Buy back the local airport.....completed (now 75% owned by the combined authority)
  • Upgrade of airport............on going
  • Modernise the railway station to include first link to London in decades.......on going
  • The compulsory purchase of the defunct steel works site from Thai banks........completed
  • Investment to clean up the site after 100+ years of steel making.......on going
  • Investment in transport infrastructure around the site.......on going
  • A Freeport........to be decided.

 

Considering all of this was set in motion while still a member of the EU, how did any of that require the UK to leave the largest trading bloc in the world?

More to the point, how will the uncompleted elements fare with even the government's best case scenario of a 5% reduction in GDP with the deal that they negotiated compared to the one we had ?

How are the airport and the port going to be impacted by the UK leaving the bloc too? Hostile environment in the UK, more restrictions on travel from the UK to the EU and the painful import/export process of being a 3rd country to its nearest substantial market is a concern, I would've thought.

I'm guessing you're from Teeside, so more of the £180 million pounds that region has had in funding from the EU in the past six years would certainly have come in handy over the next years to support these and other initiatives.

Whilst it is great news for your area to have had the current Conservative chancellor making the trip up there with his cheque book, a previous Conservative chancellor had a cunning plan for my city when they decided that there was no point trying to win us round to "their" way of thinking and hence not worth their effort and called for its "managed decline".

howe.thumb.jpg.f8dc01617b20590662dcf33f0534f9de.jpg

It was the EU investment that provided the money for Liverpool to recover, not central Government, and that is why we voted to Remain and continue to reject the Conservatives.

I honestly hope it works out for you and they don't subsequently shit on your region but, unfortunately, that 80 seat majority they were handed means we don't even have a two party system to oppose them even if they do.

Incidentally, we also have a Metro Mayor of our Region but it hasn't stopped the funding cuts from central government, both pre and post Covid-19, so devolution is not a panacea. It just passes the buck of which library or meals on wheels service to close to someone else other than the government. 

 

Cheers and good luck.

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11 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

Whilst it is great news for your area to have had the current Conservative chancellor making the trip up there with his cheque book, a previous Conservative chancellor had a cunning plan for my city when they decided that there was no point trying to win us round to "their" way of thinking and hence not worth their effort and called for its "managed decline".

Quite. I was there at the time (grew up in Birkenhead and latterly Toxteth) and I saw the results of the historic trashing of Liverpool of which that was just another episode. I was at my Mum's friend's flat by the Rialto when mates of her daughter's rushed in to tell us that people were coming on to the streets after the beating of two local lads in a cop van in the city centre. It was a wild few days; mind you, afterwards you could barely tell the difference up Parliament Street, since it had still looked like a fresh bomb site before the riots - there were still huge flattened stretches left over from WW2 - in 1981! - that told anyone willing to keep their eyes open just how much of a fuck successive governments, mostly Tory, gave about Liverpool and the North.

Anyone, *anyone* who thinks the Conservatives will help working people anywhere, let alone in 'the provinces' is either too young to remember or too dumb to understand what's been in front of their faces for decades. It certainly wasn't the fault of the EU that 9 out of 10 of the most deprived areas in the EU are in the UK, yet the very people who helped sustain that 'world-beating' performance are those who were believed when they campaigned to remove the only barriers to them continuing it.

Anyway. We're entering a period where a lot of people are going to suffer, while a tiny few will prosper mightily. Maybe those who are still convincing themselves that Brexit and the Conservatives are going to usher in a golden age will, after a few years of that, start to understand that they've been conned.

But I'm not holding my breath.

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1 hour ago, Tim Sewell said:

It was a wild few days; mind you, afterwards you could barely tell the difference up Parliament Street

My Uncle lived in a flat on Smithdown and, yeah, the difference in how Parly looked when we were driving up it on the bus going to visit him pre and post riot was marginal 🙂 .

1 hour ago, Tim Sewell said:

Anyone, *anyone* who thinks the Conservatives will help working people anywhere, let alone in 'the provinces' is either too young to remember or too dumb to understand what's been in front of their faces for decades.

The front page of today's FT shows the wholly anticipated direction of travel now that this government is free of those pesky EU rules.

FT2.thumb.jpg.df180762042097fb7f661f5fedd52d90.jpg

The painful economic recovery from COVID and "re-adjustment" to Brexit trading conditions will give convenient cover for the unscrupulous to exploit any sort of removal of protections.

And this is only week two.

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