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politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Looking back over 2018: Alastair Meeks reviews his predictions

SystemSystem Posts: 6,666
edited December 2018 in General

imagepoliticalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Looking back over 2018: Alastair Meeks reviews his predictions

It’s that time of year when everyone makes predictions about what is coming up.  Oddly, you get rather fewer articles looking back at the previous year’s predictions. Funny that.

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Comments

  • PClippPClipp Posts: 1,794
    First
  • Second! Like Labour at GE2022*

    * If they're lucky. T&C apply
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 15,190
    Third like Boris
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 15,190
    The leavers are under significant pressure regarding the deal, and it is notable that since the failed coup they have all gone rather quiet, I wouldn't write off the (last part of the) first prediction entirely, yet.
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 4,973
    Well in the same spirit - this is what I came up with last year. Not as good as Alastair but not too shabby:

    "1. Agree with Alistair. I’d be more specific and say we will do a deal and say we will have good access to single market and maintain freedom of movement in practice. A few Tory Brexiteers will fuss but most will be persuaded by the Gove line that we are out and have the power to change things further in future/when they stand as leader.
    2. Suspect party leaders will stay but I also think May could be forced into giving an exit date.
    3. I think no/very few Cabinet departures and no reshuffle. But the briefings against each other will intensify. I think we will see much greater clarity on who is planning to replace Theresa, deals will be done. Total guess but I think both Gove and Leadsom will offer their support to someone if they can be Chancellor. High profile leavers will be in demand to give the Remainer leader hopefuls some street cred with the membership.
    4. I think Tories may pull ahead of Labour slightly after Brexit deal is announced/clear but otherwise both parties will drift downwards in polls back to the 30s.
    5. UK Economy will under perform as growth drifts downwards. No recession.
    6. Republicans will lose House in mid terms, just hold onto Senate (possibly needing Pence for tiebreaks). Dems will begin impeachment process but probably jump the gun. The evidence from Mueller will be both damning and deniable and ultimately the Republican Senators won’t back impeachment in significant numbers.
    7. My black swan event/longshot - some kind of major NHS catastrophe a la Grenfell which captures the public consciousness.."
  • IanB2 said:

    The leavers are under significant pressure regarding the deal, and it is notable that since the failed coup they have all gone rather quiet, I wouldn't write off the (last part of the) first prediction entirely, yet.

    The silence of the Brexiteers may be a by-product of David Cameron's not setting up a commission to establish what Leave actually meant. This might have helped Leave win but there is no consensus position for ERG members to rally round, especially since voting for Jacob Rees-Mogg's champion in the leadership election is now off the agenda. JRM forecast a trillion pound bonus from crashing out but provided no workings so no-one believed him. Individual MPs might drift back to May.

    For now, the view seems to be that Theresa May's deal is not viable and cannot pass, yet no deal might be even worse, with even former chief Leaver Michael Gove warning of shortages. The Cabinet is split half a dozen ways as to the best outcome.

    Nothing can happen, yet something will happen.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 22,867

    IanB2 said:

    The leavers are under significant pressure regarding the deal, and it is notable that since the failed coup they have all gone rather quiet, I wouldn't write off the (last part of the) first prediction entirely, yet.

    The silence of the Brexiteers may be a by-product of David Cameron's not setting up a commission to establish what Leave actually meant. This might have helped Leave win but there is no consensus position for ERG members to rally round, especially since voting for Jacob Rees-Mogg's champion in the leadership election is now off the agenda. JRM forecast a trillion pound bonus from crashing out but provided no workings so no-one believed him. Individual MPs might drift back to May.

    For now, the view seems to be that Theresa May's deal is not viable and cannot pass, yet no deal might be even worse, with even former chief Leaver Michael Gove warning of shortages. The Cabinet is split half a dozen ways as to the best outcome.

    Nothing can happen, yet something will happen.
    As I've said passim, such a commission would have been utterly pointless and would politically have played into leave's hands.

    I would say that leave's win has more to do with the general apathy of remainers during the referendum campaign, and the eighth-hearted approach taken to 'campaigning' by the Labour leader. Leavers wanted the win more, and were more willing to work for it.
  • IanB2 said:

    The leavers are under significant pressure regarding the deal, and it is notable that since the failed coup they have all gone rather quiet, I wouldn't write off the (last part of the) first prediction entirely, yet.

    The silence of the Brexiteers may be a by-product of David Cameron's not setting up a commission to establish what Leave actually meant. This might have helped Leave win but there is no consensus position for ERG members to rally round, especially since voting for Jacob Rees-Mogg's champion in the leadership election is now off the agenda. JRM forecast a trillion pound bonus from crashing out but provided no workings so no-one believed him. Individual MPs might drift back to May.

    For now, the view seems to be that Theresa May's deal is not viable and cannot pass, yet no deal might be even worse, with even former chief Leaver Michael Gove warning of shortages. The Cabinet is split half a dozen ways as to the best outcome.

    Nothing can happen, yet something will happen.
    As I've said passim, such a commission would have been utterly pointless and would politically have played into leave's hands.

    I would say that leave's win has more to do with the general apathy of remainers during the referendum campaign, and the eighth-hearted approach taken to 'campaigning' by the Labour leader. Leavers wanted the win more, and were more willing to work for it.
    The point is not what a commission would have done for Remain but what it would have done for Leave. The point is that because there was no commission, so there is now no ERG or Brexiteer consensus. There is no rallying point for the headbangers, which means some will drift away. No-one, not the hypothetical commission, not Ukip, not the ERG, has provided an intellectually and economically coherent case for Leave-inclined MPs.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 22,867

    The point is not what a commission would have done for Remain but what it would have done for Leave. The point is that because there was no commission, so there is now no ERG or Brexiteer consensus. There is no rallying point for the headbangers, which means some will drift away. No-one, not the hypothetical commission, not Ukip, not the ERG, has provided an intellectually and economically coherent case for Leave-inclined MPs.

    I fear that's wrong. Headbangers will always have a rallying point: and that's to complain vociferously and noisily about *something* - because that's what headbangers do, and it's easier to do so in a crowd like a herd of flatulent sheep. At the moment they're vociferously against May's deal. Before that, they were vociferously against Cameron's renegotiation.

    And here's a prediction: once Brexit has happened, they'll turn onto something else: either the EU would be acting unfaithfully, or the UK government is, or they don't like the price of bread or that swarthy-looking man they saw on the TV the other day. They'll complain about something, because they're winnets, and the political ones realise it's their only way to get the attention they crave from the media.

    The problem is that the headbangers are so incompetent that they've failed to sink May - and that's why they're currently quieter than usual. They'll be back.

    They should be ignored.
  • SquareRootSquareRoot Posts: 6,371
    edited December 2018
    Has anyone ever itemised IN DETAIL why its a bad deal? I have heard much of "we cant leave the deal without the EU's permission..." but that has proved to be untrue.
  • felixfelix Posts: 8,459
    'Positions are getting steadily more entrenched and becoming a part of many people’s personalities'.


    So true :)
  • JonathanJonathan Posts: 10,945

    Has anyone ever itemised IN DETAIL why its a bad deal? I have heard much of "we cant leave the deal without the EU's permission..." but that has proved to be untrue.

    Has it? Where? It was a ‘calculated risk’. Please forward link.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 10,621
    An excellent set of predictions, Alastair. I look forward to some of your detractors admitting as much.

    ... And I can only hope your expected Jeremiads for next year aren’t quite as accurate.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 16,641
    Nigelb said:

    An excellent set of predictions, Alastair. I look forward to some of your detractors admitting as much.

    ... And I can only hope your expected Jeremiads for next year aren’t quite as accurate.

    Item 1 will surely have to be:

    'Everyone will continue whinging pointlessly about Brexit.'

    Which is as close to a cold reading as saying 'England will suffer at least one spectacular batting collapse.'
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 10,207
    edited December 2018
    Thank you Alastair, very interesting. I do take issue with your view that if only leavers backed the deal then remainers would too. I'm sorry, but I think they can see a route to no Brexit and they are going to pursue it vigorously.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 23,844
    Currently the most fantastic sunrise that looks like a Mark Rothko print - slab of dark land, line of ferocious eyeball-searing orange, slab of grey cloud.......

    Anyway, that was Christmas. So now - how do we deliver Brexit?
  • Good morning, everyone.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 10,621
    tlg86 said:

    Thank you Alastair, very interesting. I do take issue with your view that if only leavers backed the deal then remainers would too. I'm sorry, but I think they can see a route to no Brexit and they are going to pursue it vigorously.

    That might be true of some, but nowhere near enough to matter, had leavers grasped May’s deal. Which is underlined by the fact that quite a few of those who voted remain would still accept May’s deal.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 22,867

    Currently the most fantastic sunrise that looks like a Mark Rothko print - slab of dark land, line of ferocious eyeball-searing orange, slab of grey cloud.......

    Anyway, that was Christmas. So now - how do we deliver Brexit?

    A grey dawn here in Derbyshire.

    "So now - how do we deliver Brexit?""

    Keep the leavers who campaigned for this mess locked in their padded cells, and let the adults do the work. ;)
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 10,621
    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    An excellent set of predictions, Alastair. I look forward to some of your detractors admitting as much.

    ... And I can only hope your expected Jeremiads for next year aren’t quite as accurate.

    Item 1 will surely have to be:

    'Everyone will continue whinging pointlessly about Brexit.'
    Undoubtedly - but not really something one could put money on, unlike the cricket.
    Anyway, time to get up; have a good morning.

  • SquareRootSquareRoot Posts: 6,371
    Jonathan said:

    Has anyone ever itemised IN DETAIL why its a bad deal? I have heard much of "we cant leave the deal without the EU's permission..." but that has proved to be untrue.

    Has it? Where? It was a ‘calculated risk’. Please forward link.
    I understood that the EU had said not.
  • Has anyone ever itemised IN DETAIL why its a bad deal? I have heard much of "we cant leave the deal without the EU's permission..." but that has proved to be untrue.

    Do you mean the backstop? The deal is that we will stay in some half-in, half-out state for a couple of years while talks continue. If no further agreement is reached by 2022, the backstop comes into force, which might trap us indefinitely, which is a long time in politics, even if it cannot last forever.

    The answer is that lots of analyses have been produced from various different angles, and from each angle, it is a bad deal, even if some angles (Remain or Leave, for instance) are contradictory on what would constitute a good deal.

    The DUP is worried about weakening the union by putting a border down the Irish Sea. Everyone worries about a hard border with the Republic. The SNP thinks it will make Scotland poorer. The Bank of England says it will make the whole UK poorer, and so does the Treasury. It fails Labour's six tests. It leaves Britain as a rule taker but not maker, so the ERG complains we will be a vassal state after total surrender to Brussels. The deal says nothing about immigration, or protecting Britons abroad, and costs £39 billion or more.

  • Beverley_CBeverley_C Posts: 6,256
    tlg86 said:

    Thank you Alastair, very interesting. I do take issue with your view that if only leavers backed the deal then remainers would too. I'm sorry, but I think they can see a route to no Brexit and they are going to pursue it vigorously.

    And rightfully so....

    I hope everyone had a nice Xmas
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 23,844

    Jonathan said:

    Has anyone ever itemised IN DETAIL why its a bad deal? I have heard much of "we cant leave the deal without the EU's permission..." but that has proved to be untrue.

    Has it? Where? It was a ‘calculated risk’. Please forward link.
    I understood that the EU had said not.
    But they won't put it in the Agreement......
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 3,055
    The problem with the deal from a leaver's perspective is that the tory party isn't going to be in government forever and Corbo isn't going to be leader of the Labour party forever. They need to achieve the most decisive and conclusive brexit possible while the constellations are aligned. The deal is neither decisive or conclusive.
  • Mr. mark, well, quite. "We promise we won't do this. But it won't be in the legally binding agreement."
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 16,641
    Dura_Ace said:

    The problem with the deal from a leaver's perspective is that the tory party isn't going to be in government forever and Corbo isn't going to be leader of the Labour party forever. They need to achieve the most decisive and conclusive brexit possible while the constellations are aligned. The deal is neither decisive or conclusive.

    It isn't intended to be. It's a transitory arrangement from which a final deal can be negotiated. Some aspects of the final agreement are there, e.g. the arbitration panel, the lack of CJEU jurisdiction and the free movement in Ireland. But there's more to do.

    But the key point is, it's out. Once we are out, it would require a huge amount of time and effort, including a referendum, to go back in, and re-entry would certainly be on appalling, indeed unacceptable terms including signing up to Schengen and the Euro. There just isn't the appetite for it, whatever the likes of Soubry or Benn or Cable may fantasise about. (And incidentally whatever the shortcomings of this deal it's a great deal better than full federalism.)

    So why are the Leavers jibbing? Well, I got into trouble once for comparing Rees-Mogg's brain to that of a stuffed rabbit. And with hindsight I was indeed completely wrong to make that comparison. Stuffed rabbits are way smarter than he is,
  • The interesting thing is that the political impasse of last year was fully predictable. There however is no clear vision of things getting better. The leavers have failed to convince remainers and their positions are now entrenched. Making major constitutional changes with a divided country is hard even for dictators. Where is the peacemaker who can bring the country back together?
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 16,641
    edited December 2018

    The interesting thing is that the political impasse of last year was fully predictable. There however is no clear vision of things getting better. The leavers have failed to convince remainers and their positions are now entrenched. Making major constitutional changes with a divided country is hard even for dictators. Where is the peacemaker who can bring the country back together?

    Her Majesty to become the first monarch to act as her own head of government since George IV's less than brilliantly successful experiment with Goderich in 1827-28?
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 8,234

    Has anyone ever itemised IN DETAIL why its a bad deal? I have heard much of "we cant leave the deal without the EU's permission..." but that has proved to be untrue.

    Technically the deal is good. It enables the UK to leave the EU in a non catastrophic way and doesn't of itself commit the UK to anything it isn't doing already. It could have been a lot worse. Olly Robbins deserves his knighthood. The Withdrawal Agreement could have been a lot tougher.

    It isn't however a Brexit settlement, nor does it solve the central contradiction of Brexit where people voted Leave "to take control" but we end up with far less say over own affairs than before, as well as a lot of disruption. The Withdrawal Agreement already puts significant constraints on our future settlement. The UK will be making a lot more compromises in negotiations over the next decade.

    The question for Leavers, as Alastair implies, is whether they are prepared to accept aspects of the "Vassal State" as a price worth paying for the fact of leaving the EU. Whether the symbols of sovereignty are more important than real influence. Like Alastair, I think, I assumed most Leavers would accept Brexit regardless. But there seems to be a big enough group of Leavers who don't think that's a price worth paying and would rather remain instead. That in turn cancels out the group of Remainers who think Brexit a bad idea but go along with it as a consensus decision. If Leavers don't accept the decision, Remainers have even less reason do so
  • Mr. 43, there's a difference between accepting the decision and approving of the execution.
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 20,936

    The point is not what a commission would have done for Remain but what it would have done for Leave. The point is that because there was no commission, so there is now no ERG or Brexiteer consensus. There is no rallying point for the headbangers, which means some will drift away. No-one, not the hypothetical commission, not Ukip, not the ERG, has provided an intellectually and economically coherent case for Leave-inclined MPs.

    I fear that's wrong. Headbangers will always have a rallying point: and that's to complain vociferously and noisily about *something* - because that's what headbangers do, and it's easier to do so in a crowd like a herd of flatulent sheep. At the moment they're vociferously against May's deal. Before that, they were vociferously against Cameron's renegotiation.

    And here's a prediction: once Brexit has happened, they'll turn onto something else: either the EU would be acting unfaithfully, or the UK government is, or they don't like the price of bread or that swarthy-looking man they saw on the TV the other day. They'll complain about something, because they're winnets, and the political ones realise it's their only way to get the attention they crave from the media.

    The problem is that the headbangers are so incompetent that they've failed to sink May - and that's why they're currently quieter than usual. They'll be back.

    They should be ignored.
    You forget that the remainers are so intellectually bereft that they lost a vote that was impossible to lose so as you say the headbangers will be back but given the stupidity of the remainers it will be impossible to ignore them.
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,356
    ydoethur said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    The problem with the deal from a leaver's perspective is that the tory party isn't going to be in government forever and Corbo isn't going to be leader of the Labour party forever. They need to achieve the most decisive and conclusive brexit possible while the constellations are aligned. The deal is neither decisive or conclusive.

    It isn't intended to be. It's a transitory arrangement from which a final deal can be negotiated. Some aspects of the final agreement are there, e.g. the arbitration panel, the lack of CJEU jurisdiction and the free movement in Ireland. But there's more to do.

    But the key point is, it's out. Once we are out, it would require a huge amount of time and effort, including a referendum, to go back in, and re-entry would certainly be on appalling, indeed unacceptable terms including signing up to Schengen and the Euro. There just isn't the appetite for it, whatever the likes of Soubry or Benn or Cable may fantasise about. (And incidentally whatever the shortcomings of this deal it's a great deal better than full federalism.)

    So why are the Leavers jibbing? Well, I got into trouble once for comparing Rees-Mogg's brain to that of a stuffed rabbit. And with hindsight I was indeed completely wrong to make that comparison. Stuffed rabbits are way smarter than he is,
    There is no barrier to rejoining that can't be surmounted. Leave hasn't even managed to maintain its lead in the polls let alone build on it. The leaving process has been botched sufficiently to damage the image of the whole project. And the timing of the devaluation of the pound means we have already had the benefits. The bust will coincide with the leaving process.

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them. As for the rebate, that was a national embarrassment.

    In the end the referendum will achieve its objective. We'll be in and the damaging debate will be over.
  • SquareRootSquareRoot Posts: 6,371
    malcolmg said:

    The point is not what a commission would have done for Remain but what it would have done for Leave. The point is that because there was no commission, so there is now no ERG or Brexiteer consensus. There is no rallying point for the headbangers, which means some will drift away. No-one, not the hypothetical commission, not Ukip, not the ERG, has provided an intellectually and economically coherent case for Leave-inclined MPs.

    I fear that's wrong. Headbangers will always have a rallying point: and that's to complain vociferously and noisily about *something* - because that's what headbangers do, and it's easier to do so in a crowd like a herd of flatulent sheep. At the moment they're vociferously against May's deal. Before that, they were vociferously against Cameron's renegotiation.

    And here's a prediction: once Brexit has happened, they'll turn onto something else: either the EU would be acting unfaithfully, or the UK government is, or they don't like the price of bread or that swarthy-looking man they saw on the TV the other day. They'll complain about something, because they're winnets, and the political ones realise it's their only way to get the attention they crave from the media.

    The problem is that the headbangers are so incompetent that they've failed to sink May - and that's why they're currently quieter than usual. They'll be back.

    They should be ignored.
    You forget that the remainers are so intellectually bereft that they lost a vote that was impossible to lose so as you say the headbangers will be back but given the stupidity of the remainers it will be impossible to ignore them.
    Malc.. When you mention other people being intellectually bereft, you would do well to look in the mirror before casting aspersions elsewhere
  • One measure of a successful prediction is that it looks obvious in hindsight, and that is the case here.

    Talking of predictions, it does look like we are still on for a change to colder weather in mid-January with a Sudden Stratospheric Warming about to happen.
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,356
    malcolmg said:

    The point is not what a commission would have done for Remain but what it would have done for Leave. The point is that because there was no commission, so there is now no ERG or Brexiteer consensus. There is no rallying point for the headbangers, which means some will drift away. No-one, not the hypothetical commission, not Ukip, not the ERG, has provided an intellectually and economically coherent case for Leave-inclined MPs.

    I fear that's wrong. Headbangers will always have a rallying point: and that's to complain vociferously and noisily about *something* - because that's what headbangers do, and it's easier to do so in a crowd like a herd of flatulent sheep. At the moment they're vociferously against May's deal. Before that, they were vociferously against Cameron's renegotiation.

    And here's a prediction: once Brexit has happened, they'll turn onto something else: either the EU would be acting unfaithfully, or the UK government is, or they don't like the price of bread or that swarthy-looking man they saw on the TV the other day. They'll complain about something, because they're winnets, and the political ones realise it's their only way to get the attention they crave from the media.

    The problem is that the headbangers are so incompetent that they've failed to sink May - and that's why they're currently quieter than usual. They'll be back.

    They should be ignored.
    You forget that the remainers are so intellectually bereft that they lost a vote that was impossible to lose so as you say the headbangers will be back but given the stupidity of the remainers it will be impossible to ignore them.
    Most of us weren't remainers. Most of us regarded the issue as settled and gave it not a moment's thought.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 16,641

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them.

    That's a very curious claim. What makes you think the EU, run on an increasingly overt federalist agenda, would not insist on us joining the two key planks of the agenda if we rejoined?
  • ydoethur said:

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them.

    That's a very curious claim. What makes you think the EU, run on an increasingly overt federalist agenda, would not insist on us joining the two key planks of the agenda if we rejoined?
    I think I'm correct in saying that Poland is committed to joining the Euro as a condition of its membership of the EU, but that in practice there is no appetite from Brussels to enforce this against Poland's will.

    Contrary to the belief of Brexit fantasists the EU is not in the business of imperial domination.
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,356
    ydoethur said:

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them.

    That's a very curious claim. What makes you think the EU, run on an increasingly overt federalist agenda, would not insist on us joining the two key planks of the agenda if we rejoined?
    I don't think that they would cut off their nose to spite their face. But I think the Britain that rejoins will be very different to the one that is leaving. I don't think Euro sceptics will enjoy the influence they have had for much longer.
  • CD13CD13 Posts: 5,294
    As it's Boxing day, time for a good and sensible argument.

    In my dotage, and in the Christmas period, I amused myself by looking over some of the accessible literature on global warming.

    I'm no expert, but I have published and refereed papers in the scientific literature on another subject..

    The Greenland ice-cap seems popular, and an interesting paper from 2011 looked at ice-cores from the last 10,000 years. I'm not a 'denier' nor an 'activist' but …

    The introduction was "Greenland recently incurred record high temperatures and ice loss by melting, adding to concerns that anthropogenic warming is impacting the Greenland ice sheet and in turn accelerating global sea‐level rise. Yet, it remains imprecisely known for Greenland how much warming is caused by increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases versus natural variability. To address this need, we reconstruct Greenland surface snow temperature variability over the past 4000 years at the GISP2 site (near the Summit of the Greenland ice sheet;"

    The conclusion was "The record indicates that warmer temperatures were the norm in the earlier part of the past 4000 years, including century‐long intervals nearly 1°C warmer than the present decade (2001–2010). Therefore, we conclude that the current decadal mean temperature in Greenland has not exceeded the envelope of natural variability over the past 4000 years, a period that seems to include part of the Holocene Thermal Maximum."

    The next paragraph begins … "Notwithstanding this conclusion, climate models project that if anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions continue, the Greenland temperature would exceed the natural variability of the past 4000 years sometime before the year 2100."

    You noticed the "Notwithstanding"...

    My own amateur conclusion … Note that key phrase … "Yet, it remains imprecisely known for Greenland how much warming is caused by increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases versus natural variability."

    Models are getting better, but those pesky confounding factors remain a problem. Carbon dioxide may well be influencing global warming, but the extent is hotly debated in scientific circles. It's those known unknown and unknown unknowns. Major changes in temperature have occurred in the past - but we weren't there to be blamed then. In the end, you pays your money and takes your choice.

  • RoyalBlueRoyalBlue Posts: 3,041
    Great stuff @AlastairMeeks - now to your predictions...
  • ydoethur said:

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them.

    That's a very curious claim. What makes you think the EU, run on an increasingly overt federalist agenda, would not insist on us joining the two key planks of the agenda if we rejoined?
    I don't think that they would cut off their nose to spite their face. But I think the Britain that rejoins will be very different to the one that is leaving. I don't think Euro sceptics will enjoy the influence they have had for much longer.
    That's the sort of complacency that got us in this situation in the first place! Contrary to how you wish it, there isn't a great love-in for the EU-it's tolerated as being better to be in it than out, but only a few zealots think the sun shines out of it's arse!
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 20,936

    ydoethur said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    The problem with the deal from a leaver's perspective is that the tory party isn't going to be in government forever and Corbo isn't going to be leader of the Labour party forever. They need to achieve the most decisive and conclusive brexit possible while the constellations are aligned. The deal is neither decisive or conclusive.

    It isn't intended to be. It's a transitory arrangement from which a final deal can be negotiated. Some aspects of the final agreement are there, e.g. the arbitration panel, the lack of CJEU jurisdiction and the free movement in Ireland. But there's more to do.

    But the key point is, it's out. Once we are out, it would require a huge amount of time and effort, including a referendum, to go back in, and re-entry would certainly be on appalling, indeed unacceptable terms including signing up to Schengen and the Euro. There just isn't the appetite for it, whatever the likes of Soubry or Benn or Cable may fantasise about. (And incidentally whatever the shortcomings of this deal it's a great deal better than full federalism.)

    So why are the Leavers jibbing? Well, I got into trouble once for comparing Rees-Mogg's brain to that of a stuffed rabbit. And with hindsight I was indeed completely wrong to make that comparison. Stuffed rabbits are way smarter than he is,
    There is no barrier to rejoining that can't be surmounted. Leave hasn't even managed to maintain its lead in the polls let alone build on it. The leaving process has been botched sufficiently to damage the image of the whole project. And the timing of the devaluation of the pound means we have already had the benefits. The bust will coincide with the leaving process.

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them. As for the rebate, that was a national embarrassment.

    In the end the referendum will achieve its objective. We'll be in and the damaging debate will be over.
    How stupid does that sound, lets leave and then rejoin on significantly worse terms just to get our sovereignty back for the xenophobes and halfwits. All because the morons elected to parliament are only concerned about their own jobs and will not make the right decision for the country. What a sh**hole the UK has become.
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 22,305
    ydoethur said:

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them.

    That's a very curious claim. What makes you think the EU, run on an increasingly overt federalist agenda, would not insist on us joining the two key planks of the agenda if we rejoined?
    The rebate being a “national embarrassment” was even more curious
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,356

    ydoethur said:

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them.

    That's a very curious claim. What makes you think the EU, run on an increasingly overt federalist agenda, would not insist on us joining the two key planks of the agenda if we rejoined?
    I don't think that they would cut off their nose to spite their face. But I think the Britain that rejoins will be very different to the one that is leaving. I don't think Euro sceptics will enjoy the influence they have had for much longer.
    That's the sort of complacency that got us in this situation in the first place! Contrary to how you wish it, there isn't a great love-in for the EU-it's tolerated as being better to be in it than out, but only a few zealots think the sun shines out of it's arse!
    On the contrary. It is only a few zealots who object to closer cooperation with their neighbours for mutual benefit.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 3,055



    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them. As for the rebate, that was a national embarrassment.

    Schengen definitely wouldn't be a necessity (no new nation has joined it for 15 years) and the EU would be happy enough to park the UK in a Swedish type euro limbo.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 16,641

    ydoethur said:

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them.

    That's a very curious claim. What makes you think the EU, run on an increasingly overt federalist agenda, would not insist on us joining the two key planks of the agenda if we rejoined?
    I think I'm correct in saying that Poland is committed to joining the Euro as a condition of its membership of the EU, but that in practice there is no appetite from Brussels to enforce this against Poland's will.

    Contrary to the belief of Brexit fantasists the EU is not in the business of imperial domination.
    Sweden is the more important country, as it is obliged to join the euro but is openly and wilfully failing to meet the necessary criteria for so doing (which, in an interesting loophole, is technically voluntary). However, it still remains a requirement that at some point Sweden and Poland (along with Czecha, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Croatia) will have to either join the Euro or withdraw from the EU entirely as we are doing. This will probably also apply to Denmark, for the simple reason that if the Euro is to survive beyond the medium term it will have to have a harmonised system of tax, financial regulation, or as we generally call it, government. This will create an in/out moment whether such countries like it or not.

    You haven't answered my point about Schengen, of which both Poland and Sweden are members. Ireland isn't but because of the CTA Ireland was treated as a special case (which is the best answer to those Unionists moaning about backstops).
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 20,936

    malcolmg said:

    The point is not what a commission would have done for Remain but what it would have done for Leave. The point is that because there was no commission, so there is now no ERG or Brexiteer consensus. There is no rallying point for the headbangers, which means some will drift away. No-one, not the hypothetical commission, not Ukip, not the ERG, has provided an intellectually and economically coherent case for Leave-inclined MPs.

    I fear that's wrong. Headbangers will always have a rallying point: and that's to complain vociferously and noisily about *something* - because that's what headbangers do, and it's easier to do so in a crowd like a herd of flatulent sheep. At the moment they're vociferously against May's deal. Before that, they were vociferously against Cameron's renegotiation.

    And here's a prediction: once Brexit has happened, they'll turn onto something else: either the EU would be acting unfaithfully, or the UK government is, or they don't like the price of bread or that swarthy-looking man they saw on the TV the other day. They'll complain about something, because they're winnets, and the political ones realise it's their only way to get the attention they crave from the media.

    The problem is that the headbangers are so incompetent that they've failed to sink May - and that's why they're currently quieter than usual. They'll be back.

    They should be ignored.
    You forget that the remainers are so intellectually bereft that they lost a vote that was impossible to lose so as you say the headbangers will be back but given the stupidity of the remainers it will be impossible to ignore them.
    Most of us weren't remainers. Most of us regarded the issue as settled and gave it not a moment's thought.
    Rather than just admit it was a flustercuck by an inept Tory Prime Minister you would rather wreck the country and then have us begging to go back in on a seriously worse deal. How pathetic does that sound. Hopefully there are a few people with some brain cells and that they can just get on with cancelling the whole debacle. Though I doubt many Tories will grow a backbone and admit they were wrong and really try to fix it.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 40,874

    ydoethur said:

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them.

    That's a very curious claim. What makes you think the EU, run on an increasingly overt federalist agenda, would not insist on us joining the two key planks of the agenda if we rejoined?
    I don't think that they would cut off their nose to spite their face. But I think the Britain that rejoins will be very different to the one that is leaving. I don't think Euro sceptics will enjoy the influence they have had for much longer.
    That's the sort of complacency that got us in this situation in the first place! Contrary to how you wish it, there isn't a great love-in for the EU-it's tolerated as being better to be in it than out, but only a few zealots think the sun shines out of it's arse!
    On the contrary. It is only a few zealots who object to closer cooperation with their neighbours for mutual benefit.
    People are happy to cooperate, but that does not have to be in the EU. If the two were the same there would never have been 52% to leave, particularly since you seem to concede the number of zealots us low.
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,356
    CD13 said:

    As it's Boxing day, time for a good and sensible argument.

    In my dotage, and in the Christmas period, I amused myself by looking over some of the accessible literature on global warming.

    I'm no expert, but I have published and refereed papers in the scientific literature on another subject..

    The Greenland ice-cap seems popular, and an interesting paper from 2011 looked at ice-cores from the last 10,000 years. I'm not a 'denier' nor an 'activist' but …

    The introduction was "Greenland recently incurred record high temperatures and ice loss by melting, adding to concerns that anthropogenic warming is impacting the Greenland ice sheet and in turn accelerating global sea‐level rise. Yet, it remains imprecisely known for Greenland how much warming is caused by increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases versus natural variability. To address this need, we reconstruct Greenland surface snow temperature variability over the past 4000 years at the GISP2 site (near the Summit of the Greenland ice sheet;"

    The conclusion was "The record indicates that warmer temperatures were the norm in the earlier part of the past 4000 years, including century‐long intervals nearly 1°C warmer than the present decade (2001–2010). Therefore, we conclude that the current decadal mean temperature in Greenland has not exceeded the envelope of natural variability over the past 4000 years, a period that seems to include part of the Holocene Thermal Maximum."

    The next paragraph begins … "Notwithstanding this conclusion, climate models project that if anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions continue, the Greenland temperature would exceed the natural variability of the past 4000 years sometime before the year 2100."

    You noticed the "Notwithstanding"...

    My own amateur conclusion … Note that key phrase … "Yet, it remains imprecisely known for Greenland how much warming is caused by increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases versus natural variability."

    Models are getting better, but those pesky confounding factors remain a problem. Carbon dioxide may well be influencing global warming, but the extent is hotly debated in scientific circles. It's those known unknown and unknown unknowns. Major changes in temperature have occurred in the past - but we weren't there to be blamed then. In the end, you pays your money and takes your choice.

    Perhaps I shouldn't say this while non-scientists are around, but you'll probably agree that quantitative modelling has been pretty rubbish in most of the areas to which it has been applied. I'd be very surprised if it turns out that the climate scientists have done better than anyone else. My degree is in environmental science and we are still trying to live down the Club of Rome model.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 16,641

    ydoethur said:

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them.

    That's a very curious claim. What makes you think the EU, run on an increasingly overt federalist agenda, would not insist on us joining the two key planks of the agenda if we rejoined?
    I don't think that they would cut off their nose to spite their face. But I think the Britain that rejoins will be very different to the one that is leaving. I don't think Euro sceptics will enjoy the influence they have had for much longer.
    You don't think a zealot like Selmayr would cut off his nose to spite his face? Or demand the full letter of the rules if we rejoined, to put others off trying to leave (bearing in mind probably only Germany is a more significant economic and political power in Europe)?

    Well, it's a view. It's just not one I share.

    (I deliberately don't mention Juncker as he won't be around beyond next year.)

    The other thing to remember is that in all likelihood the EU we would be looking to rejoin will also have changed a great deal. If as seems likely the anti-EU parties do well in European elections next year, paradoxically that might drive the bureaucracy to aim for more integration to head off the possibility of a break-up.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 16,641
    Dura_Ace said:



    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them. As for the rebate, that was a national embarrassment.

    Schengen definitely wouldn't be a necessity (no new nation has joined it for 15 years) and the EU would be happy enough to park the UK in a Swedish type euro limbo.
    I'm fairly sure 2008 was ten years ago, not fifteen. Moreover Bulgaria and Romania have just had their bids to join reapproved overriding an earlier European Council veto.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 24,613
    CD13 said:

    As it's Boxing day, time for a good and sensible argument.

    In my dotage, and in the Christmas period, I amused myself by looking over some of the accessible literature on global warming.

    I'm no expert, but I have published and refereed papers in the scientific literature on another subject..

    The Greenland ice-cap seems popular, and an interesting paper from 2011 looked at ice-cores from the last 10,000 years. I'm not a 'denier' nor an 'activist' but …

    The introduction was "Greenland recently incurred record high temperatures and ice loss by melting, adding to concerns that anthropogenic warming is impacting the Greenland ice sheet and in turn accelerating global sea‐level rise. Yet, it remains imprecisely known for Greenland how much warming is caused by increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases versus natural variability. To address this need, we reconstruct Greenland surface snow temperature variability over the past 4000 years at the GISP2 site (near the Summit of the Greenland ice sheeting

    Models are getting better, but those pesky confounding factors remain a problem. Carbon dioxide may well be influencing global warming, but the extent is hotly debated in scientific circles. It's those known unknown and unknown unknowns. Major changes in temperature have occurred in the past - but we weren't there to be blamed then. In the end, you pays your money and takes your choice.

    I am a total amateur at this not having studied science beyond school level. Nevertheless (to quote a word) it seems reasonable to assume that natural variance is larger than we can readily imagine. One thinks in relatively recent times of ice fairs on the Thames and grapes being grown in Greenland. Our historical perspective is quite limited, barely 10,000 years, so we are unlikely to have seen the extremes.

    What drives these extremes? Output of the sun, volcanic activity and the volume of life tying up carbon are all likely causes and no doubt there are others. What about anthropomorphic activity? Well, given the amount of stored carbon we have released in the last 200 years it would be astonishing if this did not have an effect. More recently we have been releasing more dangerous chemicals too.

    It seems to me that we have a large enough impact on the world to be capable of extending extremes. It seems entirely credible that there may be tipping points too. It makes sense to look after our world, it’s the only one we have. We should continue with policies that reduce our impact. But we should stop pretending it’s all down to us.
  • RobDRobD Posts: 36,065
    Charles said:

    ydoethur said:

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them.

    That's a very curious claim. What makes you think the EU, run on an increasingly overt federalist agenda, would not insist on us joining the two key planks of the agenda if we rejoined?
    The rebate being a “national embarrassment” was even more curious
    Quite. A national embarrassment that we aren't paying even more into the project?
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,356
    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them.

    That's a very curious claim. What makes you think the EU, run on an increasingly overt federalist agenda, would not insist on us joining the two key planks of the agenda if we rejoined?
    I don't think that they would cut off their nose to spite their face. But I think the Britain that rejoins will be very different to the one that is leaving. I don't think Euro sceptics will enjoy the influence they have had for much longer.
    You don't think a zealot like Selmayr would cut off his nose to spite his face? Or demand the full letter of the rules if we rejoined, to put others off trying to leave (bearing in mind probably only Germany is a more significant economic and political power in Europe)?

    Well, it's a view. It's just not one I share.

    (I deliberately don't mention Juncker as he won't be around beyond next year.)

    The other thing to remember is that in all likelihood the EU we would be looking to rejoin will also have changed a great deal. If as seems likely the anti-EU parties do well in European elections next year, paradoxically that might drive the bureaucracy to aim for more integration to head off the possibility of a break-up.
    I don't know what one particular individual would or would not do. I don't follow these things that closely. But I don't think turning down the UK's membership would be anybody's idea of a good day's work.
  • notme2notme2 Posts: 703

    CD13 said:

    As it's Boxing day, time for a good and sensible argument.

    In my dotage, and in the Christmas period, I amused myself by looking over some of the accessible literature on global warming.

    I'm no expert, but I have published and refereed papers in the scientific literature on another subject..

    The Greenland ice-cap seems popular, and an interesting paper from 2011 looked at ice-cores from the last 10,000 years. I'm not a 'denier' nor an 'activist' but …

    The introduction was "Greenland recently incurred record high temperatures and ice loss by melting, adding to concerns that anthropogenic warming is impacting the Greenland ice sheet and in turn accelerating global sea‐level sheet;"

    The conclusion was "The record indicates that warmer temperatures were the norm in the earlier part of the past 4000 years, including century‐long intervals nearly 1°C warmer than the present decade (2001–2010). Therefore, we conclude that the current decadal mean temperature in Greenland has not exceeded the envelope of natural variability over the past 4000 years, a period that seems to include part of the Holocene Thermal Maximum."

    The next paragraph begins … "Notwithstanding this conclusion, climate models project that if anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions continue, the Greenland temperature would exceed the natural variability of the past 4000 years sometime before the year 2100."

    You noticed the "Notwithstanding"...

    My own amateur conclusion … Note that key phrase … "Yet, it remains imprecisely known for Greenland how much warming is caused by increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases versus natural variability."

    Models are getting better, but thosebe blamed then. In the end, you pays your money and takes your choice.

    Perhaps I shouldn't say this while non-scientists are around, but you'll probably agree that quantitative modelling has been pretty rubbish in most of the areas to which it has been applied. I'd be very surprised if it turns out that the climate scientists have done better than anyone else. My degree is in environmental science and we are still trying to live down the Club of Rome model.
    What annoys me is the utter certainty that the climate scientist (or the politicians speaking on behalf of climate scientists) speak. Science isn’t like that. There is no divine truth. Models are evidence of the assumptions made in designing the models, that we barely know and understand the variables that influence the atmosphere.

    It is presented as “this is happening. There is no debate, and this is happening because of X”. To even imply that very few things in life are that clear cut. The subtleties are removed to avoid confusion. And we get ever increasing catastrophising by activists.

    Anyone who challenged this is a trump supporter in the pay of big oil.
  • Telegraph front page has wibbling of government plans to impose calorie caps on servings of food (pizzas, ready meals etc).

    Puritanical tosh.
  • mattmatt Posts: 2,566
    edited December 2018

    ydoethur said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    The problem with the deal from a leaver's perspective is that the tory party isn't going to be in government forever and Corbo isn't going to be leader of the Labour party forever. They need to achieve the most decisive and conclusive brexit possible while the constellations are aligned. The deal is neither decisive or conclusive.

    It isn't intended to be. It's a transitory arrangement from which a final deal can be negotiated. Some aspects of the final agreement are there, e.g. the arbitration panel, the lack of CJEU jurisdiction and the free movement in Ireland. But there's more to do.

    But the key point is, it's out. Once we are out, it would require a huge amount of time and effort, including a referendum, to go back in, and re-entry would certainly be on appalling, indeed unacceptable terms including signing up to Schengen and the Euro. There just isn't the appetite for it, whatever the likes of Soubry or Benn or Cable may fantasise about. (And incidentally whatever the shortcomings of this deal it's a great deal better than full federalism.)

    So why are the Leavers jibbing? Well, I got into trouble once for comparing Rees-Mogg's brain to that of a stuffed rabbit. And with hindsight I was indeed completely wrong to make that comparison. Stuffed rabbits are way smarter than he is,
    There is no barrier to rejoining that can't be surmounted. Leave hasn't even managed to maintain its lead in the polls let alone build on it. The leaving process has been botched sufficiently to damage the image of the whole project. And the timing of the devaluation of the pound means we have already had the benefits. The bust will coincide with the leaving process.

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them. As for the rebate, that was a national embarrassment.

    In the end the referendum will achieve its objective. We'll be in and the damaging debate will be over.
    I struggle with how the rebate was a national embarrassment. It was a reflection of the primacy of agriculture payments and the fact that our agriculture industry is an agri-business and not dominated by hobby sized farms because of the Napoleonic inheritance code.
  • RobDRobD Posts: 36,065

    Telegraph front page has wibbling of government plans to impose calorie caps on servings of food (pizzas, ready meals etc).

    Puritanical tosh.

    Time to stockpile pineapple pizzas?
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 23,844

    Telegraph front page has wibbling of government plans to impose calorie caps on servings of food (pizzas, ready meals etc).

    Puritanical tosh.

    More to do with there being no other stories to write, other than playing on guilt of how much we have just indulged over the past couple of weeks.....
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 16,641

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them.

    That's a very curious claim. What makes you think the EU, run on an increasingly overt federalist agenda, would not insist on us joining the two key planks of the agenda if we rejoined?
    I don't think that they would cut off their nose to spite their face. But I think the Britain that rejoins will be very different to the one that is leaving. I don't think Euro sceptics will enjoy the influence they have had for much longer.
    You don't think a zealot like Selmayr would cut off his nose to spite his face? Or demand the full letter of the rules if we rejoined, to put others off trying to leave (bearing in mind probably only Germany is a more significant economic and political power in Europe)?

    Well, it's a view. It's just not one I share.

    (I deliberately don't mention Juncker as he won't be around beyond next year.)

    The other thing to remember is that in all likelihood the EU we would be looking to rejoin will also have changed a great deal. If as seems likely the anti-EU parties do well in European elections next year, paradoxically that might drive the bureaucracy to aim for more integration to head off the possibility of a break-up.
    I don't know what one particular individual would or would not do. I don't follow these things that closely. But I don't think turning down the UK's membership would be anybody's idea of a good day's work.
    It wouldn't.

    But that doesn't mean the terms offered will not be ones the EU consider normal and the electorate here consider totally unacceptable. As we have seen all too vividly in recent weeks, the EU simply doesn't understand that some people don't buy into their worldview and are consequently not willing to bend to accommodate them.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 16,641

    Telegraph front page has wibbling of government plans to impose calorie caps on servings of food (pizzas, ready meals etc).

    Puritanical tosh.

    If it means a blanket ban on pineapple on pizzas, however, I am sure it will be popular with people of taste and class.
  • Beverley_CBeverley_C Posts: 6,256

    Telegraph front page has wibbling of government plans to impose calorie caps on servings of food (pizzas, ready meals etc).

    Puritanical tosh.

    Or necessary Brexit preparation perhaps? Food shortages, petrol rationing etc just like after the War. The ERG's vision of a return to our glorious past :D
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 3,055

    Telegraph front page has wibbling of government plans to impose calorie caps on servings of food (pizzas, ready meals etc).

    Puritanical tosh.

    Have you seen the fucking size of people? A significant proportion of the population are digging their graves with a knife and fork.
  • mattmatt Posts: 2,566

    Telegraph front page has wibbling of government plans to impose calorie caps on servings of food (pizzas, ready meals etc).

    Puritanical tosh.

    I appreciate that you’re very clever and virtuous but these have an effect. Look at the number of fat fuckers waddling around British high streets. The more they are shamed and don’t pollute our cities with their wobbling, the better.
  • Surely the UK can't join Schengen without Ireland also joining at the same time, else it causes problems at the Irish border? Is there any evidence the Irish want this?
  • welshowlwelshowl Posts: 3,881

    ydoethur said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    The problem with the deal from a leaver's perspective is that the tory party isn't going to be in government forever and Corbo isn't going to be leader of the Labour party forever. They need to achieve the most decisive and conclusive brexit possible while the constellations are aligned. The deal is neither decisive or conclusive.

    It isn't intended to be. It's a transitory arrangement from which a final deal can be negotiated. Some aspects of the final agreement are there, e.g. the arbitration panel, the lack of CJEU jurisdiction and the free movement in Ireland. But there's more to do.

    But the key point is, it's out. Once we are out, it would require a huge amount of time and effort, including a referendum, to go back in, and re-entry would certainly be on appalling, indeed unacceptable terms including signing up to Schengen and the Euro. There just isn't the appetite for it, whatever the likes of Soubry or Benn or Cable may fantasise about. (And incidentally whatever the shortcomings of this deal it's a great deal better than full federalism.)

    So why are the Leavers jibbing? Well, I got into trouble once for comparing Rees-Mogg's brain to that of a stuffed rabbit. And with hindsight I was indeed completely wrong to make that comparison. Stuffed rabbits are way smarter than he is,
    There is no barrier to rejoining that can't be surmounted. Leave hasn't even managed to maintain its lead in the polls let alone build on it. The leaving process has been botched sufficiently to damage the image of the whole project. And the timing of the devaluation of the pound means we have already had the benefits. The bust will coincide with the leaving process.

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them. As for the rebate, that was a national embarrassment.

    In the end the referendum will achieve its objective. We'll be in and the damaging debate will be over.
    On what planet was the rebate a national embarrassment? Just wtf?
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,356
    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them.

    That's a very curious claim. What makes you think the EU, run on an increasingly overt federalist agenda, would not insist on us joining the two key planks of the agenda if we rejoined?
    I don't think that they would cut off their nose to spite their face. But I think the Britain that rejoins will be very different to the one that is leaving. I don't think Euro sceptics will enjoy the influence they have had for much longer.
    You don't think a zealot like Selmayr would cut off his nose to spite his face? Or demand the full letter of the rules if we rejoined, to put others off trying to leave (bearing in mind probably only Germany is a more significant economic and political power in Europe)?

    Well, it's a view. It's just not one I share.

    (I deliberately don't mention Juncker as he won't be around beyond next year.)

    The other thing to remember is that in all likelihood the EU we would be looking to rejoin will also have changed a great deal. If as seems likely the anti-EU parties do well in European elections next year, paradoxically that might drive the bureaucracy to aim for more integration to head off the possibility of a break-up.
    I don't know what one particular individual would or would not do. I don't follow these things that closely. But I don't think turning down the UK's membership would be anybody's idea of a good day's work.
    It wouldn't.

    But that doesn't mean the terms offered will not be ones the EU consider normal and the electorate here consider totally unacceptable. As we have seen all too vividly in recent weeks, the EU simply doesn't understand that some people don't buy into their worldview and are consequently not willing to bend to accommodate them.
    Britain’s re-entry will of course be as unprecedented as it’s leaving. We have no example to work from, and everybody involved will be working it out as we go along.There is certainly no good reason to give up before we’ve even tried.
  • MortimerMortimer Posts: 11,249
    welshowl said:

    ydoethur said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    The problem with the deal from a leaver's perspective is that the tory party isn't going to be in government forever and Corbo isn't going to be leader of the Labour party forever. They need to achieve the most decisive and conclusive brexit possible while the constellations are aligned. The deal is neither decisive or conclusive.

    It isn't intended to be. It's a transitory arrangement from which a final deal can be negotiated. Some aspects of the final agreement are there, e.g. the arbitration panel, the lack of CJEU jurisdiction and the free movement in Ireland. But there's more to do.

    But the key point is, it's out. Once we are out, it would require a huge amount of time and effort, including a referendum, to go back in, and re-entry would certainly be on appalling, indeed unacceptable terms including signing up to Schengen and the Euro. There just isn't the appetite for it, whatever the likes of Soubry or Benn or Cable may fantasise about. (And incidentally whatever the shortcomings of this deal it's a great deal better than full federalism.)

    So why are the Leavers jibbing? Well, I got into trouble once for comparing Rees-Mogg's brain to that of a stuffed rabbit. And with hindsight I was indeed completely wrong to make that comparison. Stuffed rabbits are way smarter than he is,
    There is no barrier to rejoining that can't be surmounted. Leave hasn't even managed to maintain its lead in the polls let alone build on it. The leaving process has been botched sufficiently to damage the image of the whole project. And the timing of the devaluation of the pound means we have already had the benefits. The bust will coincide with the leaving process.

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them. As for the rebate, that was a national embarrassment.

    In the end the referendum will achieve its objective. We'll be in and the damaging debate will be over.
    On what planet was the rebate a national embarrassment? Just wtf?
    Might have been a National embarrassment.....

    ....

    For Germany...
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,356
    My objection was to the way it was done.
  • welshowlwelshowl Posts: 3,881

    My objection was to the way it was done.

    The rebate? Why?????
  • stodgestodge Posts: 4,889
    Happy St Stephen's Day all :)
    DavidL said:


    I am a total amateur at this not having studied science beyond school level. Nevertheless (to quote a word) it seems reasonable to assume that natural variance is larger than we can readily imagine. One thinks in relatively recent times of ice fairs on the Thames and grapes being grown in Greenland. Our historical perspective is quite limited, barely 10,000 years, so we are unlikely to have seen the extremes.

    What drives these extremes? Output of the sun, volcanic activity and the volume of life tying up carbon are all likely causes and no doubt there are others. What about anthropomorphic activity? Well, given the amount of stored carbon we have released in the last 200 years it would be astonishing if this did not have an effect. More recently we have been releasing more dangerous chemicals too.

    It seems to me that we have a large enough impact on the world to be capable of extending extremes. It seems entirely credible that there may be tipping points too. It makes sense to look after our world, it’s the only one we have. We should continue with policies that reduce our impact. But we should stop pretending it’s all down to us.

    I'm fairly close to you on this, David, but I am concerned at the rate of change which seems out of kilter with "natural" factors. By "extending the extremes" I think we are making change happen faster than would otherwise be the case.

    The other problem is or are the impacts of fairly minor changes on our crowded world. Millions live in or near coastal cities so small sea level rises will have a huge impact on large numbers of humanity in both the richest and poorest parts of the world. The former can, if they wish, throw money at the problem in terms of flood defences, the latter cannot.

    As we've seen this year, hotter summers bring their own problems to many areas of the world in terms of wildfires, water supply issues and ultimately questions as to how we live and whether a lifestyle suited to temperate climates will work if the climate is different. Again, some will have the money and the technology to adapt, others won't.
  • Dura_Ace said:

    Telegraph front page has wibbling of government plans to impose calorie caps on servings of food (pizzas, ready meals etc).

    Puritanical tosh.

    Have you seen the fucking size of people? A significant proportion of the population are digging their graves with a knife and fork.
    I'm probably one of the only PBers who has to routinely deal with this problem frequently and very up close and personal. I support a cap on shite food!
  • OllyTOllyT Posts: 1,964
    edited December 2018
    ydoethur said:

    I don't see anything wrong with Schengen and the Euro. But I don't think the EU would insist on them.

    That's a very curious claim. What makes you think the EU, run on an increasingly overt federalist agenda, would not insist on us joining the two key planks of the agenda if we rejoined?
    They may or may not depending on how keen they were to have us back. The key thing however is surely that we would know the terms before we voted whether to rejoin or not.

    Therein lies the crucial difference with the 2016 referendum when we were asked if we wanted to leave without any clear definition of what that actually entailed. Everything that has followed has flowed predictably from that.

    The process of the last referendum was ill conceived so we ended up with a narrow, seemingly binding, commitment to do something which meant lots of different things to those who voted for it. There should always have been a ratification vote on the deal built into the process, something I believe Mogg suggested a few years ago.
  • Beverley_CBeverley_C Posts: 6,256
    stodge said:

    Happy St Stephen's Day all :)

    DavidL said:


    I am a total amateur at this not having studied science beyond school level. Nevertheless (to quote a word) it seems reasonable to assume that natural variance is larger than we can readily imagine. One thinks in relatively recent times of ice fairs on the Thames and grapes being grown in Greenland. Our historical perspective is quite limited, barely 10,000 years, so we are unlikely to have seen the extremes.

    What drives these extremes? Output of the sun, volcanic activity and the volume of life tying up carbon are all likely causes and no doubt there are others. What about anthropomorphic activity? Well, given the amount of stored carbon we have released in the last 200 years it would be astonishing if this did not have an effect. More recently we have been releasing more dangerous chemicals too.

    It seems to me that we have a large enough impact on the world to be capable of extending extremes. It seems entirely credible that there may be tipping points too. It makes sense to look after our world, it’s the only one we have. We should continue with policies that reduce our impact. But we should stop pretending it’s all down to us.

    I'm fairly close to you on this, David, but I am concerned at the rate of change which seems out of kilter with "natural" factors. By "extending the extremes" I think we are making change happen faster than would otherwise be the case.

    The other problem is or are the impacts of fairly minor changes on our crowded world. Millions live in or near coastal cities so small sea level rises will have a huge impact on large numbers of humanity in both the richest and poorest parts of the world. The former can, if they wish, throw money at the problem in terms of flood defences, the latter cannot.

    As we've seen this year, hotter summers bring their own problems to many areas of the world in terms of wildfires, water supply issues and ultimately questions as to how we live and whether a lifestyle suited to temperate climates will work if the climate is different. Again, some will have the money and the technology to adapt, others won't.
    Worry about clathrates on the sea beds being released by warming. They are highly unstable and there is some evidence that they were the main cause of the Permian extinction that wiped out nearly 90% of all marine life
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,356
    welshowl said:

    My objection was to the way it was done.

    The rebate? Why?????
    If you are part of a team you should aim for win-win solutions not try to be the winner.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 22,867
    How much of a problem are the following:

    *) Too high a calorific intake
    *) The 'wrong' sorts of calories / foods
    *) Not enough exercise / sedentary lives.

    ISTM that the problem is not just the first, but the second and third as well. I wonder whether encouraging people to do more exercise would be just as useful as regulated calorie restrictions?

    (Although as an aside, a pizza I love from Morrisons contains over half of my recommended daily intake of calories. That seems rather insane. Although tasty.)
  • RobDRobD Posts: 36,065

    welshowl said:

    My objection was to the way it was done.

    The rebate? Why?????
    If you are part of a team you should aim for win-win solutions not try to be the winner.
    It wasn't about winning, it was about fairness.
  • Mr. Ace, is the Government going to stop people buying two small pizzas rather than one large one?
  • matt said:

    Telegraph front page has wibbling of government plans to impose calorie caps on servings of food (pizzas, ready meals etc).

    Puritanical tosh.

    I appreciate that you’re very clever and virtuous but these have an effect. Look at the number of fat fuckers waddling around British high streets. The more they are shamed and don’t pollute our cities with their wobbling, the better.
    Unless you're planning on banning sweets, cakes and all other forms of wasted calories capping calories in dinners won't deal with obesity. If you eat a healthy meal but also eat a box of biscuits through a day then you're going to put on weight.

    Education yes, caps no.
  • welshowl said:

    My objection was to the way it was done.

    The rebate? Why?????
    If you are part of a team you should aim for win-win solutions not try to be the winner.
    And a rebalancing of all team members' contributions to be more reflective of the benefits gained isn't win-win?
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 24,613
    stodge said:

    Happy St Stephen's Day all :)

    DavidL said:


    I am a total amateur at this not having studied science beyond school level. Nevertheless (to quote a word) it seems reasonable to assume that natural variance is larger than we can readily imagine. One thinks in relatively recent times of ice fairs on the Thames and grapes being grown in Greenland. Our historical perspective is quite limited, barely 10,000 years, so we are unlikely to have seen the extremes.

    What drives these extremes? Output of the sun, volcanic activity and the volume of life tying up carbon are all likely causes and no doubt there are others. What about anthropomorphic activity? Well, given the amount of stored carbon we have released in the last 200 years it would be astonishing if this did not have an effect. More recently we have been releasing more dangerous chemicals too.

    It seems to me that we have a large enough impact on the world to be capable of extending extremes. It seems entirely credible that there may be tipping points too. It makes sense to look after our world, it’s the only one we have. We should continue with policies that reduce our impact. But we should stop pretending it’s all down to us.

    I'm fairly close to you on this, David, but I am concerned at the rate of change which seems out of kilter with "natural" factors. By "extending the extremes" I think we are making change happen faster than would otherwise be the case.

    The other problem is or are the impacts of fairly minor changes on our crowded world. Millions live in or near coastal cities so small sea level rises will have a huge impact on large numbers of humanity in both the richest and poorest parts of the world. The former can, if they wish, throw money at the problem in terms of flood defences, the latter cannot.

    As we've seen this year, hotter summers bring their own problems to many areas of the world in terms of wildfires, water supply issues and ultimately questions as to how we live and whether a lifestyle suited to temperate climates will work if the climate is different. Again, some will have the money and the technology to adapt, others won't.
    I don’t disagree with any of that. I recognise that the massive increase in our population has both made us more vulnerable and stretched the coping or balancing factors of Gaia to the limits, possibly beyond. We have not seen the peak of this yet. As Africa’s population explodes this century further stresses will occur.
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 1,574
    Happy Christmas, and to mark it I would like to post something sunny side up.

    “Our long national nightmare is over.”

    So said Gerald Ford, post Watergate, and I can imagine Theresa May at the lectern in Downing St saying much the same on the morning of 30th March 2019. By serendipitous twist of fate, almost as if the gods are smiling down and rooting for us, it will be a Saturday.

    The nightmare in this case will be our protracted and bitter debate about membership of the European Union. It will be history. We will have left under the Withdrawal Treaty and ahead of us will lie many years of talks to arrive at a mutually acceptable Future Relationship.

    The negotiation will take an eternity. It will span more than one generation and several general elections. But precisely because of this it will not arouse the passions that Remain vs Leave once did. The UK will be Out and the vast majority of people will accept that. The infernal ongoings with Brussels will not, as some predict, continue to dominate our politics. Rather, the EU issue will cede centre-stage to other matters. It will still be there, it will always be there, like static on an old radio, but we will be listening to the music.
  • welshowlwelshowl Posts: 3,881

    welshowl said:

    My objection was to the way it was done.

    The rebate? Why?????
    If you are part of a team you should aim for win-win solutions not try to be the winner.
    Dear God. We were being screwed over big time. The rebate meant we were being screwed over a bit less big time. That’s all.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 24,613

    stodge said:

    Happy St Stephen's Day all :)

    DavidL said:


    I am a total amateur at this not having studied science beyond school level. Nevertheless (to quote a word) it seems reasonable to assume that natural variance is larger than we can readily imagine. One thinks in relatively recent times of ice fairs on the Thames and grapes being grown in Greenland. Our historical perspective is quite limited, barely 10,000 years, so we are unlikely to have seen the extremes.

    What drives these extremes? Output of the sun, volcanic activity and the volume of life tying up carbon are all likely causes and no doubt there are others. What about anthropomorphic activity? Well, given the amount of stored carbon we have released in the last 200 years it would be astonishing if this did not have an effect. More recently we have been releasing more dangerous chemicals too.

    It seems to me that we have a large enough impact on the world to be capable of extending extremes. It seems entirely credible that there may be tipping points too. It makes sense to look after our world, it’s the only one we have. We should continue with policies that reduce our impact. But we should stop pretending it’s all down to us.

    I'm fairly close to you on this, David, but I am concerned at the rate of change which seems out of kilter with "natural" factors. By "extending the extremes" I think we are making change happen faster than would otherwise be the case.

    The other problem is or are the impacts of fairly minor changes on our crowded world. Millions live in or near coastal cities so small sea level rises will have a huge impact on large numbers of humanity in both the richest and poorest parts of the world. The former can, if they wish, throw money at the problem in terms of flood defences, the latter cannot.

    As we've seen this year, hotter summers bring their own problems to many areas of the world in terms of wildfires, water supply issues and ultimately questions as to how we live and whether a lifestyle suited to temperate climates will work if the climate is different. Again, some will have the money and the technology to adapt, others won't.
    Worry about clathrates on the sea beds being released by warming. They are highly unstable and there is some evidence that they were the main cause of the Permian extinction that wiped out nearly 90% of all marine life

    That is what I had in mind when referring to tipping points.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 3,055
    edited December 2018

    Mr. Ace, is the Government going to stop people buying two small pizzas rather than one large one?

    People aren't that clever. As a leaver you should be in favour of it. Leavers skew toward higher BMIs and every one that drops dead from a gripper imperils your project.
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 8,234

    Mr. 43, there's a difference between accepting the decision and approving of the execution.

    It depends how you treat the result of the referendum. If you say the result is an absolute requirement on the government to leave the EU, it means you do have to accept the specific implementation of that requirement. If the requirement is "best endeavours" then you could reject the specific implementation, on the understanding that the implementation may be delayed while you seek alternatives or may not happen at all.

    I'm not particularly pushing for indefinite delay, but do point out the referendum was utterly stupid to reject one outcome without considering the realistic alternatives and then be bound by that decision to reject. No business would ever do anything as crass.
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,356
    welshowl said:

    welshowl said:

    My objection was to the way it was done.

    The rebate? Why?????
    If you are part of a team you should aim for win-win solutions not try to be the winner.
    Dear God. We were being screwed over big time. The rebate meant we were being screwed over a bit less big time. That’s all.
    Really? So Edward Heath negotiated a deal that was unacceptable. Harold Wilson renegotiated and still got a deal that was unacceptable. But Thatcher succeeded where they had failed? And you don't think that was all contrived spin?
  • stodgestodge Posts: 4,889
    On the substantive of the EU, I have to confess my view has long been there are only two coherent positions - all in or all out. Our half hearted rebate-obsessed opt-out riddled compromise of a membership was ultimately unsatisfactory for both us and the EU.

    Perhaps after Suez we felt we had no other place in the world but to be part of Europe but as so many have said, we aren't European at heart.

    Perhaps there are those in Brussels who already see the European Federation as a logical and inevitable outcome - convincing the people of the wisdom of that will take a long time, I suspect.

    As so often in history, the European continent will have issues at its peripheries - the UK at one end, Russia on the other, the proximity of Turkey and the Middle East and of course the mess that is Africa to the south. The challenge for European integration will be to mitigate all these potential risks and hazards.

    For us, it would be good if we wished the EU project well and aspired to be a friendly neighbour while resuming our global engagement.

    As an aside, leaving the EU doesn't solve the problem of our identity or place in the world - I've no desire to live in Singapore-on-Thames pouring coffee for the billionaires lured here by our low-tax low-regulation economy.

    The challenge is to create a post-EU economy and society that works for all of us. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have any answers but nor does anyone else at this time.
  • Mr. Ace, alcohol duty has certainly led to the absence of drunkenness in the UK.

    You can't regulate a lifestyle into people.
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,356
    stodge said:

    On the substantive of the EU, I have to confess my view has long been there are only two coherent positions - all in or all out. Our half hearted rebate-obsessed opt-out riddled compromise of a membership was ultimately unsatisfactory for both us and the EU.

    Perhaps after Suez we felt we had no other place in the world but to be part of Europe but as so many have said, we aren't European at heart.

    Perhaps there are those in Brussels who already see the European Federation as a logical and inevitable outcome - convincing the people of the wisdom of that will take a long time, I suspect.

    As so often in history, the European continent will have issues at its peripheries - the UK at one end, Russia on the other, the proximity of Turkey and the Middle East and of course the mess that is Africa to the south. The challenge for European integration will be to mitigate all these potential risks and hazards.

    For us, it would be good if we wished the EU project well and aspired to be a friendly neighbour while resuming our global engagement.

    As an aside, leaving the EU doesn't solve the problem of our identity or place in the world - I've no desire to live in Singapore-on-Thames pouring coffee for the billionaires lured here by our low-tax low-regulation economy.

    The challenge is to create a post-EU economy and society that works for all of us. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have any answers but nor does anyone else at this time.

    I agree with your first sentence. But I'd conclude that all in is the only sensible option. We are a normal European country. The elites should start behaving like we are.
  • stodgestodge Posts: 4,889


    Worry about clathrates on the sea beds being released by warming. They are highly unstable and there is some evidence that they were the main cause of the Permian extinction that wiped out nearly 90% of all marine life

    Indeed though my recollection of reading about the Permian event was the release of methane from the oceans was one of a number of events including a huge outbreak of volcanic activity which caused the ecological and biological catastrophe.

    Just to note both Japan and China (and I believe Russia too) are looking at extracting methane hydrates as an energy source - the technology isn't there yet but is only a few years away.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 24,613
    stodge said:

    On the substantive of the EU, I have to confess my view has long been there are only two coherent positions - all in or all out. Our half hearted rebate-obsessed opt-out riddled compromise of a membership was ultimately unsatisfactory for both us and the EU.

    Perhaps after Suez we felt we had no other place in the world but to be part of Europe but as so many have said, we aren't European at heart.

    Perhaps there are those in Brussels who already see the European Federation as a logical and inevitable outcome - convincing the people of the wisdom of that will take a long time, I suspect.

    As so often in history, the European continent will have issues at its peripheries - the UK at one end, Russia on the other, the proximity of Turkey and the Middle East and of course the mess that is Africa to the south. The challenge for European integration will be to mitigate all these potential risks and hazards.

    For us, it would be good if we wished the EU project well and aspired to be a friendly neighbour while resuming our global engagement.

    As an aside, leaving the EU doesn't solve the problem of our identity or place in the world - I've no desire to live in Singapore-on-Thames pouring coffee for the billionaires lured here by our low-tax low-regulation economy.

    The challenge is to create a post-EU economy and society that works for all of us. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have any answers but nor does anyone else at this time.

    I fear you are being optimistic in suggesting we can put all this behind us so easily but I certainly agree that we should wish the EU well in an increasingly unstable world. My guess is that the focus of the worlds attention will continue to switch from Europe to the Pacific. If we are lucky Europe will become a quiet and largely irrelevant backwater where people can live peaceful and prosperous lives while wars and disasters happen elsewhere.
  • stodge said:

    On the substantive of the EU, I have to confess my view has long been there are only two coherent positions - all in or all out. Our half hearted rebate-obsessed opt-out riddled compromise of a membership was ultimately unsatisfactory for both us and the EU.

    Perhaps after Suez we felt we had no other place in the world but to be part of Europe but as so many have said, we aren't European at heart.

    Perhaps there are those in Brussels who already see the European Federation as a logical and inevitable outcome - convincing the people of the wisdom of that will take a long time, I suspect.

    As so often in history, the European continent will have issues at its peripheries - the UK at one end, Russia on the other, the proximity of Turkey and the Middle East and of course the mess that is Africa to the south. The challenge for European integration will be to mitigate all these potential risks and hazards.

    For us, it would be good if we wished the EU project well and aspired to be a friendly neighbour while resuming our global engagement.

    As an aside, leaving the EU doesn't solve the problem of our identity or place in the world - I've no desire to live in Singapore-on-Thames pouring coffee for the billionaires lured here by our low-tax low-regulation economy.

    The challenge is to create a post-EU economy and society that works for all of us. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have any answers but nor does anyone else at this time.


    No man is an island.
    Ask not for whom the bell tolls
    It tolls for thee.
  • RobDRobD Posts: 36,065

    welshowl said:

    welshowl said:

    My objection was to the way it was done.

    The rebate? Why?????
    If you are part of a team you should aim for win-win solutions not try to be the winner.
    Dear God. We were being screwed over big time. The rebate meant we were being screwed over a bit less big time. That’s all.
    Really? So Edward Heath negotiated a deal that was unacceptable. Harold Wilson renegotiated and still got a deal that was unacceptable. But Thatcher succeeded where they had failed? And you don't think that was all contrived spin?
    No, just that the EU were squeezing every penny out of us that they could. Of course the other countries would be reluctant to change the arrangement, they paid a lot less than they should have.
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,356
    Endillion said:

    welshowl said:

    My objection was to the way it was done.

    The rebate? Why?????
    If you are part of a team you should aim for win-win solutions not try to be the winner.
    And a rebalancing of all team members' contributions to be more reflective of the benefits gained isn't win-win?
    If that had been how it had been presented it would have been much better. Leave the handbags out of it.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 3,055

    Mr. Ace, alcohol duty has certainly led to the absence of drunkenness in the UK.

    You can't regulate a lifestyle into people.

    Of course governments can and do. Drink driving used to be common and socially acceptable.
  • How much of a problem are the following:

    *) Too high a calorific intake
    *) The 'wrong' sorts of calories / foods
    *) Not enough exercise / sedentary lives.

    ISTM that the problem is not just the first, but the second and third as well. I wonder whether encouraging people to do more exercise would be just as useful as regulated calorie restrictions?

    (Although as an aside, a pizza I love from Morrisons contains over half of my recommended daily intake of calories. That seems rather insane. Although tasty.)

    That's the key, isn't it? Exercise more and enjoy all foods, but don't cane the bad stuff too often. It's not an easy solution to enforce, I admit.
    When I joined the fire service over 20 years ago, there were some big old units who struggled to climb stairs, let alone a ladder. Now we have a yearly fitness test, which while not too difficult- it's literally a brisk walk up a steepening hill for 12 minutes- it is pass or fail, and if you fail, there's a 6 week fitness program to follow, followed by a more stringent job related test that results in disciplinary action if failed. I'm not saying we should test the population once a year, but maybe there could be a proper carrot and stick approach to the fitness of the general population. I don't have an answer to how that could work or be applied, but as a nation we need a radical rethink. It will benefit the economy in the long run.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 23,844

    stodge said:

    On the substantive of the EU, I have to confess my view has long been there are only two coherent positions - all in or all out. Our half hearted rebate-obsessed opt-out riddled compromise of a membership was ultimately unsatisfactory for both us and the EU.

    Perhaps after Suez we felt we had no other place in the world but to be part of Europe but as so many have said, we aren't European at heart.

    Perhaps there are those in Brussels who already see the European Federation as a logical and inevitable outcome - convincing the people of the wisdom of that will take a long time, I suspect.

    As so often in history, the European continent will have issues at its peripheries - the UK at one end, Russia on the other, the proximity of Turkey and the Middle East and of course the mess that is Africa to the south. The challenge for European integration will be to mitigate all these potential risks and hazards.

    For us, it would be good if we wished the EU project well and aspired to be a friendly neighbour while resuming our global engagement.

    As an aside, leaving the EU doesn't solve the problem of our identity or place in the world - I've no desire to live in Singapore-on-Thames pouring coffee for the billionaires lured here by our low-tax low-regulation economy.

    The challenge is to create a post-EU economy and society that works for all of us. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have any answers but nor does anyone else at this time.

    I agree with your first sentence. But I'd conclude that all in is the only sensible option. We are a normal European country. The elites should start behaving like we are.
    There's our discussion topic for the next few weeks: what the hell constitutues a "normal" European country? And once you've decided, how the hell do you shoe-horn the UK into that definition?
  • stodgestodge Posts: 4,889
    DavidL said:

    I don’t disagree with any of that. I recognise that the massive increase in our population has both made us more vulnerable and stretched the coping or balancing factors of Gaia to the limits, possibly beyond. We have not seen the peak of this yet. As Africa’s population explodes this century further stresses will occur.

    Thank you for the kind word - I do think Africa's story is going to be crucial for the rest of the 21st Century.

    It's the last untapped area for natural resources though the Chinese are there already and of course it's the last source of cheap labour. We are already seeing sub-Saharan immigration into the UK from places like Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana as well as from the former Portuguese colonies. We are already seeing the migrations from Eritrea and other failed states north via Libya to Europe.

    How Europe (both the EU, the UK and others) responds to this population challenge is going to be crucial. The temptation will be to create Fortress Europe - walls, barriers and a new purpose for a post-Cold War NATO with the focus not to the east but to the south. Will we see new colonialism with Europe establishing footholds on the African continent to challenge the migrations?
This discussion has been closed.